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CONTEMPORARY ART & DESIGN

ISSUE 28


NEW SEASON OF EXHIBITIONS 11 APRIL - 7 JUNE 2015 Gohar Dashti Iran Presented in association with

Phillip George Writing the Landscape Markus Andersen & Elif Suyabatmaz Mirrored

257 Oxford St Paddington New South Wales 2021 T +61 2 9332 0555 E info@acp.org.au www.acp.org.au Image: Gohar Dashti, Today’s Life and War, 2008 (detail). © Gohar Dashti, courtesy of the artist, Azita Bina and Robert Klein Gallery, Boston


CONTRIBUTORS MASTHEAD Publisher Chris Davies Associate Editor Peter Frank Managing Editor Aparna Bakhle-Ellis Creative Director Chris Davies Art Direction & Design Chris Davies and Paul Soady Contributing Writers Aparna Bakhle-Ellis Peter Frank Kio Griffith Lanee Lee Max Presneill Colton Stenke Phil Tarley Ian Were

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Editorial editorial@fabrikmedia.com Advertising advertising@fabrikmedia.com Contact 269 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 1234 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 http://www.fabrik.la

INFORMATION Fabrik Magazine is published by Fabrik Media, Inc., 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, Inc. Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved. PRINTED IN LOS ANGELES

ON THE COVER From the eBook STRANDBEEST: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen © Lena Herzog Read more about the project on page 30.

APARNA BAKHLE-ELLIS is Fabrik’s Managing Editor. Her writing runs the gamut from arts and culture to media activism and seeks to value empathy as an integral framework for inner revolution. 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. 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. 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 and 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 Art Week 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. Tarley’s series of political and ethnographic videos is housed in the permanent collection of the New York Public Library and have screened in film festivals and museums like the American Film Institute and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Tarley’s writing and photography has also appeared in the LA Weekly, Adventure Journal, the Advocate, Frontiers, Adult Video News, Genre and Instinct Magazine. http://fabrik. la/author/phil-tarley/ IAN WERE is an independent arts writer and editor based in Brisbane, Australia. www.art-random.com


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CONTENTS 6

Iconoclast: Douglas Kirkland: A Life in Pictures

30 Spotlight: Beest in Show: Lena Herzog’s Sixth Book

Documents the Kinetic Creations of Artist Theo Jansen

46 Profile: Henri van Noordenburg: Landscapes of Fact and Fiction 54 Spotlight: Dwell on Design: Celebrating 10 Years 58 Spotlight: Sally Peterson: ONE HUNDRED and Still Counting… 84 Fresh Faces in Art: Emergent Presence: Eight LA Artists

You Should Know

100 Spotlight: Q&A with Temporary Space’s Richard Shelton 108 Coming Out/Going In: Regen Projects 112 Art About Town: Peter Frank’s Museum Views


DOUGLAS KIRKLAND

A LIFE IN

ANDY WARHOL, “TRASH” 1970 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


PICTURES WORDS PHIL TARLEY IMAGES COURTESY DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


DOUGLAS KIRKLAND BY OWEN ROIZMAN, 2011


ICONOCLAST

Douglas Kirkland lives in an expansive Hollywood Hills home with the love of his life Françoise, his wife of forty-eight years. Beautiful Françoise and handsome Douglas exude kindness and an alluring charm. The ebullient Françoise possesses degrees in political science, English and German, which augment her role as Kirkland’s super-savvy business manager. Both Douglas and Françoise style all their shoots together. Kirkland’s photographs appear in the permanent collections of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Institute, the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Eastman House in Rochester, and the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles. The movie-making process always fascinated the photographer, who became an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers in 2001. Over the years, Kirkland’s legendary images commanded countless magazine covers and became the focus of nineteen photography books. Their storied life led the couple to live and work all over the world. Tall and straight-backed, Douglas Kirkland’s brilliantly blue eyes sparkle intelligently, in vivid contrast to his shocking mane of long white hair. Françoise, soigné, sweet and gracious, served me a cup of frothy cappuccino, brought two glasses of water, and then left us alone for our interview. Kirkland’s photographs, which include a dizzying archive of the past fifty years’ most famous movie stars, adorn their living room. A display of other artists’ works pepper his collection: a Ray-o-Gram by Man Ray, a Picasso portrait by Arnold Newman, and Dada “instant artist” Maurizio Galimberti’s photo rendering of Douglas and Françoise. A serious humanist inspired by Italian Neorealism, Kirkland welcomes the many documentary-like works of other photographers, like Ruth Orkin’s American Girl In Italy (1951), and exhibits them alongside his own. His obvious passion for Italian film stars and directors compelled him to shoot many iconic photographs of them. This artist also displays the rare combination of being able to both write about and photograph a subject. Web fabrik.la

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MAN RAY, PARIS, 1972 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


ICONOCLAST

While Douglas was distracted by a phone call, I discreetly perused his bookcase, investigating what was on the shelf: Phil Stern, Slim Aarons, Kirkland’s An Evening With Marilyn, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Collection de photographies du Musee national d’art moderne, 1905-1948. When Kirkland returned, I asked him which photographers most inspired him. He listed Irving Penn, Gordon Parks, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Arnold Newman, Richard Avedon, Andre Kertesz, Pete Turner, and Gerd Ludwig. I wanted to know why he chooses to shoot or deliver images in black and white instead of color. “Frankly,” Kirkland declared, “some pictures ask to tell their story in black and white.”

ELIZABETH TAYLOR Kirkland got his first job from Look magazine when he was twenty-seven. “Elizabeth Taylor launched my career of photographing celebrities,” Douglas told me. On one of his first assignments, he accompanied a print journalist to Taylor’s hotel room in Las Vegas. The young photographer sat hidden away, deep in the shadows, and waited for his colleague to finish the interview. Then, “I came up to her, shook her hand and said, ‘I’m twenty-seven years old; new to the magazine. Can you imagine what it would mean to me to photograph you?’ She held my hand while I looked into her violet eyes and she said, ‘yes.’”

ANDY WARHOL “In 1971, I was in Los Angeles working on a story on top movie directors for Look magazine and Andy Warhol was to be one of my subjects. Andy and Paul Morrissey arrived at my room at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, right on time at 9:30 am. I was surprised because I thought these people were night people. Warhol brought some of the cast of Trash: Joe Dalessandro and Jane Forth. Andy posed with one of the first hand-held video cameras. Dalessandro re-enacted the scene where he shot up drugs into his muscled arm, flexed with a tight black leather strap. We photographed everything with available light in my hotel room. Later on, I re-photographed some of the 16mm frames with different colored filters on my camera. Andy was very professional. He was an essential part of the creative process. He was completely pliant and direct-able. The most memorable thing about the session was Warhol’s generosity, his comments. I was surprised that he had an encyclopedic knowledge of my work.”

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ELIZABETH TAYLOR, 1961 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


ANDY WARHOL, 1970 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


JOHN BALDESSARI, VENICE, CALIFORNIA, 2009 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


ICONOCLAST

MARILYN MONROE “The first time I saw her, she seemed genuinely comfortable in her tiny studio apartment on Doheny. She was very much the girl next door. We talked about what we needed for the shoot. Marilyn knew exactly what she wanted. ‘We need a bed, a bottle of Dom Perignon, Frank Sinatra records playing and we need a white silk sheet.’ She arrived two hours late at the studio. She entered the room. At that point, she was truly Marilyn Monroe. She did not walk. She floated in slow motion. She was luminous, the Marilyn Monroe I knew from the movies. She really ran the shoot. At a certain point, she threw out all her assistants. ‘I want to be alone with Douglas,’ she said. We were both sexually charged. I could have taken advantage of that moment but I chose instead to take pictures, and all that wanting each other and anticipation is in the images we shot.”

MICHAEL JACKSON Michael was very shy. There was genuine warmth and love emanating from him.”

MAN RAY “I was working on a travel story in Paris on “L’Hotel”, rue des Beaux Arts. Known as “the Hotel d’Alsace,” it had been Oscar Wilde’s last home, in room 16. The owner asked me if I would like to photograph Man Ray, an offer one doesn’t pass on. It was a small, high-end hotel, on the Left Bank, with only 20 rooms. Man Ray was living there. He was 82, the year was 1972. Man Ray was wonderful. He spoke English well, after all he was American. I interviewed him in print. We had a great conversation while I photographed him with his wife Juliet. He was incredibly good-hearted and he regarded me as a colleague. I shot him very simply with available light.”

GEORGE CLOONEY “I shot George Clooney in 2012 at the Academy, when he had just been nominated for an Oscar. Afterwards, he went around and shook each person’s hand – all of the assistants and all of the crew - and smiled and thanked them individually, one by one, for their help.

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VICTORY, 1994 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


MARILYN MONROE, HOLLYWOOD, 1961 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


DITA VON TEESE, HOLLYWOOD, 2006 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


ELLE FANNING, 2011 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


TITANIC MOVIE SET, 1996 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND


ICONOCLAST

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, TITANIC, 1996 ©DOUGLAS KIRKLAND

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ICONOCLAST

LEONARDO DICAPRIO AND THE MAKING OF THE TITANIC “We worked a lot together and did an entire book on the making of Titanic. As James Cameron and I discussed the project, I could see a book waiting to be done. Cameron told me in minute detail what they were planning to do and gave me a script. I knew the film and a book on it was going to be very special. I have worked on a hundred films, so I knew the territory. James Cameron shot underwater off the coast of Halifax and I photographed the submersibles as they were going under water and then we moved to Baja, California. This disaster movie turned out to be an extraordinary success. The book was published in many languages and was on the New York Times Best Seller list for six months. The fees were minimal, and I worked beyond my paid contract because I believed in the project. It’s like someone you love…you want to embrace them and be with them, always. James Cameron and his Titanic adventure were like that for me. I made the Titanic book with love, passion and thoroughness. I worked 52 days on the book.”

FUTURE PROJECTS “Françoise and I are shooting all the time. Glitterati just published A Life in Pictures: The Douglas Kirkland Monograph, an in depth memoir of my career, which includes hundreds of images, and I am re-doing one of my books called Freeze Frame. I am writing it, making it bigger and featuring the royal wedding of Diana and Prince Charles. People say, ‘well, you’re eighty, do you still work?’ Of course I work but it doesn’t feel like work. Working is the joy of my life, why would I stop?” Finally, I asked Douglas Kirkland one last question: how would he like to be remembered? His brilliant blue eyes looked humbly and honestly into mine: “That he cared passionately for Françoise and for his world of image-making.”

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3 days of photography exhibitions, photobooks and artist talks.

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

PARTNERS

PHOTO: © CHRIS BOWES, PETROL PUMP, 2013. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND QCP AUSTRALIA.


BEEST IN SHOW LENA HERZOG’S SIXTH BOOK DOCUMENTS THE KINETIC CREATIONS OF ARTIST THEO JANSEN —

STRANDBEEST: THE DREAM MACHINES OF THEO JANSEN ©LENA HERZOG

WORDS LANEE LEE IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST


SPOTLIGHT

PVC pipes. Plastic bottles. Cable ties.

The stuff dreams are made of— at least in Theo Jansen’s world. The Dutch sculptor has spent a quarter century transforming mundane materials into complex creatures in The Hague, Netherlands. His anthropoid-looking sculptures—named Strandbeests (‘beach animals’ in Dutch)—use the wind to move, sometimes gracefully, sometimes like a toddler taking the first clumsy steps towards mobility. Published by Taschen, photographer Lena Herzog’s sixth and most recent book, STRANDBEEST: The Dream Machines of Theo Jansen, chronicles this work over six years of annual pilgrimages she made to the Dutch seacoast where Jansen resides. “I’m shooting a man and his pipes,” the 45-year-old L.A. photographer says in jest. Even though her comment seems dismissive of her talent, the voluminous book reveals a seriousness of purpose in depicting the creator and his creation in all their splendor. In addition to essays and interviews, the book portrays vivid blackand-white images of Jansen with his creations in the ‘laboratory’ on the sands of Scheveningen, one of eight districts in The Hague and also Holland’s most famous seaside resort. Photographically, Herzog organized the book in two themes: the beach and the fence, or outdoor workshop where the beests’ parts are assembled. By its nature, the medium of photography is static. Yet in 1/125th of a second, Herzog manages to catch the beest’s dance with the elements and Jansen’s mad scientist-meets-da Vinci persona.

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SPOTLIGHT

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SPOTLIGHT

“I thought it about in the way I photograph flamenco dancers or bullfighters: capturing the mystical, lyrical sense of an afterimage. Like, what your mind’s eye sees after the image is gone,” explains Herzog. Herzog’s photography books span an array of topics—from flamenco dancers to formaldehyde specimens. As the beest was born of modern technology, it’s only fitting the eBook version of the book follow suit. According to Herzog, like the Strandbeest, it’s the first of its kind. “Photography eBooks are sort of useless, they just open up to static PDFs. But the Strandbeest eBook is a multi-sensorial experience, incorporating beautifully shot video and photographs that actually tell a story,” Herzog says. The 190-page eBook, with note-taking tools, Jansen’s sketches, clips from Alexander Schlichter’s Strandbeest documentary and additional photos not in the hardcover book, is available on iTunes. In Herzog’s Laurel Canyon studio, accompanied by Jack, her blackand-white cat, we discussed the process of documenting Theo Jansen’s kinetic sculptures, working with TASCHEN and what her lens will focus on next. 36

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SPOTLIGHT

Fabrik: What surprised you most about the project? Lena Herzog: It made an optimist out of a Russian, and I’m not the only one. You see the joy on people’s faces —young and old, alike—when they see a Strandbeest. The photos in the book of people, including Jansen, interacting with the beest are some of my favorite. Can you expound on the optimism you feel in the presence of Strandbeest? LH: I am filled with hope when I see a work of art so strong. So good. The Strandbeests fill me with hope—the way listening to Bach does or seeing a great painting. The world is essentially falling apart, but that is the best part about us: art and ideas. As you mentioned, you’re shooting a bunch a pipes. How did you make that interesting? LH: I don’t shoot on tripods; they never work. The last intake of breath or that last exhale is what makes a picture. It’s an intuitive thing. What coalesces in me to make a picture is all my life: things I’ve looked at, things I’ve thought about. It’s Web fabrik.la

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SPOTLIGHT

really a distillation of me— of what I think about that thing I’m shooting. Even the way I shoot is not a static way. It’s from the hip like this (she demonstrates a camera resting on her hip). Literally, shooting from the hip. LH: Yes, exactly. This is when you put yourself on the line. We photographers reveal who we are through our photos. Why did you choose to shoot in black and white? LH: What I shoot most is black and white. I only shoot color when I find it

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SPOTLIGHT

contributes to the subject. In “Dreams of America” for instance, color was an indispensable marker to depict patriotism. Over six years, you had to have thousands of photos to choose from. What was your process in choosing the photos for the book? LH: Actually, I don’t shoot around much. I shoot tight. I chose based on what makes a good photograph. So, was there a story angle that guided your choices? LH: I look for the story when I’m shooting, not when I’m choosing the photos. Web fabrik.la

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SPOTLIGHT

I shoot with several cameras and several angles. I’m constantly shifting my focal length and framing. Am I going into detail? Am I going out to a landscape? That is what allowed the book to sustain itself beyond a dozen images. Why was it important to include photograms of the beest in the book? LH: Strandbeests have a very wide range of references. One of the references is to surrealism. Surrealists were very conscious that art and technology had this extraordinary nexus. They explored it in photograms and some kinds of kinetic sculptures. Photograms are very elemental photography; so are the Strandbeests. They look sophisticated, but it’s actually basic engineering. So it seems very fitting.

Meet the Beests Beyond the stunning Strandbeest photography book, you can see these otherworldly objects in action in the coming year. In September, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts will host the first major American exhibition of Theo Jansen’s famed kinetic sculptures, followed by a nationwide tour. As a part of the U.S. Strandbeest tour, a selection of Herzog’s photographs, both of floor-to-ceiling images and intimate silver gelatin prints, will be on display. Although not confirmed which beests will be performing in public parks or beaches in conjunction with the museum exhibit, possible species include the 42-footlong Animaris Suspendisse (each

Talk more about the second to final photo of the book depicting Theo Jansen with a fish? LH: You know how some of the early Christians used to communicate secretly with the Ichthus (fish) symbol? I saw him eating a fish one day and hit me. It’s a play on that—after all, he is the creator.

prototype bears a Latin name) or the two-tailed Animaris Duabus Caudis.

This was your first book published by TASCHEN. What was it like working with them? LH: A dream! How so? LH: For starters, getting contracts and payments on time is the ultimate respect to

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SPOTLIGHT

show an artist. From scanning to production to design to the team on press, they’re the highest professionals in the field. Plus, I was thrilled to work with art director Andy Disl; he also designed Caravaggio, my favorite TASCHEN book.

Beauty and the Beest: U.S. Tour Dates

Can you talk about the eBook version of “Strandbeest”? LH: The eBook is unprecedented because it’s an encyclopedic collection of Strandbeest’s evolution in images, film and text. Some friends of mine described it as a wormhole they fell in that they didn’t want to get out of!

Chicago Cultural Center

PEM Salem, MA Sept. 19, 2015–Jan 3, 2016

Chicago, IL Winter/Spring 2016 The Exploratorium San Francisco, CA Summer 2016

So, it’s more like a museum-in-your-pocket experience? LH: Yes, Theo has an immense, global ‘techie’ following that now has access to this on their tablet. Strandbeests debuted in the States last year at Art Basal Miami. How did the national tour come about? LH: It was one of the very first ideas when I saw the Strandbeest online back in 2007. I knew they had to come—not just as fossils, because they were on display 15 years ago here— but they had to come as beests, in all their mobile glory. What’s next for you? LH: A dozen projects! I work on each idea for five to seven years, so there’s several in incubation at all times.

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Fast sacks. Safe sacks. ArtSacks. Say goodbye to piles of bubble wrap, rolls of packing tape, stacks of cardboard and hours of packing and unpacking your artworks for shows, exhibitions and fairs. This is pretty simple. Slip you work into one of our felt sacks, flop the top over, and you’re on your way. It’s even faster to unpack. What used to be hours, is now minutes. All the time protecting your valuable work from chips, dings and scratches. There are 9 sizes that hold artwork from 16” x 20” up to 50” x 72”, with extra padding around the bottom, which allows you to put your art down safely just about anywhere. Check us out at www.ArtSacks.net.

ArtSacks. For the sake of your art. ©2015 Bochworks LLC


PROFILE

HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG: LANDSCAPES OF FACT AND FICTION —

ZEVENHUIZERSTRAAT ©HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG

WORDS IAN WARE IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST

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PROFILE

Henri van Noordenburg’s

studiously enriched photographs of landscapes reflect his Dutch heritage in several ways. Most obviously, they began life as archival images of 1940s farm houses and environs once situated near the city of Amersfoort, about 50 kilometers south-east of Amsterdam, where his father’s side of the family came from and where van Noordenburg rode his bicycle every morning on the way to school, often with wind and rain in his face. It’s easy enough — confirmed by van Noordenburg — to also make a modest historical link to the prints and drawings of northern European masters such as Pieter Bruegel or Albrecht Dürer. ‘I love the look of the thick clouds so often depicted in Bruegel’s work,’ he says, ‘clouds that promised the dreary rain.’¹ These clouds appear in an earlier series of compositions titled ‘Efface’ in which the artist appears nude, a mostly small but vital figure haunting or haunted by the brooding scapes of thick bush under billowing grey and white skies. The series, begun in 2010, was the first time van Noordenburg printed an image — himself in this case, in full color — on large-format paper with a black background. Through a delicate process of engraving or etching the featureless dark areas using a scalpel, van Noordenburg reveals the lands and cloudscapes that the figures inhabit. While the images translate as landscapes, he notes that ‘the essence is about what is added, altered, or removed.’ In his recent series of monochrome-blue landscapes called ‘water line’, van Noordenburg uses a similar lengthy process of transferral and printing on large-format paper followed by the fine-tuned scraping and engraving technique. The images impart more than the 1940s originals did, emerging as revelations of his imagination. The old farm photos now draw on, as the artist says, ‘what I imagined the landscape to look like and my memory of it as I saw it years later.’ We see them with an invented life: intricate and overhanging trees have been added, outer-buildings and fences appear, along with flooded land and subtle reflections. Van Noordenburg presents an intriguing personal narrative of fact and fiction, European and melancholy but lyrical as well, maybe even universal. Who or what inhabits these places? It looks like winter: white, crisp and maybe inhospitable. There are signs of habitation: ruins of farm house and barns; remnants of fences, gates and sub-structures; farming implements; roads with marked tracks; a pile of boxes near a lone chair in one. People have lived here but is anyone still left? Van Noordenburg invites us to speculate. Maybe not the Web fabrik.la

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BOERDERIJ “DE DRIE MORGEN” ©HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG


VOORDERSTEEG ©HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG


LIENDERTSEWEG. WORK IN PROGRESS ©HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG


LIENDERTSEWEG ©HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG


PROFILE

HOGEWEG ©HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG

good and bad citizens who inhabit the landscapes of TV series like Lilyhammer or Fortitude, where the winter-white masks a host of indiscretions, but there is evidence of drama. Van Noordenburg explains that in the early hours of 10 May 1940, as Germany invaded the Netherlands, the Dutch army evacuated the area north of Amersfoort, destroying around 80 farms and flooding the fields to create a barrier against the approaching German army. Several of these farmlands belonged to the artist’s family and his series ‘water line’ refers to, and is inspired by, these events. If we were there, in one of van Noordenburg’s landscapes, what sounds might we hear? Bright or somber or the muffled, near-silence of layered snow. A small insight may be this: the process of creation, he tells me, is aided, given impetus perhaps, by music, particularly that of contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, whose minimalist style and compositional technique is in part inspired by Gregorian chant. Listening to Pärt’s Tabula Rasa (one of the artist’s favorites) or Spiegel im Spiegel, it’s not hard to see a connection with van Noordenburg’s resonant images. Pärt’s evocative Spiegel has been used as a soundtrack to many films, including the 2013 lost-in-space drama Gravity, and any link between ‘Silentium’ (silence), Tabula Rasa’s second movement, and the stillness perceived in many of van Noordenburg’s landscapes may not be completely coincidental. 52

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PROFILE

His private world ‘contains a poetic, beautiful and intrinsic stillness… that implies silence.’² The morning of the invasion, we are told, was a still, near-perfect spring day, making it harder to conceive the events that were about to unfold. The ‘water line’ series has led to, van Noordenburg says, a limited series of one-meter long extended compositions. It is this format and concept that currently interests him. These panoramas dwarf the original photographs that inspired them and emphasize the ubiquitous flat Dutch landscape. The broad surrounding scapes are gently desolate and subtle with minimal signs of human life, perhaps more silent and still than previous ones — but also more revelatory. Henri van Noordenburg is participating in Photo Contemporary Art Fair with the support of Queensland Centre for Photography (QCP), May 1-3, 2015, Los Angeles. ENDNOTES: HENRI VAN NOORDENBURG, QUOTED BY ALINE SMITHSON, LENSCRATCH, FEBRUARY 1, 2013. GORDON CRAIG, IN SILENCE (EXHIBITION CATALOG), WOOLLOONGABBA ART GALLERY, BRISBANE, 2012.

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SPOTLIGHT

DWELL ON DESIGN IN DOWNTOWN L.A. RETURNS CELEBRATING 10 YEARS, IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER WITH AGE… —

WORDS LANEE LEE

Dwell on Design L.A. (DODLA)—the largest design event in the country—is back again for its 10th annual year. Held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, the show spans three days of 2,000 modern furnishings and products, presentations from more than 250 innovative professionals, and plenty of interactive continuing education for the whole family. From the Modern Family Pavilion, where young designers can explore kid-friendly furnishings, to the largest Dwell Outdoor to date—covering 28,000 square feet—and the dozens of prefab homes by Fort Peck - Make It Right and Monogram Modern Home to tour, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. “Dwell on Design embodies the magazine in its truest sense through the innovation and creativity of our speakers, exhibitors and partners, we are able to explore the modern world in a live context,” says Amanda Dameron, Dwell magazine editor-in-chief, “and we are thrilled to be celebrating ten years of creating an incredible show.” 54

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SPOTLIGHT

EVOCATIVE EXPERTS From evocative expert-led discussions to hands-on workshops, the continuous all-day programming held on three stages is an especially engaging aspect of the show for modern design professionals, students and hobbyists alike. DODLA 2015 onstage programming features four core content tracks: Design for Humankind, Smart Tech, Resiliency, and Energy 360. A sampling of topics discussed by some of the world’s most progressive thinkers include: Healthy Architecture; 3-D Printing and Architecture; The Future of Live-Work Spaces; Innovations in Prefab; The New Face of Affluence; and AIA/ LA Behind Great Restaurant Design. Notable speakers at the 10th annual event include: actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr., musician Moby, host of KCRW’s DnA: Design and Architecture Frances Anderton, architect Barbara Bestor, and artists Eames and Lisa Demetrios.

WONDER OF WANDER Dutch designer Marcel Wanders—Dwell on Design L.A. 2015’s keynote speaker—will kick off the three-day extravaganza on Friday, May 29. A champion of open-mindedness and humanity in design, Wanders’ vision is “to create an environment of love, live with passion and make our most exciting dreams come true.” In 1996, he made an international splash in the industry with his Knotted Chair, a chair that combines industrial techniques and handcrafting. Since then, he’s been the brainchild of more than 1,700 products for a range of established brands such as Alessi, KLM and Flos. In 2001, he co-founded the design label Moooi, a collection of international designers’ interior furnishings. At the Dwell event, he’ll be addressing the creative process through the trajectory of his decades-long career.

WHAT’S NEW? Each year, DOD introduces at least a few debut exhibits or features; for annual event-goers, a surprise or two awaits. Here are the first-time features of 2015:

TAKE A SPIN IN A SPORTS CAR Most would agree—a Porsche is a thing of beauty, whether admiration stems from the design, speed or status symbol. Attendees can take the 2015 Cayenne—featuring the S E-Hybrid—out for a test spin on Saturday and Web fabrik.la

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SPOTLIGHT

Sunday. “Dwell, along with its readership, share a passion for thoughtful, timeless design. This passion has, and continues to be, a cornerstone of Porsche’s philosophy,” says Andre Oosthuizen, Porsche marketing director.

CREATIVE CINEMA Seating 75 moviegoers, the Dwell Outdoor Cinema is a place to rest the weary conference-walking feet while viewing design-centric short films.

KITCHEN COUTURE As the heart of the home, the kitchen is most the remodeled room in the house. The Re-Imagination Pavilion offers kitchen consultations from design experts, including LG’s premium line of kitchen appliances on display. Other not-to-miss return DODLA features include: AIA Restaurant Design Awards, the Dwell Store with a vibrant inventory of modern designs and exclusive product debuts, and the 5th Annual Dwell on Design Awards, awarding exceptional talent in 11 categories, such as Modern Lifestyle and Sustainability. Dwell on Design L.A. Convention Center May 29-31, 2015 www.dwellondesign.com

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on what’s next Dwell on Design Los Angeles. America’s Largest Design Event Celebrating its 10th Year.

May 29-31, 2015 Los Angeles Convention Center See 90 onstage programs, 250+ speakers and more than 2,000 innovative, modern furnishings and products / Hear from design industry experts / Walk through prefab homes and living landscapes / Explore stunning homes with Dwell Home Tours / Connect with hundreds of brands / Curated by the editors of Dwell magazine

Register today at dwellondesign.com/fabrik Save $5 with promo code FABRIK15


NORVAL GIL, 100 YEARS. ©SALLY PETERSON


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AND STILL COUNTING… WORDS APARNA BAKHLE-ELLIS IMAGES COURTESY OF SALLY PETERSON


SPOTLIGHT

Novelty seduces us,

if for no other reason than at least to deflect the gravity of our own mortality. A steady stream of all that appears new, improved, and thus, exciting, underscores time’s fluid nature. As a poetic counterpoint to this, Los Angeles photographer Sally Peterson’s forthright large-scale portraits of centenarians anticipate the difficulty many experience with stillness. Aging, a fact of life especially hard to conceive of when young or youth-obsessed, encroaches on a cessation of activity. Even so, the portraits and stories evident in Peterson’s compelling series entitled ONE HUNDRED immerse us in the visible grace of tenacity. Faces and bodies, literally inscribed by one hundred or more years, meditatively emerge through this still evolving body of work. These photographs suspend and reflect an ageless consciousness gained entirely from Peterson truly seeing these particular individuals. In turn, she casts us as witnesses to their endurance. As life expectancy increases around the world, people who live for one hundred or more years reveal they are in possession of the untapped wealth of actual experience, which is readily being dissolved in favor of increasingly hyper-digital environments. The inexplicable comfort of surviving a century challenges such a virtual complacency. Peterson curbs time itself by regally foregrounding age within the felt gratitude sight and then vision embody simply by placing her portraits of lives still being lived before us.  To do so, she embarked on a formative expedition throughout the Americas, including twenty-five states in various regions of the United States, several provinces in Canada, and even into a Mayan village in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Finding ONE HUNDRED centenarians to share their agile presence became formative for her, personally as well as professionally. Fabrik celebrates her journey with the Q&A below. Fabrik: How did this journey to bear witness to the grace in aging begin for you? It began with my grandmother Cecile. She lived to be 101 years old; she was a great support to me growing up. I asked one of the nurses at her facility if there were any other 100 year olds there, and if I could meet them.They introduced me to Mary. She was so excited to have a visitor, her eyes lit up and the stories just came pouring out. I realized then that this was a project I had to do.

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GERTRUDE BAINS, 114 ©SALLY PETERSON


ZIPHA NOWLIN, 100 YEARS. ©SALLY PETERSON


NAOMI ANDERSON, 111 YEARS ©SALLY PETERSON


SPOTLIGHT

Fabrik: What in your outlook on creativity has changed most noticeably since embarking on this particular series, which has been many years in the making and is still on-going? Continue to make the time and energy to do the projects that are fulfilling. It’s important for me to create work that has a positive impact on people. It was clear while working with the centenarians how much they and the people around them enjoyed being part of the project and sharing their lives. It’s also inspiring to see the centenarian artists still creating work and doing shows. It puts my mind at ease to know that I may create until I die. Fabrik: How do you find the centenarians you photograph? At the beginning, I researched online and visited various facilities much like the one my grandmother had lived in. It was very challenging at first. If I was lucky, I found one centenarian per month who was willing to work with me. Slowly over time, word of mouth spread and I began to build trust. Then, after a very fortunate interview with Slate, people began contacting me about centenarians close to them. Fabrik: Los Angeles being synonymous with youth, in a sense, how have people you know here, as well as elsewhere, responded to the nature of this work/series. We are all aging, and people tend to respond to my project in the same way they are responding to that simple, inevitable fact of life. I would say the emotional response has been mostly hopeful, because it’s inspiring (to some) to think that they might live a long life, too. The quality of many of my subjects’ lives is quite good, and that gives people hope for the future. It’s comforting. Fabrik: Can you share how you approach staging your portraits, which appear naturalistic yet transparently reveal both the subject’s presence as well as your own, with subtlety and intention? When I arrive at each location, I observe how mobile they are and what they are capable of doing. I find two to three locations within their space that seem to capture what’s important to them, and then I find another location to shoot a close-up. I light their environment to mimic or highlight the lighting that already exists. As I photograph, I direct them to look in different directions but also let them relax into their posture. It’s important that they be themselves and look their best. Web fabrik.la

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SANTIAGO, 104 YEARS & SEVERIANA MAY, 101 YEARS. YUCATAN. ©SALLY PETERSON


RICHARD DOWNING, 100 YEARS ©SALLY PETERSON


IRISH PHILLIPS, 104 YEARS ©SALLY PETERSON


SPOTLIGHT

Fabrik: Has photographing this series led you to view how to pass time differently? I have realized how vital human interaction is, how important it is to stop and have fully present moments with other human beings. Fabrik: You also found yourself in a Mayan village in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for this series. How did that environment change and/or inform your approach and perspective of the individuals you encountered there? I went with a really close friend of mine who speaks Spanish fluently. We had a goal to have as much fun as possible while finding as many centenarians as we could. I just rented a car, threw in my camera and lighting equipment, and drove to different Mayan pueblos. We simply asked people if there were any centenarian residents. We ended up going to about 6 different pueblos and photographing 12 centenarians. The Mayan people we met were so friendly and welcoming. We would get to their door and they would instantly invite us in.  Fabrik: How do you envision this series best being seen? What are your hopes for its exhibition? I envision large framed prints. I’d like a button of some kind  that you could press to hear a centenarian say his or her name, age, and where he or she was born. Perhaps this could be a accompanied by something written, as well. A piece of dialogue or a fact of their lives.  Fabrik: In all your encounters with close to 100 centenarians, did you perceive a common thread or “secret,” so to speak, to their having lived as long as they have? It’s interesting, I kept thinking I would learn some secret to longevity, about why some people live for a long time and others don’t.  But they all lived their lives so differently: some have great genes, while others are clearly an anomaly in their family, some smoke and drink daily, others are extremely health-conscious, some pray and have a great deal of faith, others have a cynical world view. There were no consistent reasons across the board for their long lives. It confirmed for me that there’s no one way to live, and to just keep living intuitively, in the way that feels right for me.  Fabrik: What do you love about living and working in Los Angeles? How does your experience in this city inform your work? I feel free in Los Angeles. Interesting, beautiful locations are within driving distance. The weather makes it easy to live and find inspiration.  70

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WESLEY JOHNSON, 100 YEARS ©SALLY PETERSON


SPOTLIGHT

MILTON QUON, LOS ANGELES, CA, 101 YEARS ©SALLY PETERSON

Robert Frost once wrote, “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.” Similarly, the magnificent people portrayed within Peterson’s ONE HUNDRED appear to intend their lives and defeat the many misconceptions we associate with aging. For a more visceral experience of the portraits within her series, two prints entitled The Twins and Naomi will be on view at Santa Monica Art Studios in Arena 1 as part of the MOPLA (Month of Photography LA) Group Show. Organized by the Lucie Foundation and curated by Meredith Marlay, the submission based exhibition is designed to support the 2015 theme Realities and Concepts. The group show features emerging and established photographers. www.monthofphotography.com/events/mopla-group-show In the near future, Sally Peterson intends to publish ONE HUNDRED in book form as well. To learn more about her work or volunteer participants for her project, please visit www.sallypeterson.com.

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DON SMITHERMAN, 100 YEARS ©SALLY PETERSON


SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS’ last day of May sale verges on a time portal, taking us back to the original glimmers of L.A.’s fascination with contemporary art. The original Soup Can poster from Andy Warhol’s first West Coast solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery contemporaneously mirrors Sol LeWitt’s conceptual painting. This juxtaposition of East and West Coast art is a hallmark of the boutique auction house which has amassed a bi-coastal cache of prestigious works for their Sunday, May 31st sale.   With ephemera from the Late Show With David Letterman, SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS’ acquisitions include never released lots of artist Marc Karzen’s “bumper” photographs, which punctuated space between the show segments. One could draw parallels between the lost and now found treasure trove from Ferus Gallery to Karzen’s photographs.  Both bodies of work, rarely seen by the public, affirm Los Angeles’ cultural and artistic history. Here are a few of Fabrik’s favorites. In July 1962, Andy Warhol exhib13.25” X 9.825”, 1962, FERUS GALLERY ited his entire series of 32 “Campbell’s ORIGINAL OFFSET ANDY WARHOL SOUP CAN EXHIBITION POSTER, SOLD Soup Cans” at Ferus Gallery; five sold WITH FERUS GALLERY’S 23 DIFFERENT for $100 each. “I had the idea of keeping SHOW INVITATIONS. them all together,” shared Ferus’ owner, Irving Blum.  Warhol said, “I’d love that, they were conceived as a series.” The Museum of Modern Art acquired the entire collection in 1996 for $15 million.  Along with the Warhol, produced as a Ferus Gallery poster, the auction house is offering a collection of twenty-three original invitations from Ferus Gallery made to promote various iconic exhibitions, all dating between 1957-1963. From 1982-1992, artist Marc Karzen’s photographic series of beautiful, humorous, slice-of-life-moments, called “bumpers,” took viewers through commercials, introduced guests, and branded David Letterman’s groundbreaking show. A D V E R T O R I A L

B Y

P H I L

T A R L E Y


BERGAMOT STATION ARTS CENTER

MARC KARZEN AND DAVID LETTERMAN • HOTEL GRAFFITI, 1985. 10X14 INCH SINGULAR, CHROMOGENIC PRINT, SIGNED ON VERSO.

These unique artworks stored in Karzen’s archives were never displayed to the public, until now. The auction house has chosen 33 lots to sell as an homage to David Letterman, whose last show airs on May 20, 2015. SANTA MONICA AUCTIONS accepts one of a kind and rare works up until a week prior to the auction. Gallery A5 and B7 in Bergamot Station Arts Center houses a preview of the works for sale. New consignments are added daily.  View the auctions’ ever-expanding catalogue online at: www.smauctions.com 

A D V E R T O R I A L

B Y

SOL LEWITT • UNTITLED, GOUACHE ON PAPER 9.5 X 12 INCHES SIGNED ON RECTO, C. 1990

P H I L

T A R L E Y


AMERICAN CARNIVAL. VIRGINIA STATE FAIR #5. © DAVID SKERNICK 60 X 20 INCHES. ALUMINUM WITH FRENCH CLEATS.


David Skernick davidskernick.zenfolio.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)

BRIAN COOPER A random visit to Brian Cooper’s optical illusionism is recommended to enjoy an all access pass to the multifarious stages of reality flips and shifts not included in your average free downloadable user manual. There is evidence of precession in axial tilt, but this change occurs on much longer time-scales and does not involve relative motion of the spin axis with respect to the planet. However, in what is known as true polar wander, the solid Earth can rotate with respect to a fixed spin axis. Research shows that during Cooper’s last few hundred paintings, sculpture and installations, a true polar wander of some 360° spins have occurred, but that no super-rapid shifts in the Earth’s pole were found during this period. While you adjust your seatbelt and wait for your cue, please enjoy Earth Like Planet’s new tunes: Pry; Nature of Things; Remind Me How, Again (free); Let the Drugs Help Them Out; In Your Hands, and Patternicity. (KG). http://www.briancooperart.com

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(ABOVE) STAR STAR STAR. (LEFT) ESINN BIGGIE.


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

JACOB FOWLER Roughly constructed frameworks of Home Depot supplies get dressed up for a date by Jacob Fowler. His customized assemblages combine DIY with decorating to create disconcerting sculptures that are at play with issues of Masculinity and Class. The aesthetic aspects are intersected with the ‘baser’ materials to form odd, challenging but ultimately enticing sculptures that sprawl out, demanding space and interactions, formal but somehow reminiscent of other times and places. They jumble up against themselves, visually noisy and disruptive, yet playful and at play. (MP). http://jacob-fowler.com

(ABOVE) FOR HIRE, DIMENSIONS VARIABLE, MIXED MEDIA, 2012 (RIGHT) PEW SUPPORT, 36”X 12”X 60”, MIXED MEDIA, 2015

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FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

JENNY HAGER A swirling universe of abstract potential marks Jenny Hager’s paintings. Intense color used within spaces bisected and slashed by hard edge lines play counterpoint to her splashes and gestural motifs. They invoke a sense of immense space; imagine Star Trek’s Enterprise zapping across their surface. The borders contain the interplay of disparate methodologies and applications that constantly reinterpret their own intersections, at once investigative but non-verbal. Order and chaos teeter at the brink, resolution maintained on a knife edge. A painter’s painter, with a steady grasp on this particular moment in abstract painting, Hager’s work is thrilling, energetic and off-kilter enough to remain in its own space. Spock would have loved it. (MP). http://www.jennyhager.com

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(ABOVE) IN THE SHADOW OF THE PIED PIPER 2, 82 X 70 INCHES, ACRYLIC, MARKER ON UNSTRETCHED CANVAS, 2014. (LEFT) MALADROIT’S SISTER, 64 X 74 INCHES, ACRYLIC AND MARKER ON CANVAS, 2014.


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

CARLSON HATTON Mixed media materials duke it out for abstract/figurative supremacy in which, come the final bell, both sides win. Carlson Hatton’s large and virtuoso, collage-like, paintings succeed in layering his complex myriad sources, from art history to daily life, into a phantasmagoric kaleidoscope of imagery that drags you into the fight. Hints of systems, of remembered glimpses, ring memories’ bells and keep the swirling movement contained within the ring. Patterns and every approach to mark making seem to jab and punch, duck and dive, in the action packed arena. Art wins with a KO. (MP). http://www.carlsonhatton.com

(ABOVE) CLOSE YOUR EYES AND COUNT TO 7000, 60” X 88” ACRYLIC, GRAPHITE AND WATERCOLOR ON PAPER. 2012.

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(ABOVE) MARKERS IN TIME, 60” X 44” ACRYLIC, GRAPHITE AND WATERCOLOR ON PAPER. 2014.


FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

CLAIRE JACKEL Using paper for its fragile and temporary qualities as sculpture, Claire Jackel constructs elegant objects that place themselves within the context of the natural landscape at moments of catastrophe or imminent destruction. With a small helping of humor these objects — sometimes diggers and trains and other mechanical devices — attempt to counterbalance human frailties with technology, in unsuccessful Sisyphean struggles that act as metaphor for everything from financial structures to environmental issues. A beautiful craft skill and an intimate scale are used to full effect to entice the viewer into the dialogue with the anxieties and troubles of our age. (MP). http://www.clairejackel.com

(ABOVE) THINGS PUT TOGETHER WON’T BE BLOWN APART II. (RIGHT) MAKE ME NEW.

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FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

FARRAH KARAPETIAN An electrified intervention of objects, lines and lights position syncopated exposures in the stories that inform our abstracted lives, whether these be fiction, fieldwork experiences, cultural myths, or disciplined practices of anthropology itself. Farrah Karapetian’s photograms are possibilities in formulating abstractions, in their shadows and reflections by strategic use of “constructed negatives,” questioning imbricated moments of history, memory, truth, language, architecture, and music. Karapetian’s “negatives” inscribe themselves onto chromogenic luster with intent to target the experimentation of color voltage cross-determined with luminous flux emitted in solid angles from a point source equivalent to one candle intensity. (KG). http://www.farrahkarapetian.com

(ABOVE) STAGECRAFT INSTALLATION (RIGHT) CYMBALSCAPE 10

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FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

ALICE KÖNITZ Necessities for mobile institutions with modular functions shape representational space, its contents and environs. As a sculptor, Alice Könitz devises oblique architectural plans in which a communal exhibiting space can exist, devoid of known institutional systems. The macro/micro shift is an economized function realized as a modernist parallax. Könitz’ objects have the language of modernist furniture but they are invented from artificial materials that only live in a model world, meant for imitation and viewed, not for use. Könitz most recent invention, LAMOA (Los Angeles Museum Of Art), a 13-foot-long wooden structure, primarily functions as an exhibition space for her artist community. Run by only one staff member in a private setting, driven by noncommercial interests, the idea of this smaller and personal institution is shaped by the community it supports. (KG). http://alicekonitz.com

(ABOVE) MADE IN LA 2014, INSTALLATION. (RIGHT) UNTITLED (ROTATING PERFUME DISPLAY WITH LAVENDER COFFEE LICORICE ROOT, MADE IN LA 2014.

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FRESH FACES IN ART: EIGHT LA ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW

YOSHIE SAKAI A visionary mystic of triangulated psy-fi dramas, Yoshie Sakai lets loose her avatar/genies into social anxiety forums, submerging them further into an impulsive series of mindfully turbulent events. Doubling as Sakai’s secret service agents, the characters prance about the misinformation super highway of societal ramifications searching for reasons to operate on the video games of life. The green screen prescribes a continuum of nervous psychophysical humor, exuding soapie tenets of merged existential passages. In “Come One, Eat All,” Sakai’s adult-child character devours endless portions of junk food and cheap entertainment. “KOKO’s Love” investigates the absurd expectations of gender roles within the contemporary Asian-American male hegemonic family. Zolshie, Sakai’s insecure psychic, leads the insecure clientele on a confusing journey of spirituality, logic, psychology, commerce, and entertainment. (KG). http://www.yoshiesakai.com

(ABOVE) VIDEO STILL FROM KOKO’S LOVE: EPISODE 1. 2014. SINGLE-CHANNEL VIDEO AND VIDEO INSTALLATION. 11:14 MINS. VIDEO: https://vimeo.com/106642442

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(ABOVE, TOP) KOKO’S LOVE FOR THE “UNRULY” SHOW IN THE PROJECT SPACE AT THE WIGNALL MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART. 2014. 19’ X 14’ X 10’ TALL ROOM. SINGLE-CHANNEL VIDEO INSTALLATION WITH PHOTOGRAPHIC MURALS (ABOVE, BOTTOM) KOKO’S LOVE: “BIOMYTHOGRAPHY” INSTALL (OVERALL/LONG VIEW). 2014. 16’ X 16’ X 14’ TALL. FOUR-CHANNEL MIXED MEDIA VIDEO INSTALLATION


SPOTLIGHT

Q&A WITH RICHARD SHELTON

Temporary Space, a new exhibition platform expressly for mid-to-late career artists, launched in March with an exhibition by Richard Shelton.  Richard Shelton, 50 Years of Painting will be on view through June 2015. Unlike a traditional gallery, Temporary Space presents the complete archives of selected mid-tolate career artists through exhibitions and a proprietary digital application, which is viewed on an iPad. The digital overlay provides collectors with an unfiltered interaction with the artist’s entire body of work. Temporary Space, founded by Richard Shelton, has a mission to empower artists. Check out the gallery at 5522 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles and online at temporaryspacela.com. Fabrik: Who is Richard Shelton? I’m an artist who has been producing art for 50 years and is fed up with the art establishment, which I feel is corrupted by the business interests of art dealers and collectors. I’m an artist who is standing up for the rights of artists by challenging the values of the contemporary art establishment and proclaiming it is time for a change. I, together with my fellow mid-to-late career peers, am forming an alternative platform for exhibiting and selling art, just as the Impressionists did in the second half of the 19th century.

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SPOTLIGHT

Fabrik: Temporary Space was your idea. How did this come about? I have been thinking about ways to modernize the gallery system for years. The art gallery model is a 20th century model. It was a very successful model for exhibiting and selling art, but it no longer meets the needs of 21st century artists. About three years ago, I teamed up with fellow artist Stacie Meyer and we began brainstorming ways to revitalize the gallery system. Our original idea was to develop an e-commerce digital online gallery. About a year into the project, I became discouraged. I have, for the past two years, been writing an art blog—Richard Shelton Blast Blog. I had assumed being on the internet would expose my writing to a large audience. It never did. I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right time for an e-commerce web gallery. That’s when we decided to combine the e-commerce gallery with an exhibition space. We narrowed our ideas down to a few key points. One, create a digitally interactive viewer friendly environment to allow viewers to broaden their understanding of the artists’ work. Two, compliment the physical exhibition with an online digital exhibition so we can reach out to a broader audience. Three, create a digital archive for each artist we exhibit so we can exhibit and sell the artist’s entire body of available work. Four, eliminate the salesman so the artist can deal directly with the collector and retain 75% of the profits from the sale of their art. Five, instead of having a permanent location, do “pop-up” exhibitions so we can bring art to different neighborhoods. About ten months ago, Stacie put together a team of art professionals, Melissa Urcan, Julie Yamashita, and Alex Horn, to make our ideas a reality. Next year, we intend to develop a non-profit educational arm for Temporary Space. In the next few years, if all goes as planned, we intend to open Temporary Space exhibitions in other cities across the country. Fabrik: You’re an artist, and are having the first exhibition at Temporary Space. Is this a vanity show? Temporary Space is an innovative, alternative exhibition model for mid to late career artists. I am one of the participating artists. I would have preferred to be the 5th or 10th artist to exhibit at Temporary Space but that wouldn’t be practical. What we are doing is unprecedented. Someone had to be available to work through all the problems associated with the development of our project, in particular with the technology and archival components. I’ve been working

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SPOTLIGHT

©RICHARD SHELTON, NO ESCAPE, 2010. OIL ON CANVAS 48” X 197”

long hours with designers, technicians, and our archivist, Julie Yamashito. We couldn’t expect the other artists exhibiting in our 2015 schedule to commit that kind of time to this project. I’m also of the belief that there is no such thing as a vanity show. If an author publishes his own book, is that a vanity book? If an actor produces, directs, and stars in his own film, is that a vanity film? If a musician produces his own concert, is that a vanity concert? No. So why are artists singled out? The label “vanity show” is a relatively recent concept devised by the art establishment to discourage artists from mounting their own exhibitions. Artists have been mounting their own exhibitions for centuries, the two most famous modern examples being Gustave Courbet’s exhibition in 1855 and Edouard Manet’s exhibition of 1867.

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SPOTLIGHT

Fabrik: You are putting a lot of time and resources into Temporary Space. What are your expectations? To provide an enjoyable and meaningful experience for the artist and viewer. To gain recognition for talented, undervalued mid to late career artists, and to earn them money. Fabrik: Are you worried about having any backlash from the art business world? No, not at all. I expect our alternative platform for exhibiting and selling art to open up a healthy dialogue about the need for change. The current gallery system is outdated. It no longer meets the needs of the artistic community. I think what we are doing will benefit everyone in the art world. I also think it will attract the “other� 99% to contemporary art by offering them a more informative and engaging opportunity to experience art. Web fabrik.la

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SPOTLIGHT

©RICHARD SHELTON, MARY MCDONALD, 1978. ENAMEL, OIL ON MASONITE 48” X 84”

Fabrik: If there is such a need for something like Temporary Space, why hasn’t this been done before? Art dealers have controlled the art economy for over 100 years. This 20th century business model became enormously profitable in the latter half of that century. Why would dealers want to change a business model that has been so successful? The incentive for change has to come from the artists whose artistic and eco-

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SPOTLIGHT

nomic needs are no longer being fulfilled by a 20th century business model for exhibiting and selling their art. Fabrik: Artists aren’t businessmen. Doesn’t the traditional gallery medium address this? Historically, artists have been involved in selling their artwork. In the 20th century however, as art galleries replaced the Salons as the dominant sales venues

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SPOTLIGHT

©RICHARD SHELTON, THE MIDDLE AGE, 2011. OIL ON CANVAS 96” X 72”

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SPOTLIGHT

for art, artists relinquished control of the business of selling their art. Under the Guild system and the Academy system, artists managed both the creative and the business aspects of their careers. It is only in the past 100 years that artists have chosen to rely upon salesmen to manage the business of selling their artwork. Artists have paid a heavy price for allowing art dealers to control all of the financial aspects of their careers. Paying an art dealer a 50% commission for every artwork they sell is a bad business decision. Artists won’t become worse businessmen if they begin managing their own careers. There is nowhere to go but up. Fabrik: Does this mean that artists are selling their works for 40-60% less than at a traditional gallery? All pricing is entirely up to the artist. I don’t think many artists will choose to sell their artwork at a lower price just because half of their profit won’t be going into the pockets of art dealers. Fabrik: Are the needs of art buyers neglected in the current art world? No. The art exhibited in the galleries today is tailored to the taste of collectors. Galleries exhibit art their collecting base supports. It is everyone else’s needs that are being neglected by the contemporary art establishment. Fabrik: What if galleries start emulating the Temporary Space model? How would you feel about that? I would be very pleased if art galleries follow our example. It is time for art galleries to begin supporting the artists they represent. Currently, the majority of the artists in our culture are struggling to survive economically while art dealers and collectors are profiting handsomely off of their labor. If we can provide a better support base for artists, we would have accomplished our mission. Fabrik: Why launch in Los Angeles? Because we live in Los Angeles and are a part of the Los Angeles art community.

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COMING OUT/GOING IN

REGEN PROJECTS 6750 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles WORDS PETER FRANK

COMING OUT: Anish Kapoor (January 31-March 7) Anish Kapoor’s audience has come to expect of him either emphatically polished, reflective objects of irregular, somewhat organic shape or much more perfectly rounded things whose pigmented surfaces are so deeply, darkly colored that all light seems to disappear into them. Another of Kapoor’s popular gambits, immense, usually accessible structures, essentially posits one of the other formulas on a grand scale; the dramatic effect turns the spectator into the object, but does not contradict his aesthetic. Included in Kapoor’s latest Los Angeles exhibition, however, were sculptures that do seem to bring him into new aesthetic realms. Such seemingly atypical works – which dominated this show, both in number and in size – have Kapoor whipping material into a violent froth, as if he were casting the waves of a turbulent ocean. The free-standing sculptures of this ilk are enterable, like portable caves – if, that is, the mouths of caves could be wind-whipped. Not formed over eons by water erosion, mind you, but actually sculpted in a matter of hours by blasts of air strong enough to twist and cool the flow of lava into permanently gnarled hyper-rocks.  To be sure, the show included more typical confabulations (and one or two mirroring discs, which in their slick constancy combine aspects of Kapoor’s two popular approaches). The presence of these crowd-pleasers contrasted with the odd objects out, making the latter seem that much stranger. But they are natively strange, huge and angry and yet marvelously self-possessed, like mythic beasts ripped from a mountainside, given life and then frozen by some gargantuan taxidermist into their wildest gestures. They are not friendly or playful or soothing, as are their more familiar counterparts, but they are mysterious and grippingly resonant, even alluring in their imposing presence. They add a whole dimension to Kapoor’s sculpture, a dimension that conflates manufacture with natural process, if not in reality, then at least in metaphoric presence. The single most unworldly work in Kapoor’s show imposes the gritty, opaque surface of the new “monster” pieces onto a monster-size disk leaning against the wall. Here, the relative regularity of the sculpture’s perimeter hints at some designated function, as if a titan’s hand mirror had been dredged up from the ocean floor.  108

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COMING OUT/GOING IN

©ANISH KAPOOR. GOLD CORNER, 2014. FIBREGLASS AND GOLD. 25 X 25 X 25 INCHES. (63.5 X 63.5 X 63.5 CM). EDITION 3 OF 3. AKA 193.

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COMING OUT/GOING IN

GOING IN: Glenn Ligon (March 14-April 18) Glenn Ligon has long combined a preoccupation with African-American history – especially with the fraught socio-political history of Blacks in the United States, its protagonist persistent and more than occasionally triumphant in the face of equally enduring, and vicious, suppression – with a neo-conceptual focus on words and verbal expression as visual texture and rhythm. This exhibition features a landmark work. Reliant on image as well as word, Ligon’s 1996 silkscreen painting Hands shows the moment at the previous year’s Million Man March at which the entire crowd pledged solidarity and a dedication to social justice. The grainy image struggles to emerge from the murk, as if trying to clarify itself and command our attention. It gets that attention because of its scale, not so much because of the image itself. Ligon’s intervention isolates and amplifies the event, turning it into the monument it deserves to be. Hands anchors a vast room whose other walls are lined with even grainier panels, this time all words. In fact, these words hark back to an earlier, less peaceful demonstration of African-American frustration, the Harlem riots of 1964 – and do so through the previously established focus of another discipline altogether.  One of the first “minimalist” compositions of composer Steve Reich was his 1966 electronic piece Come Out, taking the testimony of a teenager wrongly accused of murder during the riots and turning a single phrase – “come out to show them” – into a hypnotically insistent phase pattern. Reich’s approach and the pulsing, echoing soundwork that resulted from his simple formula parallel Ligon’s own riveting method. Ligon turns Come Out into a vast panorama of words silkscreened onto canvas (with the same powdery coal-black effect as in Hands) so that the phrase can be read on top of itself, over and over and over again, in certain portions of each panel, while other portions turn impenetrably dense – just as do certain portions of Reich’s electronic piece. It is one of the grandest, most telling contemporary “translations” of music into visual form, honoring and at the same time commandeering the spirit in which the music was originally forged.  By stark contrast, two neon sculptures sit in a side room, their words – both reading “AMERICA” – blinking on and off with the nervous excitement of a Vegas attraction. But since the panels have been placed face down on the floor, their message, patriotic and exploitative, has been rendered illegible. It is, of course, a different illegibility than that of the “come out” phrase, but the frustration of its compromise gives a more complex meaning to its thwarted message: after all, “America” includes African-Americans, among others, and the waning of our country’s self-image affects good folks as well as bad.

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COMING OUT/GOING IN

©GLENN LIGON. COME OUT #6, 2015. SILKSCREEN ON CANVAS. 95 1/8 X 120 INCHES. (241.6 X 304.8 CM)

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ART ABOUT TOWN WITH PETER FRANK

Peter Frank’s

MUSEUM VIEWS THE GETTY MUSEUM AND GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE The Getty complex overlooking the Sepulveda Pass houses several discrete institutions under one roof. Two of them, the Museum and the Research Institute, regularly feature exhibitions. Not so regularly, the exhibitions in different parts of the Museum align with one another and with that on view at the Research Institute. We have such an alignment at present–one that describes the changing face of Europe in the 19th century, through images of people, places, and events.

Zeitgeist: Art in the Germanic World THROUGH MAY 17 To this day, we think of 19th century Germany and Austria – the latter a sprawling empire, the former an equally sprawling network of semi-independent states that ultimately congealed – as the heart of Romantic music and philosophy. Even after decades of superb scholarship and exhibitions, German visual art of that era remains entirely in the shadow of its much more expansive and experimental French counterpart. Such obscurity does not befit Caspar David Friedrich, one of the great picture-makers of all time. But it doesn’t befit Friedrich’s German-speaking contemporaries, either. By the end of the century, for instance, the Austrians, at least, were outdoing the French at their own avant-garde game. “Zeitgeist: Art in the Germanic World” puts forth this argument for a reconsideration of 19th century Germanic art, sparingly but convincingly, in two relatively small, compact rooms, bedecked with some 20-odd artworks, most of them drawings. What drawings they are! The most breathtaking are Friedrich’s own, including a couple of vegetation studies whose brittle exactitude – best studied with a magnifying glass – brings their subjects to life rather than describing them to death; in his taciturn verism Friedrich brought atmosphere to everything he portrayed. Hardly less thrilling, however, are the large studies for the Times of Day painting cycle by Philipp Otto Runge. The cycle itself was an ambitious undertaking for a young artist (who stayed young forever by dying at age 33); but so were the drawings, so elaborate and yet so lucid they explain themselves at a glance. Precise and anatomically correct as Friedrich and Runge were, their stunning accomplishments could hardly be 112

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LUDWIG RICHTER (GERMAN, 1803-1884). SPRING HAS ARRIVED, 1870. WATERCOLOR, GRAPHITE, GOUACHE AND TOUCHES OF RED CHALK. 20.4 X 16.7 CM (8 1/16 X 6 9/16 IN.). 2009.31. COURTESY THE J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES.

called academic; and, as in France, German art history of the period was written by those who strayed from the academy. For instance, a circle of mostly Austrian artists contemporary with Friedrich and Runge, the Nazarenes, defied the Vienna academy by living and working (communally) in Rome and romanticizing pagan myth and Web fabrik.la

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ART ABOUT TOWN WITH PETER FRANK

Christian iconography alike. Toward mid-century, the elegant bravado of Germanic Romanticism gave way to a more placid, charming, intimate expression, a comfortable and comforting approach to bourgeois life and traditional artistic themes we now know as Biedermeier. “Zeitgeist” makes the most of this modest period by presenting some of its less saccharine landscapes and figures; but the show can’t wait to get you to its fin de siècle apotheosis, the explosion of hallucinatory modernist eros personified here by Gustav Klimt (who could draw a woman’s back as if playing an instrument) – and, curiously, by the Czech František Kupka, whose early, intense figure study (done before his move to Paris) betrays the influence of Klimt while foretelling his own abstract experiments with color.

J. M. W. Turner: Painting Set Free THROUGH MAY 24 But if you’re looking for radical experiments with color – and light, and line, and everything it’s possible to do with oil paint – dating from the middle rather than the end of the 19th century, proceed upstairs to a show of work that still looks wildly, almost unbearably, radical nearly two centuries hence. Joseph Mallord William Turner had the French impressionists beat at their own game before their game started; he died in 1851, when most of them were still in school, and had spent the last decade and a half of his life conjuring tumultuous seascapes and other light-swashed spaces out of cascades of brushstrokes and little else. “Painting Set Free” depicts the late Turner as a wild man who knew exactly what he was doing with every dab – although he had a reputation for always wanting to add one more dab to the maelstrom. Concentrating on depictions of the sea, the Englishman knew that nothing out on the water looks quite as it is, that fog, storm, night, smoke, and waves all conspire to blur the contours and even the tones of things. Turner had a penchant for yellow that seems peculiar until you realize that he was intent on capturing the diffusion of sunlight through sodden air. If he had a “best color,” however, it was the orange-red of the unimpeded sun – or of fire itself, as he demonstrated in the earliest works in the show, documenting the fire that consumed Parliament in 1834. Conversely, blue appears (in this exhibit, at least) quite rarely, most notably in his watercolors, many of them rendered in and of the Alps. (Ironic that the great sea painter of the 19th century would save blue for the mountains!) It’s a grand and gratifying show, one that goes to fair lengths to give us a sense of Turner the man and the artist while staying out of the way of his glorious paintings. The wall labels are richly informative, the poetry quotes – many of Turner’s own verse – expand on the spirit of the artworks, and the show’s thematic 114

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ART ABOUT TOWN WITH PETER FRANK

JOSEPH MALLORD WILLIAM TURNER (BRITISH, 1775-1851). WAR. THE EXILE AND THE ROCK LIMPET, EXHIBITED 1842. UNFRAMED: 79.4 X 79.4 CM (31 1/4 X 31 1/4 IN.) FRAMED: 103 X 102.5 X 12.5 CM (40 9/16 X 40 3/8 X 4 15/16 IN.) TATE: ACCEPTED BY THE NATION AS PART OF THE TURNER BEQUEST 1856. PHOTO ©TATE, LONDON 2014.

rather than chronological organization clarifies the artist’s attitudes as well as technique(s) as manifested in the last, arguably best years of his career. The emphasis falls on his big story-telling canvases just in the last room, and by bringing together these proto-cinematic monsters only there, the show not incidentally gives us a glimpse into the narrative thinking of mid-century, early-Victorian England. Blighty defined itself by its empire at that moment, and Turner answered to that regard with an imperial vision – albeit an imperial vision giddily awash in the vagaries of the sea, the realm where it ruled above all nations, but could not rule above nature. Web fabrik.la

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World War I: War of Images, Images of War THROUGH APRIL 19 Implicit in both Turner’s maritime vision and the aspirations, cultural and political, that radiate from the Germans’ least studies of trees and huts, are the dynamics of national identity and international conflict. After Napoleon, the 19th century saw almost no large wars, but an almost continual sequence of small ones, face-offs between arguing neighbors, mutually offended states, and imperial rivals. Monarchies argued with each other and with their own populaces, refusing to acknowledge the impending obsolescence of the entire royal system. Everything came to a head early in the 20th century, in a massive conflict whose origins were as petty as they were inevitable. Indeed, World War I began as a shoving match into which every big power in Europe wanted to plunge; the nobles had scores to settle and the masses were convinced to regard the war simply as a soccer match waged by other means. Everyone thought the trouble would end within a year. Unleashing a whole new generation of deadly tactics and munitions that gave new meaning to the term “cannon fodder,” the First World War revealed fissures in old kingdoms far deeper than anyone had realized. Boundaries were profoundly redrawn; nationalistic aspirations turned triumphant and bitter at the same time; and a generation of Europeans – and Asians, and Americans – was implanted with both a horror of battle and a taste for revenge. Artists were drawn into the war almost as moths to flame. Patriotism motivated the more conservative, while for the more radical, a lust for social reconfiguration and the new-found “modernity” of war itself made conflict seem revolutionary. A minority saw what was coming from the first and shrieked, ineffectually, in repulsion; by the end of 1915, however, with the power alliances churning up bodies and landscapes in a relentless torrent of bombs and blood, the pacifists’ voices had become the most convincing. As its subtitle infers, “World War I: War of Images, Images of War” documents this change of heart. It also implicitly pits traditionalism and modernism in a war of their own, applying academic realism and the offshoots of cubism to propagandizing tasks, normally in the form of magazines and broadsheets, while expressionism cries out in protest, usually in limited-edition prints. But these are over-simplifications; there were expressionists in Berlin and Vienna only too glad to salute the Kaiser and the Emperor, while the cubists cooled pretty quickly on the whole notion of war. World War I, in fact, muddied alliances as much as it hardened them, significantly rending asunder the pre-war alliance between avant-gardists in France and Germany, for instance, or isolating the Italian futurists in their persistent bellicosity from wearied experimentalists in other countries. 116

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» OUR TOY: THE VILLAINOUS KAISER WILHELM. PAUL IRIBE (FRENCH, 1883–1935) COLOR WOODCUT. LE MOT 1, NO. 4 (JANUARY 2, 1915): COVER THE GETTY RESEARCH INSTITUTE, LOS ANGELES (84- S761).

Compact yet rich in scope and substance, “World War I” takes a look at popular as well as high art of the era, in particular on artists’ exploitation of local forms of visual communication. Thus it shows Raoul Dufy riffing on a particularly French form of broadside, while Kazimir Malevich and Vladimir Mayakovsky produce a series of patriotic postcards updating the Russian lubok leaflet. German artists’ heraldic renderings grace the front pages of military newspapers issued the troops. And the show features a veritable parade of parodic posters produced by the various warring nations belittling one another. The references in these mocking images are all but lost to us, explained here in superbly concise, patient wall labels. But their graphic oomph is as vivid now as they were a century ago. So are the photographs of the war, the first major conflict to be recorded with light, fast-acting cameras – and to be recorded from the air as well as the ground. “War of Images, Images of War” may brim with nasty and even horrific pictures (and objects, including several helmets and weapons art-ed up by the men who bore them); but it proves irresistibly compelling in its deep study of the effects of war on art, and vice versa. For more information, please visit http://www.getty.edu Web fabrik.la

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ŠGERSHON KREIMER

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Fabrik - Issue 28  

Fabrik’s twenty-eighth issue greets Spring with photographer Lena Herzog’s splendid black and white studies of Dutch artist Theo Jansen’s St...

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