Santa Paula Times

Ventura College art exhibit opens

January 21, 2011
Santa Paula News

Ventura College Art Gallery exhibition featuring AlisonVanPelt - “If I Were Ed Ruscha” January 20-February 10, 2011

In this exhibition - using the artist Ed Ruscha as a theme and object of fantasy - Alison Van Pelt explores identity, envy, power, self-importance, self-acceptance, humor, and dreams. First sketched on canvas, a detailed portrait is painted by hand in oils, then deconstructed using brushes to achieve a soft, blurred effect. The letters and backgrounds, painted in acrylic and gold and silver leaf, interrupt the fluid, blurry portrait in the foreground and set the picture planes apart.

Alison Van Pelt is a Los Angeles based painter who uses a blurring technique to combine motion painting and photo-realism. She begins with a drawing on the canvas, based primarily on found images, such as historical figures, artists, writers, political and spiritual leaders, pop-culture icons, Native Americans, animals, athletes, and obscure faces and torsos. She builds on her drawing with layers of oil paint, blending to create a textured blurring effect that moves horizontally and/or vertically on the canvas. Viewed closely, the details are deconstructed, breaking down a hyper-realistic painting to a distorted and sometimes abstract image. This technique produces either the streaking effect of motion across the canvas or, like a hologram, the image seems trapped under the paint. Her portraits generate an idolized feeling; they create a sense of longing for a vanishing illusion.

Alison Van Pelt studied art at UCLA, Art Center, Otis Parsons and the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Van Pelt has exhibited at galleries throughout Europe and America, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Dayton Art Institute, Fresno Art Museum, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum, and is represented in significant permanent collections including LACMA, The Armand Hammer Museum, The Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation, the Jumex Foundation in Mexico City, Nasa, The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, The Long Beach Museum of Art, Orange County Museum of Art, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NY, and The Studio Museum in Harlem. Currently, she has a solo-exhibition at Ochi Gallery in Sun Valley, Idaho, through January 17 and is also on view at The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263.

Art Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday Noon-4 P.M. Free Admission.