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Art at the Club

The University Club is proud to partner with the USC Fisher Museum of Art in presenting a satellite display of select pieces from the art in the museum collection. The choice of the abstract pieces were expertly chosen by director Selma Holo and her team of curators and offer a stunning contrast to the architecture and aesthetic of King Stoops Hall.



A note from Selma Holo: Abstract art applies form, color and line to create works of art that occur without reliance on representational forms. These works can articulate an idea or emotion by fully or only partially departing from representation, ranging from slight to pure abstraction. Homage to Rembrandt, the work on display by Edgar Ewing, a former USC faculty member, is an abstract composition based on representational forms that pays respect to representational Dutch Golden Age painter, Rembrandt van Rijn. This work demonstrates respect for the great figurative painter, though it does so in a way that departs from figuration. Though there are traces of figuration in Ewing’s work, forms and shapes that hint at visual references, the work is, for the most part, an abstracted version of reality.

Geometric abstraction, the purest form of abstraction, employs the use of basic geometric shapes to create non-representational, non-objective compositions. Geometric abstraction derives its fundamental characteristics: a focus on the two dimensionality of the picture plane, on the construction of composition, and on the abstract space, from cubism. These compositions are significant in their ability to express ideas or feelings without dependency on representational forms. This form of abstraction is represented in the works of Yaacov Agam, Bettina Brendel, and Albert Contreras. Albert Contreras is a Los Angeles based minimalist painter whose works can be viewed around the USC campus, notably at the Ronald Tutor Campus Center. Contreras creates intricately patterned and mostly geometric motifs, combining acrylic gel paints (and glitter at times) into grid-like compositions. Yaacov Agam is one of Israel’s most illustrious artists and one of the innovative leaders of the kinetic and optical art movements. His work is found in nearly every major museum and he created many monumental public works worldwide. Agam creates works that abandon all forms of representation, and rather employs the use of basic oval and rectangular shapes, along with color, to create precise compositions. This pure form of abstraction is also seen in the works of USC alumni and west coast abstractionist, Bettina Brendel, on display here.