Surfs up at ‘Swell’ ; a survey of surf-themed art at 3 galleries in chelsea


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Written by Jacqueline Miro

for Art knowledge news

Sunday, 04 July 2010 02:00

NEW YORK, NY.- Nyehaus, Friedrich Petzel Gallery and Metro Pictures present “SWELL” —curated by Tim Nye and Jacqueline Miro—a survey of surf-themed art that opened July 1st at the three locations in Chelsea. Each gallery focuses on a different aspect of this work, Metro will be exhibiting many of the core group of Venice Beach artists associated with Light and Space or Fetish Finish (many of them surfers) including DeWain Valentine, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Moses, as well as the Ferus Gallery artists Craig Kauffman, Ed Ruscha, Wally Berman, Bruce Conner, and Llynn Foulkes, and associated L.A. artists John McCracken, Ken Price, Joe Goode, George Herms, Tony Berlant and Helen Pashgian.

Dave Hickey, in a recent essay writes: “In its initial vogue, these works spoke directly to a new kind of artistic decorum—less aggressive than pop, less ideological than Minimalism, and less maidenly than post-painterly abstraction. It had a kind of gallantry—the cool courtesy of a well-born rake. California Minimalism created a gracious, social space in its glow and reflection; it treated us amicably, made us more beautiful by gathering us into its dance. It still does this today, so I am not amazed by the renewed interest in this work. I am still amazed, however, that my beach-bum pals could have created such a capacious and courtly art, although beach bums, I suppose, have dreams like everybody else.”

Amongst the artist surfers and artists incorporating surfer references from both the East and West Coasts and Europe and from several generations, are Jay Batlle, Ashley Bickerton, Andy Moses, Blake Rayne, Raymond Pettibon, Roe Etheridge, Mary Heilman, Catherine Opie, Dirk Skreber, and Thaddeus Strode. Some 75 artists are divided between the three galleries.

In its early experimental stages, the “L.A. Glass and Plastic” group and the “Cool School” referenced the movement that would eventually be known as Finish Fetish. The growing industrialization of the West Coast also influenced many of these artists to produce objects that were completely handcrafted, yet were so seamless and streamlined that they seemed to be machine-made, thus removing the focus from the artist’s handling of the materials and placing it on other aspects of the viewing experience.

“Gone were the emotion-laden brushstrokes and thickly layered abstract surfaces that spoke of serious art world issues,” art historian Boton Colburn once stated. “These were replaced by cool, smooth, transparent finishes rife with references to California culture and environment.” The artists included in the exhibition represent a cross-section of those sharing these expressive ideas, technical information, and even materials, primarily working in Venice and Los Angeles in the 1960’s and 70’s.

this is especially poignant this weekend as large swells hit the california beaches. estimates are in the 8′ to 13′ swells with dangerous rip tides.

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/alerts/ca.html

High Surf Advisory

Ventura County Coast (California)

COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LOS ANGELES/OXNARD CA
209 AM PDT SUN JUL 4 2010
...LARGE SURF AND DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
ACROSS SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST FACING BEACHES THIS MORNING AND PERSIST
THROUGH AT LEAST TUESDAY...
CAZ040-041-087-041800-
/O.CON.KLOX.SU.Y.0023.000000T0000Z-100707T0000Z/
VENTURA COUNTY COAST-
LOS ANGELES COUNTY COAST INCLUDING DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES-
CATALINA ISLAND-
209 AM PDT SUN JUL 4 2010
...HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM PDT TUESDAY...
A HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM PDT TUESDAY.
A STRONG STORM SYSTEM NEAR NEW ZEALAND HAS PRODUCED A LARGE LONG
PERIOD SOUTHERLY SWELL. THIS SOUTHERLY SWELL ENERGY HAS ALREADY
REACHED THE SANTA MONICA BASIN BUOY WITH A 20 SECOND PERIOD AND
WILL CONTINUE NORTHWARD ACROSS THE SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL COASTAL
WATERS THIS MORNING.
THE LONG PERIOD SWELL AND ASSOCIATED SURF IS EXPECTED TO BUILD
QUICKLY THIS MORNING...THEN PEAK THIS AFTERNOON INTO
MONDAY. DURING THE PEAK OF THE EVENT...BREAKERS OF 5 TO 8 FEET
WILL BE COMMON ACROSS SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST FACING BEACHES OF LOS
ANGELES AND VENTURA COUNTIES...WITH LOCAL MAX SETS UP TO 10 FEET
POSSIBLE ACROSS FAVORED SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST FACING LOCATIONS. THE
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SOUTH COAST SHOULD BE MOSTLY PROTECTED FROM
THIS LARGE SWELL DUE TO THE CHANNEL ISLANDS.
PEOPLE PLANNING TO HEAD TO THE BEACHES DURING THE REMAINDER OF THIS
FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THIS LARGE SWELL WILL
LIKELY ARRIVE RATHER SUDDENLY THIS MORNING...POTENTIALLY CATCHING
BEACH-GOERS OFF GUARD...AND WILL BE CAPABLE OF SWEEPING PEOPLE OFF
THEIR FEET ACROSS THE SURF ZONE...ROCKS...AS WELL AS JETTIES AND
BREAK WALLS.BEACHES EXPECTED TO BE MOST IMPACTED BY THE SURF INCLUDE THOSE
FROM MALIBU WESTWARD THROUGH SOUTHERN VENTURA COUNTY INCLUDING

ZUMA BEACH...AND SOUTH FACING BEACHES OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEAR
THE ORANGE COUNTY LINE.
THERE WILL BE DANGEROUS RIP CURRENTS AS WELL WITH THIS EVENT...
ESPECIALLY ACROSS SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST FACING BEACHES SUNDAY
THROUGH AT LEAST TUESDAY.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
A HIGH SURF ADVISORY MEANS THAT HIGH SURF WILL AFFECT BEACHES IN
THE ADVISORY AREA...PRODUCING RIP CURRENTS AND LOCALIZED BEACH
EROSION.
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8 Responses to “Surfs up at ‘Swell’ ; a survey of surf-themed art at 3 galleries in chelsea”

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