Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mid-Week Shows

For those of us that work full time, the middle of the week is sometimes a hard time to get out for a little show here or there. Openings at college/university galleries often run on Tuesdays or Thursdays and can be well worth attending. Student, and especially graduate student shows might have a few words from the artist offering insight into their developing work. This is a wonderful opportunity to see what is going on in academia and the arts and get sneak peaks of artists that might be the next big art stars of the future. On this blog, I hope to spend some time on new and emerging artists, featuring new work that I find of merit.
This week lead me to a group show at Chaffey College on a cold rainy night... I would not particularly recommend the trek in such weather but this college art department might be worth following.
Tomorrow night, the Pitzer College Art Galleries will host a reception for their current group show "CAPITALISM IN QUESTION (because it is)." with guest juror Daniel Joseph Martinez. Look out for the juicy work of Grant Vetter. Head east, up the 210 or 10, to Claremont for good times and good art.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weekend Events

We went to the LA Art show on Saturday with some friends. It was expansive, as expected. There was really no one gallery that I was totally blown away with, but there where certainly pieces that were worth noting. Unfortunately, when we walked in there was a big sign that said "no photography". Bummer. I made a list of artists I wanted to mention and I will have to go find images of them for you to enjoy.

This coming weekend the Pacific Design Center is hosting Art Los Angeles Contemporary (not to be confused with the previous event). While not quite as large at the LA Art Show, this event will house most of LA's big hitter galleries as well as quite a few from New York and beyond. This will be a good chance to compare the flavor of each of these exceptional galleries side by side. We will be there, you should too!

Art Los Angeles Contemporary:
January 29 - 31
Opening Night Public Reception: Thursday, January 28
Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Go to the LA ART SHOW

Ok. I went to this last year, and regretted my shoe choice, but was blown away by the sheer number of pieces and galleries in one place. Now, this is no art Basel, but if your in the area its worth going to. Some of it was good, lots of it was just ok or not my taste and some of it was terrible. But still, it is a wonderful way to see the trends that are going on out beyond our golden city.

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Its at the LA convention center. If you are going, tomorrow is the last day. Print out a coupon online to save $5.
Maybe I'll see you there!

Behind on ACME

I know I promised a review of ACME's abstraction show with images and all, and I will not disappoint. So much to do! Non Identical Abstraction, featuring Alexis Harding, Robert Linsley, Michael Murphy and Sasha Peirce, is up until Feb. 6, so there is still time. I think that it is one of the better shows they have had in a while.
The objective of looking at abstraction from various angles along side the work of Robert Linsley was well done by Jan Tumlir.
While personally attracted to Linsley's paintings for their map like qualities, they left something to be desired in a minimalist approach to abstract painting. These islands of singular color floating on a pristine background were poetic with zen like elements. I imagine the artist dreaming up each solitary shape, or seeing them (like islands on a map, which I have been recently obsessed with separating) and fixating on their every turn. Hanging the smaller works above was an interesting perspective to their set apart nature.

The paintings of Alexis Harding were undeniably seductive. I dont know if it was the garish use of the pinkest pink or the visceral gravity of paint, which she used to its own devices. One would have to have experimented quick a lot with mediums and drying times to get this look down. It was, illusionistically, like a silk curtain falling down.
Here is a closer look:
Finally, the tapestry like works of Sasha Pierce were insane. Talk about making paint be something that it is not. These works had that "how in the heck did she do that?" and "I think I would go insane doing that" factor, which always makes for interesting conversation. The works didnt seems like much from a far. I wasnt even sure what I was looking at when I checked it out ahead of time on the website. But they are crazy detailed. She must have used a syringe to apply the paint in multicolored strands like the finest silk thread. Does the use of oil paint make these abstraction? Or is it really still just pattern. The textile element could not be denied, and the pattern not variant enough to seem like decidedly composed. Still, I was mesmerized. I stood in front of them for a few minutes debating with a random stranger whether or not it was indeed paint. The smudges and drips of paint off the edge is really the only indicator. I might have smelled and touched them to verify, but that is poor form, unless you are in a studio with permission from the artist. I eventually won the debate with random lady because she left her glasses at home.
The evidence:

Beautiful detail and retro color palette:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Saturday gallery marathon

We made a day out of going into LA on Saturday. Starting with visits to Culver City (including an unsuccessful Nova Color stop - they were closed), afternoon at Bergamot Station, dinner at the grove with old friends and rounded out the evening with our trusty ACME opening crew.
Sorry, I forgot about the whole taking pictures thing in Culver City, but there will be plenty from tomorrow's shows there. I highly recommend the current show at Kinkead Contemporary. They have a great little space and the paintings of Jered Sprecher, though elementary on first glance, have a very powerful visual vocabulary that I really enjoyed.

Onto Santa Monica - The much anticipated Allison Schulnik show, "home for hobo" is now up at Mark Moore Gallery. While Schulnik's extravagant use of meaty paint is intoxicating to the painter in me, the work is on the grunge side. This decided aesthetic seems a little over used to me. Her recent success in the past few years, brought on by her depictions of the clown/hobos have been valuable because of the complex irony of the subject matter, paired with her confident application of much paint. A clown, intended for the purpose of laughter and happiness is a character often riddled by other darker associations in connection to the circus, or the dual life someone like that might lead. The dark depiction of other characters of the night are strangely paired in this show. Dismal pieces were offset by a bright, large-scale landscape on the far wall and a few floral still life peices, in the same meaty/painterly fashion. Im a fan of the raccoons here (to the right)... See the amassed paint from this angle. Where her work really shines is in her novel use of motion stop claymation, like the kind I grew up on but translated to the adult art world. It perfectly marries sculpture, performance art, painting and music in one. If you haven't seen the Grizzly Bear Video, you should check it out. The first time I saw it I couldn't take my eyes off of it.
Also at Bergamot, showing at Rosamund Felsen Gallery , were some collage pieces of C.K. Wilde. For those of you who dont know me, I am a map artist. I love all things map, so I was instantly drawn to these pieces.
The use of various maps to create an iconic landscape was nicely done. I can image all of the culling it took to amass all the maps needed for especially the large pieces. What I am unsure of is the repeated mustang form in each piece. I think the smaller works capture the language and the beauty of the maps more successfully. The coastline of the map (below) offers a more interesting mountain range/horizon line and creates a dialogue relating the sea as the sky.
After seeing all that and more at Bergamot we ventured to Beverly Hills to visit some friends. On the way to dinner, at the Grove, in the middle of the busy city, from the elevated view of a parking garage, I was awarded by the most beautiful sunset. Regard, LA:

More to come about the show at ACME.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 off to a good start

January is going to be a hot month for art in LA. With tons of opens, the Culver City Art Walk and monumental events like Art LA and the LA Art Show, we are going to be busy busy. So here is what I have planned to drive to this month:

Jan 9: ACME Opening

Curated by Jan Tumlir Including: Alexis Harding, Robert Linsley, Michael Murphy, Sasha Pierce
January 9 - February 6, 2010
This looks like it will be an interesting show exploring variant forms of abstraction, which I am always drawn to.
To get to ACME LA follow the map below:

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And if you haven't been to the LACMA recently, it's very close and worth the trip.

I will post more shows as I hear of them. Please, feel free to let me know what you think is worth going to this weekend as well.

Monday, January 4, 2010

a new year, a new era

Welcome to the first post of the Greater LA Art Review. Through these pages I will share upcoming art openings, events and must see shows in the LA area as well as reviews of adventures of the art kind in this fabulous city.
In my own artwork, I am fascinated by maps, transportation and regional flavor. After driving cross country and living in the deep south for a spell, I am back to my roots and the bustling rush of Southern California. With all thats going on here, it's hard not to shout it out.
Each week, along with some help from guest blogger artists, I will share my plans for upcoming events and post reviews of work seen. As I've mentioned, getting to the art can sometimes be quite a feat amongst the disorganized city plan, crazy drivers and the typical traffic. I like to think of the art work as my reward for making it though all of the hubbub.

"I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They're beautiful. Everybody's plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic."
- Andy Warhol