Baik Art Gallery




Kathleen Johnson, Laura Menz, Rachelle Rojany

April 16 – May 21, 2016 | press release





Baik Art presents Quarry, an exhibition of work by Kathleen Johnson, Laura Menz, and Rachelle Rojany, three multidisciplinary artists from Southern California whose artworks share the medium of plaster. The exhibition will consist of both abstract and figurative objects, some of which have been impregnated with sequins or pigmented with pastel print patterns.

The earliest known plasters date back to 7500 BC. Various types and mixtures were made from raw materials quarried in ancient Jordan, India, China, and Egypt. In Italy, plaster was one of the materials used in early decorative and religious sculpture. More recently, objects made from plaster may bring Roger Corman or Big Daddy Ed Roth to mind. In the Corman-directed film, A Bucket of Blood (1959) plaster made a psychodramatic entrance as the material used by bus boy and wanna-be artist Walter Paisley. Through an odd series of circumstances, Paisley’s art career takes off when he has to cover a kitty cat with plaster—a cat he accidentally snuffed. Around the same time Corman’s film was made, sub-cult artist Big Daddy Ed Roth sculpted plaster forms that he covered with fiberglass before coating the fiber with polyester resin. Rather than making a plaster mold, Roth carved into it to produce a positive form for his objects; he then drew a second positive from it using fiberglass. Roth’s process was associated with the socially marginalized subculture of auto modification and customization. And, not unlike Walter Paisley’s production that was born out of an accident, Roth’s creations tied plaster to social sidelining and exclusion.

For each artist in this exhibition, her manner of working functions in a specific way. She imagines what something might look like, but finds that her vision may change through a working process—through discovery. Visually and psychologically, process becomes a place between the imagined public eye (her audience) and the extradimensional space of the unknown. In the end, of course, the art represents an essence of something known only by the artist or, perhaps, the interior atmosphere of the artist’s mind—its concentration, compliances, omissions, and randomized opinions—no matter what it ends up looking like.