contemporary art salon



January 8 - January 22, 2010
Reception: Friday, January 8: 3 pm - 8pm

THE LIVINGROOM is proud to present, East Coast Meets West Coast, a two-person exhibition featuring cutting-edge pieces by Charles Fresquez, a New Mexico minimalist painter, and James Huckenpahler, a digital painter based out of Washington D.C.

Charles Fresquez will be presenting a new set of his luminous cast acrylic and enamel works that include parallel and perpendicular lines of pastel hues. Reminding the viewer of a combination between color field and minimalist painting, the artist's paintings gently allude to the concept of light within the mechanical precision of electronic music such as Crystal Castles, Kraftwerk, Gyorgy Ligeti, and ADULT. With precisely engineered lines which are ultimately manmade marks,

Fresquez also evokes the neon sculptures of Dan Flavin and the monochrome white paintings of Robert Ryman while creating unique works embedded in a rigid formalism tempered by the softness of the slowly creeping colored lines in pinks, yellows, blues, etc. Other art historical references include a comparison between New Mexico abstraction and West Coast minimalism in light of the works of other artists such as John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Raymond Jonson, and Frederick Hammersley. As the light hits upon the smooth surfaces of these paintings, one can perceive the tension between heavy density of block-like hues held together by the mesh of wire-like structures.

As a contrast to Fresquez's handcrafted panels, James Huckenpahler is showing his newly created set of digital paintings executed strictly in black, grey, and white forms sweeping across the surface of his works. Originally intended as vinyl stickers created within Photoshop to be placed all around a city like abstract graffiti, the artist's printed works are designed in an unlimited edition that draws the viewer's attention into the plunging depths of seemingly random yet tightly mathematical architectures that depict otherworldly landscapes of the personal imagination resembling fractals and chaos theory. Huckenpahler's limited use of colors suggest that a subtle range of hues and forceful shapes can express a dynamic gamut of emotions. The artist's exciting application of new media techniques suggests that the future of painting can incorporate non-traditional approaches to produce a more traditional visual output of mesmerizing stature.

This two-person show offers a fascinating contrast between two rather impressive artists. Themes such as analog versus digital painting, minimalist lines versus maximalist curves, order versus cacophony, pastel colors versus greyscale colors all point to a playful standoff between the craftsman from the East Coast and the craftsman from the West Coast. The viewer can appreciate the stunning differences in methodology in studio practice which lead to beautifully rendered artworks, each with a unique fingerprint of style and conceptual focus.

Charles Fresquez, who is a minimalist painter, lives and works in Albuquerque and is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. His works have been exhibited in many venues including the Richard Levy Gallery, the Donkey Gallery, the National Hispanic Cultural Center Art Museum, Queens Nails Projects, and the Albuquerque Museum. He is represented by the Richard Levy Gallery.

James Huckenpahler is a Washington D.C.-based artist who is a graduate from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. His innovative digital works have been shown in many places including the Fusebox, Charles Cowles Gallery, the Arlington Arts Center, Hemphill Fine Arts, and the Civilian Art Projects. He is represented also by Hemphill Fine Arts.

THE LIVINGROOM is a contemporary art salon devoted to conceptual projects founded by Salt Lake City artists Julie Dunker and qi peng. The space is located in the Holladay district at 2105 Fardown Avenue. The hours are Friday, 3pm-6pm; Saturday, 10am-3pm; and by appointment. For more information, call (505) 228-1268 or email: