12/29/2010 12:00 AM



(Los Angeles, California – December 29, 2010)  Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs continues to expand its commitment to commission and exhibit large-scale artworks with the unveiling of Oratorio at the End of a Black Rainbow ,two tapestry-like paintings totaling over 55-feet wide and over nine feet high at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in Terminal 1 on the Lower/Arrivals Level by Los Angeles artist Marshall Roemen.  The free exhibit is on display through April 11, 2011.

Roemen was intrigued by the public and private aspects of the arrivals lobby at LAX and approached his artwork as an experimental visual dialogue with the public.  “For me, painting is a private act, yet results in a form of public speaking,” says Roemen.  The paintings’ scale occupies the entire wall around the escalator forming the centerpiece across from which visitors sit, waiting for arriving passengers, who may then ponder a while within this space as a focused place of watching, waiting and listening.

Roemen’s artwork could represent a moment in time, a fictional place in the mind, or like the Rorschach inkblot, it may give rise to more possible interpretations than it resolves.  In describing his artwork, Roemen offers alternate interpretations around the notion of an oratorio, a term to describe a choral sermon as well as a solemn space.  To this he adds that the work conjures images of a kind of “fictional place at the end of a black rainbow,” an allusion Roemen uses to reference his interpretation of the ever-changing state of the natural landscape.

Around a layer of deep color tones, different shapes form a mix of patterns using gouache, graphite, oil, beeswax and 18k gold elements.  As diptychs, both paintings are almost mirror images, but with small variations that make them look more like paternal twins than identical.

            The purpose of the Airport Arts Exhibition Program at LAX and LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT), is to educate and entertain the traveling public, while emphasizing a cultural experience highlighting what makes Los Angeles memorable and interesting. Exhibits may be historic, popular, artistic, or graphic design in nature and may arise from museums, fine art, archives, environment, or other fields. Exhibitions can be found on display in Terminals 1, 2, 3 and Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, and Terminals 2 and 4 at LA/Ontario.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the seventh busiest airport in the world, offering more than 565 daily flights to 81 destinations in the U.S. and over 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 65 international destinations.  LAX is part of a system of three Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys generation aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.

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