Thursday, February 25, 2010

Culver City Art walk this Saturday

I cant believe it's been a month since I was in Culver City for openings last... time certainly does fly.

This Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010, we will be walking La Cieniga and Washington in style with a the rest of the art walk masses. The art walk here is a great event and great fun to come out for. Shows of note I recommend seeing:

Michael Reafsnyder

Put It There: New Paintings and Ceramics

What is amazing about Michael's paintings is that they are done all in one sitting yet they remain extremely colorful and rich. If you have ever painted before you know that if you work on a piece with that much paint in it for very long, it can get 'muddy' very quickly. Complimentary colors mix together and you are left with an array of brown and greys...which isn't usually a good thing. These paintings are rick and alive and magic!
visit Western Project to check em out... try to find the happy face in each one.

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Mark Grotjahn
Seven Faces

Visit Blum & Poe (across the street from Western Project) to see more...

David Ratcliff
Visit Honor Fraser (down the street toward the freeway) to see more.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trueman / Rash show in Claremont

In my last post I mentioned an exceptional set of Claremont Graduate University artists.
Two of them have their thesis shows this week! The opening reception is tonight at 6:00pm, and, while a little late notice for you to attend, this is well worth seeing by the end of the week. If you cant, I will have many pictures up later this week.

I have watched the systemic work of Alison Rash grow and evolve in the past couple of years and am so pleased with how she has come into her own with the work in this show. A clean curration of confident colors, white backgrounds and alternating matte and gloss surfaces works in a very acrylic-like way for oil paints. Her repeating diamond, based on an insane personal logic are so fun and no two are the same color!

It is neat to see how this was inspired by a 3-dimensional installation piece she did in the fall. It filled as a curtain of tenuously hung points in this outdoor space. Sometimes we need to see things in a new dimension to understand them in your preferred format... 

This show coincides with the solo show of Chris Trueman. He probably possesses some of the best usage of acrylic paint I have seen. The pieces are digitized and yet organic, designerly yet raw all at the same time. It may just be me, but it's amazing how each painting seems to have a soundtrack of its own. Upon confronting each piece I feel like I want to give expressive sound effects for each one (and I have). Fun, fun work!

This one is my favorite... Just like a great piece of literature, it just gets better and you find more and more in it upon further inspection.

The galleries are open from 10:00 am-5:00 pm until Feb. 26th, 2010.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Culver City Art Walk

Dear readers,
I am so sorry that I have been MIA for the past couple of weeks. After a heavy art month in LA like January, I was left feeling the need for a little bit of a break... Not from art, but from venturing far to see art. Let me catch you up with photos from what I left hanging last month. On January 16, we ventured to Culver City for the first art walk of the New Year. We visited most all of the shows they had open, which is not for the weak footed. Parking is a bear if you don't get there early. The highlights are below.

Western Project had the inaugural show of its new La Cienega  location. Of to a good start in a revived space. The playful works fit beautifully. An old favorite of mine, but a soon to be new favorite of the LA art scene, Justin Bower had a knockout piece that absolutely stole the attention of the entire room. His androgynous youth faces are distorted in a digitized blue of superb painting. This one is on the milder side in comparison to the newest faces. But those eyes still pierce you. It was well received. Bower, and his big faces, where recently signed on at Western Project. We will be seeing more of them in the future. He is concurrently in a show on portraiture up at the Torrance Art Museum.... I need to get over to see that one too.

Also in the show was a perplexing work by Mark Dean Veca. That red is really intense when you stand next to it all night long.


I personally enjoyed the controversially irreverent flag pieces of Liz Young, a) because I love to see some down home sewing in an art gallery, and b) because they are just off enough to spark some serious conversation about patriotism, the flag and craft. Which it did. Do you think she is being offensive by sewing on the American flag?
Finally, the grandiose mural piece of Sush Machida Gaikotsu set the playful tone for the entire show, spanning the length of the log wall. I enjoy the graphic text element he places on the left of each of his pieces as his artist "signature" .

A one time treat that was up in this Culver City art walk was a pop up show but on by a group of graduate students from Claremont Graduate University. The cleverly named exhibition, "Crashing Culver", put out a good showing of strong abstraction and color in this alternative space next door to Roberts & Tilton. I really enjoy looking at work from all of these artists. In the show were works from Cole James, on fabric, and Michael Knight, who is a wiz with Flash acrylic paints.


Curator/artist, Chris Truman (right), along side a devoted fan. 

And the playful feminine works of Alison Rash. What may, on first glace seem decorative, is actually the result of a complex system for organization.

We look forward to their annual Open Studio day at the school on April 25, 2010... More details to follow.