The Holographic Principle

6 May - 3 June 2023

Claire Colette, Katy Cowan, Tomory Dodge, Rema Ghuloum, Joanne Greenbaum, Pamela Smith Hudson, Xylor Jane, Pamela Jorden, James Little, Kristy Luck, Helen Lundeberg, Christy Matson, Allison Miller, Annabeth Marks, Paulina Peavy, Otto Rogers, Muzae Sesay, Alan Shields and Anke Weyer.



Philip Martin Gallery is proud to present, "The Holographic Principle," an exhibition of two-dimensional works by 19 artists of different generations and backgrounds. Each of these artists in their respective practices consider what picture-making is, how it works, and what it means. "The Holographic Principle" draws its title from the intersection of string theory and quantum gravity; specifically, the idea that, as Sean Carroll writes in describing the work of Raphael Bousso, "information describing a black hole can be thought of as living on the event horizon (the two-dimensional boundary of the hole), rather than distributed throughout its volume, as normal physics would lead us to expect.” 

The idea that reality in some sense is a three-dimensional projection coded onto two dimensions sparks interesting ideas about painting, a medium that, as Maurice Denis noted in 1890, "before being a horse in battle, a nude woman, or some other anecdotal thing - is essentially a flat surface covered in colors assembled in a certain order.” Denis writes in the context of Les Nabis at the close of the 19th-century. New awareness of Hilma af Klint's 1906 work further opens up our perspective with regard to “abstraction” at the beginning of the 20th-century. "The Holographic Principle" brings together seven decades of picture-making, touching on specific moments in American and Canadian painting, with an emphasis on multiplicity, open methods and possibility for maker and viewer alike:

Claire Colette - "I’m interested in systems, boundaries, order – such as the idea of a universal order, systems in nature, a game with a set of rules, etc – and the infinite possibilities that can occur."

Katy Cowan - "I love accidents. I love incorporating accidents into my work and learning to react to them, to build off of them. Accidents are how I learn, and they are what allow me to keep making work."

Tomory Dodge - "I like the formal tension that comes from the inclusion of different approaches to painting on one surface. But I think a lot of that tension comes from my own doubt in the adequacy of any single approach or system of painting. There is often a simultaneous doubt and fascination by the last mark or action I’ve made. I’m often driven to alter it by doing another action on top of it, not to obliterate or eradicate it, but to make it not so easily absorbed into a preconceived system or approach to painting. I try to make it a hybrid in a way."

Rema Ghuloum - "I make work that responds to my internal and external environment, which could be my studio, its surroundings, a song, a painting, a poem, even a feeling. I am interested in the function of memory, the way in which experiences get absorbed in the body on a cellular level, and how those recollections can lead to imagination and transformation. I think it is interesting to observe how sensations can be translated – from touch, to sight, to feeling. I try to make work that can be seen, felt, and really experienced. I want to create or capture an energy that is transmitted through my process that is hard to pin down."

Joanne Greenbaum -  "One thing I can say about myself is that I don’t ever stay still. It doesn’t mean I’m always moving forward, I could be moving back. Sometimes I want to go back to something I did earlier and then bring it forward. But the paintings are a sort of exploration. I don’t really like that word because I don’t think about it like that at all, but somehow I think it’s more about being true to whatever your energy is at that moment and tapping into it as a source, which essentially makes the painting."

Pamela Smith Hudson - "My creative process is intuitive and spontaneous. Nature is a big inspiration. I use earth tones and also graphite to show organic abstractions that can reflect rhythm and movement as well as stillness. The techniques I use help me achieve a sense of magnification and topography--printmaking, encaustic painting, and mixed media drawing."

Xylor Jane - "You must have well-being to give the full devotion to the practice. I removed all of work-like vocabulary from my studio practice many years ago. So now I say, “I’m going to the art studio.” I never say, “I’m going to work.” It’s like a place of worship."

Pamela Jorden - "For me, these paintings are experiments and improvisations with viscous pours of color. There are scale shifts in the paintings. Graphic fields dissolve into granular pigment dispersions. The paint moves in all directions. The edge of the paintings at times contains the pours, and at other times it flows over or around the frame...This painting distorts and fractures light logic, rearranging and reimagining color relationships. Gravity and magnetism come into play. All of these optical experiences, layers of focus, fragmentation, seeing, not seeing, broad scale, minute detail; this is what I’m thinking about lately."

James Little - "I try to get to the most primal feelings that we have: Color, I try to evoke (not provoke) a sense of smell, taste, feel. I also project physicality in the painting, such as speed, content, and things like that. No actual literal references.”

Kristy Luck - "I want my surfaces to generously reveal their making to the viewer in visible, built-up layers and repeated patterns. At the same time, I let the forms in the image slip out of grasp to evoke personal or private mystery."

Helen Lundeberg - "I have never been interested in pure, non-objective abstraction: I love, too much, the forms, perspectives, and atmosphere of our natural world...What I try to do is use abstract forms to create three dimensional forms, to suggest, to evoke...I think a painter must be influenced by what he sees, all the time or even by what he conceives around him. Because I’ve been looking all my life, it was one of my favorite occupations. I’m terribly visually minded. And when I was a kid (in Pasadena) and we went for the Sunday afternoon drives that people went for in those days, or went anywhere, I would always be in the back seat, looking at everything."

Christy Matson - "I think about textile in relationship to body, and there is a certain kind of physicality that we have in inhabiting our own bodies, and I think textile is a nice metaphor for that."

Allison Miller - "The term ‘abstraction' is all-encompassing, bringing with it the most freedom, flexibility and possibility with which I can approach making a painting."

Annabeth Marks - "These paintings ask that the viewer slows down, and spends time with them. They unfold over time. The surface is so dense, and kind of intricate, and there is a lot of information that is hard to capture in a flattened image. There is so much that can be gleaned from seeing the work in person...In the paintings, I’m always interested in building a space that has an interiority to it, like a window, where there is an area of depth, that is built up through illusion, color and gesture. An area of the painting that you can kind of enter, or go into, that is a space of painting for me where it gets interesting—when the viewing is going both in and out within one object."

Paulina Peavy - "Early in my painting career, I found strange forms developing by my brush. I explained to myself that I had gotten on a beam, that I had tuned in on a power vast and wonderful."

Otto Rogers  - "It's a long process of evolution. Each picture really makes it possible for the next picture. I never plan a picture in the beginning. I just begin the work and I set up a relationship of two or three elements or sometimes four elements and then I start to measure the qualities that they seem to attract in each other, and then I try to build on that...I think the principle of diversity is so important, because you notice one quality has this distinction, another quality has that distinction, and you begin to compare the two. And really the art comes in the comparison..."

Muzae Sesay - "In one aspect painting is completely endless and just thoughts and ideas all can have an avenue to be explored through painting...I think art is endless because ideas are endless and ways of seeing are endless. Sometimes paintings reflect very large social ideas, very macro happenings and things like that, but also the smallest of micro happenings have the same weight."

Alan Shields - "The notion of being an artist can be just a concept, at first; the farther along you move, the more chance there is that something will flow along like a vessel, instead of coming out as idea."

Anke Weyer - "I am really not a firm believer in abstraction. As a matter of fact, I am not quite sure what it is supposed to mean anyway...On the contrary, I hope the works leave room for any possible interpretation. Showing a painting is rather like throwing my contribution into a dialogue than stating an aphorism."   

"Holographic Principle" is on view May 6 - June 3, 2023, with an opening for the artists Saturday, May 6 from 5 – 8pm.


Philip Martin Gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday 10-6. The gallery is located at 3342 Verdugo Road, Los Angeles CA 90065.


For additional images or information, please call 323-507-2037, or email