CONTEMPORARY ART & DESIGN // ISSUE 36
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MASTHEAD Publisher Chris Davies Editor Megan Abrahams Associate Editor Peter Frank Creative Director Chris Davies Art Direction & Design Chris Davies and Paul Soady Proofreader Leah Schlackman Contributing Writers Megan Abrahams Betty Brown Shana Nys Dambrot Genie Davis Peter Frank Kio Griffith Michael McCall Max Presneill Eva Recinos Leah Schlackman Phil Tarley
Contact Editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising: email@example.com Web: thisisfabrik.com Mailing Address 269 S. Beverly Drive, #1234 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Subscriptions Annual subscriptions: Four issues only $26 in the U.S. Subscribe online: fabrikmagazine.com or use our mail in form on page 96. Information Fabrik Magazine is published quarterly 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 © 2017. All rights reserved. PRINTED IN LOS ANGELES
ON THE COVER Peter Shire. Belle Aire Chair, 2010. Steel and Enamel 56 × 40 × 45 1/2 inches (142.24 × 101.6 × 115.57 cm). Courtesy of the Artist. Photo by Joshua White On view at MOCA Pacific Design Center. See page 34 for more.
CONTEMPORARY ART & DESIGN // ISSUE 36
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
FABRIK ISSUE 36 LAUNCHING A SUMMER OF GREAT ART & DESIGN This issue of Fabrik launches in time for the Dwell on Design Expo, June 23-25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We’re infatuated with great design, of course, particularly its synergy with art and how it all enhances and enriches our everyday lives. Los Angeles brims with exciting new trends in design and art. It’s virtually impossible to keep up with everything going on, let alone cover it adequately in these pages. It’s all we can do to select some of the standout exhibits, artists, designers—along with films and other cultural productions—the subjects of our quarterly spotlights and profiles. In a salute to design, in this issue, we feature writer Leah Schlackman’s profile of Echo Park artist/designer Peter Shire, coinciding with Naked is the Best Disguise, a survey of his design work from the 1970s to today at MOCA Pacific Design Center. One of the things we love most about Shire’s work is its irrepressible sense of fun. Also inside, is Eva Recino’s preview of the next iteration of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time, which this year focuses on Latin American artists. We also take a peak at current exhibits in other local museums, with Shana Nys Dambrot’s review of Star Montana: I Dream of Los Angeles and Alice Könitz’s Circle Chairs, Triangle Chairs, part of Beta Main at the Main Museum. In addition, there’s Peter Frank’s view on Interstitial at the Pasadena Museum of California Art and Material as Metaphor at the Craft and Folk Art Museum—plus so much more. We hope this sets the tone for an exciting summer of contemporary art in the City of Angels. Megan Abrahams Editor
CONTRIBUTORS MEGAN ABRAHAMS is a Los Angeles based painter, writer, art critic and editor. The editor of Fabrik, she is also a contributing writer for Art Ltd. and WhiteHot Magazines. An artist member of the Los Angeles Art Association, Megan is currently working on a new series of paintings and writing a novel. BETTY ANN BROWN is an art historian, critic, and curator. She has written about contemporary art in Southern California since the 1980s. Brown’s most recent curatorial project, Fantastic Feminist Figuration, was presented at Groundspace Project in September, 2016. SHANA NYS DAMBROT is an art critic, curator and author based in Los Angeles. She is currently LA Editor for Whitehot Magazine, Contributing Editor to Art Ltd. and a contributor to KCET’s Artbound, Flaunt, Huffington Post, The Creators Project, Vs. Magazine, Palm Springs Life, Desert Magazine and Porter & Sail. She writes a lot of books and speaks in public with alarming frequency. GENIE DAVIS is a multi-published novelist, journalist and produced screen and television writer, based in Los Angeles. Publisher and writer of www.diversionsLA.com, she also writes for a wide range of magazines and newspapers including arts publications Art & Cake, Art Scene and Fabrik Magazine. PETER FRANK is a New York-born, Los Angeles-based art critic and curator. Associate Editor of Fabrik and art critic for the Huffington Post, Frank has served as Editor of THEmagazine Los Angeles and Visions Art Quarterly, as art critic for the LA Weekly, Village Voice and SoHo Weekly News, and as Senior Curator at the Riverside [CA] Art Museum. MICHAEL McCALL is a Los Angeles based visual artist represented by Timothy Yarger Fine Art in Beverly Hills, California. Michael is currently completing a memoir, Captain Squid and the Tentacle Room, scheduled for release in 2017. MAX PRESNEILL, KIO GRIFFITH & COLTON STENKE / ARTRA Curatorial is a volunteer organization focused on creating new modes of artist-driven exhibitions, platforms, opportunity based interactions and community building events locally, nationally and internationally. Founded in 2009, ARTRA has orchestrated MAS Attack and other large scale art events in Southern California with additional projects in Europe and Asia. EVA RECINOS is a freelance writer and social media producer based in Los Angeles. Her writing has been featured LA Weekly, The Creators Project, PSFK and other publications. She is less than five feet tall. LEAH SCHLACKMAN is a Los Angeles-based writer. A recent New York transplant, Leah studied art history and creative writing at NYU. In addition to contributing to Fabrik, she also writes for Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art. PHIL TARLEY is a fellow of the American Film Institute and a member of the Photographic Arts Council. Tarley writes about contemporary art and pop culture and curates photography for the AC Gallery, in Hollywood. His travelogue on Cuba is slated for publication in 2017.
FEATURES & COLUMNS 8
Spotlight: Pacific Standard Time—Latin America Edition
Spotlight: Zadik Zadikian and Produce Haus
Profile: Peter Shire at MOCA Pacific Design Center
Profile: Mary Little
Profile: Aline Mare
BETTY ANN BROWN
Art About Town: Museum Views
Art About Town: Film Review
Art About Town: Gallery Reviews
Fresh Faces in Art: Artists You Should Know
SPECIAL FEATURE — FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS:
The Lumière Awards
On The Street
GENIE DAVIS LEAH SCHLACKMAN
Marcos López. Argentine, born 1958. Reina del trigo. Gálvez, Provincia de Santa Fe (Queen of Wheat, Gálvez, Santa Fe Province), 1997. Hand‑colored inkjet print, printed 2017. 50 x 70 cm (19 11/16 x 27 9/16 in.) Courtesy of the artist and Rolf Art, Buenos Aires © Marcos López
WORDS EVA RECINOS IMAGES COURTESY OF THE GETTY
PACIFIC STANDARD TIMEâ€” LATIN AMERICA EDITION
Communities of color contribute to the diversity that characterizes Southern California and play an important role in a vibrant regional culture that is creative and evolving. Yet these communities are often disenfranchised, their stories forgotten. In the newest edition of Pacific Standard Time launching in fall 2017, the Getty Foundation intends to shed light on artists, time periods and styles that might have gone unnoticed until now. Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA draws a connection between Latin America and Los Angeles, asking viewers to consider how Southern California is tied to various cultures and communities based even farther south. 10
Willys de Castro Brazilian, 1926–1988 Objeto ativo (cubo vermelho/branco) / Active Object (Red/white cube), 1962 Oil on canvas on plywood Object: H: 25 x W: 25 x D: 25 cm (9 7/8 x 9 7/8 x 9 7/8 in.) The Museum of Modern Art. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Tomás Orinoco Griffin-Cisneros
Raúl Lozza. Argentinian, 1911–2008. Relieve no. 30 / Relief No. 30, 1946. Oil, alkyd, pine resin, wax and acrylic on wood and metal wire. Object: H: 40.6 x W: 53.3 x D: 3.8 cm (16 x 21 x 1 1/2 in.) The Museum of Modern Art. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps deCisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund.
Serpent Labret with Articulated Tongue, Aztec Tongue, 1300â€“1521 Gold Object: H: 6.7 x W: 4.5 x D: 6.7 cm (2 5/8 x 1 3/4 x 2 5/8 in.) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, 2015 Benefit Fund and Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 2016 (2016.64) Image ÂŠ The Metropolitan Museum of Art
From September 2017 to January 2018, a series of exhibitions at several Los Angeles-area cultural institutions will highlight “a wide variety of important works of art, much of them new to Southern California audiences,” as the program’s website declares. The initiative includes a variety of shows, from film-related archives to visual exhibits and concerts. Each organization has received a grant to organize its show. The long list of institutions includes the Craft & Folk Art Museum, LAXART, Los Angeles Filmforum, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara and ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the University of Southern California, among many more. At the UCLA Hammer Museum, curators have been hard at work organizing Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960-1985, which will open September 15. Guest co-curator Andrea Giunta stresses that the show is, “the first exhibition including more than 100 Latin American and Latino/Chicana artists together.” It is also important to recognize the ways in which artists in this time period challenged the standard portrayal of women’s bodies in art. The female figure was often portrayed from a patriarchal point of view, but in these pieces women artists have full agency. The exhibit, therefore, serves as a way to preserve these stories and highlight important histories. Giunta said she sees the show’s potential to influence viewers in a far-reaching way. “We wish that the public wants to know more, that art education systems incorporate a universe of works that speak of different idiosyncrasies, different sensibilities, different skin colors, other ways of understanding the body, other cultural experiences,” said Giunta in an email to Fabrik. “To put it in simple words: we want to contribute to change in the world. The world of art in particular, but also contribute to a transformation that is occurring in different scenarios and that is urgent. Violence against bodies classified as female is reproduced in the field of art with the symbolic violence of eliminating works and authorship. We want to help this situation end.” Radical Women will feature artists from Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Cuba and Mexico as well as the U.S. and other countries. The connection is an important one: these women contributed to both the art scenes of their respective countries but also to contemporary art as a whole. Other exhibitions under the PST umbrella will focus more on local sights and visual language. Surface Tension by Ken Gonzales-Day: Murals, Signs and Mark-Making in LA—on view at The Skirball Cultural Center from 16
Hermelindo Fiaminghi Brazilian, 1920-2004 Alternado 2 / Alternated 2, 1957 Alkyd on hardboard Framed: 61.9 x 62 x 4.5 cm (24 3/8 x 24 7/16 x 1 3/4 in.) The Museum of Modern Art. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Catalina Cisneros-Santiago.
Donn Delson. Training Ground.
(Opposite) Bertram G. Goodhue American, 1869–1924 California Building and Tower, Panama-California Exposition, Balboa Park, San Diego, 1915 Hand-colored illustration San Diego Panama-California Exposition, souvenir book
(Above) Abel Briquet French-Mexican, 1833–1926 Entrada al Paseo de la Reforma, ca. 1883–1895 Albumen print Vistas, Mexicanas; Alrededores de Mexico
Grupo Escombros Argentine, active since 1988 Mariposas (Butterflies), 1988 Pancartas (Signs) series Chromogenic print (printed in monochrome) mounted on wood, 40 x 60 cm (15 3/4 x 23 5/8 in.) Courtesy of the artists and WALDEN, Buenos Aires ÂŠ Grupo Escombros / WALDEN
SPOTLIGHT Royal Belt Ornament Maya, about 400–500 Jade Object: H: 23.5 x W: 7.6 x D: 0.3 cm (9 1/4 x 3 x 1/8 in.) Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
October 6, 2017 to February 25, 2018—will feature more than 100 photographs of the city. The exhibit seeks to characterize the city through its own markings, the signs that citizens have left behind to tell their own stories. “We hope that Angelenos see themselves and their communities in Surface Tension,” wrote Laura Mart, Assistant Curator, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA at the Skirball in an email to Fabrik. “Ken put a lot of miles on his car visiting neighborhoods from Pacoima to Venice Beach, to Watts to East LA to photograph more than 140 murals. We would like our visitors to leave the show with a greater appreciation for the art that surrounds them every day in their own neighborhoods, as well as an awareness of how these images impact their own thinking about the city and their place within it.” Mart sees PST as an opportunity to spark a discussion about “the importance of conversations and collaborations across borders.” These connections are significant and deserve to be explored. “The shows being presented at over seventy different venues this fall reflect the necessity of bringing in international perspectives and, above all, the importance of the arts in reflecting on place, history and identity.” Through each exhibition, visitors will have a chance not only to learn about art, but also to gain insight about the prevailing socio-political climates that influence artists in their creativity. These are the stories of artists who have left behind legacies; the shows are threads weaving Los Angeles and Latin America together. They are just the beginning of the effort that is necessary to highlight a complex history in need of telling. For more about PST, visit http://www.pacificstandardtime.org/en/about/
WORDS GENIE DAVIS IMAGES COURTESY OF PRODUCE HAUS AND GENIE DAVIS
Zadik Zadikian’s Produce Haus Project “Foreigners”
ZADIK ZADIKIAN: ATTRACTED TO THE LIGHT AT PRODUCE HAUS
Artist Zadik Zadikian has created a gallery and studio space where the floors and walls are covered in gold leaf, and much of his exhibited art is created with gold covering. To walk into the large loft space, in a building more than a hundred years old, is to enter an enchanted room that literally glows. Produce Haus, Zadikianâ€™s recently opened gallery, glitters. 26
(Below) Foreigners, Detail View at Produce Haus
How the artist, born in Soviet Armenia, ended up in downtown Los Angeles, reads something like a fairy tale. Zadikian began creating art from the age of five, exhibiting as a teen in major contemporary art museums in Erevan and Moscow. One winter, after he swam across the Arax River, dodging bullets and guard dogs to escape Soviet control, Zadikian arrived in America. Initially working as the assistant to San Francisco-based artist Benjamino Bufano, Zadikian moved near New York, where he worked with sculptor Richard Serra. While there, he endured a devastating studio fire. From the ashes, he constructed his first gold space. He covered his studio with industrial gold, and then created a project entitled, 1000 Bricks Gilded in 24 Karat Gold Leaf. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Zadikian has embraced his new home, and has gilded his new work and project space. “Everything I have experienced in my life I’ve put into my work. I have arrived at a point where I am working with my nature, from my subconscious. I go to spaces unknown to me, hoping I can tap into something totally new as an experience and that this is true for everyone when they come and see the work,” Zadikian said. The color gold, and its transformative aspects, is an intrinsic part of Zadikian’s art. Visiting Produce Haus, the viewer is engulfed in the soft light and the literal and figurative richness of the artist’s preferred medium. “The gold work started in 1975 in New York. I was attracted to the material for its warmth,” said Zadikian. “Gold is one of the most precious metals on earth, a very positive and noble material. It has a way of reflecting a kind of spirituality. “I think from the very beginning I was attracted to its light, beautiful light that reflects like sunlight. I was covering entire spaces with it so I could envelope people with that clean, noble, beautiful light. That was very fresh and new to me.” Zadikian has worked with gold off and on over the years. He returned to the medium in Los Angeles, in part because of the city itself. “Los Angeles light is incredible, the sunlight in my space is very interesting. With this light, gold came back to me naturally. It helps my work. Gold is able to show every detail, every crack and line in my sculptures, and I love to share that.” His current sculpture series, Foreigners, was inspired by the light and the artist’s intention to become more in sync with nature. “Instead of controlling my forms, I pick up 50 to 100 pounds of clay, let it drop on the floor [and] use natural forces to make these pieces. I became a doer and observer at the same time with
Fluttering Gold Leaf Squares Installation
Artists in the exhibition at Produce Haus: Andy Moses, Gary Brewer, Corey Burns, Marjan Vayghan, Yvette Gellis, Clayton Campbell, Zadik Zadikian, Rouzanna Berberian, Kaloust Guedel, Gary Paller and KuBO.
Zadik Zadikian’s “Solis” Sculpture
this process of dropping soft weight on the floor and rolling it until the shapes take on themselves. I then add a few little details, shaping the nose or lips, and then cast it in gold.” This series of golden heads resembles alien angels or celestial planets attached with powerful magnets to a deep, textured velvety black wall. Accompanying Foreigners is Zadikian’s powerful work, Solis, a massive gold-cast sculpture that springs from the golden floor like a rising sun. Zadikian’s oeuvre is highly experiential: from his shimmering gold cast sculptures, to the gallery’s golden floors, to the east wall of his gallery space which is covered with fluttering gold leaf squares that alter to coppery purples and blue when affected by the elements. His second exhibition, Walls – A Quest for Immersive Space, also included fresco work by Kaloust Guedel and KuBO as well as vibrant, original paintings and photography from Rouzanna Berberian, Gary Brewer, Clayton Campbell, Corey Burns, Andy Moses, Gary Paller, Yvette Gellis and Marjan Vayghan. Zadikian said he thrives working near other artists, and that some of his greatest insights have come through both active and passive collaboration. This collaborative process is one reason the artist started Produce Haus. Another reason is Zadikian’s belief in art as a resonant, light-filled, truthful language. “I hope that I am creating things that have some kind of universal truth, and that is my gift really, to everybody.” Produce Haus is located at 1318 E 7th St., Los Angeles, California 90021
Installation view of Peter Shire: Naked Is the Best Disguise, April 22-July 2, 2017 at MOCA Pacific Design Center, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo by Zak Kelley.
WORDS LEAH SCHLACKMAN IMAGES COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (MOCA)
PETER SHIRE AND THE ETHICS OF DESIGN
“Objects are a personification of where people want to go and how they want to live,” said Peter Shire in an interview at his Echo Park studio. If that’s the case, Shire’s chairs and ceramics are the structural supports of a civilization that is self-aware and self-deprecating in its thirst for excitement. The Reagan-propagated financial deregulation of the 1980s gave rise to an America unbridled in its opulence. In many ways, the post-war America that birthed Peter Shire was ripe with innovation. However, it was also “a suppressive time which engendered a very formal aesthetic. The fashion was all about clean, narrow lines; think skinny ties. Even the Eames chair was severe in its design,” said Shire, a self-acknowledged baby boomer. 36
Peter Shire, Right Weld Chair, 2007. Steel, enamel, and tassels, 63 x 16 x 43 in. (160.02 x 40.64 x 109.22 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joshua White.
He is an artist/designer/craftsman who has made a point of circumventing the boundaries of each of those labels. His work nods to the reverence for formality held by Modern aesthetics but at the same time blatantly subverts the rules of order, turning the once-rigid line into a paint-splattered corkscrew. From the previous eras’ deference to order, Shire lands us in a world that revels in and laughs at the thrill and unabashed lavishness that categorized the Reagan-era boom. “I am always making fun of things that tend to offend me,” he joked. Shire’s Bel Air Chair (1981) exemplifies his tendency to mimic and mock 1980s frivolity. It also displays his postmodern sense of humor in its appropriation of mid-century forms into a theatrical arrangement that is both self-aware and maniacal. The chair’s back, a metal shark-fin shape, is a reference to the 1968 John Lautner house in Malibu. From Lautner’s asymmetrical façade, Shire creates a chair so outlandishly asymmetric that the viewer finds herself questioning its function, and thus purpose, as a chair. The chair is grand in both its bold use of color and its size. It is most suitable for someone larger than life, or aiming to be. “The Bel Air Chair is actually quite comfortable,” said Shire, referencing its large metal seat where one would typically find a cushion. He describes his work as aiming for a sense of thrill, using often the most absurd means necessary to achieve it. “In the ‘80s, everything was about being excited,” he said. Shire’s most recent show, Naked is the Best Disguise at MOCA Pacific Design Center (April 22nd through July 2, 2017), offers a comprehensive survey of the artist’s work from the 1970s to present, including a piece specifically commissioned for the exhibit (Brentwood Chair, 2017). Naked is light-hearted in its curatorial choices: the walls are painted various shades of melon pink and lime green, evocative of the California color palette present in Shire’s pieces as well as of the fantastical nature and thrill-seeking attitude that runs rampant throughout his work. Naked provides a glimpse into both the design and socio-political culture that allowed Shire the foundation on which to build his vision. Much of Shire’s work walks the line between refined and crass. He finds pleasure in elevating the base, playing with our idea of taste and kitsch. Through his good humor and design sensibility he creates objects that are a part of one’s everyday existence, but in a way that almost laughs at their very
Peter Shire, Bel Air Chair, 1981. Wood, steel, and upholstery fabric, 48 1/2 x 43 x 48 1/2 in. (123.19 x 109.22 x 123.19 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joshua White.
Installation view of Peter Shire: Naked Is the Best Disguise, April 22-July 2, 2017 at MOCA Pacific Design Center, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo by Zak Kelley.
Peter Shire, Hourglass Teapot, 1984. Ceramic, 23 x 16 x 6 in. (58.42 x 40.64 x 15.24 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joshua White.
Peter Shire, Cahuenga Lamp, 1985. Steel, chrome, and enamel, 39 3/4 x 18 1/2 x 19 in. (100.97 x 46.99 x 48.26 cm). Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Joshua White.
(Above Images) Installation view of Peter Shire: Naked Is the Best Disguise, April 22-July 2, 2017 at MOCA Pacific Design Center, courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Photo by Zak Kelley.
function. His piece Right Weld Chair (2007)—a reference to Rietveld’s Zig Zag Chair (1934) in its sharp, Z-like form—alludes to the chair as a symbol of social and political stature, harkening back to a king’s throne. Shire’s Right Weld Chair is painted in a gradient rainbow and spattered with multi-colored paint, a nod to California’s hot rod culture. A pair of swimming pool stepladder handrails are tacked onto the chair’s back, and off them hang gold and purple tassels, the same kind that might hang from heavily-starched burgundy drapes. The Right Weld Chair, like the Bel Air Chair before it, presents an unabashed conflation of lowbrow and highbrow aesthetics that forces us to question our concept of good taste as well as the supposed function, and purpose, of the object itself. Modern design aims to bring art into the consumer’s everyday life. “The ideal of good design is that it makes people’s lives better,” said Shire. But Shire is not only a designer, he is an artist, and his work continues to oscillate between the priorities of form and function. In speaking about the relationship between the work he did with the Italian collective, Memphis, in the ‘80s and his contemporary pieces, Shire said, “my essential approach and goals are the same.” His sense of humor and proclivity for the fantastic is ever-present in his work. He thinks critically about the everyday object, entertaining, for instance, the notion of substituting a round rubber ball for a chair leg or a shark finshaped wood plank for a table leg. Through a lens of excitement and sarcasm, Shire gives us a view of the world around us, a perspective on where people want to go and how they want to live that is at once chaotic and functional, outlandish and self-aware.
WAY WITH FABRIC: PROFILE OF MARY LITTLE — WORDS SIMONE KUSSATZ IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
When artist Mary Little talks about her upbringing in Northern Ireland, one wouldn’t think she was born and raised in a country steeped for three decades in sectarian violence. Instead, she describes an idyllic world: a lovely green landscape with drumlins, boulders, ancient hedges with moss peeking through; the sandy beaches on the Eastern Shore and her family’s farms between the villages Greyabbey and Ballywalter on the Ards Peninsula. It was, Little explained, an environment in which she felt safe and protected; one that shaped her aesthetic sensibility. Her career, however, took her away from the rolling countryside, to Belfast, London and Milan. Later she moved to the US, living first in Connecticut, then in the Bay area, and for the past three years in Los Angeles. 46
Artist Mary Little
Mary Little. Blue Chair
Mary Little. Liz Chair
Mary Little. Kennedy, Canvas Panel
Mary Little. Burns Valley, Canvas Panel
Mary Little. Aran Ivy, Tapestry
Although Little studied design for seven years, she also considers herself a sculptor due to her early oeuvre consisting of furniture designed for more than just visual satisfaction. “I like to create objects that have some kind of relationship to the body and respond to the body,” she said. For The Blue Chair (1985), the Irish artist had three basic ideas in mind. “I wanted a chair that enhances how you feel when you sit on it, how you look when you sit on it and one that looks amazing as a sculptural object.” One edition of the chair is displayed at the Vitra Design Museum in Basel, the other at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. She keeps the original. Rudolf, Liz, and Margaret, descendants of the The Blue Chair, are much softer, more feminine, and pompous in appearance. Rudolf was inspired by the poise of dancer Rudolf Nureyev, Liz by the strange 17th century hats depicted in Hans Holbein paintings. Little enjoys working with wool, white cotton, iridescent silk and shibori. Her commissioned pieces are often named after her collectors and, because of her selection and treatment of the fabric, resemble their personalities. After dividing her Downtown LA loft with a cloth wall, Little’s work underwent a radical change. Gone were the concepts of function and relationship of object to the body. Instead, she created decorative wall objects with soft white surfaces, experimenting with shadows, patterns, repetition and other small iterations, going back and forth between stretched and loose canvas, aiming for various effects. The result was Little’s sudden discovery that she creates work reminiscent not only of her childhood surroundings, but also of the patterns on the Aran sweaters her mother knit for her. Reflecting on how her work fits within the realm of contemporary art, Little said, “This is a pertinent question. I’m in the process of searching for an answer. I think of certain artists who’ve transitioned from design or the applied arts, such as Edmund de Waal with his serene repetitive ceramic volumes. Materially, it perhaps has a place beside the work of Sheila Hicks. At times, I work to evoke sensual feelings, though in a more abstract and subtle manner than Marilyn Minter does.“ Little’s work is featured in the group exhibit, Material as Metaphor, at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM), from May 28 to August 20, 2017.
ALINE MARE: POETRY OF THE TREE OF LIFE — WORDS BETTY ANN BROWN IMAGES COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
“Art is the tree of life.” — WILLIAM BLAKE
“Oh, the tree of life is growing where the spirit never dies/And the bright light of salvations shines in dark and empty skies.” — BOB DYLAN, “DEATH IS NOT THE END”
Aline Mare combines photography and painting in elegant portrayals of nature, isolating tiny fruits of the Tree of Life in inky haloes of chiaroscuro. Roots, flowers, seeds and stems are arrayed over darkly textured grounds, as if suspended in an eternal twilight. They emerge from dusky fields, capturing our attention like precious objects assembled in a curiosity cabinet. 54
Aline Mare. Cloud Seeds
Mare was born in Bronxville, New York, and educated at various New York-area schools. In the early 1980s, she became involved with the East Coast world of avant-garde film and video, teaming up with creatives like performance artist Vito Acconci, playwrights Richard Foreman and Robert Wilson, videographer Nam June Paik and sculptor Richard Serra. She also worked with the early feminist writer Starhawk. Mare came to California in the late 1980s and received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1991. While in San Francisco, the artist renewed her friendship with experimental novelist Kathy Acker, who shared Mare’s feminist politics. The artist began to focus on feminist issues such as women’s right to choose, employing embryonic imagery in performances and related installations. Mare was criticized for her work regarding abortion. She turned away from this subject when she married her first husband and became pregnant with her son, Cyrus. That marriage didn’t last; when Aline Mare. Cloud See her child was only a year old, she met painter Gary Brewer, to whom she is still married. In 2006, Mare began collaborating with poet Olivia E. Sears. One of their pieces was entitled Saline’s Solution, a term for late-term abortions. They also produced photo/synthesis, a book on cellular technology which Mare describes as “pseudo-scientific play.” Photo/synthesis juxtaposes her exquisite portrayals of natural phenomena with Sears’ poems in a powerful point-counterpoint of image and text. In 2013, Mare and her family moved to Los Angeles, where she has continued her mixed media work, layering expressively painted surfaces with pho-
PROFILE Aline Mare. Flying Crystal
tographic passages. Her mixed-media compositions are dye-infused and printed on aluminum. Seedpods curl like mute apostrophes. A pale morning glory blossom shimmers against a bronze field. The crozier (or fiddlehead) of a fern emerges in a copper-colored curve from a dense, smoky ground. In her poem, How to Synthesize, Sears writes, “what’s at work below/what bubbles up/black gold/bluegreen algae/poetry of your data.” Mare’s work is indeed poetic. She paints the poetry of the Tree of Life.
ART ABOUT TOWN
MUSEUM VIEWS PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART Interstitial (March 5-August 6, 2017) CRAFT & FOLK ART MUSEUM Material as Metaphor (May 28-August 20, 2017) Words Peter Frank
Bricolage can be regarded as the ultimate modern/post-modern impulse, the collage aesthetic physically applied to everyday life. In the context of artmaking, bricolage is a form of assemblage, but one that disregards the fetishization of disuse we associate with typical assemblage practice. In bricolage, it does not matter whether any element has outlived its original function. In fact, bricolage gives some value to the relative newness, and associated usefulness, of its elements. This is not junk being recycled, but objects being repurposed. Duchamp’s Readymades were the first bricolates (to coin a term). Two, fortunately overlapping, exhibitions explore the breadth of bricolage and its powerful presence in the practice of so many (mostly) Los Angelesarea sculptors. Both Interstitial at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) and Material as Metaphor at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) weave in and out of the core values of bricolage, exemplifying its relationship to parallel practices such as material abstraction (the funky flip-side of finish/fetish), junk sculpture (the “traditional” 1960s-street-art ethos of assemblage), and straight-ahead sculpture (defining space and mass through obdurate substance). Interstitial makes a virtue of domesticity and inferred intimacy. The “interstitial space,” according to curator John David O’Brien, exists, “between the worlds of everyday objects and a variety of artistic genres… where [the objects’] standard functions are suspended.” Material as Metaphor is less concerned with bricolage per se and more with the sculptural potential of fiber art, but the artists presented here largely incorporate, sometimes to the point of depending on, bricolaged material to bolster their adventures—or, in some cases, engage fiber as a bricolaged source. 58
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Joel Otterson, from the Interstitial exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art
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Curatorially, perhaps, it’s unfair to place Material as Metaphor under the same rubric as Interstitial, given the latter show’s promulgation of bricolage and the former’s exploration of a different (if not altogether removed) practice. But all the artists represented in Material eschew any sort of mediumistic purity; each one recontextualizes fiber in a different way, at once questioning its purpose(s) while celebrating its native sensuousness. That recontextualization either employs non-fiber materials and, notably, objects, or it fashions fiber of some sort into provocative form—form that, again notably, fragments rather than blends three-dimensional shapes and thus puts the resulting jerry-built sculptures into the realm of the bricolated. Lisa Soto’s installation, for instance, pairs string and fishing line with shiny, ominous little things like bullet casings. Lloyd Hamrol and Kay Whitney rely on felt as a thing unto itself (rather than as a Beuysian poetic device or, like Robert Morris, a minimalist stand-in), positing a cascade of gray floes in Hamrol’s case and strung-up webs or barriers in Whitney’s—both self-reflexive uses of the material that rely on association in order to return to “pure” materiality. Senga Nengudi, and, in a very different way, Victoria May, work similarly with a wider array of cloths: May ranging as far afield as fake fur, blankets, rubber and even hardware in her almost geologic piles, while Nengudi collects various objects and substances in her repurposed-pantyhose structures. Every artist in the CAFAM exhibit, including Miyoshi Barosh, Phyllis Green, May Wilson, Christy Matson, Mary Little and Joel Allen, has something different to contribute to the show’s form-follows-fabric discussion—and by extension, to the broader investigation of bricolage. This is doubly true for the artists in Interstitial at PMCA, as the exhibition fairly preaches the bricolage gospel. Still, it does so with an eye to the poetic, finding its interstices in the region(s) where function drops off in favor of form. Certain of the participating artists, such as Jeff Colson, Kristin Morgen and Aili Schmeltz, include the trompe-l’oeil fashioning of ordinary objects out of extra-ordinary materials in their practices—although not to the exclusion of the found (or, if you would, chosen) object itself. In fact, there is a certain extravagance to the bricolaging going on here, exemplified by Shirley Tse’s recycled airplane trash receptacle stuffed with tubes which themselves contain interior lighting, or Joel Otterson’s faux wall of commercial pottery woven into a network of plumbing pipe, or Rebecca Ripple’s looming tree-like presence covered in vacuum-formed vinyl. But intimate gestures are also possible, for
Senga Nengudi RSVP Reverie A, 2011 Nylon pantyhose, sand, mesh screen Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM). Collection of Lauren and AC Hudgins
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instance in the floor pile Renée Lotenero has conjured out of her own quotidian experience. The elements here are figuratively and literally taken from her neighborhood, and hug one another as if trying to reassemble into a reimagined personal landmark. In 2005, the UCLA Hammer Museum mounted an important exhibition, Thing, which surveyed Southern California sculpture and landed often, and richly, on bricolage practice. Interstitial and Material as Metaphor follow in the wake of Thing, with their emphasis no less on the renewed than on the abject. This is a different kind of street art, one that goes into homes and stores at least as often as into gutters. THE MAIN MUSEUM Star Montana: I Dream of Los Angeles Alice Könitz: Circle Chairs, Triangle Chairs (May 7-July 23, 2017) Words Shana Nys Dambrot
Surely one must consider institutionally-presented work on its merits. In the case of the Beta Main phase of the emergent Main Museum, however, context is the king of meaning. Here is a circumstance where setting is both message and medium for the inspired interdisciplinary pairing of Star Montana’s photographs and design prototypes by Alice Könitz. Los Angeles is watching
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(Opposite) Alice Konitz Circle Chairs
(Above) Star Montana Mayra, 2014
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the museum build and design itself, giving itself conceptual programmatic and physical form in real time and in public—deliberately making the historic site’s architectural renovation, adaptive reuse and LA-focused studio residencies a sort of meta-spectacle of content and openly discussing what the Main’s personnel call “the museum-making process.” In that setting, not only each showing, but the pairing itself, is as much about giving that process meaning as it is about the work being exhibited. Montana began her residency at The Main in November 2016, and many of these works were created during that time, building on an existing project. Many of the subjects of Montana’s portraits are strangers from East L.A. or South L.A. Some are friends, some answered an open call. Each of these casually heroic, character-driven portraits is accompanied by a short but evocative and integral text describing the person’s life and the artist’s experience of meeting them. Montana operates with unsentimental empathy and a lack of obvious agenda beyond a desire to equalize the demographics of the institutionally-represented. Her project is driven, as so much great art is, by an integration of the artist’s education, her autobiography and an expression of the present cultural moment. We talk a lot about dreams, but what do we know about who is dreaming them? And where are they sitting, seeing and being while they look toward the future? A woman who wears the saints on her sleeve and a flower in her hair as the magic hour light caresses her thousand-yard stare. A man who wishes to be seen as both the paragon of strength and a welcoming presence. A young woman who embraced the arts of her own ethnic heritage as an escape from the oppression of her circumstances. A young man who buries it all in a sleepwalk through an assimilation-wrapped ennui. And Montana herself an artist from the neighborhoods she now inhabits anew, who left and prodigally returned to find both the place and herself unchanged and unrecognizable and actively uses her artistic practice to figure out what is really going on with all that. 64
ART ABOUT TOWN Alice Konitz. Triangle Chairs
Considering the environment along with its contents is a huge part of the ethos of The Main—itself occupying, celebrating and enacting the transformation of a historic neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles. So is the idea of assembling itself as a sort of long-term performative act; almost an inverted residency of itself. It’s very meta. And it reflects the institution’s commitment to all things local, and to welcoming an expanded audience that includes but transcends the cognoscenti. Design is always to some degree a question of function exercising a nuanced dominion over aesthetics. Könitz’s sculptural practice is responsive to its location and to its own existence as a social site, even when it is not functional per se. Or it is a hybrid, like a stage set. In the case of her sectional, reconfigurable seating designs (circle and triangle), Könitz’s lively, colorful, puzzle-piece and Op Art-inspired furnishings both activate architectural space and generate interactive optical impressions. Visitors are encouraged to take a survey about the pieces, asking them to consider that aspect of the visit which might otherwise be taken for granted: actually being there. 65
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FILM REVIEW ON IMBUING ART AND LIFE WITH MEANING Julian Rosefeldt: “Manifesto” with Cate Blanchett Words Megan Abrahams
“Art requires truth, not sincerity.” — KAZIMIR MALEVICH In writer-director Julian Rosefeldt’s dark, cold, grim, absurd, witty, engaging vision of the world, a sense of idealism—embodied in a quest for the meaning of art and life—prevails undaunted. The film, curiously timely in the present day, vaguely echoes the premise of Fahrenheit 451, the 1953 dystopian Ray Bradbury novel (and 1966 film) about a future society where books are banned and burned and a group of citizens memorize texts to preserve them, in effect becoming the books they were losing. In “Manifesto,” actor Cate Blanchett assumes the roles of 13 symbolic contemporary characters who ingeniously personify enduring manifestos of 20th century art movements, from Surrealism to Fluxus. Blanchett morphs into a startling range of characters—from a homeless man to an anchorwoman—who represent a montage of the central principals of movements championed by artists like Sol LeWitt in Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967) and Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969) and abstract expressionist painter Barnett Newman in The Sublime is Now (1948). There is little narrative knitting the film together, and almost no dialogue, only the impassioned soliloquies and implied snippets of story suggested by Blanchett’s characters in each vignette, along with setting and the actions and dress of the supporting, mostly silent, cast. What little narrative there is may be superfluous to the idea. What convincingly pervades the film is a captivating sense of the absurd, found in the offbeat flavor of the contrived scenes Rosefeldt has conceived as the backdrop for framing the manifestos that propel this “un-story.” Out of the well of this absurdity, humor bubbles refreshingly to the surface, as in the vignette about a conservative mother who calls her two young sons and husband to lunch at the dining table. Before allowing them to begin eating, she subjects them to a seemingly endless recital of a parodied “grace” abstracted from 66
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I Am for An Art, the 1961 Pop Art Manifesto by Claes Oldenburg, which includes lines like, “I am for the art that a kid licks, after peeling away the wrapper.” Another vignette is a newscast about conceptual art, featuring an anchorwoman in the studio fielding commentary (adapted from texts by LeWitt, Sturtevant and Adrian Piper) by a reporter on “location” in a downpour of fake (conceptual) rain. Brilliant art direction, costumes, hair and make-up are central to the convincing visual essence of the film, and make Blanchett’s characters that much more fully realized. The film was shot in Berlin in 2015, in an astonishingly brief 11 days, so that Blanchett sometimes had to realize two roles of the 13, involving 12 different accents, in a single day. Rosefeldt seems adamant about making a case for authenticity in art. Concerned about the populist surge undermining democracies around the world today, the German artist/filmmaker presents “Manifesto” as a call to action. Bundled into a most unexpected package, he and Blanchett revitalize these movements and keep their motivating passions alive.
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GALLERY REVIEWS COAGULA PROJECTS LaVialle Campbell: In The Shadows (May 27-July 2, 2017) Words Peter Frank
LaVialle Campbell’s supposed weaknesses are in fact her artistic strengths. An African-American woman living with chronic disabilities, Campbell’s life should be freighted with burdens. If it is, her work reflects an attitude not of self-pity but of resistance and even triumph, and above all, of a life dedicated to exploration and invention. Campbell’s principal medium, quilting, is no stranger to contemporary discourse than is her gender, race or physical hindrance. But she does not exercise her art as a direct weapon in the cause, as, say, Faith Ringgold has since the 1960s. Rather, Campbell codes her experiences and her defiant responses deep into essentially abstract compositions; compositions which, in more traditional (or “tougher”) media would do white male modernists proud. The color and structure of Campbell’s compositions descends directly from Mondrian, Albers, Reinhardt and the panoply of 20th century geometric art. Campbell is only the latest woman and latest African-American to adopt this language as her own. But by adopting it to the pliancy of cotton, she derives a distinctive patois from that language. She limits her formal vocabulary to vertical and horizontal strips, some, flowering into clacking swirls of brilliant color, others, murmuring in the same shade of off-black. Both conjure the quilting tradition of course, especially as a manifestation of traditional southern Black female culture. (Campbell’s full color work, for instance, evinces the DNA of the Gee’s Bend, Alabama, quilting circle.) But they repurpose this tradition, from its village-wide context to that of an urban perspective. In Campbell’s hands, quilting is no longer a folk tradition but a modernist—okay, neo-modernist— position. One thing at play in Campbell’s sophisticated reassertion of quilting is a clever associative element playing—very much “playing”—around the edges. After all, she is producing two kinds of quilts, “colored” and “black.” The association of cotton with African-American history (even after Emancipation) is never far from the discussion. At the same time, by working for the most part on a scale that renders her work non-functional—producing quilts too small to be bedspreads but too big or too floppy to be potholders—Campbell further insists that we regard what she does as art rather than craft. Anni Albers is as much Campbell’s forebear as Joseph. 68
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LaVialle Campbell at Coagula Projects
Loaded and sensuous as they are, Campbellâ€™s quilts dominate her show, but she also displays several groupings of flocked glass. The plaques, comprising her Survivor series, are branded with single words, while the bulbs constitute her Bombs and Bubbles. There is something overly obvious about these objects; they lack the grace of the quilts, and their clunkiness is not altogether endearing. But the Campbell charm, and her appreciation for texture, do flicker through. These brittle presences are no mere paperweights. DAVID KORDANSKY GALLERY Lesley Vance: 12 Paintings (May 19-July 1, 2017) Words Shana Nys Dambrot
Oxblood, indigo, eggshell; sky blue, canary yellow, blood orange; the smooth knots of innards, the unfurling of silky banners, the gently impossible curves of Mobius strips, the drybrush gesturalism of calligraphy; saturated color blocks and flatly contoured sky ribbons; wet textures of ink and enamel, shadows falling like a trompe lâ€™oeil vignette. All of this and more lives and breathes, writhes and wriggles, loves and laughs in this captivating and compelling suite of new, untitled oil on linen paintings by Lesley Vance. Though each individual work expresses an individual soul (all measure 31 x 24 inches), a connective motif of serpentine interruptions arrays itself throughout the collection, where variations in the lexicon of chromatics and made marks rearrange themselves like conjugated verbs. 69
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Lesley Vance, Untitled, 2017. Oil on Linen. On view at David Kordansky Gallery.
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Pictorially eccentric—something like Twombly mimicking the Futurists— active and unsentimental, compressed like a botanical or geological cross-section lab sample, these works are demonstrably, objectively, assuredly non-figurative, and yet possess the emotionally evocative organic detail of familiar imagery. At times, the compositions read like enlarged microscopics, extreme close-ups on cursive writing or distressed cellular walls. Vance’s confident deployment of a range of brushwork techniques and surface treatments into optical and graphic puzzles creates strange versions of pictorial space, not unlike O’Keefe in the way abstraction and imagery flagrantly fungibly commingle in their atmospheres. One quality which makes these works a triumph of formalism ensconced in vibrant aesthetics is the surety and clarity of Vance’s compositional elements, when juxtaposed with the paradoxical dynamism of their own seafaring motion. They are both fast and slow, meditative and gyroscopic, clean and rough, managing to fuse divergent threads of modern abstraction into singular hybrid visions that demonstrate rather than merely illustrate their ideas. JASON VASS GALLERY Mark Dutcher: Another World (April 22-June 3, 2017) Words Michael McCall
When you walk into Another World, Mark Dutcher’s recent exhibit of paintings at Jason Vass Gallery, his poetic renderings grab you. Large-scale abstract works beckon you to come closer. The reworking, scribbling and loose brushwork of the artist’s hand present his mysterious imagery, both recognizable and abstract, for contemplation. Dutcher likes to draw with paint. His brushwork is not unlike Cy Twombly’s, but Dutcher’s imagery ranges widely, from geometric renderings to personal objects. His compositions vary in range from smaller works—which at times appear calmer and are perhaps more resolved—to larger, more complex paintings. Dutcher uses a simple visual element to contextualize his imagery: a loose, bordering line that frames each masterful presentation. His poetic pieces present an invitation to enter and to get lost inside. While most of the images are painted in light colors, using a white ground from which the elements radiate, Paint the World Out is particularly intriguing for its darker, saturated palette. Beneath the grid of blues, reds and yellows lies a deep space full of lush greens, suggesting landscape and nature. Nothing in that landscape is recognizable in a representational way. It is cool and contemplative. This visceral experience takes the viewer to the edge of a metaphoric forest. Are we entering a dark and dangerous area, or are we to hide out there, as if in a sanctuary? 71
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Mark Dutcher at Jason Vass Gallery
The Modernist geometry of pattern that Dutcher presents is softened by a verdant garden within. This is Dutcherâ€™s second show with the gallery. In both exhibitions, the artist built long benches that allow viewers to sit and ponder the work. These seats are minimal in comparison to the images on the walls. Dutcher asks you to pause and reflect. Upon taking the time to focus on the work, it becomes apparent how the artistâ€™s drawing with color, shape and form offers comfort and an opportunity to escape.
COLLECTION & EXHIBITION MANAGEMENT F R A M I N G • C R AT I N G • I N S TA L L AT I O N D E S I G N • T R A N S P O R T • FA B R I C AT I O N
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FRESH FACES IN ART
ARTISTS YOU SHOULD KNOW BY ARTRA CURATORIAL: MAX PRESNEILL (MP), KIO GRIFFITH (KG) & COLTON STENKE (CS)
YARON HAKIM Yaron Hakim makes drawings/paintings that follow stories of colonialism and trade, across cultures, across the seas. They are a travelogue as viewed through the prism of 18th and 19th century racism and fear, sailing across our gallery spaces, transient and fleeting. Time and place, space and time, are condensed into a shifting kaleidoscope, which is acknowledged and placed front and center of the fearful unknown. The idea that traveling opens the mind and brings us closer to understanding our own humanity is rejected in these paintings. They reveal our urge towards dominance, violence and control. Descriptions of cannibalism exacerbate the gulf between civilized and primitive, seen through the lens of those doing the describing. This leaves us with images that look like us but are not—a Them unrealized apart from ourselves, forever locked into what we already know, transcribing ourselves because we cannot truly see the Other; a sharp-edged mystery. Their rituals are placed into a context of our own, to try and relate it to the apprehensive consumers of the image. The perpetual outsider, the globe trekker, seeking answers and fascinated by the exotic while recognizing its fallacy, its lack of insight, its National Geographic distance. A figurative/abstract blurring occurs, and yet Hakim’s images are clearly historical, using old books’ renderings of the dangers of travel and bloodthirsty savages. Their bright but limited palette is at odds with the sense of struggle and urgency within the figures or the separated limbs. Loosely transcribed, almost cartoony, onto the sailcloth surface, they jostle with uncertainty. The wanderlust that seems integral to the artist is, as rendered on used sailcloth, a romantic piratical trade-wind of critique, blown off course and into adventure, on an imagined journey through the past, setting off into the future: www.yaronhakim.com (MP)
(Opposite) Yaron Hakim Tromelin
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MAYSHA MOHAMEDI Starting with a small, single guiding idea, Maysha Mohamedi’s minimal paintings offer seeming resolution and careful decision-making through an associative process. The artist sets her own limitations—how far her arm can reach, or toys instead of brushes—as parameters for her own experiments. She balances the liminal expectations of the artist with the rigorous approach of the neuroscientist she once was. In trying to discover meaning, whether it be of the Sublime, or existential anxieties, Mohamedi gestates the idea into forms and shapes with an intuitive resonance. The bodily aspect to her movement and relationship to the canvas implies a performative element, as does the inclusion of everyday objects from her environment— objects through which she engages the paint. She makes a painting about making a painting, told through the narrative of her daily life. Her tool-box of moves and counter-moves set up their reading as self-reflexive but informal, a taxonomy of gesture that is non-monumental, poignant and intimate. Although they play with symmetry, Mohamedi’s paintings skillfully avoid that deadening trap by allowing a wide latitude to the reflective aspects. The need for balance and order is never allowed to dominate the requirements of the painting. Compositional complexity is enhanced with these off-set versions of mirroring. The raw backgrounds allow for a more conceptual reading of the stages and relationships between marks; heightening the delicacy and immediacy of the paintings while increasing the sense of transience and fragility. They are moments in time, staged for our consideration, ready to disentangle and disappear like smoke rings: www.mayshamohamedi.com. (MP)
(Opposite Top) Maysha Mohamedi Dompteuse
(Opposite Bottom) Maysha Mohamedi Bleeding Green
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CINTIA SEGOVIA Immigrants have long come to the United States seeking abundance, a better economic opportunity or liberation from religious and political circumscriptions. As an essential element of the development of the nation, economically and socially, the country has relied on the constant flow of newcomers to diversify society and boost the economy. Unfortunately, in times of unrest abroad and internal economic struggles, anti-immigrant sentiments arise. It is easy to blame the foreigner when we fail, rather than studying policy decisions that have led us to those failures. Neither Native Americans (the original founders) nor African slaves were even considered citizens, and early on it was a question of whether the United States was a country of many or a nationality of one specific group. After the Mexican War in 1848, the United States claimed the territory that now includes California, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and parts of Colorado, Utah and Nevada. The Mexicans in these areas had the choice to return to Mexico or remain living in what was considered the United States. Most did not return, and the United States did not enforce any border laws on them. Such a lack of structure birthed a culture of â€œstraddlersâ€? working and living across the border. In the early decades of the 1900s, Mexican immigration into the United States rose dramatically as the demand for cheap U.S. labor grew once Chinese and Japanese immigrants were excluded from working here. Mexican workers were at a great disadvantage, however, as they had no working rights. Braceros from Central America, comprising the largest minority group in California (more than four million), left their families behind and came to work in the Steinbeckian fields of scarce resources and racial anxieties, citizens and non-citizens alike facing indiscriminate repatriation to Mexico. Los Angeles artist Cintia Alejandra Segovia relocated from Mexico City in 2009. She informs, advises and instructs her audience about underprivileged circumstances and situational risks that affect the diverse groups of refugees, expatriates and newly adopted citizens of this city. By employing mass media via commercials, news and variety programming, Segovia uses sub-plotting humor and jabs to address the real-life issues of immigration, cultural stereotypes, identity and multilingual life, but keeps the ball in cue for needed reform: www.cintiasegovia.com. (KG)
(Top) Cintia Segovia Video Installation
(Bottom) Cintia Segovia De Chile Mole y Dulce
FRESH FACES IN ART
LENA WOLEK Spirits rooted in animism often exist independent from definitive religious forms. They have an intersecting ontological premonition, an everyday existence and an invisible realm populated by the presences of ghosts, spirits, ancestors and demigods. A particular deflection encompassing spirit-journeys in this realm, is the shamanistic practice in Siberia. With its involvement in the cult of the dead, of ancestors and mountains and in rituals of animal sacrifice, the deepest message of Siberian animism is to balance man and nature. Lena Wolek conceives artworks in the Siberian spirit, works that straddle the distinctive concepts between soul, spirit and nature. In their primal magical-ritual thoughts, humans form souls, while spirits dwell in the abstract sentiment relating to a diverse spectrum of natural phenomena, as in the common dream experienceâ€”flying existentially independent of their bodies, soul visitations ancestors, friends or the unknown spirit. Wolek plays out these conceptual scenarios in applied ceramics, woven fabric, and folk-derived paintings and drawings mediating the remnant overtones and folklore memories into 21st century sarcasm, irony and humor: www.lenawolek.com. (KG)
(Opposite) Lena Wolek From Arbitraitorâ€™s Clauset, 2016
(Below) Lena Wolek Untitled
WINNERS OF THE LUMIÃˆRE AWARDS
FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
During the Belle Époque, near the end of the 19th century, two wildly creative brothers, Auguste and Louis Lumière, began working in their father’s photographic factory in Lyon, France. The brothers went on to set artistic and intellectual circles on fire. To this day, their work continues to engage the world with a brilliant, creative intensity. The Lumière brothers gave those who love cinema and still photography a cornucopia of technical and creative inventions that have endured more than a hundred years. Fabrik Media is pleased to pay homage to them with our annual Lumière Awards, which celebrate excellence in photography and the moving image. It was with great enthusiasm that we announced the Lumière Award winners at the 2017 Los Angeles Festival of Photography. These photographic masters were exhibited at the Photo Independent Art Fair, that ran concurrently with the photography festival, at The Reef, in downtown Los Angeles (April 21-23). After reviewing more than 500 entries from photographers representing 30 countries, our expert judges selected three major award winners and 15 honorable mentions. “Each year we are humbled by the caliber of talent and global reach of this competition,” said Chris Davies, Founder and President of The Lumière Awards. “The fact that we had a tie for first place shows just how exceptional the submissions were this year.” The Photographer of the Year award was shared by two photographers: Szymon Barylski from Ireland and Dongwook Lee from South Korea. Armineh Hovanesian from the United States was awarded this year’s Mobile Photographer of the Year. Receiving honorable mentions were Jennifer Baird, Australia; Sergey Bisirkin, Russia; Peter Braunholz, Germany; Chris Vanden Broeke, Belgium; Paul Crampton, Canada; Alexa Coughlin, USA; Katinka Kemp, Australia; Anita Kovacevic, Austria; Alexvi Li, China; Rebecca Lodin, Australia; Erin McGean, Canada; Michelle Robinson, Australia; SameSource, USA; Felicia Simion, Romania; and Gili Yaari, Israel. The Lumière Awards conducts an annual open call for photographers of all backgrounds possessing an uncommon vision. The awards call for, “expansive, images that rupture, reveal, disrupt and free how we feel and see,” with the goal of celebrating the most iconic photos taken by new and emerging talent as well as professionals from around the world. The three Lumière Award Grand Prize winners each received a cash award, solo exhibition booth at Photo Independent 2017, and many other prizes. Honorable Mention winners were part of a group exhibition at Photo Independent 2017. View the list of winning photographers and their photographs on the following pages... 84
FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
THIS YEAR’S LUMIÈRE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD WINNERS GRAND PRIZE WINNERS 1.
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Szymon Barylski, Ireland
PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Dongwook Lee, South Korea
MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR Armineh Hovanesian, USA
HONORABLE MENTION 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17.
Felicia Simion, Romania Michelle Robinson, Australia Rebecca Lodin, Australia Alexa Coughlin, USA Alexvi Li, China Paul Crampton, Canada Jennifer Baird, Australia Erin McGean, Canada SameSource, USA Anita Kovacevic, Austria Sergey Bisirkin, Russia Gili Yaari, Israel Peter Braunholz, Germany Chris Vanden Broeke, Belgium
FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
ON THE STREET: SHOWCASING STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FROM AROUND THE WORLD On the Street is an international street photography competition produced by Fabrik Media. More than 200 photographers from eight countries submitted work to the competition. A jury of art critics, curators, art dealers and master printers reviewed hundreds of submissions. Of these, 45 photographs were selected for exhibition at the Photo Independent Art Fair, held at The Reef in downtown Los Angeles, April 21 to 23, 2017. Following the fair, On the Street moved to Fathom Gallery in downtown LA. The gallery hosted an opening night reception on April 29, as well as an artist-curator roundtable event on May 25. The moderators included Frances Coiro, owner of Fathom Gallery, competition judge Phil Tarley as well as photographers SameSource and Robert Landau. Fathom’s month-long exhibition closed on May 29, 2017. SameSource, who was awarded an honorable mention at the Lumière Awards, was also featured in On the Street. “Street photography constantly responds to changes in technology and culture, and I want to thank Fabrik for supporting the genre,” said the artist, “Having my work featured at Photo Independent, has not only been a thrill, but has also opened doors for me.” Van Jazmin, another photographer in the On the Street exhibition said, “Being selected for the competition gave my work validation. I feel more confident and humbled after seeing my images hanging alongside photographers who are in major collections and museums.” Judges for the competition included Paul Bridgewater, New York; Frances Coiro, Los Angeles; Khodr Cherri, Los Angeles; Bert Green, Chicago; Sarah Lee, Los Angeles; and Phil Tarley, Los Angeles.. The judges—using the criteria of lighting, composition, mystery and emotional tonalities—sought to find work that epitomized the best in street photography. Chosen for special recognition and prominently displayed, mounted in exhibition frames, the top three winners are featured on the following pages. Fabrik thanks all the talented photographers who entered the competition. On the Street will return in 2018 as an annual Photo Independent event. 94
FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
On The Street Photography Competition: Second Place Winner, Paul Kessel
On The Street Photography Competition: Third Place Winner, Michele Palazzo
On The Street Photography Competition: First Place Winner, Gillian Hyland
FABRIK PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS
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Property above features Decorative Tiles, Risers, Pavers, Ceramic Art, Pottery and Planters. El Jardin, Santa Barbara. Architect Jeff Shelton.
Phone: (323) 235-4151 Web: www.calpot.com
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 your 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
PHOTO: SHAUN ROBERTS. WWW.SHAUNROBERTS.NET
Curating monthly at the Fine Arts Building Gallery 811 W. 7th Street Los Angeles, California 90017 The Lobby of the Fine Arts Building is open to the public
21st Century Art Presented in Extraordinary Architectural Settings
LOS ANGELES 849 S. BROADWAY LOFT 905 LOS ANGELES, CA 90014
CONTACT LISA AMES 805-217-2186 WWW.ARTMEETSARCHITECTURE.COM
OCTOBER 6-8, 2017 THE REEF | 1933 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA
AUGUST 10–13, 2017
AUGUST 15–18, 2017
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, NM
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, NM