A Journey Through Abstract Reciprocal Perspectives from the Terrestrial to the Architectonic Orbital
Featuring Mela M and Ray Beldner
March 20 - April 17, 2021
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 20th, 1-7 pm
Covid-19 safety protocols strictly enforced. Masks required for entry. LAUNCH Gallery 170 South La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036
View Exhibition on Artsy
Launch Gallery is proud to present an exhibition featuring new work by Mela M and Ray Beldner. With an affinity for scale, color, and texture, each artist makes uniquely colorful, phantasmagoric wood sculptures inspired by the art and architectural forms they see around them. A visual relief from the social unrest of the past year, it posits idealized worlds and possibilities and taps into the deeper archetypal and existential drives that have always inspired the artist, as well as the scientist, to go further into the exploration of our world and the cosmos.
Mela M’s work has earned national and international recognition with over 20 solo exhibitions, 27 museum group shows and over 100 select group exhibitions in galleries and universities including the National Art Center and Museum in Tokyo, Japan, the Cultural Association of Rome in Italy, the Mark Chagall Museum in Belarus and the Hudson Valley MOCA in New York. Among her residencies, she had the experience of living in Japan where she made and exhibited new works during a three month placement in Yokohama. M’s work is in several permanent collections including the Long Beach Museum of Art in California, the SW Oregon College at Coos Bay and in MOCA Minsk. She has two MFA degrees including one from Claremont Graduate University in California. Besides being honoured with numerous prizes and awards she has also been a college professor and a curator. Her work was published in New American Paintings, ArtScene, Crocker Art Museum catalog, New York Times The Long Islander edition and many more. Mela M has been working on wood shaped panels for more than two decades. Beldner uses fragments of historic and contemporary artworks as the starting point for his work. For this exhibition, it takes the form of 2D shapes made from laser cut plywood. The mélange of images layered onto the panel surfaces, at the same time familiar and foreign, are meant to be disorienting and lead the viewer through an endless examination of organic shapes, colors and textures, intentionally designed to frustrate any attempts at coherence.
Both artists take the viewer on a type of journey—from abstract terrestrial representations of historical human artifacts, to the abstract visual depictions of a future orbiting Megatropolis. The journey serves as a way station to exploring the far reaches of our solar system—and offers the viewer an energetic experience of color, shape, texture and scale, where they can lose themselves in the visual activity of the work and recalibrate their habitual perceptions of reality.
Ray Beldner is an artist, educator and event producer. He received his MFA from Mills College and over the past 25 years, has exhibited in 15 solo and 100+ group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. His work can be found in many public and private collections including the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C., the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Oakland Museum of California and the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, among others. Beldner has received numerous awards and fellowships and has taught Sculpture, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Professional Practices at the San Francisco Art Institute, California College of the Arts, SF State University, and UC Santa Cruz. Numerous reviews and articles about his work can be found in publications including Art in America, Art On Paper, Art in Print, Wired, Playboy, LA Weekly, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Village Voice, International Herald Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. Mela M’s work has earned national and international recognition with over 20 solo exhibitions, 27 museum group shows and many group exhibitions in galleries and universities including the National Art Center and Museum in Tokyo and the Hudson Valley MOCA in New York. Among her residencies was a three month work in Japan. Mela M’s work is in several permanent collections including the Long Beach Museum of Art in California, the SW Oregon College at Coos Bay and in MOCA, Belarus. She has two MFA degrees including one from Claremont Graduate University in California. She has also been a college professor and a curator.
Shot & Edited By @Birdmanphotos