We are glad to present the group online digital exhibition “Sampler Plate” curated by Evan Trine! This amazing show features artists such as Brent Wadden, Emma Bernhard, Colt Seager, Thai Mainhard, Daniel Crews-Chubb, Brian Rochefort, Spencer Lewis, Robert Moreland, Jorge Luis Santos and of course Evan Trine. It’s hard not to note the general composition of which all these artworks are connected, so different and at the same time so great in harmony with each other.
This show is a real paradise for any lover of abstraction, so it was very interesting for me to talk to Evan to find out more about his thoughts, ideas while working on this project.
Roman Sviridov: Evan, tell me how this idea came about to create such shows, I always knew you as an artist, and now this.
Evan Trine: This show is the latest in a series of online-only digital exhibitions that I’ve organized and rendered into existence. At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdowns, I was really missing traveling, visiting shows, and meeting with other artists here in LA. All the galleries and museums were closed, and no exhibitions were happening, so I decided to reach out to a handful of my artist friends to send me images of some new work. I put together that first show, which I titled Dream Show, as a project that we could all participate in during our locked down, digital-only lives. It promotes the idea that photographs dictate how we view and experience the world – now more so than ever. It also falls in line with my own personal work, which deals with reality and abstraction in photography.
Colt Seager, Evan Trine, Daniel Crews-Chubb, Emma Bernhard, Robert Moreland
RS: I remember when I saw the Dream Show, I thought WOW, what a great show at such a difficult time. It looked so natural.
ET: I had a lot of people respond positively to the project, and I began to think about more exhibitions I could put together. I partnered with Peter Ibsen to organize a show of my own work at Sunday-S gallery, his space in Copenhagen, followed by another group show of work at his project space, Rorvig Contemporary. I included a lot of close friends in these shows, as well as other artists I’ve never met. The experience has been really rewarding, and it’s been great to be able to connect with artists and make new friends during this time.
RS: Tell us more about Sampler Plate, you have expanded your list of artists a lot, what did you base it on?
ET: So for this latest show, Sampler Plate, I wanted to include more artists, and I wanted to have most of the show include artists that I’ve never met before. Instagram is a great tool for this, as it allows me to directly communicate with artists from all over the world. I also wanted to focus on abstract art within a wide variety of mediums and styles. I reached out to a lot of artists, and eventually gathered all the images I needed for this exhibition – it ended up being the perfect group.
Robert Moreland, Jorge Luis Santos, Brian Rochefort
Jorge Luis Santos and Spencer Lewis both create large, colorful, gestural abstract paintings. Thai Mainhard uses shape and line to make beautiful works that are simultaneously dense and sparse, and Daniel Crews Chubb has references to the form in most of his layered, complex abstractions. Emma Bernhard’s large, broad brushstrokes compliment Colt Seager’s tight, narrow movements, and Robert Moreland’s work is the perfect balance of geometry, sculpture, and painting. Brent Wadden creates magnificent large textile abstractions, and Brian Rochefort’s ceramic work is the closest thing I can imagine to a truly 3-D painting. Lastly, I use the camera in my work to capture abstractions that consider intention, ownership, and the combination of randomness and order. All together, this show is a spread of contemporary abstraction. And like all of these digital shows I’ve created, I only wish it could exist in real life! Hopefully one day.
Emma Bernhard, Colt Seager, Robert Moreland
RS: My dream is to see one of your shows in real life, and I hope it will happen soon! Tell us about the title, why Sampler Plate, is there any hidden meaning in this?
ET: Well, at diners in the U.S. you can order a “sampler plate”, which is just a small sampling of a lot of different types of appetizers. I thought this would be a funny and fitting title for this show, because it’s a small sampling of a lot of different types of abstraction. Usually with a sampler plate, the combination of foods doesn’t really make sense at first glance. Similarly with this show, at first glance you may not put these works together in an exhibition. But some of the pairings are really stunning – Brian Rochefort’s ceramics and Spencer Russell’s paintings look incredible together!
Thai Mainhard, Brent Wadden, Spencer Lewis
RS: How long does it take to create such a show? What’s the hardest part of this process?
ET: I always laugh when organizing these shows – the hardest part is getting the images from the artists! I can usually get people to sign on with the idea, but it takes a long time to get the images of their work. Once I get the images however, sometimes it’s really tricky to organize and “hang” the show. It’s like installing a show in real life, where you need to move pieces around the room and see what works well together – but I have to do it all digitally. It’s really tough sometimes. After I get the arrangement down, it’s just a matter of making the angles look correct, adding shadows, making sure the works are the correct size on the wall, and then putting the finishing touches on the images. I’ve got a lot of practice with this, because for years I’ve planned out all of my own exhibitions with renderings. Some artists use physical models of galleries – I just use digital models.
RS: What is this space that you used this time?
ET: This is the space that Ibid Projects used in LA for a short time between 2014/15. It was a really beautiful, large space, and I was sad when they moved out of the building. When putting this show together, I imagined it being in this space, so I had to hunt around for a while to find images from the shows they had there a long time ago. I wish it was still a gallery – it’s such a great space!
Brian Rochefort, Spencer Lewis
RS: Surely you already have plans for the next show, can you share with us? 🙂
ET: Well, I’ve been thinking for the last few months about starting my own permanent digital gallery. I would create a unique digital space from a compilation of images of different galleries and museums, and start to organize regular shows of work that exist only online. I haven’t gotten around to starting that project yet, but I will soon! In the meantime, I’m talking with a curator from a local museum here in the LA area about organizing a large digital group show. It would take a lot more planning and effort to put together a show at that scale, but it seems worth it to me. The process of organizing these shows has kept my creative juices flowing for these last few months, and I hope I can continue to do it for a while. At least until everything opens back up and the world starts spinning again.