Tanya Batura in "Meticulosity" at the Ben Maltz Gallery - Los Angeles Times Review

April 28– July 7, 2012Meticulosity - Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design Curators: Meg Linton and John David O'Brien Poets selected by Graduate Writing Chair Paul Vangelisti Press Release (pdf)


'Meticulosity' aims to reconnect the conceptual, visual

It's a meeting of the mind and spirit for the Southern California-based artists in Otis College of Art and Design's multimedia exhibition.

By Leah Ollman, Special to the Los Angeles Times / April 29, 2012

For the full article on the Los Angeles Times website go HERE

As exhibition titles go, "Meticulosity" is more of a speed bump than an open door or clearly marked path. The term looks familiar but sounds odd. It compels us to slow down, proceed with care.

"We tried to stake out a word that's not commonly used, so people wouldn't bring a fixed meaning to it," explains writer and independent curator John David O'Brien, who organized the group show at Otis College of Art and Design's Ben Maltz Gallery with director Meg Linton. "Meticulosity" is an antiquated term for "scrupulousness," with origins in the Latin root for "fearful" — a nod, write the curators in their manifesto-like catalog essay, to the urgency and meaning that are at stake in the art they've gathered.

"Meticulosity can frame the ideas behind the work and the process the artists use, a weaving back and forth between solutions," says O'Brien. "We describe it as a meditative process. It's a painstaking exactitude."

The show, which was scheduled to open Saturday and runs through July 7, features 11 Southern California-based artists working in a range of media: painting, digital collage, stone sculpture, altered textiles, installation, photography and video. They span several generations, from Samira Yamin, not quite 30 and yet to have a solo show, to Arthur Taussig, who has been exhibiting since the '70s. Their work engages subjects across the spectrum from the personal to the political. What they have in common, according to the curators, is an approach that tightly fuses the visual and the conceptual.

Much art throughout history would fit this description but less consistently so the art of the last 40 years. The rise of conceptualism in the late '60s tipped the balance toward art that is more about crafting ideas than objects. The increasing academization of the art world and the shift, among many artists, to a practice that involves actions outside the studio rather than objects made within it, have reinforced that notion of divergence: beauty headed in one direction, brains another. Either/Or. "Meticulosity" makes a case for And.

For the full article on the Los Angeles Times website go HERE

Copyright © 2012, Los Angeles Times


TANYA BATURA: "Achromic": New Sculpture

For immediate release:

Tanya Batura Achromic: New Sculpture

January 7 – February 11, 2012 Opening reception for the artist Saturday January 7th 6-8pm

[portfolio_slideshow showtitles=true]

Western Project is proud to present the third solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist, Tanya Batura. Titled, "Achromic", this body of sculptures are heroic in scale and mounted on multifaceted wood plinths.

More idiosyncratic than ever, Batura’s new works utilize classical Greco-Roman stylization juxtaposed with geometric interruptions in both form and surface. The sculptures and plinths are a pristine, anonymous white. The use of white color recalls marble stone, while the geometric interruptions possibly allude to historic or chipped works from another culture. The influence of the 19th century artist Canova is also most evident in this body of work; Batura’s ‘heads’ refer to his minimalist portraits, though speak of a fusion of technology and the human body.

The pieces are built by hand with out assistants or molds; painstakingly crafted out of clay and sprayed with thirty plus layers of acrylic paint. It is Batura’s meticulous tweaking of conventional formalism that gives a sensual and often erotic sensibility to the works. Clearly in the lineage of the late Louise Bourgeois and John McCracken, her sculptures present both a psychological intimacy and a removal of personality; perhaps a conceptual control of form and desire, now the perfect image.

Batura’s sculptures are in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas, Portland Art Museum, Oregon, and the Arizona State University Art Museum. She has been featured in Beautiful Decay magazine and has exhibited in museums and galleries across the United States.

Batura will be featured in the upcoming exhibition, Meticulosity, curated by Meg Linton and John O’Brian @ Otis College of Art and Design April 28 – July 7, 2012

For further information and images contact the gallery at 310-838-0609 or cliff@western-project.com / erin@western-project.com

On view in the West Room: JOHN SCHLUE: New Paintings

Western Project - The First Six Years / Group Show / 2009

November 7 – December 30, 2009 Opening reception Saturday November 7th 5-8pm.

Jason Adkins, Oliver Arms, Ron Athey, Tanya Batura, Heimir Björgúlfsson, Daniel Brice, Thomas Burke, Carole Caroompas, Cole Case, Exene Cervenka, Kris Chatterson, Justin Dahlberg, Michael Dee, Tom of Finland, Eric Freeman, Sush Machida Gaikotsu, Martin Gunsaullus, Ellina Kevorkian, Patrick Lee, Bob Mizer, Michael Reafsnyder, Nancy Riegelman, Chad Robertson, Joe Schmelzer, Aaron Sheppard, Arne Svneson, Vincent Valdez, Mark Dean Veca, Wayne White, Eve Wood, Yek

Western Project is pleased to present, The First Six Years, an anniversary exhibition of the gallery and its artists. Thirty one artists are included with new or recent works. The exhibition is also a celebration of the founding of the arts community in Culver City; Western Project being the third gallery to open its doors in November of 2003.

Sculpture Part I / Group Show / 2008

May 28 – June 18, 2008Opening reception: Saturday May 31st 5-8pm

Jason Adkins Tanya Batura Heimir Björgúlfsson Michael Dee

Western Project is proud to present the exhibition, SCULPTURE, in two separate exhibitions. The first part features four distinct sensibilities. Jason Adkins’ cage sculptures refer to cargo, confinement and minimalist aesthetics. Tanya Batura’s exquisite ceramic works are portraits of the unvarnished subconscious; both disturbing and serene. Heimir Björgúlfsson sees nature and culture as inseparable in his enigmatic found object works. Michael Dee’s flaming red Mylar sculptures are melted monuments atop cardboard boxes, revealing the candor and transience of beauty and emotion. The collision of methodologies in this exhibition produces a chorus of inquiry as to the possibilities of manifestation.

Tanya Batura: Monochroma / New Sculpture / 2008

September 6 – October 4, 2008 Opening reception Saturday September 6th 5-8pm

Western Project is proud to present Monochroma, the second solo exhibition of sculpture by Tanya Batura.  An MFA graduate from UCLA in 2003, Batura continues her exploration of formalism, erotica, and the purity of Antonio Canova’s marble portraits.  With astonishing technical wizardry, the artist utilizes her minimal vocabulary to evoke both modern and ancient sensibilities.  Each head in this series of seven portraits is painted with a dark coloration, a drastic change from her familiar white works, but now infusing the work with a heightened sense of drama and sensuality.  By reducing the images into formal structures, Batura’s stark perfection recalls figures from the Greco-Roman and 19th century Neo-Classical ages, images from the films Dune and Event Horizon and the work of Louise Bourgeois.

Batura’s sculptures are in the collections of the Portland Art Museum in Oregon, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas and the Arizona State University Art Museum.  She was recently featured in Beautiful Decay magazine and has shown in museums and galleries across the United States.

In This house That I Call Home: Group Show / 2006

January 7 – February 4, 2006 Reception for the artists Saturday, January 7th 5-8pm

Oliver Arms Ron Athey Tanya Batura Carole Caroompas Cole Case Justin Dahlberg Katie Herzog Matthew Jordan Lisa Mraz John Scaraga Joe Schmelzer John Schlue Wayne White

Western Project begins the New Year with a group exhibition exploring ideas and experiences of the home. From heaven, to hell and back, it is interpreted by this group of artists with conviction and authority. Carole Caroompas realigns the myth of Rapunzal and her crumbling castle in a huge and complex canvas; accompanied by Ron Athey’s hair towels made of woven wigs - quite the untraditional handicrafts. Matthew Jordan photographs the silence and order of his bedroom, while Lisa Mraz hangs her linens out to dry on a most caustic laundry line. John Scaraga fatigues images of men and women from fashion magazines by hand – a lone and peculiar activity, equaled by Tanya Batura’s Inhale/Exhale S & M ceramic heads. John Schlue paints recipe cards from his Midwestern kitchen invoking a kind of high caloric minimalism, homespun and as purposely skewed as Wayne White’s Americana relic paintings. Katie Herzog dreams of her cat (XXX) and Joe Schmelzer continues the documentation of his life with his two partners. All in all, there are no rules, party or not, but there is a vibrancy of life that defies categories and boxes, and variance is the key and the practice. The mystery of life bubbles up through our own living room – fantastic, frightening and exhilarating – reasonable and fucked up – horny and monastic – loving and with a sharpened sword – the artists hold up the looking glass, and it is unexpectedly beautiful.

(Thank you Exene and John)

Tanya Batura: Beautiful Dreams / New Sculpture / 2006

March 25 – April 29, 2006 Reception for the artist Saturday March 25th, 5-8pm.

Western Project is proud to present the first solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist, Tanya Batura. An MFA graduate of UCLA in 2003, Batura has created a body of work called, Beautiful Dreams, figurative works in a stark and minimal vocabulary, hand built in clay and pristinely finished. Her technical virtuosity is formidable; a haunting perfection of form and surface. Each work is an anonymous and androgynous portrait; life size heads possibly sleeping, dreaming or restrained, each a contrast of pristine materiality and emotion.

It is Batura’s particularly curious blend of historical references: the severe restraint of Canova’s marble faces, the earthy quality of Kiki Smith, and the outside the box thinking of David Cronenberg, which creates these images of complex feeling and drama. Further, Batura has compounded the allure of fetish magazine imagery with Classical notions of beauty, blending them into an erotic ideal. Joining old and new cultural visions brings a familiar sense and uneasiness to her sculptures; a slick and seductive authority, achingly pregnant with possibilities, encouraging us to look deeper into our own sleeping desires and fantasies.