Slightly Off the Wall
View Media Release
September 03 to September 27, 1997
add your comments
Stephanie Louise Boyd was born and raised in south California. As a dancer and musician, she became involved in politically committed performance art at the University of California’s San Diego campus. She later travelled around the United States and performed rallies and on street corners. Boyd returned to California and attended UCSC where she gained a solid understanding of art history and philosophy. She travelled through Europe visiting the major museums, painting in Spain and becoming involved in some performance art in Amsterdam. Returning to the United States she joined the School of Reductionism and continues to work in many mediums, music being an integral part of her work.
As the son of a science professor, Mark leaned the art of grinding scientific lenses and cutting and polishing gems at a young age. He was influenced by the worlds of both hard science and science fiction. He apprenticed as a professional glassblower at the Bryan Maytum studio in Boulder, Colorado where he eventually trained several apprentices himself. After being exposed to Reductionism and to the work of Brancusi, Mark saw new directions in which to expand. The fluid style of his glass and the elegance of the shapes are also due in part to his interest in Tai Chi and the linking of breath with bodily motion. His freeform glass sculptures follow the lead of the materials and techniques themselves. The show how molten glass can flow in space.
Born in Vancouver, Della’s primary interest from early childhood was art. She attended the Emily Carr School of Art and Capilano College where she studied a variety of artistic mediums. In her development as an artist, Della was influenced by the Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and the Surrealists. This is revealed in her love of light, intensity of colour and appreciation for dream-like realities. Her paintings document her quest to strip away habitual cognition and enter into the magical world behind and within ordinary perception. Della currently lives in California and has become one of the most accomplished members of the School of Reductionism.
Born in Puerto Rico, she studied art and theatre at the University of Maryland and then move to New York City where she worked professionally in both mediums. Rivera considers Rico Lebrun, Tom Johnson and E.J. Gold as having had the greatest influence on her work. She also has been inspired by tantric art in its use of colour and stylization. In her most recent works, we can see references to the symbolist and Pre-Raphaelite imagery of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. She uses art as a “means to access a world that is usually unseen”. Many of Rivera’s works are influenced by her vivid dreams, past and present. She has been a member of the School of Reductionism for 12 years.
Douglas-Truth was born in Indianapolis. Under the mistaken impression that he was colour blind, he pursued a wide variety of professions before becoming an artist. After this misconception was corrected he began his artistic studies in earnest, discovering in the process that “I have never me a colour I didn’t like”. In 1969, he founded the Douglass-Truth Institute, publishing text, illustrations and manufacturing and distributing promotional items. Truth has travelled and researched extensively throughout Asia, reviving the Japanese Doronto printmaking method in the process. His stories and articles have been published in a wide range of magazines such as Boing-Boing, Possessed and Talking Raven. He is an active member of the School of Reductionism.
Tom X (Johnson)
Tom X is a well known artist with many of his paintings in major American and European collections. During the seventies, Tom X explored figurative distortions and perspective. In 1976 his work was exhibited at the Denver Art Museum with shows following in New York, Sacramento and Vancouver. In the late seventies he entered a Cubist phase which reached an aesthetic height with his bronze sculpture, “The Jester”. Tom X ventured into printmaking during the eighties and his silkscreen prints projected a dark mood reminiscent of Erich Heckel and George Rouault. In the late eighties he joined E.J. Gold and helped formulate the Manifesto of Reductionism. His current works are electrifying with colourful figures and heavy black lines. The work of Tom X pushes the boundaries and provides an original synthesis of tradition with a post-modernist outlook. He now works out of Los Angeles, New York and Germany.
Yanesh was born and raised in Montreal. She initially entered the creative life through the portal of haute coiffure working in high fashion salons such as Bib, La Coupe and Vidal Sassoon. She later became an art consultant and owner of the Troov Art Gallery in New York City. Having moved to California to study with the School of Reductionism, she works as an artist, mainly in sculpture and ceramics. Yanesh also paints, works in pastel and charcoal and has recently shown her work in Los Angeles, Nevada City, Vancouver and New York.
SCHOOL OF REDUCTIONISM
Conceived in 1987 by E.J. Gold, a prominent American artist, and other members of the Grass Valley Graphics Group, an artist's community in northern California. The School consists of more than 20 American and Canadian painters and sculptors who have worked with Gold to reformulate the aims and principles of contemporary visual art.
Reductionism embodies both a philosophy of art and certain practical principles which infuse its works with recognizable qualities.
The philosophy of Reductionism places utmost value on the creative act which originates as an aesthetic perception and a corresponding state or condition of being. It is then the artist's task to capture or express this perception in a work of art which enables the viewer to have the same experience. Reductionist art is therefore objective in nature and not an exploration of the subjective states of the artist.
Artists of the School include: E.J. Gold, Della Heywood, Kelly Rivera, Heather Valencia, Stephanie Boyd, Menlo Macfarlane, Robbert Trice, Tom X., Claude Needham, Zoe Alowan, Richard Hart, Mark Einert, Douglass-Truth, Yanesh, Lidy Nova, Joe Alowan, Tim Elston, David Christie and more.
Although Reductionism in practice is broadly inclusive, experimental and evolving, its art is nonetheless often characterized by three basic qualities:
Reductionism uses recognizable objects and is therefore representational. However, objects are important for their effect, not important in themselves. The artist attempts to achieve an effect with the fewest possible lines and details, removing extraneous elements which may deviate or obscure the effect...thus the name Reductionism. Objects are reduced to their essentials in a move toward the abstract. Similarly, colour is used unambiguously and powerfully to enhance its effect. Colours are few, vibrant, sharply contrasting.
Reductionism typically explores another dimension of time, a dimension which is not sequential or "horizontal" but eternal or "vertical"...the same dimension of time which contains the creative act itself. There is little or no explicit movement in Reductionist art. Nothing is happening in the usual sense and time, therefore, does not pass. The result is an enhanced awareness of posture, positioning of visual elements and their inter-relationships. Freezing the frame, rendering objects static, also has the effect of freeing other forms of movement such as feeling...motion through emotion.
Perhaps the outstanding feature of Reductionist art is that, despite a limited use of the techniques of perspective to create three dimensional effects within the picture, the art nonetheless establishes a sense of space. The reason is the primary place assigned to the viewer. Because the Reductionist artist strives for communication, scenes are composed for a viewer who is not a voyeur outside the scene but rather a participant who is the reason for the work and necessarily a part of it. Everything in the scene is oriented first and foremost to the viewer so as to bring the viewer into a relationship with it. Depth of field is therefore not bounded by the frame but includes the viewer in a truly three dimensional experience of space. Thus, the art is only completed by viewing.