This fundamental asymmetry: art exhibition gives the viewer space to perceive and reflect | arts and entertainment

Posted on February 15, 2022
| 9:45 o clock

This Basic Asymmetry, a group show featuring works by artists Patricia Ayres, Simone Forti, Miguel Angel Payano Jr., Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Gabriela Ruiz, is on view through Sunday, April 17 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) in Santa Barbara to see the shopping center Paseo Nuevo.

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“Badder than a Mo-flow,” left, and “Fortune’s Here,” both mixed media by Miguel Angel Payano Jr. (Miguel Angel Payano Jr. and Make Room, Los Angeles)

Through inner sensations, emotions, and cognition, people develop a fluid but powerful sense of self that allows them to perceive the complexities and nuances of their personal experience.

In contrast, it is only through external perception, particularly seeing and observing, that humans find the ability to develop an understanding of others and separate the experience of self from others into an asymmetrical paradigm.

This fundamental asymmetry presents the work of five artists whose practices provide their personal processes of creating a space for the viewer to reflect on their own relationship to their bodies and how this affects their own perceptions of others.

The works on display address the dissonance in the reckoning between the self and the other and offer space for joint exploration. Through vulnerability, observation, recognition and memory, the artwork in This Basic Asymmetry explores new possibilities for perceptions that include both self and other.

This fundamental asymmetry is curated by Alexandra Terry, Chief Curator of MCASB.

Born in New York, Ayres attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She received an MFA from Hunter College, a BFA from Brooklyn College, and an AAS degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Her work has been exhibited at Fragment Gallery, Moscow; Matthew Brown Gallery, Los Angeles; Kornfeld Gallery, Berlin; and Koenig & Clinton Gallery, New York.

She was artist-in-residence with the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program. Lower Manhattan Cultural Center, The Studios at MASS MoCA and Sculpture Space (coming soon). Ayres was a 2020 recipient of the NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Sculpture/Craft.

Born in Florence, Italy, Forti is a dancer/choreographer/artist/writer based in Los Angeles. In 1955 she began dancing with Anna Halprin, who pioneered dance improvisation. After studying and performing with Halprin in the Bay Area for four years, Forti moved to New York, where she studied composition at the Merce Cunningham Studio with educator/musicologist Robert Dunn.

In these courses, which focused on the work of John Cage, Forti met and began working informally with choreographers such as Trisha Brown, Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton. This was a time of rich dialogue between visual artists, dancers, poets and musicians.

Over the years, Forti returned to improvisation, including extensive collaborations with musicians such as Charlemagne Palestine and Peter Van Riper. Since the early 1980s she has practiced a form in which movement and words spontaneously interweave.

Payano Jr., born in New York, is an Afro-Caribbean-American artist working between Beijing and New York. Using a visual slang influenced by American, Caribbean, and Chinese cultures, he creates works that oscillate between painting and sculpture, exploring class, identity formation/socialization, and storytelling.

His transcultural surrealist sensibility blends aesthetics with humor and the grotesque, with his works often translating and transcending diverse artistic forms. Payano received a double degree in studio art and Chinese language from Williams College in Massachusetts in 2003, then moved to China and attended the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where he received an MFA in 2008.

In 2020, Payano received a second MFA from New York’s Hunter College. Payano’s work has been shown at LDX Contemporary Art Center, Beijing; Williams College Wilde Gallery in Williamstown, Massachusetts; and Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China.

Born in the San Fernando Valley, Ruiz has presented her work in art institutions, nightclubs, and through public interventions.

Group shows include: You don’t control the Witness at Ltd. Los Angeles and Ecdysis at Ltd. Los Angeles and Museum aan de Stroom (Antwerp, Belgium); Free the bar! Queer nightlife, activism and interior design at ONE Gallery in West Hollywood; Pasado Mañana at the Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles; and Building Bridges in Times of Walls: Chicano/Mexican Art from Los Angeles to Mexico at the Gran Galería de Acapulco, Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños,

Born in San Bernardino, California, Sepuya received his 2004 BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and his 2016 MFA from UCLA. Sepuya’s work highlights the constructed nature of the photographic document and the performative space of the photo studio, embracing the medium’s potential for fragmentation and connection.

Sepuya has had solo shows at Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis; Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York; Team Gallery, New York and Los Angeles; Document Gallery, Chicago; and Fotomuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Admission to all exhibitions at the MCASB is free. Hours of operation are 11:00am to 5:00pm Wednesday to Saturday, with extended hours to 8:00pm on Thursdays; and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays.

For more information on upcoming events, visit

Admission to all exhibitions at the MCASB is free. Hours of operation are 11am to 5pm Wednesday to Saturday, with extended hours to 8pm Thursday and 12pm to 5pm Sunday 12pm to 5pm. Closed on Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays.

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