Our Pick of the Week…is the opening reception of “Riverscapes and Waterways” at Skidmore Contemporary Art. The solo exhibition features the paintings of Clay Vorhes. – This is a perfect day to head to Bergamot Station, as it is hosting its annual holiday event. See Saturday’s page for more info about it. Some events start early but many are later in the day and into the evening…so be sure to check Saturday’s Page for more details.
See image: Clay Vorhes, Easter Slough, 2016, Oil on canvas 12″ x 24″
Here is some info provided by the gallery by Vorhes creates paintings that skirt the line between representation and abstraction. When seen from afar, these arresting images seem like nonobjective compositions. The network of lines that thrust across each canvas harks back to the taut, haunting geometries of Richard Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series. As one moves closer, however, it soon becomes clear that these paintings are populated by small figures that hang, leap and suspend precariously from the linear frame. These people are performers—acrobats, divers, gymnasts and dancers.
In visual terms, these figures provide accents that offer relief from the stark scaffold of lines. They punctuate the compositions, creating a cadence of organic points and counter-points. In human terms, these figures function as ready access points to the paintings, making inert geometry seem vital and alive. We identify with these diminutive figures. They draw us into the work, pulling us into the narrative by allowing us to marvel at their feats of daring. The French novelist and critic Michel Butor once spoke of the need for artists to ‘populate’ painting. Vorhes does this literally by turning abstraction into a world full of people who lead lives of precarious balance—just like us.
Michael Zakian, Director
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University
See image: Clay Vorhes,
On view: Dec 10 – Jan 7, 2016
What: Opening reception
Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404
When: 3:00pm – 5:00pm