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CONTEMPORARY ART & DESIGN

ISSUE 27


E X H I B I T I O N S • D E S I G N • FA B R I C AT I O N • I N S TA L L AT I O N F R A M I N G • C R AT I N G • S T O R A G E • T R A N S P O R TAT I O N S C A N N I N G • P R I N T I N G • P H O T O C O N S E R VAT I O N C O L L E C T I O N M A N A G E M E N T • P U B L I C AT I O N S C U R AT O R I A L . O R G

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CONTRIBUTORS MASTHEAD

MICHELE ANTENORCRUZ grew up on the banks of the Los Angeles river and then migrated  to the hills, where she practices meditation while tending to her garden, family, poetry and art. Betwixt the river and hills, she lived on a few other continents, did human rights work, taught, and studied nonviolence. 

Publisher Chris Davies Associate Editor Peter Frank

JACKI APPLE is a Los Angeles-based visual, performance, and media artist, designer, writer, composer, and producer whose work has been presented internationally. Her writings have been featured in numerous publications including THE Magazine LA, The Drama Review, Art Journal, and High Performance. She is a professor at Art Center College of Design.

Managing Editor Aparna Bakhle-Ellis Creative Director Chris Davies Art Direction & Design Chris Davies and Paul Soady

PETER FRANK is art critic for the Huffington Post and Associate Editor for Fabrik magazine. He is former critic for Angeleno magazine and the L.A. Weekly, served as Editor for THE magazine Los Angeles and Visions Art Quarterly, and contributes articles to publications around the world. Frank was born in 1950 in New York, where he was art critic for The Village Voice and The SoHo Weekly News, and moved to Los Angeles in 1988. Frank, who recently served as Senior Curator at the Riverside Art Museum, has organized numerous theme and survey shows for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Venice Biennale, Documenta, and other venues. McPherson & Co. ‑Documentext published his Something Else Press: An Annotated Bibliography in 1983. A cycle of poems, The Travelogues, was issued by Sun & Moon Press in 1982. Abbeville Press released New, Used & Improved, an overview of the New York art scene co-written with Michael McKenzie, in 1987.

Contributing Writers Michele Antenorcruz Jacki Apple Peter Frank Kio Griffith Lanee Lee Kristen Osborne-Bartucca Max Presneill Colton Stenke Phil Tarley

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Editorial editorial@fabrikmedia.com

LANEE LEE is a Los Angeles-based writer who uses her craft to pursue her passions: travel, culture, cuisine, and discovering artisans from around the globe. You can follow her latest quest at www.laneelee. com and @wanderlushdiary.

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KRISTEN OSBORNE-BARTUCCA is a freelance arts writer and educator based out of Los Angeles. She is the host of The Contemporary Art Podcast. 

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INFORMATION Fabrik Magazine is published by Fabrik Media, 269 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 1234, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Contents cannot be reproduced in part or in full without the written permission of the copyright holder. The opinions expressed are those of the artists and writers themselves and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Fabrik or Fabrik Media. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. PRINTED IN LOS ANGELES

ON THE COVER 100-Mile Photograph © Florian Maier-Aichen Read more about the artist on page 6.

CONTEMPORARY ART & DESIGN

ISSUE 27

MAX PRESNEILL, COLTON STENKE & KIO GRIFFITH FROM ARTRA CURATORIAL, a volunteer organization for the implementation of new modes of exhibition, locally, nationally and internationally, that feature artist-led emerging platforms and opportunity based interactions and community building via social practice type events. Founded in 2009, the group has instigated large scale art events and exchanges, as well as the alternative art fair Co/Lab,  throughout Los Angeles and has new projects being presented in China, France and UK in 2014, as well as the continuation of their MAS ATTACK series of events both in LA and other US cities. PHIL TARLEY is a Fellow of The American Film Institute, an artist member of The Los Angeles Art Association and The California LGBT Arts Alliance.  As an art and pop culture critic, he regularly posts stories on The WOW Report; writes about contemporary art and photography for Fabrik Magazine and ArtWeek LA. Tarley cultivates and promotes artists and helps galleries with their curatorial and press related needs. He curates for The Artists Corner, a photography gallery in Hollywood, California. His series of political and ethnographic videos is housed in the permanent collection of the New York Public Library and has screened in film festivals and museums like American Film Institute and the Solomon R. Guggenheim. Phil Tarley’s writing and photography has also appeared in the LA Weekly, Adventure Journal, the Advocate, Frontiers, Adult Video News, Genre and Instinct Magazine. 


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CONTENTS 6

Profile: Florian Maier-Aichen at Blum & Poe

22 Profile: David Moen: A Contemplated Life 40 Profile: Artist-Designer Azadeh Shladovsky 50 Iconoclasts: Wexler2: An Architect and his Son 72 Fresh Faces in Art: Emergent Presence: Eight LA Artists

You Should Know

90 Art Fairs: Art Fairs in Los Angeles: The Cluster Paradigm 98 Review: Dancing On History’s Grave: Part II 106 Art About Town: Peter Frank’s Museum Views


FLORIAN MAIER-AICHEN AT BLUM & POE —

WORDS KRISTEN OSBORNE-BARTUCCA IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST; BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES; GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NEW YORK; AND 303 GALLERY, NEW YORK

FLORIAN MAIER-AICHEN • UNTITLED (ANDERMATT), 2014 C-PRINT • 73 X 92 1/4 INCHES FRAMED • EDITION OF 6, 2 AP COURTESY OF THE ARTIST; BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES; GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NEW YORK; AND 303 GALLERY, NEW YORK


PROFILE

IT MIGHT INITIALLY be perplexing to step into Florian Maier-Aichen’s new

exhibition at Blum & Poe if all you know about him is that he’s a landscape photographer. There are certainly a few classic black-and-white photographs, but on the lofty white walls are also hung suspiciously abstract canvases marked more by abstract line and shape than hill and river, and while other photographs contain harbors and valleys, they are also slightly “off” –colors are heightened or blanched, and the “God’s-eye” perspective on some works is dizzying or bizarre. However, all of these seemingly disparate works come together through the understanding that Maier-Aichen, here, as in most of his work throughout the last couple of decades, is interested in more than just landscape and photography as we think we know them. Through his experimental use of photographic technology old and new, MaierAichen explores the shifting nature of truth, humans’ impact on the environment, and the poetic and allusive possibilities of the landscape. Maier-Aichen splits his time between his home country of Germany and Los Angeles, where he first arrived in 1999. Both locations inform his work, the former referencing the romantic Germanic landscape tradition of painting and photography, and the latter referencing the sprawling metropolises of the modern era. Several works from the Blum & Poe show are clearly in the romantic tradition of his Germanic forbearers, playing with photographic techniques to render the images more painterly and thus more artificial. In Untitled (Andermatt), the artist recreates one of Eduard Spelterini’s famous black-and-white photographs of the Swiss Alps, rendering it in brilliant tricolor photography. The verdant hills are not just green, but also a glowing red. The surreal colors coupled with the aerial perspective of tiny houses set between precipitous mountains lends the image a fairytale quality, but one that is a bit disconcerting. Another photograph of craggy, snow-covered peaks and windy roads isn’t as straightforward as it ought to be; half of the image is blacked out, with the artist’s digital scribble snaking through the black mass, mimicking the mountain roads. Maier-Aichen told Art in America that adding the element of the handmade to his photographs was not anathema to the medium – “It’s not a big deal to incorporate drawing and the hand into photography – just remember how painstakingly manual a process photography was in the 19th century, and how highly retouched and enhanced photos were just by default.” His photographs of Los Angeles and its environs, however, best encapsulate Maier-Aichen’s interest in various photographic techniques, including the touch of the artist’s hand, and how such works can manifest themselves in ways that capture the essence of a place more than simple documentary photographs can. 8

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FLORIAN MAIER-AICHEN • HALBES BILD, 2014 SILVER GELATIN PRINT; 60 7/8 X 49 1/8 INCHES FRAMED; EDITION OF 6, 2 AP COURTESY OF THE ARTIST; BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES; GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NEW YORK; AND 303 GALLERY, NEW YORK


FLORIAN MAIER-AICHEN UNTITLED, 2014 SILVER GELATIN PRINT 19 9/16 X 19 3/4 INCHES  EDITION OF 6, 2AP COURTESY OF THE ARTIST; BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES; GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NEW YORK; AND 303 GALLERY, NEW YORK


PROFILE

Maier-Aichen has photographed Los Angeles many times since he moved there, occasionally revisiting many of the locations. He focused his lens on Pacific Coast Highway, deviating from the standard representation of serene blue ocean and rolling green hills and instead featuring a murky ocean and blood-red hills that looks like some apocalyptic scene from H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. In 2011’s La Brea Avenue in the Snow, the artist photographed the charming Tudor-style houses he’d first seen in a book and manipulated the image by adding old cars and creating snow by drawing it into the image; it’s a magical work, but, as denizens of the perennially-warm Los Angeles know, one that is certainly fictive. He also invoked the tradition of American landscape painting and photography by taking the region’s mountains, such as Mount Baldy and Mount Wilson, for his subjects. One of the images of Mt. Baldy appears to be a serene nighttime scene, but a closer look reveals something slightly off-kilter about the mountain; in fact, Maier-Aichen used the “day for night” technique of 4 x 5 blackand-white infrared film to create an inverse image, and one that is rather ominous. In Untitled (Mount Wilson) from 2002, the curved shadows of the mountain peaks foreground the photograph, but the vast expanses of the city dominate the work, with the ethereal dots of light and coruscating marine layer (enhanced by the artist’s digital brush) overwhelming the dark of night and asserting the power of the built environment over that of nature. Those liminal spaces where nature meets civilization appear several times in the new works at Blum & Poe. 100-mile photograph takes a familiar aerial view of Los Angeles as seen from the mountains, looking out across the valley of houses, buildings, and freeways to the ocean in the distance. Here, though, the landscape is tinged with that same eerie red, evoking science fiction, disease, or the apocalypse. The ocean is covered with blurry, low-hanging clouds, diminished and passive in the face of the destruction brought by humankind. Similarly, Halbes Bild depicts the desiccated Salton Sea (California’s biggest lake, created accidentally and now a certifiable ecological disaster zone), with the Sea an inky, abyssal black, and the surrounding terrain appearing like a surreptitiously-snapped satellite photograph. Most curiously, a lunar-like white mass is in the top right corner, with three slender tendrils dripping down. Maier-Aichen created this ambiguous shape with a chemigram, a photographic technique that does not actually require a camera, with the artist instead painting on light-sensitive paper in order to render an image. The addition of this not only reinforces Maier-Aichen’s flexible interpretation of the art of photography, but adds to the image’s surreal, disturbing mood. The Port of Long Beach, a favorite subject of Maier-Aichen’s, is given similar treatment. The aerial shot of the maze of shoreline where the ocean abuts 12

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FLORIAN MAIER-AICHEN • 100-MILE PHOTOGRAPH, 2014 C-PRINT; 101 X 80 1/2 INCHES FRAMED; EDITION OF 6, 2 AP COURTESY OF THE ARTIST; BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES; GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NEW YORK; AND 303 GALLERY, NEW YORK


PROFILE

the heavily-developed city and port is a negative image, with the water a milkywhite and the cityscape gradations of ashy grays. There are clouds in the sky, which takes up almost half the photograph, but the clouds don’t quite make sense –they’re too blurry, too globular. Unsurprisingly, they were added later by the artist, and pasted and rephotographed on top of the negative image. The effect is, again, disconcerting –there seems to be something amiss, the roiling and futuristic clouds indicative of some grand peril on the horizon. It is no wonder why Maier-Aichen, like Ed Ruscha, David Maisel, and John Baldessari among others, is fascinated with Los Angeles and its local surroundings. The interminability of its freeways and suburbs, its all-consuming expansion to the farthest geographic edges, and its fraught relationship with the natural resources needed to sustain an always-burgeoning population are conducive to ruminations on our impact on the environment and the conditions that might just bring about the demise of the human race. However, the region also yields stunning vistas that conjure up nostalgia and affection for the beauty of the landscape that attracted so many 19th and 20th century settlers. Maier-Aichen plays with both the alluring and the apocalyptic associations of the place, both enticing us with the fantastical and improbable beauty and poetry of his images, and inducing a shudder of premonition that his eerie images might portend an ominous future.

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FLORIAN MAIER-AICHEN • UNTITLED, 2014 DYE TRANSFER PRINT; 37 1/2 X 31 1/4 INCHES FRAMED; EDITION OF 6, 2 AP COURTESY OF THE ARTIST; BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES; GAGOSIAN GALLERY, NEW YORK; AND 303 GALLERY, NEW YORK


b

Suddenly Young Jackson became agitated, annoyed, bothered, and very horny...


b..

...and then he decided to do something about it, 2014, diptych, mixed media on canvas, 52" x 54"

Contact the studio, bonifacho@telus.net


t h e 2 4 th ed i t i o n

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la mar t / the reef

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DAVID MOEN: A CONTEMPLATED LIFE —

WORDS MICHELE ANTENORCRUZ IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

MARSH. 6” X 5” X 2”. ©DAVID MOEN


PROFILE

HERE’S A MAN who clearly knows his artistic arc from its birth, then its mean-

dering extraordinary and mundane events, to the present moment. Here, we glimpse at David Moen’s contemplated life, one infused with a wealth of meaning and discovery. Moen is the artist, the alchemist, who knows how and what to see, who possesses the capacity to transform visions into, yes, material forms. But there’s more: he translates, coaxes and nurtures the personal visions in his art students. A wizard of a teacher, the trail into his Atwater studios takes you along a paved driveway into a forced pause, a shaded antechamber where vines beckon overhead and a dwarf papyrus thrives in the black water of a clay pot studded with pebbles, no doubt hand made, like the wooden gates. Moen’s garden strikes a balance in its wildness. Stepping through the antechamber into the garden proper one doesn’t know where to focus, and a hundred forays into this antechamber will each enchant the visitor with another surprise. So come in, and discover the wizard behind the emerald curtain, the one living this contemplated, luscious life. Before the light, a starry night . . . David Moen (DM): I have really been blessed with several outstanding teachers. My mentor, the one who helped me become an artist, was originally my 5th grade teacher and it was in his classroom that I first saw Picasso. I first saw Mondrian. I first saw “The Starry Night”. And I didn’t know what was happening to me at the time but Edward Herrington was the kind of teacher that all the students adored and he would give us art lessons and “The Starry Night” really grabbed me. I’ve been teaching for 42 years now and I know a lot of students for whom “The Starry Night” planted a seed. And I’ve only understood recently what it was about that painting that so drew me in. My parents had an encyclopedia at home and I looked up “V” and there was a color reproduction of “The Starry Night”. I kept that volume on my desk for several years and I looked at that painting hundreds of times and it was a lodestone for me. And I didn’t know why but there was something about it – it wasn’t ‘this is an amazing impressionist painting’- it was something about the movement of it, the power of it, the luminosity and all that darkness and the beauty of the darkness and that hidden silent village down below. It was something going on in the atmosphere that captured me and the action of those cypress trees.... a churning power. 24

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PROFILE

FOUND. 7” X 5” X 2”. ©DAVID MOEN

What I’ve come to understand about my captivation with “The Starry Night” is that I’m interested in a kind of very fundamental form and the way I think of it is that they are the forms that precede the “real world” forms that we all experience and understand. You know, we can see an apple, we can see a tree, but what is the initiating force that actually creates that specific form? I’m interested in those kinds of forces and that’s what I’m trying to capture in my clay work, drawings and paintings. “The Starry Night” was the first hint I had that such a direction for my work might be possible. I want to be clear that my art is not about unconscious forms. And it’s actually not about abstraction. I used to think I was an abstract artist (laughter) and a lot of people would look at what I make and call it “art.” I call it art, too, but in some ways it’s not art. I’m not making what I make for the reasons of beauty or a social statement. I’m making it because I have this impulse to see something I’ve never Web fabrik.la

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PROFILE

seen before. And I’ve actually always done that. But I didn’t know I did that when I was a little boy. Recently I’ve been thinking about a model airplane that I self- designed when I was 11. I’d always been interested in jet aircraft from the 1930s, 40s and 50s — they were modernist designs with swept wings and fish-like bodies and they had an elegance to them. I never had a fascination with them in terms of their armaments, or that they engaged in warfare, which is what a lot of kids are fascinated by. I was interested in the forms. I didn’t know why I was so interested, but I was moved — poetically — by those forms. So I made this plane that was basically an equilateral triangle with a 10 degree fold along the length of its axis so that the wings angled downwards and I made this beautiful cockpit that was a long half oval, and the wings were red. I didn’t put any landing gear on it, there were no symbols on it, and I took it out to my front yard hoping to fly this plane, (laughter)—and it didn’t fly, it sort of looped in the air and put its nose to the ground. But I was so satisfied with this plane because there was some kind of presence in the form there. So this magical plane did fly for me-- within me. It was, perhaps, a kind of spirit bird, and it flew for me. MA: Do you have a spiritual practice? DM: Yes. I think of the Gods as my friends and I find that we help each other. I have a strong devotion to Mary and to the Buddhist goddess Tara, both beings of compassion and guidance. In regard to the physicality which I find necessary in my own artwork, I want to point out that my relationship with Christianity, however, never quite felt complete — because Christianity has so neglected the dimensions of human sexuality. I mean it’s really become non- or anti-sexual... and anti-sensual. What I like about Tara is her presentation: semi-nude, but there’s nothing pandering or indecent about the quality of her nakedness. It’s a completely natural loving concept of the body. The ancient Egyptians had that comfort with the human form. There’s nothing about it that you would ever say was pornographic. It’s more than dignified. It’s a way of being. And I find American culture to be still so puritanical instead of the supposed liberalism that we have going on now. I needed to have a god/goddess who encompasses physicality, because my artwork and my sense of being is very sensory and tactile. I’m really preoccupied with touching what I make and making it by hand and the

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PROFILE

SAIL. 5” X 2” X 2”. ©DAVID MOEN

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PROFILE

CURVE. 9” X 7” X 1”. ©DAVID MOEN

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PROFILE

work has a feel —you don’t just look at it. It’s got to have some sort of physicality. That’s where I find my voice functioning and speaking. MA: How has working with children affected your work? DM: I recently discovered one of the real benefits of working with children that has profoundly affected my own art. I’ve been doing a lot of clay construction with my very young students for 3 decades now. I teach K, 1st and 2nd graders how to manipulate this very anonymous material. A block of clay is the most anonymous material you could imagine. If the universe were made entirely out of clay, we wouldn’t have a thought (ha ha ha). It’s completely anonymous and yet because we have a sense of touch, we can take this anonymous material and forms can emerge from our hands quickly, easily, and—here’s the point—inevitably. Now a skilled adult can sculpt a horse or make an abstraction or make some geometrical sculpture. So we artists make these objects and they are worthy in so many ways. Yet, what interests me even more in working with novice students who have never touched clay before is that they will make a form that is barely recognizable—as a human figure or a fish or some symbol—the beginner artists’ skills are so unpracticed that the result is very crude. And yet, those newly made forms are freighted with incredible meaning—just think, to have created an image! To be able to reach into that nothingness of clay and see a form emerge out of it—this is an astounding and profound thing. And I have had that experience thousands of times with children. Children rarely form clay in a meaningless way. They always have an intention. What I have found in the forms they make out of clay is this core of a world— like the first word in the Genesis— they’re making their first words—their first worlds—they are creating their first forms—this has so moved me that somehow I started down that same path after 47 years of making my “art.” And I learned from children that there’s this thing in the middle, there’s this thing in the center, and that’s what I’ve been preoccupied with in my clay work and the multimedia pieces I do now. The sculptures are not talismans; they are utterances, and the language that I hear. I’m making art about a world that’s emerging—that’s becoming. And this is how I see and experience the forms I create.

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PROFILE

MA: What intrigues you about mystery? DM: It must have been the landscape of my early childhood. I was born in Milwaukee. Long icicles hanging from the eaves and walking around in all that Winter snow was a transformation of the landscape. And there really was a first Spring day, a particular day— when the quality of the sunlight would change and the earth was still damp. You could feel the dampness of the ground through your shoes and the grass and the green was beginning to flourish and there was this freshness and the clouds moving in the sky and a coming warmth and then the Summer would be humid and it would just get inside of you and there would be fireflies and fields of hay and we’d run through the fields and fling cow patties like frisbees and in the Fall the winds would come and the leaves would blow and fly and gather in deep piles. For a child of imagination, it was truly wondrous. On my street, there were chestnut trees and the trees would create these beautiful mahogany nuts like seashells and to me they were magical and I thought of them as money. I would put them in my marble bag and touch and play with them—Halloween was powerful—it got inside your skin. And then we moved to Pomona, California. We moved into a completely new tract development that was created by bulldozing down a square mile of orange groves. So there would be these immense embankments of mangled orange trees that sat for years in barren lots... bare, pale, yellow earth, and developers would put in their stakes determining what would become roads or house lots. Trucks would come in with wood and the cement poured and the plumbing was laid so all these houses grew up around us and we played in them. The whole neighborhood was a playground as it grew, but eventually I experienced a “suburban” despair. I was seven and, being just a child, I didn’t have the ability to express to my parents that I was really lost — pulled out by my roots. I was starving for the seasons, tall trees, starving for cardinals in the branches, and the lake... we lived near Lake Michigan where I could see the fog and hear the tug boats in the middle of the night, you know, eoughhhh, that whole thing. There were lighthouses. Wisconsin was so vivid for me and then we moved to this barren prefabricated community.... and by the time I got into junior high school I remember one day just standing in the kitchen, the cool linoleum under my feet. No one was home 30

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PROFILE

and I felt l so anxious—and yearning for something more, something that I could physically bathe in, that I could wrap my arms around and that would wrap its arms around me. Well, I was still unable to articulate this; it was all subconscious experience. And the emptiness was terrible. In spite of it all, I did slowly learn to love the California desert; we took a lot of camping trips out there; it took me 4 to 5 years to love the Mohave but I actually learned to — and I love the California coast line. I’m here for the rest of my life. But losing the seasons...well, that was really a significant event for me. So mystery has always enchanted me. What I was experiencing in my So. Cal. ranch house was a lack of mystery—it was an environment constructed of materials that truly lacked the resonance of genuine character. There were very few trees or plants but plenty of drywall and latex paint — there was no age in that material or feeling of history. No one had come before me and lived out their lives there. It was like living in a brand new cardboard box and that included the outdoors—the streets, all the concrete, all of nature lined up, everything trimmed and hedged. I think one can demarcate several eras of American art: the first is pre-urban/ agricultural, the second is urban/suburban, and the new era is the digital/ multi-national/cross-cultural, which has just begun. These eras speak to where the creative personalities of our culture look to for vision and inspiration. I admit a certain sadness in that we now have several generations of artists, in America at least, who, from childhood, have been significantly estranged from nature—and the sensory/sensual world. But there are hopeful signs as well—the newest generation seems more tuned in to endangered species, global warming, and getting the poisons out of the environment. So I do have hope that some artists will return to a grounding in the natural world. MA: How would you characterize your art and its relation to your teaching? DM: I’m going to use a word that I don’t feel comfortable using, but my art is a visionary art. I do not mean visionary in simply the mystical sense. For an artist, vision is looking and waiting and eventually seeing — comprehension will appear. Out of this comprehension rises form. (The greatest visionary artist was Cezanne.)

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PROFILE

This allows me to think of students as beings who are “coming forth” and what I do with a student is remain quiet for a while and see what they do and how they do it. There is the occasional brilliant student who is pure and they are a delight from the beginning to work with because I can help them open up even more. Then there are students who have these huge cultural preconceptions about what art is and what art is not and these ideas often become barriers. So you have to open the student to some sense of other possibilities and you give them skills so that they can begin to speak in images and forms authentic to themselves. As a teenager, when I first showed my dad the abstract art I so obsessively created, he was confused —but he did not get in the way; when he saw I had a passion for it, he stood behind me. Which was really big of him because he was not a highly educated man. Fortunately for me, as it turned out, I eventually understood that my father had a futuristic turn of mind, like so many men of his generation. Anyway, a significant adult in an art students‘ life can wound that student if the adult has restricting ideas about the quality of an artwork— perhaps because of its’ lack of “realism”, or rough execution, or a seeming lack of drawing skill, and so on. So students can come to me deeply confused and lacking in confidence, and I have to help them sort it all out. Loving-kindness goes a long way in terms of that. MA: It seems you have made your day job into an art. DM: Yes, definitely. MA: You find the possibility and what’s not seen, you coax out. DM: If I’m teaching, I have to put myself in their shoes—into their vision. I do what I can to help them find their voice. MA: And you are able to do that because you can listen to your own. DM: You are absolutely right. I have greatly benefitted from teaching and I have learned so much. Sometimes it is said about artists – “those that can, do —and those that can’t, teach”— well, this is such a misconception! If that were true, we wouldn’t have jazz, would we! Artists have always been teachers to students,

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PROFILE

MOON. 12” X 11” X 9”. ©DAVID MOEN

assistants, friends and peers. I learn everyday from teaching. The large bulk of my work is with students 18 and under and I learn ongoing-ly about visual dynamics — I can see if the artwork is functional or not, and that’s “the art of art.” I also have to encourage my students because art is work. It takes a lot of heart and it can be frustrating. The most important thing for a teacher to impart to each student is that they are--each one--an authentic and original being, a new giving forth of creation, worthy of life and worthy of speech.

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REBIRTH, 2013 - FROM THE LIQUID LIGHT SERIES • 24 X 36 • INFUSED DYE ARCHIVAL ALUMINUM PRINT ��� 2/5

“Maureen Haldeman’s seashore images are filled with luminous, magical, abstracted configurations.”

— PHIL TARLEY, FABRIK MAGAZINE


Maureen J Haldeman

www.maureenhaldemanphotography.com ON VIEW DURING PHOTO LA 2015 — AT THE FABRIK MAGAZINE BOOTH


©GAY SUMMER RICK • WILSHIRE AND WESTERN • OIL ON CANVAS • 30 X 40 INCHES

Gay Summer Rick www.gaysummerrick.com REPRESENTED BY

ON VIEW DURING THE 2015 LOS ANGELES ART SHOW AT THE FABRIK MAGAZINE AND BG GALLERY BOOTHS


VISION QUEST: ARTIST-DESIGNER

Azadeh Shladovsky WORDS LANEE LEE IMAGES COURTESY THE ARTIST


PROFILE

The renowned L.A.-based furniture designer releases her first debut film that questions perception within the art+design movement. AZADEH SHLADOVSKY’S FURNITURE doesn’t fit one specific design classification. Minimalist and austere one moment; rustic-chic the next and on another glance, sumptuously playful. Imagine if, to give a bit of cultural context, James Bond — with his propensity for sleek, mod-60s elegance — and Tilda Swinton, with her outrageously, wild fashion choices, outfitted a house together. Strangely enough, Shladovsky’s style would appease both — seemingly opposite — sensibilities. A darling of glossy design magazines and designers alike, Shladovsky’s finely crafted furniture made of luxurious materials such as Patagonian longhair sheepskin, polished nickel and rosewood are in demand. Of her latest furniture line DE+ Capsule Collection, must-have pieces include the Petit Diva Stool, Bronze Torre Stools and the Élan bar. As a former member of the heart and lung transplant team at UCLA Medical, Shladovsky— much like her furniture — is full of surprises. In her latest reinvention, Shladovsky has added the title ‘filmmaker’ to her diverse resume. UNSCENE, her debut short film, previewed last fall at her new gallery-studio in Mid-City Los Angeles. A collaborative effort with filmmaker Sayer Danforth, UNSCENE was shot over four days throughout the Southwest and explores Shladovsky’s visual observations within furniture design. Redefining and questioning perception — be it of furniture, film or family — permeates the designer’s endeavors. In honor of her daughter, who suffered from blindness at age two to tragically pass away just before her fourth birthday from a brain tumor, Shladovsky is passionate about her work with Blind Childrens Center over the last six years. Fifty percent of the proceeds of her original works are donated to the local organization dedicated to helping children with visual impairments. We caught up with the philanthropic designer in her newly minted studio to find out more about L.A.’s art-design movement and what’s next on her ever-changing creative agenda:

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PROFILE

Fabrik Magazine (FM): How does the city influence your work? Azadeh Shladovsky (AS): L.A.’s confluence of people, geography, weather and pioneering spirit have nurtured a fearlessness in my personal evolution and freedom of expression. FM: Where do you go for creative inspiration in L.A.? AS: The city’s natural beauty, weather and light is unparalleled; I go outside and experience the sun, sea and mountains as often as I can. FM: What motivated you to open a studio+gallery space? AS: I wanted to create a space that would serve as a creative laboratory and meeting place. I wanted a blank slate of sorts where people could come without any preconceived notions of what they would find or experience. FM: Any particular reason why you opened a studio in Mid-City L.A. (not known for its progressive art scene)? AS: It’s a central destination: half way between Santa Monica and Downtown, with tremendous potential for a growing art scene due to the presence of old manufacturing warehouses. FM: How would you define the city’s art+design movement? AS: The art/design movement in L.A. is an unrestrained energy and collective force that has been percolating for years. It has inspired not only Angelenos but people from around the world who want to be a part of the cultural narrative that is propelling our city into the future. FM: And in L.A.? What galleries or artists do you think represent the art+design movement well? AS: To name a few: Gallery All, The Haas Brothers, and David Wiseman. FM: What projects are you currently working on? AS: I will be presenting new work alongside Imi Knoebel (the German artist known for his minimalist, abstract painting and sculpture) through Galerie Christian Lethert at Art Contemporary Los Angeles this January.

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PROFILE

FM: What is the primary message you want to communicate in your first short film, “UNSCENE”? AS: That we should always question the way we see people and the world. ‘UNSCENE’ is available to view by appointment at Shladovsky’s studio. Azadeh Shladovsky Studio, 3645 10th Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90018 Shladovsky’s last two furniture collections are available exclusively at Jean de Merry showrooms and online: www.deringhall.co. 44

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PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE WITH DESIGNER, FILMMAKER & PHILANTHROPIST AZADEH SHLADOVSKY Idea of perfect happiness? AS: Healthy body and mind. Quality about yourself you like the most? AS: Open mind/heart Trait you deplore in others? AS: A closed mind. What is your favorite journey? AS: The one that I’m on. What do you consider to be the greatest invention? AS: The battery What is your proudest achievement? AS: My son. What do you most dislike about contemporary culture? AS: Its inability to stay in the moment. What do you most like about the age we live in? AS: The opportunities it presents to connect with the world. What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken? AS: Falling in love. A book or poem that has changed your perspective on life? AS: Federico Garcia Lorca’s work was one of the biggest literary influences of my youth. His work speaks to intolerance and the crisis of self-identity. What’s the most important relationship in your life? AS: The one I have with the little girl inside me. If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be? AS: That people start respecting the earth. What’s the best advice you’ve been given? AS: Never succumb to expectations, labels or stereotypes.


“Killarney Lakeside” Killarney, Ireland 2013 Archival Pigment Print/Board Mount 36” x 54” Edition of 3 $3,000 Print Only $2,000 Also available as 20” x 30” Edition of 10 Print Only $900


FELICE WILLAT www.felicewillatphotography.com ON VIEW DURING PHOTO LA 2015 — AT THE FABRIK MAGAZINE BOOTH


MAXINE SMITH • GALLERY GIRL • 40 X 30 INCHES • OIL ON CANVAS, 2013


Maxine Smith www.maxinesmithart.com

u ON VIEW DURING THE LOS ANGELES ART SHOW AT THE FABRIK MAGAZINE BOOTH


WEXLER2 AN ARCHITECT & HIS SON —

WORDS LANEE LEE IMAGES COURTESY ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY AND GLEN WEXLER

CONTRIBUTING WRITER LANEE LEE QUERIES THE CREATIVE DUO ABOUT PAIRING UP TO BUILD A DREAM LIVE/WORK SPACE.

PHOTO: © ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY


PHOTO: © ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO: © ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY


ICONOCLASTS

Creative genius. Where does it come from? For the Wexlers, it runs in the family. Donald Wexler, AKA the almighty mid-century architect of Palm Springs and Glen, his son, the prolific photographer with an eye for otherworldly surrealism, collaborated to take on the behemoth task of erecting Glen’s live/work home in the Hollywood Hills. Fabrik Magazine caught up with them for an exclusive look at how the father-son duo realized this spectacular, modern-meets-mid-century dwelling: Fabrik Magazine (FM): Why did you want to remodel your house? Glen Wexler (GW): I wanted to create our dream house with a live/work space. FM: How did the house remodel idea with your dad’s involvement come about? GW: We looked for years for a live/work space, but found nothing that was right for both work and family, or was affordable. When the adjacent lot was for sale, I asked my dad about adding on to our existing house that we bought in 1988. He said it would be challenging, but doable. FM: What were some of the challenges you faced? GW: It was an incredibly long, drawn-out process that started in 2000 and lasted roughly eight years until both the addition and remodel were finished. From the original geology report that recommended 40 caissons (probably enough to build a skyscraper!) to a lady on the Mulholland Design Committee who was determined to stop it and other issues, it was a major ordeal. FM: Did it help having your dad involved in getting design permits? GW: Definitely, but the last house my dad built in Los Angeles was in the 60s. The architectural historian community and their letters of recommendation really helped, as well. Web fabrik.la

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PHOTO: © ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY


PHOTO: © ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY


ICONOCLASTS

FM: Talk about your dad’s role in the project. GW: He did the original design sketches and consulted throughout the construction process. Being semi-retired, he didn’t have building relationships in L.A. We hired Henry Buckingham, a local, emerging architect at the time. Henry did the working drawings, contributed to the design, and ran the project day to day. FM: Is the house indicative of your dad’s mid-century style? GW: His design aesthetic and sensibilities are definitely carried through, but it’s more contemporary than his legacy of mid-century work. The site and building codes created a number of obstacles. Because we’re hillside, we had to build vertical, rather than horizontal, which is typical of his Palm Springs designs. Also, due to energy requirements, the city doesn’t allow for the amount of glass that’s typical of mid-century post and beam architecture. FM: What aspects encapsulate his design? GW: There’s an overall design aesthetic to the way the proportions align. He’s very much about organizing space, creating a visual rhythm. Like the doors, he carried the header up to the ceiling resulting in a clean linear plane from ceiling to floor. FM: What’s your favorite part of the house? GW: There’s so many that I really enjoy. But on an architectural level, in our backyard, next to the lap pool, there’s a section of glass where you can see through the house to the other side of the Hollywood Hills. We can sit back, have the fire pit going and watch the sunset. FM: Speaking of views, being located in the Hollywood Hills, how else did you incorporate the views into the design? GW: In our original house, we had very little yard space and a limited view. Now that we could expand the yard, my dad had this notion to create a bridge and roof deck. The view from the deck is amazing, and a very peaceful spot to relax. FM: What kind of projects have you shot in the studio? GW: I keep photo shoots at my home studio low-key; major shoots are on commercial production stages. I’ve shot a number of album covers in my studio, like Brian Ray (Paul McCartney’s guitarist) and Dilana (in my opinion, one of the Web fabrik.la

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ALBUM COVER FOR DILANA “BEAUTIFUL MONSTER” ART DIRECTION AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY GLEN WEXLER © 2013


“INTUITION WILL TELL THE THINKING MIND WHERE TO LOOK NEXT.” —JONAS SALK DIGITAL PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY GLEN WEXLER © 2014. FROM THE “THE ART OF SAVING A LIFE”. THE FULL COLLECTION, COMMISSIONED BY THE BILL & MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION, RELEASED IN JANUARY 2015, TELL THE STORIES BEHIND THIS SUCCESS AND THE FUTURE PROMISE OF IMMUNIZATION TO GLOBALLY PROTECT EVERY CHILD FROM LIFE-THREATENING DISEASE. EXHIBITED WORKS BY MORE THAN 30 WORLD-RENOWNED PHOTOGRAPHERS, PAINTERS, SCULPTORS, WRITERS, FILMMAKERS, AND MUSICIANS INCLUDE SEBASTIÃO SALGADO, MARY ELLEN MARK, ANNIE LEIBOVITZ AND VIK MUNIZ.


PHOTO: © ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY


ICONOCLASTS

greatest rock singers in the biz) as well as a number of celebrities. Much of my work from home is digital illustration, art prints, and design work. My career has also shifted towards directing. FM: Was this the first time you collaborated on a project with your father? GW: When I was in art school, my dad hit me up to photograph his projects. More recently, I digitally archived much of his work and my photos were included in the “Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler” book and the 50-year retrospective of his work at the Palm Springs Art Museum in 2011. FM: As two dynamic creative types, there had to be artistic differences. GW: No, he really listened to what we wanted and delivered 100 percent. FM: What was your relationship with Donald Wexler growing up? GW: I was of the hippie era and my dad didn’t know what to make of me as a teenager. We didn’t see eye to eye on anything. He used to get really upset with my long hair and jeans. It wasn’t what he expected, but his whole generation didn’t know what to expect with the major cultural shift of the 60s and 70s. FM: You get along with him very well now…so what changed? GW: There was a point, when I came home from college and showed my dad my photography portfolio, that something clicked. Being visually in tune, he saw that we were on a parallel path. From my early 20s on, he’s been very supportive of my work. We talk every few days. FM: What shifted on your part? GW: It took awhile, but in my 20s, I finally got him. I understood his passion for design and sense of perfection. Not sure if it was a synergistic thing or it was just built into my DNA, it was easy to see that the photography I was doing was an extension of his influence – not so much in subject mater or conceptual context, but in design and craft. FM: Can you elaborate on his influence in your work? GW: My approach to photography has been described as “architectural” in that I pre-visualize and design my images in advance of picking up a camera. Much of

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ICONOCLASTS

my work is constructing images from photographic elements that are specifically shot for photocompositions. There has also been mention of the correlation of us both pushing the mediums – my dad’s experimental residential work with pre-fab steel construction, and my work as a very early adopter of digital image editing tools. The main thing I discovered is that we were both driven by a passion to create, and not restricted by adhering to convention. FM: How would you describe his body of work? GW: He’s a genius. All of his work is perfectly proportioned, clean and precise, with an acute sensitivity to the surrounding environment and actual function of the space. When I started to photograph his work, it was clear to me that his work was something special. His buildings stood apart from others. FM: Why was it important to have your dad consult on the project? GW: I knew this was probably a once in a lifetime opportunity to build something with my dad and I jumped on it. We also caught up with the legendary architect Donald Wexler to hear his take on the project: FM: When/where was the last house you designed in L.A.? DW: It was the only house I designed in L.A. It was in the early 60s in Bel Air. It’s an all steel house and still looks brand new. 62

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ICONOCLASTS

WEXLER RESIDENCE, PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA PRE CONSTRUCTION RENDERING BY DONALD WEXLER, 1955

PRE-FAB STEEL HOUSE BY WEXLER & HARRISON, PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA PRE CONSTRUCTION RENDERING FROM DONALD WEXLER ARCHIVES, 1960

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ICONOCLASTS

FM: What were the main challenges of Glen’s remodel/build? DW: Working with the site was the main challenge. It was very steep. FM: What are your favorite elements of the house? DW: I like how it ties into the original house, how it fits on the lot and the view from the house. FM: Since it’s not purely mid-century due to building restrictions, how would you describe the style? DW: I have no way of describing it. There’s a fallacy about the mid-century style. When the work was going on in the golden age of architecture (50s, 60s and 70s), no one heard of the term ‘mid-century.’ Everybody was just trying to design things that belonged in the desert. The people interested in architecture, roughly 15 years ago, the coined term emerged. The term has lost it luster because everything seems to be called that, that was built during that time. FM: What was it like to work on a building project with your son? DW: I loved it. I’m very proud of Glen for doing this. FM: What are your thoughts on Glen’s body of work as a photographer? DW: He’s terrific. He’s the best! FM: Leonardo Di Caprio just bought your Dinah Shore house. What advice would you give him in maintaining such a historical jewel? DW: The house is over 50 years old with an adobe exterior that needed to be replaced. According to my son, Gary, they found a manufacturer to replicate the original adobe exterior. That’s a good sign. If his representatives want to give me a call, I’d be glad to tell them what I think. FM: What were your favorite Palm Springs projects? DW: My favorites were the Dinah Shore house, the original airport in Palm Springs and the Spa Hotel Bath House.

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Donald Wexler, FAIA, is an influential Mid-Century modern architect whose work is predominantly in the Palm Springs, California area. He is known for pioneering the use of steel in residential design. Wexler worked for Richard Neutra prior to moving to Palm Springs in 1952 and practiced there for almost six decades, developing an architecture that is acutely sensitive to the extremes of the desert climate. In 1962, he designed the all-steel Alexander houses. While he chose to keep his office small and limited his practice to the desert community, Wexler produced a body of work that included houses, schools, hotels, banks and the Palm Springs International Airport. Other notable residential projects include the Dinah Shore residence in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs purchased earlier this year by actor Leonardo DiCaprio. “Steel and Shade: The Architecture of Donald Wexler” book and the 50-year retrospective of his work was exhibited at the Palm Springs Art Museum in 2011. Glen Wexler is a photographer, director and designer best known for his elaborately staged digital photocompositions of improbable situations. At 22 years old Wexler photographed his first album cover for Quincy Jones Productions while a student at Art Center College of Design. He quickly gained a reputation for his imaginative photo illustrations for Michael Jackson, Van Halen, Rush, Black Sabbath, Yes, ZZ Top and many others. 

Advertising clients including Acura, Sony, Jeep, Maxell, Adobe, Intel, CocaPHOTO: © ERIC STAUDENMAIER PHOTOGRAPHY

Cola, Capital One, Toyota, Pepsi, Warner Brothers Pictures and hundreds of others. Wexler’s editorial work includes featured photo illustrations for TIME Magazine. Wexler also created photographic logos for The Star Wars Trilogy, Batman Forever, Universal Pictures and Geffen Records. Internationally recognized as one of the original artists to incorporate digital imaging technology into the creative process, Wexler is widely regarded as a leader in the field. Wexler’s fine art works are in the homes of many celebrities and included in the permanent collection of the George Eastman House. www.glenwexler.com


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“Grasso eventually settled into the rich abstract expressionism and juxtapositional mixed media works of today -- seas of form and color, positing resolutions to the tension between abstract and figurative visions, which he also sees as a tension between the external and internal worlds of experience and inquiry.” Shana Nys Dambrot - LA Art Critic

www.carlosgrasso.com


Henri van Noordenburg photo l.a. January 15 – 18, 2015 The REEF / LA mart, 1933 Broadway, Los Angeles www.photola.com

www.hvn.com.au

QCP International

Galerie Kunstkomplex

www.qcpinternational.com

www.kunstkomplex.net

Booth #712

Booth #106


PhotoBook Independent

A high-visibility fair showcasing photo books from artists, self-publishers and publishers. MAY 1-3, 2015 RALEIGH STUDIOS, HOLLYWOOD PHOTOINDEPENDENT.COM


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

EMERGENT PRESENCE

BY ARTRA CURATORIAL | ARTRA Curatorial is comprised of Max Presneill (MP), Kio Griffith (KG) & Colton Stenke (CS)

ISMAEL DE ANDA III De Anda III uses any and every material to approach his meditation upon, and interpretation of, personal memory and the cultural locations in which it resides. Drawings, paintings, video and sculpture are all welcomed into his site-specific installation works that address borders and immigration, childhood and identity. A pluralistic and hybrid experience creates works that reflect this in a poetic manner, unconfined to didactic positions but still retaining their base roots in conceptual art. (MP). http://testing.deanda3.com/

(ABOVE) SUPEREXTREMOS ULTERIORES, 2014, ROCK FROM HERMOSILLO, SONORA, MEXICO, VINILICA PAINT, ASTROTURF, LASER CUT ACRYLIC MULTI-COLORED MIRRORS, VINYL DECALS, ARTIFICIAL PLANTS, INSTALLATION VIEW, DIMENSIONS VARIABLE.

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(ABOVE) ULTRATERRESTRIAL, 2013, VINILICA PAINT ON GALLERY WALLS, ABSTRACTED CRYSTALLINE DESIGNS INSPIRED BY THE UNDERGROUND NAICA CRYSTAL MINES IN CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO, LASER CUT ACRYLIC MIRROR, GOLD XYLOL PAINT MARKER, LIGHT, DIMENSIONS VARIABLE.


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

DANIELLE DEAN Danielle Dean’s intermediary videologues are pseudocumentaries composed of multifarious samplings from historic speeches, popular jargon and gestural choreography slanted by advertisement and entertainment. These carefully edited sociopolitical narratives provide observational insights of Western culture reinterpreted through fragmented dialoguing addressing gender, race, economy, education and gentrified p olitics m imicking t he t witterable, i nstagrammatical brevity of modern communication. Dean’s installations incorporate these videos into the household environment, and uncanny theatrical setting casting a jittery light on the hidden implications of everyday consumerism. Fashion, sports, and games are elementary in Dean’s work affecting the pace of absurdist roleplay, generating new hybrid language and activities that set the tone for our 21st century mindscape. (KG). http://danielledean.info

(ABOVE) NO LYE, 2012. VIDEO INSTALLATION: PLYWOOD, VARIOUS WOOD STAIN COLORS, BLEACH, CLOROX, HAIR RELAXER, SOAP, EBONY MAGAZINES, ROPE, ELECTRICAL WIRE, AMMONIA, KNIFES, FLAT SCREEN TV.

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(ABOVE TOP) PLEASURE TO BURN, 2011. HD VIDEO, 10:16 MINUTES. VIDEO STILL. (ABOVE BOTTOM) HEXAFLUOROSILICIC, 2014. ONE-CHANNEL VIDEO, 9:58 MINUTES. VIDEO STILL.


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

IAN LARSON The tragicomic theatricality of a cartoon world of perverse pleasures and agonizing pain - a Dante like vision of one of the levels of Hell - is where Larson leads us. Sourced via an eclectic range of influences, from philosophy to comic books, these dark, vulgar and playful paintings, with their deep impasto surfaces, use a narrative of sex and violence to induce the consideration of an existential comedy of absurdity for the human condition. They are a satirical COBRA on mushrooms, viscerally folklorish and mythic. They are instinctive and brutish - mad, bad and dangerous to know. (MP). http://www.idlstudio.com

(ABOVE) “FIGURE MASTURBATING ON AN ISLAND OF SKULLS.” 2012. OIL AND BEESWAX ON LINEN. 12” X 16” (RIGHT) “DEATH OF A SAVANT.” 2009. MIXED MEDIA SCULPTURE.  25”X8”X8”

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FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

JENNIFER MOON The Revolution will not be realized without the continuum of self-empowerment through vulnerability and self-belief. Jennifer Moon’s three-part series, Phoenix Rising Saga, materialized from meditations on love, revolution, and personal change. The project examines possible tools to manifest The Revolution, Moon’s self-authored philosophy for transformation and expansion. The four primary Factions necessary to initiate the implementation of The Revolution are; Faction 1: Establishing a non commercial primary education system with attention to critical thought allowing hyper-awareness; Faction 2: Creating a political and social conscious popular culture by use of available resources in entertainment reforming current factions of oppression and repression; Faction 3: Redistributing global wealth via socialist-based conduits and nonprofits that will supply free means of production for the public’s basic needs; Faction 4: Employing technological research and development towards ecologically-friendly waste management and workforce liberation towards creative abundance and discoveries. Moon challenges the viewer to a self motivating belief system, not a belief in Moon or her beliefs, but in themselves and created by them. (KG). http://jmoon.net

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(ABOVE 2 IMAGES) DETAIL OF WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME: LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF, IT IS THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL, 2014. EQUITABLE VITRINES, LOS ANGELES. PHOTO CREDIT: DAWN LIGHT BLACKMAN. (LEFT) SCREEN SHOT OF JENNIFER MOON ON REVOLUTIONIZING REVOLUTION, 2014. HAMMER MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES.


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

KAZ OSHIRO Kaz Oshiro’s objects play upon the mind’s eye resetting representation over formalism over painted deceptions. His high-fidelity replicas of commonplace items like fast-food trash bins with engraved ‘Thank You,” bright pink double stacked Marshall amps (John Wiese’s Soft Punk album cover); kitchen cabinetry, Toyota pick up truck tailgates and suitcases (accessorized with worn and faded rock band stickers) to the recent large yellow Dumpster acquired by LACMA are all in reality assembled stretched-canvases, three-dimensional hyperrealist paintings. Similar to a backstage access experience, the trick is revealed from an open end. A well thought out intention by Oshiro, sustaining the illusionary effect into a fine infinite delay between artifice and reality. (KG). http://www. honorfraser.com

(ABOVE) DUMPSTER (FLESH WITH TURQUOISE SWOOSH), 2011. ACRYLIC ON STRETCHED CANVAS AND CASTER WHEELS. 47 3/4 X 75 1/2 X 34”

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(ABOVE) MARSHALL SMALL HEAD WITH ORANGE SPEAKER CABINET (TWO PARTS), 2014 ACRYLIC AND BONDO ON STRETCHED CANVAS. INSTALLED DIMENSIONS: 39 1/2 X 30 1/2 X 14 3/4”


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

MAJA RUZNIK Ruznic’s paintings enter a dark psychological space where stories are played out like Grimm fairy tales. Moving in the shadows, foreboding and somewhat threatening, the fey figures enact out uncertain primordial scenes that reflect their interdependence and relatedness. Using collage and staining, her paintings bleed and twist the boundaries between subjects, imbedding all into the fabric of the world they inhabit, blurring the lines between one thing and another. Spatially ambiguous, they exhort a lonely position, at once weary and afraid yet bubbling underneath with a power that might hold the jewel of hope. (MP). http://www.ontheedgeofreason.com/

(ABOVE) “ALL STRINGS ATTACHED”. INK AND GOUACHE ON PAPER. 60” X 45”. 2014

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(ABOVE) “SHE PUSHED THEIR LUCK”. OIL ON PANEL. 12” X 16”. 2014


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

JULIA SCHWARTZ Julia Schwartz’s paintings offer us condensed moments of awareness, but like dreams, her intimate works pass between figuration and abstraction, between narrative and facticity, existing in a state of duality, the liminal space between one thing and another. Analytical yet intuitive, of mind and body, ambiguous and shifting, a mirror to ourselves. Their internalized (feelings and emotions) and exterior sources (world events, topical news) blend into an uncertain world view that is amorphous and half seen through a mist of intuitive organizational and compositional processes with psychological tensions, making a sense of the state of existence and reflections of a consciousness. (MP). http://www. juliaschwartzart.com/

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(ABOVE) 3 FLAMES FOR A FRIEND, 2014. OIL ON LINEN. 12” X 9” (LEFT) RADIANT DUST, 2014. OIL ON CANVAS. 40” X 36”


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

JOHN WIESE A modern composer of sonic and visual passages, tethering the terrain of signal to noise, John Wiese’s daring cut-ups, processed feedback meshes and blazing flashes fold into transdimensional tracks, in lieu test sites of maximal minimalism, blowing out the excesses of post-modernism. Somewhere in the contumacious and intoxicating noise bursts, Wiese’s discreetly improvised graphic scores, monotonal plottings and code translations meticulously wield into micro-weavings of tones, textures and irresolute feverish patterns hovering over a plexus of sensory pockets. Contrary to a suspected overload, Wiese draws our attention to access our own sensory mixing board. Mirror (2012), is a contextual audio/video loop in which the audience (us) listens to a sound piece by Wiese while watching a recording of other people listening within the video; a classic mise-en-abyme of human experience. Deviate From Balance, is a levitation of active viewing and listening, Wiese’s new double vinyl and book release, featuring scored ensembles, video stills, typographic manipulations and installations. (KG). http://www.john-wiese.com

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(ABOVE) UNTITLED, COLLAGE, 7.25 X 7.25-INCH, 2012 (LEFT) UNTITLED, VIDEO (NO SOUND), 6 MIN 19 SEC, 2014


THE RAT QUEEN 2015 • DAVID SKERNICK • 11 X 14 INCHES • ARCHIVAL PHOTOGRAPH • 1/15


David Skernick davidskernick.zenfolio.com

W On View During Photo LA 2015 @ the Fabrik Magazine Booth


ART FAIRS

ART FAIRS IN LOS ANGELES: THE CLUSTER PARADIGM — WORDS PHIL TARLEY

ART BASEL MIAMI BEACH pioneered a new model for selling art—cluster fairs.

These are dueling art fairs happening in proximity of each other, simultaneously.  The Los Angeles Art Show at the Convention Center happens close to Photo LA on the same weekend. Art Los Angeles Contemporary stages at the same time as The L.A. Art Book Fair. Palm Springs Modernism presents itself alongside The Palm Springs Fine Art Fair. Then, in a grand art fair cluster arrives Paris Photo Los Angeles at Paramount Studios and Photo Independent, at Raleigh Studios, coming off contemporaneously, across the street from each other. Photo Independent, for artists, will inaugurate the premier of two sister fairs this year, Photo Contemporary, for galleries, and PhotoBook Independent, for book makers and publishers. Both fairs mark an exciting first appearance, running alongside Photo Independent at Raleigh Studios. International artists and galleries are plowing into Los Angeles; creating a fiery art symbiosis. Below are sequential listings of the most important art fairs, with dates, venues and websites to visit for more information. 

LOS ANGELES ART SHOW JANUARY 14–18, 2015

The Los Angeles Art Show at The Los Angeles Convention Center is the big behemoth of all Los Angeles Art shows, as well as the most eclectic. The 2015 LA Art Show presents 120 galleries gathered from across the nation and 22 different countries. This fair’s presentation features exhibitors who appreciate the past, embrace the present, and forecast the future. It is the West Coast’s most comprehensive art experience with 2 distinct sections: Modern & Contemporary and Historic & Traditional Contemporary. The LA Art Show showcases gallery presentations enhanced by distinctive programming and special exhibitions. 90

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Their opening night party is massive.  This is the 20th year The Los Angeles Art Show has been produced. http://www.laartshow.com 

PHOTO LA JANUARY 14–18, 2015

The international photographic art exposition, known as photo la returns for its 24th year at The REEF, located in the historic LA Mart building in downtown Los Angeles. In addition to photo la and the LA Art Show, downtown LA will also welcome the highly anticipated opening of the new Broad Museum in 2015, along with the ongoing arrival of new cutting-edge and blue-chip galleries, such as Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. Inspired by downtown’s growing vitality and creative energy, photo la relocated to The REEF for its 2014 edition, attracting an unprecedented attendance of 16,000 guests.  photo la is the longest running art fair west of the Hudson River,  celebrating vintage, modern and contemporary photography in an amazing array of photographic mediums. This year’s opening night gala honors Catherine Opie. http://www.photola.com

ART LOS ANGELES CONTEMPORARY JANUARY 29–FEBRUARY 1, 2015

For those who FANCY SOPHISTICATED AND EDGY contemporary art, this exposition delivers. Art Los Angeles Contemporary, now in its sixth year, is the International Contemporary Art fair of the West Coast. ALAC returns to the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, a known arts venue with 40,000 square feet of exhibition space and soaring 40 foot ceilings. The fair presents top international blue chip and emerging galleries from around the world, with a strong focus on Los Angeles galleries. Participants present some of the most dynamic recent works from their roster of represented artists, offering an informed cross section of what is happening now in contemporary art making. http://www.artlosangelesfair.com

LA ART BOOK FAIR JANUARY 29–FEBRUARY 1, 2015

Printed Matter presents the third annual LA Art Book Fair, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Free and open to the public the LA Art Book Fair is a unique event showcasing artists, unique books, art catalogs, monoWeb fabrik.la

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graphs, periodicals, and zines presented by 220 international presses, booksellers, antiquarians, artists, and independent publishers from twenty-one countries. Zine World is a super-sized subsection of the LA Art Book Fair, featuring zinesters from home and abroad. The LA Art Book Fair is the companion fair to the NY Art Book Fair, held every fall in New York. The fairs are attended by artists, book buyers, collectors, dealers, curators, independent publishers, and other enthusiasts. http://laartbookfair.net

PALM SPRINGS MODERNISM SHOW FEBRUARY 13-16, 2015

The 15th Annual Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale at the Palm Springs Convention Center, will feature 85 premier national and international dealers offering furniture, decorative and fine arts representing all design movements of the 20th century. To characterize their exhibition, the promoters of the fair quote Frank Lloyd Wright, who said “Give me the luxuries of life and I will willingly do without the necessities. Weekend admission is $20 and good for return entry and a catalog. http://spring.palmspringsmodernism.com

PALM SPRINGS FINE ART FAIR FEBRUARY 12-16, 2015

Palm Springs Fine Art Fair: Post War and Contemporary will once again be held at the Palm Springs Convention Center. This year’s fair honors Arlene Schnitzer: 2015 Arts Patron of the Year Award Recipient. Peter Frank, Associate editor of Fabrik, will be moderating open conversations with some of the headlining artists including; Artist Tony DeLap & Filmmaker Dale Schierholt, and artist Hung Liu. Widely-known for his photographs of weimaraners, William Wegman, will also be holding an artist talk about his work. This fair promises  an exciting weekend, set in the beautiful and relaxed Palm Springs desert, with an  innovative and international contingent of art galleries. http://www.palmspringsfineartfair.com

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PARIS PHOTO LOS ANGELES MAY 1-3, 2015

Paris Photo Los Angeles at Paramount Pictures Studios, Hollywood, bills itself as the U.S. edition of the world’s most celebrated art fair for works created in the photographic medium. This is the third year Paris Photo has held a Los Angeles version of their Parisian Fair, which speaks to the importance of Los Angeles, as a marketplace for photographic art. In 2014, the Fair hosted 81 leading galleries and art book dealers from 18 countries world-wide and welcomed more than 16,000 visitors. Exhibitors presented historical and contemporary bodies of works, cutting edge solo shows, and book projects by renowned and emerging artists in the legendary Paramount Pictures’ sound stages and the New York Street Backlot’s exclusive movie set replicas of New York City streets.  http://www.parisphoto.com/losangeles

PHOTO INDEPENDENT MAY 1-3, 2015

The  2015 fair  hopes to repeat last year’s smashing inaugural exhibition, synchronized again with Paris Photo and erected directly across the street from Parisian fair at Raleigh Studios on Melrose Avenue. As the first and only high-visibility platform for independent photographers, PHOTO INDEPENDENT presents a forum for direct exchange of ideas and contacts between photographers, collectors and art professionals. PHOTO INDEPENDENT provides the unique opportunity to invest in the most exciting established, emerging and undiscovered photographic talent today. The world of photography will set its focus on Los Angeles May 1-3, 2015 for a weekend celebrating international photography and the most talented image-makers across various genres of the medium. http://photoindependent.com

PHOTO CONTEMPORARY MAY 1-3, 2015

2015 notes the first year debut of an international venue for contemporary galleries to ride alongside Photo Independent and PhotoBook Independent.  At PHOTO CONTEMPORARY, galleries presenting, modern and contemporary photography, desirous of forgoing the stratospheric costs of Paris Photo

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booths are welcome to submit work to be juried into a compelling and exhilarating multi-venue photography fair on Raleigh Studio stages, across the street from Paris Photo. For gallery submission guidelines and application visit the website at http://photocontemporary.com

PHOTOBOOK INDEPENDENT MAY 1-3, 2015

As part of Photo Independent 2015, PhotoBook Independent offers photographers and publishers—established imprints, emerging publishing houses and self-publishers—from all genres a highly visible platform to showcase their photo books to an influential audience of curators, gallerists, other publishers, and art/ photo book enthusiasts. This inaugural edition of PhotoBook Independent provides an additional avenue for independent, under-represented and/or established photographers and growing publishers to reach global decision makers through a dialogue of direct exchange and a showcase of their best work. The world of photography will set its focus on Los Angeles May 1-3, 2015 for a weekend celebrating international photography and the most talented image-makers across various genres of the medium. Numerous high profile art fairs including Paris Photo Los Angeles, Photo Contemporary and Photo Independent will launch their annual editions in Hollywood with additional special photography exhibitions throughout Los Angeles. The weekend promises to offer the enthusiastic art patron a plethora of opportunities to experience photography at its highest caliber. THE CONCEPT OF CLUSTER FAIRS IS NOT NEW. IT HAS BEEN SLOWLY EVOLVING AROUND BIG ART FAIRS WHICH SEEK TO CROSS CAPITALIZE ON THE ATTENDEES OF EACH SEPARATE FAIR. THIS GENERATES A SYNERGY THAT GETS BIGGER AND BIGGER AS MORE AND MORE FAIRS PRESENT THEMSELVES IN PROXIMITY OF EACH OTHER. FOR LOVERS OF CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY—THE INCENDIARY ART FORM OF OUR AGE— MAY 1-3 WILL ILLUSTRATE THE CONCEPT OF CLUSTER FAIRS, AT MAXIMUM INTENSITY—AT LEAST FOR 2015.

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4th Annual

February 13-15, 2015 Feb 12 Opening Night Preview | Benefits Palm Springs Art Museum Presidents’ Day Weekend + Palm Springs Modernism Week

Palm Springs Convention Center

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POSSIBLE CHARGES: FERGUSON • ROBIN BECKER • 18 X 24 INCHES • ARCHIVAL PIGMENT PRINT • EDITION 1 OF 20


Robin Becker www.robinbeckerartist.com

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ON VIEW DURING PHOTO LA 2015 @ THE FABRIK MAGAZINE BOOTH


REVIEW

DANCING ON HISTORY’S GRAVE: PART II — WORDS JACKI APPLE

HISTORY IS A MULTIFACETED mirror in which the past, present and future

collide in spacetime. What artists and their audiences perceive when looking into that mirror and how they interpret it depends on where they are on their own timeline. When cultural amnesia becomes the norm, history is a strobe light ghost in the space between the actuality and its reflection. In the absence of cultural memory, we inhabit an undifferentiated endless present where, ironically, everyone is becoming an image-maker leaving a trail of self-documentation in order to imprint themselves onto a past no one will remember. The dislocated reality of this visually over-saturated 21st century environment is a challenge for serious artists, old and young alike. It is difficult enough to converse with the world we are speeding through and engage with it in a meaningful way. But to clear a space amidst the clatter and clutter and illuminate it in a way that can speak to the future requires a well-informed historical and critical perspective. For the artist approaching the end of a career that has spanned half a century, one who has already been assigned her place in art history, making new work within a retrospective context presents an additional dilemma. Already having a well-established “signature” — in the case of dance it is a recognizable movement syntax and vocabulary — carries with it a set of expectations by both the knowledgeable audience and critical establishment. At the same time, there is the problem of how to confront where one is at in the present moment; how to make something “new” that at the same time incorporates the evolution of one’s own past work without simply redoing the predictable, or succumbing to the latest trend in order to be “contemporary.” In addition, there is a new, younger, and frequently uninformed audience who will come to the work disconnected from the historical timeline with no frame of reference other than the immediacy of the experience in the moment. 98

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THE CONCEPT OF DUST, OR HOW DO YOU LOOK WHEN THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO MOVE?” (A WORKIN-PROGRESS). PERFORMERS: PAT CATTERSON, EMILY COATES, PATRICIA HOFFBAUER, EMMANUÈLE PHUON, KEITH SABADO, YVONNE RAINER. COURTESY OF THE GETTY CENTER.

Yvonne Rainer and Korean choreographer Hyo Jin Kim (in collaboration with media artist Hyung Su Kim) are two artists at very different stages in their careers and lives, with different cultural backgrounds. Both have confronted the question of their own and their generation’s history, memory, age, culture, and gender through live performance and film, but from different perspectives and experiences, and radically divergent esthetics. In conjunction with the Getty Research Institute’s recent documentary retrospective exhibition Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films, Rainer, now in her 80th year, performed two recent works – Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money? (2013) and a new work-in-progress The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there’s nothing left to move? As a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, writer, and founding member of the ground-breaking Judson Dance Theater in 1960s New York, Rainer’s Web fabrik.la

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THE CONCEPT OF DUST, OR HOW DO YOU LOOK WHEN THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO MOVE?” (A WORKIN-PROGRESS). PERFORMERS: PAT CATTERSON, EMILY COATES, PATRICIA HOFFBAUER, EMMANUÈLE PHUON, KEITH SABADO, YVONNE RAINER. COURTESY OF THE GETTY CENTER.

intellectual and esthetic ideology is grounded in minimalism, feminism, and postmodernism. This is clearly evident in the exhibition’s display of her writings that provide a framework for the photos, scores, and videos of dance works from the 60s and early 70s, as well as insight into her creative process. In 1975, Rainer abandoned choreography for radical experimental cinema, only returning to performance in 2000. Many of the strategies and themes of the films have resurfaced in live works consciously devoid of any theatrical pretenses. These include a disjuncture between image and text and the interpolation of the personal and political. In performance, her rhetorical stance is counterpointed by an ironic mix of dance genres that function as another form of commentary. Rainer’s personal and creative evolution as an artist, a thinker, and a woman has been played out both conceptually and viscerally in the content and formal structures of her work across decades and media. Both of the new works employ Rainer’s signature minimalist choreography along with an assortment of spoken texts that ground the work in 21st century issues, including an acknowledgement of the limitations of Rainer’s own aging but still fit body. She is both a narrator/commentator, and a self-observant participant/ provocateur. She persists in undercutting all the conventions and tropes about dance and dancers, especially in regard to age and esthetics. Her performers are 100

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ASSISTED LIVING: DO YOU HAVE ANY MONEY? (2013). PERFORMERS: PAT CATTERSON, EMILY COATES, PATRICIA HOFFBAUER, EMMANUÈLE PHUON, KEITH SABADO, YVONNE RAINER. COURTESY OF THE GETTY CENTER.  

refreshingly, primarily middle-aged and older women who do not have perfect “dancer” bodies, but are nonetheless highly skilled energetic performers. In addition, they are dressed in the most utilitarian of unmatched pants and T-shirts, the antithesis of costume. Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money? addresses the socio-economic disparities in contemporary America, with a saggy sofa at the center as a kind of visual metaphor pushed around by changing groupings of dancers. They walk, jump, hop, and kick in various configurations. Rainer officiates as a carnival barker spouting Keynesian economic theory. The dancers also engage in political pontifications on 9/11, Bush, the military, and the media, with texts drawn from a variety of sources that include sociologist Herbert J. Gans, essayists Vivian Gornick and Adam Gopnik, the 19th century French socialist/anarchist Pierre Proudhon, as well as more mundane personal recitations. Fortunately, Rainer’s penchant for didacticism is both punctured and punctuated by bursts of absurdist humor. Similarly, all the running and jumping is interjected with Laurel and Hardy antics, 1920s jazz, a little vaudevillian soft shoe, tap dancing and a few balletic pirouettes. And of course, there is the mattress, an artifact from the Judson days that keeps coming back in various guises. The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there’s nothing left to move? takes on aging and mortality head-first not only from a personal position Web fabrik.la

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but a global and historical one. In this work, a gaunt androgynous 80 year old Rainer tests her own physical limits and endurance by performing with her five dancers in a demanding athletic romp intercut with pauses for balancing, standing, leaning, resting, and stillness. The movement is a workout that includes running, jogging, stretching, flexing, huddling, falling, warming up and shaking out, and even some yoga and rope jumping. The movement groupings are signaled by sequences of finger snapping. If the choreography is classic Rainer, composed of solidly pedestrian movement without any deference to grace or style, the overall montage structure pays homage to her cinematic concepts, juxtaposing a documentary-style factual text against personal narration. The texts, taken from sources as diverse as Frederick Jameson, JeanLuc Godard, Louise Bourgeois, and D.H. Lawrence, traverse a variety of topics as Rainer investigates the contradictions of life, art, death, and impermanence. They range from ancient Islamic empires stretching from Spain to India, “In 1055 the Turks capture Baghdad…,” to our imperiled planet, to the problem of human relationships. “…The riddles of love and lust are never solved…” Rainer, who never succumbs to sentimentality, sensuality or nostalgia, can be primly doctrinaire and didactic. But she also surprises us by capping off serious political and philosophical observations with unexpectedly wry humor. “It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” Perhaps it is that particular ability that comes with age to see the absurdity of it all, that allows her to reveal her own vulnerability in the face of mortality. At the end of The Concept of Dust, she tells us without an ounce of vanity or guile that she dreams about a dinner with John Cage laughing and Yvonne Rainer crying. So be it.

t t t FOR AN ARTIST coming into her own at the beginning of the 21st century it is

even more difficult than for one coming to the end. Confronted with the volume of creative innovation produced in the 20th century, how does one find a personal voice that is neither an echo of those before, nor a mere reflection of the facile surfaces of contemporary media culture in the digital age. If you are from a non-Western nation, the tension between tradition and western influence can provide a creative opportunity. The solution for Korean choreographer Hyo Jin Kim, who is half Rainer’s age, was to look deeply into her own cultural history and identity as a Korean woman, and examine how it 102

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has been shaped by larger global and Western influences. Secondly, she sought to amplify her message utilizing contemporary technology, not as eye candy to dazzle and distract but in a more integrated way. It is hard to imagine a work more esthetically opposite to Rainer’s than Hyo Jin Kim and media artist Hyung Su Kim’s breathtakingly beautiful and sumptuously seductive Madame Freedom, presented at REDCAT. An immersive fusion of live performance, film, and stunningly hypnotic video animation and graphics, Madame Freedom is also a powerful exploration of history and culture from a feminist perspective. The evolving sexual politics within Korean culture are played out dramatically through a woman’s historical struggle to break free of the social, economic and political constraints of traditional Korean gender roles and claim her freedom to construct her own identity. In the 1956 film on which the narrative is based, the heroine is a married woman whose declaration of independence involved getting a job, taking up the new craze of ballroom dancing, and having an affair. The changing role of women in Korea from the 1950s to the present, which includes the expression of sexuality and the emergence in public life, is the unavoidable by-product of rapid modernization, and the undeniable influence of Western capitalism, technology and popular culture. The brilliance of Hyo Jin Kim’s performance lies in the ways in which her character becomes both a participant and witness. She expresses not one woman’s story but a multifaceted vision of a woman traveling through time -- a contemporary woman who slips in and out of her mother’s shoes as she comes to terms with the legacy of those hard-won cultural changes. As a result, we get a more complex picture of what is lost and what is gained on both sides. The original film thus provides a jumping off point, one that is used as both a way to enter history and an opportunity to critique both past and present, and wrestle with the push and pull between the burdens of the past and the hopes for the future. Madame Freedom is first and foremost a visual piece, and perhaps one of the most successful integrations of projected imagery and live action I have seen. Much credit goes to media designer and art director Hyung Su Kim whose projection designs form a total four-sided environment that the dancer moves through, merges with, and mirrors her surroundings. Because the two are inseparable, the viewer is totally immersed rather than looking from one to the other. Time and space are fluid, allowing us to simultaneously traverse multiple realities and dimensions in a seamless flow of imagery that includes abstract Web fabrik.la

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MADAME FREEDOM. IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.

patterns, old film clips, and contemporary video, as well as the architectural settings of home, cafĂŠ, and garden. Creating a new synthesis of dance and cinema, this work speaks to our 21st century environment of multiple screens and virtual worlds, as well as the emerging role of Korean visual arts, technology and cinema on the world stage. However, it is the elegance and power of the choreography and its flawless performance that is at the core of this work. Hyo Jin Kim is mesmerizing in the absolute precision and control of her movement throughout. Sharp clear angular gestures that almost have the feel of a marionette, morph into a definitive sensuality in her duets (with Heung Nam Kim), and resonate with clarity of purpose in emotionally charged interactions with the projected environments. Dance itself is also the subject matter here, the vehicle for the liberation of the body, self- expression, sexuality, and love. Different dance styles and the music that goes with them appear in the old film clips and the live performance. Kim is elegant and seductive in a black dress and high heels meeting her lover. The 1950s craze for Latin dancing and music is expressed in sexy tangos, rhumbas, and mambos self-consciously attempted by Korean couples in an old black and white film. A jazz trumpeter plays and couples dance cheek-to-cheek. There is something touchingly romantic in this social ritual with its embraces and caresses, and flirtations, and the effort made to reach out to each 104

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MADAME FREEDOM. IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.

other across the divide. The contemporary videos of young people who do not interact with each other, least of all dance together, provide a painful contrast. Two girls refuse to dance, preferring to watch, to take pictures and text on their phones. Groups of young men are equally detached, more engaged with their devices than each other. Is this the price to be paid in the global cultural marketplace, and what does it say about where we have come to? No doubt, this work is read differently by an Asian audience than one with little knowledge of Asian culture and history. No matter, for the power of its imagery still speaks to an intrinsic human desire to be free in body and spirit, while at the same time, it subtly raises questions about the prisons we make for ourselves. — Yvonne Rainer: Two Works Assisted Living: Do You Have Any Money? and The Concept of Dust, or How do you look when there’s nothing left to move. October 3-4, 2014 at the Getty Center Hyo Jin Kim/Hyung Su Kim Madame Freedom October 2-5, 2014 at REDCAT Web fabrik.la

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ART ABOUT TOWN WITH PETER FRANK

Peter Frank’s

MUSEUM VIEWS LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART The Los Angeles County Museum bills itself as “the largest art museum in the Western United States.” As befits such a vast and complex institution, LACMA is likely to have upwards of a dozen different exhibitions on view at any given time. Some will be more popular or higher profile than others; conversely, some of the most intriguing can get lost in the shuffle (although the present layout of the museum’s exhibition galleries puts most temporary shows on or near the flow of traffic). At present, the hipoisie is gravitating to the Pierre Huyghe retrospective (through February 22) and to “Variations: Conversations In and Around Abstract Painting” (through March 22), while the general public flocks to the spectacular display of samurai armor (through February 1). But the retrospective of African-American “Jazz Age Modernist” Archibald Motley (through February 1), for instance, or the demonstration of the science-art meld Christine Corday achieves in her “Protoist” series (through April 5) deserve equal time. So do the following LACMA exhibitions.

Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s THROUGH APRIL 26 One of the great cultural efflorescences of modern times was that of Weimar Republic Germany, scene of feverish activity and innovation in – and across – all the arts. If Paris was the standard-setting capital of modernism, Berlin was the modern capital, urgent in its dynamism, unbridled in its abandon, unresting in its experimental flare. One of the art forms most helping to fire this new spirit in Germany was the newest, cinema. With the film industry nationalized and concentrated in Berlin as the Universum Film AG (UFA), the first “Bollywood” made its appearance in the wake of Germany’s catastrophic defeat in the Great War. The sense of unease – indeed, of catastrophe – that persisted into the Weimar-years zeitgeist naturally found its way into the era’s great moviemaking; an anguished and claustrophobic spirit demanded that the expressionist style, the province of painting in the prewar years, find its way to the big screen. “Haunted Screens” documents a manner of storytelling brimming with acute angles, crepuscular or nocturnal lighting, drained or overwrought gestures, unnerving impulses, and unhealthy obsessions. Even in 106

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the more classic, more romantic, or more patriotic fare – a filmic Nibelungen directed by Fritz Lang, for instance, or F. W. Murnau’s Faust—the earmarks of this proto-film-noir angst abound (as do the remarkable technical feats of UFA cinematographers and animators). But, of course, it is in groundbreaking classics such as The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari, Metropolis, and M that filmic expressionism found its most profoundly integrated and expressed reflection. “Haunted Screens” literally sketches out the expressionism of German interwar cinema with a raft of drawings and other works on paper rendered by UFA’s set designers and scenographers. They tended to work in charcoal or pencil, their black and white providing directors and cameramen with a better sense of what their work would look like in the film stock of the day (but even their work in color emphasizing the play of light and shadow that became the hallmark of this kind of filmmaking). The plethora of set studies provides the exhibition its backbone, each design for The Golem or The Street a vertebra helping to establish the whole show’s sense of WALTER SCULZE-MITTENDORFF, COPY OF ROBOT MARIA MODEL FOR METROPOLIS, 1970. vertigo and impending doom. We don’t RESIN AND PAINT, WITH WOODEN PEDESTAL. now recognize the names of design- DIRECTED BY FRITZ LANG. BIFI, COLLECTION CINÉMATHÉQUE FRANÇAUSE, FRANCE, PARIS BY er-draughtsmen such as Walter Röhrig STÉPHANE DABROWSKI. (who did the sets for Dr. Caligari) or Emil Hasler (who provided the designs for the even scarier Testament of Dr. Mabuse), and we were never supposed to; like their counterparts in poster design – another astounding aspect of the Weimar movie industry, well represented in “Haunted Screens” and injecting it with its biggest, boldest dose of color – the men slaving over Web fabrik.la

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HAUNTED SCREENS: GERMAN CINEMA IN THE 1920s. SEPTEMBER 21, 2014—APRIL 26, 2015. LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART. PHOTO © MUSEUM ASSOCIATES/LACMA.

the boards at the UFA studios were just doing their jobs, even as they were maintaining a highly nuanced and inventive house style. Most of these drawings and posters, interestingly enough, are borrowed not from German archives (which would have to have been rebuilt after the twin disasters of Naziism and another war) but from the remarkable collection of the Cinématheque Française, where Lotte Eisner, self-appointed historian and flame-bearer of Weimar film culture, deposited her doggedly assembled collection after fleeing her homeland. (How the collection weathered the occupation of Paris is a story untold here.) Eisner’s fellow UFA Menschen (or Männer, as hers is one of the very few female names in the show) either debarked themselves to these shores or got swallowed up in the Nazi plague; but the great repository of UFA’s dark glory years wound up one capital over. Well, German expressionist cinema had as significant an influence on French surrealism as it did on our film noir, and this show rightly ties Paris into the Berlin-Los Angeles axis. The exhibition itself – dotted not only with drawings and posters but with screens displaying illustrative, and highly provocative, excerpts from such classics as The Joyless Street and Waxworks – emulates the disorienting architecture of Weimar’s filmic space, not with the sharp zigzags and peaks and chasms of expressionism itself but with an equally effective (and less physically dangerous) ongoing transition between dark moments and light, enclosed spaces and open, pedestrian flow and obdurate wall. The unease of the Weimar cinematic moment recurs here – uneasily. 108

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Larry Sultan: Here and Home THROUGH MARCH 22 Larry Sultan, a product of the San Fernando Valley, went up to San Francisco for college and never moved back. But his photography always chose his point of origin as its; even when he wasn’t documenting his parents’ lives or the banality of the Valley-based porn industry, he was finding (usually in the Bay Area’s also-sprawling suburbs) the poignant anomie that adheres to the American middle class. This survey of the photographer, who died in 2009, is organized backwards, or, rather, a-chronically; it opens with his last series, “Homeland,” shot in the Bay Area but resembling his native region, the semi-arid brush and sometimes-flooded gullies attesting to California’s unique situation between desert and sea. “Homeland” also attests to a distinctly Califiornian sociology, centered as the photographs are on the activities of Latino manual laborers who have here been hired to do even more menial, but seemingly more recreational, jobs. Given that these men have come from

MY MOTHER POSING FOR ME. LARRY SULTAN. FROM THE SERIES, “PICTURES FROM HOME” 1984. CHROMOGENIC PRINT. IMAGE: 40 X 50 INCHES. © ESTATE OF LARRY SULTAN. PHOTO COURTESY THE ESTATE OF LARRY SULTAN.

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similar topographies and related ecologies, they and their work, as contextualized by Sultan, looks indigenous rather than displaced. By contrast, the “Pictures from Home” series, which preoccupied Sultan during the 1980s, casts his own family as “part of the land,” if incongruously: East coast transplants, his parents refused to return when his father’s employment dictated, and their thorough integration into their local society, whether defined by work, play, social ritual, or domestic architecture, marks the Valley as their only and ultimate home. Not surprisingly, the series is marked by the frisson of a (grown) son looking at his mother and father in a manner at once loving and quizzical, emotional and detached. Sultan, whose work always has a reportorial edge to it, tries to “get the story” on his parents while showing them maximum deference, but on occasion seems to invading their intimacy , the bedroom or poolside shot resembling an Eric Fischl painting. In the ‘90s, and until his death, Sultan took editorial assignments from the likes of The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Maxim. In fact, “The Valley” series arose from a series commissioned by the latter “lad mag” to document a day in the life of a porn star. This, of course, brought Sultan back to his childhood terrain, and one feels his discomfort training an eye at the casual but manipulated eroticism of X-rated filmmaking. The lights, the wires, the couches, the beds, the hunks and the babes, after all, all disport themselves in the very houses Sultan once rode by on his Schwinn. Here, the bedroom and poolside are invaded by people very different than his parents. Or so he must insist to himself. Sultan is discrete in his camera angles; in fact, he wants to emphasize not the sexiness of the scenes or the actors, good looking and bare as they may be, but their relative ordinariness. Sultan collaborated with Mike Mandel throughout both their careers, and in these projects – often culminating in artists’ books – the results are more conceptual and overtly playful than in Sultan’s solo work. His own photographs Sultan printed large whenever he could, wanting us to fall into the picture with him. His work with Mandel, by contrast, was far more literary and tactile; when not producing books, they would, for instance, compile documentary photos from “official” sources such as NASA and examine not so much the content of these photos but the formal language, and resulting accidental through-lines, they revealed en masse. Their best-known collaboration, Evidence, for instance, continually pinpoints government scientists involved in experiments that seem like exercises in the absurd, Dada performances staged in labs. “Larry Sultan: Here and Home” also features Sultan’s own films and an installation-montage he realized of his family’s home movies; in these, the comical analysis of his work with Mandel crosses with the more personal, memory-spurred flavor of his solo work.

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BELARUS, 2006. LARRY SULTAN. CHROMOGENIC PRINT. IMAGE: 30 X 40 INCHES. © ESTATE OF LARRY SULTAN. PHOTO COURTESY THE ESTATE OF LARRY SULTAN.

Delacroix’s Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi THROUGH FEBRUARY 15 Thomas Demand: Pacific Sun THROUGH APRIL 12 Two smaller exhibitions at LACMA also merit detours – although they’re likely right by your path. “Delacroix’s Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi” takes a compact look at the historical and political context of one of the great French Romantic painter’s best known -- or at least most extra-artistically influential – works. Painted in 1826 in response to a noted battle in the Greek war of independence, raging at the time, Delacroix represented Greece as a young woman emerging, harried and asking for help but implicitly triumphant, from the ruins of a catastrophe. The painting, a propagandistic image designed to move the French government into more

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active support of the independence effort, clearly casts the Ottoman Turks – represented here by a turbaned, sabre-brandishing figure – as the villains. But Delacroix paints this villain as an object not simply of fear and loathing but of fascination, and this painting can be seen as an opening volley in the Orientalism that would lace through European painting for much of the 19th century. German artist Thomas Demand’s arrestingly peculiar video Pacific Sun is displayed here as a large projection filling one side of an otherwise empty, darkened space. This gives its imagery a presence somewhere between the cinematic and the real – although the brittle quality of the image itself, emptied of the human figures that populated the source film (and in fact reconstructed by the artist out of paper), insists on the virtual. What we see is a large room, a banquet or event hall, seen from a reception or control desk, in (and on) which the various pieces of furniture, equipment, and miscellaneous objects periodically roll back and forth, gradually bunching up and/or falling apart. The original film, taken by a surveillance camera, had been shot inside a cruise ship that had encountered rough seas in the South Pacific. That film went viral on You Tube and Demand, working in 2012 at the Getty on a research grant, reworked the arresting footage into a visual experience that arches between the cinematic, the sculptural, and the funhouse. For more information, please visit http://www.lacma.org

» EUGÉNE DELACROIX. LA GRÉCE SUR LES RUNIES DE MISSOLONGHI, 1826. PHOTO © MUSÉE DES BEAUX-ARTS-MAIRIE DE BORDEAUX. CLICHÉ F. DEVAL.

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CARL RAMSEY AT ART SHARE L.A.

PLEASE JOIN US AS WE CELEBRATE THE LIFE AND WORK OF CARL RAMSEY AT A SPECIAL MEMORIAL RETROSPECTIVE AT ART SHARE L.A. ON VIEW FOR 4 DAYS ONLY, FROM JAN. 28 – JAN. 31 this special exhibition features selected urban scenes, figurative works and landscapes painted in the last 20 years of the life of the noted downtown Los Angeles artist. OPENING NIGHT 6 –10 p.m. Wednesday, January 28 GALLERY HOURS 1 – 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday CLOSING RECEPTION 6 –10 p.m. Saturday, January 31

801 East 4th Place (at S. Hewitt St.) Los Angeles, CA 90013 Curated by Dale Youngman, with special thanks to Alyce Barker

www.carlramsey.com


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Eric Politzer PHOTOGRAPHER “¡OUT! Las Transformistas of Havana” is a celebration of performers, both gay men and MTF transgenders, in the gay cabarets of Havana. It celebrates their individuality, creativity, theatricality and, most importantly, their sense of confidence in who they are as individuals and their pride in being members of a larger community. The project explores a unique juncture where gender identity, politics, community mobilization and artist expression intersect in Cuban culture. Historically gay cabarets have filled the role of community centers in Cuba in the absence of any other gay-owned or gay-friendly establishments. These cabarets have offered safe and welcoming places for LGTBQ people to gather and develop a sense of community. The project offers a glimpse into a previously underground world, a part of Cuba rarely seen to the outside world that is suffused with the colorfulness, sensuality, conviviality, and hospitality that commonly are associated with Cuban culture as a whole.

Website: www.ericpolitzer.com • Email: eric@ericpolitzer.com


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January—March 2015 Loft 905 • Eastern Columbia Building 849 South Broadway, Los Angeles, Calif. 90014

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May 1-3, 2015 Raleigh Studios, Hollywood photoindependent.com

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May 1-3, 2015 Raleigh Studios, Hollywood photocontemporary.com

Photo Contemporary presents only the most current, bold, and significant photography from galleries across the globe. Find out how you can participate at www.photocontemporary.com


Fabrik - Issue 27