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NICOLE IRENE ANDERSON + Miguel Arzabe

Johansson Projects presents a two-person show for FOG Focus with Bay Area artists Miguel Arzabe and Nicole Irene Anderson. These two artists transpose traditional art mediums by creating works that intersect contemporary textiles and ancestral connections, altered landscapes and the effects of climate change. The presentation showcases the powerful synergy between the two distinct art forms, highlighting the artists’ shared focus of color, texture and our connection to the land.

These works are on view: Thursday, January 18–Saturday, January 20, 2024, 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. and Sunday, January 21, 2024, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

For all inquiries email info@johanssonprojects.com

Miguel Arzabe

For this series of work, I started out with two paintings. There is something very appealing to me about weaving a painting that is already fully realized – the composition, the palette – has already been well-considered. These works already have their own presence. I’m aiming to maintain some original integrity of the original work, and bring something new to it by weaving them together.

Watch

Miguel weaving “La Cara Rayada IV” in his studio

Miguel Arzabe blends traditional art forms of Bolivian textiles, which have been passed down through generations, with abstract Modernist paintings to bridge the gap between the past and the present. The practice of weaving paintings together serves as a symbol of unity between his Bolivian heritage and modern and contemporary art, as well as the polytheistic traditions of pre-Columbian cultures, where he explores themes of cultural identity, familial lines, a deep care for the environment and indigenous practices. Bolivian history is a mosaic of indigenous traditions, colonial influences, and modern realities, which Arzabe honors through a visual dialogue that speaks to both our shared humanity and distinctive roots. There are significant connections to nature in his works, as he uses them to evoke a sense of grounding in our rapidly changing world.

Mining the Western canon of modernist painting, Arzabe creates acrylic paintings on canvas that are cut into strips and woven together by hand. His unique patterns are inspired by Andean motifs and symbology that are rooted in the oldest active textile tradition in the world. Arzabe’s woven paintings generate self-knowledge through the dismantling of hierarchy between racial identities.

La Cara Rayada III (2024), Woven acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 inches
La Cara Rayada II (2023), Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 48 x 60 inches

La Jaguar Alada (2023), Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, hand-crafted walnut frame, 80 x 54 inches, framed dimensions 81 x 55 inches

La Cara Rayada I (2023), Woven acrylic on canvas, 48 x 60 inches
Tiburón Ballena (2023), Woven acrylic on canvas and linen, 50 x 46 inches
La Cara Rayada IV (2023), Woven acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 inches

NICOLE
IRENE
ANDERSON

“I create paintings and drawings that convey a collective uneasiness and human vulnerability reflective of our current times. I explore complex questions of land, home, and the psychological impact of expansion in the American West through the language of the landscape centered around my home state of California.”

Working in oil, casein, and drawing media, Nicole Irene Anderson creates paintings and drawings that convey collective uneasiness and human vulnerability reflective of our current times. She explores complex questions of land, home, and the psychological impact of expansion in the American West through the language of the landscape centered around her home state of California. These contemplative works bring forth multiple associations and conflicting emotions regarding our environment: the often personal and tender memories of home, the comfort and beauty of the ordinary landscape, painful histories, and the anxieties of living in a world forever altered by human-caused climate change.

Anderson travels to locations throughout California, searching for areas that elicit a response triggering the nervous system where environmental damage, human alteration, or architectural remnants of the past are noticeable. She documents these visual tensions between pain and beauty with her camera and uses the photographs as source material for her compositions. These everyday places become visual metaphors for more significant societal and environmental concerns, advocating for empathy and care that should be practiced for the land we inhabit.

Taking Measurement of Glory (2023), Oil on panel, 62 x 54 inches
The Dark Pools (2023), Oil on panel, 32 x 40 x 1 inches
When Autumn Touched the Trees (2023), Oil on panel, 44 x 60 x 1.5 inches