Watch this lively conversation with Mela M & Ray Beldner, led by Shana Nys Dambrot via ZOOM. The artists share insight on their process of creating their abstract sculptures.
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.
A JOURNEY THROUGH ABSTRACT RECIPROCAL PERSPECTIVES FROM THE TERRESTRIAL TO THE ARCHITECTONIC ORBITAL
RAY BELDNER & MELA M.MARCH 19, 2021
Mela M’s architectonic hand built wood constructions are painted with high intensity acrylic paint in a prismatic array of vibrant and multiple geometric shapes, lines and textures. Her work references the geometric waves, vibrant fields, and optic frequencies as they might appear off earth in space on a futuristic megatropolis that is losing gravity to maintain orbit. Or as a piece of stationary technology on some distant planet. As gravity diminishes, these architectural monoliths appear to ascend and descend as they transform the capacity of space.
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 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.
Exhibition Dates, Times and Details
March 20 – April 17, 2021
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 1 – 7pm and by appointment.
Please confirm appointment time at firstname.lastname@example.org
Covid-19 safety protocols strictly enforced. Masks required for entry.
About LAUNCH LA
LAUNCH LA believes exposure to the arts enhances quality of life and strengthens community for all through the shared appreciation of creative expression in all its forms and hybrids. LAUNCH LA is passionate about providing all artists regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation with quality opportunities to present themselves and their creations that reflect our times to a curious and enthusiastic audience at important happenings throughout Los Angeles.