Joe Biel Exhibition Opens Dec. 21

"SENTRY: Large Scale Drawings by Joe Biel" is a selection of large-scale drawings produced from 2005 through 2013

Joe Biel creating mural

Joe Biel creates a site-specific wall mural in the atrium at Culver Center of the Arts.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – An exhibition of large-scale drawings by Los Angeles-based artist Joe Biel opens Dec. 21 at UCR ARTSblock in downtown Riverside and continues through March 22. “SENTRY: Large Scale Drawings by Joe Biel” is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition and is a selection of work produced from 2005 through 2013.

Working primarily with watercolor, graphite and colored pencil, Biel’s work at ARTSblock is delineated into two spaces — works on paper are presented in the Sweeney Art Gallery, and a site-specific, monumental drawing installation, produced during a three-week residency, takes precedence in the North Atrium Gallery at the Culver Center of the Arts.

“Known for his figurative drawings sustained by panoramic or vast negative space, Biel’s work raises several sentiments on the complexity and irony of the human condition,” said Jennifer Frias, curator for the exhibition and associate curator at UCR Sweeney Art Gallery.

The title of the exhibition attributes to the concept of a guard or “sentry” whose role is to prevent unauthorized entry to a place and keeps a watchful eye for threat, Frias explained.

“In Biel’s work, the ‘sentry’ is the impetus for contradictions — protecting what might appear as precious that could materialize into something detrimental,” she said. “He unfolds the challenges of his figures through latent tableaus tampered by an absence of sequence. Much like the human condition, Biel frames the scenes in his drawings to a riddle allowing the viewer to both relate and negotiate his or her own conclusion.”

Biel received an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Michigan and is currently on the faculty at California State University, Fullerton as associate professor in studio art. His work has been exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally, and has been included in group exhibitions around the country. He was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation award in 2003 and 2008. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

“SENTRY” was organized by UCR ARTSblock and supported by UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the city of Riverside.

UCR ARTSblock is located at 3824 and 3834 Main St., Riverside, Calif., and includes three venues: California Museum of Photography, Culver Center of the Arts, and Sweeney Art Gallery, which are open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., plus 6-9 p.m. for First Thursday ArtWalks. Admission is $3, which includes entry to all three venues, and is free during First Thursday ArtWalks (6-9 p.m.). For film screenings, Culver Center opens 30 minutes prior to the start time.

Media Contact


Tel: (951) 827-7847
E-mail: bettye.miller@ucr.edu
Twitter: bettyemiller

Additional Contacts

Jennifer Frias
Tel: 951-827-1465
E-mail: jfrias@ucr.edu

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