Los Angeles artist Pam Douglas’ newest exhibition–“Rhythms”–began in a doctor’s office where she lay hooked up to an electrocardiogram, or EKG machine. As she watched the lines form on the scrolling paper, Douglas was fascinated with the cadences, the peaks and rests that described her heart’s rhythm. This experience inspired 9 new paintings that comprise her show “Rhythms,” which opens August 30, 2016 at TAG Gallery in Santa Monica.
After the EKG experience, Douglas thought about the broader context of influences surrounding her. She says, “I asked myself what’s happening in the world that makes the heart clench? I thought the EKG lines could represent overall tension related to fear and hostility we experience in current politics and society.” These anxieties led her to create pieces like Letting Go and A Pulse of Our Time using edgy newspaper headlines intertwined with the EKG lines. In both of those works, she juxtaposes an EKG grid with weightless images of hands and birds that appear to float on a two-dimensional background.
Douglas continues, “Next, I asked what helps the heart release?” The answer led to A Final Cadence that is a monochromatic landscape constructed from an EKG that flat-lines into light. More tranquil visions are also reflected in Measures of Serenity and Texture of A Heartbeat.
Some of the pieces in “Rhythms,” implement “tougher” media such as rope, string, and sand, as well as newsprint and paint. Primal Rhythms has the beat of nature in its twined strands of fibers, and Mandala echoes the ephemeral patterns of time constructed in sand.
Ultimately, Douglas’ subjects extend far beyond EKG imagery. She says, “From heartbeats to sound waves, our lives are measured in pulses of energy. We sense universal tempos in the timing of our days.”
About the Works
In “Rhythms,” Douglas will exhibit 9 paintings:
Waves of Change, string & acrylic on canvas, 83” x 25”
The Pulse of Our Time, mixed media on canvas, 31” x 77”
Letting Go, mixed media on canvas, 24” x 42”
Primal Rhythms, rope & mixed media on canvas, 43” x 48”
Mandala, ground pumice & acrylic on canvas, 39” x 42”
The Final Cadence, charcoal, acrylic & string on canvas, 23” x 43”
Texture of a Heartbeat, string & mixed media on canvas, 30” x 40”
A Vital Tempo, mixed media on plastic, 43” x 21”
Measures of Serenity, string & silk on rice paper, 40” x 15”
Two Special Events for “Rhythms”
Saturday, September 10th from 5 PM to 8 PM: Pam Douglas will be present at the Artist’s Opening Reception at TAG Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, which will also include solo shows by two other artists. Event is free and open to the public.
Saturday, September 17th at 3 PM: Artists’ Talk, a discussion among the 3 artists. Event is free and open to the public.
Douglas, whose work is widely collected, previously had a 6-month exhibit at the California African American Museum and has also been exhibited at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Juried shows include Artcore Competition and Exhibition, Lampourage Gallery, TarFest, i-5 Gallery, Arena One Gallery, Hillcrest Art Center, as well as solos at TAG Gallery at Bergamot Station.
Los Angeles Times contributor Scarlet Cheng wrote: “Pam Douglas adeptly combines drawing, painting and assemblage. …Her work so often expresses the universal polarities that define human existence. This cycle is joyful and sublime.” Art critic James Bae wrote: “These paintings are stunning … never repetitive but endlessly unpredictable… distinct and unfolding their own vigorous abstraction…” And reviewer Simone Kussatz for Art Ltd Magazine for wrote, “Images emerge, radiating a source of light that makes them feel alive.”
“Rhythms” runs from August 30 – September 24, 2016. TAG Gallery is located at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue D3 in Santa Monica. Normal gallery hours are: Tuesday through Saturday 11AM – 5PM. For more information, call TAG Gallery at 310-829-9556 or visit online at www.taggallery.net For more information about Pam Douglas and her work, visit her website at www.PamDouglasArt.com