Welles perfectly captures the contrasting colors of Los Angeles; a metropolis built on optimism and glamour, where dreams become reality, while recognizing the darker side of the city’s landscape. The “city of angels” is an illusion of fantasies, fuelled by Hollywood, creating a feeling of endless possibilities and opportunities, while the reality is also one of poverty and division. The dependable sunshine coats the city with an endless bright glow, despite the constant threat of fire, fault lines and drought looming beneath a blanket of smog. Through this resilience, LA represents human ingenuity and imagination, the perfect place between light and dark, nature and fabrication, and an endless playground for artistic exploration.
In collaboration with The Lodge, CURA presents its choice of LA based artists, showcasing some of the leading established and emerging talent the city has to offer, whose work reflects this disparity. ‘LA: Night and Day’ brings together examples that acknowledge and celebrate the complexity of these contradictions. The exhibition explores the influence and draw of the city, many of the artists choosing to make it their home, and how its intricacies inspire their practice. Works chosen highlight the fragility of the ecosystem, the existential threats, while others reflect the glossiness and optimism. Through vivid colors, bold and graphic lines, in contrast with darker themes, organic shapes and monochromatic palettes, a visual dialogue and two distinct approaches are revealed.
Clare Colette’s work is an investigation into darkness, time, and mysticism. A series of quiet, meditative landscapes consider concepts of interconnectedness relating to land, the cosmos, and the self. Using a restrained palette and pristine surfaces finished, Colette transforms the sublime into formal experiences – the paintings themselves become the device — for transcendence to a realm where time is illusory. In contrast, Tahnee Lonsdale’s paintings represent a new direction in semi-abstract painting, utilizing vibrant fields of color and organic shapes to convey anything from figures, domestic interiors to wild landscapes. Instead of presenting a visual space in which to consider one’s existence, they instead create a whimsical and mystical optimism through a hazy use of bright color, at once both detailed and dreamy.