Joint exhibit closes March 29

A joint exhibition featuring the work of Ji sun Park and Anthony Ragucci continues through March 29 in the Antelope Valley College Art Gallery, 3041 W. Ave. K, Lancaster.

A closing reception will be held at 7 p.m. March 26, including an artist talk by Ji sun Park.

The “Cross Currents” exhibit explores the common touchtone of South Korea, where Ragucci now resides and which Park uses as subject matter for some of her work.

“Cross Currents” refers to the artists’ biographical geographies, as well as to the transmissions and interchanges that occur between two such different yet connected bodies of work, together formulating an amorphous and evolving picture of place.
In her installation of massive linoleum cuts depicting colorful and idyllic Korean palaces and European dollhouses, Ji sun Park, a Master of Fine Arts-printmaking student at California State University, Long Beach, creates a psychological portrait of the average South Korean.

The concept of printmaking, in which multiple impressions are usually generated from a single matrix, informs the idea of the homogeneous Korean race.  From Park’s point of view, the matrix can be seen to represent Korean society, while the various prints can be viewed as the individual.

Her assemblages of palaces and dollhouses are a metaphor for wealth and social standing, symbolizing a visual fantasy that many Koreans desire, but are unable to achieve.  Bright and daring hues express what the superficial consumer substitutes for true feelings.

Ragucci, an American painter based in Seoul, was inspired by Korean artists and working methods to give up oil painting and devote his practice to making and cutting out watercolor and ink brushstrokes on paper.  His brushstroke dioramas construct three-dimensional narrative scenes out of these paper brushstrokes to explore the trials and tribulations of his character, “Johnny Paintstroke.”

Exploring moments like a failed joke, an awkward first date or getting lost in a new place, Johnny Paintstroke confronts Ragucci’s experiences from his past five years residing in Korea in the form of a diorama, painting, drawing and video.

Although these experiences are seemingly small or insignificant, Ragucci recognizes how they have influenced his life.

Park has held many exhibitions and received many awards including the Los Angeles Printmaking Society (LAPS) Foundation Scholarship in 2012 and the top prize at the School of Museum of Fine Arts Print Exhibition in 2010.

Ragucci originally hails from Boston and received his MFA in painting at the University of Indiana, where he first came up with the Johnny Paintstroke character.  He has exhibited his work across the United States and Korea, as well as in Italy, Germany, and Australia.  

Gallery shows are free and open to the public. Hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

Call (661) 722-6300, ext. 6215 for details.