“Smoke and Mirrors” at Topanga Canyon Gallery

Cold-hearted orb that rules the night
Removes the colours from our sight
Red is grey is yellow white
But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion

—Graham Edge

And, so, you, too, will have to decide which is an illusion, as you explore the new show at Topanga Canyon Gallery, “Smoke and Mirrors.” Each of the four artists in this show presents work that dares you to look deeply, see more than that which is first revealed. By playing with fire and earth, emotions and colors, adding and subtracting the visual and textural, these artists have, together, created an experience for the senses.

New Gallery members, ceramist Christopher Phillips and Robin Tripaldi bring fresh perspectives and new artistic methods to the gallery. 

Raku vessel. By Christopher Phillips

Phillips uses the ancient art of Raku to create the magnificent crackling in his stately works. With skill and patience, he creates handsome, large, symmetrical vessels, each piece sharing its own narrative born through the transformative result of the fiery raku process.  

Tripaldi’s bold, soul-searching and unafraid encaustic creations invite the viewer to explore, superficially at first, then deeper, as recognition of the depth and detail encased in the process becomes apparent. 

Longtime favorite artists, Donna Geist Buch and Rea Nagel, complete the foursome in this magical show.  

Cascade. By Donna Geist

“Everything is transitory and what we see today in a certain light will assume different perspectives in a new, brighter, or duller light. Our own moods also color the views that we see,” says Nagel, as she encourages viewers to immerse themselves in the cool, flowing, merging brilliance and color that embody her work. 

Nagel’s art is nicely in contrast to that of Buch, who says, “When exploring a subject that intrigues me, I think it through, feel it emotionally, add layers, like architects building their plans.” Buch’s mixed media work draws you in with detailed layer upon overlay and pulls you into her elusive rhythmic world.

So, you decide which is real and which is an illusion. The show runs through July 28. Meet the artists at the reception on July 13 from 4-7 p.m.

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; TopangaCanyonGallery.com

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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