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Opening Night: “Masterworks: Defining A New Narrative” at the Long Beach Museum of Art

What determines an artist's most pivotal master-work? It could be near impossible to articulate, a question with more than one answer; workmanship, extraordinary design, originality, and influence on other artists. On Thursday night, Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) presented this to gallery goers with "Masterworks: Defining A New Narrative". The exhibition showcases 14 massive, critically acclaimed paintings by curator Nathan Spoor, Jeff McMillan, Esao Andrews, Sean Cheetham, Natalia Fabia, Alex Gross, James Jean, Josh Keyes, Mario Martinez, Greg Simkins, Nicola Verlato, Eric White, Aron Wiesenfeld, and Martin Wittfooth.

What determines an artist’s most pivotal master-work? It could be near impossible to articulate, a question with more than one answer; workmanship, extraordinary design, originality, and influence on other artists. On Thursday night, Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) presented this to gallery goers with “Masterworks: Defining A New Narrative”. The exhibition showcases 14 massive, critically acclaimed paintings by curator Nathan Spoor, Jeff McMillan, Esao Andrews, Sean Cheetham, Natalia Fabia, Alex Gross, James Jean, Josh Keyes, Mario Martinez, Greg Simkins, Nicola Verlato, Eric White, Aron Wiesenfeld, and Martin Wittfooth. The exhibition suggests that monumentality is a defining characteristic of masterfulness, and for this group of artists, it certainly creates an impact.  Their scale and unreal execution allows viewers to get up close and personal in a way where you can imagine their creation. Each piece transforms the personal experience of the artist creating it, into a universal one that can be enjoyed. In the words of artist Greg Simkins, written on the museum walls, “Art is an escape from life’s troubles, whether in the creation of it or the consumption of it.”

“Masterworks: Defining A New Narrative” is now on view at the Long Beach Museum of Art through February 1, 2015.


Artist Nathan Spoor discusses his artwork with a fan.

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Long Beach Museum of Art (LBMA) presents Masterworks: Defining A New Narrative opening October 23. Masterworks consists of 14 large-scale paintings by accomplished artists who have been charged with providing a singular work that could be considered pivotal in their careers. Coinciding with the exhibition opening, the museum will present its premiere event LBMA After Dark featuring live entertainment from 7pm-10pm. For more information please visit www.lbma.org.
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