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when line becomes form front HAGNER

When Line Becomes Form


On view: 

July 15, 2017 - September 1, 2017

Opening reception:

Saturday | July 15, 2017 | 6 - 9 PM


A powerful exhibition of personal exploration and acute observation of the human condition.

Brand Library & Art Center is pleased to present artwork by Mark Acetelli, Dirk Hagner, Cindy Jackson, Grey James, Joanna Kidd and Miles Lewis in a powerful exhibition rooted in Expressionism, titled “When Line Becomes Form”.

The assembled artists can skillfully transform simple lines into expressive, emotionally charged images. Their intent is not to create realistic reproductions of human form and features, but to expose the deep feelings of their subjects and themselves.

In the early 1900’s the Expressionist movement rose in response to a widespread anxiety about humanity’s increasingly discordant relationship with the world. A century later, perhaps under similar motivation, these 6 artists create meaningful work that comes from within and that is capable of conveying the human condition.

“Incomprehensible ideas express themselves in comprehensible forms” - August Macke

WLBF _ MARK ACETELLIMark Acetelli’s paintings are inspired by the intensely personal and introspective journey of life and it’s ever changing complexities. Acetelli endeavors to capture elements of the physical and imbue those forms with deeper emotions, invoking the spiritual. It is his desire is to elicit a feeling rather than to depict a defined image through a process he calls “Absence and Presence” where, using primarily oils and encaustics, he continuously builds up and tears down, adding and subtracting to create his thickly layered canvases. It is a visceral dance between the conscious and the unconscious until an emotion is expressed. Acetelli’s influences span the from the German Expressionist movement through Lyrical Abstraction into Neo-Expressionism and beyond.

Mark Acetelli’s work has been shown internationally in group shows and art fairs and in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles. His paintings have been used in a number of television and movie projects and can be found in an impressive number of private and corporate collections around the world. Originally from Detroit, MI, Acetelli now works and lives in Pasadena, CA.

DIRK HAGNERDirk Hagner looks for ways to combine new and old techniques and ideas in his work. He constantly finds himself drawing historic, geographic, political and artistic connections to the past. Old processes like letterpress and etching are joined with photo intaglio and fax machine. Influences from European and American art meet the sensibilities of line and space of the Far East. New ideas refer to old concepts and traditional methods express contemporary content. In his series of large woodblock portraits the majority of the subjects are writers and artists associated with literary, political and visual art movements, or public figures whose iconic visages have become intertwined in our minds with profound quotations and world-changing slogans. His aim is to treat these subjects as discursive presences, people with stories to tell, people we tell stories about, people whose very presence before us stimulates our sensitivity to word and image alike. In his treatment of these figures, which subtly mimics the stylizations associated with their eras, Hagner heightens and refines this stimulation by using woodcut, with its forced economy of marks. This process yields unmatched boldness of expression, giving him the artistic medium to achieve his vision.

Dirk Hagner was born, raised and educated in Germany, where he studied at the Folkwang School of Fine Arts, University of Essen receiving his MFA. He has exhibited his work extensively throughout the United States and is the recipient of numerous awards and recognition. His work can be found in private and public collections including the Bakersfield Museum of Art. He has lived in the United States since the 1980’s a currently is Professor of Printmaking and Drawing at Mt. San Antonio College, CA.

CINDY JACKSONCindy Jackson’s grand and expressive sculptures capture the complexities of both psychological and physical constitution. Explaining the essence of her sculpture she stated, “Look deeply into my work and you’ll see that it is not about the figure itself, but about the internal emotional worlds that sit within those boundaries.” Jackson’s skill and deep knowledge of human anatomy allowed her the freedom to explore the truth in a figure, rather than accuracy. Her figures, with exaggerated limbs and appendages, twisted torsos and facial expressions, are metaphorical, revealing the intricate internal space and true expression of the subject.  Cindy Jackson was an internationally recognized, award winning artist. She studied at Southern Illinois University, Webster University, and Art Center College of Design, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Bachelor of Science degree. She was the director of academic affairs at Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art from 2008 to 2010 and taught at Art Center College of Design and Pasadena City College, among other schools and organizations. Cindy passed away earlier this year after an unfair battle with Cancer. She was most loved and will forever be missed by her family, friends, and all those who were fortunate enough to know her.

GREY JAMESGrey James’ work is wholly personal and intimate. As described by gallerist Bert Green, “His paintings and mixed media work reflects his personal exploration of gender identity and transition.  In part an iconography of yearning, and in part a symbolism of incomplete states of being, his work is rooted in a conviction that the journey – what is “next” - is more important than the destination.”

Grey James received his BFA in Painting/Printmaking from Long Island University. His work has been shown extensively in Los Angeles and New York and his artwork can be found in numerous private and corporate collections. James currently calls Glendale, CA home.


JOANNA KIDDJoanna Kidd’s bas relief portraits explore the space between the sculptural representation of a three dimensional object and the visual illusion of a three dimensional space created with line in drawing. The images are raised in high relief, combining the three dimensional depth of sculpture and the illusion of depth on a flat surface of drawing. This creates distortions when the sculptures are seen from different angles and lends the sculptures a curious animation as one moves around them. Kidd’s visible manipulation of the clay medium enhances the expressive quality of each subject, and although it is clear that each portrait is deeply felt, the subjects remain unknown and synthesize to represent the human condition as a whole.

Joanna Kidd is a northern California printmaker, sculptor, and video installation artist. After graduating in Philosophy and Cognitive Science from Dartmouth College, she studied Printmaking and Sculpture at San Francisco State University. She then moved to Florence, Italy where she received a BFA and an MFA from the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. She has been an Artist in Residence at Everglades National Park, Arts Benicia, and with the California Society of Printmakers.

She has participated in exhibitions and video festivals in Europe and the United States. Her work is included in the collection of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. She currently teaches at Yuba College and Woodland Community College.

MILES LEWISMiles Lewis presents unusual points of contact in his work, with the sense that they are the granular make-up of change, progress, humor, and diversity. He uses drawing to illustrate these points and painting to materialize them. His observational studies; in the form of life drawing, portraiture, and still life, makes up a supportive body of images where he gathers information and develops ideas.

Miles Lewis is an artist, educator, and art-organizer in the San Fernando Valley. He's a graduate of Cal State University Northridge and has exhibited internationally as a painter and printmaker. He directs a community school called the Valley Art Workshop, presenting master classes with artists from around Los Angeles as well as college-preparatory and open community programming.


Make It!  

Saturday | AUGUST 19, 2017 | 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


HOURS | MON - CLOSED | TUE - THU 11AM - 8PM  |  FRI - SUN 10AM - 5PM
818.548.2051  |  |

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