Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art

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LOS ANGELES PAINTING: Formalism to Street Art

bruno david gallery

LOS ANGELES PAINTING: FORMALISM TO STREET ART Curated by Andi Campognone September 2 – October 7, 2017 Bruno David Gallery 7513 Forsyth Boulevard St. Louis, MO 63105 U.S.A. info@brunodavidgallery.com www.brunodavidgallery.com Owner/Director: Bruno L. David This catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art Editor: Bruno L. David Catalogue Designer: Christina Lu Designer Assistant: Claudia R. David Printed in USA All works courtesy of Bruno David Gallery and the artists Photographs by Bruno David Gallery and the artists Cover image: Justin Bower, Subject Study in the Year of Our Lord, (detail) 2017 Oil on canvas 84 x 72 inches (213.4 x 182.9 cm) First Edition Copyright © 2017 Bruno David Gallery, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission of Bruno David Gallery






Los Angeles, give me some of you! Los Angeles, come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town! -- John Fante LA’s art history is still being written. Recent and present, its old masters are largely still alive, still working. In other words its history is so fresh, it’s still warm. As the scholarship increasingly embraces the monumentality of what the post-war and mid-century generations accomplished, as well as the diversity of international and interdisciplinary influences that have defined it, we see something formulating that is absolutely unique. The LA art community always encouraged and supported interdisciplinary methods and innovative material thought, embracing rather than seeking to tame that which makes the city different than any other in America or indeed on Earth. The new is a bit of a religion out here, but lately, old is becoming new and vice versa as the current generations finally gain enough distance to respond to its legacy. In the Los Angeles context, looking to the past is something of a revolutionary act.

LA is epidemically everywhere and discernible only in glimpses. -- James Ellroy As this exhibition more than makes clear, there really is no monolithic LA look as such. But there is certainly a sensibility. Myriad formal, stylistic, and material links and correspondences are made apparent in the jaunty, daisy-chain flow of the exhibition’s installation; such a richness of visual crosscurrents manifests all the time around here. The exhibition, like the city, presents a score of diversely and distinctly imagined stylistic neighborhoods that merge on the walls, as in the city itself, to form a single place with an inimitable character. Like a surreal yet holistic dream logic, evocative and schematic, enthusiastic and not afraid of beauty, LA is a place where Zen is an obsession, fusion is the paradigm, melancholy is exoticized, and freedom made a fetish.


All life is inherently dangerous. But beyond that, Los Angeles is just a wonderful place to be. -- John Gregory Dunne The Southern California region’s mythological quality of light is both transcendent and oppressive. The stars are blinding on the ground and invisible above the sky. Everyone has a secret, more than one. The whole continent of America is in the rearview mirror; the ocean is everything Jung could wish for and also it is the end, the continent goes this far west and no farther. The sunsets are ridiculous. To walk any road is to be lost, and the scenery is experienced most often from behind glass and steel, at great speed. Space is both flat and endlessly receding, the horizon is hazy and ever-present, geography and terrain are a fact of daily life, navigation requires engagement, patience, instinct, and attention. Hidden treasures appear at random intervals. There’s more than one center -- but there’s only one Los Angeles.

Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles. -- Frank Lloyd Wright The 21 artists assembled for this show employ a range of stylistic modes that includes but is not limited to abstract expressionism, hard-edge geometry, optical illusion, color theory, conceptual and allegorical portraiture, narrative symbolism, experimental materialism, science fiction, spiritualism, surrealism, feminism, and emotive, process-based landscape. Flavors of Pop, Modernism, Op Art, Photorealism, Light & Space, Pattern & Decoration, Street Art, Chicanismo, Futurism, Orientalism, folk art, and more all make themselves felt. Curator Paul Schimmel once told me that Los Angeles is “the westernmost city in Europe, the easternmost city in Asia, and the northernmost city in South America,” and I think that’s right. LA’s is a hybrid profile in every regard, but its units form a family of artists who live to blur boundaries and push right past them altogether, to form a more perfect synthesis of everything the whole world has to offer. It’s wild.


Los Angeles gives one the feeling of the future more strongly than any city I know of. -- Henry Miller Los Angeles has a thing for contradictions -- for the surface and what’s underneath, for structure versus change, for what’s behind the curtain, for the play sunshine and shade, for the fantasy of the landscape defying the reality of the land. It is city that is sometimes more like an idea of a place, but it never stops reminding you of just how physical it is. Reality is a state of mind here, it’s malleable. For that reason, as well as the prevalence of world-class art schools and once-plentiful affordable studio space, coming here is always a story of reinvention, personal and in general; it’s about making yourself your own, and making the world again according to the desires of your vision. It’s a city whose destiny has always been to imagine the future on behalf of America. Across their differences, each of these 21 painters takes that duty as seriously as an earthquake.

Shana Nys Dambrot is a Los Angeles-based writer, art critic, curator, and artist. She is the Los Angeles Editor for Whitehot Magazine, Contributing Editor to Art Ltd., and a contributor to KCET’s Artbound, Flaunt, Huffington Post, The Creators Project, Fabrik, VS. Magazine, Palm Springs Life, and Porter & Sail. She studied Art History at Vassar College, writes short fiction, and speaks in public at galleries, schools, and cultural institutions nationally. This text is one in a series of the gallery’s exhibitions written by fellow gallery artists and friends.



I am pleased to present a group exhibition titled “Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art,” curated by Los Angeles-based curator Andi Campognone. The exhibition, at the Clayton location, includes 21 Los Angeles-based artists (Shiva Aliabadi, Kelly Berg, Justin Bower, Ben Brough, Rebecca Campbell, Amir Fallah, Samantha Fields, David Flores, Jimi Gleason, Dion Johnson, David Lloyd, Stevie Love, Constance Mallinson, Andy Moses, Ruth Pastine, Andrew Schoultz, Anne Elizabeth Sobieski, Chris Trueman, Mark Dean Veca, Andre Yi, and Victor Hugo Zayas.) All the artists in this exhibition, react to their surrounding with their medium. From a formal use of geometry, to the experiential use of color, to figurative works, they all tell the story of Los Angeles. Los Angeles has a range of landscapes. As such it provides roots, and inspiration from the rich history of modern American landscape painting to the innovative use of new materials and the inception of light and space genre. This geographic benefit combined with LA’s unique climate, affordable studio space and access to unusual materials, has enabled artists to work out ideas experimentally. As a result, the city has become known for fostering reinvention that progresses the established American art. Los Angeles has its own history – celebrating diversity between self-taught and academy educated artists. It boasts more equitable recognition when considering gender and ethnicity. LA Painting: Formalism to Street Art samples works from across these divisions. This show presents a range of experience of color, light and line. Many of the artists have evolved preexisting thoughts to form a second generation of ideas - telling a 21st century story of Los Angeles through paint. Support for the creation of significant new works of art has been the core to the mission and program of the Bruno David Gallery since its founding in 2005. As is always the case, a project of this scale benefits from the work of a team, and foremost I would like to thank Andi Campognone for her tireless advises and curatorial brilliance. I would like to express my sincere thanks to Shana Nys Dambrot for her thoughtful essay. My thanks are especially extended to the twenty one artists in the exhibition and to Alex Couwenberg for his consistent support. I am deeply grateful to Christina Lu, who gave much time, talent, and expertise to the production of this catalogue. Invaluable gallery staff support for the exhibition was provided by Cleo Azariadis, Christina Lu, Thomas J. Fruhauf, Viola Bordon, Haleigh Givens, Xizi Liu, and Peter Finley.


Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art Shiva Aliabadi Kelly Berg Justin Bower Ben Brough Rebecca Campbell Amir Fallah Samantha Fields David Flores Jimi Gleason Dion Johnson David Lloyd Stevie Love Constance Mallinson Andy Moses Ruth Pastine Andrew Schoultz Anne Elizabeth Sobieski Chris Trueman Mark Dean Veca Andre Yi Victor Hugo Zayas





Justin Bower,

Subject Study in the Year of Our Lord, 2017 Oil on canvas 84 x 72 inches (213.4 x 182.9 cm)



Rebecca Campbell Fool, Seer, MFA Grad (Christy), 2011 Oil on canvas 48 x 29 inches (121.9 x 73.7 cm)

Anne Elizabeth Sobieski Dog is Good, 2017 Oil and graphite on paper 44 x 31 inches (framed) (111.8 x 78.7 cm)


Amir Fallah All Experience Is An Arch, 2015 Acrylic, colored pencil, collage and oil on paper mounted to canvas 60 x 48 inches (152.4 x 121.9 cm)


Andrew Schoultz Unbound Beast, 2017 Acrylic on canvas on panel 30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.9 cm)


Victor Hugo Zayas Grid Series, Green Intersection, 2017 Oil on wood 48 x 39 inches (121.9 x 99.1 cm)


Constance Mallinson Modern Trash, 2017 Oil on canvas 54 x 45 inches (137.2 x 114.3 cm)


Samantha Fields The Far Corners, 2014 Acrylic on canvas 60 x 77 inches (152.4 x 195.6 cm)


Ruth Pastine Inevitability of Truth 14-S2424, 2017 Oil on canvas on custom beveled stretcher 24 x 24 inches (61 x 61 cm)


Shiva Aliabadi Unfurled Painting III, 2017 Mixed media on rice paper 30 x 24 x 17 inches (76.2 x 61 x 43.2 cm)


Dion Johnson Speedster 2, 2017 Acrylic on canvas 32 x 36 inches (81.3 x 91.4 cm)


David Lloyd Constellation, 2014 Mixed media on canvas 48 x 62 inches (121.9 x 157.5 cm)


Kelly Berg Divergence, 2017 Acrylic and gold mirror plexiglass on canvas 24 x 36 inches (61 x 91.4 cm)


Chris Trueman SVTN, 2017 Acrylic and acrylic spray paint on yupo mounted to Sintra 40 x 26 inches (101.6 x 66 cm)


Chris Trueman MP, 2017 Acrylic and acrylic spray paint on yupo mounted to Sintra 40 x 26 inches (101.6 x 66 cm)



Andy Moses Circumnavigation 801, 2017 Acrylic paint on six-sided acrylic panel 40 x 28 x 16 inches (101.6 x 71.1 x 40.6 cm)


Andre Yi Construction (No.9), 2017 Gouache, paper, acrylic, pencil shavings, tape, paste and studio materials on canvas 14 x 11 inches (35.6 x 27.9 cm)


Andre Yi Construction (No.7), 2017 Gouache, paper, acrylic, pencil shavings, tape, paste and studio materials on canvas 8 x 8 inches (20.3 x 20.3 cm) Andre Yi Construction (No.8), 2017 Gouache, paper, acrylic, pencil shavings, tape, paste and studio materials on canvas 11 x 14 inches (27.9 x 35.6 cm)


David Flores Outlines, 2017 Acrylic on wood and aluminum 18 x 18 x 1-5/8 inches (45.7 x 45.7 x 4.3cm)


David Flores Kusama, 2017 Ink and acrylic on paper 17.25 x 17.25 inches (43.8 x 43.8 cm)


Stevie Love Visible Evidence, 2017 Acrylic paint, plastic screen and faux fur 44 x 28 x 2 inches (111.8 x 71.1 x 5.1 cm) 32

Stevie Love Fire Element, 2017 Acrylic paint, plastic screen and faux fur 32 x 21 inches (81.3 x 53.3 cm)


Mark Dean Veca Rise Up, 2017 Acrylic on canvas 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm)


Mark Dean Veca Rise Up II, 2017 Acrylic on canvas 18 x 24 inches (45.7 x 61 cm) 35

Ben Brough The Elders. Coyotes of Fairview Park, 2017 Acrylic, collage on canvas 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76.2 cm) 36

Ben Brough How the North Wind Blows, 2017 Acrylic, collage on canvas 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76.2 cm)


Jimi Gleason Leeward, 2017 Silver deposit, acrylic on canvas 40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm)


Jimi Gleason Windward, 2017 Silver deposit, acrylic on canvas 40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm)


Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art (installation view)



Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art (installation view)



Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art (installation view)



Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art (installation view)



Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art (installation view)



Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art (installation view)



Los Angeles Painting: Formalism to Street Art (installation view)



#LosAngelesPaintingFormalismToStreetArt #ShivaAliabadi #KellyBerg #JustinBower #BenBrough #RebeccaCampbell #AmirFallah #SamanthaFields #DavidFlores #JimiGleason #DionJohnson #DavidLloyd #StevieLove #ConstanceMallinson #AndyMoses #RuthPastine #AndrewSchoultz #AnneElizabethSobieski #ChrisTrueman #MarkDeanVeca #AndreYi #VictorHugoZayas


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ARTISTS Laura Beard Heather Bennett Lisa K. Blatt Michael Byron Bunny Burson Judy Child Carmon Colangelo Alex Couwenberg Jill Downen Yvette Drury Dubinsky Damon Freed Douglass Freed Ellen Jantzen

Michael Jantzen Kelley Johnson Howard Jones (Estate) Chris Kahler Xizi Liu Kahlil Robert Irving Bill Kohn (Estate) Leslie Laskey Yvonne Osei Patricia Olynyk Gary Passanise Judy Pfaff

Charles P. Reay Daniel Raedeke Tom Reed Frank Schwaiger Charles Schwall Christina Shmigel Thomas Sleet Shane Simmons Buzz Spector Cindy Tower Ann Wimsatt Monika Wulfers


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