The Art Galleries at California State University, Northridge is hosting two new exhibitions that explore the iconic abstract work of CSUN emeritus faculty Robert Bassler and showcase the diverse experiences of U.S. veterans.
Titled, “PERMUTATIONS: The Work of Robert Bassler,” the exhibition surveys over 40 years of work by Bassler, who was faculty at CSUN from 1964 – 1997 and passed away in 2022. The show, which runs through Oct. 14, focuses on Bassler’s artwork in abstraction, geometry and transparency from the 1960’s to the 2000’s.
Bassler utilized a broad range of media – including metal, cast resin, plexiglass, and painting – that allowed light and shadow to interplay with his physical works. His manipulation of material and optical effects created works that are simultaneously physical and ephemeral, continually shifting and evolving each time they are viewed.
“He was always trying to experiment and find new and creative ways to produce art in forms that people weren’t accustomed to,” said Art Galleries Director Holly Jerger, who curated the exhibit. “That’s why his work still stands out today.”
While some of Bassler’s work has previously been spotted around the campus over the last few decades, the new exhibit represents a “reintroduction of his vast collection to the campus community,” Jerger said.
“For many people, this is the first time they might see Robert’s work and get the first chance to fully understand the complexity and creativity of his art,” Jerger said.
The accompanying exhibit, “The EVAC Project: Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaboration,” which runs through September 26 at the West Gallery, brings together veterans and visual artists to showcase prints based on the artists’ interpretations of the veterans’ stories.
The selection of 20 prints from the project illustrates the diverse experiences of U.S. veterans from all five branches of the military who have served from World War II through Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This collection attempts to create understanding of the varied experiences of veterans,” Jerger said. “Through this work, the public will have a window into each individual’s service and how the artists interpret those experiences.”
Through storytelling and art, the EVAC Project attempts to bridge the gap between civilians and veterans by educating the public about life in the military.
Both exhibitions will have receptions open to the public on Thursday, Sept. 7, from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
The CSUN Art Galleries’ program of innovative exhibitions utilizes regional resources to serve the diverse communities of the University and greater Los Angeles area. The galleries open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday.