SoCal PhotoExchange

Laguna Art Museum: Oskar Fischinger and the Interconnectedness of the Arts

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Art Business, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on June 8, 2018

Yesterday I had the good fortune to view some paintings of German-born Southern California artist Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967) at the Laguna Art Museum. I also met his son Richard Fischinger and his son’s wife, Mary.

At a time when we are starting to see censorship of critical art in this country (Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), it behooves us to think back to what happened in Europe in the early 20th Century, when art that did not fit the political preferences of a narrowly-focused government was labeled “degenerate” (entartet, which actually means “outside of the [politically approved] style of art”) and therefore forbidden. Oskar Fischinger had to leave Germany in the 1930s because his works did not match the preferences of the people in power.

How are his paintings and inventions relevant to our thinking about photography and other arts?

Fischinger’s works are an artistic mirror of concurrent technical and artistic developments. In a time long before the ease of digital manipulations, he set hand-drawn photographed animations to music, independently and also with some major studios. Some of these animations can be seen and purchased from the Center for Visual Music currently. He was well versed in camera work and invented a wax-processing machine that projected colorful light patterns that could be manipulated for special effects. In this respect, his work was very much in parallel with his contemporaries Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray, as well as Kandinsky, Klee, Feininger, Mondrian, and Miró. His paintings are a wonderful kaleidoscope of his time, in that they reflect the wonders of industrial achievements and space exploration through the 1960s, and the ideas are expressed in artistic forms that are now called “mixed-media”.

The two paintings below shows some of these effects as displayed  at the Laguna Art Museum. I immediately felt a kinship with Oskar Fischinger, as my own work in the last few months has taken me to similar levels of abstraction. I recently showed the work “Overture” at a meeting of the Photographers’ Exchange Group in Irvine, and some members could immediately hear music in their minds. The image “The Arrival” certainly also intimates some kind of travel in time and space, although, as may be the case in all of these works, they may also be a metaphor for internal mental processes.

 

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Oskar Fischinger, “Snow White – Red Circle,” 1943

 

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Gerhard Clausing, “Overture,” 2018

 

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Oskar Fischinger, “Satellite,” 1950-60

 

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Gerhard Clausing, “The Arrival,” 2018

 

Oskar Fischinger also painted a lot of “Heads” in his time, some of which were visualized full of associative symbols and objects. Especially the example which Richard Fischinger showed me on his cellphone (of an Oskar Fischinger painting in his collection), shown below, reminded me of the current work of my friend Sandra Klein, who enhances large photographic silhouettes of herself and her mother with needlework and a variety of other objects as a comprehensive artistic metaphor combining past and present; both works transcend media as well as time and space.

 

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So it is definitely inspiring to look in on the work of a universal talent from the last century, since the work and its implications can affect our own present and future work, as well as our assessment of art as part of our own expression and understanding of life. To talk with Richard Fischinger was also instructive; he was always warned by his dad to be mindful of the dangers of authoritarianism. My thanks to Richard and Mary for their insights.

The selection of paintings by Oskar Fischinger will be shown at the Laguna Art Museum through June 17, 2018. For those interested in delving deeper into this subject, a dissertation was written by Martina Dillmann at the Universität Frankfurt in 2004 (in German) that also includes a thorough inventory of the paintings.

 

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Mary and Richard Fischinger at the Laguna Art Museum, June 7, 2018

 

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Irvine Fine Arts Center 2018 All Media call for entries

Call for Entries All Media 2018

ALL MEDIA 2018

Application Deadline
June 29, 11:59 p.m.

The Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) is pleased to announce the annual juried All Media exhibition, and invites Southern California-based artists to submit artwork for consideration. This year, the exhibition will be juried by Dave Barton, the arts writer for OC Weekly. Submissions are being accepted through June 29, 11:59 p.m.

The Irvine Fine Arts Center is a community venue that presents exhibitions designed to expand awareness, understanding and sensitivity to art, and provide an exploratory and educational viewing experience for diverse audiences. 

Apply Now at cityofirvine.org/allmedia2018.

Btw, historically artist and photographers who submit photographic based artwork have done very well in the IFAC All Media exhibition, which I can personally validate with my Honorable Mention in the 2016 IFAC All Media juried exhibition. Other PhotoExchange members who have been honored with a exhibition at a past IFAC All Media shows are Ellen Butler, Paul Anderson, Gerhard Clausing, and Janos Lanyi. So mark your calendar, make your submissions and join the fun!

Cheers!

Pensacola Museum of Art — Mobile Museum of Art

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers by Gerhard Clausing on March 8, 2018

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Even editors go on vacation once in a while, as evidenced by my image of Pensacola Beach, Florida, above. All I can say is, marvelous white sand beaches and great seafood!

While in this area, I happened upon two interesting art museums, the Pensacola Museum of Art (constructed in a former jail!) and the Mobile Museum of Art, a magnificent structure.

Photography shown in Pensacola included Richard McCabe’s recent Polaroid explorations of the rural and small-town South, in order “to capture the vanishing vernacular signage and architecture of the region.” Also interesting were his color experiments with instax exposures, shown along with projected student work.

Of course we also are inspired by mixed media and other arts. The work by Katrina Andry was particularly amazing. Her series of anthropomorphic figures in vulnerable positions cast the viewer in the role of voyeur and hunter. Her series “The Promise of the Rainbow Never Came” depicts the strife of forced transports of Africans on the Atlantic, a stark reminder of contemporary connections to history gone by, but not forgotten.

In Mobile, Alabama, the highlights were an exhibit of photographs sharing motifs with Havana, Cuba, the sister city. Further features were photographs and paintings documenting Southern subjects, as well as an extensive exhibit of geometric designs of all kinds, with delightful symmetry works that pleased me in particular.

A visit to New Orleans will be the subject of another article.

Gerhard Clausing

 

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Pensacola Museum of Art

 

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The work of Katrina Andry

 

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The work of Richard McCabe

 

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Mobile Museum of Art: View of the Park

 

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Common Ground: Mobile – Havana / Chip Cooper and Julio Larramendi

 

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Richard Frank Jr. – “If You Want Home Cooking…Stay Home” (1985)

 

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All images Copyright 2018 by Gerhard Clausing

Report on the 2017 Medium Festival of Photography

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Art Business, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on October 31, 2017

Last Sunday marked the conclusion of the sixth annual Medium Festival of Photography. This time (in contrast to the brief visit last year) I decided to participate in all four days of activities (October 26-29), and I am very pleased I did. This way I am also able to report on the range of activities that are offered, and would encourage you to participate next year. It gives me pleasure to note that we, the SoCal Photo Exchange, are a media sponsor of the Medium Festival of Photography.

The first two days were spent doing portfolio reviews. This process allows the participating photographers to show their work to leaders in the art world, be they artists, collectors, publishers, or museum staff. The feedback one can obtain is priceless, and the process teaches you to be concise and focused in editing, describing, and presenting your photographs. You are also able to make contacts this way and have the experts remember your work if there are future opportunities where your work may be exhibited and/or published. I got at least seven or eight excellent suggestions for presenting my work more effectively and for creating new series. You also get a sense of the range of preferences for various purposes. There was also a “portfolio walk” on Thursday night, where the public and fellow artists can view your work. I found the interactions refreshing, and the talks were just as straight-forward and personal as the reviews.

Friday night and Saturday were devoted to lecture/presentations. The keynote lecture by John Gossage was inspiring, as he discussed his long career and publishing history in detail, and is a great model for finding opportunities and using everyday subjects to generate profound contemplation via narrative landscape/photographic fiction. The presentation of 3D images and films by Claudia Kunin was also impressive, as she has a way to make the animated stills stir one’s memories and emotions. The lectures by Justyna Badach (selected from last year’s portfolio review participants) and Christina Seely were interesting to me as well, since they dealt with political and environmental issues that should be a concern for all of us.

Sunday a group of us went on one of the Medium Festival bus tours to visit major museums and galleries. This too was a fabulous experience. In a very compact amount of time we were able to visit a number of venues as well as to talk with a number of artists that had specifically come to the venues to make themselves available for discussion. Without having to drive, we could appreciate the Museum of Photographic Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Central Library Gallery, and the San Diego State University Downtown Gallery in a very compact amount of time. The images below give you some glimpses and further descriptions of what I saw. I hope it will encourage you to make use of these resources and this festival in the future.

My special thanks to Scott B. Davis, Sarah Koenig Wagner, and all the other workers of magic for creating this wonderful experience!

Gerhard Clausing

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Photographers shared their work and exchanged ideas throughout the two days of portfolio reviews at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego.

 

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The Executive Director of the Medium Festival of Photography, Scott B. Davis. The interpersonal skills and dedicated energy of Scott, Sarah, and the rest of the team were huge factors contributing to the festival’s success, already in its sixth year.

 

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Prep time between reviews. Here photographers J.K. Lavin, Wendi Schneider, Lori Pond, and Gerhard Clausing are sorting their images.

 

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An open slot! Off to be reviewed, facilitated by Sarah Koenig Wagner, Program Manager.

 

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The keynote speaker, John Gossage, who talked about his impressive career creating several dozen books.

 

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At the Dual Graphics table, Craig Evans and author Douglas Stockdale (who introduced his very useful Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book, soon to be reviewed here) are conversing with artist and reviewer Andrew Burgess (second from left) and photographer Todd Bradley (right).

 

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Maggie Downing, Manager of Collections and Exhibitions, explains the installation behind her and is about to start a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.

 

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A viewer’s approach to the exhibit “Play,” featuring the work of Brenda Biondo (former portfolio review participant) at The San Diego Museum of Art.

 

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Philipp Scholz Rittermann explains his work, part of the San Diego Central Library Gallery exhibit “Dream of the Nineties.”

 

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Members of our group at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí.” We had a chance to discuss work with photographers Tom Kiefer, Ingrid Hernández, and Stefan Falke. It was fascinating to see and hear about the artists’ personal involvement and to hear about the difficulties experienced around the US/Mexico border.

 

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The Mexican photographer Ingrid Hernández at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí” at SDSU Downtown Gallery.

 

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Stefan Falke and Chantel Paul, Director of the SDSU Downtown Gallery, discussing Stefan’s work photographing artists in Mexico.

Image #3 © Douglas Stockdale; all others © Gerhard Clausing

 

Two Current Exhibits – Laguna Art Museum and LACMA

Posted in Art Museums, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on May 5, 2017

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Wanted to call your attention to two interesting current exhibits:

The Laguna (Beach) Art Museum is featuring an extensive exhibit on the California School of Fine Arts’ first decade (now San Francisco Art Institute). Includes work by Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and many others. Only through May 29. Some work by Hurrell is also on exhibit in a separate section. Saw it yesterday, well worth it!

Also, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), an extensive exhibit on Moholy-Nagy, through June 18.

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Ed Ruscha’s innovative photobook at OCMA

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by douglaspstockdale on January 26, 2017

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Every Building on the Sunset Strip copyright 1966 Ed Ruscha

Currently OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art) is exhibiting Pop Art Design and included are a few works by Ed Ruscha, but probably the most photographically interesting is a very long display of Ed Ruscha’s 1966 creative photobook Every Building on the Sunset Strip.

This was a deadpan photographic project in which a 35mm motor-drive camera was load with a bulk feed and photographed the adjacent buildings while driving up and then back down Sunset Blvd, which was commonly called the Sunset Strip. The resulting photobook then takes advantage of the street name’s pun by creating a long continuous strip of images. On the top of the page is one side of the street and below this in reverse is the other side of this street.

This photobook design was very innovative for its time with stiff covers and the interior was bound to display as an accordion (also known as Leporello and Concertinas) layout, which is to say each page was connected and continuous. A very long strip of photographic images. My photographs of this exhibit were a grab shot and do not do it very much justice, thus go check it out and see the real thing!

The OCMA exhibition runs thru April 2nd, 2017.

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Seen & Unseen: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham – Opening November 19 at the Bowers Museum

Posted in Art Museums, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on November 6, 2016

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Future Exhibition:

Frida Kahlo – Her Photos will open February 25, 2017.

http://www.bowers.org/index.php/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/477-frida-kahlo-her-photos

 

The Bowers Museum is located at the corner of 20th & Main Streets in Santa Ana – one minute from the 5 freeway, (Main St. South exit) and just minutes from the 57, 55 and 22 freeways. Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, 10 – 4. Closed Thanksgiving. For additional exhibits and further information, please check  http://www.bowers.org/index.php.

 

Some Reflections on the Medium Festival of Photography, San Diego, October 2016

Ten things I got out of just a few hours of attendance (I highly recommend a more extended visit for future years):

  1. A useful escape from the tedium of the current election campaign!
  2. Sharing an informal atmosphere that was very conducive to informal conversations.

        http://www.lafayettehotelsd.com/

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  1. A chance to talk at length about photography and creativity with such super talents as Douglas Stockdale, Susan Burnstine, Barbara Kyne, and others.
  1. Checking out and purchasing the work of some of the finest creators of current photobooks — see the links in my previous post for details:

        https://thephotoexchange.wordpress.com/2016/10/03/medium-festival-of-photography-oct-20-23-in-san-diego/

  1. Conversing with the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park, San Diego.

        http://www.mopa.org/

  1. Finding out about innovative MFA programs, especially the one at the University of Hartford. Erica Ann Flood displayed and discussed some of the creative photobooks of their graduates. They are given close scrutiny by Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin and Doug Stockdale as shown below.

        http://www.hartford.edu/graduate/programs/Art/photo/default.aspx

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  1. Catching up with old friends.
  2. Making some new friends.
  3. Interesting presentations and other events.
  4. A good feeling supporting each other as a photographic community.

Hope to see you there next year!

        20161022_104823-01.jpeg© Douglas Stockdale; the others © Gerhard Clausing

Irvine Fine Arts Center’s All Media 2016

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on July 13, 2016

 

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Memory Pods – Loss 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited and honored to announce that Loss from my Memory Pods project was juried into the Irvine Fine Arts Center (IFAC) All Media 2016 exhibition. The juror was Dan Cameron who most recently was the past Chief Curator for the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) and who is now an independent curator. This acceptance is another great validation on the response to my Memory Pods project that I received during Photo Independent earlier this year.

The All Media 2016 exhibition dates are September 3rd – October 22, 2016 at the Irvine Fine Art Center, 14321 Yale Ave., Irvine CA.

The opening reception is Saturday, September 3rd, from 4 – 6 pm

We hope to see you there!

Cheers!

Update: at the reception, my photograph was awarded a Honorable Mention. Very nice!

Los Angeles Harbor College Fine Arts Gallery

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Art Business, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photography by douglaspstockdale on January 2, 2016

As part of the 2016 Photographers Exchange project to provide information on the public galleries of Southern California, I had a discussion with Ron Linden, the Curator and Director of the Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC) Fine Arts gallery regarding exhibition submissions.

DS: Ron, first, thanks for your time to help explain the policies and processes for artist to provide submissions for the LAHC Fine Art Gallery. Does the Art Gallery have a specific schedule for when an artist can make a submission?

RL: Thanks for your inclusion of the LAHC Fine Arts Gallery on the reference page for The PhotoExchange. As to submission, I’m always open to submissions and proposals. An artist can submit by either email (ronmon@dslextreme.com) or mailing the Art Gallery: LAHC Fine Arts Gallery, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA 90744

DS: Do you have any specific requirements for the artist submissions?

RL: Yes, I would like to see a CV and sample of the artworks, but please do not send me an artist statement. As to the artwork, please do not submit originals and the submission, including the sample artwork, will not be returned.

DS: Can you tell us about the process for the submission evaluation? Does the submission go before a exhibition review committee?

RL: We are a small organization, thus there is no review committee. We do not have a fixed calendar and our exhibition schedule is usually planned from six to twelve months. We are also open to guest curator proposals as well as artist submissions.

DS: Do you have any open calls regarding thematic subjects or are you looking for particular types of art work?

RL: At this time, we do not have any open calls. We are modest in size and budget, but immodest in ambition. The Fine Arts Gallery at Los Angeles Harbor College remains committed to producing high quality exhibitions by contemporary artists from the West Coast and beyond. Diverse and eclectic in scope, the gallery features work of painters, sculptors, photographers, videographers, filmmakers, and architects, providing an essential component to a meaningful arts education and a welcome antidote to the regimen of academic and workaday life.

DS: Ron, thank you for your insight on your curator processes for LAHC. We appreciate it very much.

RL: The pleasure was all mine. Thank you again for including LAHC on your reference page.