A to Z at the Brett Rubbico Gallery

A to Z

Craig Antrim
Casper Brindle
Christopher Georgesco
Donald Karwelis
Eric Zammitt

For galleries, presentation is paramount. The alchemy of impeccable lighting, thoughtful curating and an intimate knowledge of the artist’s process combined with behind-the-scenes sweat and elbow grease can transform even the most humble space into a cathedral. For this reason, it is often times the smaller galleries that can be the most inspiring. Tucked away into the end corner of a small row of shops along Old Newport Blvd, the Brett Rubbico Gallery is quietly putting together some of the most successful exhibitions in all of Orange County.

Rubbico’s strength is clearly in the visual conversation that can occur between works of fine art when well presented in the same environment. The current exhibition A to Z is a perfect example of this skill, the ability to set exceptional work up in a space and step back – to present but not interfere. In essence, allowing the work to speak for itself. The exhibition starts off with painter Craig Antrim (San Pedro), specifically pieces from his Chroma series created in the early seventies. This is a really exciting choice, not only for the chance to see work of this caliber up close but also to see how works created over 40 years ago still vibrate with the same electricity as pieces created today. It’s an exciting “conversation” to observe, especially amongst the five artists that make up the entire exhibition.

Moving back in the space from Antrim are the highly reflective panels of Casper Brindle (Los Angeles). Created from automotive paint and resin, they shimmer like trout skins or the horizon of an alien landscape. Most interesting in his work is the texture that lies beneath the perfectly smooth surface. Organic in feel, they give off a quality of reflective brilliance found most often in nature, the depth of the work in color and texture balanced perfectly by the transparent beauty of its glossy surface.

Coming from completely different directions but achieving similar results, the work of Eric Zammitt (Los Angeles) is similiar to Craig Antrium in that it uses the directing of visual tension to create a heightened sense of drama. Like Antrium does in his Chroma series, Zammitt uses light as one of his mediums, capturing it, in his case within bands of color pressed between semi-opaque pieces of laminated plastic. The overall effect is a pull of the eye from light to dark, down vibrating hallways created by the layered plastic, the shape of each piece creating the illusion that these are less works of art and more portals to another dimension.

The feel of the elements being pushed in space is further explored with a gorgeous small-scale sculpture by Christopher Georgesco (Palm Springs) paired with beautifully turned out examples of his 2-dimensional work. How an artist can transition from one plane to another while still maintaining a consistent perspective is always inspiring. The quiet giant in the back room however is Donald Karwelis (1934-2003) with 3 pieces from 1975 and 1976. Here we have the aesthetic bookend to Antrium in the sense that these works carry the weight of 40 years and the excitement that any well-presented work of art possesses – a timeless sense of concept and design. Throughout the entire gallery one can see a series of beautiful ideas, flawlessly constructed and expertly shown.

For any major fan of Light and Space as well as California fine art history and its current day influences, A to Z is a must-see.

The show will be up until November 6, 2014. For more information, visit the Brett Rubbico gallery on their facebook page HERE.

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