American Soil

Tomory Dodge · Angelina Gualdoni · Brad Kahlhamer · Nicola Lopez · Frank Magnotta · Lisa Sanditz

The inaugural exhibition for the first floor galleries, American Soil unites six artists (Tomory Dodge, Angelina Gualdoni, Brad Kahlhamer, Nicola Lopez, Frank Magnotta, and Lisa Sanditz) whose works are informed by the landscape of America – be it rural, suburban, or urban. They address failed utopias, obsession with real estate development, rampant technology, and architecture seemingly at odds with its environment or intended purpose.

Los Angeles artist Tomory Dodge’s lush paintings often portray an American landscape in violent disarray and upheaval. It is a landscape of abandonment and decay. Likewise, Angelina Gualdoni’s works are often inspired by out-of-business shopping malls and the abandoned theme parks that increasingly populate the American landscape. Her deteriorating, neglected buildings suggest the transience of life and indignities of old age. Gualdoni was born in San Francisco and raised in St. Louis, and is now based out of Chicago and New York.

Nicola Lopez’s installations and works on paper depict images of cityscapes and structures which seem on the verge of breakdown. In them, Lopez questions our culture’s insistence upon growth and glorification of technology. Now working in Brooklyn, New York, Lopez was born in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

New York-based Frank Magnotta creates large scale, meticulous graphite drawings which comment upon the relentless cycles of real estate development of the past fifty years. His scenes suggest an environment (both at work and home) which has become increasingly outlandish, strange, and even threatening.

Lisa Sanditz’s recent paintings explore the concept of casino development, and the role it plays in the social and geographical landscape of America. As Sanditz states, “I’m interested in something that’s teetering on being very seductive but very repellent at the same time. As a culture, we are obsessed with land and property rights and real estate.” Sanditz is from St. Louis and is now working in Tivoli, New York.

Brad Kahlhamer’s visionary landscapes reflect his experiences in the American West and New York City, his current home. His sprawling Community Board is a veritable travelogue of his journeys across America, replete with references to his Native American heritage. His works on paper are teeming with references to music, desert wildlife, and rural and urban communities.

These artists offer insight and commentary on the current American terrain – a terrain fraught with tensions over environmental concerns, commercial architecture gone awry, aging developments and communities, and an increasingly surreal and homogenized landscape.