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Current Exhibitions

Linda Besemer: StrokeRollFoldSheetSlabGlitch

February 12–June 25, 2022  |  Main Gallery

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Bugaboo (2021)   Acrylic on canvas over panel   15 x 18 inch
Linda Besemer, Bugaboo, 2021. Acrylic on canvas over panel, 15 x 18 inches.©Linda Besemer. Photograph by Brica Wilcox. Courtesy of the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles.

StrokeRollFoldSheetSlabGlitch is the first survey of works by Los Angeles-based artist Linda Besemer. This exhibition emphasizes Besemer's ongoing commitment to exploring alterity through conscious "othering" of abstraction and reflects upon the artist’s search for new meaning in painting over the past thirty-five years. Featuring twenty-three works produced between 1993–2021, the exhibition showcases key moments in Besemer’s career, taking visitors on a journey through the evolution of their practice, starting with early traditional gestural abstraction, exploring their “detachables” works, and culminating with their most recent glitch series. Visitors are also invited to delve into Besemer’s process and explore a collection of the artist’s maquettes, annotated drawings, and gouache color studies.

Besemer’s meticulously built works defy expectations. Their bright palette catches the eye with surprising stripes of color and vivid optical illusions. The artist refers to works created from the late 1990s into the 2000s as “detachables”—detached from their original surfaces—these layered compositions become distinctly painterly and sculptural. First, hand painted on plate glass and then peeled away, they capture the gestures themselves. Besemer also calls these works “acrylic paint bodies,” as isolated brushstrokes, layed paint sheets, and poured slabs transform into their own “bodies” and embrace of nonbinary, queer realities. This singular process responds to feminist critical theory that links abstract painting with cis masculinity. As they are lifted off their ground, these brilliant stokes are liberated from gendered relationships, disengaged from underlying discourse about systemic patriarchal inequities equated with the figure/ground binary.

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diagonal carved paint artwork called Lil' Hurricane by Linda
Linda Besemer, Lil’ Hurricane, 2009. Cast acrylic paint, 10.6 x 7.09 x 2.6 inches. ©Linda Besemer. CNC routed by Gregory Kucera. Courtesy of Jean-Luc Richard and Takako Richard. Photograph by Jean-Luc Richard.

The glitch paintings imagine a space that is endless and moves in a million different directions. These paintings and their spaces are unfamiliar. They are not grounded in the gravity of a Renaissance fixed perspective, but rather open up the two-dimensional plane with a new expansive spatial awareness.
 –Linda Besemer

In Besemer’s recent body of work—the glitch series—the artist creates a new space of meaning beyond the horizontal, vertical, diagonal movement of their earlier work using the 3D animation program Maya. Besemer collected digital images capturing errant effects generated during shape renderings as the basis for this series. From these, the artist cuts, pastes, and collages new compositions for their hand-colored paintings. The glitch works are meant, in the artist’s words "to abstract the abstract” to make painting itself new again by transforming digital modes into analog strokes. They appear to be digitally produced at first glance, but brushwork within the works reveal their true handmade quality. Besemer’s pictorial space is rife with the tension of dissolution and re-materialization inherent in this new process. Curves, lines, blips, buzzes, and swaths of saturated color within the mind-bending glitch abstractions invite viewers to lose themselves in an electrifying visual matrix.

Linda Besemer: StrokeRollFoldSheetSlabGlitch is accompanied by a 92-page full color catalogue designed by Amy McFarland of Clean{Slate}Design, with essays from Director Paul Baker Prindle, curator Kristina Newhouse, and leading LGBTQ+ scholar Lex Morgan Lancaster, author of the upcoming Duke University Press publication, Dragging Away: Queer Abstraction in Contemporary Art.

Image (banner): Linda Besemer: StrokeRollFoldSheetSlabGlitch installation image. ©Linda BesemerCourtesy of the ArtistPhotograph by Brica Wilcox.

 

Anabel Juárez: Recordar Es Vivir

April 5–June 25, 2022  |  Mini Gallery

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details of ceramic sculptures by Anabel juarez
Detail images of sculptural ceramic works in Recuerdos, the central installation of Recordar Es Vivir. Courtesy of the Artist. Photos by Tatiana Mata. 

Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum (the Museum) presents Recordar Es Vivir (Remembering is Living), a new solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Anabel Juárez which integrates ceramic objects, sculptural media, and drawings to commemorate a sense of home that is both felt and created. Developed during her 2021 tenure as Artist in Residence for the CSULB Center for Contemporary Ceramics, this new project brings memories of her formative years living in Michoacán, México to life. In the central sculptural installation entitled Recuerdos (Memories), Juárez pays homage to sentimental objects as she constructs a repository for her recontextualized childhood recollections. Through this multimedia installation and a pair of works on paper, the artist builds a bridge between the past and the present and proposes questions around concepts of home following emigration. The exhibition runs from April 5 to June 25 in the Museum’s Mini Gallery.

Inspired by the pushcarts of street vendors who labor on both sides of the US/Mexico border, dual multi-tiered carts serve as the framework for Recuerdos. These custom-built metal carts are reminders of the experiences of migrant communities. In creating this work, Juárez considers the act of migration itself, imagining what migrants carry with them, physically and emotionally, to remind themselves of what they left behind. The artist’s conglomerations intuitively interpret personal experiences and use artistic means to embody memories of people or places.

When the artist immigrated to the United States in 2003 at the age of fifteen, she could only pack a backpack full of possessions to take on her journey across the border. According to Juárez, the chosen items then became catalysts for accessing “memories of the experiences, the people I left behind, and the place that I called home.” The artist’s object selection process in developing Recuerdos parallels her experience of packing to leave home as a young teenager. Some sculptures—the backpack, stuffed animals, and Purepécha doll—represent real objects which have emotional or symbolic value. Their iridescent and luster glazes imbue them with a precious quality. All the hand-built ceramic objects, from small furniture, household tools, and spiritual icons like the Sacred Heart, tree of life, and Virgin Mary are mementos that act as mediators between a tangible place and the intangible experience.

Additional objects in Recordar Es Vivir blend dreamed imagery, real images of migration, and literal traces or indices of Juárez’s childhood home. Resting atop the carts, glass roof structures make the carts themselves house shaped and symbolize a memory of home close to the artist’s heart. She recalls serene moments in the house where she grew up, saying she was “mesmerized by the sun rays shining through the ceramic roof tiles in my room,” and used the translucency of glass to convey this. A pair of pastel drawings entitled Portal and Window are rubbings made during a past visit to the same childhood home. In combination with ceramic sculptures on and around the metal cart, these works on paper introduce a sense of a place into the exhibition and emphasize how a home’s structural remnants can be cherished.

Moving between abstraction and representation, Juárez’s works directly relate to objects that she surrounds herself with to feel "at home." The artist shared, “I was drawn to the notion of a mobile home full of souvenirs as a way of talking about mobility and the objects and imagery that help me feel connected to my culture and my home, no matter where I am geographically.” In making works to exist as metaphorical keepsakes, the artist’s objects themselves become portals to home, symbols of cultural celebration, and tributes to nostalgic memories that live on through time and space.

 

Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld: In-Between the Silence

Through fall 2022  |  Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Gallery

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Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld, Dream of Ithaca, 2005. Acrylic an
Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld, Dream of Ithaca, 2005. Acrylic and ink on canvas. Courtesy the Artist. 

In-Between the Silence is the inaugural exhibition of Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld. The space in-between the silence can best be described as a place that is not knowable by the mind, but its power and strength can be directly experienced by basking there. It is where the artist allows her mind to go, which is breathed back into her art and poetry. In giving new life and a deeper truth to how she sees the world around her, her artistic practice is heightened and ever evolvingIn the mystery of this unknown she gains focus and clarity.  

 

In-between the silence is the space where the Tao, the Mystery resides, where Carolyn is renewed, and her realm of creativity is enhanced. From that space and in those moments, she explains: 

 

I bathe in this unconditioned realm of sheer possibility. I cast off the extraneous, ready for liberation, for fresh landscapes. As the numinous silently beams from the darkness, I humbly begin again 
Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld, prose from A Realm Birthed in Silence, 2007 

 

Carolyn is a poet, visual artist and writer who resides in Big Sur, California. Being on a never-ending quest to expand her spiritual and creative reach in her art and life is what guides her. To achieve greater understanding, Carolyn reads a wide range of philosophical thought and teachings. Influenced by luminarcolleagues and friends Timothy Leary, Laura Huxley, Anais Nin, and Alan Ginsburg, she strives to comprehend the universe more fully through her artwork and writings. She fuels her art and poetry by challenging herself in new, unfamiliar realms. Her work goes through an organic evolution as each artwork is transformed, it emerges into existence. She is moved to resolve life’s contradictions and paradoxes to find inner balance and harmony through painting, drawing, and writing poetry. 

 

 

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Insights graphic

INSIGHTS 2022

May 11–July 29
The annual juried School of Art student exhibition at California State University, Long Beach is on view at the School of Art Galleries through May 1119 and at Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum from May 11–July 29.

 

After two years of online exhibitions, INSIGHTS 2022 returns to CSULB campus with the exhibition primarily taking place in the Max L. Gatov, Dr. Maxine Merlino, Dutzi, and Werby galleries, which comprise the main School of Art Galleries located between Fine Arts 2 and Fine Arts 3. Select works will also be displayed at the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum.

 

Undergraduate and graduate students were invited to submit up to three works for consideration, and the exhibition was juried by School of Art alumni from their respective program area: Ceramics, Drawing & Painting, Fiber, Graphic Design, Illustration/Animation/Pre-Production, Metals & Jewelry, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture/4D, and Wood. 

 

HOURS

School of Art Galleries are open Wednesday, May 11–Friday, May 19.

SOA Gallery hours: Monday-Friday, 12:00pm–5:00pm

See our Visit page for Museum hours, including weekend hours from 10:00am–2:00pm every Second Saturday of the month.

 

Accepted works will also be featured on the SOA Insights Instagram account: @soa_insights 

 

 

Ongoing Project

sm[ART]box

Project by TBM Designs (Doris Sung, Scott Horwitz, Karen Sabath)
Installed on Cal State Long Beach campus from December 2020–2022
Curated by Kristina Newhouse
View Curatorial Essay and other additional resources in the sm[ART]box Linktree

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sm[ART]box by TBM Designs, 2020–2022. Photo by TBM Designs.
sm[ART]box rendering by TBM Designs, exterior by Yaloo (Mike and Arline Walter Pyramid by Donald Gibbs in background), 2020. Courtesy of TBM Designs (Doris Sung, Karen Sabath and Scott Horwitz).

Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum presents the newest sustainable design to be installed on Cal State Long Beach campus: sm[ART]box. The structure, which repurposes a 20-foot steel shipping container, sparks imagination with self-cooling technology. Inventor Doris Sung designed the kinetic InVert™ Self-Shading Window System (InVert) to index time and temperature; the museum embraces its multidisciplinarity and ingenuity to prompt discussion of an integrated and sustainable future.  Standing apart from other smart technology—sm[ART]box tracks the sun and responds to the changing temperature of the air—all without computers or human intervention. Besides its impressive passive technology, the structure expands thinking about the function of materials, our environmental experience and even our sense of time and space.

sm[ART]box will soon be installed within the built environment on campus. Although temporary, its stay on a grassy quad next to a busy pedestrian thoroughfare will last for two years. Its inventions, instruments and design innovations will activate communal space. As an art object and an architectural structure, sm[ART]box will be perceived as a "place" over time. The unique building element of thermostatic bimetal (tbm) in the InVert shade system will attune observers to the visible presence of time; indeed, the structure’s function brings to mind philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of a chronotope, the awareness of time as it “thickens, takes on flesh, becomes artistically visible.” With the movement of the sun overhead, individual tbm pieces bend or flatten, alerting visitors to perceptions of time: personal or collective, biological, seasonal and geographic, among others. Through awareness of time, Bakhtin believed “space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of time, plot and history." His concept of the chronotope aligns with Sung’s description of sm[ART]box as a sundial of sorts.

Sung’s self-cooling technology is inspired by organic forms. The gentle yet marvelous diurnal movement of its tbm components calls to mind the heliotropic activity of plants, like flowers that open and close or leaves that rotate in relation to the passage of the sun through the sky. This activity is a subtle index of ambient changes in atmospheric conditions.

Learn more about the sm[ART]box project through Doris Sung's Material Concerns lecture linked below. 

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Material Concerns | Doris Sung: sm[ART]box and Sustainable Design (YouTube Preview. Click to watch.)

In its first phase, limited faculty, students and campus community will be able to view sm[ART]box. Once campus re-opens, the art installation and architectural case study unit will become an observation site and educational hub for students, researchers, designers and scholars. The structure’s simple response to the warmth of sunrays proposes a novel way to view, sense and feel air, light, and space in the built environment. In this, perhaps it helps us to imagine a future less dependent upon energy consuming creature comforts like air-conditioning. Sensing and absorbing the project’s potential impact may seed new insights about sustainable collective responses to climate change. We all must commit to significantly alter the trajectory of the Anthropocene. We cannot exist outside the environment, and it is our charge to think meaningfully and creativity about our position on the planet.

The exterior walls of sm[ART]box will incorporate eye-catching visual design by Yaloo Ji Yeon Lim, a South Korean contemporary digital artist who relishes the opportunity to collaborate on site-based installations. Yaloo, the mononym she goes by, recently inaugurated the first ever Korean Media Art Series in September at the Korean Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.

Design History
As an architect in the early 2000s, Sung thought of exterior walls as "skin." Walls are an essential aspect of the human environment, which architectural critic Sibyl Moholy-Nagy once described as a "shield between withinness and withoutness." Investigating the boundary between interior and exterior, Sung deeply examined how permeable and responsive materials could transform the future of energy efficiency and sustainable building methods. She was especially drawn to "smart materials" that react "flexibly to external conditions physically or chemically in response to changes in the temperature, light, electric field or movement." Computational advances followed material innovations and soon digital modeling accelerated to such a degree that the construction-based "low-tech" side of architecture yielded new capacity for innovation. The technology used in sm[ART]box epitomizes Sung’s belief that cost-effective, responsive architectural systems will help us keep up with changing ecological dynamics in an ever-changing and ever-warming world.

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InVert tbm matrix close-up. Courtesy TBM Designs.
InVert's thermostatic bimetal (tbm) matrix close-up view. Courtesy TBM Designs. Click to see in motion!

About the InVert™ Self-Shading Window System 
Doris Sung and Karen Sabath named their firm, TBM designs, after the material used in their InVert™ Self-Shading Window System—environmentally responsive thermostatic bimetal (tbm). The innovative technology has the potential to improve window design and make high rise buildings less dependent upon air conditioning. These design and engineering feats are one step in the road to a greener and more arts-integrated future.

Activated by solar heat, the tbm pieces inside the sm[ART]box insulated glass unit flip and reflect heat away from buildings. Assembled in interlocking shutter systems, tbm pieces bend and curve as temperatures change throughout the day. Their movement lowers sunlight exposure, shades interior spaces and cools structures passively—without any manual intervention, mechanical support, or added energy use. This dramatically reduces solar heat gain, lowers need for artificial cooling and cuts greenhouse gas emissions.

Cal State Long Beach research opportunities
This project offers distinctive interdisciplinary learning opportunities for Cal State Long Beach. The TBM Designs team aims to collect quantitative data to measure the efficacy of the InVert system and survey-based qualitative data to assess visitors’ attitudes about the technology, including its appeal and thoughts on potential future applications. Faculty and students from a variety of disciplines will be encouraged to experience sm[ART]box to spark discourse and discuss creative solutions to bring about societal and environmental change.

Sustainability and community impact
sm[ART]box calls attention to Cal State Long Beach’s environmental goals named in the President's Commission on Sustainability (PCS). These goals were established in 2018 with the mission of integrating sustainability, defined as the intentional and simultaneous focus on environmental, social and economic health—into all aspects of university life. sm[ART]box also offers opportunities to engage Cal State Long Beach students, Long Beach residents and Southern California communities in dialogue about sustainability and urban planning.

 

 

banner image: sm[ART]box rendering by TBM Designs, exterior by Yaloo (Mike and Arline Walter Pyramid by Donald Gibbs in background), 2020. Courtesy of TBM Designs (Doris Sung, Karen Sabath and Scott Horwitz).