Blue Sky: Visionaries, Romantics, Dreamers
“Blue Sky” explores how a select group of contemporary Southern California artists employ fantastic or imaginary subject matter to mediate the relationships between the unconscious realm and the real world. Defined as that which is idealistic, impractical, or visionary, “Blue Sky” is a term also used by designers and architects to denote the brainstorming, conceptual stage of a project.
The artists included in “Blue Sky” transform their inner visions and experiences into something highly inventive and often painstakingly rendered, creating idiosyncratic narratives that examine our ambivalent relationship to nature and culture. Throughout the history of art, artists have looked inward, to the creative imagination, in an attempt to comprehend the greater mysteries of the universe through the extrapolation of dream states and inventions of personal cosmologies and imaginary realms. Others have turned their imaginative energy outward, mining the fertile realm of history, popular culture, science fiction, and the scientific in order to make sense of the social landscape. Through drawing, painting, sculpture, and video, the artists in “Blue Sky” examine ideas such as representation, Romanticism, spirituality, and the sublime.
“Blue Sky” has been made possible by the generous support of the artists, galleries, and individuals who have loaned works to the exhibition: Nowell Karten and Tim Christian at Angles Gallery; Shoshana and Wayne Blank of the Shoshana Wayne Gallery; Lily Asalde-Brewster; Russell Crotty; Cecilia Dan; Sharon Ellis; Rosamund Felsen of the Rosamund Felsen Gallery; Bronya and Andrew Galef; Andrea Grayson; Christopher Grimes and Kevin Watroba of the Christopher Grimes Gallery; Nancy Jackson; Bernard Jazzar; Tom Knechtel; Kelly McLane; Vally Mestroni; Tracy and Gary Mezzatesta; Hillary Mushkin; Amber Noland; Michael and Judy Ovitz; Tom Peters; Alan Power; Stewart and Lynda Resnick; Linda and Tony Rubin; Daniel and Anne Rudolph; Marc Selwyn; Mary-Kay Lombino of University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach; Dean Valentine and Amy Adelson; and Cathy and Lenny Waronker. Others who have supported this exhibition and accompanying catalogue include Museum of Art Advisory Committee members Sarah Miller Meigs and Brenda Nardi ’85; poet Amy Gerstler; writer Kristina Newhouse; and Jaeger Smith. We are grateful to them all.