Technology meets tradition in new Ann Page exhibit

Jesus Rodriquez a freshman at Santa Monica College attends a lecture and gallery showing for Ann Page at the Broad Stage and The Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery in Santa Monica, California. A flurry of bright colors, bold patterns and busy textures. The meeting of plastic and wood, pencil and print, synthetic and natural. The surreal collection clashed against the stark white walls. Hipsters and art aficionados alike occupied the gallery, praising the avant-garde art work before them.

Technology and tradition fuse in Ann Page’s “Recent Sculptures & Drawings” exhibit at the Barrett Art Gallery, which opened Sept. 1.

On display are Page’s latest works, where she embraces the marriage between all things conventional and contemporary, creating an avant style reflective of the 21st century.

Whether it be through medium, concept or even physical dimension, Page’s idea of breaking convention appears in every piece.

“When looking purely at what passes across my visual field I see that, formally speaking, it is not broken down into visual categories of two-dimensional illusion and three-dimensional forms, or color versus chiaroscuro, or concept versus object, or expression versus pure physicality,” Page said, “but that it is a simultaneous and changing, intersecting and interdependent, overlapping, non-isolatable orchestrated phenomenon in process.”

Page’s sketches are vividly-colored and almost amoebic. Pieces range from small, three-dimensional printed sculptures paired together with their abstract studies to large drawn collages of geometric spheres with plants.

Notably, Page's set "Branching IV" features two pieces of the same plant: one pixel-esque drawing and one photograph manipulated to look like a sketch. This manipulation of media encompasses the overarching theme of technology meeting tradition in art.

Page’s consistent use of layering in her pieces creates a sense of depth throughout the exhibit. Where artists typically limit their pieces to the two-dimensional, Page tears into and builds upon her canvases, blurring the line between picture and sculpture.

She also toys with the idea of the natural consistencies and irregularities in both organic and man-made patterns.

“The illusory exists within the three-dimensional, color and form coincide in light, the concept rests within the object and the expression is the pure quality and essence of that segment of orchestration in relation to our own thought patterns,” Page said. “We can see/understand only one visual/mental degree at a time, but within each degree is everything.”

Though her concepts can be hard to digest, Page’s grand pieces make up for the fact that you probably do not understand what she is talking about.

Page is currently an associate professor of the Practice of Fine Arts at USC Roski School of Art & Design, where she teaches three-dimensional prototyping to her students as a contemporary tool for artists. She earned both her BA and BFA in Fine Arts from the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis.

The exhibit is free to the public until October 10 at Santa Monica College’s Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery, located in the Performing Arts Center. The gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.