Laura Ball at Denver Art Museum | "Stampede: Animals in Art"
On view through May 19, 2019
Laura Ball at the San Diego History Center
Of Animal Importance: featuring the work of Laura Ball, Belle Baranceanu, Jeff Irwin, and Walter Haase Wojtyla
April 30 - August 14, 2016
Of Animal Importance, a four-person exhibition, showcases the work of San Diego artists Laura Ball, Belle Baranceanu, Jeff Irwin, and Walter Haase Wojtyla. With the depiction of animals as a subject, these four artists interpret the animal form through diverse media, each captivated by differing concerns ranging from human interaction with the natural world, animals as spiritual beings, and the wild beast within us all. Laura Ball and Jeff Irwin have both found enduring inspiration in social and environmental issues (conservation serving as a core undercurrent within their work). Ball’s watercolors transport the viewer to a realm of dreams where instinct and primal nature reign over moral judgment and mental dexterity. Irwin’s sculptural forms are delicate in their white simplicity, yet possess an undertow of violence, sharing a subtle bond with Walter Haase Wojtyla’s (1933 – 2014) aggressive paintings of canines. Ten block prints and one drawing by Belle Baranceanu (1902 – 1988), selected from the San Diego History Center’s own fine art collection, represent her as a key figure in the history of San Diego art.
Laura Ball featured on Art Works for Change
In her intricate watercolor paintings, Laura Ball portrays a colorful tangle of creatures that weave their way into our consciousness. She charts a course through our dreams and memories to environmental values long neglected. As she leads us through visions of intertwined beings, Ball projects the passion and concern of a loving steward. She reminds us that our ward — the primal, natural world — is an interconnected whole more valuable than the sum of its parts, and uses materials (watercolors and graphite) that are as ephemeral and unpredictable as nature itself. In these works, Ball is not offering a simple celebration of the animal kingdom. She is exploring the relationship between humans and our fellow creatures and highlighting tensions and recurring failures in our stewardship of nature.