Faculty News

A Mercurial Light

Ann Pibal's exhibition LUXTC is on display at Team (bungalow) from June 24 to August 5, 2018. Team (bungalow) is located at 306 Windward Avenue in Venice, CA.

Team Gallery Exhibition

From Team (Gallery):

"There is a mercurial light throughout LUXTC, a shimmer evident in the gossamer metallic surfaces of the paintings and liquid light of the drawings highlighting their depictions of temporal flux. At once systematic and meditative, Ann Pibal’s confident syntax of color and structure yields a visceral clarity that bridges the lyrical and analytical, anchored by the painterly awareness that color and light don’t exist without the other. This correlation of the abstract to the phenomenological is evident throughout LUXTC, extending to the abstraction and distillation of meaning in the titles.

Under the collective title Surf Type are three groups of drawings made with pages culled from issues of The Surfer’s Journal, which serve as a cipher for the way in which the experiential and abstract intersect, switch, and decode one another. Crisp patterns are cut into the idyllic fiction of the images, distributing the graphic across the pictorial; as the figure-ground relationship between them shifts. Each grouping corresponds to a distinctive quality of light, with the bleached heat of high noon daylight contrasted by saturated color backings, and lineups of hearts, stars, and a palimpsest of “save the whales” appeals corrode into pattern. The lustrous silver drawings are criss-crossed with x’s that form a barrier to the tantalizing fictional space of the images, and in the hazy warmth of the golden hour drawings abstracted characters and symbols diffuse foreground and background.

This luminosity emphasizes the optical and physical experience of the work, with a taut scaffolding of color and structure activating directionality and movement in the picture plane. Pibal’s sleight of hand is evident in the deft calibration of size and scale, with each piece generating its own internal logic and unique specificity of the relationship between line, form, shape, figure, and ground. Divisions of the picture plane serve as foundational axes around which elements or motifs are perfectly or imperfectly repeated, mirrored, or reflected, creating pairings that indicate temporal and kinetic relationships. This organic asymmetry locates either side as a rendition of the other, a site of convergence and divergence that tests the potentials and limits of representation and perception.

The rainbows recurring throughout LUXTC borrow some of the deluxe light of the title, the crisp rendering of the spectrum linking the tangible and intangible aspects of experience and representation. Symbolic of ideal social and natural states, the hybrid beauty of these iconic and fleeting phenomena is simultaneously transcendent and cliche; in Pibal’s paintings they conjure a winking, avant-garde kitsch. Rainbows glide across the show’s centerpiece, RBWCX6, an expansive icon painting with a radiant gold ground, its surface more a projection than container. The opulence of the surface borders on excess, though at oblique angles it nearly de-materializes, converted into raw light."