Organic Minimalism: New Bodies of Knowledge
October 4-31, 2009
LA ArtCore - Brewery Annex Gallery
Curated and organized by Carrie Paterson

Organic Minimalism: New Bodies of Knowledge brings together seven compelling artistic voices from across Canada in a show that challenges how we observe, think about and re-create the “natural.” We ask: How is the natural object perceived? What is the nature of the thing?
While the formal language of Minimalism originated through industrial processes, the world of machines and technology, Organic Minimalism: New Bodies of Knowledge presents a 21st-century minimalist aesthetic grounded in objects and phenomena that can be found or are produced in nature. In this exhibition the formal tropes of cycles, seriality and time are used to re-focus our attention on the way humans construct versions of nature to perform culture upon them and to create narratives about transience, decay, becoming, violence, growth, loss, and the emergence of beauty.
Jan Troost, redacting Michael Fried’s famous 1967 essay on Minimalism, “Art and Objecthood,” writes, “Minimal Art necessarily includes the beholder. It is large, confronting and creates a distance and space that includes the beholder as a public… Its human size, inspiration in people and nature, betray it as anthropomorphic, biomorphic. Its nature is theatrical.”
The imperative of the show is inscribed by the drama of the natural in our historical moment. The patterns of exchange between the human and the natural world are not only of deep importance to understand and visualize, but also remain an enduring mystery.

Paul Jackson responds specifically to the environment of the Southern California and Mexico region with photographic works and video shot in the Imperial Dunes and a tourist resort in Oaxaca, both of which oscillate between document and fantasy. In the video, the cones of two headlights sweep across the barren sandscape reminding us that not far away, searchlights comb the US-Mexico border). In the Mexico resort, the presence of the untamed landscape imprisons the manufactured-natural setting for tourists, with huge foreboding cacti standing like sentries. Accompanying sculptural works play upon the same themes of latent or potential violence. Cast bronze 2 x 4’s monumentalize the way that tame construction materials, when broken across the grain, resemble the majesty and trauma of a tree in the forest snapped off by the only force capable of true devastation: nature.

- Carrie Paterson

Artists included in Exhibition
Ed Bamiling, Ying-Yueh Chuang, Shima Iushi, Paul Jackson, Jen Rae, Charles Stankievech, and Matthew Walker