Rough Side, Fine

School News

Rough Side, Fine

February 21, 2017

The artwork of four USC Architecture faculty—Wes Jones, Lorcan O’Herlihy, Lee Schuyler Olvera, and Gary Paige—are featured in Rough Side, Fine, an exhibit at the A+D Museum, February 7-25, 2017.


“The sprays, blotches, smears, and rubs to be seen here all share one common characteristic: the works are done by architects,” writes Dora Epstein Jones, Executive Director of the A+D Museum. “However, unlike the more traditional technical drawing or the presentation rendering, these works are exercises in composition and effect, line and figure, shadow and light, field and object, created by architects in order to visualize their own work, and in order to push the paradigms of architectural exploration as far as the hand will allow.”


Wes Jones

“The only conscious relationship between my art practice and my architectural work is that the art is always done as part of the architecture—it is not about the buildings, it is in the buildings. I don’t think my art even shares the character or spirit of my architecture. Unlike Corbu’s art work, which is identifiable by its continuity with his architectural signature (why it works so well on his walls), mine is not “like” my architecture. Mine has no mechanical reference, no measure, precision or industrial flavor. My art work isn’t a way to discover architecturally useful shapes or colors or even to practice “design.” It is just about making stuff to put on the walls of my buildings and the critical games involved in that pursuit.”


Lorcan O’Herlihy

“Breaking ranks from architecture and moving meaningfully between various artistic disciplines is an essential exercise that broadens the horizons of each field. Allowing for small-scale exploration of geometries and form, the practice of mark-making becomes inseparable from the process of building-making. My artwork encompasses complex, textured abstract compositions driven by powerful gestural lines. Paintings are given depth through processes of erasure and collage. The erosion of spiraling lines and basic geometries reflect an interest in traditions of abstract expressionism and reference personal memories from which I draw inspiration.”


Lee Schuyler Olvera

“My drawings are meditations and reflections, inhabiting the realm between visual conventions: the vignette, the botanical, and the topographic. The drawings develop around the dependent circumstances of background, foreground, figure and field. Their ambiguity of scale simultaneously alludes to different experiences of the landscape: from the vastness of sky and cloud to the intricacy of branch and bark.


In reverence to craft, the mechanics of the drawings—an application of ink to paper, remains constant. The deliberate mark of line is used to carve the surface of the paper, each stroke relying on the proximity of others, accumulating density into form and space over time.”


Gary Paige

Before the term drone became a colloquial expression for an unmanned aerial vehicle, it was a word often associated with music describing a monophonic effect produced through the repetition or sustained effect of a note. The sound of monks chanting in Chion-in Temple or Glenn Branca’s Lesson No. 1 for Electric Guitar, for instance.


Similarly, in the visual arts, a drone effect can be created through the repetition of a mark or line and in my case, achieved by using a viscous medium and a straight edge. In this instance, the subject of the work involves drawing as a physical act and mark-making as an autonomous activity. And like ambient or trance music, the work is more interested in qualities of tone and atmosphere—the dissonant harmonies of drones and resonances—than shape, figure and composition.


More information on the exhibit and closing reception is available on the A+D website.