Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chris Mercier Exhibition Inglewood Library Thru December 2010! Review by Ginger Van Hook





Chris Mercier, Artist and Architect displays 
his current works in the Inglewood Library through December 2010.
Photo by Ginger Van Hook © 2010

Òafter all, the aim of art is to create space 
Ð space that is not compromised by decoration or illustration, space
in which the subjects of painting can live. This is what painting has always been aboutÓ 
(Frank Stella1986, 5; ÔWorking SpaceÕ)

ÒColor {Space} FormÓ is a creative exploration into the depiction/construction 
of pictorial, sculptural and
architectural space. At its heart, it posits an exploration
 into the vision of contemporary space. Within
Western thought there is a long tradition of 
spatial development and exploration. From the early middle Ages,
through the Renaissance and up to modern time, 
each eraÕs depiction/construction of space becomes a world or
window into how experience is perceived and portrayed. 
In todayÕs global world, collapsed time, virtual reality, 
reality T.V. and the internet all weave a Ònew immediacyÓ 
where these developments act as cues in the
shaping of contemporary space.
 My investigations into pictorial, cultural and physical space collectively seek an
understanding of the effects, 
opportunities and outcomes these and other cues have or will have on
contemporary spatial expression, experience and development.
ÒColor {Space} FormÓ is a continued progression of my interest in the 
SPACE of inspirational experience.
Compared to my previous works, 
ÒPainting Towards FormÓ, it employs a similar language of color and form.
Here however, there is a focused effort to explore 
and capture a much more exaggerated experience of actual 3-
dimensional physical space within the work. 

This actual or real pictorial space, acts in a contemporary since
similar to the way other types of pictorial space 
(flattened, perspective, etc.) did throughout history, as a place
for the Òsubject of painting to liveÓ. 
This real pictorial space was achieved in two ways: first through the
physical sculpting and construction of paint into organized spatial relationships 
paint modelingÕ); and second,
the 3-dimensional manipulation of the painting panel itself. 
While explored to a lesser degree in earlier works,
these panel manipulations (recesses/protrusions/etc.) 
allow for the surface of the work to develop its own spatial
cues and as a further consequence can start 
to be seen as potential sites for the building of paint. 
With these two conditions a sort of game develops in which 
panel and paint engage each other in a dialogue or a spatial
dance that defines the form of the work. 
The result is not wholly dissimilar to the way pre-perspective and
perspective painting used various forms of 
mathematical and or other techniques (GiottoÕs overlapping images,
Linear Perspective, etc.) to structurally organize/construct pictorial space.

Òthrough one pictorial device or another the greatest percentage 
of the worldÕs painting has dealt with the
representation of spaceÓ 
(William Seitz, from ÔChanging Images of Pictorial SpaceÕ by William V. Dunning,

In addition to the spatial developments discussed above, 
the use of color, various paint types (oil, enamel, latex, latex enamel, ink, etc.), 
states of drying as well as various application techniques have also been explored in the
work. These materials and techniques further the spatial 
development of the project by either enforcing
conditions already in place or creating new unexpected 
color-relational opportunities. In particular, the
relation between paintÕs particular drying state, 
its level of viscosity (solidified, semi-solidified, gel/paste, liquid,
watery, etc.) and its application method including
 timing and positioning within a work, has been examined at
 This has led to an understanding not only of the different paint types, 
but of their particular properties
in terms quality of color rendition, adherence and the 3-dimensional/textural abilities under various dried and
semi-dried states. 
The final positioning/application of paint; 
the act of painting, is based on the type, thickness,
color, solidity and texture as well as conditions already inherent/developed in the work. 
The intent being to
uncover a spatial/color condition that might provide insight 
into the contemporary structure, organization or
pattern of spatial experience.

ÒOur job, as architects, builders, (artists), 
citizens, is to create this life in the air and stones and rooms and
gardens Ð to create life in the fabric of space itself.Ó 
(Christopher Alexander, 2002, Page 425, ÔThe Nature
of Order- Book One Ð The Phenomenon of LifeÕ)
ÒColor {Space} FormÓ investigates the experience of contemporary spatial structure.
 It does so through a crossing of what are understood to be three different 
types of spatial conditions: Painting, Sculpture and
The belief is that although these three disciplines operate in
 different arenas of life they actually
share a similar spatial tradition and foundation. 
Furthermore, through the interweaving of their processes and
theoretical development, this project explores opportunities in how a more holistic and vibrant condition of
contemporary space might be experienced. 
The goal being, to unveil the potential for an alternative spatial
understanding, one that might better address the myriad of contemporary life as a positive, imaginative and engaging experience. 

An understanding that starts to question our basic belief of what SPACE is, 
what itÕs
made of, how we shape it, 
and how these beliefs affect the value it brings to the celebration of life.

ÒSpace as a mindless, wisdom less, lifeless void 
was not a common notion at any time before the scientific
(Owen Barfield, 1965, Page 149. ÔSaving Appearances; a study in IdolatryÕ)
ÒIt is simply LIFE, a quality which appears to be an attribute of space itself.Ó (Christopher Alexander,
2002, Page 424, ÔThe Nature of Order Ð Book One Ð The Phenomenon of LifeÕ)

 Chris Mercier Mar. 20, 2010

Curriculum Vitae

curriculum vitae
Christopher L. Mercier
1159 East Hyde Park Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90302
310-672-4733 Fax

Website on Art Slant:

Southern California Institute of Architecture,
Master of Architecture, January 1991
Architecture Intermundium (Daniel Libeskind),
Milano, Italy, October 1987 - May 1988
Lawrence University, Southfield, Michigan
Bachelor of Science in Architecture, 1987


HSI Productions Building Sculpture
ÒEdges and EndsÓ Site Sculpture
Culver City, CA
Design Collaboration w/Tom Farrage
Completed 2000


One-person Exhibits
ÒColor {SPACE} FormÓ works by Christopher Mercier
The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles Chapter Gallery
3780 Wilshire Blvd Suite 800
Los Angeles, CA 90010

Nov. & Dec. 2010
ÒColor {SPACE} FormÓ New works by Christopher Mercier
Lawrence Asher Gallery
5820 Wilshire Blvd Suite 10
Los Angeles, CA 90036

April. 2010
Two-person Exhibits
ÒChristopher Mercier & Joseph Justus Ó
Skinner Howard Contemporary Art
732 ÔSÕ Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

June. 2010
ÒTowards Form: New Works by Christopher Mercier & Joe DavidsonÓ
Lawrence Asher Gallery
5820 Wilshire Blvd Suite 10
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Oct. 2008

ÒChristopher Mercier & Courtney Reid : New PaintingsÓ Fluxco
2042 Bay Street, Los Angeles, CA
Nov. 2005
ÒWesley Studios Show Ð Christopher Mercier & Colby MaysÓ Wesley
Studios, Culver City , CA,

ÒART SLANT Ð 2010 Ð 5th Show Case Juried Winner -
Art Slant Ð

Sept 2010
ÒART SLANT Ð 2010 Ð 4th Show Case - Winner -
Art Slant Ð

July 2010
ÒART SLANT Ð 2010 Ð 3rd Show Case - Winner -
Art Slant Ð

April 2010
ÒART SLANT Ð 2010 - 2nd Show Case - Winner -
Art Slant Ð

March 2010
ÒART SLANT Ð 2009 Show Case Juried Winner -
Art Slant Ð

March 2009
ÔART WITHOUT BORDERSÕ - Third Place Winner, juried on-line competition
by Peter Frank, Dawne Camera, Ilaria Kostandi Sillangierri and Licka
LarkGallery Online Ð

Jan. 2009
Group Exhibits:
Ô2010 Los Angeles Juried ExhibitionÓ
Los Angeles Municipal Gallery
Barnsdall Park
4800 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027

August 2010
ÔRevisiting BeautyÓ
Orange County Center for Contemporary Art
117 N. Sycamore Street
Santa Anna, CA 92701

May 2010
ÔOZ: New Offerings from Angel CityÕ
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery & The Department of Cultural Affairs City
of Los Angeles.
Regional Museum of Guadalajara

Nov/Dec 2009
ÔFRESHÕ Silent Auction, MOCA
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA - Museum of Contemporary Art
152 North Central Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90013

May 2009
ÔOPEN SHOWÕ , Los Angeles Art Association - juried show by David Pagel
Gallery 825
825 North La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles CA 90068

Dec. 2008
ÒAbbott Kinney Art Walk Ð Group ShowÓ EIS Studio
Abbott Kinney, Venice, CA

Dec. 2006
ÒArt, Furniture & Wine Ð Group ShowÓ Giraffe Home
7007 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Oct. 2003
ÒVenice Group Show Ð An evening of Art & ArchitectureÓ
424 North Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

July 2003
ÒItalformÓ 8844 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90048

ÒSmall TreasuresÓ Don OÕMelveny Gallery, West Hollywood, CA,

Dec. 2002
ÒTexture & GrainÓ 87th Annual Gensler Art Exhibition (3 person show),
Gensler Architects Offices, Santa Monica, CA, 2002

Ò2001 Juried ShowÓ Gallery 57 Underground, Pomona, CA, 2001

ÒSuspending DetachmentÓ The Hatch Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 2001

ÒSculpture/Collage/Mixed Media ExhibitÓ Long Beach Arts,
Long Beach, CA, 2000

ÒArtist Spectrum Juried ExhibitionÓ Agora Gallery, NY, 1997

Ò100 Dollar ShowÓ Post, Los Angeles, CA, 1997

ÒOpeningsÓ Spanish Kitchen Studios, Los Angeles, CA, 1996

Ò3X3 Competition ExhibitionÓ, Honorable Mention
San Francisco, CA.

May 1991
(fer) studio L.L.P.
Form Environment Research
1159 East Hyde Park Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90302
P-310-672-4749 F-310-672-4733

Fall 2006 to Present
Title: Partner/Design Principal
Christopher Mercier Studio (fer)
Form Environment Research
1159 East Hyde Park Blvd.
Inglewood, CA 90302
P-310-672-4749 F-310-672-4733

July 2002 to Fall 2006
Title: President/Design Principal
Gehry Partners L.L.P. (Formerly Frank O. Gehry & Associates, Inc.)
12541 Beatrice Street
Los Angeles, CA 90066

1993 to 2002
Title: Senior Associate/Project Architect

Southern California Institute of Architecture, Los Angeles, CA.
Final Lecture in the 2002 Lecture series,
ÔArchitecture/Computer/Design/ManufacturingÕ, April 2002
Museum of Architecture, San Juan Capistrano, Lecture
ÔArchitecture in the Digital AgeÕ, Guest Speaker, Sept. 2001
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, KTH
Lecture/Discussion Ô Conde Nast in the MakingÕ, Guest Speaker, March

Technical Research Center of Finland(VTT) Dipoli, Espoo, Finland, VTT
Symposium ÔTechnologies in ArchitectureÕ, Guest Speaker, March 2001
Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, ÔNew Technologies in
Architecture SymposiumÕ, Guest Speaker, Oct. 2000

Woodbury University, Architecture Department
Thesis Studio, Spring 2001

UCLA, Architecture Department, Design & Construction of
Complex GeometryÕs, Team taught Seminar/Studio, Spring 1999

Woodbury University, Interior Architecture Department
Senior Project Studio, Spring 1998