August 29 – September 26, 2020
Opening day August 29, 11am-7pm
To attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Artists Regina Herod, Mirena Kim, Pete Hoffecker Mejia, Moncho 1929, Jamaal Hasef Tolbert, with additional work by the curator, Sharon Barnes
Sharon Louise Barnes
Breaking the Mold examines American abstract art-making in the work of six, diverse mid-career artists who work with a range of materials, visual vocabularies, and compositional systems. Despite their uniquely personal, formal and conceptual expressions, they share a certain context with one another.
It is known that the roots of abstraction pre-date Modernism from Europe and certainly the New York School. Many 20th century art movements borrowed from forms of abstraction found in centuries old Indigenous art from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Polynesia. This exhibition presents compelling works by a sampling of talented and culturally rich abstract artists working today, while it also argues for the breaking of the institutional mold that was created by the colonization of abstract art.
About the artists
Regina Herod is a sculptor and painter who lives and works in Los Angeles. She initially studied theater in college and believes that those early years contribute to constructive forms that evolve within her visual arts practice. She earned her BFA at San Diego State University and her MFA from The Otis College of Art & Design. Her work examines historized trauma within the context of race, socio-economic disenfranchisement and systemic oppression. In sculpture, she conflates materials such as wood, wax, metal and paper as surrealistic metaphors, in order to re-imagine the relevance between current and colonized history and the emotional terrains and circumstance that remain.
Mirena Kim is a painter, ceramicist and sculptor based in Los Angeles. Kim holds an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design and a BA from The University of California at Santa Cruz. Her abstract paintings are about the ways in which mark-making can create a partnership between the maker and viewer. Through brushstrokes, scratches and layers of color, she strives to define a space while at the same time addressing the body and bodily gestures. Kim’s sculptures begin with traditional ceramic practices such as hand-building and wheel-throwing, then veer sharply into critique through the use of scale, fragmentation, placement and perspective.
Pete Hoffecker Mejía
Pete Hoffecker Mejía is a sculptor, painter and educator currently based in Oregon. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, and raised in the United States, Hoffecker Mejía received his BFA from the University of Memphis and an MFA from Indiana University. He has been an artist-in-residence at the Ox-Bow School of Art, the Vermont Studio Center, the Studios at MASS MoCA and others. He is currently Assistant Professor at Western Oregon University. Mejia’s work is engaged in the exploration and mediation of intersectional cultural identity, hierarchies of representation, and the politics of abstraction. His structures investigate the blurred points of contact resulting from estrangement, while also looking at the continuing impacts of colonialism.
Moncho 1929 (born Dan Monteavaro) is a Los Angeles-based painter and public muralist, born in Puerto Rico, and raised in the South Bronx. Combining elements of street art, figurative abstraction, and sociopolitical content, he creates studio works on canvas, as well as public murals. His work has been featured in various solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally, including the Perez Art Museum in Miami, and Gallery Ann in Seoul, Korea. His work was recently acquired for the permanent collection of The Figge Art Museum, and can be found in many other private and corporate collections, including Google, the French Consulate, Paramount, and Universal.
Jamaal Hasef Tolbert
Jamaal Hasef Tolbert is a Los Angeles-based multi-disciplinary artist. He earned his B.A. in Sociology & Art California State University, Bakersfield, completed his certification in Art & Marketing from Sotheby’s in London, and continued his studies at Claremont Graduate University where he received his MFA in Studio Art. In addition to working as an artist in Los Angeles, Jamaal Hasef is passionate about educating both young artists and art novices. He has worked as a visiting artist and lecturer at USC and Getty Unshuttered instructor. His work encourages viewers to reconsider their role in social construction, civil rights, and white hegemony.
Sharon Louise Barnes
Sharon Louise Barnes, curator of Breaking the Mold, is an inter-disciplinary artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She has exhibited extensively in galleries, art fairs and museums; and her work was recently acquired by the permanent collection of the UCLA Ralph Bunche Center for African American Studies. She earned a B.A. with an emphasis in Television & Film at CSULA; and is she currently completing her MFA at Otis College of Art & Design. Through the medium of Social Abstraction, her work considers the current and historic intersections of culture, race, and gender, using processes that signify struggle, resilience and the creation of new realities.