11 YEARS - Anniversary Group Show: December 6 - 23, 2014

11th year Anniversary Exhibition

Ron Athey / Josh Bolin / Daniel Brice / Thomas Burke / Carole Caroompas / Cole Case / Alec Egan / Samantha Fields / Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose / Tim Forcum / Eric Freeman / Sush Machida Gaikotsu / Margaret Griffith / Dion Johnson / Ali Kheradyar / Patrick Lee / Joe Lloyd / Zachari Logan / Bob Mizer / Matthew Penkala / Nancy Riegelman / Chad Robertson / Joe Schmelzer / Nicolas Shake / Aaron Sheppard / Arne Svenson / Christian Tedeschi / Tom of Finland / Mark Dean Veca / Wayne White / Jessica Wimbley

Western Project proudly presents our 11th Year Anniversary Exhibition marking a decade and a year of programming. As one of the pioneer galleries of the Culver City arts district, the show will include gallery artists and some special guests; each an irregular, unruly and often impolite force of nature, all burdened with the disease of individual thinking and a call to find a greater depth of human experience. We celebrate with abandon and humor, knowing our job is yet unfinished.

Thomas Burke - New Paintings - September 8 - October 6, 2012

Thomas Burke New Paintings

September 8 – October 6, 2012

Opening reception for the artist Saturday September 8th 6 – 8pm

Western Project is proud to present our second exhibition of paintings by Thomas Burke. Originally from Boulder City, Nevada and a graduate of University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Burke has been a resident of Brooklyn, New York since 2005. As a cerebral painter, this body of work continues his interest in systems, minimalism, and Op Art from the 1960s and 70s; with the computer as a drawing tool, his images also explore contemporary graphic design, digital technology and the history of hard-edged abstract, geometric painting.

Burke states:

Lately it has occurred to me that my subject is in fact pleasure and complexity, the way that they are linked, the feeling of reward we get from problem-solving, as fundamental and hard-wired as the pleasures of eating, sleeping, and other key survival activities.  It’s my intention to make an art that can compete for attention in a hyper visual world, while creating and resolving formal painting problems with style.

To that end, as a starting point, I draw inspiration from mid-century California hard-edge painters like John McLaughlin and Frederick Hammersley, both masters of formal gamesmanship and elegant compositional balancing acts.  At the same time, I’m greatly interested in the concerns of perceptual art, a genre of painting I adore not leastwise for it’s inclusiveness (one needn’t have a knowledge of art history to enjoy Op-art),  but also for the way its static images engage the viewer in the conscious act of looking. "

The new paintings are both diamond shaped, and circular. As a nod to Frank Stella’s unusual shaped works from the 1960’s, Burke also playfully skates the tradition of Mondrian’s grid compositions. While the later referenced a universal balance of nature, Burke’s language is enmeshed in issues of industry, cyber-languages, and urban architecture. One can see the dynamic cubist cityscapes of Lyonel Feininger’s paintings from the early 20th century as well as the expertly crafted pin-striping of American hot rod car culture. It is the contradictions in his work which produce a kind of dynamism; mathematical vs. optical illusion, or psychedelic vs. classicism; a human framework for slippery concepts.

He writes:

“….the painterly act is one that is ultimately intuitive”.

Thomas Burke received his BFA from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas in 2002 and in 2004 attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has exhibited with Ameringer McEnery Yohe in New York, and Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard in Paris, France. His work was highlighted in the Las Vegas Diaspora: The Emergence of Contemporary Art from the Neon Homeland curated by Dave Hickey at the Las Vegas Art Museum in 2007 and the Laguna Beach Art Museum in 2008. Burke currently resides and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Thomas Burke: New Paintings / 2003

November 8 – December 24, 2003 Reception for the artist:  Saturday, November 8th 5 – 9pm.

Cliff Benjamin and Erin Kermanikian are pleased to announce the opening of a new space for art:  Western Project. The gallery is located in the heart of downtown Culver City, in close proximity to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Western Project will focus on emerging and mid career artists from the US and Europe, as well as special exhibitions by internationally established artists.

Western Project is proud to present the inaugural exhibition of works by Thomas Burke. This is the artist’s first solo show after graduating from UNLV last year. Burke is a resident of Bolder City, Nevada and maintains a studio in Las Vegas. The artist has worked for a year producing paintings that are at once startling, cerebral, and extravagantly beautiful. Using the computer as drawing tool, Burke constructs his images into paintings:

“.. It’s partly about logic systems and partly about the physical visual experience.  I am interested in making paintings that go, paintings whose integrated elements work in different ways at different speeds…..  I would describe the paintings as logic-based hardedge geometric abstractions.  Designed on a deteriorating logic system, they exist somewhere between the convergence of contemporary graphic design, digital technology, op and pop art, and the inheritance of hard-edge geometric abstraction.  At this point my primary effort is to make these three elements, color, design, and space, equally interesting and equally involved in the viewing experience.”

The result is works that continue the tradition of abstract painting with a memory of Frank Stella, Hans Hoffman and Sol Lewitt, with the flavor of the Futurists and their interest in technology, industry and motion. Burke’s airbrush paintings appear familiar yet feel oddly not; converging elements that are simultaneously cyber and classic with the proposition that all space is human.

For images and further information, please contact the gallery at: (310) 838-0609 or western-project.com