Exhibition on view January 21st – March 25th, 2023

Media Contact:
Cecelia Koger, 310-519-0936

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10th, 2023

San Pedro, CA – Angels Gate Cultural Center (AGCC) is pleased to present a new contemporary art exhibition, Uplifting Tales and Eroded Histories, on view January 21st – March 25th, 2023. An installation by Southern California artists Richard Turner, Michael Davis, and Paul Harris, this exhibition presents a speculative geo-history of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. Uplifting Tales and Eroded Histories opens with a free public reception at Angels Gate Cultural Center on Saturday, January 21st from 3 – 5pm.

Uplifting Tales and Eroded Histories takes its inspiration from the unsettled geology of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The exhibition invites us to read rock as a text that is both history and prophecy in two distinct installations. Entering the exhibition, viewers find themselves in a space that is intentionally disorienting, as if it had been shaken by a recent earthquake. The stability of the grid is abandoned in favor of unpredictable angles, tumbled planes, and a jarring video of the famous San Pedro locale, Sunken City. The ambiance of the second gallery is a deliberate contrast. It is a quiet, stable space that summons viewers to sit with stones, contemplate them, and in doing so, begin to understand what they can tell us about their journey through deep time and our own short-lived moment on planet earth.

Michael Davis’s practice encompasses both studio and public art including sculpture, painting/assemblage, drawings, and large-scale installations. His current work is clearly informed by a long personal history with the Palos Verdes peninsula. This work combines found objects, fabric, wallpaper, metals with archival digital imagery. The relationships of these forms and images create various “what if” situations. The pieces in Uplifted Tales and Eroded Histories suggest an elegant, and yet profane account of history and current events by means of seductive juxtapositions of images and materials. The clarity and rigor of Davis’s conceptualization and presentation might initially suggest a certain coolness and distance in his work, but there is subtle wit and critical playfulness that renders the work accessible.

Paul Harris’s rock odyssey began when he contracted an incurable case of petrophilia (love of stone) while pebble-fishing in Palos Verdes in 2000. Harris’s ongoing project, The Petriverse of Pierre Jardin, encompasses a rock garden, landscape art, collecting and displaying stones, transdisciplinary scholarship on stone across cultures, and experimental philosophical and poetic writing. His work for Uplifting Tales and Eroded Histories includes “Petriverse” (visual geo-poetry), “Strata Gems” (layered books and rocks), and “Stones on Stools,” rocks paired with antiques his mother collected that juxtapose material archives of human and geologic time.

For the past twenty years, Richard Turner’s sculptural experiments have been inspired by the Chinese tradition of stone appreciation, collection, and display. His book, Contemporary Viewing Stone Display (with Paul Harris and Thomas Elias) documents his own work with stones, provides a history of viewing stone appreciation in China, Korea, Japan, and the west, and showcases contemporary viewing stone displays from around the world. Turner’s exploration of viewing stones includes drawings based on iconic Chinese garden stones. He also uses smooth river stones as a drawing tool, coating them with ink and paint and rolling them back and forth over sheets of paper hundreds of times, producing intricate webs of random lines. Turner’s life-long interest in modern architecture (his father was an enthusiast of the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright) informs the playful models of domestic and commercial buildings that he constructs using recycled materials and found objects.

AGCC will host additional public programming events that will provide the South Bay Harbor communities free opportunities to further engage with the art and themes of Uplifting Tales and Eroded Histories:

  • January 21st, 3-5pm: Public Opening Reception with the artists
  • February 18th, 1pm–2:30pm: Family Art Workshop – All-Ages Rock Painting Workshop with Richard Turner
  • March 4th, 2pm-3:30pm: Rock Records of the Future – Artist Talk Re-imagining Geologic Futures
  • March 25th, 1:30 – 3:30pm: Closing Reception and Catalog Release

Uplifting Tales and Eroded Histories will be on view in the AGCC galleries January 21st – March 25th, 2023, with open gallery hours Thursdays – Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. More information about the exhibition and programming events can be found at angelsgateart.org.

This exhibition is supported by the Pasadena Art Alliance. Additional support for the AGCC exhibitions program is provided by City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, The Ahmanson Foundation, Norris Foundation, and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.

About Angels Gate Cultural Center
Angels Gate Cultural Center (AGCC) emerged from a group of San Pedro artists in the 1970s that created art studios and exhibition space within the WWII era army barracks of Angels Gate Park near the Port of Los Angeles. Today, AGCC hosts over 50 artist studios in addition to a variety of programs to engage the diverse communities of the Los Angeles Harbor region, including arts education in local schools, community classes, cultural events, and exhibitions of contemporary art. More information about AGCC is available at angelsgateart.org.