Sink in Synchronicity at Roberts Projects, LA

Roberts Projects extracts a quote from the Dalai Lama “I am open to the guidance of synchronicity and I do not let expectations hinder my path”, to define the context under which we understand Synchronicity. The group show of nine artists is looking to dive into the unknown, the unexpected, and avoid being held back by preconceived ideas of structured truths. Synchronicity will run through December 5th in the LA gallery space. Featured artists range from mid-career to established, viewers will experience a variety of mediums from sculpture to painting to mixed media assemblages. If you’re in the LA area, make sure to schedule your visit here

Ardeshir Tabrizi, Sitting Courtier Interwoven in Yellow, 2020, Graphite and Gouache on Printed Paper Mounted Unto Canvas, Courtesy of the Artist and Roberts Projects, LA

Contributing artists are Amoako Boafo, Daniel Crews-Chubb, Lenz Geerk, Jeffrey Gibson, Wangari Mathenge, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Betye Saar, Kehinde Wiley, and Ardeshir Tabrizi. Their geographical and generational differences reflected in their work present the viewer with a layered dialogue through each artwork. In the exploration of creation in a space of nebulousness, what is celebrated is the artist’s ability to provide an instance of pure imagination in the viewer’s mind. In our day-to-day we acknowledge that events seem to occur as a mixed of planned and unplanned, together producing, well, a human experience.

Jeffrey Gibson, No Simple Word For Time, 2014, Multi Media Sculpture, Courtesy of the Artist and Roberts Projects, LA

Globally arrayed perspectives come together in conversation here in an equally diverse spectrum of styles and forms of craft. For example, the figural sculpture style of Jeffrey Gibson’s No Simple Word For Time, investigates concepts of meaning in identity through detailed texture, as do Ardeshir Tabrizi’s printed compositions of two images panel to make one. 

Dominic Chambers, Understanding the Sky, 2020, Oil on Linen, Courtesy of the Artist and Roberts Projects, LA

Featured in the middle of the floor space, Brenna Youngblood’s X, a strong and powerful exploration of boundaries between the written language and abstraction, contrasts against the bright blue, expressive and abstract Understanding the Sky of Dominic Chambers. The intensely silent Protest Singer by Lenz Geerk intrigues questions of the conceptual boundaries between the object (the guitar) and subject (the singer) that according to Roberts Projects, “expounds on the improbable instance where magical thinking occurs without our knowledge or awareness”.

Lenz Geerk, Protest Singer, 2020, Acrylic on Canvas, Courtesy of the Artist and Roberts Projects, LA, photo by Alan Shaffer

The connective string among the group of artists is therefore an essential take on the visceral reactions we as humans experience in the face of no certainty, and how although change is the only constant in a lifetime, the most special happenings are found in moments of chaos and irregularity. Once the artist is creating in such a space, that is where the real art is produced.

Daniel Crews-Chubb, Mask (Alta Ego), 2020, Oil and Mixed Media on Canvas, Courtesy of the Artist and Roberts Projects, LA

These reflections of “synchronicity” as the Dalai Lama understood it are in essence what strings these artists together to be considered leading figures in their contemporary work. The ability to lose oneself in one’s art, to the point where the hand simply becomes an extension of one’s concept is the reason why the work of these artists is so deeply moving. The outstanding factor in this group show is the clear outlining of the myriad of differences an artist’s style can have versus another, and nevertheless generate the same feeling of genius. As seen above, the quite literally multifaceted canvas of David Crews-Chubb entices the viewer through its textured surface. On the other hand, Wangari Mathenge’s, The Ascendants VI (Imperial Reckoning), (seen below) uses bright coloring and pattern to highlight the presence of the central subject in its identity.

Wangari Mathenge, The Ascendants VI (Imperial Reckoning), 2020, Oil on Canvas, Courtesy of the Artist and Roberts Projects, LA

Driven by instinct and an urge to challenge traditional exhibition models, the gallery opened Synchronicity in phases, “with individual pieces introduced throughout the duration of the exhibit”. The exhibition presents a fantastic exploration within the realm of the uncertain, a concept we know all too well as a dominant component in 2020. 

Installation View at Roberts Projects, LA, Featuring (L-R) Mask (Alta Ego), X, Understanding the Sky, Courtesy of the Artists and Roberts Projects, LA. Photo taken by Robert Wedmeyer