Kala Art Institute

“Actual Scale” – Coming to Kala Gallery

Exhibitions

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Actual Scale
co-curated by: Lauren Davies and Mayumi Hamanaka

February 21 – March 30, 2013
Artists’ Reception: Thursday, February 21, 6-8pm
Preview for Friends of Kala Members: 5–6pm
Gallery Conversation with the Artists: Saturday, March 16, 2pm
Kala Gallery, 2990 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

Kala Art Institute is proud to present Actual Scale, a group exhibition that explores visual discrepancies and disorienting shifts in scale, and includes new works in photography, video, sculpture and drawing. Seven visual artists—as well as a studio collective which includes three children—investigate aspects of the relativity of scale. The resulting images and objects range from the highly miniaturized to the dramatically over-sized.

The exhibition is comprised of artists approaching the topic of scale from a variety of diverse vantage points: The use of digital tools and technology is represented, alongside works that feature a high level of hand-produced craftsmanship. Other unlikely pairings include works that investigate imaging, based on detailed scientific study, next to works underscored by a witty materiality and child-like playfulness. In their juxtapositions, the works of Actual Scale suggest that Alice might have actually exited Wonderland through a rabbit-hole, only to find herself inside a fantastical diorama, climbing a mountain of children’s socks.

Joshua Band uses photography and digital tools to expand our experience of the landscape. Joshua creates elaborate photographic installations that pull real world images into a collision of two dimensional flatness and re-structured three-dimensional space, where any sense of proportion and relational scale have been completely shattered.

Kevin Chen and Amber Stucke are both working at a highly skilled level of draftsmanship with their attention focused at opposite ends of the spectrum of scale. Kevin presents a series of drawings that offer up intricate views of urbanscapes that are so extraordinarily miniaturized and finely rendered that a magnifying glass accompanies each work. Amber Stucke essentially works in the reverse by examining microscopic scale with large scale results. Amber’s elegant large format drawings present vastly magnified scientific images of biological symbiosis that would normally be invisible to the naked eye.

Llewelynn Fletcher and Phil King each present works that are re-created objects of simple domestic usage. Llewelynn Fletcher up-ends our sense of the physical body and objects of comfort and stability by skewing the relationship of expected scale. Llewelynn’s perfectly crafted yet wildly over-sized furniture-inspired works dwarf the viewer, creating an Alice in Wonderland moment of disorientation. Phil King utilizes laser cutting tools to fabricate a table-top tableaux of simple everyday objects. Each object is actually produced at the correct scale, yet are crafted from non-functional materials such as paper and cardboard. Together, Phil’s non-functional objects create an imaginative playground for viewers to jump in and share their experience.

Renée Gertler explores our understanding of astronomy by creating sculptural models that are based on scientific diagrams. The work processes a witty humility that underscores the incomprehensible task of representing the vastness of our solar system and beyond.

Nadim Sabella meshes highly detailed iconic architectural models with photographic and video presentations that call into question authenticity and actual scale. Much of Nadim’s small-scale constructed realities are facing looming disaster—yet in a photograph it’s difficult to ascertain if the image is genuine or a fabrication.

Verdstein Studio is a family-based collaborative project headed by video artist Ellen Lake. Ellen, her partner Chris Green, and their children Sam, Josie and Ruby investigate the private world of childhood. Verdstein Studio presents a series of photographs and video documentation sharing secret miniature worlds.

Please join us for a Gallery Conversation with the artists on Saturday, March 16 at 2:00 pm. The event is free of charge and open to the public. The exhibition of Actual Scale and related programs are generously funded by the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation.

Tours of the Kala studio, gallery and print-and-media study center are also available by appointment.
For more information, contact Mayumi Hamanaka, Kala Gallery Coordinator, mayumi@kala.org or (510) 841-7000 ex 201.