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Felix Baudenbacher ~ Found Gallery ~ Silver Lake

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As opening reception at Found Gallery of Silver Lake, Fixing the Tent attracted hordes of artists, art lovers, and curious locals who could agree on much more than just free Heineken. Felix Baudenbacher's thoughtful and sophisticated paintings and drawings are exquisite. For us, well worth the waiting through the two years of first-class psycho-therapy he cites, tongue-in-cheek as part in product. Hailing from Switzerland, Baudenbacher who currently lives in Los Angeles, produces a series of pieces inspired by—paying homage to—Southern California. Baudenbacher cites inspiration from artists such as Bridget Riley and Philip Guston, and it is clear that he has adapted some of their interesting color tone and palette ideas to his own impressive production of color study. His showcased exhibit of large paintings is both intimate in its invitation to see the world through his private filter and universal in the way its color relationships evoke instant emotional reaction in any viewer.

The experience of viewing of each piece in turn is like encountering a sample of sounds and smells from your past. Just as a waft of CK1 might take you back to some particularly poignant adolescent locker room love scene, certain pieces from Baudenbacher’s collection connect the viewer (as the artist suggests they should) to distinctly Southern California flavored encounters. Imagine: sunlight breaking through smoke and fog, prisming through and reflecting off of mirrored high rises producing brilliant displays of gold, red, hot-hot-white. Imagine: a road-trip on the PCH during the first abundant deluge of raindrops after a long dry spell, sparkling light from yellow hills dappled with green undergrowth. Take your most ideal conceptions of Southern California beauty, cut it up into squares of color, and lay them out onto canvas. There you have Felix Baudenbacher’s graceful abstraction.

Mamacita Regula Baudenbacher's work is presented also—the most recent display of a 40 year career as an internationally recognized artist, the first of her work to be exhibited with her son, Felix. Her exhibit is composed of “memory stones”, sculptures made from paper that entered her house in the course of one week. These are physical records of events worth remembering, events worth forgetting, events not really worth much at all. Regula Baudenbacher’s memory stones—sturdy yet beautiful blocks of boiled and hardened paper—may be sculptural metaphors for the individual journeys that result in accomplishments of the human soul: Wisdom? Inner peace? Self-satisfaction? One moves from age 15 to 31 hardly able to distinguish or even understand the subtle contingencies that resulted in such a difference of personality and poise, yet there you stand—a beautiful compilation of contingency. Regula Baudenbacher presents a clever interpretation of this phenomenon.

The Baudenbachers’ exhibition (up until November 27, 2007) at Found Gallery in Silver Lake marks over a year since the gallery's birth. Found curators John Schwartz and Jonny Coleman launched the gallery whose location on Hyperion stirs up images of dudes in booty-less chaps as well as car repair shops with Doberman pinschers. With a keen eye for “bold, unique artwork,” Found has pulled in an assorted group of artists, common only in their knack for smart art, and in its young life has also hosted indie rock sensation Devendra Barnhart. Schwarz and Coleman, whose goal is to display artists who have not yet been recognized in L.A., both local and foreign, have in this manner created a space of newness in combination with a distinctly el-aaayyy flavor.

Photography by G.C. Stiehl

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