For the month of December, 10 West Gallery is exploring how fast society has progressed since the industrial revolution with its latest exhibition. Titled “So Far So Fast” after a piece by the show’s central artist John Sollom, the exhibition displays several of his works in juxtaposition with pieces by other artists such as Rick Doehring, Penny Arntz, Iben G. Vestergaard, Mary Neville, and Patrick McGinnis. Whereas Mr. Sollom addresses the fast pace of societal change “directly,” as gallery director Jan Ziegler put it, the accompanying artists tackle these themes in a more abstract manner.
As many who observe art don’t understand abstraction on its own, Ms. Ziegler likes this kind of contrast in her exhibitions.
“I think our shows are much more interesting when we have some representational imagery along with the abstract,” she said.
As she showed the News-Press around her studio when setting up the exhibition on Wednesday afternoon, Ms. Zieger pointed out Mr. Sollom’s straightforwardness on the subject of changing times in his collages of cultural iconography. These include images such as a go-go dancer, multi-colored peace signs, a horse rider, and a modern-day skateboarder. Especially direct on the matter is “Adam and Eve,” a picture of a nude man and woman standing side by side, and its companion piece “Adam and Steve,” a similar image featuring two nude men. Of course, these together reference how quickly attitudes toward same-sex marriage have changed.
Though various indirect approaches to depicting society’s fast rate of change are on display in the non-Sollom works, Ms. Zieger described a couple of the artist’s abstract art pieces as “urban.” These include Mr. Doehering’s painting “13 Windows,” which the gallery director said looked like an “urban wall,” and Ms. Arntz’s abstract painting of where the Pacific Coast Highway connects with Interstate 10.
Tangentially related to these expressions of the urban landscape is Ms. Vestergaard’s series of three abstract still life paintings, which depicts the seasons of spring, summer, and fall. Beyond this surface-level read however, Ms. Ziegler saw the paintings as an expression of how people have grown distant from nature and rural environments since the industrial revolution.
“It’s also about how our society has gotten away from the natural world, so she’s really speaking to that aspect as well as just a simple still life,” Ms. Ziegler said.
“So Far So Fast” marks 10 West Gallery’s first time showcasing Mr. Sollom’s work, which Ms. Ziegler is “very excited” about. When viewing his art in the midst of many abstract pieces, the gallery director hopes those who come through her door will experience a “contemplation of how fast our society moves today.”
The exhibition runs until December 29, with gallery hours from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays and Mondays, closed on Tuesdays, and from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. all other days. The gallery is located at 10 W Anapamu St.