On Saturday, August 19, Los Angeles’ Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) presents new works by Sarah Emerson in her first solo exhibition with the gallery, entitled “Ruin in Reverse,” in Gallery 2.

Cuteness and craziness collide in energetic displays in Emerson’s paintings and murals. The Atlanta-based artist’s contemporary landscapes present a bizarre version of the world, inspired by actual places and how they are affected by time, science, and human intervention. For “Ruin in Reverse,” Emerson questions the strange occurrences that make up our physical reality. The exhibition’s title is a reference to George Musser’s book, Spooky Action at a Distance: The Phenomenon that Reimagines Space and Time, in which the author tries to unravel the mystery of not only space and time but also the origins of the cosmos.


Space is the venue of physics; it’s where things exist, where they move and take shape, a concept Emerson embodies in her signature mix of geometric patterns and imaginary forms. Her images present magical and complex ideas about the theory of physics and our changing and ever-expanding universe. Within her compositions is a loopy macrocosm of skull-like formations and googly eyed characters peeking through wavy lines and shapes. The exhibition offers twenty new acrylic paintings, sparkling with rhinestones carefully affixed to each piece. Emerson explains that her work mixes darkness within a beautiful, bright setting, as that is the way of nature she is familiar with:

“My work presents viewers with highly-stylized versions of nature that propose impossible scenes that blend reality with abstraction. I do not try to replicate nature or real space; instead I address the disorientation and dizziness created by a world without a recognizable or stable horizon. I want to create the impression that the world is folding in on itself, perpetually transforming and adapting to the unavoidable decay and chaos created by human intervention and natural phenomenon.

In my compositions, I distort the physical laws that govern the real world because concepts like gravity, inertia, and locality do not govern our emotional perspective of the world. It is amazing to me that a world so beautiful can also be so violent. Although, terror and tranquility never truly exist simultaneously in the physical, the two emotions certainly reside concurrently in our memories. As it is presented, painting can flatten time, space, and memory in pictures allowing room for a reconciliation of otherwise incompatible states of being. The paintings exhibited in ‘Ruin in Reverse’ continue to build on the visual narrative of a landscape that is constantly in the process of ruin and renewal.”

The opening reception for “Ruin in Reverse” is Saturday, August 19 from 7-11pm at Corey Helford Gallery. The reception is open to the public and the exhibition is on view through September 16.

About Corey Helford Gallery:
Corey Helford Gallery (CHG) was first established in 2006 by Jan Corey Helford and her husband, television producer and creator, Bruce Helford (Anger Management, The Drew Carey Show, George Lopez, The Oblongs) and has since evolved into one of the premier galleries of New Contemporary art. Its goals as an institution are the support and growth of young and emerging, to well-known and internationally established artists, the production and promotion of their artwork, and the general production of their exhibits, events and projects.

CHG represents a diverse collection of international artists, primarily influenced by today’s pop culture and collectively encompassing style genres such as New Figurative Art, Pop Surrealism, Neo Pop, Graffiti and Street Art, and Post-Graffiti.

After nine years in Culver City, CHG relocated in December 2015 to a robust 12,000 sq. ft. building in Downtown Los Angeles, seven times larger than its original space, where it continues to host exhibitions within the heart of the city’s art community. The current space boasts three separate galleries, each of which house individual artist and group exhibitions, whereas the main gallery offers 4,500 sq. ft., providing total immersion for its attendees. New exhibitions are presented approximately every four weeks. For more info and an upcoming exhibition schedule, visit CoreyHelfordGallery.com

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