Long Beach Museum of Art Presents Ray Turner: Population
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 16, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
A solo exhibition of nearly 300 portraits by American artist Ray Turner, Population is an expanding series that invites viewers to contemplate identity – individually as well as collectively. Curated by Art Critic Peter Frank and LBMA Executive Director Ron Nelson, the exhibit also includes a selection of photographic interpretations, works on paper, and three-dimensional pieces by Turner. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, June 16 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm and the exhibition will continue through Sunday, September 11, 2011.
The portraits in Population, executed primarily with oil paint on glass, feature subjects painted over the last four years, including 60 new works depicting Long Beach community members. The growing cross-section of portraits also includes 150 works that Turner previously painted for the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) in 2009.
A “population” is the set of beings inhabiting a location – organisms belonging to the same species and living in the same geographical area. The term refers to an objective, scientific accounting of human beings. Turner’s Population, however, does not favor representational precision over interpretation. His works search for the inner essence and character of his subjects over physical accuracy. Fluid, much like notions of identity, Turner’s textural paintings vacillate between realism and abstraction. Population entices the viewer to decipher each sitter individually – the facial features, expressions, and emotions as captured in Turner’s sculptural brushwork – as well as search for relationships across the entire group of works.
The psychologically powerful LBMA Population installation presents two interconnected series of works by Turner that function together as a conceptual whole. In the first, Turner has painted the essence of his subjects on uniform glass squares by carefully studying photographic data of his models. In the complementary “Good Man/Bad Man” series of works, Turner is working expressively from his imagination.
Facial topography informs our opinions of who is ‘good’ and who is ‘bad.’ Co-curator Peter Frank explains, “Our prejudices, Turner deduces, derive from our facial preoccupation, our need to compare one face with another in order to determine everything from superficial beauty to the nature of the soul.”
With underpinnings in occidental art history, most notably Expressionism and Fauvism, Population’s antecedents include the tempestuous works of Georges Rouault and Vincent Van Gogh, as well as the violent disfigurement of Francis Bacon.
A 168-page, full-color, hardcover monograph, with essays by Rick Gilbert, James Scarborough and Roberta Carasso, PhD, accompanies the exhibition along with an all-new, 128-page, comprehensive catalog with essays by Peter Frank and Ron Nelson.
Generously sponsored by Thrive Foundation for Youth- thrivefoundation.org
After Long Beach, Population travels to the Akron Art Museum (OH), Whatcom Museum (Bellingham, WA), Tacoma Museum of Glass (WA), Alexandria Museum of Art (VA), Wichita Art Museum (KS), Huntington Museum of Art (WV), and Missoula Art Museum (MT).
Ray Turner –
Ray Turner lives and works in Pasadena, California. He received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in 1985 where he subsequently taught for 13 years as a professor of painting and drawing. His work has been exhibited regularly in the United States since 1990. In 2010, his paintings were shown at the Pasadena Museum of California Art alongside those of Wayne Thiebaud. Turner is represented by Rivera & Rivera – riveraandrivera.com
Long Beach Museum of Art –
Located on a magnificent bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Long Beach Museum of Art features a historic mansion and carriage house alongside expansive galleries and gardens. LBMA is open Thursday, 11:00am to 8:00pm, and Friday to Sunday, 11:00am to 5:00pm. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, free for LBMA members and children under 12. Admission is free on Thursdays from 5:00pm to 8:00pm and all day Friday. Free parking is available in the museum parking lot on Ocean Blvd., one block west of the main entrance. For more information, call 562-439-2119 or visit lbma.org