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Peninsula Museum of Art January 2014 New Exhibitions
1- Savage Garden by Kalani Engles – oil paintings and sculpture
2- Hermetica by Tobias Tovera – mixed media paintings
3 - Old Lovers by Eleanor Dickinson – ink drawings
The Peninsula Museum of Art: 1777 California Drive, Burlingame, CA 94010
Opening Reception Date and Time: Sunday, Jan. 12, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Exhibits Run: Now through March 16
Admission to the Museum is free to the public.
The Peninsula Museum of Art is pleased to present three new exhibitions for 2014: Savage Garden by KalaniEngles, Hermetica by Tobias Tovera, and Old Lovers by Eleanor Dickinson.
Engles' and Tovera’s works are each large in scale: Engles’ exhilarate, and Tovera’s motivate. Engles’ immense oils reflect the wild forces at play in a natural garden, while Tovera’s wildness is revealed both in a mixed media collection, and live via an alchemical work-in-progress created on site just for the Museum. In contrast, Eleanor Dickinson’s inspiration comes from the imperfect yet endlessly interesting facets of the aging human form, captured here in an intimate collection of ink drawings literally depicting old lovers. Collectively, the three artists complement one another and highlight the depth and diversity of Bay Area talent.
“In my abstracted images I reveal my respect and admiration of early American modernism while creating a very personal aesthetic that draws upon my life experience. With my ethnic roots in Hawaii and San Francisco upbringing, my vision encompasses a broad world – a fusion of cultures, a balance of forces, where the challenges of life inspire a creative flow rich in content and imagery. The natural landscape and its flora have served as my models throughout my career.
"The abstraction in this painting results from the arrangement of the figures on the canvas. Obviously, no real garden is configured like this one. Instead, I want the viewer to experience the essence of a wild garden unencumbered by physical context. The juxtaposition of the figurative elements is designed to convey a sense of energy and motion while maintaining technical balance in spatial composition and color. The name Savage Garden suggests the primordial force of plants competing for space and sunlight without regard for biological order or human design."
"As an artist, I am interested in experimenting with alchemical processes in the pursuit of discovering a "third space," a zone of possibility that exists beyond restrictive dualities. My aim is to create transmuted spaces, places where energy shifts, changes, or renews itself. From the introduction of water and mineral to the use of science and the occult, this translates into working with opposing elements to reveal how they interact, transform, or propel each other.
"The scope of my projects includes performances involving the body as an integral element within installations that capture a physical and psychic topography. I use the square as a construct for the natural, employing it as a metaphor for the membrane or conduit between forms that initially appear separate but are actually connected. My new series of work in this exhibition was inspired by the primordial formations of living matter and the ways life may have begun in the genesis.
"Each layer I pour and each object I introduce is intuitive, the formal shape and material application is determined by the movement of the medium and its successive layers. The entire process is choreographed as a ritual embodying the meditative state."
"The original enthusiasm to draw aging lovers was natural, organic, and unthinking. I have always much preferred people and animals drawn in moments of heightened emotion or ecstasy. Naturally, drawing lovers was an exciting treat and I had no bias toward the young ones or need to show formal perfection, ideal form, or universal order. Indeed, as I found more subjects, the older people proved much more rewarding to work with technically - there was just more there to draw, thousands of irregularities of the body from which to choose.
"My subject was not really the physiognomy but the soul or spirit, and these older lovers were much more interesting more complex, and much more diffident. They were surprised at my wanting to draw them, and some were apologetic about their bodies. . . Society had taught them to be ashamed of these bodies."
Eleanor Dickinson taught at California College of the Arts (California College of Arts and Crafts) for decades, chaired the Lifetime Awards for the Women's Caucus for Art, and has exhibited nationally. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Tennessee in 1952. One year later, she moved to California and began redefining her process of creating traditional figure drawings via strong emotions. Since then, Dickinson has maintained a life-long commitment to the human form and has continued to reveal the make-up of her social conscience - a social conscience that has responded to intense moments of human existence, ranging from the experiences of Pentecostal Southerners, to the ecstasies of lovers, to the trials of the homeless, to the sufferings of AIDS victims. Dickinson continues to reside in San Francisco Bay Area.
Visit www.peninsulamuseum.org for more information regarding exhibits, classes, and events, or by calling the PMAWednesdays through Sundays from 11am to 5pm at (650) 692-2101.