Ornament and crime are not synonymous to Zhou Yilun, however. His influences begin with the Western, Judeo-Christian canons he studied and was trained to emulate in school, but skew more heavily to the laborers he saw building, tearing-down, painting, and repainting the structures in the city surrounding him, and the American basketball players, hip-hop stars, and black celebrities he grew up mythologizing and imitating. Zhou lifts and distorts techniques inherited from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Romantic eras, revisiting, perverting, and parodying their ideas for the new globalist regime. Each of his artworks is formed from the same bricolage of identity—the sum of stretcher, wood, and canvases painted, deconstructed, and constructed again. Zhou’s practice is alive with Chinese bones and Western sinew and flesh, torn down and built back up with the same materials again and again, so that the elements that once existed as ornament are now integral to the identity and essence of each artwork itself. "Ornament and Crime" will be on view @ Nicodim Gallery 571 S Anderson Street Ste 2 until February 17. photographs by Oliver Kupper
Kayne Griffin Corcoran presents the gallery’s second solo exhibition of work by, 96 year-old American born, Italy based sculptor, Beverly Pepper. The presentation will highlight the work this great artist created early on in her career between 1958–1967. During this period, Pepper carved out a niche in her own signature sculptural language. In addition to early works, the exhibition will include works from later years: 1970–1980. The show title, New Particles From The Sun is culled from a poem written by Frank O’Hara. The exhibition focuses on this timeline of works both for their rarity and their significance to the narrative of American sculpture. Beverly Pepper’s work in metal, especially steel, places her in the rightful legacy of the pioneering and revolutionary sculptors celebrated throughout art history."New Particles From The Sun" will be on view @ Kayne Griffin Cocoran 1201 S. La Brea Ave until March 9. photographs by Oliver Kupper.
Walking into Rosha Yaghmai’s studio is a little bit like walking into the laboratory of a junkyard hoarder/mad scientist. There’s a distinctly pleasant organization to the vast collection of Los Angeles detritus that extends from the studio to the backlot outside. The walls are plastered with images from torn magazine pages, postcards, posters, watercolors and collage works. It’s as though you could hold a microscope to any detail in the room and discover a tiny world within. Click here to read more.
Untitled (America)/Debris Field/Synecdoche/Notes for a Poem on the Third World, is an exhibition of new work by Glenn Ligon now on view at Regen Projects. For this exhibition, Ligon will present a new series of silkscreen paintings based on abstracted letter forms and several neon installations. Glenn Ligon’s wide-ranging multimedia art practice encompasses painting, neon, photography, sculpture, print, installation, and video. His work explores issues of history, language, and cultural identity.
Over the years, Ligon has created neon sculptures that illuminate various phrases or words in charged and animated ways. Notes for a Poem on the Third World, Ligon’s first figurative sculpture, is comprised of a large neon based on a tracing of the artist's hands that takes its inspiration from an unrealized film project by Pier Paolo Pasolini. Pasolini claimed that it was the "discovery of the elsewhere" that drove his identification with the struggles of non-Western peoples and people on the margins of the West. Ligon's neon, with its ambiguous gesture of greeting, protest, or surrender, is the first of a series of works inspired by Pasolini’s project."Untitled (America)/Debris Field/Synecdoche/Notes for a Poem on the Third World " will be on view @ Regen Projects 6750 Santa Monica Blvd until February 17. photographs by Oliver Kupper.
Outdoor Sculpture is Evan Holloway's first exhibition to consist solely of objects conceived for outdoor installation. Though they require intensive planning and fabrication, the open -air settings for which they are intended are necessarily less predictable than white - walled galleries. Holloway thereby reimagines the ephemerality and provisional quality of his earlier work, which often included performative elements or unorthodox materials, in a more expansive register and at a larger scale. As he confronts technical issues of size, visibility, and durability that come along with the possibility of placing objects in the landscape, his forms have evolved in a variety of ways; the exhibition showcases a diverse range of sculptural languages, each of which addresses a different set of questions regarding form and signification.Outdoor Sculpture is on view through March 2 at David Kordansky Gallery 5130 W. Edgewood Pl. Los Angeles. photographs courtesy of David Kordansky Gallery.
Long before the current administration’s ascendancy, the wheels had been turning in favor of hostile mechanisms of control. The blatant aggression and fascist broism of the present, however, have thrown into stark relief how identity and the gaze of another can be weaponized and internalized. Mark Verabioff’s practice is borne of the conjoined dynamics of identity and imaging and proposes self-definition as a position of resistance that can challenge cultural and political power structures. Existing at the intersection of autobiography and community, Poolside Drive-by is the mapping of an internal topography that tells us much about the artist’s choices and frames of reference, but also describes the kind of world in which he finds himself. Vulnerable, humorous, both reverent and irreverant, the work is grounded in Verabioff’s appropriative processing of cultural products and pushes against strictures of authorship, authority, and objectification. The show’s title, Poolside Drive-by, juxtaposes positions of blithe passivity and ruthless retaliation; when they go low, kick ‘em while they’re down.
Pooside Drive-by is on view through February 10 @ Team (bungalow) 306 Windward Avenue Venice, CA 90291. Image courtesy of the artist and team (bungalow). Photo: Jeff McLane.
In an effort to raise immediate funds and awareness for the Mayor’s A Bridge Home initiative - which gets homeless Angelenos immediately off the streets and into temporary housing - over 35 artists gathered in an art fundraiser on December 14. The event included works by Analia Saban, Andre Saravai, Antony Cairns, Dani Tull, Devendra Banhart, Sheree Hovsepian, Keith Tyson, Rob Reynolds, and Hiroshi Sugimoto. photographs by Lani Trock
Breaking the Prairie is Koak’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. “Prairie is not a term that seems to need breaking, not some bit of grassland, unknown and freshly wild, but rather a thing already tamed. To me the Prairie is barely a place of nature at all, not a field of today’s land that we could visit. In fact, it seems barely a place of the physical world. Instead, the Prairie is a vision, a fictional utopia of Americana or the long dead dream of vacancy waiting to be grabbed. The Prairie is a thought with its back already broken.” - Koak. Breaking The Prairie is on view through January 19 at Ghebaly Gallery 2245 East Washington Boulevard Los Angeles. photographs by Lani Trock
The Street & The Shop, was a one-day event at Tin Flats showcasing unique works from over 40 LA-based Artists and galleries. The flea market was an homage to Oldenburg’s pop art experiment and featured artists like Simon Haas, Alex Becerra, Steve Hash, Ammon Rost, Jake Kean Mayman and more… The first edition of The Street & The Shop took place at Tin Flats, 1989 Blake Ave, Los Angeles. photographs by Agathe Pinard
Narcissus Garden has been re-installed and commissioned in various settings since its creation more than 50 years ago. This iteration is comprised of 750 stainless steel silver globes that create an infinite lake that distorts images of reality reflected on the surface of the 12-inch orbs. Yayoi Kusama "Narcissus Garden" will be on view until April 28, 2019 at Bellagio Gallery Of Fine Art in Las Vegas.
“We live in a world with very strong norms and archetypes about how our bodies are to be interpreted. These archetypes can be so loud that we lose touch with our own ability to make meaning of the forms we inhabit,” says Maceo Paisley about Dynamite, a new short performative film directed by Iranian-American director and activist, Leila Jarman - and a score by Michael Sempert. Investigating gender and masculinity (more specifically the American black male experience), Dynamite guides us through narrative incorporating movement, spoken word, and chant, as it uncovers truths about race and success in an ever-changing social landscape. In the end, the film exemplifies the metamorphosis of identity, light to dark, unconsciousness to consciousness.
Some interesting facts about leopards: they are solitary animals that hunt in open terrains, they are difficult to track in the wild, they are extremely adaptable to new environments, and they often leave claw marks on trees to mark their territory. In Chuck Arnoldi’s expansive Venice Beach studio, a dusty, taxidermied leopard is perched, mid-roar, above the kitchen alcove. There is something strangely symbolic about this once ferocious, now inert genus of panthera. Click here to read more.
Big Pictures Los Angeles is pleased to present Sweet Cheeks, a group exhibition of works that explore the playful and sublime aspects of the human form by portraying the most intimate parts of our bodies. Through the use of line, color, and texture the artists evoke ideas of desire and love. From tender and vulnerable to burlesque and comical, the figures featured in Sweet Cheeks celebrate the self without concern for outside admiration. These works exude an appreciation of life—and of all the luscious shapes that nurture and inspire us.
Sweet Cheeks is curated by Mélanie Faure & Doug Crocco and features the following artists: Eve Ackroyd, Amy Bessone, Alison Blickle, Manny Castro, Anthony Cudahy, Camilla Engstrom, Helen Rebekah Garber, Wendell Gladstone, Kady Grant, Jenna Gribbon, Nikita Gurnani, Aramis Gutierrez, Julie Henson, Shaun Johnson, Kara Joslyn, Emma Kohlmann, Alice Lang, Lilian Martinez, Max Maslansky, Joshua Miller, Laurie Nye, Vanessa Prager, Hayley Quentin, Caris Reid, Alyssa Rogers, Marty Schnapf, Kira Maria Shewfelt, Corri-Lynn Tetz, Julie Weitz, Brittney Leeanne Williams, Paula Wilson.
Sweet Cheeks will be on view at Big Pictures 2424 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018 through December 8. photos by Lani Trock
To Hugo Wilson, animals are mirrors of human consciousness. We project our desires, hopes, and impulses onto the animal, and the animal reflects, refracts, and hurls them back to us. Unlike the Old Masters he references in his paintings and bronzes, however—George Stubbs, Peter Paul Rubens, Nicolas Poussin—Wilson’s menagerie is not beneath the human on the food chain or emblematic of the love of Christ. These creatures are Gods themselves, emerging from turbulent clouds of divine ether, meme warfare, and YouTube clips with agendas all their own, radiating their sentience in neon geometric yantras. In our eagerness to apply our own personal narratives to Wilson’s beasts and the baroque noise from which they emerge, one begins to question herself, her own genesis and binary belief systems: Is this the birth or demise of the universe? Why can’t Jesus be an ostrich? Is that really what a zebra’s teeth look like? Wilson’s work doesn’t answer. Wilson’s work is. Hugo Wilson’s solo exhibition will be on view at Nicodime Gallery 571 S Anderson Street Ste 2, Los Angeles, CA 90033 until December 22. photographs by Lani Trock
A suite of three large-scale drawings encircle the room. They show Mureșan’s voracious appetite for metabolizing the reference indexically. This tabula scripta is rewriting art history without affect, without nostalgia, rather as something akin to data mining, a forensic nutrition for the eye as it smudges across the surface.
I bet you’re wondering what that carnage before you is. This is Mureșan’s newest untitled sculptural installation. The work shows the process of writing history played out through the live-action drama of sectarian slapstick. Mureșan has made several archetypal forms atop pedestals that have run amok in the gallery. Wax reductions of spiritual forms, icons, churches and spires, all in a soft beeswax that is more Brancusi than Orthodox, fight for momentary status of survival. Here the pantheon has turned itself into a Thunderdome as these sibling sculptures rival for supremacy.
This is how cultural sausage is made.
Ciprian Muresan’s solo exhibition will be on view at Nicodim Gallery 571 S Anderson Street Ste 2, Los Angeles, CA 90033 until December 22. photographs by Lani Trock
CHRISTEENE presented a screening of videos released through their long-term collaboration with filmmaker and cinematographer PJ Raval, accompanied by discussion of these and CHRISTEENE’s broader practice encompassing choreography and song-writing, with writer Paul Clinton. Clinton and CHRISTEENE narrated a curated screening programme of the artist’s videos. photographs by Flo Kohl
"I can't talk about art or ideas or the creative act. I dream, day and night. Most of the time I dream about something that didn't happen to me and is not going to happen to me. It is called thinking, and that is a riddle wrapped inside a mystery and inside, is a mystery of me. My thinking is like watching TV. Nothing happens. I want to be lobotomized by boredom. I dream as if it were happening, both past and present, day and night. People talk about ideas and inspiration. I don't think I have that kind of body or mind. I don’t know where dreams come from and I don’t know where you go to find ideas; you either have a helium connection to feelings or you don’t. I can't talk about dreams or what things mean. I have silence in my brain and it sits on my tongue. Hiding in my head is the dream and I pick up a brush or a pencil and let it out. I can't put it into words, I can only paint or draw it. If you find a dream, work with it, if you don’t have dreams get a job (I worked at CVI making stretchers for 25 years). If you read a book or a newspaper or travel to another country, that is good for your life, but don’t take that stuff into your studio. I don’t know what influences me, or who; but I am guilty of looking at art. I do not feel like I missed anything by not painting or drawing for 26 years. If you stop breathing you die, if you stop making art, nothing happens, you just find something else to do. Now, I feel like painting and here I am: a painter.” - Fred Escher
Killer Diorama is on view through December 9 @ Catbox Contemporary in Ridgewood, NY. photographs courtesy of Catbox Contemporary
Fire Island, Edmund White writes, is a place of rituals, where dinners, tea-dances and sex parties rhyme in the ‘imagination with the rituals of medieval Japan or Versailles’. This composite sensibility, of the past rhyming with the present, of anarchy blended with grandeur, is manifest in Matthew Leifheit’s photo series Fire Island Night. In the Belvedere Guest House in Cherry Grove, a male-only and clothes-optional hotel, intimate scenes play out amidst the faded glamour of gaudy interiors. A nude model, classical and twink-like, reclines on a bed beneath a chandelier; elsewhere, a nude with his back to the camera uncannily meets our gaze in the reflection of a mirror. Out on the balcony older guests congregate like gatekeepers standing amidst the ornate matter of their culture. In a different Cherry Grove palace, fire meets its symbolic opposite, Leifheit’s dispatches from the dance-floor of The Ice Palace Nightclub.
Although no single area of Fire Island can account for its multiplicity, the beach offers a distinct reflective space for taking stock of this infernal paradise. It is there that the narrator of Andrew Holleran’s iconic 1978 novel “Dancer from the Dance” sat to recall the blur of faces and parties, past denizens of a place where ‘death and desire’ are inextricably linked, in a passage eerily prescient of the HIV/AIDS epidemic that began to ravage the island community just a few years later.
Leifheit captures this funereal quality, photographing the death site of Margaret Fuller, one of a number of notable fatalities, but also, in another image, the attendant notes of hope and solidarity. In Wave (Hudson and MeHow), (2018), two figures embrace in the surf of a wave, like the ‘two boys together clinging’ in Walt Whitman’s utopian vision of America’s queer future. Captured amongst the waters and sands of a place that has long provided refuge from the oppressive, it is an image of intimacy that feels true to the island’s word; an image, simply, of fighting fire with fire.
— Jack Parlett, 2018
Matthew Leifheit's "Fire Island Night" will be on view at the Deli Gallery 10 Waterbury Street Brooklyn, NY 11206 through December 2, 2018. photos courtesy of Deli Gallery
Zoe Leonard: Survey is the first large-scale overview of the artist’s work in an American museum. The exhibition looks across Leonard’s career to highlight her engagement with a range of themes, including gender and sexuality, loss and mourning, migration, displacement, and the urban landscape. More than it focuses on any particular subject, however, Leonard’s work slowly and reflectively calibrates vision and form. Using repetition, subtle changes of perspective, and shifts of scale, Leonard draws viewers into an awareness of the meanings behind otherwise familiar images or objects. A counter-example to the speed and disposability of image culture today, Leonard’s photographs, sculptures, and installations ask the viewer to reengage with how we see. The exhibition is on view through March 25, 2019 at The Geffen Contemporary At MOCA 152 N Central Ave, Los Angeles. photographs by Oliver Maxwell Kupper
Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again positions Warhol's career as a continuum, demonstrating that he didn't slow down after surviving the assassination attempt that nearly took his life in 1968, but entered into a period of intense experimentation. The show illuminates the breadth, depth, and interconnectedness of the artist’s production: from his beginnings as a commercial illustrator in the 1950s, to his iconic Pop masterpieces of the early 1960s, to the experimental work in film and other mediums from the 1960s and 70s, to his innovative use of readymade abstraction and the painterly sublime in the 1980s. His repetitions, distortions, camouflaging, incongruous color, and recycling of his own imagery challenge our faith in images and the value of cultural icons, anticipating the profound effects and issues of the current digital age. From A To B And Back Again is on view through March 31, 2019 at Whitney Museum Of American Art 99 Gansevoort Street New York. photographs courtesy of Whitney Museum Of American Art