August Exhibit Asks, “Which Came First?”

Take II: Paradise Cove. Photo courtesy of the artist
Sitting on the beach chairs
watching the setting sun
holding hands and reminiscing
how it all begun

Topanga Canyon Gallery artists explore the concept of bringing together language and visual art by pairing the art with poetry or prose.

We are communicators, recipients of a theory that, as humans, we need language to express our thoughts and that if we don’t have language, we don’t have complex thoughts. Another theory says the language and traditions of our community affect the emotions we feel.

Would we feel the same if we couldn’t describe it in words? Visual art often evokes emotions both for the creator and the viewer. If the artist provides language intended to enhance the emotional reaction to the art, does it? Does language explain the art or does the art inform the language?

In “Which Came First?” some of the art was inspired by the language and, in others, the language inspired the art. Many of the artists have written poetry for their art. Can you tell which came first: Did the art inspire the verse or did the verse inspire the art? It is up to you, the art lover, to decide if language enhances the art or if the art enriches the poetry. The complete poems will be displayed in the gallery next to their art. 

Visit the gallery any Wednesday through Sunday in August to look and read. The artists reception on August 10, 5-7 p.m., is another opportunity to experience for yourself the power of the visual and accompanying prose and discuss it with the artists themselves. “Which Came First?” runs July 31– August 25.

Ruins in Crete. Photo courtesy of the artist
Only the arches remain
Vaulted ceilings,
Hidden passageways
Politics disguised as faith….


Topanga Canyon Gallery, founded in Topanga in 1989, is an artist-owned mutual benefit corporation. It is located at 120 N Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga CA 90290. For more information: (310) 455-7909; Gallery Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Friday 12–8 p.m; Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. 


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