Artist/Furniture-Maker John Cederquist’s Work Takes Center Stage
(Santa Ana)— The Santa Ana College Main Art Gallery unveils a new fall exhibit titled “John Cederquist: Pictorial Illusions Sculpture in Wood,” featuring the works of the prominent artist/furniture maker. The exhibit, which is free to the public, will officially open on Saturday, September 15 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. with a lecture by the artist in the Fine Arts Building “C,” Room C-104. A reception will follow in the art gallery from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Cederquist, a San Juan Capistrano resident, is best known for his intricate and often deceptive constructions, many in the form of furniture. By painting on the surface of the artwork, the artist creates illusionistic effects using perspective and depth to make his works appear to be three-dimensional. Using traditional furniture types—chests, chairs, benches, cabinets and the like—he constructs his pieces using hand-laminated veneers glued to a plywood body.
The Santa Ana College exhibit will feature 18 examples of Cederquist’s inspiring work. Among the pieces are six cabinets in Cederquist’s Heavenly Victory series. The cabinets are shaped like “kosode,” a short-sleeved form of kimono, and feature propaganda imagery. During the Asia-Pacific War (1931-1945), clothing and textile designs served as a vehicle for patriotic propaganda for the Japanese, British, and Americans. In Japan, kimonos expressed attitudes towards war and aligned the wearer with the war effort. Some of these wartime kimonos depict U.S. planes being destroyed. Cederquist launched his Heavenly Victory series in 2007 when the Iraq War was in the headlines.
According to the Bellevue Art Museum, where Cederquist’s work was most recently shown, “Reality and illusion brilliantly merge in [his] fine art furniture. …Flat surfaces come to life and form no longer follows function. A master of deception, the artist's inspiration comes from diverse sources: Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints, Popeye cartoons and popular iconography from the East and West; all adding to the dreamlike quality of [his] ingeniously constructed pieces.”
Cederquist’s work is found in the Museum of Arts and Design, Craft and Folk Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Mint Museum of Craft, among others.
The exhibit will continue in the college’s Main Art Gallery through November 1, 2012. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday, 10:00 am. To 2:00 p.m. and Thursday evening, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, contact (714) 564-5615.
About the Rancho Santiago Community College District
The mission of the Rancho Santiago Community College District (RSCCD) is to respond to the educational needs of an ever-changing community and to provide programs and services that reflect academic excellence. Santa Ana College and Santiago Canyon College are public community colleges of RSCCD, which serve the residents of Anaheim Hills, East Garden Grove, Irvine, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and Villa Park. Both colleges provide education for academic transfer and careers, courses for personal and professional development, customized training for business and industry, and programs to train nurses, firefighters and law enforcement personnel.
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