Teruya – Peripheries of Narrative

June 20, 2006



Weston Teruya, It Hardened Her Resolve When They Told Her She’d Be Back Soon (reform project ouroboros with normative definition schema), 2006.

JUNE 01- JULY 15

The mania for poaching art schools doesn’t get quite the same play in San Francisco, a city with less investment in the rhythms of the art market than New York or London.
It’s fitting, then, that this show of fresh MFA grads from California College of the Arts, curated by painter Kim Anno, exudes a calm, confident vibe. Using thread and mapping pins with crimson heads, Katie Lewis delicately translates physical sensations into a three-dimensional drawing—it’s as visceral as a plastinated, Body Worlds nervous system, only more elegant. Also dazzling are Jamie Vasta’s paintings of campground waterfalls and misty parking lots, each rendered with varying amounts of glitter, a kitschy material that, when used judiciously, effectively captures shifting qualities of light andthe precarious balance between nature and culture. This balance is also the subject of Arctic Eden, 2006, an unresolved, color-soaked video by Susan Chen that uses funky miniature materials to create a looping natural history that travels through an ice age to a fiery volcanic apocalypse. More cultural landscapes appear in pieces by Weston Teruya, whose provocative mixed-media works on paper articulate powerful cycles of creation and destruction using an unlikely cosmology of carefully drawn images—dismembered guard barriers, stone lions, bundled logs, and squares of sod. Collaging her drawings into larger compositions, Michele Carlson invents her own cast of characters, a posse of women whose fashion mixes hip-hop with pattern-intensive fabrics that evoke traditional Asian and African styles. Voluminous dresses billow as the women travel via airplane or fall towards the ground on an ornate,
elevator-like machine, suggesting, as most of these artists do, that they’re going somewhere interesting in their own sweet time.

Glen Helfand