The most recent edition of the monthly First Thursdays Art Walk in San Pedro hosted a curatorial cameo by the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art. In a pair of group shows curated by Juri Koll, about 20 artists in total explored the more surreal and even abstract aspects of humanity’s experiences with nature — encounters that often don’t go well for either.
Both Far & Near and Intangible Paint exhibit painters who demonstrate expressive individual relationships between story and abstraction. But in several arresting paintings by Sulamit Elizondo, Doug Edge, M.B. Boissonnault, Gloriane Harris, Roxene Rockwell and Juri Koll, a distinct theme emerges — one in which the lovely and poetic are pursued through the ravages of catastrophe and consciousness. Houses sink and/or explode, roller coasters rust, fires ravage, waters rise, people flee, roots come unmoored. Paintings stay beautiful.
The Loft, 401 S. Mesa, San Pedro; Tue., Thu. & Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; thru Feb. 28.