Elisabeth Condon's paintings and her punk L.A.

arts / Article

November 9, 2012 by Anne Tschida

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Elisabeth Condon's "Cracked Actor."

The frenzied art season is here. Many of the exhibits opening up this weekend in the galleries and institutions will be their Art Basel shows, like the solo one at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (a Knight Arts grantee), Elisabeth Condon’s “The Seven Seas.”

The title may suggest some kind of nautical theme, or artworks built around the idea of journeys – but really it is a journey back in retro time, to the 1980s. But first, a journey into Condon’s art history.

Condon's "Hang On To Yourself."

Although she draws and uses collage, the Los Angeles native is mostly known for her paint, big, bright swaths of it, creating colorful images that somehow still have a L.A. aesthetic to it (she now lives in Brooklyn and Tampa). However, her works should be familiar to South Florida audiences, as she shows frequently at the Dorsch Gallery and at the various satellite fairs that land in town in early December. But while there are pop pulls to her work, the artist also explains that Classic Chinese scroll paintings, those delicate landscapes that held close to a distinct pattern and form. Her work is a mixture of free-flowing and precise placement in the Chinese tradition.

For her outing at the Hollywood center, she is showing painting and drawings. Now, back to the title: The Seven Seas was the name of a nightclub from the 1970s and early '80s, a time and place if you know that era where maybe Black Flag and the Go-Go’s were spinning (or playing). These current paintings “merge the architecture, décor, fashion and palette of the city’s nightclubs….Glitter, New Wave and Punk aesthetics culled from personal memories and media images.” We are are welcome to take that trip down memory lane, in the meeting space of Condon’s artwork.

“The Seven Seas” runs through Jan. 13 at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood; artandculturecenter.org.

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