By Michael Ray
The Craig Krull Gallery hosted an opening reception, Saturday March 3, for artists Robin Mitchell and Nancy Monk; both artists have exhibited at the gallery before. In their new series of paintings, both artists exhibited a connection to the natural world through their selection of subject and color. The event drew a sizable crowd of locals and art collectors from neighboring cities.
Robin Mitchell, now on her sixth solo exhibition at the Craig Krull Gallery, produced flower-like paintings. The works contain “obsessive, stitch-like brushstrokes” which happen to “swirl in vibrant concentric patterns” from the center to the edges of each canvass. According to Mitchell, the works reflect “breathing in and out….and the throb of a beating heart.” Her paintings are intricately detailed and don’t have a sense of a beginning or end, but rather a center and edge as the colors continue to flare in and out from the core. They are evocative of mandalas, flowers and planetary orbits.
“It is color and joyful!” stated attendee Beth Rendeiro “the flower-like paintings suggest, for me, the potential for blooming.”
“I feel very at home in this room,” added her friend Laurie Ramirez, both Santa Monica Unified School District teachers.
In the adjacent room Nancy Monk’s painting, a meticulous selection of trees, animals and geometric shapes, lined the gallery walls. Monk’s work can be considered “playfully fresh, inventive, and wisely naïve,” she draws her inspiration from other artists such as Paul Klee and Yves Klein. In this exhibition, her combination of paint and collage techniques are evocative of a sense of spring through her varied uses of yellow and white and animals selected.
According to Brett Arena, a follower of Monk’s work, the addition of a “glossy finishes, and glittered sections is a new element to her work, while the trees are a common motif.”
Robin Mitchell’s Paintings and Nancy Monk’s Twelve by Nine are currently on display at the Craig Krull Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave # B3, Santa Monica, CA 90404.