BEST PRACTICE is pleased to present A Kind of Saturnalia, a new body of work in video, sculpture, and photography by San Diego-based artist J Noland. With A Kind of Saturnalia, Noland engages the unifying potentialities of love, Sister Wendy’s misreading of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, and low stakes gambling. Visitors are encouraged to bring dollar bills.
A pendulum hangs.
A vessel is placed in the path of orbit.
A wager is made.
The object of the game is to break the vessel with the return of the pendulum’s swing.
The first to break the vessel collects the wager.
[The vessel is a body. The game is a sacrifice.]
J Noland is an interdisciplinary artist with an interest in the American experience. His work engages questions of leisure, masculinity, faith, nature, and class. His gestures reflect a sense of fear and wonder at the ingenuity and stupidity of the human condition. Noland received his MFA from the University of California San Diego in 2014 and a BA in Visual Arts and Art History at the University of San Diego in 2007.
More on J can be found at http://jnoland.org.
JULY 27 - AUGUST 24
BEST PRACTICE is pleased to present Familiar Spirit, an exhibition of new work in sculpture and drawing by San Diego-based artist Angie Jennings. With Familiar Spirit, Jennings continues to investigate modes of symbolism related to the perils of oppression, revolt, and nature, provoking feelings of both doom and transcendence.
Jennings employs realism to depict scenes that invoke forms of divination. Positioning the Earth as having secrets or forms of mysticism of which we are unaware. Pastel drawings of animals and objects act as portals into a world in which we don’t have full access. The animals depicted watch over a scene inhabited by alarming sculptural figures; ideas of the hunter and hunted can be experienced here along with an imbued aura of the all-knowing.
The figurative sculptures were made in direct response to the issues stated above, in combination with Jennings’ history and research in performance art, questioning the performability of the body and its limits, as well the various political and social climates through which we find ourselves navigating. These works permit a space for contemplation.
Angie Jennings is an artist who investigates hierarchical systems of circumstance, often employing strategies of subversion and satire. Notions heavily imbued within her work include identity, isolation, and realms of the mystical. Jennings received her MFA from the University of California San Diego in 2016, a Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Studio Art from Brandeis University in 2011, and a BS in Art Education from South Dakota State University in 2006. Jennings is a former student of Performance Art 101 taught by Kembra Pfahler, has attended La Pocha Nostra Summer School, and The Abramovic Method Workshop. Recent awards, performances, and exhibitions include: Every Woman Biennial, LA (2019), Museum of Contemporary Art, SD (2019), Woman’s Caucus for the Arts, LA (2018), Abode Gallery, LA (2018), Human Resources, LA (2017), GLAMFA, Cal State Long Beach (2017), Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, AZ (2017), Artist Television Access, SF (2017), Rijksakademie Residency Interview (2016), Joan Mitchell Foundation Emerging Artist Grant Nominee (2016), NADA Performance, NADA Fair, NY (2016), Galerie Christine Myer, DE (2016), LAST Projects, LA (2016), OCHI PROJECTS, LA (2016), Highways Performance Space, LA (2015), The Mingei International Museum, SD (2015), Perform Chinatown, LA (2015), SPF15, SD (2015), New Media Caucus/CAA Conference, NY (2015), Commonwealth & Council, LA (2014), Spinello Projects, FL (2014). Jennings currently holds a lecture position in drawing & art history at National University.
HANGING THE BEAR CACHE
JUNE 15 - JULY 13
BEST PRACTICE is pleased to present Hanging the Bear Cache, a new installation by Los Angeles-based artist Audrey Hope. This exhibition is part of a broader collaboration with poet/violinist Keir GoGwilt. Hanging the Bear Cache features seven sculptures situated within a fabric scene. The installation will also serve as a set for a live performance by TREESEARCH, GoGwilt and bassist Kyle Motl.
“Bear caching” describes a range of strategies intended to protect human food while traveling in bear country. The most rudimentary of these methods involves hanging a container from the branch of a tree out of reach of bears. The result is a bag of food that hangs from a tree, a disturbing sculpture containing life force.
Two freestanding sculptures revisit the artist’s memories of bear caching in the wilderness. These sculptures frame a series of photographs that depict her father, aunt, and brother as they work to hang three days’ worth of food in an Ann Taylor LOFT shopping bag from a tree. After the food is hung, the family will hike deeper into the wilderness, across talice-covered moonscapes, before they return, hoping to collect the remainder of their freeze-dried meals.
Hope’s installations are often conceived as campsites: temporary arrangements of essentials for existence. In Hanging the Bear Cache these essentials include bundles of previous artworks, bear scat fur balls hanging from the ceiling, benches, cast aluminum pools of seawater, and a junk-encrusted drop cloth. The “drop cloth” is both a rug and a backdrop against which TREESEARCH will perform the music that served as the starting point for the installation. The music and the exhibition explore interconnected themes: tension, darkness, chaos, natural forms, family histories, and memory.
Audrey Hope holds her MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego, where she was a 2017 Frontiers of Innovation Scholar. She received her BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in association with Tufts University, and was awarded a 2014 Traveling Fellowship by the School. Recent solo exhibitions include Actual Size Los Angeles, DXIX Projects in Venice, CA and MaRS Gallery in Los Angeles, as well as group exhibitions at Centro de las Artes San Agustín in Oaxaca and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. She has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Ox-bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency.
More on Audrey's work can be found at http://audrey-hope.com.
Keir GoGwilt is a violinist and writer whose work has been presented at festivals including PS 122 COIL, Santiago a Mil, Luminato, Spoleto; he has soloed with groups including the Orchestra of St. Luke's and the Chinese National Symphony. He earned a BA in literature at Harvard, and was awarded the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. Currently he is a PhD candidate in music at UCSD, where he is writing a history of romantic and modernist musical aesthetics from the perspective of performance pedagogy.
More on Keir's work can be found at https://kgogwilt.com.
Kyle Motl is a bassist, composer, and improviser dedicated to the performance of creative music. Motl holds a BM from Florida Atlantic University and an MM from Florida International University. He holds a DMA from UC San Diego, where he studied bass with Mark Dresser and composition with Anthony Davis.
More on Kyle's work can be found at https://www.kylemotl.com.
I DREAMT OF A PERFECT OCEAN, I DREAMT OF STEPPING IN A HOLE
MAY 4 - JUNE 1
For her exhibition, I Dreamt of a Perfect Ocean, I Dreamt of Stepping in a Hole, Chantal Wnuk presents a body of new painting and sculpture. Wnuk’s work explores the delicate balance between strength and vulnerability, aloneness and company. Her figures unwillingly absorb the elements surrounding them from San Diego sun to melancholy. Real and oil painted sand forms bodies, becoming an annoying coating and sign of touch. A lounge chair acts as a protective wall between the figure and a busy beach. Her work hopes to both respect and poke fun at the awkward (yet intimate) relationship with our bodies and our environment.
I make paintings and sculptures about daily failures, living by the ocean, and being in love (or not)...I guess. Connect this thing/person to that thing/person and see if it makes it/them stronger or it/them fall over. Did the water spill? (Yes.) Does it feel tragic? (Yes.) Will it dry? (Yes.) Did you get sunburned? (Yes.) Do you always get sunburned? (Yes.) Do you look ridiculous? (Yes.) Are you coated in sand? (Yes.) Are you staring at your phone? (Yes.) Are you connecting? (Maybe...) Are you alone? (Yes.) Will they text you back? (No.) Are your contacts dry? (Yes.) Did you lose one? (Yes.) Can you see? (No.) Are you weak? (Yes.) Are you okay? (Yes.)
Chantal Wnuk was born in Houston, Texas and received her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2012. She now lives and works in San Diego. In 2012, she received the Undergraduate Professional Development Travel Grant, resulting in Girls Gone West at the Visual Arts Center in Austin, TX in 2014. More recent exhibitions include Not Quite Nothing at the San Diego Art Institute, First to Blush at Helmuth Projects, and Being Here with You/ Estando aquí contigo at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Chantal has been awarded residencies at ACRE, The San Diego Art Institute, and 1805 Gallery.
More on Chantal can be found at www.chantalwnuk.com.
I LEAVE THIS STANDING STONE TO BE A SIGN
MARCH 16 - APRIL 13
For her exhibition, I leave this standing stone to be a sign, Kim Garcia presents a new body of mixed-media works in sculpture and drawing. The exhibition uses fiction to confront the tension between ideas of collaboration, interpersonal relationships, and community. Materials and process converge to result in forms that are both familiar and foreign. Through a layered approach to objects and imagery, the artist asks us to consider the work’s past and the residual myth that remains.
My practice is committed to the investigation of social objects that are grouped to form a constellation built through forms and fictions. In this constellation, these disparate objects negotiate proximities and are always transitioning away from where they once were.
Fiction is used as a productive site for describing states of instability, where I rely on residue from social interactions as a catalyst for my practice. The work appears as vacated scenes where physical interdependencies and contradictions are exposed and stagnant. These scenes are within topics of interpersonal connection, community structures, and the fallibility of memory, where I dismantle and restructure their foundation through layered sculptural installations, leaving space in-between the objects as a passage for viewers to navigate through the work.
By altering the original foundation, sculpture and drawing are used to suspend the scene and create a space where questions can circulate within its atmosphere. Where do past sentiments go when looked at from the present? What future can be built from a forgotten past, and how can we move forward without dissolving ourselves? The sentiment of my practice is to give power to the absent; what isn’t visible, what may be powerless, and what cannot be easily defined.
Kim Garcia was born and raised in the Paradise Hills neighborhood of San Diego. She received an MFA from UC Irvine in 2018 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Find more on Kim's work at https://kimgarcia.info/.
SONGS AND VIEWS OF THE HOLOCENE GARDEN
FEBRUARY 9 - MARCH 9
In the exhibition, Songs and Views of the Holocene Garden, Josh Tonies presents new drawings and animated works depicting interior landscapes and domestic objects which employ projection and migrating shadows that merge and congeal image to material. Themes of the work include desire, human-induced extinction, and sensations of loss.
Josh Tonies is an artist who works with drawing and the moving image. His work centers around temporary ecological studies that take form as animation, drawing, works on paper and book arts. He is a lecturer on record at University of San Diego and UC San Diego, teaching courses in film, video art, animation and studio arts. He has exhibited his work most recently at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, The Center for Fiction in NYC, Comfort Station in Chicago and the San Diego Museum of Art.
During the Opening Reception on February 9th, musician Matt Wellins joined the artist in a collaboration in live sound mixing to accompany the video works.
Matt Wellins is an artist from Pittsburgh, PA. His work is largely based in particularities of materials, the snafus of live performance, and a general ambivalence towards contemporary technology. His current interests are in the private loft theater of 1970s New York, cybernetic music systems, and the ZBS Artist-in-Residency program. He has presented his work - most notably in collaborations with artists Sarah Halpern and Josh Tonies - at venues such as Anthology Film Archives, EMPAC, and Cass Projects.
Find more on Josh's work at http://joshtonies.com.
Find more on Matt's work at http://mattwellins.bandcamp.com.