La Sierra University

01/12/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/12/2018 19:47

Los Angeles curator brings “Illusion of Control” to Brandstater Gallery

The exhibit runs Jan. 16 - Feb. 8 with an artists' reception on Sun., Jan. 28, 6 - 8 p.m. Los Angeles artist and guest curator Camilla Taylor will give a talk at 6:45 p.m.

'The Illusion of Control' will include photography, drawing and printmaking on paper, 3D printed ceramic sculpture, fabric installation, and a virtual reality environment. The exhibit showcases works by Cein Watson, an artist working out of Vermont and New York, and artists Flora Kao, Nancy Baker Cahill, and Nova Jiang, all of Los Angeles. Taylor, a Los Angeles artist who has previously exhibited her work at Brandstater Gallery and taught a class for La Sierra's Art+Design program, conceived the theme and selected the artists and their pieces for the show.

'The Illusion of Control' is about 'exerting control and its failure in perception and artwork,' Taylor said. 'Control is deceptive and it is fleeting. Our own control of ourselves and the world is never complete nor permanent.'

The four artists all create works centered on the notion of the fragility of control.

Kao is exhibiting two photographs, two artist books and a large installation called 'House Book.' She says the works are part of her 'Homestead' project which documents abandoned desert homesteads in remote Wonder Valley located near Joshua Tree National Park. Homesteads and structures proliferated in the desert region as a result of the U.S. Small Tract Act of 1938 and were later abandoned. Kao's project includes large installation works, photography, rubbings and writing.

The 'House Book' installation is executed on 10, 30-foot long scrolls of paper with gestural black marks mapping an old cabin at a specific moment of decay. 'Capturing the physical evidence of failure, the rubbings archive the effect of entropy on an architecture of economy,' says Kao. 'Mapping absence and presence, the scrolls are suspended across broken rafters to reconstruct the cabin in its original dimensions. 'House Book' offers a visceral encounter with erasure and accumulation, meditating on the fugitive nature of home and the ease of loss in a land of new beginnings.'

Kao's artist books and photographs provide environmental context and historical background for the larger installation, she said.

Kao holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Irvine, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Otis College of Art and Design, and a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University in environmental science and public policy. She has exhibited extensively throughout Los Angeles, Pasadena, Santa Ana, San Diego, Glendale, San Francisco and elsewhere.

Jiang, a native of China and Auckland, New Zealand 'creates work that encourages the tactile and creative participation of the audience, resulting in structurally open systems in which joy, disorder and improvisation can thrive,' her website statement says.

An award-winning artist, Jiang holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has exhibited in New Zealand, Austria, Canada, Taiwan, Brazil, Belgium, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul and many other regions.

Baker Cahill holds a Bachelor of Arts in art from Williams College and has exhibited her work in solo and two-person shows at galleries in Los Angeles, Pasadena, Culver City, Hollywood, Claremont, Santa Monica, Santa Fe, N.M., Cleveland, Ohio, New York City, Chicago, Ill. and other venues. She has been involved in various community organizations including serving as a board member of the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and with the advisory board for Fulcrum Arts. She has also been involved with projects aimed at benefitting homeless and disadvantaged populations.

Baker Cahill's work encompasses large-scale drawings, virtual and augmented reality, and video projects. 'I am interested in the human body as a complicated abstraction engaged in a perpetual struggle: corporeally real, yet unknowable,' Baker Cahill writes in her artist's statement. 'My works … rely on physical, embodied action, whether I create it in disembodied virtual space, in large scale analog drawing, or in crafting sound. All of the work isolates moments of struggle or violence in a timeless, immersive void. My hope is that viewers will feel and experience the work similarly in their own bodies.'

Watson operates a fabrication workshop that creates displays, furniture, tables and other elements for artists, galleries and museums. Clients include Nari Ward Studios, Williams College Art Museum, international gallery and publication company Hauser & Wirth, and the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation, according to Watson's website.

Taylor received a Master of Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach in 2011. She lives in downtown Los Angeles where she makes artwork in a variety of materials, moving between metalwork and intaglio.

Taylor knows the artists she selected for the Brandstater exhibit from various places, she said. Jiang is a former student of Taylor's, and Kao is a former co-exhibitor with Taylor in Los Angeles group art shows. Taylor became acquainted with Baker Cahill when Taylor attended a solo exhibit of hers and admired her work. Taylor and Watson attended the University of Utah together before moving to either coasts for graduate school.

'I started with Nova's work and a central idea, then started considering artists whose work might resonate and would be interested,' Taylor said. 'Thankfully, all the artists I asked have said yes to the exhibit, and I was able to do a round of three in-person studio visits to select the work and talk about it. With Cein, I conducted a virtual studio visit as he's in Vermont.'

Tim Musso, assistant art professor in La Sierra's Art+Design department and Brandstater Gallery director invites guest curators to bring shows to the gallery each season.

'For me an important aspect of being the director of the Brandstater Gallery is the opportunity to work with curators who bring their unique creative perspective in assembling and presenting the artwork of diverse artists,' he said. 'I chose Camilla Taylor to curate this exhibition because she has vast knowledge of the Los Angeles art scene from the perspective of an exhibiting artist as well as a curator. I was confident that she would be excited to put together an exhibition of artists that would challenge and inspire our students and the larger campus community.'

Brandstater Gallery hours are Mon. - Thurs., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free. For further information about the exhibit call 951-785-2170 or email [email protected] Brandstater Gallery is in the Visual Arts Center Building 1 on Middle Campus Drive. La Sierra University is located at 4500 Riverwalk Parkway, Riverside, Calif. A campus map is available at