Offramp Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition, Quinton Bemiller: Kusama Trees, from September 12 - October 10, 2010, with an opening reception on Sunday, September 12, from 2-5pm. The artist will be signing exhibition catalogs at the opening reception from 2-2:30pm. There will be a closing reception on Sunday, October 10, 2-5pm with an artist's talk at 3pm.
For his second solo exhibition at Offramp Gallery, Bemiller offers Kusama Trees, a series of 44 small acrylic paintings, both inspired by and an homage to the work of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. An accidental drip of paint on a canvas depicting a stylized tree trunk, triggered memories for Bemiller of Kusama's 1967 video, Self Obliteration. In the video the artist obsessively paints polka-dots on everything from trees, to cats, to herself. Bemiller decided to explore this accidental occurrence, and began the series that would become Kusama Trees.
These paintings, like all of Bemiller's work, explore spatial effects, sensations of time and suggestions of physical environments. The paintings are full of surprises, unexpected moments and changes in course. They represent Bemiller's give-and-take with the medium, many days and months of looking, thinking, responding and deciding. The work gives the viewer an intimate look into the artistic process of this talented young painter.
A 100-page full-color catalog with an essay by Sinéad Finnerty-Pyne, Gallery Programs Manager at the Armory Center for the Arts, accompanies the exhibition. Click here to purchase catalog online.
Offramp Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 1-5pm and by appointment.
For further information please contact Jane Chafin, Director, Offramp Gallery at 626-298-6931 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kusama Trees is a series of small paintings I began in January 2010. At that time, I was painting a site-specific mural at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, CA. The mural was my interpretation of Hahamongna Watershed Park, a natural area between Pasadena and Angeles National Forest. For the mural, I created simplified tree forms, which became a consistent motif in the Kusama Tree series. These paintings, like all of my work, explore spatial effects, sensations of time and suggestions of physical environments.
The Kusama Trees series is also a reference to Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama (b.1929). In 2009, I viewed exhibitions of her work in New York and Beverly Hills. Around that time, I watched the artist’s 1967 film, Self-Obliteration, in which she painted dots on almost everything she encountered. When I began painting the tree forms, I stumbled by chance into making dots on the canvas by accidentally dropping paint from one of my plastic bottles. When I did this, I was immediately amused and thought of Kusama’s Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees, a project in which the artist wrapped polka-dot-patterned material around trees in both Singapore and London. Lastly, I can remember a small painting by Kusama at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which caught my attention when I was around 18 or 19 years old. My interest in Kusama’s work lies in the fact that it is simultaneously funny, absurd, joyful, celebratory, sorrowful, scary and obsessive. She has endured mental illness her whole life and credits art making as her salvation. The Kusama Trees series pays homage to her work and life.
The Kusama Trees paintings are small and intimate. Each one has evolved in its own way. Some are similar to one another while others are quite different in terms of color palette, technique and mood. I was very patient and sensitive to the materials and processes used to create these works. The paintings are full of surprises, unexpected moments and changes in course. They represent my give-and-take with the medium, many days and months of looking, thinking, responding and deciding. They are about everything and anything- all of my thoughts and experiences are here.