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Claire Falkenstein: Structure and Flow - Publications - Louis Stern Fine Arts

Louis Stern Fine Arts is pleased to present Claire Falkenstein: Structure and Flow, Works from 1950-1980. The exhibition opens Saturday, May 20, with a reception from 6 – 9PM, and continues through August 26, 2006.  

Perhaps no other artist in the 20th Century articulated Frank Lloyd Wright’s oft-quoted phrase, “in the nature of the materials” with more physical and emotional resonance than Claire Falkenstein.  In her explorations of pattern, scale, texture and flow, Falkenstein creates “structures” (the artist preferred this definition over the more conventional “sculpture”) and drawings that utilize materials to capture not only the vitality of space but also the parallel vitality of life itself.

Though born in Oregon in 1908, given prodigious acclaim in San Francisco during the 1930’s and 40’s at the start of her career and officially deemed a sensation in Paris by 1955, Falkenstein is recognized as every inch a Southern Californian.  After famously designing gates for Peggy Guggenheim’s estate in Venice Italy in 1961, Falkenstein returned to Los Angeles where she worked out of her studio in Venice California until her death in 1997.  Falkenstein’s vibrant large-scale public sculptures still dot the Los Angeles landscape.  Her elegant smaller-in-scale works, featuring a combination of materials as disparate as copper tubing, glass and wood, display equal measures of poetry and industry.  As the artist herself has written, in fusing, brazing and welding to create her own materials she is not “designing form” but “creating matter”.  In piece after piece, through out the trajectory of her lengthy career, the artist builds objects in which ”the meaning of the interior governs the exterior.”  How else could copper tubing have acquired the eternal suppleness of bird wings?  

The artist’s work is included in a number of major public and private collections in the United States as well as in Europe.  The gallery is the exclusive representative of the estate of the artist and this exhibition marks the first in a series.

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