Opening 29 October 2022

Making a Mark: Abstraction in the Ahmanson Collection

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—Curator: John Silvis

—Catalogue Text: Jennifer R. Gross


Exhibition Dates: October 29-December 30, 2022


Irvine, California: The upcoming exhibition in the Ahmanson Gallery, Making a Mark, will feature twenty-one art works by twenty artists in the Ahmanson Collection. The exhibition presents a cross-generational survey of contemporary positions in abstraction that makes a case for its vitality. 


More established artists in the exhibition like Sam Gilliam and Maja Lisa Engelhardt create a fertile context for a younger generation of artists, such as Genesis Tramaine and Linnéa Spransy, that push the boundaries of abstraction. This vibrancy extends to how many of the artists experiment with a broad spectrum of materials. Artists Sheila Hicks and Miranda Fengyuan Zhang use the medium of textile to open up new conceptual conversations that are far removed from their craft-based origins. Playing with the contrasting poles of geometric abstraction and expressive brushwork, the paintings and objects in this exhibition propose a celebratory counterpoint to an angst-ridden lineage of abstraction by introducing a reversal of scale, code switching materials, and injecting elements of personal narratives into the mix.


In her art historically rich catalogue essay, Jennifer R. Gross states that: “We come to art for an exchange of values, to wrestle with what it means to be human, to endeavor to bridge the gap between what we know and the mysteries that are inherent in life.” The beauty and energy of the Making a Mark exhibition are a visual manifestation of the creativity of the human spirit. 


ARTISTS: El Anatsui, Karel Appel, Heather Day, Leonardo Drew, Maja Lisa Engelhardt, Sam Gilliam, Ale Groen, Tim Hawkinson, Sheila Hicks, Erin Lawlor, Meg Lipke, Zoë Paul, Linnéa Gabriella Spransy, Liliane Tomasko, Genesis Tramaine, Patricia Treib, Christine Turner, Merrill Wagner, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Fengyuan Zhang.