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Monday, December 10 , 2018, 7:46 pm | Fair 52º


Summer Wildfires Fuel Dark Art of UCSB Exhibit

Tom Pazderka's American Gothic show will be shown at UCSB

A mix of charcoal and ashes creates the sooty hues in Tom Pazderka’s artwork.
A mix of charcoal and ashes creates the sooty hues in Tom Pazderka’s artwork. (Tom Pazderka)

Red Barn Project Space at UCSB is hosting the solo exhibition, American Gothic: New Ash and Oil Paintings by Tom Pazderka June 2-23. A reception with the artist and refreshments will be 6-9 p.m. Friday, June 2. It is open to the public.

American Gothic is the culmination of a year-long research and experimentation with process and image-making for Pazderka, the artist-in-residence at the Red Barn Project Space.

Pazderka’s approach to painting underwent a major shift in the early days of the residency.

Shedding all but the most necessary elements of painting, Pazderka’s work dove into an area of seductive darkness and mystical romanticism influenced by the natural disasters (wildfires) of summer 2016.

Gone is all color, replaced by a sooty black, derived from the mixture of charcoal and ashes from the burning of previous paintings applied over burned panels, with a layered image in white oil paint mixed into the blackened surface.

American Gothic is influenced by books such as Psychoanalysis of Fire by Gaston Bachelard and The Taste of Ashes by Marci Shore; films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Adam Curtis; occult and conspiracy theory.

It weaves Pazderka’s European roots with his American experience, and his interest in cabins, self-exile, solitude and obscure aspects of culture and history.
Pazderka is an interdisciplinary installation artist, painter, sculptor, teacher and writer. He holds an MFA from UCSB where he was a Regents Fellow. He is a lecturer of art at Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.

His works have been exhibited at Expo Contemporary in Los Angeles, UCSB’s AD&A Museum and the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Red Barn Project Space is in Building 479 at UCSB near the bus loop and Pollock Theater. Parking is in lots 18, 22, 27, and 29 on Ocean Road.
For more information, contact Pazderka at [email protected] or 828-279-7229.

— Tom Pazderka for Red Barn Project Space.


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