AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MAY 2011
Dan Hernandez, Nesega Mythology, mixed media, 24 x 24 inches
Monkey Spoon 6.9.11 thru 7.9.11
Joseph JK5 Aloi, Ken Butler, Peter Drake, Christian Faur, Dan Hernandez, John H. Howard, D. Dominick Lombardi, Kendell Messick, Lori Nix, Susan Wides
Kim Foster Gallery
529 W 20th Street NY, NY 10011 (212) 229-.0044 www.kimfostergallery.com firstname.lastname@example.org
VENICE , C ALI FORNIA L A LOU V E R . C OM
Tom Wudl Immensities and Infinities: Further Specimens, From the Flowerbank World,
Enrique Martínez Celaya Wormwood 2 June — 9 July 2011
VENICE , C ALI FORNIA L A LOU V E R . C OM
Razvan Boar May 19 - June 25, 2011
Ana Cristea Gallery 521 West 26th Street New York, NY 10001 T: 212-904-1100; F: 212-904-1171 email@example.com www.anacristeagallery.com
Marine Contemporary 1733 â€” A Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291 T: +1 310 399 0294
Ricky Allman Wendy Heldmann Tom Hunter Jow Dennis Koch Littlewhitehead Peter Lograsso Christopher Michlig Robert Minervini Christopher Pate Stephanie Pryor Debra Scacco
littlewhitehead Bad News Debut U.S. solo show May 7 â€” June 18, 2011
COVER IMAGE: Hadieh Shafie - 10400 - 2011, ink and paper with handwritten and printed Farsi text “eshghe” (love), 30”x30”x3.5. Courtesy of Morton Fine Art, Washington, DC. (See Page 15)
EXHIBITIONS New York Los Angeles Washington DC San Francisco Philadelphia Santa Fe
Richard Kalisher PUBLISHER Donovan Stanley EDITOR Eric Kalisher DESIGN New York Editor Tali Wertheimer Washington DC Editor F. Lennox Campello Contributing Editor Roberta Carasso Contributing Writer Juliette Premmereur
acamagazine.com Advertising Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org 561.542.6028 / Richard Kalisher ÂŠ 2011 R.K. Graphics. All Rights Reserved.
Exhibition information courtesy of represented institutions.
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FEATURES 10 Ten Questions for Adam Krueger 14 Letter from Washington DC
ARTISTS 30 Nir Hod 32 Tracy Sharp 34 Lisa Soto
Ten Questions for Adam Krueger Tali Wertheimer work, emotions bleed together into a complex system of approximate truths. When I approach one of his canvases, I have the same sensation of trying and failing to rub my belly and tap my head at the same time. I see the fragmented sections of the figure and fill in the gaps — the highlights in the hair, creases in the neck, muscle in the arm — so that I become an artist myself in process. I am partially responsible for the work. At the same time I am filling in what may be some obscured crime scene. I’ve helped complete a crime; I am an accessory after the fact. The elation at being involved in the process of art-making is proximal to the guilt of being involved in one of Krueger’s scenes — my pride and embarrassment are side by side and at odds — and for me this is where the emotional complexity of his art originates. TW: Why do you use fragmented space?
Adam Krueger is a New York-based artist who has achieved insider success with exhibitions at Deitch Projects, David Zwirner, and Coleman Burke Gallery, just to name a few. For his first exhibition in Los Angeles, at Carmichael Gallery in Culver City, we curated a room of black and white paintings, drawings, and installations. This is a departure from the boisterous use of color seen in seminal works such as Fly in Ointment and Small Wonder. What remains the same is Kruger’s use of negative space. As with the works above, the artist tears away fragments from the canvas, allowing the viewer to fill in the missing sections from his or her own imagination. The fragments are bait, meant to lure you into his comedic yet possibly sinister world of nude women engaging in bi-
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zarre games with household objects, often in impossible contortions By filling in the gaps of these paintings, you are in effect the artist as well, you have helped make the image. This can leave you feeling partially responsible for the narrative content represented therein. At the same time its hopelessly exciting being apart of the artistic process. The complexity of the the dissonant emotional experiences — happiness and guilt — is part of the power of Adam’s work. If you try to pat your head and rub your belly at the same time, well its almost impossible. Everyone has tried and failed in grade school. One action bleeds into another. The proximity of actions causes the brain to group them together. Same is true of the proximity of feelings caused by viewing Krueger’s
AK: I feel that artists sometimes don’t give their audience enough credit. The viewers aren’t stupid by any means, so not everything needs to be spelled out for them. There is no fun if everything is explained and given to you, then there is no room for the ecstasy one gets from wonderment and confusion. It can be linked to voyeurism. It is more exciting when you see a woman in a window behind semi-open blinds, because you get to imagine what you are missing and it sparks mystery and you crave to see what you cant, just like a striptease. TW: What excites you about showing on the west coast? AK: It’s a new audience for my work; that’s why I am extremely excited with the opportunities that are coming up with the different exhibitions in Cali-
fornia. Also, I became very titillated when I heard a potentially true rumor that there are movie stars out in LA , meaning some gorgeous famous young lady may see my work, love it, and become infatuated with me, instantaneously resulting in an elaborate wedding with no prenuptial agreement, therefore allowing me to just focus on creating and not think about NYC rent. TW: Do you think it will be different than showing on the east coast? AK: I know that most people associate LA with color and sparkle, and NY with dry and dreary, but I don’t want to play into that reputation. I feel that people who look at and experience art come in with an open mind, with no expectations, and are prepared to be challenged, no matter what coast you are on. I feel my work speaks to lovers of the tagged terms, “east coast art” as well as “west coast art”. My work is grounded in tradition with a focus on the personal and conceptual elements I include, which people associate with east coast. The playful side — the fact that I cut out the paintings and install them onto the wall like a graffiti mural — speaks to what people tie in with West Coast art.
TW: What draws you to black and white? AK: I would say that I normally approach a piece thinking of producing it in color, but there are just some concepts that I feel work better in black and white. It depends on the mood that I want to set up. Color reflects reality, even if it is non natural coloring; it is still more within our world, whereas I feel that black and white images relate more to memories and thoughts. The absence of color makes us concentrate on a still image, a moment in time. TW: How did you come upon to using black and white to signify a moment in time? AK: I relate black and white to the origin of film and photography and the idea of documenting a memory, before color was introduced to these mediums, which gives it a sense of history and something aged. We all know we associate different colors with specific moods and ideas, but we do the same with black, white, and grey. I feel that the reason why black and white images signify a break from action is because of our relationships to the colors. Ultimately they signify loneliness, black representing death, and white being sterile representing isolation.
(clockwise from far left) Small Wonder, 2009, watercolor and oil on canvas, cut out and mounted to PVC plastic, arranged directly to wall; Fly in Ointment, 2008, oil on canvas, cut out and mounted to PVC plastic, arranged directly to wall; detail from Just Like I Remember, 2007, oil and watercolor on canvas, broken glass, installed on ground; Original Premium, 2009, oil on canvas mounted to PVC plastic and arranged to a black wall. Images are provided courtesy of the artist.
TW: Do you agree that your work has an element of the circus? AK: Yes, I enjoy going to the circus as well as carnivals. They have clowns, toys, little people, games, side shows, freaks of nature, ultimately creating a creepy yet fun atmosphere. I try to capture elements of these experiences and filter them into my work. With my colorful pieces, it may be more in your face than it is playful and strange because of the exaggerated color palette. But the black and white pieces are just as unnatural; it just may seam that the oddness is toned down because the associations we have with color as opposed to images in black and white. TW: In My Mattress, is the invisible figure alone? Feature
(from left) Audience, 2010, oil on canvas mounted to pvc plastic, toy monkeys; My Mattress, 2007, oil on canvas mounted to pvc plastic, spray paint.
AK: That is totally up for interpretation, and the piece actually evolved into this idea being the main focus, this uncertainty, and wanting to leave it open to the viewer and hopefully have them answer that question. Is someone behind her and forcing her legs to be so unnaturally and uncomfortably spread or is she doing it to herself as a self destructive pleasure...? Have we caught this figure in an awkward masturbatory moment, or are we witnessing a semi-hesitant and possible non-consensual act, or is it kinky foreplay...? TW: My Mattress is one of many works where you create a mystery as to whether the central figure is alone or with others. This reminds me of Milan Kundera’s book, The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, What do you see as the benefits of company? Of being with others? What are the dangers? AK: Think of it in terms of getting off. If you asked ten people whether they prefer sex with a partner or masturbation, I guarantee all of their initial responses would be fornication. You feel warmth, you feel wanted or at least accepted when having “company”. But what if the person is really terrible in
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bed, maybe causing unwanted pain? What if you start to become paranoid, possibly about your performance and not wanting to be judged for your sexual facial expressions or movements, or hoping that they don’t discover some personal secret that could surface from this interaction. You start to realize that maybe you could be happier alone, where there is no possibility of criticism, where you know what makes you content, and no chance of getting harmed. Sure, the pulsating partner may ultimately feel better because it is a change from the normal hand or toy, but in the end that hand or toy is safer ... although a bit more gloomy. I am into ineffectual actions of self display, figures performing and wanting to be seen while at the same time trying to hide themselves even though at times these actions may be self destructive. TW: What attracts you to quotidian objects, like Saran wrap, a box of crackers, wonderbread, and plastic baggies? AK: I am interested in everyday, common objects, but I like taking them away from their delegated uses and meanings while finding a metaphorical use for them. Crackers are usually bland and only part of a food pairing, maybe a base for cheese or a textured addition to a bowl of soup. People have their own associations and experiences with crackers, but the word cracker can stand for many things. This word has other associations even reaching to the world of derogatory racial ter-
minology. Our associations with objects and the thoughts that materialize when we hear the name of a particular item have been sculpted from our past experiences. Growing up, I remember my mother carefully wrapping the leftovers from the scrumptious family dinner, or shielding a plate of homemade Christmas cookies using Saran wrap. I try to take my memories of everyday objects and re-appropriate them to fit my interests as an artist. With my work, I try taking an object or two, and combine them with a word, masturbation, which stems from the Latin manu stuprare, meaning “to defile with the hand”. It can be a metaphor for self-love and narcissism, while simultaneously representing loneliness and insecurity. TW: We have spoken in the past about your use of the central female character as a stand-in for yourself, can you explain this? AK: In an effort to deal with my social anxiety, I distance myself from each work, doing so self-consciously via the female form. I do this to maintain a degree of emotional anonymity in a judgmental world, while allowing the viewer to relate to the universal nature of the subjects. Defensively, while yearning to perform, my “stand-ins” must be cut out in order to blend into their environment. See page 21 for a preview of the show at Carmichael Gallery. Follow Tali Wertheimer on Twitter: @tsplusprojects
Letter from Washington, DC F. Lennox Campello
Around the District, artist Hadieh Shafie is on a good streak right now. To start, Bruce Helander, Editor-in-Chief of The Art Economist and a White House Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, recently picked ten artists to watch in an article for The Huffington Post and Hadieh Shafie was one of the chosen ten. Shafie is currently also nominated for the Londonâ€™s Victoria & Albert Museum's prestigious Jameel Prize 2011. She recently received the Franz Bader Award in the DC region. Finally, this talented artist's solo exhibition titled The Sweet Turning of the Page, is currently on exhibition at Morton Fine Art (1781 Florida Ave, NW at 18th & U Street in DC) through June 3. This Iranian-born artist says that a constant element of her work has been "the significance of process, repetition and time all rooted in the influence of Islamic art & craft." Her ink and paper paintings are the end result of tightly scrolled and brightly colored rolls of paper which often hide hand-written text by the artist. While one is initially tempted to associate her work with Op-Art, Hadieh's intelligent and coherent marriage of pure color with a deeply personal cultural branding, pushes her artwork beyond the pure eye candy of that mode and begins to explore the process of adding a new contemporary dialogue to what can be lossely described as Islamic-influenced art. There's something powerful in these works â€” the tightly coiled colored rolls hide words, much like women in
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the tightly coiled world of many Islamic nations are forced to hide their words and opinions, especially in the brutal theocracy of her native Iran. There's an Orwellian aspect to these works with a touch of Washington Color School that makes them deliver an unique perspective to the spectacular artistic diversity of the nation's capital. It is no accident that Hadieh's works have come to national prominence originating from the DMV. Elsewhere in DC, the Jerusalem Fund Gallery has a special exhibition titled Breaching the Wall through June 24, 2011. The gallery invited artists from around the U.S., including Rajie Cook, Mona El-Bayoumi, Najat El-Khairy, Elena Farsakh, Adib Fattal, John Halaka, Michael Keating, Ellen O'Grady, Ammar Qusaibaty, Mary Tuma and Helen Zughaib, to create a work of art reflecting their perceptions of the separation wall in Palestine. Interpreted in painting, sculpture, video, photography, porcelain and other media, each artist's work speaks in their own unique voice to the theme of the exhibition. You like political art? Then, look for several of these artists to use their art to deliver their personal views, memories and political agendas, from the exceptionally uninformed, to the historically incorrect, to the haters who use words like "occupiers" in their statements, to the dreamers who hope for peace, rather than hate between the Biblical brothers who currently inhabit this historical land. Also look for the superbly talented Helen Zughaib and Rajie
Cook to steal this show. Jerusalem Fund Gallery is located in the Woodley Park area of Washington, Dc, at 2425 Virginia Ave NW. Also in the District, a new exhibit called The Illuminated Landscape opened at the Edison Place Gallery in the Pepco building at 701 Ninth Street, NW in Washington, DC. Thirty members of the Washington Society of Landscape Painters have contributed their interpretations of the landscape for the show, which runs through May 27. The 4000-square-foot gallery is located near the National Portrait Gallery and the Gallery Place metro. The entrance to the Edison Place Gallery is on Eighth Street between G and H streets, directly behind the Pepco headquarters entrance. In neighboring Alexandria, Dr. Jamie Smith, curator and partner of Conner Contemporary in Washington DC and Co-Director of (e)merge Art Fair, was the juror for their current show, which is titled In The Flesh 3, running through June 26. This is an exhibition that "examines contemporary figurative art. An all media exhibit that invites artists nationally and internationally to submit work for consideration that includes the human figure as its subject." As a fan of figurative art, I am really looking forward to see Dr. Smith's selections in the flesh (pun intended), but I am already willing to bet that our own DMV (DC/MD/VA) area artist Judith Peck will be amongst the best in this exhibition. Peck's enviable mastery of the painting medium, coupled with her ability to inject subtle psychological narrative into her work, makes this DMV artist one to keep an eye on. (left page) Hadieh Shafie, Flight II, 2011, ink and acrylic on paper, 26â€?x26â€?. (above right) Judith Peck, Considering the Veil; featured in In the Flesh III at Target Gallery (bottom right) installation view of Breaching the Wall at Jerusalem Fund Gallery.
BLEICHER GALLERIES BGartDealings.com email@example.com
(Ann McCoy Feb /2011)
CB Gallery [Caporale/Bleicher] BG Gallery [Bleicher/Golightly]
355 N. La Brea Avenue, LA, CA 90036 (323) 545-6018
1431 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 878-2784
5797 Washington Boulevard | Culver City, California 90232 | 323.272.3642 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.blytheprojects.net
NEW YORK CITY Rosemarie Fiore Priska Juschka Chelsea [May 19 - Jul 2]
Rosemarie Fiore: (top) Firework Drawing #67, 2011, lit firework residue on TS Saunders and Fabriano paper, 65.75”x89”; detail of Firework Drawing #25, 2009, lit firework residue on paper, 54.75”x41”.
Peter Blake Mary Ryan Chelsea [through Jun 18]
Peter Blake, Paris - 'Dancing' From Paris Suite, A Portfolio Of 20 Prints, 2010, Silkscreen, 22”x 14.63”, Edition Of 100.
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With Artificiere, Rosemarie Fiore continues her practice of using fireworks as her sole medium to create works on paper and, most recently glass sculptures, by uniquely using fireworks and smoke bombs for her work and compositions. By referring to the Italian word artificiere for 'pyrotechnician,' Fiore points out that the first gunpowder and fireworks specialists were considered artful masters of a rare trade. Ars, the Latin noun for art and skill, and ficere or facere, the Latin verbs for creating and making, extrapolates Fiore’s intent. Applying and adding a new method, Fiore cuts and slices into layers of paper, then ignites the fireworks and smoke bombs in between the paper folds. The effect, similar to a Rorschach test, creates a mirrored pattern within the entire composition, produced by fireworks randomly exploding over the paper, sometimes contained and/or loosely dragged over the surface with both metal and plastic canisters in various sizes. Fiore’s introduction of glassworks expands her repertoire by sculpture combined with the method of
pyrotechnics, resulting in a series of Smoke Domes, blown glass with smoke bombs, sandwiched between two gathers of malleable clear glass at 2200 degrees, whereby the smoke bombs "breathe" bubble-like forms of glass, opal and gunmetal in color, for Fiore “mini-explosions contained in glass.” The artificer (English), a typically male mythological figure with exceptional powers in fantasy games, cartoons and animation also refers to Fiore’s determination to blur the gender lines often implied with the term and the task. The craft of controlling gunpowder and fireworks was highly regarded, first in battle, and then for celebratory occasions only entrusted to a few chosen men who had proven their expertise beyond doubt. By choosing this medium and making it entirely her own, Fiore has demonstrated that the control of fireworks can be as "artificial" as the connotation of being fantastical, chimerical, hallucinatory and as it must have occurred to the spectators of the first fireworks, marveling over the magical touch of the artificiere.
English artist Peter Blake. Blake has often been called “the godfather of Pop Art” and his work is widely shown and collected throughout Europe. He has rarely shown in the United States; this is his only third exhibition in New York since 1962. Though he is best known in the states for creating the album cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, his paintings, drawings, prints and collages have focused on all aspects of popular culture from sports to music to film. Beyond being seen as iconic imagery, Blake’s work has always had a particular ability to translate the social preoccupations of the time. While immersed in pop culture, his art belongs to a long tradition of figurative realism and he has been influenced by Victorian imagery, myth, folk art, outsider art and vintage illustration. Peter Blake: World Tour will feature 10 unique collages on paper and canvas depicting New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Venice and Tokyo. These unique mixed media pieces combine real imagery (vin-
tage postcards and photographs) with Blake’s invented additions, transcending time and leading the viewer deep into the artist’s imagination. This body of work features Butterfly Man, a whimsical character who travels the world orchestrating butterflies. This exhibition also marks the debut of Blake’s newest suite of silkscreens, Paris Portfolio, also based on vintage postcards, as well as two new editions, Union Jack and Old Glory. Blake is a relentless collector and experimenter. While all of the works in this exhibition feature imagery that has attracted Blake since the 1960s, his exploration of digital technology has added a new component to his collages. Computer scanning, manipulation, and ink jet printing happily provide Blake the ability to alter his collage imagery in ways that would not have been possible through earlier photographic techniques he used. By increasing the scale of his collage elements, Blake heightens detail and reveals new information to the viewer.
EXHIBITIONS Andrew Schoultz's new solo exhibition, UNREST, stems from the artist's continuing interest in issues of global turmoil and societal angst. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recent Japanese earthquakes and the BP oil spill all fuel this new body of work. Rather than depict literal narratives of these events, Schoultz captures their essence using an ever-expanding arsenal of pictorial symbols. Billowing clouds of smoke create an "all-over" surface reminiscent of abstract expressionism and op-art. These stylized clouds both unify the composition and veil the reality of the horrors depicted in the background. The obscuring impact that these clouds has on the images they hide may indicate the frustration
Schoultz has with the partisan and misleading information that the press has in disseminated to the public. Other oft-repeated symbols include crumbling and exploding brick structures and monuments, the rearing horse, the all-seeing Masonic eye, and a lit candle set against green, yellow and red camouflaged backgrounds. The lit candle, a universal sign of hope and optimism, suggests that even in uncertain times the human spirit is nothing if not optimistic. These recurring symbols function as visual cues for a loose narrative the artist has constructed previously. From this, Schoultz forms an historical construct that melds contemporary calamitous events with the broad sweep of Western civilization.
Andrew Schoultz Morgan Lehman Chelsea [through July 1]
This exhibition of new work by John O’Connor will include small to large-scale drawings, collages, and sculpture. O’Connor continues to develop his drawings through idiosyncratic systems, making visual what is ordinarily invisible. He begins each drawing with a subject of interest and through haphazard research collects data and begins to experiment with it. He completes one part of the drawing, responds to what he’s put down in a Rube Goldbergian way, and continues until the drawing is complete. Chance is an important element of the process, eliminating a purely aesthetic and
personal approach. The constantly evolving systems that O’Connor devises to construct the works exist alongside the final image so that his process becomes a visual element of the work; the concept of the drawing and its formal elements are represented simultaneously. His most recent and largest drawing, Drug Loop, reveals the circular effect of popular medications and their side effects. He begins at the top with “headache” and takes as solution, Bayer Aspirin. He then randomly selects from listed side effects, chooses a new medication to treat the side effect, and so on around a circular shape.
John O’Connor Pierogi Brooklyn [through Jun 12]
With the works in this exhibition, Florian Maier-Aichen continues his practice of picking apart and expanding notions of photographic representation. Many works in the show rely on a fully hybrid model of image production; utilizing practices of photography, painting and drawing in equal measures has allowed the artist to explore the myth of image-making in pursuit of a new form of the ideal photographic document. Aus Ven [From Hven], an image of the island of Hven in the Öresund sound, filters the explicit tropes of typical landscape imagery (clear skies, fertile fields, blue ocean) through the perspective of hard-edged abstraction. In La Brea Avenue in the Snow, Maier-Aichen uses historical photography as reference material to create a fairytale scene of a snowy day in Los Angeles. A paean to timelessness, it is also an
investigation of the photograph as creator of nostalgia for the inexistent. In two images titled Der Spaziergang, Maier-Aichen uses the animation technique of drawing on trasparent cells, combines the cells with watercolors, and photographs them. The minimalist characters in the image are not figurative, but reside in movie set-like western landscapes, seemingly remnants from another place and time. In two images titled Österjon (I and II), the artist again references minimalism, as abstract paintings referencing the work of Kenneth Noland are seen floating in bodies of water, functioning as landscapes. By visually flooding the artworks with the natural phenomenon of rippling water, Maier-Aichen is able to reify the notion of material destruction at the hands of nature and turn the paintings into a different kind of venerated object.
Andrew Schoultz, detail of Exploding Wall, 2010-2011,acrylic, gold leaf, metal flake, collage on 35 wooden panels, 90”x136”.
John O’Connor, Drug Loop, 2011, colored pencil and graphite on paper, 88.37”x72”.
Florian Maier-Aichen 303 Gallery Chelsea [through Jun 25]
Florian Maier-Aichen, Untitled, 2011, c-print 85.75” x 109.5” framed, edition of 6.
LOS ANGELES Zhang Huan Blum & Poe Culver City [Mar 21 - Jul 9]
Zhang Huan: (top) 49 Days No. 7, 2011, gray brick and steel, 66.87”x92.5”x66.87”; (bottom) Pagoda, 2009, gray brick, steel, and taxidermied pig, 244” (height) x 335” (diameter). Images courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe.
HK Zamani CB1 Downtown [Mar 22 - Jul 2] Zamani, Untitled, 2011, oil on canvas, 24”x36".
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For nearly two decades, Zhang Huan has established himself as one of the preeminent artists to emerge from China since the early 90s. Zhang has developed a vast body of work ranging from endurancebased body performance (while living in New York) to large-scale public commissions, painting and sculpting with incense ash and even reinterpreting Handel's classic opera Semele at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Belgium and the Poly Theater, Beijing. Central to his new exhibition, 49 Days, will be Pagoda (see left) an imposing brick sculpture originally displayed at the Shanghai Art Museum. The twenty-two foot tall bell shaped pagoda is comprised of salvaged brick collected from demolition sites surrounding Shanghai (centuries old buildings that have been bulldozed in place of modern architectural progress). Near the center of the structure is a carved window from which a taxidermied pig periodically emerges and from where clouds of incense ash are dramatically emitted into the gallery. Pagoda serves partly as a tribute to Zhu Gangqiang, or the “Cast-Iron Pig", now famous for having survived 49 days in rubble, following China's historic 2008 Sichuan earthquake. Upon hearing its story of survival, Zhang negotiated the pig's
purchase and has subsequently adopted him into his studio, employing a full-time caretaker and making his likeness a central part of his artistic practice. The number "49" (from which the show takes its title) is dually significant, both for its relationship to Zhu Gangqiang's story and for its connection to Buddhist thought, as the Buddhists believe 49 days is the amount of time ones soul remains on earth between death and reincarnation. In addition to Pagoda, Zhang will present a series of newly constructed brick sculptures taking the form of pigs (often larger than life) and skulls. Zhang will present sculptures that function as both freestanding floor pieces and twodimensional hanging wall pieces, in some cases weighing in excess of 4,000 pounds. The sculptures testify to Zhang Huan's interest in personal, community and artistic survival; topics he has been exploring in depth since his physically intense performance pieces of the early 1990s. The brick may also be viewed metaphorically, as the works are constructed by the hands of Chinese laborers, representing the building blocks of a new world super power and place of constant reinvention that depends on its vast population and its labor to ensure progress as a nation.
Los Angeles-based artist HK Zamani’s Inbetween Air, Land and Sea features the artist’s work over the past 20 years, ranging from paintings and objects to site specific, multi-media installations, often including performances. HK Zamani’s images in this series of new paintings grow out of or away from their predecessors—they are sometimes devils, then angels. Some are on land, in the air or sea, occasional remnants, reformed or transformed over multiple applications of paint. The artist’s dome paintings from recent past exhibitions were portraits, perhaps even selfportraits, fragile portrayals. Some were ruins, some were vessels that transport — chrome and against
corrosion — DeLorean, stellar. Many of the artist’s dome/tent paintings were more about the image than paint. The artist’s new paintings over the past 2 years, including the paintings in this exhibition, are most definitely about paint. In an LA Times review of a group exhibition at CB1 Gallery, David Pagel wrote that “Zamani’s meaty paintings come from the no-man’s- land between sleep and wakefulness, when consciousness is not fully functional and every little detail is more mysterious than usual. Cartoons form the backstory of his boileddown compositions, but abstraction comes to the forefront in his idiosyncratic pictures that hover on the cusp of recognizablity.” Zamani’s work is also in the permanent collection of LA County Museum of Art.
EXHIBITIONS Breach of Privacy, a group exhibition curated by Simmy Swinder, features the work of five New York-based artists whose creative practices span a disparate range of media, yet coalesce to represent compelling explorations of voyeurism in its shifting states of ecstasy, release and isolation. Via exhilarating photorealistic oils, hauntingly subtractive mixed media works and raw black and white photography, each artist fashions his or her own unique voyeuristic allegory, some oblique, others candid, but all bound by a bittersweet philosophical thread that delves far deeper than that which is externally revealed. The photographs and videos that comprise Yasmine Chatila’s captivating Stolen Moment series seize fleeting flashes of human behavior viewed through the windows of New York City’s architecturally stunning apartment buildings and transform them into timeless, edifying expositions of the world around us. Hilo Chen’s hyper-realistic renderings of the nude or semi-nude female protect the female’s identity without alienating it, allowing the viewer to observe and admire her physical perfection without voyeuristic guilt. Adam
Krueger’s elimination of key parts of a female’s body in an individual piece, whilst simultaneously emphasizing enigmatic shapes and colors via hand-cut stencils and atypical mixed media, seductively draws viewers in and invites them to complete the image in the privacy of their own mind. Sultry condensation, distorted bubbles and disheveled wet locks offer a tense, but thrilling contrast to the otherwise still waters that envelope the breathless faces at the heart of Alyssa Monks’ larger-than-life oils on linen. Jaclyn Santos crafts tender but unabashed oils on canvas that flout the clichéd notions of femininity to produce an unexpectedly multi-faceted array of intelligent opinions on this theme. Life is filled with glimpses of private moments and the artists in this show capture these experiences of curiosity, attraction and idleness and encourage complicity. In their fluctuation between delicacy and darkness, the works of art both reference the poignant beauty implicit in the nature of voyeurism and brazenly confront the societal mores that condemn the shameful exhilaration such an act can provoke in a person’s mind and body.
Ann Chamberlin works in a narrative tradition, drawing on art historical precedents such as Giotto and the ex-voto painting of Mexico and South America. In her new series, South American Paitings, these smallscale works address improbable realities with a decidedly contemporary set of concerns and freedom of means in terms of composition and format. She weighs the truth of images, words, and lies, but she refuses to provide us with a seamless tale. She leaves us without an ideology, but with separate truths, told through paint. This work is the result of well thought out ideas and deliberately made decisions to remain true to a "purity" of vision preserved by a candid spirit. Chamberlin, having rejected Academic rules and art school conventions, follows the dictates of her own vision. Frequently, we look at her images as if we see them from a bird's eye perspective, creating the illusion of hovering over them whether they are outdoor views in nature or inside buildings. Such interior scenes focus on individuals engaged in daily activities yet
isolated one from the other, functioning in a detached manner, enclosed in their own intimate worlds. Scenes repeated around and within a square allude to a Borges-like labyrinthine world, in which an instance of violence is repeated with tiny variations, as if to suggest that it could be replayed, rewritten, if one could only shift events ever so slightly. "Go back,” one painting instructs its protagonist and speaks to us as viewers, too. Figures are vulnerable, often exposed through gossamer screens of fabric, clothing, sheets of rain, imprisoning bars. Chamberlin is a witness to the violent and the ignoble, presenting it with an almost lurid palette but always seeking--through the tender act of painting, the soft fissure in which our humanity emerges, the moment in which human action has meaning. Certain images carry politically-related ideas and gestures, which draw the viewer into the maelstrom of current events and concerns. Even though they are exceptions, these, like all of her images, originate in the artists' psyche and experience.
“Breach of Privacy” Carmichael Culver City [Mar 21 - Jun 11]
(from top) Jaclyn Santos, Confinement, Oil on Wood, 18" x 24"; Alyssa Monks, Koi, 2010, oil on linen, 56”x84”; Yasmine Chatila, detail of the blondie teen - Greenwich Village, Tue 6:27 PM, digital print on watercolor paper, 40”x50” ed 4 2AP. Courtesy of Carmichael Gallery.
Ann Chambelin Lora Schlesinger Santa Monica [through Jun 18]
Ann Chamberlin, El Capitán Hermosa Always Lies and Fra Angelico who Always Knelt to Paint the Sky, 2011, oil on copper, 9”x8".
EXHIBITIONS Brendan Lott Walter Maciel Culver City [May 21 - Jul 9]
Brendan Lott: (top) Illuminated Arc, 2011, tape and mylar, 98”x122.5”x33.5”; (bottom) Total Information Loss, 2011, tape, string and paint on wood panels, 64”x127”x 14”.
Charline von Heyl 1301PE Mid-Wilshire [through Jun 18]
Charline von Heyl: (top) Catch Mad Wreck, 2011, acrylic on linen, 60”x50” Photographer: Fredrik Nilsen. (bottom) Flagbird, 2011, acrylic on linen, 82”x86”. Photographer: Larry Lamay. Images courtesy of the artist, 1301PE, and Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York.
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Up and Down and Top and Bottom and Charm and Strange, the most recent body of work by Los Angeles based artist Brendan Lott, represents a stark shift from Lott’s previously exhibited work. No longer photorealistic renderings of momentary adolescent awkwardness and unrestraint, the new works display linear markings that deal instead with abstraction, illusion and tightly controlled grids and patterns. The result is a stark environment made with a system of overlapping lines and negative space much like the ambiguity of a map for an unfamiliar city. Indeed, the works employ the walls of the gallery in ways beyond merely a presentation space. Using materials such as string, tape, Mylar, wood, wire and paint, Lott creates illusionistic wall drawings using a layering of different surfaces to combine the three-dimensional props with the two-dimensional surface. The intricate patterns form an austere language using simple colors, geometry, and observable negative space in keeping with the work of Frank Stella or Agnes Martin. The main difference is Lott’s approach and awareness of the gallery space itself. The works involve using the materials to piece together rigid, almost architectural diagrams formed of lines that vary in thickness and length. In the piece Exaltation of Pure Relations two triangular shapes overlap with consecutive lines made of black tape and balance on one corner point at the floor. The lines of each triangle work their way outward along either side before being intersected by a thick perpendicular line. The break causes a con-
sistent bend towards another corner of each triangle. The overlapping area forms a visual grid that is accentuated with Mylar to define the negative space. Two different sized square panels are incorporated into the composition and become part of the surface through the use of tape making a continuous line. The layout of each panel also includes Mylar placed in exact positions to challenge the notion of repetitive imagery within the overall pattern. In contrast to the drawings presented in the center of the walls, two works will be positioned in opposite corners of the gallery to emphasize untraditional gallery space. Both compositions demand a comparison of the surfaces along either wall and an awareness of the relationship of intersecting lines. One of the works employs the use of the floor to continue the patterning of the lines. Similar to the range in positioning and thickness of each line, there is a range in the materials used to represent them. In one work similar strings are arranged in a linear format to function as alternative lines. The strings are evenly positioned coming out of an existing gallery wall and intersect three identical wood panels, one placed flat on the floor and the other two placed upright on the wall. Throughout, it remains evident that each surface of constructed materials and the caged squares of white gallery wall created in their path were painstaking measured out. Illusion functions in the moments where the drawings can become sculptural or simply remain as a flat outline within the overall installation.
This exhibition by New York-based artist Charline von Heyl’s bold and untamable paintings. Each painting with its individual logic stimulates an open-ended on-going series of experiences. Within the same work von Heyl's painting can conjoin doubt and ecstasy, states of intoxication and sober insight. Her paintings command our attention. They arrest the viewer intellectually, physically and emotionally. For von Heyl, what makes a painting is a “mixture of authority and freedom, where it really just wants to be itself, where there is no justification, or explanation, or anything like that. Where it’s just what it is for whatever
reason.” Charline von Heyl's paintings do not sit still, as the eye searches attempting to trace layers, strokes & patches. The mind taking in this new information also shifts, creating its own images, activating our participation. Similar to Alice who cried "curioser and curiouser" as she tumbled down the rabbit hole, when traversing von Heyl's paintings one spirals through an on-going series of events in which everything seems possible, and we enter that "other world" of imagination. In its juxtapositions, contrasts, and unyielding von Heyl's paintings make the case for painting’s power to provoke. The artist was born in Germany.
EXHIBITIONS American debut of Courts represents the American debut by the young British photographer Elliott Wilcox, while Rotations and Rubbings offers new work by Southern California artist Laura Parker. In Courts, Elliott Wilcox photographs racquet, squash, and traditional “real tennis” courts absent any games or players. With an interest in discovering the details that are overlooked, Wilcox focuses on the graphic qualities of the open spaces with an emphasis on bold, flat colors and formal, linear structures. Wilcox explains, "the vivid stains, ball marks, blood and scratches force the viewer to focus on these details rather then just the courts." His rich colors and simple shapes create a strong exhibition. Wilcox has exhibited internationally. His Court series caught the attention of Charles Saatchi, and the famed collector shortlisted Wilcox for his BBC documentary television show. He recently won a Lucie Award for the Discovery of the Year at the International Photography Awards. Laura Parker resumes her
examination of time, structure and curious ideas in relation to perception. Each photograph combines a projected negative and a photogram, an image made without a camera by placing objects directly onto the surface of a photo-sensitive material and then exposing it to light. Her images then appear within a black field with a "light halo" around the object. In the end, each picture results in a circle. "From the planetary to the simple hollow of a bowl, I find myself attracted to the circle. It is perfectly balanced, there is a reference to optics and to the human eye, and a circle holds the tension between both unending movement and utter stillness." Laura Parker is collected privately throughout California and the United States. Her work was recently selected to be part of “Influential Element: Exploring the Impact of Water,” Long Beach Museum of Art. Parker also had an exhibit, with some of this work, at the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California. She currently lives and works in Pasadena, CA.
New Wilderness, a two-part exhibition of new color photographs by artist Anthony Lepore on view at both M+B and François Ghebaly, is a provocative series of photographs that lay bare nature as an historical construct governed by human invention and intervention. The series, comprised of numerous landscapes, undermines the commonplace distinction between the real (nature) and simulation (image), alluding to the power of politics and representation in shaping our interactions with the world. Although these photographs often suggest collage or post-production alterations, Lepore eschews digital manipulation and shoots with a 4 x 5 camera in the interpretive visitor centers of designated wilderness areas. As the title suggests, Lepore’s images recast the wild as it is restaged in the low-budget theater that is the visitor center. These spaces are the vestibules to wilderness—indoor recreations intended to instruct the newcomer on the open spaces they border, asking only that they walk the distance of the parking lot. By reframing these displays, which usually incorporate other photographs, these images also reflect on our predominant way of experiencing
nature—through photography. While the work nods to the idea that we are detached from the wilderness often by the very actions we take to “know it,” it is far from aloof. Lepore neither tries to simulate the meticulous fervor of the scientific naturalist, nor does he attempt to join that dense history or polemicize it. The pamphlet, the diorama, the topographical model are the iconic result of what resembles reverence. That the artist immersed himself in these environments to get long, 4 x 5 exposures denotes his involvement. He wants to go there too. An avid hiker himself, Lepore knows first hand the achy impossibility of “capturing” the wild in a photograph. It is only the body that can experience it. And this understanding on the part of the artist—that he can and must separate the ontological urge (to be in it) from the indexical urge (to know it)—that gives way to this new body of work that manages to refer to both. Born in 1977, Anthony Lepore’s work has been exhibited internationally, from Shanghai to New York to Basel and is held in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Elliot Wilcox and Laura Parker dnj Santa Monica [Mar 21 - Jul 9]
(top) Elliott Wilcox, Real Tennis 09, c-print, 2009, 30”x40”. (bot) Laura Parker, Landscape in Red and Green, 2009 detail, chromagenic monotype print, installation of 7 panels, 51.5"x72"
Anthony Lepore M+B West Hollywood François Ghebaly Culver City [Mar 21 - Jun 18]
Anthony Lepore: (top) Soft Spot, 2009, archival pigment print, 40”x50”, edition of 5 plus 2 artist’s proofs [at M + B]; (bottom) The Hiker, 2009, archival pigment print, 40”x50”, edition of 5 [at François Ghebaly]
EXHIBITIONS Group Show den West Hollywood [May 26 - Jul 8]
Kristi Lippire, from the book series 'Canary Island', gouache on paper, 7”x5". Courtesy of den.
Chad Attie Kana Manglapus Venice [through Jul 8]
Chad Attie, Caperucita Roja, 2011, mixed media collage. 20”x20”.
Diamond Dust See Line West Hollywood [May 26 - Jul 31] (below) Colin Roberts, Bubble Wrap Cube, 2011, urethane, 10” cube. (right) BH Smoothie, 5, 2010 lightjet print,edition 2 of 5, 24”x20”.
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When My Solution is a Hammer, All My Problems Look Like Nails is a group exhibition featuring Timothy Hutchings, Aragna Ker, Molly Larkey, Kristi Lippire, Renee Lotenero, Dana Maiden, and Matt Wardell. Exploring the spatial context of an object or blurring the relationship between different objects, these artists destabilize the perception of dimension and distance. Some of the artists alter what is flat to something spherical, others conjure illusionistic physical arrangements of the two-dimensional plane as well as the three-dimensional structure. In this group of works, there is no sole conventional method of carving, casting, or accumulating the same piece to build three-dimension structures. Instead
the sculptures are created through a mix of myriad materials and approaches. While exploring the formal aspect of the work through diverse means – with use of color or surface, utilizing photographic process or video compositions, employing an architectural approach, and integrating abstract imagery - the artists also address cultural concerns ranging from ethnicity to consumerism to urbanism. [The gallery will also present the solo project, (nothing but) flowers, by Sophia Allison. Allison’s installation is inspired by the organic environs of her life and her distinctive use of fragile, ephemeral material in her work reflects the impermanency of a natural world and as well as a manmade environment.]
Chad Attie’s practice is rooted in a quintessentially urban impulse to salvage a sense of beauty from the mundane trappings of the contemporary world. There is also a strong metaphorical significance in the way his works seem to have been made, by a hand often as much at the mercy of his materials as in control of them. The Girl With The Golden Eyes asks the question if it is ever possible to control what we see and attain what we desire, or whether by engaging with it we destroy what we touch. Throughout Attie’s career his work has been influenced by extensive travels to such places as Morocco, Russia, Burma, Vietnam, Japan, Turkey, and Cambodia. Many of the ideas in The Girl With The Golden Eyes have come from such contrasting cultural notions as well as environments, textures, and objects he has photographed or detri-
tus collected in his travels. Original photographs, thrifted paintings, broken toys, discarded book jackets and torn children’s illustrations are transformed by Attie into resonantly colorful images that simultaneously signify the material transience of the urban environment and the multiple layers its experience can manifest upon its inhabitants. At the core of Attie’s works is a set of rather dark ideas – the fragility of beauty, the inevitable loss of youthful innocence, and an uneasy sense of the rapaciousness of the male gaze. The Girl With The Golden Eyes exemplifies this in sampling eclectic representations of the female form from Hellenistic slaves to film stills of Brigitte Bardot. The Girl With The Golden Eyes ask the spectator to look at the world as he does, as a place rich in poetic subjects, but also full of contradictions and betrayals.
Curated by Janey Levy, Diamond Dust is a group exhibition including works by Raif Adelberg, Chad Attie, Katherine Gray, Shahla Kareen, Jenny Le, Joseph Lee, Lesley Moon, Rachael Neubauer, Colin Roberts, and Nicolau Vergueiro. Diamond Dust includes sculpture, installation, photography and works on paper. The works unveil the juxtaposed relationship between our everyday objects and their reflection up against the mesmerizing abstracts. Utilizing a
diverse range of carefully crafted materials and techniques, the works in the exhibition draw from printed imagery, images of daily life and everyday objects. The works are executed in diverse materials, magazine images, fabric, glass, resin, urethane. and photography. Each of the artists in the show share a fascination or obsession with an idea or object which engages a sense of mystique to captivate us. Via mesmerizing sparkle, shiny materials and utilizing light, reflection or an altered form, each work urges us to consider our relationship to formalism and alteration of the form.
WASHINGTON DC [dNASAb], who goes by "Disney," is a Brooklyn-based artist who constructs complex, multidimensional works that visualize the world of data and the materiality of digital technology in new ways. In the age of hybrid media, the artist has created a name as an acronym for "Disney-NASA-Borg," and works in multidimensional sculptures as a deconstruction of what he sees as the "Disneyfication" of our post-digital imagination. In Dataklysmos, [dNASAb]'s luminous complexity models work to expose the hidden density of sheer material stuff that feeds our media and computer devices. Our media technologies present themselves in conflicting material forms: on one side we have the sleek, thin, flat-panel, high-res screens of all sizes, the intentional black boxes of the iPhone/iPad, and the metal and plastic hinges of laptops that close with a neat codex clasp. On the other, we have the messy tangle of parts and wires visible inside a broken PC or TV, and the rat's nest of cables, wires, and extension cords behind every desk and and living room entertainment unit. Behind it all are overwhelming flows of data, information, and signals that we keep mainly invisible, cables snaking
through the walls to the neat wall jack in our office or living room or devices working wirelessly and dependent on invisible radio waves. The metaphors we use for data conduits are telling: optical glass fibers as waveguides, light pipes, electronic pulses converted into the clarity of pure light. Our computer screens, mobile phones, TVs, iPads, are all back-ended with long-haul optical fiber networks that carry dematerialized signals to the resubstantiated material connections of our physical displays. Or so we imagine. [dNASAb] gives the invisible technologies a new aesthetic rematerialization. To some theorists, our bodies and organs have become convertible "prostheses," extensions as interfaces between the organic and cybernetic. We function as terminals of dataworlds and entertainment spectacles, digital devices in our hands and ears, and screens in all sizes always within eyeshot everywhere we are. Some of [dNASAb]'s works and videos visualize a posthuman body where we have become human projectors and terminals for the digital domain. We act as agents activating a network and as terminal points in a global infosphere, but are unaware what’s behind.
Jeremy Kost presents a new series of Polaroid and cibachrome photographs in Between the Lines, In his latest work, Kost reveals intimate glimpses of constructed identities and sexual personae in urban club scenes. During the opening reception, Kost will launch and sign It’s Always Darkest Before Dawn, a new catalogue of photographs with essays by Liv Tyler, Eric C. Shiner and Ladyfag. Joe Overman explores sexuality and the subversion of social norms with a series of new sculptures in his second solo exhibition with the gallery, Coming Home. Works made of wood and mixed media resemble apparatuses used in past decades to provide anonymity during sexual encounters. Removing these forms from their original contexts and adjusting the relation of their features to human anatomy, Ovelman emphasizes the universality of these
objects. Geoffrey Aldridge makes his solo debut with *gogo art projects in All That Glitters. In his videos Disco and Bath, Aldridge employs an emblem of gay culture, the disco ball. The light-reflecting sphere functions as a symbol of the divine and alludes to religious spectacle. Dominating and seemingly all-seeing, like an extension of the artist’s camera, the mirrored orb figures omnipotence while its multi-faceted surface queries the extent to which we each may reflect our creator. Additionally, the gallery will show two *gogo art project installations by Jeremy Flick and Patrick McDonough. Flick’s imagery is both referential and optical, as it replicates all-over patterns found on the inside of tinted security envelopes, while McDonough will be augmenting the exteriors of the four gallery spaces on the same neighborhood block.
[dNASAb] Irvine Washington [Apr 30 - Jun 4]
[dNASAb]: (top) dataclysmic_ LED3DTV #2 (with background projection detail), 2010,15” LED HD 720p screen / unique video, digital media player, video projector, LEDs, welded steel, resin, phosphorescent silicon, plastic, fiber optics. (bot) LCDblossom_Phospherescent Polyp, 2011, 9” LCD screen, hand-blown glass, fiber optics, plastics, resin, enamel, acrylic, phosphorescent silicon,12v LED’s, custom audio/video DVD.
Jeremy Kost, Joe Overlman, and Geoffrey Aldridge
Conner Washington [May 14 - Jul 2]
Jeremy Kost, Emeralds, 2011, Digital C-Print mounted to Diabond and Plexi, 36”x22”; Geoffrey Aldridge, Disco (Still), 2010, Video, 7 Mi Loop
EXHIBITIONS The Studio Inside Out, an exhibition of new paintings by Jennifer Bartlett, includes large-scale diptych paintings inspired by her environment, her first year working in a new studio and garden in Brooklyn designed by the artist. Bartlett’s working environment has consistently influenced her artwork and has also served as an extension of her artistic practice. Starting in the late 1960s, Bartlett lived and worked in SoHo where, informed by the movement towards conceptual art and the city’s industrial streetscape, she developed her signature steel-plate painting technique. During this period, she titled a series of these paintings after the addresses of her and fellow artists’ studios as an acknowledgement of her artistic community. In the 1980s Bartlett’s West Village home, a converted industrial space,
became a multi-story lab for her large-scale commissions and paintings that evolved to include sculptural objects. Bartlett described her conceptual interest in the home in 1978: “The house is also just a given image that I work with. It is like a throwaway, abstract. My interest is in how it can be done rather than what the image is.” During a year spent in Nice, Bartlett produced nearly 200 drawings in a monumental series, In the Garden. Since the 1990s Bartlett has spent summers in Amagansett, NY, where she paints the coastal landscape. Despite all of this travel, the California-bred artist may never be psychologically far from the left coast; as Robert Hughes wrote, her paintings “speak of a need for location in the world - in light, wind, water, all the shimmering epidermis of experience.”
Luis Gutierrez Togonon San Francisco [through Jun 11]
Bars & Scrapes is a major and historically important exhibition of paintings and works on paper representing two pivotal series by Dan Christensen (1942-2007). Bars & Scrapes reexamines and fortifies a legacy which continues to inspire critical and curatorial interest. Christensen’s Minimalist Bar series, created from 1966 through 1967, constitutes his first significant body of work. The Bar series employed rollers and spray guns to create a visual redefinition of the formal possibilities of the Modernist grid. Establishing a monochrome ground over which he would tape small rectangles he termed “bars,” the artist would then apply layers of a single color. This process generated subtly modulated contrasts of hue between the paintings’ backgrounds and their overlying gridded rectangles, effecting soft shimmers and a sense of implied movement. Works from the Bar series have been included in a Whitney Museum
of American Art annual and his work generally is in the collections at Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Gugenheim Museum. Executed between 1984 and 1988, paintings from Christensen’s Scrape series were among the first artworks to explore the variable optical properties inherent to the then-revolutionary and newly invented “interference paints." Incorporating titanium-coated mica flakes, these polymer emulsion paints proved unique for their opalescent sheen and their changing visual effects. Complementing the series’ embrace of exotic technologies, the paintings manifest a profound shift in the artist’s compositional strategies in which Christensen increased gesturality by scoring pools of paint fortified with newly-developed gels and thickeners. The artist’s excavatory scrapings complicate distinctions between figure and ground to reflect uniquely on the language of painting.
Panic Button, 1985-2011, assemblage, 30”x36”.
Over the course of his forty year career, master artist Luis Gutierrez has explored themes of community, society, and nostalgia through his colorful and emotive assemblages. Each image included in an assemblage is the culmination of a lifetime of collecting by the artist. His paintings include vibrantly colored figuration and ab-
straction, balancing imagination, impulse and visual intelligence. Gutierrez earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts from San Jose State University in 1957 and his Masters of Fine Arts from the Instituto Allende at San Miguel de Allende in Mexico in 1958. He taught at San Jose City College from 1969 until his retirement in 1995.
Jennifer Bartlett Locks Philadelphia [May 18 - Jun 30]
Jennifer Bartlett: (top) Bridge, 2011, oil on canvas (diptych), 36”x72”; (bottom) Plaid, 2011, enamel over silkscreen grid on baked enamel steel plates, 39”x39”.
Dan Christensen LewAllen Santa Fe [through Jun 5]
Dan Christensen, detail of Durango, 1986, acrylic on canvas, 62.5”x 48”.
26 A|C|A May 2011
The Sixth Los Angeles International Contemporary Art Fair September 30 - October 3, 2011 Marriott Ritz Carlton www.artla.net 323.965.1000
Photo: Patrick Hoelck
WARD OF THE STATE Rick Castro, Greg Gorman, Patrick Hoelck, Steven Klein, Patrick Martinez Maya Mercer, Michael Gregg Michaud, Jules Muck, Estevan Oriol, Retna Herb Ritts, Paul Rusconi, Christoph Schmidberger, Robert Standish Mr. Brainwash, Bruce Weber and Tony Ward
May 21-June 20, 2011
GENIUS PAINTINGS Profiled by Juliette Premmereur
Nir Hodâ€™s third solo exhibition in New York and the first at Paul Kasmin Gallery is opening May 19th, 2011. The artist will be presenting Genius Paintings, a new body of work he has been working on for the last three years. Painted in dark, rich tones reminiscent of the old masters, the Genius Paintings initially look like portraits of children from a distant era. They are defiant with their sour expression and haughty stare, while still lonely and fragile youths requesting a viewerâ€™s attention. Each portrait forms an uncanny presence, as the identity of these children remains a mystery, allowing each viewer to project their own personal or art historical references unto the works. I spoke with Nir in his Meatpacking District studio and tried to understand these objects of curiosity. From our conversation, I realized that although they initially appear to be children, the Geniuses are in fact timeless figures drawing from the old as much as the new. Like an ancient royal portrait of a child, freezing their presence in time, the
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Geniuses call to mind the mystery of a life long gone. At the same time, the diversity of painting styles and types of figures leaves the origin of the works open-ended. They are as much contemporary as they draw on old masters, placing themselves in an atemporal space. The paintings are outside the realm of time and age, relating both to the present and history. Nirâ€™s Genius is both a child and an elderly person, as the artist pointed out in many of the works, he was inspired by hairstyles of older people such as Margaret Thatcher, Donald Trump as well as wig catalogues, which he assigned to each child. Despite puffy cheeks and big glaring eyes, their angelic appearance is deceiving. Holding cigarettes with their tiny hands, they convey an all but innocent expression. As a result, their pure, prepubescent beauty has been adulterated, innocence has been lost and the bitterness of a sad reality has settled in. Nir started working with the subject of childhood with his 1992 series The Unknown Children. These small mono-
chromatic paintings were derived from a collection of images depicting orphans who were found after World War II in Europe. Forced to part with their families, they were found in forests and other desolate areas, not knowing who they were or where they had come from. Hod made a group of their portraits painting on canvas, wood, as well as handkerchiefs. A certain sense of loneliness and anonymity in the collective aspect of the portraits pervades throughout the series and is similarly recreated in the Genius project. The characters that Nir depicts are drawn from a mix of people he admires, but they don’t necessarily belong to the expected list of ‘geniuses’ from mainstream Western culture. Although some might appear to be boys and some girls, Nir insists his work is about beauty, not about gender. He compares his Genius characters to the great eccentrics Salvador Dali or Valentino Garavani “you can’t argue with him, have you seen the movie!” says Nir, referring to the documentary on Valentino from 2008. They may not be the most physically attractive, but they have the attitude of the most beautiful people in the world. They are spoiled, narcissistic, too smart and too serious to joke or even to let you speak back to them. They are genius. Hod’s recent body of work can be understood as a contemporary interpretation of the old masters. By using rich purples and browns, the artist directly references the aristocratic portraits of patrons from the 17th and 18th century. “They represent something about decadent beauty, extravagant taste, something over the top,” he says. After going back to the Metropolitan Museum and the Frick Collection, Nir rediscovered painting in a different way than he ever had before. “When you go to the Frick Collection it’s like going to a punk concert, everything is so loud,” he says, referring to the overwhelming visual experience. Influenced by the elaborate paintings of Old Masters, Hod’s canvases call to mind a variety of styles from Van Eyck to El Greco and Goya.
The Paul Kasmin Gallery show will be hanging the paintings close together in a salon style, recreating the feeling of what might seem to be an obsolete collection. Seen in George Condo’s New Museum show this year, such installation display refers to the semi-public shows organized by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in late 17th century Paris. Later recreated by avid collectors with more artwork than wallspace, this visual effect will immerse the eye with numerous portraits staring back at the viewer. Due to the number of references to an era long gone, the show conveys a moment that has been preserved in a past time. A soft musical tune can be heard from within the sculpture installation in the 2nd room of the gallery. Theis sound component attempts to create a certain stillness, a moment kept alive. Nir is familiar with music, having composed in the past, and has created an original score for the show. Set on a pedestal in the middle of the space, a large ashtray with a still smoking cigarette and a vintage phone emit a quiet music, creating an atmosphere from that evokes the French New Wave. Perhaps a fight has just occurred or someone’s heart has been broken: the present moment is one is one defined by sorrow, nostalgia for what once was, and loneliness. The upcoming show represents a true departure for the artist. Prior to the Genius paintings, Hod’s works often originated from photography and were based on storytelling. Hod has always been concerned with freezing moments in time. His work was about timelessness and the preservation of beauty, as seen in “Forever”, his solo show at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 2005. “All my life, I used to do huge, very realistic paintings, but it wasn’t about painting, it was about an image. I saw myself as an image-make or a story-teller.” For the first time, Nir has left the photographic reference and gave into his imagination. The result is an unique point of view on age, beauty, and the history of art. “Right now I feel like a real painter for the first time in my life.” Artists
IN HER OWN WORDS Coffee and varnish permeate the air in my studio. The floor is thick with its sticky remains. Boards of varying degrees of progress lay sprawled about on the floor like discarded treasures. The piece that holds my attention at the moment is pooled with coffee and pigment. Dark streams roll, finding the path of least resistance, inevitably dripping to the floor. As gravity subsides this beautiful drenched amber board glistens and shines without any promise of how it will dry. This is how they all begin. I am present with the piece in a place of discovery more than creation. Some where between wet layers of pigment and plaster, water and coffee, shapes begin to emerge slowly morphing into figures and faces, always taking human form. It’s like looking at clouds. Gradually over days sometimes week’s the pieces come together, often with little or no thought. For me, thought only gets in the way. It’s a bit intimidating to be asked to write about my art. After all, art is completely subjective and in speaking of my work, personal. I paint what I feel. I am inspired by absolutely everything in my beautiful world: my family, my partner, and my life. To impose my experience of my work seems contradictory to the intension of art itself. For this reason most of my pieces remain untitled. As intimate as I am with the work in its creation, once it leaves me, it becomes something new. It is left for someone else to discover, define and find meaning. I can only loosely claim to be self-taught because I was raised by an awe-inspiring artist: Felice Sharp. Even as a child I was very aware when I sat at the foot of my mother’s easel that I was bearing witness to something quite special. I watched intently, but never joined her, not until 4 years ago at the age of 40. It’s interesting what life brings you when you need it the most. I had just been through a difficult time. I had shifted from graphic design to real estate with hopes of more stability. As the market began to decline, I began to doodle and draw, nervously, on napkins, mail, on the bottoms of my shoes. For the first time, I joined my children in my Mom’s studio for outlandish collaborations, which included big wheel tracks in plaster, crazy collage, and masterpieces made from found objects. My kids took all of the intimidation away. They were so
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free. One of these explorative pieces was seen by well-known Atlanta curator, Marriane Lambert. She graciously invited me to participate in a group show of small pieces. I accepted with trepidation, and much to my surprise the work was well received. A reputable Atlanta gallery offered to represent me, and because I am the luckiest person on earth others followed. CNN found my transition into art interesting and did a small piece. Corporate collections such as The Ritz Carlton and The Four Seasons offered commissions. I seemed to be followed by good fortune at every turn. Basically, I came to that metaphoric fork in the road and took a hard left. In the middle of a financial crisis, I became a painter. Tracy Sharpâ€™s work can be found in galleries in the US. She has recently opened up independent gallery space in Atlanta with rotating displays. Beginning on June 17th, Sharp will be showing in Aspen at The Mitchel Gallery. She will also be working with the organization Captain Planet in the early summer to help raise money for their foundation. For additional information or to contact Sharp, visit her website: tracysharpart.com Artists
Lisa C. Soto
IN HER OWN WORDS My experiences, memories and diverse cultural background directly contribute to my work. My grandparents came from Jamaica and Puerto Rico, immigrating to Harlem in New York City in the early 20’s. I was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Spain and New York City, in a household of multiple cultures, languages, and arts. Although I was always creative as a child, I hadn’t discovered that I was an artist until I was taking graduate courses towards my masters in psychology. At that time, I lived with my boyfriend who was a painter, but had given it up for cinematography. I came home one day to find the coffee table covered in his acrylic paints, boards, and brushes and a note that read, “Start”. I did. I left school without completing my masters, and I moved to Paris for a little while, where I indulged in some of the greatest museums in the world. As I continued to explore the process of painting, I realized that this was going to be my lifetime work. I had moved to Amsterdam by then and enrolled in the Amsterdams Instituut voor Schilderkunst directed by Gert Meijerink. After attending the school I returned to the States and began exhibiting and selling my works. I am drawn to new identities, world cultures and diminishing borders. I am interested in the notion of boundaries, both self-imposed and man-made territories, shifting or opening up. I am fascinated by the idea that technology can allow us to cross even normally restricted boundaries. People are able to communicate, travel and exchange views more than ever before. Aesthetically, my work focuses on colors, textures, and contours through reinvented maps, topography, and landscapes. I am also attracted to details of landscape, to shapes repeating in nature.
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For instance, the forms of underwater coral plants look like grooves in dry riverbeds as well as the patterns of Mandelbrot sets in physics. Within these elements and imagery, lies a social political undercurrent, reflecting aspects of the world’s interactions.
My work has evolved from faces to maps, though the theme has always been about landscape, even the faces look like landscapes. My early work was very intimate; I painted mask-like faces eventually evolving into paintings of figurative faces emerging from a land-
Lisa C. Soto
scape of color and texture. I wanted to explore this concept of geography further and from a different point of view. I started to think more literally about different kinds of “scapes” (landscape, seascape, mindscape). My paintings began to include diverse imagery appropriated from traditional symbols, patterns, foliage, insects, sea life, bodies of water, tectonic plates and the reinvention of maps to create imaginary and fragmented landscapes. In the past few years, I have been creating a series of 3D drawings (as I refer to my sculptures) including the world, the U.S. and Europe, as well as a 9-foot fishing net made out of imaginary islands. For the U.S. piece, for instance, I cut out the shape of every state and territory in Mylar. Then drew symbols derived from different tribes of Northern America and colored the states the color of earth. These mostly rectangular pieces were sewn together
in a circle. The configuration symbolizes the circle of life as the different tribes believed. “U.S. & territories”, speaks of how this country has not acknowledge the treatment of the original peoples of this land and this ill treatment still continues to this day. The latest piece I am beginning is on the continent of Africa in silver and gold Mylar. It will be the first time I am using this kind of Mylar. I am curious as to the different ways the material will lend itself and the different meanings that will be derived out of this work. On one hand, I am bringing up the fact that Africa has been stripped of its wealth for hundreds of years. On the other hand, I am referring to the inner wealth of the African peoples. That it is time for African nations to shine. Unlike design, which is about solving problems or architecture, which has the function of creating a space for people to inhabit, art traditionally is not
about function but about raising questions. I am asking the viewer what if the boundaries they live within change or diminish altogether? What would that mean to them or provoke out of them? In my 3D drawings, I am taking a place in the world and randomly rearranging its geography, asking what if this country was now next to that one? What would their relationship be like? Would they learn something from each other or would they be at war? I turn these places sideways or upside down because just like anything, when you turn something upside down you to see it completely differently and new meanings can be derived.
Lisa Soto will be participating in the 2012 Biennial of the Perm Museum of Contemporary Art in Russia. For more information, visit lisacsoto.com. Artists
F. LENNOX CAMPELLO
“Superman flying naked and low to the ground in order to avoid radar” Charcoal on paper. 20x24 inches. Circa 2009.
Sanctus Guevarus - Castrum Canis, 2010, charcoal, conte, electronics and video on paper, 22 x 22 inches.
ALIDA ANDERSON ART PROJECTS WASHINGTON, DC • ALIDAANDERSON.COM
MAYER FINE ART
NORFOLK, VA • MAYERFINEARTGALLERY.COM
PHILADELPHIA, PA • PROJECTSGALLERY.COM
“SELF-PORTRAIT” 1932 FROM THE BAYER FAMILY COLLECTION
EMIL NELSON GALLERY 2864 COLORADO AVE SANTA MONICA, CA 90404 310-266-9904
Contemporary Fine Art Paintings Sculpture Works on Paper Tucson, Arizona since 1976
154 East 6th Street, Tucson, Arizona 85705
An Issue of American Contemporary Art, published in May 2011