AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MAY 2012
Melissa Herrington ASHES to HONEY June 1- June 30, 2012
1221 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 www.mherringtongallery.com email@example.com p/310-684-3513 photo: Howard Wise
THROUGH JUNE 30 TWO MAJOR EXHIBITIONS RUTH WEISBERG: NOW & THEN
“Time and Time Again” 2002 Oil & Mixed Media on Unstretched Canvas 54 x 100 inches
CLAIRE FALKENSTEIN: AN EXPANSIVE UNIVERSE
Claire Falkenstein Installation Detail
JACK RUTBERG FINE ARTS
357 N. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Telephone (323) 938-5222
Laura Kim, “artifact Drawing No. 1”, 2010, C-print, 16 by 20 inches
on view at Art Mrkt San Francisco May 17-20 Booth 605
2903 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Gallery Hours: Tue–Sat, 11am – 5pm and by appointment
AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY MAY 2012
EXHIBITIONS New York 28 Philadelphia 32 EXHIBITIONS Washington DC 33 LosNew Angeles York 34 26 Los Angeles 29 Washington DC 30 ARTISTS Denver 31 Richelle Portland Gribble 41 31 Rose Masterpol 44 San Francisco 31 Eddie Rehm 46 Laura Moretz 48
ON ON THE THE COVER COVER
Marco Breuer Untitled (C-1168), 2012 chromogenic paper, burned, 19.75 x 15.68” Von Lintel Gallery, NY See more on page 28
Michiel Ceulers Tom McGrath
Ich schloss meine Augen um zu sehen Untiteled, 2012 (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders) oil on canvason over panel,26 47xx20” 36” 2010-12, oil/spraypaint canvas, Sue Scott Gallery, NY
FEATURES FEATURES 16 Letter from Washington 18 Letter Peter Shire: Elevating the 14 from Washington DCOrdinary 20 Bay AnnArea McCoy at PacificArt Standard Time 18 Figurative 20 Art from a Forgotten Country: Cuba 28 AirCraft: The Jet as Art ARTISTS 34 36 38 40
Lisa C Soto Hariette Joffe Katie Hudnall Raven Servellon
Nadine Rovner, Sara and Justin, 2008 Gallery 339; see page 32 Ann McCoy, Mad Mother Realm, 1999 Bleicher Gallery, Los Angeles; see page 20.
See more on page 31 See more on page 26
Richard Richard Kalisher Kalisher PUBLISHER PUBLISHER Donovan Donovan Stanley Stanley EDITOR EDITOR Eric Eric Kalisher Kalisher DESIGN DESIGN Washington Editor F. Lennox Campello Washington Editor F. Lennox Campello Contributing Editor Roberta Carasso Contributing Editor Roberta Carasso Contributing Writers Contributing Writers Jeffrey Stein, Csilla Kristof Ashley Heaton, Roger Steffens Anna Needham Dave Shields
acamagazine.com Advertising Inquiries Advertising Inquiries firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com 561.542.6028 / Richard Kalisher 561.542.6028 / Richard Kalisher © 2011 R.K. Graphics. All Rights Reserved. © 2012 R.K. Graphics. Rights Reserved. Exhibition information courtesy ofAll represented institutions.
Exhibition information courtesy of represented institutions.
Milton Avery, Black Lake, 1963, oil on paper, 23 x 35” Fischbach Art Gallery; see page 30 Hong Seon Jang, Geographic Remain, 2012 David B. Smith Gallery, Denver; see page 31
D E L I B E R AT E + U N I N T E N T I O N A L
June 16th - July 14th
HADID GALLERY 8933 Beverly Boulevard West Hollywood CA 90048 310.288.8300 www.hadidgallery.com PROVOCATEUR 2012 46 x 60 Acrylic + Ink on Canvas
RECEPTION JUNE 16th 7-9pm
Turquoise Rose on Red, Vintage tailgates on brushed aluminum, 32” x 32”
THE FROSTIG COLLECTION presents Michael
A BED OF ROSES May 19th - June 23rd, 2012 THE FROSTIG COLLECTION Bergamot Station | 2525 Michigan Ave | Space B-5 | Santa Monica, CA 90404 310-828-3535 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thefrostigcollection.org
THE FROSTIG COLLECTION is an on-going series of sculptures and works on paper created by well known artists to raise money for social skills programs for children with learning disabilities, Asperger’s and high-functioning autism.
Earthly Paradise : Displaced Realities Yeonju Sung SoLo exHibition Opening ReceptiOn | May 17, 2012 | 5:00pM – 8:30pM May 1 7 – July 13, 2012
Art-merge | LAb Pacific Design center | 8687 Melrose ave. suite B256, los angeles, ca 90069 Courtesy Design Loves Art at the Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood, CA
Pollock at 100: Exclusive Centennial Celebration
July 13-15, 2012
Opening Preview July 12 benefiting the LongHouse Reserve | Bridgehampton, NY | arthamptons.com Jackson Pollockâ€™s East Hampton Studio at the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center, East Hampon, NY; Staged in December 2011. Photographed by Gary Mamay exclusively for ArtHamptons.
NEW WORK BYJULIA FERNANDEZ POL 5.18.2012 - 6.12.2012
MORTON FINE ART (MFA) 1781 FLORIDA AVE NW WASHINGTON, DC 20009 (202) 628-2787 MORTONFINEART.COM MORTONFINEART@GMAIL.COM
MID CITY WEST
355 N. La Brea Ave, Los Angeles CA 90036 +1 (323) 545 6018
1431 Ocean Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90401 +1 (310) 878-2784
LETTER FROM WASHINGTON F. Lennox Campello
(top, above left) Timothy Forbes; (right) Raymond Allard. Photographs by Elyce Grimes.
Even though the city of Washington, D.C., itself is rather a small area, the Greater Washington area, as seen from the air, is a colossal urban and suburban monster of a city-complex stretching out in all directions across to Maryland and Virginia. The locals who hail from this gigantic area refer to this region as the â€œDMVâ€? (District Maryland Virginia). And the DMV, mostly because of the benevolent hand of government jobs, has managed to pretty much avoid both the disastrous economy and the real estate market collapse. This is also one of the wealthiest areas in the world; in fact, fifty percent of the top 20 highest income counties in the United States are located around the DMV region. The geographical distribution of the DMV also means that galleries and art venues are widely distributed across this immense urban grid, and the economic power of DC and the surrounding counties allow a variety of public art venues to flourish. Neverthe-
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less, in an interesting paradox caused mostly by the apathy of the DMV area press towards the arts (the Washington Post has not had a gallery critic in its permanent staff for almost two decades), independently-owned commercial fine art galleries continue to struggle to make ends meet, much as galleries all over the nation do. In spite of all of that, for artists the DMV art scene is not only one of the interesting and diverse local art scenes on the planet, but also a fertile ground for opportunities and growth. And two perfect examples of the hard work that fuels this art scene, one artist-driven and one commercially-driven, are Artomatic and the (e)merge art fair. Held regularly since 1999, Artomatic is an open exhibition (anyone can participate) which transforms an unfinished, Greater-DC-area indoor space into an exciting and incredibly diverse arts event that is free and open to the public. In addition to displays and sales by hundreds (sometimes even exceeding a thou-
sand) of artists, the event features free musical, dance, and theater and this year it is located at 1851 S. Bell Street, just one block from performances; personal celebrations; films; educational panel prethe Metro underground station in Crystal City, on the Virginia sentations; open mikes; wine tastings, and much more. side of the Potomac across from the 14th Street Bridge. They rec In the past, the event has been the launching pad for emerging ommend taking Metro if you can. artists, some of whom are now among DMV’s best-known artists, In a city’s art tapestry, there's room for both open art events including video sculptor Tim Tate, who, despite exhibiting worldsuch as this one and for highly curated art events. The DMV is wide, returns each year to Artomatic as a “thank you” to the event no exception. Perhaps the 21st century’s best version of a highly which gave him his artistic wings. curated art event is the art fair, and the DMV’s version of the For this iteration of Artomatic, Tate expands on his video fasciart fair is the (e)merge art fair, returning in 2012 for its second nation, leaving the sculptural glass domes that encased his videos iteration, already a resounding success for a city with a long behind. At Artomatic Tate offers an innovative and revolutionary history of art fair failures. new format to showcase his video work. He takes a 42” flat screen The fair will run October 4-7, 2012, at the Morris LapidusTV, and then frames it with an designed Capitol Skyline hotel ornate Empire frame. Then, as in Washington, DC, which is if that wasn't enough, he paints owned by the well-known and the frame with a Charles Renhighly respected art collecting nie Mackintosh satin black couple Mera and Don Rubell. color, giving the TV a slightly It is adjacent to the site of the Gothic / Steampunk look while their future museum. The Ruat the same time also making it bell’s presence in the DMV has look as fresh and contemporary been one of the most positive as any shown at ArtBasel. propellants to kindle the area’s art scene; so much in fact that Tate’s video work has also even the arts-morose Washbeen refined completely. Now working in high definition ington press has been forced (HD) and color, his richly texto notice in a series of recent tured and multi-layered video articles about the world-hophas morphed more into the ping Miami- (and now DC-) vein of a surrealist dialogue of based collectors. contemporary realism than his According to the organizolder work; yet it is still abstract ers (Leigh Conner and Jamie enough to be compelling and Smith, co-founders of Conner mysterious. The title of the first Contemporary in Washington, seminal piece to be displayed DC; and Helen Allen, founder for the first time at Artomatic and former director of PULSE is Reforged Each Morning, My Contemporary Art Fair), “(e) Fate My Own (see right) It is a merge will feature multiple collaborative work with Tate’s platforms: dozens of internalong time photographer (a very tional galleries; artist, curator gifted one at that) and friend and collector panel discusPete Duvall. This initial piece sions and tours; performances; highlights the skills of both artand, exhibition opportunities ist and technician. As it unfolds, for artists, currently with(top) Daniel McNeill (bottom) Tim Tate, Reforged Each Morning, My Fate My the video seduces and hypnoout gallery representation, to Own, flat screen TV framed in wooden Empire Frame, 48x24x4”, 60 seconds. tizes the viewer and will surely present, free of charge, perforbecome one of the gems of this massive art show. mances, installations, interventions or other work. Anyone can become part of Artomatic. It's a democratic, all “There’s an exciting art scene happening in DC and I’m open show.. Of course, this is what many traditional art critics thrilled that Capitol Skyline will be the site of (e)merge. This and writers hate, because they want to see the external hand and fair is a fresh, original and provocative approach to experiencthe guiding discipline of a curator (or team of curators) applied to ing art,” said Mera Rubell last year for the inaugural art fair. such a massive and open endeavor. “DC is known for its extraordinary cultural institutions and as There are plenty of large curated shows in the DMV’s art muan international political capital, and we’ve discovered it also seums (although they usually ignore local artists) and there is no has a uniquely plugged-in, vital and energetic arts community ACA other gargantuan art shows such as Artomatic anywhere on the that’s poised for broader recognition.” planet; and for the DMV art scene, there’s no artistic firestorm of the scale and effect of this gigantic artist-driven celebration. I’ve often wondered publicly what those same critics would think if Details about the fair at www.emergeartfair.com; the Capitol Skyline this massive art celebration was held in Berlin or London or MaHotel is located at 10 “I” Street, SW, Washington D.C., DC 20024. drid, rather than their own backyard. Read more from F. Lennox Campello online. He writes about art Artomatic (www.artomatic.org) runs through June 23, 2012 in Washington, D.C., on his blog. Go to dcartnews.blogspot.com
ELEVATING THE ORDINARY THROUGH FORM AND CRAFTSMANSHIP by Ashley Heaton
Peach With Tamago Slice, 1977, cone 06 clay with glazes and marbleized cup, 8.5x8.5x6.5"
Peach Veronica, 1977, cone 06 clay with glazes, 7.5x7.5x3"
Cups, 1974–2012, Peter Shire’s new show at Los Angeles’ Lora Schlesinger gallery, explores the inextricable connection between craft, fine art, and design. Shire, best known for his elaborate, unusual renditions of items found in the domestic sphere, has long challenged traditional notions about the relationship between form and function. The exhibit features a collection of sculptures spanning 30 years, and is the artist’s first show to exclusively feature cups. Shire began his career as an aspiring potter, fascinated by the medium of ceramics and influenced by Art Deco, Bauhaus and Streamlined Modern styles. His mother and father both came from artistic backgrounds, so his eventual transition to sculpture was a natural one. “The cups and other domestic objects I create hark back to my interest in pottery,” Shire explains. “These are things that people need, and their aesthetics factor into daily life.” In large part, the artist’s interest in sculpting these items resulted from a reaction to modern society’s obsession with technology and fast manufacturing. “In our world industrialism is a very big (turning point),”
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Constructivist Tearoom, 2007, ceramic cup, plate - 5" diameter, cup - 3.5x2.5x2.5"
Shire says. “It has provided all kinds of things and has also taken away all kinds of things. When you use a manufactured cup, you sometimes really lose the spirit of the object. This idea started with the Arts and Crafts movement (of the early 20th century); with Ruskin and William Morris, and all of those who were rebelling against the initial advent of industrialism.” The resurgence of this Arts and Crafts ideology in the 1960s and 70s set the stage for Shire’s work with domestic objects. At the time, the artist was more focused on sculpting his challenging, fantastical teapots, but he also began crafting cups due to an interest in exploring his contemporaries’ buzzed-about work in the medium. The artist felt that finally showcasing his work with cups would be a novel means of shedding light on a little-known facet of his work. Shire believes the show is particularly relevant because, today more than ever, “There is a need for spirit and quality in objects. There are so many currents in the art, craft, and design worlds that overlap, where straightforward use is overwhelmed by social commentary.” Despite the retrospective element of Cups, 1974–2012, Shire
Sushi Set, cone 06 clay and glazes, variable dimensions
Burl Pirouette, ceramic cup, 8x3.5x5"
Constructivist Tearoom, 2007, ceramic cup, plate - 5" diameter, cup - 3.5x2.5x2.5"
is currently focused on developing new work and moving in new artistic directions. His upcoming pieces incorporate baroque and arabesque design. “This (exhibit) is not the summation of what I am,” he admits. “There is always sort of a grand ‘what’s next,’ which is the mystery. The challenge of art is looking to see what we can’t quite imagine; to dig into the imagination and create.” Peter Shire lives and works in Echo Park, Los Angeles. He is a graduate of the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and was an original member of Milan’s Memphis Group. His work can be
found in over 35 museums worldwide, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Israel Museum. He has completed over 25 public art ACA works, and has had over 100 solo exhibitions nationally. The “Cups, 1974 - 2012” show is Shire's first solo exhibition with Lora Schlesinger gallery at Bergamot Station. It runs through June 9, 2012.
Photos by Peter Dressel
Ann McCoy: “Ovum Philosophorum”
As part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time, historic Los Angeles artist Ann McCoy returns to Bleicher Gallery La Brea for an exciting solo exhibit of master works. Acclaimed for her enormous and elaborate pencil drawings, Ann’s work is deeply routed in alchemical theory and Jungian analysis. Ann has been celebrated and collected internationally through the most prestigious art institutions, awards and auction houses in the arts including LACMA, MOMA, the Whitney, and the National Gallery of Australia. Here, McCoy talks about this series of work: The egg of the philosophers, the ovum philosophorum refers to the vessel in which the creation process takes place. Many creation myths begin with an egg that divides and constructs the world, for example, part of the shell becoming the sky. In this way, the egg gives birth as a universal parent ... The egg becomes subject and object for the alchemist who is transforming himself perpetually ... Decay and rebirth are implied when the egg decays and the bird is born. The egg has been present in my work and dreams ... Some sort of birth or creative act is always implied. Birth is often paired with difficult circumstances, both personally and in mythology. Christ was born in a stable under impoverished circumstances and Occupy Wall Street began with a bunch of kids in tents with no funds. It is these difficult births that interest me. I hope we are seeing a shift in values and consciousness among the youth who are rejecting a culture of greed and war.
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Each of the works is from a different year and a different period, but they all share an image of the egg as a cosmogonic symbol. Mad Mother Realm was the first work. I had a dream shortly after my mother’s death where I was in a bloody underworld, not unlike the chamber of horrors described in The Visions of Zosimos, a third-century A.D. alchemical text by an alchemist from Panopolis. My mother was a huge spider with her face reflected in the eyes of the spider, and I am on a slab being sacrificed ... The egg in the work contains a tiny figure, a homunculus, which represents myself. I am peering out into the world of horror, spiders and blood and am contemplating a birth into this landscape. Sanctuary came from a dream and an experience I had in India. In the dream, I was holding my mother like the Christ in the Pieta. After many years of being angry, I was able to give up resentments, empathize with her suffering, forgive my mother ... Sanctuary also relates to an experience I had in the temple of Ranakpur in India, one of he great Jain temples in the world. The Jains are one of the oldest religions in India. They believe in forgiveness and incorporate it in a confessional festival called Perysiana where all Jains spend nine days contemplating forgiveness and engage in a daily ritual. The experience in the temple could be described as a peak experience. I felt that my inner sanctuary had become mirrored in this outer sanctuary.
Ann McCoy: (top) The Death of My Father, 2012; (above left) Mad Mother Realm, 1999; (above right) Sanctuary, 2004; all images are pencil on paper on canvas, 9x14 ft.
The Death of my Father contains an egg with a fetus. I am a puella, the archetype of the eternal girl or daughter. The work explores my being trapped in a father-complex, attaching and deferring myself to older men through patriarchy. I needed to detach and give birth to myself. The big drawings come from a series of dreams, often over a long period of time. I try to capture the dream space and its complexity. Sensual experiences in a dream, like an orgasm, are impossible to reproduce. Just as literature has its mediations and limitations, so does an image. The big drawings are usually inspired by a dream local; the other images can appear as I am making the drawing. There is a growth and development in the attention to the sleeping and waking
dream ... Life is large and complex. My visual field has always been large ... Especially as a woman, I think it means something politically charged to bring an interior world into the stage of the operatic, or to make a painting of an individual’s experience at the scale of the physical body, not just the eye. There is a terrifying power in the idea of a walk-in dream. “Ovum Philosophorum” will be on show at Bleicher Gallery La Brea through May 29. These comments by Ann McCoy are excerpted from an interview between McCoy and Alexis Knowlton from the Ovum Philosophorum catalog. Knowlton is an artist and writer based in Berlin.
F. LENNOX CAMPELLO
Ave Frida Deam Artifices (Hail Frida, Goddess of Artists) c. 2012 Charcoal and Conte Drawing with Embedded Digital Component That Plays a Powerpoint Presentation of Kahloâ€™s Portraits
Blue Leaf Gallery 10 Marino Mart Fairview, Dublin 3 Ireland Phone: +353 (0)86 8127161 email@example.com
HERBERT BAYER "Leaning Spiral Tower" tabletop edition, c. 1969 34 3/4" x 14" x 10 3/4"
"Undulated Wall" tabletop edition, c. 1967 37" x 21" x 21"
"Memorial Sculpture" tabletop edition c.1960-2007 48" x 21" x 21"
These sculptures and others from the Herbert Bayer Family Collection are available in editions of 6, in sizes from tabletop to monumental. For more information, contact:
EMIL NELSON GALLERY 2862 COLORADO AVE SANTA MONICA, CA 90404 www.nelsongallery.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Eternal Memory” Oil on Canvas triptych 30” x 72”
Tim Faulkner gallery 943 Franklin Street butchertown louisville, Ky. 40206
est. 1984 EXPO’S SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS (LAST STOP) at Bergamot Station Arts Center RELOCATION LIVE PUBLIC ART AUCTION
JUNE 9TH @ 6pm & JUNE 10TH @ 1pm www.smauctions.com Celebrating over 25 years as LA’s Independently Owned and Operated Fine Art Auction House 2525 Michigan Ave Suite B7/C2 Santa Monica, CA 90404 P: 310.315.1937 / F: 310.315.9688/ email@example.com / Bond No. 69339324 DAVID HOCKNEY / ED RUSCHA / CHRISTO / RAYMOND PETTIBON / ED KIENHOLZ / JEFF KOONS / ANDY WARHOL PETER BEARD / GORDON ONSLOW FORD / TONY BERLANT / JACQUES VILLEGLE / ROBERT GRAHAM JONATHAN LASKER / RICHARD PETTIBONE / JOHN MCCRACKEN / DAVID BOWIE / TAKASHI MURAKAMI
NEW YORK Tom McGrath Sue Scott Bowery [through June 10]
Tom McGrath, Untitled, 2012, oil on canvas over panel, 47x36”. Courtesy of Sue Scott Gallery.
Christian Faur Kim Foster Chelsea [May 24 - June 30]
Christian Faur: (top) Girl with Cigarette, 2012, 8500 hand cast encaustic crayons, 4 panels, 28x28”; (bottom) Symmetry, 2012, 4400 hand cast encaustic crayons, diptych, 14x28”; Images courtesy of Kim Foster Gallery.
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Profiles in “Fugitive Light”, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Tom McGrath, continues the his use of noir tropes and the nocturne as the site for both painterly speculation and pictorial treatment. The artist dramatizes the collapse of tactile and optical representation with passages of dark, narrative ambiguity. This particular group of works nevertheless marks a near-complete departure from the grounding horizons in previous nocturnes, resulting in a landscape unmoored in spectral shadow by an eerie, unnatural luminism. The nocturne imagery is meant to evoke uncertainty despite a sense of place, where the gradual adjustment of the eye in the traditional night scene is replaced by noire-ish simultaneous contrasts and shadow patterning. The descriptive edges of unspecified locales emerge and recede in almost seamless contradiction with veils of sprayed paint taking the shape of foliage silhouetting against a ground of unnatural color. McGrath’s process captures the shape of real forms in profile, which are visually as indebted to Man Ray’s photograms as they are to the spray-painted hands lining the prehistoric murals of Chauvet in Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams - taken as evidence of a proto-cinematic imagery as much as painting history. The horizon itself, the vanishing point and its recessive order,
has been all but obscured by dark atmosphere and by leeching artificial light through the woven superimposition of a chain link fence. The “weave” of the fence is one motif that permeates and structures the show’s imagery and takes the scale of a readymade, a one-to-one relation between viewer and image. In a procedure not unlike drip painting, the canvas is placed flat, and layers of color applied in mists and splatters through an actual chain link, which is subsequently removed leaving only the image. The chain link is surface and barrier, a sign whose “presence” owes to the image of light and atmosphere through the grid-like residual trace left in the fence’s absence. The fence thereby produces and frames its own image of what lies beyond.This division between embodied and pictorial space seems analogous to a painting's surface as a boundary or border-space dividing interior from exterior. Unlike the structural grid, however, the fence is unambiguous in its narrative positioning of the viewer as a captive outsider. This position evokes a narrative of desire framed by its very impasse. Whether it’s a foreboding industrial light haze or a seductive, indigo night sky, the viewer only recognizes their surroundings as they recognize their place: on either side of the fence. As the saying goes, “you always know where you stand.”
The title of Christian Faur's exhibition “Rods and Cones” alludes to the photoreceptors in the human retina and the familiar shape of a crayon. In his new body of work, Faur uses over 145,000 individually hand cast wax crayons to explore the complexity of the pixel in digital photography. Faur recreates what is hidden from our visual perception by replacing the pixel with crayons. These colorful "rods and cones" are assembled by hand into rectangular frames in intricate hexagonal grids that recreate the illusion of a photograph in sculptural form. This expansion of the pixel allows us to see the structure and scaffolding behind the surface of an image, opening the viewer's eyes to the hidden patterns and complex arrangements of points that make up a photograph. Faur begins by deconstructing a single image into its most basic elements of tone, color, form and resolution. Using traditional artists' pigments and an encaustic medium, Faur mixes and casts the exact colors and quantities needed for each of the crayons used in a particular work. The
highly manipulated image is then reconstructed with these individually cast wax "pixels." The finished works for this show vary from photorealistic landscapes and portraits to completely abstracted forms. In the Melodie series, Faur uses a single constant image to explore in several iterations the weaving of colors, tones, and patterns with the intent to push the limits of the technique. The viewer can then experience the underlying nature of the construction of a photograph. In other works, Faur focuses on the removal of information through the addition of digital noise and static, exploring how visual information breaks down. As our digital photographic and display technologies continue to advance, the pixel will eventually become so small that it will evade our awareness of its existence entirely. This show celebrates this moment of transition by deliberately raising these elemental points to our consciousness and allowing us one more good look at these colorful "rods and cones" before they disappear right in front of our eyes.
EXHIBITIONS In “By Feel”, Nancy Cohen scavenges, accumulates, and reconfigures the discarded detritus of daily life: tiny perfume bottles, a patterned plate, a blue mesh bag. Cohen also fabricates forms that, when combined with her found objects, shape the visual vocabulary of the sculptures, large-scale installations, and experimental paper-based works that make up this exhibition. Cohen’s work addresses the extreme balancing act that contemporary life requires. Human and environmental frailties are set against the power of the natural world — to alter, threaten, destroy, or simply decay. For her installation, P (n,k) Combinatorics, Cohen has covered the gallery walls with cast glass and cement forms that represent enlarged
cellular structures but also resemble unearthly botanical life. From scooters drenched in pools of blue and black to floating glass forms that capture the light of water and the movement of waves, all of Cohen’s work suspends time and mark moments of precarious exchange. Nancy Cohen’s recent large-scale projects have included installations in Karmiel, Israel, the CODA Museum in Holland, one based on the Hudson River for the Katonah Museum of Art in NY and a collaboration with marine biologists and environmentalists based on the Mullica River for the Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville, NJ. Cohen has been awarded a Pollack Krasner grant and Fellowships in Sculpture and Works on Paper from the NJ State Council on the Arts.
“Crossing” represents Julian Jackson's most recent exploration of the passage of time and movement within that passage. An exquisitely diffuse palette of geometric shapes-the motifs which have become familiar throughout Jackson's body of work-have become more aggressively rendered, exploiting the tension created by the confines of the canvas edge and its inherent symmetry. He explains this impulse stating, "I try to bring a sense of movement and the experience of time into the stillness of abstract painting ... the
square has built into it multiple axes; crossing points, where [they] gather energy." His canvases-both large and small scale-are exclusively square, fostering a particular awareness in their viewer of the conflict between image and space. The work seems nearly to overspill its borders, threatening to engulf its surroundings but is harnessed by Jackson's masterful treatment of the light within. With more than fourteen new paintings, Jackson's work defies the physical limitations of space with a grace uniquely his own.
The work in this show is a continuation of Sam Fall’s involvement with representing time and space, as well as picturing the specific formal properties of various materials, utilized as both subject and object. As he explored the photographic medium and attempted to break down its alienating characteristics, such as its professional materials or the depiction of an inaccessible time past, Falls arrived at a place where he’s implementing its inherent immaterial traits — time, representation, and indexicality — as catalysts for interaction with various other artforms. His goal is to collapse the subject and medium to produce an object that is inextricably linked with its process in order to involve the viewer in the timeline of production rather than display an inert moment from the past. In dealing with the questions surrounding representation, the work accumulates to something human and emotional while illustrating the universal actions of the world we live in. For his Joshua Tree pieces, Falls hand dyed linen with natural colors to tune in with the environment and wrapped the fabric around rocks that acted as directive cairns within the landscape — functioning as colored beacons leading the viewer on a walk from one to the next during a
temporary installation at High Desert Test Sites in 2011. He left them left wrapped around the rocks for nearly four months so the shape of the rock is exposed or photographically “burnt” into the fabric while the rest of the material is shaded and the color preserved under the rock or in a crevice of the boulders. Heavyweight organic linen was used to match the harshness of the high desert climate, withstanding the elements while absorbing the salt from the rocks which succeeds in not only picturing the boulders by exposure to sunlight, but also literally inheriting the weather and material, allowing the artwork to fully become a representation of Joshua Tree and transpose its essence. Falls has been working with sunlight and its capacity to represent a duration of time on various substrates, I’ve been exploring other ways to picture time and collaborate with nature to produce a sense of place within an object. His aluminum sculpture is powder coated with two different composites of pigment. Each piece is fully covered in a UV protected pigment, and then the inside is re-coated with a non-UV protected pigment. Each piece is not only a representation of a specific subject, but an image of the material itself and its interaction with time and nature.
Nancy Cohen Accola Griefen Chelsea [May 18 - June 23]
Nancy Cohen, Fleshed Out, 2011, Glass, wire, fiber, resin, cement, rubber, 12x12x10".
Julian Jackson Kathryn Markel Chelsea [May 17 - June 16]
Julian Jackson, Crossing 14, 2012, oil on panel, 24x24”. Courtesy of Kathryn Markel Fine Arts.
American Contemporary Bowery
[May 10 - June 24]
Installlation view at American Contemporary.
EXHIBITIONS Bo Christian Larsson Vogt Chelsea [May 5 - June 16]
Bo Christian Larsson, Remote, 2012 Installation view at Vogt Gallery.
Marco Breuer Von Lintel Chelsea [May 10 - June 23]
Marco Breuer, Untitled (C-1178), 2012, chromogenic paper, burned, 31.75x25.5”, unique. Courtesy of the artist and Von Lintel Gallery.
Linda Lippa Denise Bibro Chelsea [May 24 - July 7] Linda Lippa, Bicycle, 2012, oil on canvas, 24x66.5”
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This first New York solo show from Swedish, Berlin-based artist Bo Christian Larsson features works across a wide variety of media, including drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, video, and performance. Mysticism, mythology, symbolism, ritual, Scandinavian history, and closeness to nature are recurring themes in his work. In Remote, Larsson creates an immersive, room-sized installation of untreated wood that takes us away from quotidian reality and deep into a non-rational world, one whose immediacy and rawness asks us to surrender our preconceptions. An installation of unprocessed, sharp-edged pine planks changes the exhibition space into an enclosed wooden fortress, while his imagery and sculptures transform ordinary objects into portentous symbols. Large-scale drawings are a substantial part of Larsson’s practice, often including linear elements as well as paint. Mixing abstraction with recognizable forms, space becomes malleable and collapsible. In Spawn, a square, table-like surface covered with small objects on fire emerges from a large fur-covered shape, while melting candles echo tree trunks and burning black flames. Visual elements of the human body are ever transformed, cut up, or concealed in Larsson’s oeuvre. In a large format painting, Clogged, Larsson uses a vintage
medical poster as a canvas, “operating” on the poster with paint instead of a scalpel, searching for clues to the cause of an unknown malady. In a series of small-scale works on paper, Ghosts, Larsson uses spray paint and acrylic to alter reproductions of black and white family portraits. By adding paint to the photographs, Larsson takes away the essence of the subjects. While their contained memories become even more distant, as objects they take on a new vibrancy, individuality, and physical immediacy. In another series of vintage photograph works, sharp incisions make triangular and cross-like cuts into the faces of Austrian actors such as Karl Schönbock and Karl Martell — the only recognizable characters we encounter in the show. Walking through the exhibition leads farther into progressively smaller spaces, until the viewer comes upon a space too small to enter, Mobile Home. Piled trunks and suitcases form an impressive sculpture that symbolizes a tiny house and as such a portal into an unknowable world, transforming these objects we usually carry with us on a journey into the destination itself. There is a simultaneous playfulness and brutality in Larsson's work that constantly forces us to question the sureness of our footing, the accuracy of our navigations, and our degree of control over our surroundings and ourselves.
For this new series, Marco Breuer worked in and outside of the darkroom, exposing photographic color paper to heat, light, and physical abrasion. Drawing implements included modified hot plates and the guts of electric frying pans. This exhibition presents works ranging from small photographic sketches to heavily burned and distressed 30 by 40-inch prints. Every individual piece constitutes a search, a move away from the given, a test of the materials' limits. The delicate lines and exquisite surfaces are what make these works so luminous and dynamic. In his 20-year career, Breuer has examined fundamental questions of photographic form
and practice. He continues this exploration in Condition by disrupting the figure/ground relationship of conventional photography, literally fusing image and support, rendering them inseparable, one and the same. Scarred and lacerated, the works become alloys of light, heat, and physical contact. Marco Breuer has exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe. His work is collected by over 25 public institutions worldwide including the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University; the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Breuer was awarded a Guggenheim fellowship in 2006.
Linda Lippa’s new series of oil paintings, “Split Second NYC”, continue her fascination with urban cultures continuous motion. The artist focuses on areas in New York City where people congregate, where the hustle and bustle of everyday life takes place, such as transportation hubs, the subway,
Times Square, entertainment centers such as Radio City Music Hall, and parks like Union Square. New Yorkers are all but accustomed to constant chaos and commotion, keeping their fast pace without taking any time to notice their surroundings. She captures and punctuates these moments, successfully conveying a sense of place, urgency and happenstance. Lippa’s work has been shown across the US, including at Gallery on the Vineyard in Martha’s Vineyard and Gallery Magritte in Tucson, AZ. She also had a solo exhibition in Venezuela.
LOS ANGELES The visual complexity in Linda King’s vibrant new paintings is a combination of fluid movements of paint with hardedge shapes and flat intense backgrounds, which shifts the viewer’s eye as shape becomes negative and space becomes shape. King’s natural and urban surroundings inspire her use of dramatic color schemes. She uses the physical forms of vintage ceramic and metal platters or everyday household objects as stencils to edit the background and create different shapes. Overlapping layers of paint splatters, drips and pools, King creates spatial illusions evoking both microscopic views and a grander sense of distance. The juxtaposition of boundaries subverts perception and solid planes, tricking the viewer’s association to what is considered background or foreground. The imagery simultaneously offers a glimpse through a portal into a colorful, alternate uni-
verse, and can also serve as floating biomorphic forms in a solitary atmosphere. The resulting work gives a sense of memory and familiarity, which creates an emotional response, and furthermore challenges visual perception while investigating order and chaos. Linda King is based in Los Angeles. den contemporary has included her work in several group exhibitions and this is King's first solo exhibition with the gallery. [“Retro Active”, a new exhibition by English artist David French will also be exhibited. Engaging in abstraction while alluding to ornamentation, French’s curiously shaped sculptures reference the past and in their subtext, a darker aspect of contemporary society, particularly consumer culture. He brings to light both tension and irony in the personal drive towards luxury living that often comes with devastating ecological and economical consequences.]
Linda King den West Hollywood [May 17 - June 29]
Daniel Aksten was born in New Hampshire and studied English and philosophy at Chico State University. Following his college years, during which he discovered Kafka and James Joyce, Aksten initially intended to pursue writing but discovered he could use visual art to explore his ideas in philosophy. Aksten began showing his paintings in the mid ’90s including solo shows in San Diego (Simay Space) and Los Angeles (Post) and continues to exhibit his work in California and beyond. “Support, Edge, Variation”, a new exhibition by Los Angeles artist Daniel Aksten, continues the artist’s ongoing series of highly finished grid and striped paintings while adding an additional body of work referencing his work from earlier in his career. Best known for his fastidious paintings of geometric solids composed by chance through a system involving the roll of a die, Daniel Aksten’s work
in Support, Edge, Variation continues to stress the conceptual end of painting, as container of visual experience, true unto itself. His current work is informed by Robert Ryman’s list of a painting’s compositional components: primer, paint, support, edge and wall. For Aksten, the importance of painting as object and its treatment has become increasingly significant. Beginning with his work in oils during the mid to late 1990s, surface and layer became a priority. Edging out expression and representation, in favor of resemblance, his work took on a more minimalist appearance. His process became less “painting” and more “making”. His minimalist philosophy led him to materials like resin and sprayed finishes, offering varieties of surface, free of the artist’s hand, like those of the “finish fetish” school, yet brought forward with the layering of optical vibrancy.
Daniel Aksten CB1 Los Angeles [May 6 - June 10]
This exhibition features recent work by Los Angeles painter Nano Rubio, a 2011 Claremont MFA graduate. Rubio already has several shows to his credit, including Max Presneill's wonderfully curated To Live and Paint in LA at the Torrance Museum. Rubio has developed a sophisticated and robust procedural vernacular. His visual language — based on the juxtaposition of opposites, such as the precision of an auto detailer's pinstriping wheel against the gestural loops of a house painter's brush — is at once abstract and grounded in the tools and techniques of painting, yet ad-
ept at carrying narrative, even socio-political content. Rubio's paintings embody the dynamism of his immediate environment without foregoing painting's deep history. They echo the contemporary dilemma of burgeoning technocracy, the checked impulses of organic life amidst the intrusions of distributed digital networks. In many ways, he has crafted a contemporary version of the John Henry parable, swinging his brush like a hammer. It is exciting to find a painter so young in his career this deeply and successfully involved in the potential of his medium.
Linda King, Mi Corazon, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 72x60" Courtesy of den contemporary.
Daniel Aksten, Phanorama (Line, radius), 2012, composite finishes on aluminum, 60" x 60"
Nano Rubio George Lawson Culver City [May 30 - June 30]
Nano Rubio, Anunnaki Suicide, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48”
WASHINGTON DC Jackie Battenfield Addison/Ripley Washington DC [through May 26]
Jackie Battenfield, Small Hazy Noon Two, 2011, acrylic on mylar panel, 16x20”. Courtesy of Addison/Ripley Fine Art.
Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi Contemporary Wing Wash DC [May 12 - June 16]
Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, I’m Coming Home, 2012, acrylic, gouache and handpainted collage on Mylar, 54x42”. Courtesy of Contemporary Wing and the Artist.
William Willis Hemphill Washington DC [Jun 8- July 28]
Willis, Honey Hush, 2012, oil on canvas, 32.5x 39.75".
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“Field Notes” is a collection of Jackie Battenfield’s recent work. The Brooklyn-based artist is well known for her color drenched work and for her focus on segments of nature. The artist ably balances closely observed organic elements with an increasingly spare abstraction. As the artist says, "My intention is to create conditions under which I can observe the laws of nature. Form is dematerialized and re-assembled as a means of exploring color, the aliveness of a natural gesture made of repeated yet individual forms, and a felt-sense of the passage of time." These most recent works on Mylar mounted on Dura Lar panel effectively suggest internal light sources. The paintings uniformly harken to the white, translucent look of Chinese porcelains while
never straying from their contemporary origin. Battenfield is a deeply intuitive artist whose meditative approach to her work is in keeping with her affinity for oriental art and design. The dual nature of this artist's work, edgy, current on the one hand and timeless, classical on the other, affords an enlivening visual experience. Over a long and successful career Battenfield has exhibited her work throughout the United States, most recently in a large exhibition, Moments of Change, Prints by Jackie Battenfield, at the Joel & Lila Harnett Museum of Art, University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia. Her work is enjoyed in the permanent collections of many United States Embassies in such countries as Cambodia, Peru and Croatia.
In her new exhibition, “I’m Coming Home”, Javanshir Ilchi explores the duality of her cultural identity as an Iranian–American. The new series reflects her ongoing interest in the fusion of visual codes of Western abstraction and traditional Persian Art, with an emphasis on the Tazhib, the Persian tradition of illumination the spoken word. The resulting synthesis evokes allegories of intrusion and invasion, referencing the historical and contemporary sociopolitical conflicts. Unlike her previous bodies of work, where heroines conducted the non-linear narratives, these new allegories are exhibited through the absence of the figure. This conscious abandonment is consistent with the forbidden portrayal of humans and an-
imals in Islamic art practices, which led to the birth of ornate geometric and floral patterns. Javanshir Ilchi places these symbols in a particular milieu by referencing the Persian notion of “paradise”, which is rooted in the Old Iranian language of Avestan. This tradition represents paradise as an enclosed garden, commonly known as the ultimate idyllic abode where peace, prosperity, and pleasure surround the state of being. In these works, the idea of paradise is reconstructed to depict contradictory impulses in a social, political, and cultural context. The ethereal structures imply the idea of “home” surrendered by lush flora to suggest a blissful paradisiacal state, only to be ambushed by a strange sense of invasion.
For William Willis, “Painting is about metaphor, it has to do with the creative energy of existence, with soul qualities. It’s about joy.” Born in Alabama in 1943, William Willis studied painting at the University of South Florida. After completing his MFA in 1973, Willis moved to Washington, DC. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including one from the National Endowment for the Arts. In his latest exhibition, Keeping It Alive, his papaintings address individual and universal experiences, utilizing shapes and forms common across a multitude of cultures. He continually references and interlaces the natural world’s most basic elements, such as stones, trees, rivers, and snakes. From one painting to the next he arduously distills and refines the essence of
his subject, which may in fact be the subject of the painting itself. Willis places great value on intuitive or primitive forms and practices and in his work adheres closely to the ritual of the repetition of a shape. A repeated linear form of segmented triangles serves as a regular motif throughout the works in this exhibition. Making a quiet nod to Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column, Willis uses the shape to represent a figure in some works and a meandering river or mountain in others. Neither fully abstract nor representational, Willis’ paintings call attention to the inherent texture of the materials from which they are composed: canvas, wood, paper. In so doing, Willis is constructing not just paintings, but sculptural objects with reverberating auras and commanding presence.
ACROSS THE COUNTRY This exhibition of new works by artist Hong Seon Jang will feature a series of Jang's acclaimed tape drawings, print editions, mixed-media sculptural works, and two ambitious site-specific installations for which Jang is in residence at the gallery for a week to install. Expanding on notions of transformation, energy flow, and materiality, Jang employs mundane materials and everyday objects in his practice, playing off viewers' visual expectations and the material possibilities inherent in the objects that casually surround us. Jang suggests through his works that, in addition to the potential for beauty in the banal, concepts of fragility, creation, and extinction,
while typically aspects of the natural world, are not irrelevant to us. By introducing these topics through the things we use on a daily basis, Jang plays with concepts of civilization, functionality, and order. He de-contextualizes classroom, office, and informational materials, such as National Geographic magazine, and repurposes them within a larger conversation encompassing topics of life and death, renewal and development, and creation and extinction. Though these subjects may seem to be the stuff of cosmic enterprise or perhaps of Hobbes' State of Nature, Jang argues that we aren't as far from these dichotomies as we might think, despite the veneer of our civilization.
“Can’t Afford to be Broke”, a solo exhibition from Word To Mother, features new works on wood along with a small run of exclusive ‘zines with hand-pulled screen printed cover. London-based artist Word To Mother's newest collection of works features his distinctive visual assemblages of figures, patterns and typography painted in mixed media on wooden panels. Drawing from his own experiences in recent years, the state of the economy, and riots on his doorstep Can't Afford To Be Broke sees Word To Mother showing a sense of desperate yet hopeful pieces, using familiar references of both current and vintage popular culture icons, which evoke a sense of humor amongst more melancholic figures. Delving deeper into his exploration of color, Word to Mother expands
into more primary tones alongside his usual favored natural palette. Gestural marks are layered and 'buffed' to create textured expanses of muted tones with injections of fluorescent reds and oranges appearing like small explosions of optimism amongst an overcast sky. With wooden assemblages featuring smaller studies, text pieces and collections of salvaged items next to large scale paintings, there is a balance of subtlety contrasted with Word To Mother's sense of humor and directness that can be summed-up perfectly in the "Fuck You Pay Me" Baseball bat pieces. Can’t Afford to be Broke sees a maturity in painting and a hand-crafted feel that is ever-present in Word To Mother's pieces, resulting in what we believe is his strongest collection of works to date.
“New World Atlas of Weeds and Rags”, Ryan Pierce’s new solo exhibition, features paintings depicting the resilience of the natural world. The works are inspired by the role of weeds and the impact of humans on an Earth reeling from climate change, mass extinction, and environmental collapse. The images are a meditation on our perception of weeds as unwanted, harmful invaders that bring imbalance to an ecosystem, rather than a symptom of existing trauma. Pierce’s celebration of weeds questions conventional nativist conceptions of landscape, wondering instead at the possible role of weeds as a restorative function of a wounded planet. For this series, the artist has borrowed the visual tropes of botanical illustration, recalling a time when painting and drawing were trusted modes of seeking, recording, and conveying new knowledge. The works are populated with
moths, snakes, and locusts — symbols of the deplored but ecologically crucial components of nature. Alongside the paintings are slender pedestals holding bowls of “Roundup Ready” weed seed. Viewers are invited to take the seeds, which are from common and robust Pacific Northwest native plants that have been genetically selected to resist chemical pesticides: a provocation to destabilize and hasten the demise of industrial agriculture. Pierce received a MFA in painting from California College of the Arts in 2007. His work has been exhibited internationally. He has received grants from The Joan Mitchell Foundatio and the San Francisco Foundation. He is also the recipient of a 2012 Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission and a co-founder of Signal Fire, an organization that provides wilderness residencies and retreats to artists from all disciplines.
Hong Seon Jang David B. Smith Denver [May 4 - June 16]
Hong Seon Jang: (top) Type City, 2012, letter press on wood panel, 2x11x14” (bot) Black Forest, 2012, tape on chalkboard, 24x36”.
Word to Mother White Walls San Francisco [May12 - June 2]
Word To Mother, Bad For Your Health, mixed media on wood, 72x48”.
Ryan Pierce Elizabeth Leach Portland [through June 23]
Ryan Pierce, Sun Scorched, 2011, ink, flashe, and soot, 46x36.25".
Gloria Delson (323) 805-9363 GDCAgallery.com
Contemporary Arts 215 W. 6th Street #115 Los Angeles, CA 90014
A Look Inside the Artistâ€™s Studio
Photography by Eric Minh Swenson
Lisa C Soto
My new drawings, spray paint on paper, are an extension of my cartographic theme present in my work. These new pieces were born from constructing abstract renditions of ancient Polynesian maps or stick charts, as they are known. Hundreds of years ago, Polynesians created these charts out of thin strips of coconut frond midribs or pandanus root. Bound together with cords made from coconut fibers in geometric patterns, the sticks depicted sea currents around atolls and wave patterns between islands. The islands were represented with cowrie shells or pebbles attached to the chart. In the past few years, my work has taken cartography from the representational to the abstract. In my sculptures, which I refer to as "drawings in space", I cut out the actual shapes of countries and islands. I reconfigured them back together having changed their geography and scale. Trinidad could be bigger than China, for example. Lately, the work has organically migrated to seemingly abstract renditions of mapmaking. Traditional stick charts were originally quite small, around one square foot. I enlarged these charts to be as tall as six feet. The charts are spray painted many colors ending in black. The under layers can be seen up close. These charts became the stencils to
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the spray paint paintings on paper. In other words, I have built three-dimensional objects in order to make two-dimensional drawings on paper. By removing them a step further, they are allowed to devolve into imaginary maps. I see them as mythical guides or charts to other dimensions â€” perhaps beyond the 11 dimensions that are known in theoretical physics. These charts encompass most of my themes, including street maps, topography, landmasses from an aerial point of view, routes of migration, and global connections. The process of creating these charts exposed the influence of my move from the east coast to the west coast. To create the paintings, I laid the stick charts on top of the paper, which was placed on the ground, and spray-painted over them creating a stencil effect. By choosing this method of working horizontally over vertically, it provoked me to reflect on the effect that moving from New York City to L.A. has had on my work. One of the first things I noticed when I moved out to Los Angeles is how one has to engage with a large, horizontal environment. My perspective on space and time had to broaden: coming from an environment that was narrow, dense, upright, fast, structured, internal, and future-based, to a place that was broad, spread
out, flat, slower, external, open, and present. Working in my new studio in Inglewood this past year has also added to this new perspective. In times of reflection I find myself going to the roof of my studio building for a new view. I look out over the neighborhoods of Inglewood and Baldwin Hills to the North. I see the airport radio tower to the West and the sprawling stretch of land to the South. The city is laid out in front of my eyes like a quilt and the vast sky hovers close above. Working and living in this expansive topography has an effect; I can't help but to take ACA it in and allow it to materialize in the work. Lisa C Soto is currently showing in the group show "Lineamenta" curated by Renee A. Fox at BAB Gallery (http://beaconartsbuilding.com). Soto is exhibiting her first video work in the contemporary art ruhr C.A.R. - Medienkunstmesse in Essen, Germany (http://www.zollverein.de/#/angebote/ medienkunstmesse-contemporary-art-ruhr-c-a-r). See more work by Soto on: www.lisacsoto.com or at https://www.facebook.com/SotoStudios
by the first generation of Abstract Expressionist EXHIBITIONS ARTISTS painters on the East End of Long Island, she was welcomed first as a student, and then as a colleague. Today she represents one of the last living links to central figures in the avant-garde of 20th-century American art, including such artists as Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning, Philip Pavia, Ibram Lassaw, John Little and Balcomb Greene.
A Veteran of the American Avant-Garde by Dave Shields
Receive, c. 1988
Old Montauk, c. 1980
Joffe’s work has continued to evolve int century. Her current body of work com tercolor-on-translucent-Mylar series ca “Riversongs.” Here we see the ever-pre between form and abstraction, layers reference, and allegiance to experiment Joffe manipulates form and surface, m symbol and abstract gesture, sanding a surfaces, painting and repainting, eve ebrates color and depth of surface.
Joffe’s 50-year careerat his East JoffeHarriette spent time with Willem De Kooning Harriette Joffe has exhibited nationally as an artist the influence post-World War espeHampton studio,spans and his is evident, and museums; her work has been publ Riversong, c. 2011 II inAbstract movement cially the arc Expressionist of her explorations ranging from extensively and reviewed in publication cutting edgetowork in theand present. puretoabstraction, figurative, combinatory ing the New York Times. Her contrib Embraced by the Like first De generation figurative-abstraction. Kooning, of there is an Exhibiting with artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, culture of American Abstract Expressi Abstract tension Expressionist painters on the ever-present between form and abstraction Eric Fischel, Linda Benglis, April Gornick, Larry tured in the Parrish Museum’s “East East End Her of Long sheher wasown, wel-however, Rivers, Peter Max and Jackie Windsor, she worked oral history series. in her work. workIsland, is wholly comed firstalternately as a student, and then as aand near comfortably in the rebellious milieu of that era. As characterized by earthy tones colleague. Today,During she represents one ofJoffe had that avant-garde was absorbed into the increasing- Joffe be the subject of a major show shocking vibrancy. this period, last living at links to central figures in Benson ly commercial New York art world, however, Joffe graph at Davenport and Shapiro Fin solothe exhibitions Vered Gallery, Elaine the avant-garde of 20th-century AmerGallery, and Bologna-Lani Gallery, and showed at broke with many of her contemporaries and began Hampton, NY, Summer 2012. ican art, including such artists as Willem de Kooning, Elaine de Kooning, Philip Pavia, Ibram Lassaw, John Little, and Balcomb Greene. Joffe spent time with Willem De Kooning at his East Hampton studio, and his influence is evident, especially in the arc of her explorations ranging from pure abstraction, to figurative, and combinatory figurative-abstraction. Like De Kooning, there is an ever-present tension between form and abstraction in her work. Her work is wholly her own, however, characterized alternately by earthy tones and near shocking vibrancy. During this period, Joffe had solo exhibitions at Vered Gallery, Elaine Benson Gallery, and Bologna-Lani Gallery, and showed at the Guild Hall Museum Annual Juried Exhibition and the Springs Invitational Exhibition at Ashawagh Hall in the Hamptons. Joffe also worked among the pioneering Down Under Manhattan era. Yet, as that avant-garde was absorbed into the increasingly Bridge Overpass or DUMBO artists, finding a voice within the commercial New York art world, Joffe broke with many of her then emerging New York City avant-garde in the mid-to-late 70s. contemporaries and began a systematic examination of RenaisExhibiting with artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Eric Fischel, Linsance, Classical, and neo-Classical European painting, traveling in da Benglis, April Gornick, Larry Rivers, Peter Max, and Jackie Europe, studying Rubens and Titian. Eventually returning, she Windsor, she worked comfortably in the rebellious milieu of that
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subsequently began a long period of exploring ancient American civilizations in Mexico and the Southwest. Joffe’s work has continued to evolve into the 21st century. Her current body of work comprises a watercolor-on-translucent-Mylar series called “Riversongs.” Here we see the ever-present conflict between form and abstraction, layers of allegorical reference, and allegiance to experimental technique. Joffe manipulates form and surface, melding figure, symbol and abstract gesture, sanding and polishing surfaces, painting and repainting, even as she celebrates color and depth of surface. Harriette Joffe has exhibited nationally in galleries and museums; her work has been published extensively and reviewed in publications including the New York Times. Her contribution to the culture of American Abstract Expressionism is ACA featured in the Parrish Museum’s “East End Stories” oral history series.
Joffe be the subject of a major show and monograph at Davenport and Shapiro Fine Art in East Hampton, NY, in Summer 2012.
Rejoice All Our Days
On Function and Relationships, with Hardware and Wood
My pieces are cobbled together structures made from found bits of wood and hardware. Often, they are articulated, moving in odd ways (unfurling and furling, telescoping out from two feet to ten) that suggest a function too specific to be useful. They are metaphors for our relationships with one another. The imperfect edge of one piece fitting perfectly against the imperfect edge of another, pieces whose function suggest protection but offer no real security, and everything seemingly on the verge of collapse, but never quite collapsing. I am tapping into the delight that comes from seeing something work that shouldnâ€™t, the hope that comes from a thing endlessly repaired, no matter how many times it has broken, and the beauty in something textured with imperfections and then worn smooth through use. Katie Hudnall is represtened by Mayer Fine Art in Norfolk, VA For more information, visit mayerfineartgallery.com
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Channeling Her Experiences into Art by Roger Steffens
“Living in Los Alamos radiated my brain,” claims self-described “Unibrow” artist, Raven Servellon, 28. Having now completed the first of what the ancient Greeks described as a life span of three 28 year cycles, the gamin, tattooed visual voyager is ready for second phase action. Interviewed at her apartment at the crucial intersection of Echo Park Avenue and Sunset Boulevard, she is cater-corner from the site of her first one-woman show, the nouveau hip Sancho Gallery. Scheduled to open June 1, the show will consist of thirteen all-new works in her signature water-color pencil style, interlinking tiny kaleidoscopic elements into an intriguing and often winsomely whimsical whole. Born in Metairie in New Orleans and raised there and in Orlando, Florida, she studied film for a while, but didn’t care for its collaborative or business aspects. Arriving in New Mexico at the end of 2004, she shared a two bedroom apartment with her oneyear-old son and experienced a series of paranormal events. “I was out of my body,” she recalls. “I had episodes of sleep paralysis, feeling something pulling me up. I lived in terror; it happened two or three times a week, like an entity grabbing me, but not a physical thing. And then I would see images after. I walked down the hallway and saw demon faces, flat like a hologram. “One day I looked up into a mirror and didn’t recognize myself. I was fixated on my pupils and it was terrifying. For thirty seconds or so I felt like someone else was looking out from my eyes. That feeling catalyzed who I am today. I now have rushes where I see
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my imagery before I make it.” Soon after moving to L.A. a year later, she experienced a nervous breakdown. “My son stayed in Los Alamos with his father and I finally realized it wasn’t going to be the same. That’s when I determined I was going to be an artist. I worked for a while at the Soap Plant and then at the ADM Project on Santa Monica Boulevard, across the street from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. One of the Ramones’ graves was next to a tree, and I used to climb up into it. It was Art 101 for me.” Eschewing art classes in school in favor of debate, she was nevertheless a constant doodler. She just never thought about doing art. Then, one day she sent some drawings out on a chatline, and the response was immediate and gratifying. “People told me they were supercool. My first piece ever was an upside-down nude which the gallery, ADM, framed and put in a low brow show that summer. I also drew a picture of Mrs. PacMan eating all the tiny fruits that spread out across an entire page. I called it Resistance is Futile. I loved the way it looked and how comfortable it felt to do that, but I never submitted it.” The colorfully busy image would become a template for much of her work to come. “I had an idea to cover the walls of a gallery with repeated imagery like wallpaper. I wanted a mirror room. And then I discovered the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. So many ideas I had, she had already done. Her book had dot painting and I did one like it, only changed the dots to little Japanese faces. Yayoi has obsessional neuroses and when I saw her work I felt it was a message from God.” Laughing at the thought, she admits, “I was raised atheist, my father told me there was no God, so maybe it’s rebellion, but I’ve grown more and more ridiculously spiritual. I call Yayoi my celebrity spiritual guide, my guardian angel.” As she pulls her large canvasses out of portfolios and from a pile on her bed, she describes their themes. “This is one of my earliest and it exemplifies my motto: when in doubt, just draw worms.” The lemon yellow ground is covered with a microscopic survey of wiggly sperm. “I did it before I knew of Kusama. Ultimately I’m always thinking about how to evolve. I have a fixation on evolutionary theory, a lot of my art relies on the snakes.” The Devil Is in the Details mixes two ghostly female figures with four more, clothed in twists of coiled rope, showing more white
space than most of her other images. “It’s my obsessiveness. If you want to be philosophical about it, I’m covering my pain of not being a normal person. Art is very therapeutic for me, success consists of my continuing evolution as an artist.” The title of her Sancho exhibition is All Haunted Hollywood. “It just popped into my head. I like its acronym AHH; it’s like you’re screaming,” she said with a wry grin. A prime image in it is called Yes, Yes Ok (see opposite page) which consists of three sheets together featuring a woman with a cartoon balloon displaying those words. “It’s about hypnosis, trance, being in a state where you’re super vulnerable. All your stuff comes to the surface. It’s me in the picture.” Another trompe l’oile piece is The All Girl Ghost Band (see bottom left). She calls them “The Cupcakes”. A grouping entitled The Europan Trash Series features characters “who have come to earth and taken trash culture back to Europa. They wear human skin as fashion. I envision every series as having a band.” Here the imagery turns to vivid cartoon in which a Queen towers over her man servants. Several were shown in 2010 at Stories on Sunset Boulevard and will be included in the Sancho showcase. She describes Fear of Modernism as illustrating “lots of white space, trapezoids and dumbfounded apples.” Butterfly Kingdom (left) is two-thirds Hundertwasser-like rectangles leading to an explosion of pastel butterflies. For Raven, the titles “come while I’m drawing; it helps the piece evolve into what it is. I haven’t outgrown my drawings so far, so I don’t do acrylics yet.” “I do a lot of automatic drawing. I was highly influenced by Andy Warhol’s book, Popism, in fact, more influenced by his words than his art. The final page of the book blew my mind. He wanted to take the romanticism away from the drugs. That’s why he made that film, Trash. Pop was all they’d ever known. I felt like Warhol had come down and said Raven, you have to be part of this: that’s when I created Outsider Pop. Op was optical illusion. My theory that I live by is essentially doing art at all times. Everything is super symbolic to what your mission is, creating your own meaning. Multiple perspectives. It’s not high brow, it’s not low-brow, it’s uniACA brow, the in-between, the spiritual world.” For a glimpse of her perky private world and its intimate schematic, check out All Haunted Hollywood, opening June 1 at Sancho in Echo Park, Los Angeles.
WILBAR SCULPTURE • FURNITURE
Red Radius / sculpture: 8.3’h x 5’.4’w x 4’d
Hall Table 44 / 32"h x 44"l x 18"w
Red Coffee Table / 32"dia. x 18"h
222 West Abriendo Avenue | Pueblo, Colorado 81004 | 719-542-1370
www.johnwilbar.com John Deaux Art Gallery | 221 South Union Avenue | Pueblo, Colorado 81004 | www.johndeauxartgallery.com
20 & 21st Century Art Above: Sidney Gross • Behind: Eddie Rehm L: Rolph Scarlett • R: Harriette Joffe
Davenport & Shapiro Fine Arts www.DavenportandShapiro.com
37 Newtown Lane - East Hampton - NY • 631 604 5525
John Kelly Chocolates, 2012 Trufﬂe Fudge
Chocolate & Caramel with Hawaiian Red Alaea Sea Salt
A L L H A N D M A D E • A L L N AT U R A L 1111 1/2 MONTANA AVENUE SANTA MONICA, CA 90403
1508 N SIERRA BONITA AVENUE LOS ANGELES, CA 90046 AVA I L A B L E AT F I N E R E TA I L E R S N AT I O N W I D E JOHNKELLYCHOCOLATES.COM
© 2012 John Kelly Foods, Inc.
HOUSTON FINE ART FAIR SEPTEMBER 14 - 16
CHRISTOPHER RUSSELL OCTOBER 20 - NOVEMBER 27
LUIS DE JESUS LOS ANGELES 2685 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034 www.luisdejesus.com
An issue of American Contemporary Art, published in May 2012.