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Walter Maciel Gallery – Illusions of a Perfect Utopia: Contemporary Landscape

Walter Maciel Gallery – Illusions of a Perfect Utopia: Contemporary Landscape

It is my honor to be included with this amazing group of artists!

Here are some images of my contribution to this fantastic group exhibition.

Walter Maciel, walter@waltermacielgallery.com, 310-839-1840


Illusions of a Perfect Utopia: Contemporary Landscape

11 January – 15 February 2014


Walter Maciel Gallery presents Illusions of a Perfect Utopia: Contemporary Landscape featuring works by both gallery and invited artists who explore the subject of landscape as a literal, abstract or fantastical space embodying notions of beauty, imagination, memory, turmoil and natural disaster. The show includes work by Kelly Berg, Rebeca Bollinger, Ismael de Anda III, Colin Doherty, Amir H. Fallah, Cynthia Ona Innis, John Jurayj, Dean Monogenis, Pepa Prieto, Ramon Ramirez and Lisa Solomon.


John Jurayj will exhibit the painting Untitled (December 15, 1981, #1) which displays historic imagery of architectural remnants affected by the civil war in Lebanon. Rendered in a graphic style and powerful palette, an explosive array of a crumbling building embodies the majority of the pictorial field with an unscathed tower seen in the background. Jurayj’s father was born and raised in Beirut and although he left before the civil war began, many of his relatives stayed behind to deal with the aftermath. In contrast, Kelly Berg depicts scenes of natural disasters such as wild fires, volcanoes and tornados using illustrative patterning and iridescent colors framed within thick impasto pigments. The work examines human vulnerability of living within the different phenomena’s of nature and often based on personal experience. The painting entitled El Diablo de Los Angeles displays a large grass fire burning across a vast array of hills with mountain peaks in the background. The scene was literally captured by the artists from her apartment window in Los Angeles. Lisa Solomon addresses the notions of natural destruction from a similar perspective resulting from human error. Included in the show is a series of crocheted trees grouped together as a pedestal-top installation interpreting the NASA satellite photos of the deforestation of Tierras Bajas in Bolivia. The work is a political statement on human consumption and the destruction of the once abundant rain forest and its habitat. Solomon explores subjects of disasters, harmful chemicals and biohazards by transforming them into beautiful handmade sculptures and drawings that incorporate her use of different stitchery.


Ismael de Anda III works within the context of memory to explore his experience of growing up in a border city within his Mexican American heritage. The large interactive sculpture Lazaro is a recreation of a glider-swing that was originally built by his grandfather on his farm in Southwestern Texas. It was built purely from memory and relates to the transient existence and recollection of his grandfather’s property on the banks of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo rivers. The context of memory is further explored in the work of Cynthia Ona Innis and her relationship to urban and rural terrains. Using collaged materials such as fabric and acrylic mediums, Innis creates abstract shapes and textured surfaces that hint at notions of landscape with distinct horizon lines and vague interpretations of nature. The work examines memory and experience played out in a traditional studio practice of conceptual painting which she first began while living in the rural woods during a winter residence at MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire.