Western Front: Group Show
November 15, 2008 - January 3, 2009
Artist's Reception: November 15, 2008, 6-9pm
Charlie James Gallery announces its inaugural exhibition with “The Western Front”: a group show featuring selected works by Bay Area artists Ray Beldner, Kara Maria, and Packard Jennings. The exhibition dates are November 15, 2008 – January 3, 2009. An opening reception for the artists is Saturday, November 15, 2008 from 6-9pm at the gallery. With The Western Front, the Charlie James Gallery makes its introduction to the Los Angeles contemporary art community, and declares its post-Pop, Conceptual emphasis.
Ray Beldner’s body of work frequently explores the utility of art in contemporary culture through the uses of appropriation. In The Western Front, we sample Beldner’s Counterfeit series, his ongoing meditation on the relationships between art and commerce and between authorship and appropriation. Beldner received a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute and a Masters of Fine Arts from Mills College. In 2009, his work will be included in Inventing Marcel Duchamp: The Dynamics of Portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D. C. His work resides in the permanent collections of the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the San Jose Museum of Art; the Oakland Art Museum; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; the United States Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C., among others.
Kara Maria’s abstract compositions contain arrays of charged figural elements that together question powerful forces at work in our culture today. Maria’s work belongs to the continuum of war painting, as her compositions conflate war, petro-commerce, and debased sexuality as evidence of, and motive forces in, our arrival at dystopia. Maria received both BFA and MFA degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, the Contemporary Arts Museums, Houston, and the Orange County Center for Contemporary Arts. She has garnered critical attention in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Art in America.
Packard Jennings’s work constitutes a front all of it own in the ongoing war between corporate interests and human sensibilities. Using media and methods common to corporate advertising and communications, Jennings highlights corporate transgressions against public interests. In The Western Front, we sample a wide range of Jennings’ work around public interventions, from his Business Reply series to his most recent Anarchist Action Figure work. Packard Jennings’s has garnered critical attention across a variety of media, including The New York Times, Artforum, Playboy, and The Washington Post.