Los Angeles Times
March 26, 1998 - Century Gallery - "Human Presence"
FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING: Exhibit Views Human Form From All Angles By Joseph Woodward
The human figure has had an on-again, off-again rela-tionship with 20th century art, alternately passe* and fashionable by the dictates of art world thinking. At the moment the figure is again fair game for contemporary artists, granted an artist has something new or per-sonal tn say. At least that's the tacit curatorial premise of "Human Presence," the aptly named exhibition now at Sylmar's Century Gallery. Here, five distinctly different artists pre-sent their own ideas about the human form, living and dead. If falling short of revelation or the-matic integration, the exhibition succeeds in provoking thought and showcasing some substantial work.
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If the other artists interpret and otherwise alter the figure in their art, photographer Angelique Antoniou is, comparatively, the lileralist of the bunch. She confronts humanity directly, with the kind of photojournalistic eye that extends curiosity and compassion to her human subjects. Generally, the people who pique her interest are those on the extremes of life and society: minorities, children awash In innocence, and the elderly, still with defiant, dignified comportment.
Antoniou has an eye for composition and telling visual details, as with the arrangement of diagonal lines In "The Empty Chair," with an older man silting outside an ice cream joint, opposite an emptychair. In "Waiting 3," an older woman sits, slumped deep in a comfy chair in a boutique, oblivious to the Martian-like mannequin standing next to her. Antoniou's work seems a bit out of place in this exhibition, which is largely concerned with the way the figurative impulse leads artists into personalized invention, but it conveys a pleasing quality in its own little corner of the show. Her pictures arc, by turns, funny and sad. but always about human presence.
BE THERE "Human Presence," through April 3 at Century Gallery, 13000 Sayre St In Sylmar. Gallery hours: Mon-day-Friday, 1-5 p.m.; Saturday. noon-4p.m. (818) 362-3220.
My first love was ballet. I began dancing at the age of three. Due to an injury I was forced to quit when I was fourteen. Though I shall never again feel my body move across the floor as a dancer, I can still experience the height of an arabesque or the flurry of bourrées through the lens of my camera. Being in their midst I share the dancers' anticipation, their excitement and joy. I want my camera to capture these dancers' lives and moments, as I had once lived them.