Jacob Lewis Gallery is pleased to present Between Two Worlds, a group exhibition featuring works by Michael Bevilacqua, Matthew Ronay, Dean Sameshima, and Dani Tull. The exhibition will be on view June 12–July 18 with an opening reception Thursday, June 11, 6-8pm.
Between Two Worlds explores the spiritual phase between the conception of a piece and its finished form. This is the space in which the artist operates, between the creating and the creation. It is the balance between the contemporary art world and a more personal one, completely individual to the artist. These works reveal a discrete visual language, an idiosyncratic code which is revealed as the result of the artist’s pursuit to communicate. In the words of Matthew Ronay, “Being in the studio has its purifying qualities, like the first artist, its primordial struggle to understand and untangle, to create imagery spontaneously out of a need to emphasize what is moving and harmonious.”
Michael Bevilacqua is known for fusing high and low culture through varied applications of painting, drawing, animation, and collage. In these works, he is interested in the visual vehicle of the video game, mingling imagery from ritualistic African masks with his memories of early Atari games. Bevilacqua creates a profound world where the grid transforms into the outlines of a mind game of sorts. This simple visual construction allows for breaking in and out of borders, forming a dialogue between the black and white spaces on the canvas.
Matthew Ronay cultivates references from a multitude of cultures and experiences in his elaborately constructed installations, resulting in a purely abstract creation. Wall-mounted sculptures play with our associations while integrating pulsating colors with highly textural elements and patterns. Bevilacqua describes Ronay as “A sculptor with many hands working at the same time to create a single task.” These elements overlap and blend to form a contemporary relic that summons our inherited memories.
Dean Sameshima’s celestial, airy star maps connect to reveal a darker, more provocative encounter that the artist is focused on. Sameshima draws from 1970s sub-cultural references, allowing his information to be masked and reinterpreted through other visual contexts reminiscent of vintage coloring books and a return to craft influences. His work is interested in the visual investigation of maleness, both the aggressive and the more restrained side, the sexually bold and the quiet vulnerability.
Dani Tull’s work emits an aura of faux spiritualism. Childlike otherworldliness reveals itself through the linking of myriad time periods and cultural associations. Artifacts of pop culture, religion, style, and art history are warped to create a dreamlike world of illusion and wonder. Brightly painted lips sit on electrically colored backgrounds, opening to reveal a utopian sunsets. Associations create overlapping metaphors of a spiritual, collective consciousness that serves as the core of the work.