Menthe Wells

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Kylin Gallery has been established to encourage cultural cross-fertility through education, marketing, and, most especially, presentation of and support for art and artists that consciously “build bridges” between East and West. By opening in Beverly Hills, Kylin Gallery has targeted the Pacific Ocean as the body of water it will span with its metaphorical bridge. But this spirit of bridge-building will lead the gallery in all appropriate directions. Its program will feature art by Eastern and Western artists alike who look across the geographic and aesthetic divides in order to marry and merge idea and practice. The results will be not simply hybrid, but fused: in the art at Kylin, it will be hard to tell where one civilization leaves off and the other comes in, but it will be easy to see that both are present.

Menthe Wells

Menthe Wells

Menthe’s multifarious variety of style and fusion of east-west cultures includes her work incorporating Asian features in large wall hangings. Her work that has been exhibited in the Cica Museum of Art in Korea, the Chiang Mai Museum of Art in Thailand and other international Asian LA Art Core exchanges was influenced by the 1964 New York City private discussions with Lipchitz on the cubist influences descending from Primitive African Art resulting in a flow to the “spirit of optimism.” They met in the Segy Gallery, and Jacques Lipchitz was blending cultures of French and central European influences with the sculptural form of bronze metal experience in his own work.  There were cultural connections as Menthe was born in New York City, with a legacy of America- immigrated European born grandfathers who lived in Italy and France. Menthe’s earliest study of painting was in the Museum of Modern Art as a child artist, moving to formal painting study (under Lam [MOMA exhibited artist] who worked directly with both Josef Albers and Hans Hoffman). Five years of fine arts painting conveyed her distinct Albersian-color-based influences (BS Art, Dana Scholar, University of Bridgeport). Under the Roy Lichtenstein led art department at Rutgers University, Menthe received her Masters in Art (fine art painting and sculpture). In the period of her Masters studies, she regularly discussed sculptural planes, metal, materials, and forms with Lipchitz in NY City’s Segy’s gallery in 1963-1964. The Lipchitz discussions embraced cubist forms and metal-based creative experiences forming Menthe’s current welded steel sculpture. While at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in the capacities of teaching, exhibiting, and developing the public-funded museum works of “Impressions” (the first time this type of work had been developed in a Museum) the work evolved as a year-long sight-sound intermedia project curated by the Museum Directors Elliott and Selby and originated and created by Menthe).In this time period, she fully embraced synaesthesia in her own works. Menthe determined a PhD path in the examination of synaesthetics (Dp ED and PhD, as a doctoral scholar with degrees awarded by the University of Connecticut). Crossing paths with Robert Rauschenberg and his delightful whimsy at openings in the Atheneum’s events influenced her use of media, color and form in soft sculpture. Menthe merged idea, practice, color-and-form with whimsy in media fusion and cultural expansion of synaesthetic form, initially in soft sculpture, which resulted in the Hartford Courant as featured artist in a Sunday Edition full-page-spread as “Soft Sculpturist Extraordinaire.”    The outcome included Menthe’s art expanded work “happenings/events” for Gene Feist’s innovative directions of the fusion of the arts in the Roundabout Theatre in New York City.