May 19, 2018 - July 20, 2018
970 N Broadway, Ste 208 Los Angeles, CA 90012 

“Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein
All of the artists included in CARBON are cognizant of their relationship to the chemical element of carbon, one of the most abundant substances in the universe and the basis of all known life. The decomposition of forms that were once alive reduces all matter to basic components. From these, new creation comes into existence. Carbon-related cycles participate in the energy produced by the sun and by the universe roiling beneath the earth’s surface. As Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is also within us, we’re made of star stuff.” Each in their way address the importance of this framework to a more profound understanding of the nature of existence — some through materials and mediums, others through technique and subject, all with a heartily unique sense of the metaphorical potential of this concept.


Terry ArenaTerry Arena’s delicate, poignant graphite drawings depict and replicate bee swarms, in an attempt to draw attention to the environmental dependence we have on them, in light of threats to their colonies’ precarious infrastructure.
Joaquín Boz Joaquín Boz makes technical drawings and evocative paintings that, in the words of gallerist and poet Stuart Krimko, “celebrate closeness of touch and the humble, earthbound nature of material things.”
James GriffithJames Griffith inventively and eloquently employs a unique tar-based medium to depict animal species, especially those whose extinction has generated petroleum substances, whose use in turn threatens further zoological decimation.
Bonita HelmerBonita Helmer uses the language of painting, space, and architecture to make visible the invisible, elemental atomic structure of all things known, sentient, and ancient.
Lauren KasmerLauren Kasmer moves deftly between photography, textiles, video, installation, and performance in her origami of natural-world displacements.
Brad MillerBrad Miller uses cement and clay and other earth-derived substances to replicate the richly textured and patterned natural process that produces stones in the field and river.
Jenene NagyJenene Nagy’s drawing process is intensely and deliberately focused on the material properties of graphite (a form of carbon) and the actions of interacting with its properties
Chris OateyChris Oatey incorporates the duration and elements of snowfall into a process that later involved carbon-transfer techniques, resulting in a sort of co-authorship between artist and nature.
Brian RochefortBrian Rochefort’s densely detailed ceramics display an impossible array of texture, color, surface, and tactile vessel-based forms which express the apex of organic profusion achievable with clay.
Tam Van TranTam Van Tran incorporates a variety of unconventional materials including biological to examine immigration within a metaphor of the global ecosystem.

Curated by

Lauren Kasmeris an artist and curator native to Los Angeles, who continues to live, work, and be inspired by its qualities. Her multidisciplinary artwork is most often presented as installations combining a variety of media and layered, refractive processes such as photography, video, collaboration, sound, wearable design, furnishings, edibles, and performance, which are frequently accompanied by participatory events. Inspired by her studies with leaders of many disciplines, from progressive chefs to the mercurial master Robert Heinecken, she frequently references the belief that the process of creation begins with de-construction. As both a curator and exhibition organizer she has been responsible for decades of engaging, boundary-blurring displays in galleries, museums, and festivals as well as alternative and public spaces.

Catalogue Essay Authors

Shana Nys Dambrotart critic
Patricia Moritz

More Information

Noriko FujinamiFOCA Curators Lab Chair
Tressa MillerFOCA Curators Lab Chair

Public Events

CARBON: Opening Reception

May 19, 2018
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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CARBON: Special Event

June 2, 2018
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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CARBON: Closing Reception

July 15, 2018
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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