20 November 2009 – 3 January 2010

Curated by Danielle Susalla.

San Diego NOW presents top artistic talent emerging from one of the finest conceptual art institutions in the nation—University of California, San Diego. Designed to encourage a meaningful dialogue between MFA students and the larger San Diego art community, San Diego NOW features artists working in a variety of media, including video, painting, photography, sculpture and performance, with a shared concern with the changing dynamics of society and our place within it. Oceanside Museum of Art is proud to showcase the cutting edge talent of UCSD’s Visual Arts program.

The work of the eight artists in San Diego NOW represents unique engagement with complex subjects ranging from identity politics, societal constraints, and urbanization to contemporary slants on ancient artistic notions such as beauty and the grotesque.

While Omar Pimienta’s Colonia Libertad explores topical notions of immigration, Lesha Rodriguez photographs specters of San Diego flora, alluding to the transience of nativeness and the possibility of imprinting oneself through the landscape. Zac Monday’s work speaks to this precariousness of identity through the intimate medium of knitting, creating spectacles that are targets for projection, but also represent fear of the unknown.

James Enos uses an architecturally complex blend of sculpture and photography to address human impact on the topographical landscape, while Suzanne Wright uses this language to create a series of voids of mesmerizing complexity in her Trastar series. Tim Schwartz’s stalactite sculpture emerges from the actual structure of the museum evoking a humorous contemplation of dualities such as natural v. artificial.

Glancing awry at the overlooked, Jesse Mockrin’s painting, Young Professional, inverts the figure into an awkward, vertical posture, exposing the literal and metaphorical weight of resignation to the work-a-day world, while Westerbecke’s meticulous constructions hypnotize the viewer into voyeuristic engagement with chameleon notions of beauty and ugliness.

UCSD’s Visual Arts program prides itself on its commingling of art making, criticism, and theory and boasts reputable faculty composed of world renowned artists such as Haim Steinbach and Anya Gallaccio in addition to a legacy of pioneering AVG artists including Allan Kaprow and Eleanor Antin. The works presented by the artists in San Diego NOW reveal prodigious virtuosity on the heels of artistic greatness.

–Lara Bullock, Art History Ph.D. Student, UCSD

Oceanside Museum of Art, 704 Pier View Way, Oceanside, California 92054
info [at] oma-online [dot] org

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