“Whatever it is you're seeking won't come in the form you're expecting.” —Haruki Murakami

The art world at large is always seeking the next big thing, searching for an artist that other galleries haven’t exhibited or looking for a painting that no other dealer can find. The hidden treasure is often the centerpiece of the discussion when we talk about art, and it's often related to being financially beneficial to someone. But maybe there is also something spiritual we desire, something that moves us, that helps explain the world in an expansive, multi-dimensional way. One of my favorite moments is when I discover the benches and seats in a gallery or museum just made for sitting and staring for hours on end, an experience that’s even more satisfying when catching sight of someone else enthralled and enveloped by an artist’s work. I recently sat back on a chair at the William Kentridge show at the Broad in Los Angeles just to listen to the animations and sound installations come to life, morphing and mixing within the echo of the space, a sort of transcendental experience that is integral to an art journey for me, the viewer.


We find ourselves this Spring Quarterly in a wide expanse, making connections and finding meaning in unexpected forms. In one corner of the world, in a small Japanese village tucked in the hills of Shikoku, there is a shop, The Rough Shop, forgotten and found decades later by a young man and his wife who have transformed it into a curated space of curiosity and art. It’s a time capsule, a rare trove where art springs to life in found objects, resurrections of memory, place, and space, punctuated by the thrill of discovery. When we spoke to Rufus Ward about the shop in Japan, it connected so eloquently with the works of the Transcendental Painting Group at LACMA some thousands of miles away. Their manifesto in the late 1930s was “to carry painting beyond the appearance of the physical world, through new concepts of space, color, light, and design to imaginative realms that are idealistic and spiritual,” which called to mind how The Rough Shop was in its own right, a temple of idealism and spirituality. Indeed, the echoes of past, present, and something else were possible. We then spoke with the young painter Molly Greene, who, embedded in social and environmental studies, finds meaning and possibility in a painting practice that illuminates her scientific research. “While in the process of making the paintings, things become clarified in some way,” she tells us, and in traditional visual art, she helps explain the future. An untraditional path, a journey of unexpected discovery. 

The Spring Quarterly is full of discovery where we least expect it, from Caleb Hahne Quintana’s investigation into his family’s migration, Jesse Mockrin’s allegorical masterpieces, Hayley Barker’s secret gardens, Gregory Rick’s journey to the center of the museum world, Sadie Barnette’s exploration of language, to Tish Murtha documenting the power of a lost generation, and cover artist Fátima de Juan tackling the graffiti world as woman and warrior princess for a new century. We seek and are surprised, day in and day out, and the beauty is that in each Quarterly, you join this ongoing odyssey. —Evan Pricco

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