Wilding Cran Gallery exhibits recent works by Fran Siegel

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Wilding Cran Gallery exhibits recent works by Fran Siegel
Chronicle features 216 small drawings on paper that Siegel started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Wilding Cran Gallery is presenting Fran Siegel, Chronicle, curated by jill moniz of Transformative Arts. Chronicle is the culmination of recent works that express Siegel’s contemplation of place, dreams and perspectives.

Chronicle features 216 small drawings on paper that Siegel started at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. She visualized the discourse around the virus as extensions of her focus on pinwheel and maps, as a shorthand of place, and the aesthetics approaching abstraction. moniz pairs these ephemeral works with Siegel’s painted tapestries that incorporate porcelain as armatures, structural hardware that deciphers colonial appropriation and cultural production.

The exhibition offers multiple entry points into dialogues that magnify how making transforms moments, from staged and beautiful, to essential and abject. Siegel’s works are intimate in scale, reflecting how the pandemic dictated her process and inspired introspective collaging of dreams, news and opportunities, unpacking and reassembling iconography that influences how we interpret and shape our worlds.

In her consideration of patterns and pinwheels, Siegel draws out form, emphasizing how we record our relationship to each other and the landscape, and how intricately and intimately connected we are. Siegel’s pinwheels represent for moniz a fulcrum of visual language that expands and focuses our attention on both specificity and plurality of experiences that benefit from collective empathy.

Chronicle explores moniz and Siegel’s shared commitment to the depth and complexity of cultural associations foundational to place, and meaning making through art practice.

Siegel isolates, examines, then rearticulates visual elements that have strong formal qualities as well as social currency. Using porcelain, African Dutch cloth, cyanotype, Flashe paint and media that evoke global perspectives, her approach approximates abstraction teasing out iconographies from historic porcelain pieces, the upholstery on a chair at Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial, to the pattern on Joan Didion’s sweater. She elongates patterns, turning well-known imagery inside out where unconventional, found and sometimes simple materials like denim and string reimagine familiar shapes in unique compositions.

Chronicle is experienced as a noun, and a verb signifying the intersections of visual language and storytelling. moniz’s focal point centers on Siegel’s balance of imagery and materials that are historically narrative devices. Together they offer a collection of self-referential, dimensional paintings that depict a landscape of resonant ideas, feelings and vistas.

Fran Siegel has exhibited widely and undertaken numerous fellowships and residencies, both in the USA and internationally. Her large-scale installations challenge conventional notions of drawing and painting.

In 2022 Siegel participated in OCMA’s Sea Change symposium to discuss her Wetlands project for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time exhibition. She was included in the previous PST- LA/LA with Lineage Through Landscape, a solo project at The UCLA Fowler Museum that was researched during a Fulbright award to Brazil. Siegel represented the United States in the IX International Biennial of Cuenca, Ecuador and has been awarded numerous residency fellowships across the globe.

Siegel's monumental works have recently been acquired by LACMA, Los Angeles CA; MOCA, Los Angeles CA; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach CA; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, and the Design and Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara, CA. She is currently working on a commission from Los Angeles Metro Rail to create a large site-specific piece that will be permanently installed at the La Brea Wilshire station, due to open in 2023.

Siegel received a Getty Grant from the California Community Foundation, a C.O.L.A Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship, and the OC Contemporary Collectors Grant. She earned her M.F.A. from Yale University School of Art, and B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia PA. She is currently a professor in the School of Art at California State University, Long Beach, CA.

jill moniz is an organizer of visual narratives. Her curatorial investigations launched from her nonprofit project space Transformative Arts support local artists and communities in Los Angeles and Évora, Portugal in site-specific installations and activations. Her noted LA exhibitions include Adornment  Artifact (2022-2023) with support from the Getty, LA Blacksmith at the California African American Museum (2019-2020), The RIDDLE Effect at Craft Contemporary (2019), and Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA (2021-2022) at the Getty Museum.

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