Ray Turner: Population ~ LBMA

A solo exhibition of nearly 300 portraits by American artist Ray Turner: Population is an expanding series that invites viewers to contemplate identity – individually as well as collectively. Curated by Art Critic Peter Frank and LBMA Executive Director Ron Nelson, the exhibit also includes a selection of photographic interpretations, works on paper, and three-dimensional pieces by Turner. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 16 at 6:00pm ~to~ 9:00pm and the exhibition will continue through Sunday, September 11, 2011.

The portraits in Population, executed primarily with oil paint on glass, feature subjects painted over the last four years, including 60 new works depicting Long Beach community members. The growing cross-section of portraits also includes 150 works that Turner previously painted for the Pasadena Museum of California Art [PMCA] in 2009.

A Population is the set of beings inhabiting a location – organisms belonging to the same species and living in the same geographical area. The term refers to an objective, scientific accounting of human beings. Turner’s Population, however, does not favor representational precision over interpretation. His works search for the inner essence and character of his subjects over physical accuracy. Fluid, much like notions of identity, Turner’s textural paintings vacillate between realism and abstraction. Population entices the viewer to decipher each sitter individually – the facial features, expressions, and emotions as captured in Turner’s sculptural brushwork – as well as search for relationships across the entire group of works.

The psychologically powerful LBMA Population installation presents two interconnected series of works by Turner that function together as a conceptual whole. In the first, Turner has painted the essence of his subjects on uniform glass squares by carefully studying photographic data of his models. In the complementary Good Man/Bad Man series of works, Turner is working expressively from his imagination.

Facial topography informs our opinions of who is ‘good’ and who is bad. Co-curator Peter Frank explains, “Our prejudices, Turner deduces, derive from our facial preoccupation, our need to compare one face with another in order to determine everything from superficial beauty to the nature of the soul.”

With underpinnings in occidental art history, most notably Expressionism and Fauvism, Population’s antecedents include the tempestuous works of Georges Rouault and Vincent Van Gogh, as well as the violent disfigurement of Francis Bacon.

A 168-page, full-color, hardcover monograph, with essays by Rick Gilbert, James Scarborough and Roberta Carasso [PhD] accompanies the exhibition along with an all-new, 128-page, comprehensive catalog with essays by Peter Frank and Ron Nelson.

Generously sponsored by Thrive Foundation for Youth ~ thrivefoundation.org

After Long Beach, Population travels to the Akron Art Museum [OH], Whatcom Museum [Bellingham ~ WA], Tacoma Museum of Glass [WA], Alexandria Museum of Art [VA[, Wichita Art Museum [KS], Huntington Museum of Art [WV], and Missoula Art Museum [MT]. ~ Mikaela Bender [Rivera & Rivera Gallery]

Rivera & Rivera is located at 454 N. Robertson ~ West Hollywood [California] ~ 310.713.1635.

Long Beach Museum of Art Presents
Ray Turner: Population ~ Curated by Peter Frank and Ron Nelson
Thursday, June 16 ~through~ Sunday, September 11, 2011
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 16 @ 6:00pm ~to~ 9:00pm

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