Young-Il Ahn, California 2003-I; Oil on canvas, 48” x 52”. Images courtesy of the Long Beach Museum of Art.
Opening this Friday, the Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) will present nearly 50 large abstract paintings spanning 35 years of work from Korean-American artist Young-Il Ahn, whose meticulously patterned pieces reflect his life in California, having left a war-torn Korea in 1966.
“I have been deeply changed by living the past half century in California, and as long as I live I’ll look to put on canvas ideas that reflect the transformation which California has made in me,” Ahn has said.
In the Hartman Pavilion Young-Il Ahn: When Sky Meets Water is the artist’s second exhibition at the LBMA. His first solo exhibition was shown in 2015 and drew curators from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to visit Long Beach to see his work. Ahn has since become the first Korean-American artist to show at LACMA with Unexpected Light: Works by Young Il Ahn on view through January 21, 2018.
When Sky Meets Water differs by featuring four new artworks, and paintings from his Musicians, California and Water series.
Ann Weber, Cloud, Green 2016, Found cardboard, staples, polyurethane, 64 x 45 x 12 inches
“In his paintings, the water and beach resonate as much as the tones of music that Ahn paints and plays,” states the LBMA. “He also finds inspiration on the canvas from his love of music as evidenced in the Cellist from his Musician Series. The exhibition is a symphony of color. Looking at these paintings one can very nearly hear the vibrations of a flute or clarinet or cello, or even, perhaps the deep sonorous sounds of the deep Pacific Ocean.”
The exhibition includes semi abstract and abtract works from the 80s to present day, with their titles pointing toward Ahn’s sources of inspiration, Lake Isabella, Harbor, Clarinet Player, Oceanside, San Pedro, Love, California, Water and Self Reflection.
“Each of us can use the same color and feel it (in a) totally different way,” Ahn says. “When the time is different you feel the color differently than you felt it before, so the time, the feeling and light all came together in color.”
Young-Il Ahn: When Sky Meets Water will run through January 28, 2018.
Also opening Friday alongside Ahn’s retrospective is the work of Ann Weber in the Lane Oceanview Gallery. Weber’s large-scale cardboard constructions in Moon Over San Pedro, made between 2015 and 2016 include Cloud, Green 2016 and Little Cloud, Blue 2016 (pictured) show the artist’s hand in refining found cardboard into woven art, using cut out strips and weaving to create rounded, colorful forms.
Ann Weber, Little Cloud, Blue, 2016, Found cardboard, staples, polyurethane, 24 x 14 x 12 inches.
Weber has been practicing sculpture since the 90s, studying ceramics with Viola Frey in the Bay Area, only to be drawn to manipulating more common materials such as cardboard and staples, which refer to her studies of art historical movements, such as Italy’s Arte Povera in the 60s and 70s where artists used unconventional materials and found objects in their work.
The sculptures in Moon Over San Pedro reference Southern California, as Weber finds inspiration from her current location, having moved her studio from the Bay Area to San Pedro after many years.
Moon Over San Pedro will run through February 4, 2018.
For more information, check out the LBMA’s website here.
The Long Beach Museum of Art is located at 2300 East Ocean Boulevard.