back to coca's home page

Love at the End of the Tunnel,
or the Beginning of a Smart New Day

New Art from LA

An exhibition featuring work by fourteen Los Angeles-based Artists
organized by Center on Contemporary Art by Guest curator Marilu Knode,
Senior Curator at the Institute of Visual Arts University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.

February 6 - April 4, 1998





Opening Reception: Saturday, February 7, 8 - 11:00 P.M.

Gallery Walk-Through/ Meet the Artists: Saturday, February 7, 6-8 P.M. at CoCA

Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M.


Carlos Mollura


Artists in the exhibition:
Maura Bendett
Andrea Bowers
Sally Elesby
Chris Finley
Terri Friedman
Michael Gonzalez
Doug Hammett
Joyce Lightbody
Carlos Mollura
Patrick Nickell
Michael Pierzynski
Kenneth Riddle
George Stoll and
Pae White.




Doug Hammett



Publication: A 32-page full-color catalogue with essays by curator Marilu Knode and Susan Kandel, art critic for the Los Angeles Times and American editor for Art and Text magazine. Catalogue assistance has come from Smart Art Press, Santa Monica.


Michael Gonzalez




Michael Pierzynski

The Center on Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Love at the End of the Tunnel, or the Beginning of a Smart New Day, opening February 7 and running through April 4. The exhibition, curated by Marilu Knode, will be the first to present this significant group of younger or emerging Los Angeles artists to a broad audience outside of Los Angeles. The exhibition's official opening will take place on February 7, 8-11 p.m., at the Center on Contemporary Art, 65 Cedar, Seattle.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 32-page, color catalogue that will feature essays by Marilu Knode and Susan Kandel. Work of each of the artists will be reproduced in color, allowing the reader a clear sense of the constructed complexity, formal nuance, and sheer exuberance of the works.

The artists of this Smart New Day explore social and cultural shifts in contemporary life by breaking down the barriers between artistic categories and genres to create hybrid objects made of funky materials. These materials include creamy, high-end cake icing (Doug Hammett, Taming the Bull from the Ox Herding Pictures: 10 bulls, 1997), Wonder Bread bags (Michael Gonzalez, Theme Sampler No. 2, 1997) Prozac, (Kenneth Riddle's Whiskey Fountain, 1997), and black leather (Pae White, Untitled (mobile), 1997.)

A sense of playfulness is much in evidence: Maura Bendett fills walls with hundreds of painstakingly fabricated flowers, creating a delectable pseudo-bower. Patrick Nickell's flimsy cardboard and plastic sculptures fight against gravity, with no small sense of humor. Carlos Mollura creates a 12' inflatable icon. Michael Pierzynski recasts thrift store ceramic figures -- bad 50's kitsch -- into bonsai 'nature mortes' or still lives, dead lives.

Susan Kandel, art critic for the Los Angeles Times, says "Implicit in this [exhibition] is a devotion to detail -- in terms of the perfectionism of handicraft, certainly, but also in the service of visual delight. Delight is too often given short shrift, dismissed as the lightweight cousin of jouissance. The artists in this show redeem delight: delight is its engine."

Says Marilu Knode, the exhibition's curator, "The artists in Love at the End of the Tunnel, or the Beginning of a Smart New Day were born into a world where a smart, decrepit, racy and worn-out LA represented a dream-land, perfect because it was unfulfilled, undercapitalized and on the brink of tomorrow. All the aesthetic, and ascetic, forms in Love at the End of the Tunnel know the art lingo -- the 1970s body work, the fetishism of obsessive work, anti-materialism -- as well as the 1980s shtick -- hypermaterialism, egomania, cool neo-geo, inescapable consumerism. Everywhere is the imprint of an historical freedom, a bonus climate in experimentation and absolution. The work is small; the ideas are big."

Love at the End of the Tunnel, or the Beginning of a Smart New Day: New Art from LA, opening February 7 and running through April 4, is an exhibition clearly in keeping with the mission and role of the Center on Contemporary Art. CoCA, a not-for-profit organization, serves Seattle as a forum for the advancement and understanding of contemporary art. CoCA provides opportunities for the art audience in the Pacific Northwest to view new and experimental artwork in exhibitions that show the work of international, national, and local artists. CoCA is committed to promoting cultural inquiry, commissioning new work and providing exposure for emerging artists