Launch LA is proud to present Land-Scope, a group exhibition featuring Katrin Assmann, Elizabeth Saveri, and Hung Viet Nguyen. Land-Scope expands the interpretation of the longstanding genre of landscape. From the notion of place as a stimulation of senses and memory, to the struggle between man and nature in urban Los Angeles, and the increasing frequency of artificial environments, and their increasing effect on the natural world.
Katrin Assmann's paintings of plants and greenery are inspired by the urban landscaping of typical Los Angeles front yards and gardens. Sometimes appearing like a wild jungle, sometimes groomed and grotesquely manicured, almost sculptural and architectural. With their stark contrast between the white of the canvas and the opulence of the greenery, Katrin’s paintings evoke the visual relation between the sunburnt houses and apartment buildings and their surrounding gardens. Strong brushstrokes represent the power of nature, and a certain abstraction represent the artificialness of the urban gardens, visualizing the eternal struggle between man and nature in the setting of the urban landscape of LA.
Hung Viet Nguyen continues his Sacred Landscape series as a visual expression of the senses rather than literal representation of specific landmarks or locations. Inspired by his many travels and the experience of place, it is memory, along with the emotion and spirit of each space that Hung translates into a semi-abstract expression of what it felt like to be there. Expressed through a complex layering of paints, Nguyen starts with thick bases of oil under-painting, then organizes space into landmass, mountains, sky, and water boundaries. Using color and objects to create depth, the ultimate sensation is a feeling of infinite space.
Elizabeth Saveri presents a series of miniature paintings on bread clips, the ubiquitous plastic pieces used to tie plastic bags of bread, fruit and vegetables. Like so much plastic production, bread clips are used often and without much thought. Because of their sheer number, the pieces may be seen as symbols of mass consumption, yet by painting on bread clips, Saveri imbues the throwaway trash object with a preciousness, making it a “thing of beauty”. The individual and small clusters of bread clips are paintings of places in California and Florida, including depictions of native wildlife and fish. These places have sustained increasing urban development that has encroached into the natural landscape. Climate change has also affected these two areas, with drought, fires and mudslides in California and hurricanes and floods in Florida. By placing the painted image on a bread clip, Saveri points to how our increasingly urbanized and artificial environment is threatening the very existence of the natural world.
Katrin Assmann studied Illustration, art and design at the famous "Folkwang" University in her hometown Essen, Germany. After she received her diploma Katrin moved to Berlin and began working as an illustrator for newspapers, magazines and numerous advertising agencies. When she moved to Los Angeles Katrin concentrated on her fine art paintings. Based on found photographs Katrin explores in her work the rhythm and patterns of the landscapes and the lifestyle of California.
Elizabeth Saveri earned her MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Saveri received numerous grants and awards, and her work has been featured in both group and solo exhibitions in the US and internationally. Reviews of her work appear in publications such as Huffington Post, LA Weekly, LA Times, New York Times, and the Austin Chronicle.
Hung Viet Nguyen was born in Vietnam in 1957. He studied Biology at Science University in Saigon, Vietnam, then transitioned to working as an illustrator, graphic artist and designer since settlement in the U.S. in 1982. He developed his artistry skills independently, studying many traditional Eastern and Western forms, media and techniques.