CMay Gallery presents Places and Spaces, a group exhibition featuring Eric Ernest Johnson, Manfred Menz and Seon Tae Hwang, three artists who practice distinct methods of art making and yet have converging interests in exploring the concept of place as it intersects memory and time. The material and approaches used by these artists range from the painterly and effervescent work of Eric Ernest Johnson to Manfred Menz photo-based erasures of familiar landscapes to the cool schematic interiors of Seon Tae Hwang’s light boxes. Together they highlight the slippage between place as a physical reality and space as an experience, a site of memory making, a habitual presence, and ultimately a concept inseparable from imagined reality. The exhibition continues CMay Gallery’s ongoing commitment to curator-driven exhibition programming, with an opening reception will take place at 5:30pm – 9:00pm on June 23, 2017, the exhibition runs from June 23 – August 25, 2017 at CMay Gallery’s Pacific Design Center location.
The three-person exhibition will include a selection of works by Manfred Menz from his “Invisible Project” series. The series of photo-based works explores our relationship to iconic landmarks, and these icons are made uncanny by the artist’s digital subtraction of everything but elements of nature. The artist writes, “Once the landmark is eliminated, what remains is something new, something we may never have seen before, although it was always there.”
Eric Ernest Johnson, meanwhile, produces works that are exuberantly additive. The Los Angeles- based artist’s output, which ranges from painting, mixed-media and record design, will be represented in Places and Spaces by his color-filled acrylics. Ernest Johnson’s paintings condense and flatten landscapes into basic shapes and a primary color palette, the scenes collapse into flat patterns that are reminiscent of topographical maps and at times skirt the edge of geometric abstraction. These basic elements imply that landscape is always in the process of being created and form in always in the process of being found.
South Korea-based artist Seon Tae Hwang in contrast to Ernest Johnson and Menz, focuses on interiors and occupies a space between the uncanny erasures of the latter, and the jostling conference of shape and color of the former. The artist’s light boxes depict sleekly furnished spaces rendered by etching and printing on glass. The interiors are empty of people, and feel devoid of movement, except for the play of sunlight across the surfaces of the space. The spare lines and the removal of extraneous detail contribute to imagery that is immaterial yet imminently habitable.
Places and Spaces brings local and international artists together and brings their works into dialog with each other and with the arts community of Los Angeles.