Installation view of "IT'S ABOUT FUCKING TIME"
Curated by Llyn Foulkes
Each image approximately 5.5 x 4.5 inches

Untitled, 1979
Oil on canvas
67 x 51 inches

Untitled, 1970
Metal and chalkboard paint
18 x 18 x 24 inches; 47 x 35 x 35 inches

Untitled, 1970
Metal and chalkboard paint
18 x 18 x 24 inches; 47 x 35 x 35 inches

Untitled, 1974
Oil on canvas
73 x 59.5 inches

Untitled (Triptych), 2003-2013
Oil on canvas
36 x 24 inches, each

Untitled, 1969
Oil on paper
Image: 13 x 9.5; Framed: 20 x 18

Untitled, 1978-1980
Oil on canvas
71 x 54.5 inches

Untitled, 2013
Oil on cavas
20 x 16 inches

Untitled, 1990-2001
Oil on canvas
Image: 58 x 47.5 inches; Framed: 61 x 50.5 inches

Untitled, 1993-1995
Oil on canvas
66 x 51 inches

Untitled, 2013
Oil on canvas
24 x 19.5 inches

Untitled, 1969
Chrome plated barbed wire
36.5 x 13 x 6 inches

Untitled, 1996
Oil on canvas
63 x 64 inches

Untitled, 2013
Oil on canvas
14 x 11 inches


A Painting Survey 1970-2013 Curated by Llyn Foulkes

November 16 – December 21, 2013

Norton Wisdom
Curated by Llyn Foulkes

EXHIBITION: November 16 - December 21, 2013
RECEPTION: Saturday, November 16, 6-9 pm
Bergamot Station Arts Center
2525 Michigan Ave. / B7 Gallery
Santa Monica, CA 90404
GALLERY HOURS: 11 – 6, Tuesday – Saturday
RSVP: 310-315-1937

ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY is pleased to present IT’S ABOUT FU*KING TIME, a survey of works by Los Angeles artist Norton Wisdom, curated by artist Llyn Foulkes. The exhibition will serve as a survey of works by Wisdom from the 1960’s to his present day works. IT’S ABOUT FU*KING TIME stands as a depth, vocabulary and feeling of the Artist’s exploration of the essential fundamental and magic of space and volume on a picture plane. While the viewer matures it (the object) into a perceived three dimensional, ocular object, the move from space to volume occurs outside of time. Like a particle in the world of physics, the painting becomes both a particle and a wave depending on the perspective and emotion of the viewer. 

With thick impasto of paint Wisdom evolves the visual interplay of the flat two dimensional plane and matures it into a perceived three dimensional emotional object. Included in the exhibition will be sculptures of various found materials, continuing the conversation of perceived three dimensionality versus actual three dimensionality. Wisdom’s works do not impose onto the viewer direct meaning nor a sense of story or space, rather the viewer’s own perspective manipulates the form and figures that Wisdom presents. The viewer may perceive a space and energy that simply does not exist. From paint to canvas to metal, IT’S ABOUT FU*CKING TIME will survey linear time from the 1960’s to 2013 and reflect on the continual question of shapes and planes and how perception can change an object. 


Norton Wisdom began his artistic life at fourteen when he attended Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. A student of the luminous John Altoon (one of the preeminent artists of West Coast avant-gardism of the 50’s and 60’s), Wisdom was introduced, not only to the fundamentals of figure drawing, but also to the bold conceptual-based and humanistic thinking which would lay the groundwork for his future endeavors.

Wisdom first began exhibiting his own work in San Francisco in the 1970s but withdrew all of his work from galleries in 1974 and spent the following eight years immersed in studio work. That same year he became a lifeguard and the endless hours he spent staring out at the ocean while working on the beaches of Malibu, Topanga and Zuma contributed to his minimalist vision as a painter. In the late 1970s while in Germany for an exhibition, Wisdom painted over 150 meters of the East side of the Berlin wall during the night using searchlights to illuminate his work. He was subsequently arrested, detained and sent back to the U.S. but the experience convinced him that he could no longer work in the static studio environment and soon he began collaborating with punk bands and working in a performative style. Wisdom has been painting to live music ever since with bands like Panic and Banyan along with musicians Mike Watt and Stephen Perkins. His live, improvisational paintings are temporary interpretations of music that only exist during the space of the performance. The paintings are destroyed but a c-print of the piece resurfaces in remix collages mounted on canvas.

Wisdom has performed around the world at venues as varied as the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, to the Butu Dance Company in Japan, and locally at the Walt Disney Hall in downtown Los Angeles. His paintings and sculpture can be found in the permanent collections of notable museums including the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, the Milwaukee Art Center, Wisconsin, and the Orange County Museum of Art.

The show also contains select pieces from Steven Friedman's Pole collection: linear imagery painted in one brushstroke on acrylic rods. The paint is mixed on the brush and during application in a process that has the character of caligraphy, except to render not linguistic signs but landscapes, figures and vistas, discreetly. The result is a visual haiku. In constructing the images, horizontal axes abstract as landscapes, vertical axes as figures.


From the Vault
September 8 - December 9, 2012

The University Art Museum, CSULB, highlights important artworks from their permanent collections in an exhibition entitled From the Vault. It features new acquisitions to the collection along with works from the museum’s Gordon Hampton Collection of Abstract Expressionist and Color Field paintings.

Curated by UAM Director Chris Scoates, From the Vault offers an opportunity to explore abstract renderings of color and form that expand upon the gestural inspirations of Abstract Expressionism. Artwork included in From the Vault spans several decades, and speaks to the evolution of abstraction in painting over the 20th Century. By connecting artists such as Michael Goldberg, Richard Diebenkorn,Emerson Woelffer, Hannelore Baron, and Kris Chatterson, this exhibition links the influential legacy of the New York School and L.A. Modernism to a select group of emerging contemporary painters.

Compelling signature canvases by Lee Krasner, a stunning Adolf Gottlieb pictograph painting, and classic abstract expressionist works by Michael Goldberg puncuate an eclectic homage to abstract painting in this exhibition. New acquisitions in From the Vault add to the UAM’s collection of non-objective art and encourage visitors to analyze the meaning of abstraction in new, more personal ways.

View all the artworks in From the Vault via our Currently on View portal in the UAM Permanent Collections Online.

Artists in From the Vault:
Hannelore Baron
Kris Chatterson
Richard Diebenkorn
Michelle Fierro
Michael Goldberg
Adolph Gottlieb
Lee Krasner
Milton Resnick
Norton Wisdom
Emerson Woeffler


VAS Review by A. Moret
LA Weekly by Shana Nys Dambrot
Norton Wisdom / THE STYLECON
90265 Magazine