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Kim Abeles
Orange Coast College Art Gallery, Costa Mesa, California
by Suvan Geer

Kim Abeles, “Self-portrait (Pope Joan),” 2015, mixed media.  Photo: Ken Marchionno.

Continuing through December 2, 2017

In the deft hands of Kim Abeles common objects tell poignant stories. The collected works of “.terə ˈf3:mə” present tables, clothes, chairs and even wallpaper turned into tender but probing examinations of society, history, geography and their different mental landscapes. Tidy mounted map fragments sprout impossibly tall metal trees as an industrialized monument to the real sites of living trees in Los Angeles. 


Sculptures such as these whisper layered stories of loss and longing. We also read those emotions in the lumpy, lustrous handmade pearls created in collaboration with 800 survivors of domestic violence that span a wall, gently strung together by thin ribbons. We feel the emotional tug in the legless floating nursery furniture sheltered by wallpaper images with video insets that present the only nature available to urban children. Part of the power of Abeles' artwork is the way she turns historical research or little known facts into insightful objects that feel immediate and present. And she always makes it beautiful.

Orange Coast College, Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion

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