UpLift: An Island on the Land
Earth Elegies IV
A Multimedia Installation and Portfolio of California Images
Lynn Small + Dennis Paul
came to California to surf on the tsunami of technology
with a strong feeling that the massive paradigm shifts
that would overtake not only the art world
but also the world at large
would best be faced on the left coast.
was here that we chose to extend the parameters
of our multi-process practice into the digital realm.
is but one component of the CA Portfolio
The conceptualization of this portfolio
has evolved over many years
the beauty and diversity of our adopted state.
This work-in-progress is the fourth
in a series of Earth Elegies,
a natural progression
in the more than forty years
of collaborative efforts.
While capturing the sense of place
that is unique to a specific landscape, we seek the
universal — meticulously researching the history
and environmental imprints of the area — while
thoroughly examining the art and culture.
This gathering of imagery and data
has been ongoing since our arrival
but in the ensuing years, process has been greatly enhanced
by the direct digital capture of video, still and audio effects.
Coastal UpLift will be a multi-channel installation
with an accompanying original SoundScape composition
and a portfolio of related artwork on paper and canvas
To see this major undertaking through to fruition,
there is a need of financial support.
We would like to thank you in advance
for your time and consideration.
To those of you who have supported our efforts
in the past, we are most grateful
and to those less familiar with our art,
it is our hope that you will be intrigued
and receptive to becoming a vital part
of this new and challenging project.
Those who facilitate its completion
will be richly rewarded.
Know ye that on the right land of the Indies there is an island called California, very near the Terrestrial Paradise…
—Garci Rodriguez Ordonez, Spain 1510
There are ecological/geological/societal reasons
to think of California in insular terms.
Its topographical and climatic conditions
differ so radically from the rest of the country
that one may be allowed to consider it as
An Island on the Land.
With the ocean on one side
and its mountains, forests and deserts on the other,
the state is in some ways an isolated entity.
Altogether California forms a unique ecosystem
that is the focal point of a future
multimedia installation and accompanying artwork.
Coastal UpLift, Earth Elegies IV will be a totally immersive, multichannel digital video installation with an original SoundScape. Our last major multimedia installation project in Los Angeles was In the Beginning—Earth Elegies II, a fusion of our Landscape and Kabbalah portfolios created for the ELEMENTS exhibition [1998-99] at Frank Lloyd Wright's Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery.
As with all our land/environmental series, the California project began with the research and referencing of various geological phenomenon, the study of historical California art movements and the gathering of photographic imagery—both still and digital video—and ambient sound capture. For UpLift, all of these elements will be woven within an interactive environment that is experiential, historical and crossdisciplinary.
This connecting with the American landscape sense of place tradition is an important and reoccurring aspect of our lives and working practices. It is our feeling that we are a part of this tradition and have honored it with many years of effort. We are extremely knowledgeable about art processes and make extensive use of both the traditional and new media. For more than four decades, we have fused painting and drawing with photography—from paper negatives and gum bichromates—to hand-oiled, Gelatin silver prints, etc. Throughout its history, photography has had a profound impact upon the cultural landscape. With the emergence of digital technologies, a new frontier has been opened offering possibilities limited only by our imaginations and the ability to ask the right questions.
The inclusion of digital images and sound, video and interactivity has now become an essential part of our working methodology. This intricate layering of diverse imagery and multimedia weaves together many facets from past and present bodies of work. In fusing the worlds of more traditional art processes with those of the digital realm, we found a new fluidity of expression had entered into the dialogue. Much as photography, film and video have changed the fixed images of painting, the digital domain elucidates the states of process and reveals its genesis. The making of marks and myths has been radically and forever altered.
Our move to the west coast in the early 1990s, first to the Coachella Valley—to experience and document the desert—and then to Los Angeles was to become thoroughly versed in these new emerging technologies. We felt strongly that the synergy of northern and southern California would best position us to become a part of the birthing of 21st–century art modalities.
To realize this objective, we have done extensive work:
CoLabART—a collaboration formally begun in 1978 during our first Yaddo residency fellowships.
Our 1994 viewart website is one of the earliest and most extensive artist presence on the Internet.
Creation of a number of multimedia installations that have utilized digital video,
original SoundScapes and participatory viewer interactivity.
Digital imaging and printing output at the very highest levels.
Continuing to work at the intersection of art and technology.
Those who facilitate Coastal UpLift
will be richly rewarded
Please Contact Us
BAY LIGHT 2002/2013
9–Panel Handpainted Archival Pigment Print
7 x 9 inches each panel
Edition of 5
As individual artists, we have been involved in the creation and exhibition of art throughout our lives. Our collaborative moniker, CoLabART—D. Paul/Small was fully birthed during our 1978 joint Yaddo Fellowship residencies and during our 2003 Yaddo Fellowships, we continued individual efforts as well as our collaborative, transmedia Voice of the Landscape work-in-progress.
Our endeavors reflect both the inner musings of our imaginations and impressions culled from living in Europe, Mexico, New York and Los Angeles.
The fulfillment of a dream to retain the tactility of the artist's hand while letting the new tools of the digital age serve as a palette for our imaginations has been realized with our transition to California.
It is here that our desire to dialogue with creative artists from the past—as well as collaborate with multi—disciplinary artists of our own time, has come to fruition.
COLLABORATIVE ART BIO
The work of CoLabART is a collaboration of two artists—Lynn Small and her husband, Dennis Paul. This fusion of imagery and sensibilities has resulted in a unique body of work, distinct from their individual endeavors.This union has resulted in an evolving body of work that challenges the boundaries of painting, photography and, with the introduction of the digital realm, 21st–century art.
Their mixed-media work incorporates contemporary photography as well as 19th–century non-silver processes with painting, drawing, printmaking, and digital imagery. With the inclusion of naturally–occurring elements from specific sites, three-dimensional configurations also play an expanded role.
Several ongoing series have included the nude and a focus on the American landscape vision as metaphor. The EARTH Series seeks to address varied perspectives on contemporary issues through the use of Landsat photographic surveys, exposed earth strata and the emergence of civilization's buried by-products. Areas of unspoiled beauty still in tenuous existence or the hidden, impending disasters within the sublime are captured and preserved in the LONG ISLAND/HAMPTONS, PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH and CALIFORNIA portfolios and those that have been forever altered as in the LOVE CANAL and Strange Kind of Love Series.
In 1993, a museum commission of a site-specific installation opened up a new phase in their exploration of the spirituality in contemporary art. What ensued was their collaboration with other artists of many disciplines, both living and deceased. The inclusion of digital sound, video and interactivity has become increasingly essential. This intricate layering of diverse imagery and multimedia weaves together many threads from past and present bodies of work and has resulted in a number of new series: EARTH ELEGIES and the KABBALAH with its GOLEMESS—PROTECTRESS FOR THE ARTS and LETTERS OF FOUNDATION—a Hebrew alphabet both ancient and modern.
Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, California
LYNN SMALL is an honors graduate of The High School of Music and Art, NYC and New York University where she studied with such renowned artists as Milton Resnick, Esteban Vicente, Hale Woodruff, John Opper and Robert Kaupelis. In the early 1970s, while living and working in Spain, she began work on the Earth Stains series and had a solo exhibition at the USIA Cultural Center in Madrid. This has been an ongoing body of work that, along with her artist husband, Dennis Paul has evolved into the collaborative multimedia installations–Earth Elegies. In the mid 1970s, she began a series of anthropological, God–like imagery while the couple lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico. This major body of work would later inspire her Southwest Spirit Guides series. In 1978 and again in 2003, Ms. Small was a recipent of a Yaddo Fellowship in Painting and NewMedia. She has also been a finalist for the Gottlieb Foundation Grant in Painting in 2003, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
DENNIS PAUL's work began while pursuing graduate studies in psychology at The City University of New York. In addition to his artistic endeavors, he is an arts administrator and consultant. In the late 1970s, under Commissioner Henry Geldzahler, he established the Development Office for the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. Subsequently, he created the Development curriculum for the Post–Graduate Program of Museum Studies, New York University where he lectured from 1980-85. Earlier in his teaching career, he wrote the pilot programs for RITA [Reading Improvement for the Arts] and AGE [Art in General Education] – both recipients of private and federal funding. These programs, now eligible for replication funding, are nationwide. In 1978 and again in 2003, Mr. Paul was the recipient of a Yaddo Fellowship in Photography and NewMedia.
In the mid-1970s, Paul and Small were involved in the fashion industry in New York City as Fashion Metamorphosis, incorporating various art techniques into the design of women's apparel. This undertaking represented the earliest of their collaborations and evolved into the creation of the third artist, D. PAUL/SMALL.
The artists have lived and exhibited in New York, Europe, Mexico and Los Angeles. Their work has been shown in numerous galleries and museums. They have lectured at such places as The Museum of the City of Mexico, the Art Institute of Chicago, Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California and are the recipients of various grants and awards. The couple is represented in public and private collections both in the United States and abroad.
Having thematically intersected at various stages of our careers, the idea of collaborating to build upon our individual endeavors struck a responsive chord.
During the two decades, opening this further to include writers, musicians
and visual artists of our own time, as well as those that preceded us,
has helped in our efforts to blend these various disciplines.
It has also brought us an additional gift,
a fuller understanding of the creative spirit within us all.
Launch of A Strange Kind of Love — a commemorative crossdisciplinary project on the 40th Anniversary of Love Canal
Terrain Biennial Los Angeles, Golemess IV — Protectress of Truth, Installation + Performance
viewart.com major revision
— a 20 year "facelift" that includes:
"A Life In Art"
"Moments in Time"
"Looking At Art"
Along with new videos on YouTube
StrangeLove, Earthly Sins: Earth Elegies V
A WorldWideWeb Participatory Environmental Confession Project
Multimedia Installation Videos on YouTube
Love Canal, 30 Years Ago
The Future of Nations—Environment: Citizen Artists Making Emphatic Arguments
18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA + Inaugural Exhibition, La Casa Del Tunel Art Center, Tijuana, Mexico
Al Nodal, Curator Statement
Project Artists Statements
Jewish Magic: Folklore and Fantasy, JCC of San Francisco, CA
Multimedia Installation Videos on YouTube:
Voice of the Landscape: Earth Elegies III
In The Beginning: Earth Elegies II
Debut Online Portfolio Viewings:
CosmicMass Celebration - Cathedral at Saint John The Divine, 1975
A Strange Kind of Love - Love Canal, Blueprint for a Disaster, 1978
Yaddo Return - Fall, 2003
Ocean's Edge, Terrain.org - Issue No. 12, An Online Journal of the Built & Natural Environments, Featured Artists - ARTerrain - Long Island /Hamptons Portfolio, Earth Series
Tradition and Transformation, Inaugural Exhibit, Bell Gallery, Federation Los Angeles, CA
The Art of the Alef-Bet, Bureau of Jewish Education, San Francisco, CA
Elements, Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA
New Talent II, Lois Neiter Fine Arts, Sherman Oaks, CA
Dialogues With The Deity, Solo Show and Artist Talk, ARTOPIA Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Spiritual Matter in Contemporary Art, Solo Site-Specific Installation and Artist Talk,
Platt Gallery, University of Judaism, Los Angeles, CA
Angels, Ancestors & Spirit Guides, MYTHOS Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Aishet Hayil/Woman of Valor, Site-Specific Installation Commission, Yeshiva University Museum, NYC
Third Annual Hudson River Photography Annual, Fish Library, Garrison, NY
Artists Night, Bergen Museum of Art & Science, NJ
Nature - Fact & Fantasy, Rockland Center for the Arts, NY
Second Annual Hudson River Photography Annual, Butler Gallery, Marymount College, Tarrytown, NY
The Expert Eye, Wunsch Arts Center, Long Island, NY
Group Show, Nassau County Museum of Fine Art, Long Island,
NY Hudson River Open, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
Collaborative Works: Pennsylvania Dutch Series, Solo Show, Freedman Gallery, Albright College, Reading, PA
Artists Members Show, Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, NY
69th Hudson River Annual, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
Gallery Artists, Kathryn Markel Gallery, NYC
Photo Start, Bronx Museum of the Arts
FotoVision 82, Foto Gallery, NYC
Perceptions, SoHo Photo, NYC
Paperworks 80, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
Group Show, 80 Washington Square Galleries, NYC
28th Annual New England Exhibition, Silvermine Guild Galleries, New Canaan, CT
Women Artists Working in the City, Group Show, Museum of the City of Mexico
Inaugural Group Show, Galeria Uno, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Group Show, Galeria Trini, Cuernavaca, Mexico
Photo/Graphics, Solo Show, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY
The Spanish Series, Solo Show, USIA Cultural Center, Madrid, Spain
New Talent in Printmaking, Anschel Gallery, London, England
31st & 30th Annual National Print Exhibition, Jersey City Museum, NJ
New Work, Solo Show, Bronx Council on the Arts Gallery,
NYC Group Show, Avanti Gallery, NYC
GRANTS AND AWARDS: Partial Listing
Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY, Residency Fellowships in Painting/Photography/MultiMedia
Judah L. Magnes Museum, Berkeley, CA, Photography Award
Yeshiva University Museum, NYC, Installation Commission
Rockland Center for the Arts, Mixed-media Award
Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY, Residency Fellowships in Painting/Photography
Westchester Art Society, Mixed-media and Graphics Awards
White Plains Arts Festival, Graphics Award
3M Corporation, Madrid, Spain
H.E.W./E.S.E.A. Title III, Language Arts Through Visual Arts
Polaroid Corporation, Matching Materials Grant
Bronx Council on the Arts Annual Show, Painting Award
LECTURES/ARTIST TALKS: Partial Listing
Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, California, The Making of Marks: Art, Technology
and Philosophy in the Digital Age
University Women, University of Judaism, Bell Gallery, Los Angeles, The Kabbalah Series
Los Angeles Judaica Collectors Club, The Kabbalah Series
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall, In the Beginning—Earth Elegies II
University of Judaism, The Threads That Bind Us - Earth Elegies I
Artopia Gallery, Dialogues With The Deity
Yeshiva University Museum, Docent staff, Woman of Valor exhibition
NJ Committee Arts for the Handicapped, Developing a Fundraising Strategy
NYC Metropolitan Historic Structures Assoc., Public Funding Opportunities
Art Institute of Chicago, Utilization of Film Techniques in Communications & Modern Art
Museum of the City of Mexico, Photography as Art + Women in the Arts
USIA, US Embassy, Madrid, Spain, Trends in Contemporary American Art
Board of Education, NYC, Language Arts Through Visual Arts
The landscape work is often difficult and time consuming. Our desire to capture a sense of place particular to a specific region, yet release more universal memory traces, make a difficult task even more so.
The presence of obstacles - difficult terrain, harsh weather, exhaustion - often corresponds to the nearness of treasure, a moment of time, light or physical presence which always brings us closer to the desired. Through the details of a specific landscape - the macrocosm of nature - one can meditate on the wonder of creation itself.
For over three decades, we have dedicated ourselves to the pursuit of the vanishing American landscape.
To date, our ongoing series has focused on specific geographical areas such as LONG ISLAND\HAMPTONS, CATSKILL\ADIRONDACKS, PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH, SOUTHWEST, CALIFORNIA, and early on, the environmental disaster area known as LOVE CANAL.
It encompasses many themes, waterfalls, farms, desert, etc., and integrates satellite imagery from the mid-1970s onward. Our newest multimedia, site-specific installation series, EARTH ELEGIES - The Threads That Bind Us, In The Beginning, and the works-in-progress, Voice of the Landscape and Coastal UpLift, utilize diverse digital media, i.e., SoundScapes, multiple video projections, web interactivity, the latest printing processes, etc.
Our EARTH Series encourages reflection upon the various implications inherent in the utilization of the earth's natural resources. It reflects the spiritual nature of all creation and encompasses both individual and collaborative works. It explores these issues in varied media and from three distinct perspectives of above, at and below the Earth's surface.
It is our belief that it is only through the finite nature of every existing thing
that we may deduce the existence of the infinite.
Those who facilitate the completion of Coastal UpLift will be richly rewarded
©1993-2019—CoLabART • D. Paul/Small—Lynn Small + Dennis Paul
All rights reserved.