Lynn Aldrich: Un/Common Objects at Williamson Gallery

Exhibition Dates: October 11, 2013 – January 19, 2014
Opening Night Reception: Thursday, October 17, 7 to 9 p.m.

Work by Lynn Aldrich

(PASADENA, Calif.) August 2, 2013 – Transforming the known into something curious and unexpected, Los Angeles-based artist Lynn Aldrich offers a critical consumerist spin on the assemblage tradition. An alumna of Art Center College of Design, Aldrich is known for scouring hardware stores such as Home Depot for materials she refabricates into colorful new constructions reflecting playfully on domestic architecture. Lynn Aldrich: Un/Common Objects, the first comprehensive midcareer survey of the artist’s complex and influential body of work at Art Center’s Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery, opens October 11, 2013 and continues through January 19, 2014. The opening night reception on Thursday, October 17, from 7 to 9 p.m., is free and open to the public.

The show traces Aldrich’s growth as an artist and the major themes that have governed her artistic practice. Guest co-curators of Lynn Aldrich: Un/Common Objects are Christina Valentine, faculty member at Art Center College of Design and G. James Daichendt, Ed.D. associate dean and professor of art history at Azusa Pacific University.

“By re-examining Aldrich’s oeuvre of 20-plus years these ‘Un/Common’ objects address a myriad of subjects, themes, and concepts, said Daichendt. “Viewed in a linear fashion there is a development from the earliest rudimentary pieces to the plasticity and wholeness the most contemporary works evoke.”

A catalog will accompany the exhibition with essays provided by the curators and by Howard Fox, curator emeritus of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), as well as an introduction by Stephen Nowlin, director of the Williamson Gallery.

Aldrich uses everyday materials (from rain gutters to toilet plungers) with a wry wit that acknowledges issues beyond the physical limits of the media. For her latest group exhibition, Death and Life of An Object in spring 2012, Aldrich converted drainage spouts into manic, menacing trees and grouped old inkpads and stamps into abstract formations. Precise in their arrangement and construction, her objects and installations offer a visually and socially critical take on industrial commerce.

Work by Lynn Aldrich

“Lynn’s work reframes the visual white noise made by the ubiquitous presence of mass produced objects and turns it into an aesthetic, art experience,” said Valentine.

Former LACMA curator Fox writes in his catalogue essay that Aldrich is an artist of deep exploration, reflection and conviction. “Her creative practice draws on multiple disciplines,” he says, “multiple methodologies and multiple desires for knowledge,” he said. “She weaves them into a coherent and allusive body of work that attests to the power of the human imagination in its inborn quest for truth.”

“My thinking is grounded in Realism, or what is actually present, influenced by scientific empiricism, but open to the Romanticism of a spiritual or sacred longing for revelation and authentic transcendence–what I would call ‘hyper-desire,’” said Aldrich. “This is the profound paradox at the core of all true religion and artistic activity.”

Throughout the past 20 years, Aldrich’s work has been collected and represented by major museums and galleries including LACMA, L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the Calder Foundation in New York. She is represented in Los Angeles by Edward Cella Art + Architecture.

“Lynn’s heterogeneous works fuse and defuse Duchamp, Pop and Minimalist influences, at once respectfully and irreverently, measuring the dimensions of contemporary existence by their use of a consumer’s palette,” said Nowlin. “An amalgamation of hardware store products, colloquial beauties and a search for spiritual yearnings among vernacular icons, her work rises to not only novel effects but to those contemplative, troubling, uplifting and nuanced.”

The Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design is located at 1700 Lida Street in Pasadena; hours are noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, with extended hours on Fridays, until 9 p.m. The gallery is closed Mondays and holidays. For more gallery information, call (626) 396-2446. Williamson Gallery exhibitions are funded in part by the Williamson Gallery Patrons and a grant from the Pasadena Art Alliance.

About the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery
The Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at Art Center College of Design has established a broad reputation for its ongoing series of exhibitions exploring the boundaries, relationships, and perspectives of art and science. Recent exhibitions in the series include WORLDS, a medley of objects, images, sounds, and videos that explored celestial phenomena and our Earthbound perspectives; HYPERBOLIC: Reefs, Rubbish, and Reason, an exhibition of mathematics, ocean ecology, and crochet handicraft; ENERGY, a composite engagement with art, science, history, and poetry around the theme of natural forces; OBSERVE, a collaboration between invited artists and scientists at the NASA/JPL-Caltech Spitzer Space Telescope; In The Dermisphere, a look at the art and natural history of skin; and TOOLS, an exploration of the art and science of extensions to human biology.

About Art Center College of Design
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, Art Center College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. Art Center offers eleven undergraduate and six graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines, as well as public programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for its commercial focus, ties to industry and professional rigor, Art Center is also the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status in recognition of the College’s emphasis on the social and humanitarian impact of design. During the College’s 80+year history, Art Center alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.