Friday, January 25th, 2013 | Author:

With two separate openings in one night, CAF is determined to make sure you don’t suffer from boredom this Saturday. Who knows, maybe you’ll bump into some celebrity in town for the film festival. The info for the opening in their main space is below. To get the skinny on the earlier show, opening in the beautiful Hotel Indigo, click HERE.


Exhibitions: A Handful of Dust and Bloom Projects: Molly Smith, Root  

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 26, 6:00-8 pm, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

Exhibitions on view: January 27 – March 24, 2013, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum


CAF presents A Handful of Dust, organized by guest curator Laura Fried, comprised of sculptural works that reexamine the fundamental qualities of material. New York-based sculptor Molly Smith will be featured in the latest iteration of Bloom Projects.

The notion of “prehistory,” as evidenced in material remains and artifacts, compels us to explore crucial connections between an innate desire to make and to hold, and the social values that determine what humans create and why. A Handful of Dust brings together a group of artists who utilize sculpture to craft a material vernacular at once ancient and contemporary. Recalling those postwar artists whose three-dimensional practices relied on a discreet, visual language-the haunting white forms of Cy Twombly; Eva Hesse’s small, raw material experiments; or the slender totemic Personages by Louise Bourgeois-a young generation of artists now fashions relics for our contemporary moment. In this exhibition, spare, complex constructions made of wood, plaster, stone, and bronze, or captured on the page or on film, evoke archaic artifacts, rooted to the earth, reaching back to the past and firmly securing the place of the object, and its capacity to communicate, in the present.

While the readymade, the appropriated, and the fabricated object have become so pervasive in contemporary art that they no longer challenge, but instead define a prevailing approach to sculptural practice, the artists featured in this exhibition are instead deeply invested in the organic and the handmade, and how the most fundamental plastic materials and forms can be imbued with the strata of time. Representing a range of media and process, these artists closely consider themes of timelessness and dissociation, archaeology and collecting, communication, and the complex yet transformative power and voice of even the most elemental sculptural tool. At once invoking and fracturing the familiar tropes of landscape, artifact, model, and monument, these objects–fragile, mutable, and potent–beg the most intimate visual encounters while summoning our human desire to behold what the hand can shape.


Artists in the exhibition include Mark Hagen, Jay Heikes, Matt Hoyt, Erin Shirreff, Ricky Swallow, Zin Taylor, and Allyson Vieira.


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