“January Daydreams of Summer” opened January 10, at Skidmore Contemporary.

The group exhibit is a farewell send-off to the summer. Artists include Mark Allen, Emile Dillon, Daryl Gortner, Eric Nash, Brighton Smith, Mike Soltis, and Tracey Sylvester Harris.


Jan-2015-Skidmore-EmileDillon-ThreeCokes-2014-acrylic-oncanvas-36x36See image: Emile Dillon, Three Cokes, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 36″

Also on view is the work of Tracey Sylvester Harris… Enjoy a dazzling vision of California that merges the past with the present. In an ironic twist, two recurring themes are her love of water and her love of Hollywood.

The paintings transform long forgotten memories into vibrant light and color. Although bright, the paintings are bittersweet in their depictions of fleeting moments of summer captured almost a lifetime ago. In the Noir series, she experiments with imagery from films made in that same time period.

Dec-Skidmore-TraceySylvesterHarris-DaisySwimCapSee image: Tracey Sylvester Harris, Daisy Swim Cap, 2014, Oil on canvas, 40″ x 40″

These paintings depict women mostly as torsos, or cropped stills. Suspended in time, they have been captured smoking, waking, sleeping, and sitting in contemplation. With the context of their actions removed, the women become mysterious. Dressed in swimsuits or lingerie, they are alluring not for their bodies, but the secrets they hold. Looking closely at the paintings however, reveals her true theme- how precious and fleeting our moments in the sun are.

Brighton Smith’s paintings are crisp representations of glamorous objects. The paintings are playful in terms of subject, from “dry-clean only” everyday items to depictions of high-fashion pieces. These subjects tie together mass consumer culture with artful opulence.

Dec-10-2015-SkidmoreContemp-MarkAllen-Pennant-2010-14-digitalprint-onaluminum-24x30See image: Mark Allen, Pennant, 2010-14, digital print on aluminum, 24″ x 30″

The items are placed on an abstracted white surface to draw particular attention to the pattern and form of individual articles or collections of objects. Color is particularly important to Brighton as he searches for these images—appropriating them from fashion magazines, advertisements, and social media platforms—looking for strong compositions to manipulate in large format. The paintings blur the lines between timeless, vintage fashions and contemporary trends in style.

On view: January 5 – EXTENDED through FEBRUARY

What: Opening reception 
Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Ave., D-2 Santa Monica, 90404
Phone: 310-828-5070