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Events
  • Campus offices and facilities are closed on Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

    Ahamnson Hall and Galef Center are open Saturday May 23 and Sunday May 24, 9-6.

    Graduate Studios are open to those students who have approved access.

  • Patrons Circle Tour

    May 30| Special Event
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    Otis' Patrons Circle Tour of Downtown L.A.!

    Discover how the creative economy is transforming downtown Los Angeles.  Studios and galleries continue to move to the heart of our city and into areas that were off the beaten path just a year ago. Otis Patrons Circle members will enjoy an Otis-inspired tour of downtown L.A.'s vibrant scene.  

    Tour includes:
    Visit to Kent Twitchell's ('77 MFA) new studio, followed by a short ride to see a few of his downtown murals

    Inside peek of Cynthia Vincent's ('88 Fashion Design) fashion design studio

  • Design Week 2015

    Jun 21| Special Event
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    OTIS’ MFA GRAPHIC DESIGN PROGRAM HOSTS:

    Design Week June 21-27, 2015

    I AM THE CITY

     

    VISITING ARTISTS

    Field Experiments: Benjamin Harrison Bryant, New York and Paul Marcus Fuog, Melbourne And Karim Charlebois-Zariffa, Quebec/NYC

    www.field-experiments.com

     

O-Tube

Matt Lifson ('12 MFA) LA Times Review

Jan 21, 2014
LA Times Review
Spotlight Category: Alumni

(MFA '12 alumnus) Matt Lifson's paintings pregnant with possibilities at Angles Gallery

December 5, 2013 by Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times art critic

Five large paintings by Matt Lifson all show virtually the same enigmatic subject -- what appears to be a makeshift tent in the woods at night. But slight differences in tonality, lighting and paint-handling among the five generate unexpected responses.

Serial imagery, given its origins in Claude Monet's repeated studies of grain stacks and an imposing cathedral facade under different conditions of light and weather, tends to have a rather sunnier disposition than what turns up in Lifson's solo debut at Angles Gallery. Grim, even inexplicably creepy, his blue-black “Tent” paintings get you to scrutinize them like a detective at a crime scene.

As a cop would do, you try to create a narrative from pictorial fragments. Is that romantic moonlight illuminating the tent or a police helicopter's piercing searchlight?  Does the tent belong to a vacationing camper or, given what appears to be its improvised nature, a homeless person? Is it shelter from an impending storm?

What's that jagged, sharp-edged but indecipherable whitish object just beneath the fallen tree limb? And speaking of the limb, why do its branches appear to have been stripped?

Going from canvas to canvas (each is around 6 feet by 7 feet), distinctions that at first seem slight steadily grow more stark -- and inexplicably ominous. Spots of white light in the deep, dark indigo woods could be anything from fireflies to nocturnal stalkers. Subtitled with fragmentary musical phrases -- “Sleep in heavenly...” “Lay down my bones with the rocks and roots...,” etc. -- the bleak paintings firmly resist disclosure.

That's their strength: Lifson underscores the degree to which, encountering a picture, we project meanings onto it. These paintings are pregnant with possibilities, horrific or benign, which shift in and out of view across a wide range of emotional registers depending on a viewer's drifting thoughts. In today's picture-saturated world, no wonder things seem so daunting.

The show also includes a floor sculpture composed of 217 gilded bricks, each stamped with a cryptic symbol and laid out in a curve, plus three small folding tables with a depiction of a black jacket painted on peeling paper across each top. More compelling is a wall text in clear, nearly invisible vinyl, its Hebraic font style readable only as fleeting light falls across it. A description of a demon lurks in the text -- if not on the wall, then surely in your head.

 

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