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MPC Art Gallery Presents "Fire & Light" (Mar. 11 - Apr 11, 2019)

Post Date:03/25/2019 10:00 AM

Fire & Light

Linda Abrams Bisberg and Echo Lew

ceramics and drawings

PLEASE JOIN US to explore the elegant, earthy sculptures of ceramicist Linda Abrams Bisberg (FROM CHICAGO) and the graceful digital drawings of Echo Lew (BORN IN TAIWAN, NOW OF L.A.). The imaginative work of these two artists combines to create an atmosphere of powerful imagery, at once delicate and strong, refined and rustic.

Admission to exhibit is free, all are welcome!

*MPC parking fee: $3 on weekdays

Exhibit Dates: March 11 - April 11, 2019

MPC Art Gallery, 980 Fremont St., Monterey, CA

Hours: Monday - Thursday 11:00am - 4:00pm
(or by appointment; call 831-646-3060)

Closing Reception:

  • Thursday, April 11, 12:30 - 2:00 pm (Artist's talk @ 1:00 pm)


Ceramics - Linda Bisberg (LA_Rock-Wall_2015)THE BEGINNING:
Bare gnarly branches, deep grooved bark, long silent walks in the woods with the pine needle carpet under foot, moss and lichen spreading across the rocks. Weathered landscapes with jagged rock formations, tide pools with barnacles, brown seaweed pods, sand rivulets carved by the receding tide. These are the wonders of my childhood. The smell of salt as you approach the ocean, the cool pine of the forest and the nose twitching smell of manure that tells you there is a farm around the next bend. The rustic barn with the musty smell of unstirred air, poking about, finding old tools worn rusty brown and the delight of discovery as an old oak chest, worn with time is uncovered in a forgotten corner.

In flow, the wet fluid motion of the clay spinning through my hands, I allow it to influence and inform me, letting go as in partnership we create. I play with the form, pulling, stretching, lifting---vessel verses sculpture ---working to teeter on the edge of both, pushing the viewer to question and see more. I contemplate the form, the negative space, shadow, yin and yang. I further develop the surface texture with marks and slip, working to catch the irregular, random wabi-sabi* essence.

I spray the bisqued forms with copper, wrapped and splattered then tumble stacked into a trashcan with natural combustibles: dried leaves, sawdust, plants, copper, and salt. Matches struck, flames roar into a blaze that peaks and is covered with a lid. This smokes, slowly burning down through the can while the porous clay carbon traps, adding a rich unique finish to each piece. The contrasts of textures, the matte smoke trapped surface against the crackle glaze, the marks, lines, and faint smell of smoke hold my interest. The resulting wabi-sabi* aesthetic, irregularly different, looking weathered and worn as if aged, catching the passage of time and the idea that nothing stays the same.

* “Unpretentious, earthy, murky, simpleWabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.        Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets & Philosophers    by Leonard Koren


Digital Drawing - Echo Lew - 1879 (web)After several hours of preparation, I use just a single shot to complete each image. During an exposure time of approximately one minute, I manipulate lights in front of the camera to create “Light Drawings.” Sometimes I invert the positive image to a negative one on a computer but otherwise the “Light Drawings” are not manipulated. Sometimes I put the same positive and negative images side-by-side in the finished piece.

I have been drawing with traditional mediums for twenty-eight years. I used oil painting to explore the effects of light in a 2006 solo exhibition, “See the Light,” at the Little Tokyo Cultural Center, partnered with Helen Keller International. I became curious about the effects of lights in motion. Could this become the basis of a new kind of drawing? I experimented with cameras and lights until I was able to spontaneously tap into decades of drawing experience while the camera’s shutter was open, bringing life to a series of “Light Drawings.”  

The technique originated in 1914 when scientists Frank and Lillian Gilbreth used small lights and an open shutter to track the motions of factory workers.  My light drawings are inspired by Jackson Pollock and Cy Twombly whose paintings are composed with spontaneous actions, performances traced in time.

In my Zen Buddhist meditation practice, the lights bend like a reed in the breeze, or soar freely as a bird above a cliff, thousands of lights dancing in my mind. The inner world is clean, clear and full of fresh air. Thousands of lights move as a wave. The secrets of the universe are revealed.

Music, especially classical symphony, also shapes these visions. I draw the feelings the music brings forth, the expansive sense of flying over mountains, rivers, and oceans.

I have been an abstract painter for many years, concerned with line, shape, composition and concept. Digital photography allows me to expand creatively while using an ultra-contemporary medium with limitless potential.

Art for me is an experimental adventure, a profound form of play.

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