Atkinson Gallery features Ann Diener’s dreamy L.A. sketches

Skylar Serge, Channels Staff

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With architectural routes in shades of graphite and overlapping transparent images, Ann Diener’s “Entangled Grid” is a lucid dream in the most calming way.

The local artist is the first to have an exhibition featured in the Humanities Building new Atkinson Gallery.

A reception was held five p.m. Friday, Jan. 31. Executive Vice President of City College, Jack Friedlander, attended and spoke on behalf of the new Atkinson Gallery.

“City College is committed to art and it is more valuable than ever,” Friedlander said.

Birds, elephants and long spiral lines seem to be the focus of Diener’s collective work. This concept is a key component to her art and her experiences living in Los Angeles.

In Diener’s large-scale drawing, “Urban Grid,” the artist worked with 15 students to create a collaborative masterpiece. A white, 20-foot wall, with layered images and graphite drawings represent organic and urban perspectives.

Classic photos of captured moments entwine throughout the grid and symbolic snapshots seem to be placed gently within the large-scale drawing.

By using graphite and Prismacolor pencils, Diener adds more vibrancy to her drawings. Digital prints and silkscreen on paper give the grid a sense of collaging and overlay to her original artwork.

The “Project 100” series is comprised of over 50 paper drawings that balance out Diener’s sizable drawings and zoom into eclectic, intricate compositions. Each drawing is six by six inches. While the three rows of small paper drawings are separate pieces, one must ask if they are somehow related in a harmonious balance with nature and metropolitan societies.

The five individual works range in size and color but are all true representations of one artist.

“Entangled Grid” is a 51.5-by-60-inch piece that places the viewer into a parallel universe with very familiar places. An example of lucidity and dream states are combined effortlessly into a balanced illusory formation.

Deep red and muted browns are also placed in certain areas of most of Diener’s pieces. It is enough to capture the viewer and make them think more about the work without being overwhelming.

Diener’s spiral lines are displayed in many of her drawings. Long, thin contours start from different points on the paper and eloquently continue to completely different areas of the drawing.

One of the most interesting aspects in Diener’s work is the ability to draw past the edge of the paper. When tree branches in shades of graphite are exposed and reach past the borders of the canvas an organic notion is perceived.

The artists’ ability to capture such dreamlike qualities and establish a creative balance of overlaying images accentuate the talent of her artistic mind and the imagination of her original concepts.

The Atkinson gallery will be displaying Diener’s work until Feb. 28.

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