Kent Twitchell's work is well known to most Los Angelenos who do not otherwise know the first thing about art. His murals grace the facades of key freeway and other walls throughout Los Angeles. It is therefore a treat to see Twitchell's related studies and drawings inside the gallery context...
LOS ANGELES — No matter where he stands, Kent Twitchell looks to be in scale with the environment. At Lam Gallery in Los Angeles, he greeted friends who had come to the opening reception of Kent Twitchell: The Man Who Paints Giants, a show filled with photographs, renderings, and sketches of his signature massive California murals, including the eight-story “Harbor Freeway Overture” he completed in 1993; one of his smaller works, “Nelson Mandela Monument,” installed on a piece of the Berlin Wall in 2014; and a photo of his two-story “The Freeway Lady” from 1974, a portrait of the adored matriarch for 101 freeway commuters that was recreated at Los Angeles Valley College and dedicated Thursday. One of the works displayed was actual size: the head of Ed Ruscha, which Twitchell will use in his next piece, “The Return of Ed Ruscha.” Production will begin in August, the artist says.
This past fall, the traveling exhibition titled “My Generation: Young Chinese Artists” completed its three-and-a-half month run at the Orange County Museum of Art. Among the stated goals of curator Barbara Pollack was to counteract expectations surrounding the style, subject and even mediums utilized by contemporary Chinese artists, and to do so through the work of those born after 1976 — the year of Chairman Mao’s death and, accordingly, the final year of the Cultural Revolution. While the parameters of “Across the Pacific" include no such age requirement — dates of the five Taiwanese artist’s birth on view range from 1955 to 1990 — there exists a similar drive to urge viewers to let go any preconceived notions.
In LA? Run, don’t walk to LAM Gallery for the stunning exhibit of the estate of the late Miriam Wosk. The pieces are for the most part writ large, floral, a kaleidoscope that spins the world into a rich, forested fantasia. In 2007, the artist described her work as a discovery of “a certain order in the chaos of life.” She termed her work both spiritual andsurreal., calling her paintings “symbolically autobiographical…an investigation into the patterns of human experience and perception.” Searching for a balance between spontaneity and design, the artist touches on “the sacred and the mundane, life and death.” Poignantly, as the artist is no longer with us, her work is bursting with life, an eternal experience that transcends her own death. In many of her pieces, the viewer senses a riftbetween this world and the next, this planet and another.
In the many years I've been covering LA's art scene, I don't remember a September so chock-full of must-see exhibitions all over town. So, mark your calendars for this coming Saturday, September 12, when six galleries will have opening receptions for a wide range of particularly appealing solo exhibitions.
Sally Bruno piles on the paint in her solo debut at LAM Gallery. So thickly layered is the paint and so visually tactile are the surfaces that her 14 recent works might almost be called relief sculptures.
Still lifes, birds, domestic interiors and gardens are Bruno’s most common subjects, and the inescapable pleasures of a self-made home are their shared motif. Formally, the color-drenched paintings derive from artists like Henri Matisse and David Hockney. Technically they owe a debt to artists for whom colored paint is a lush material substance to be relished in its own right, such as the early work of Joan Brown and more recent examples by Michael Reafsnyder.
The forms in Bruno’s pictures snap together like Lego bricks. Each flower petal, table leg or feather on a wing is a discrete chunk of color, sometimes monochrome but mostly multi-hued. The shapes are lavishly patterned, a syncopated visual rhythm established by repetitions of sinuous brushstrokes or vigorous stabs of paint, layer upon layer.
Tedious labor is oh so hard, let alone fun. But Sally Bruno shows otherwise, that having a good time while subjecting to a taxing, monotonous regimen is in fact an option. Bruno’s richly texturized paintings at LAM Gallery are orderly fun and peculiarly pleasant — imagine geeking out with close friends while consuming a modest amount of spiked fruit punch at a private garden party.
The process starts by dividing the picture plane like a poetic terraced rice field found in a provincial village. Diligently farming each plot of land with loose patterns, fluid motifs, and a whole lot of paint, Bruno eventually completes the picture. LA Woman is the most ambitious, both rhythmically and conceptually. Think adult coloring books or paintings by numbers laced with garishly red Cosmo or mojito with too much mint leaves.
Sincerity and levity collide, elegantly, in "Walking the Walk," Phyllis Green's appealing show at LAM.
The title refers to an actual journey--that of the disciple approaching a guru, as per a particular section of the Upanishad--and also making good on its prescribed ritual demand, the carrying of fuel as an offering.
The symbolic gesture entails actual physical hardship, and Green's body of work addresses that effort with a wink.
Responding to a specific version of the dictate calling for 'firewood on the head' instead of the more general 'fuel in hand,' the L.A.-based sculptor has designed a clever group of devices to ease the transport.
Love it or hate it, when it comes to imagining what our favorite literature or graphic novel characters may look like, Hollywood pretty much has the most impacting say. The images it produces stick and linger on and on, in the cultural zeitgeist. But even then, these big screen heroes and heroines are fluid constructs, as studios continuously churn out the remakes. Long before some real estate developers decided to put up the unsightly advertising sign up on the hill, artists all over the world painted, illustrated, and sculpted out of religious texts, marrying the palpably substantial with the imagination of the faithful. Phyllis Green’s recent wearable sculptures, now on view at LAM Gallery, do not veer too far from this tradition.
It’s quite rare that a body of work produced by a Guggenheim Fellow of Fine Arts finds a direct path to a commercial gallery, but Eva Chimento, Co-Founder and Director of LAM Gallery, has managed to coordinate such a set of circumstances.
Chimento’s gallery is currently exhibiting unforgettable curios by celebrated Los Angeles artist Phyllis Green in Walking the Walk. This exhibition is the culmination of a project proposal that won Green the Guggenheim fellowship in 2014, and it’s clear why such a lauded institution chose to endorse her vision – her artworks are completely seductive in their innovation, intelligence, and design.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- LAM Gallery is presenting its third exhibition with new work by artist Phyllis Green, entitled “Walking the Walk.”
The selection of eight mixed-media objects, which appear as garments, performance props and modernist sculpture, is the culmination of a project proposed to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation that appointed Green a Fellow in Fine Arts in 2014. This is its debut showing.
Inspired by her travels to India and the study of ancient texts—specifically, the Upanishads, writings that reveal the nature of reality and describe the means by which humans can become enlightened—Green has created physical manifestations of poetic metaphors and devotional rituals cited within one particular verse. The Mundaka Upanishad advises that the first step toward enlightenment is for individuals to approach a guru, or learned teacher, with wood (fuel) on their heads. (First Mundaka, Chapter 2, verse 12) A literal interpretation of this decree provided an imaginative departure point for Green to pursue her longstanding interests as a sculptor in the areas of craft, the body and the feminine. Constructed of diverse materials including wood, metal, cloth, fiberglass, porcelain and stoneware, the objects not only function as vehicles for carrying wood, but as receptacles for meaning and sensation, and the experience of both the artist and the viewer.
Paris Photo LA launched its third edition once again at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. The event was held over the weekend May 1-3 with it's VIP and press opening on Thursday April 30. Paris Photo LA is the sister fair of that held in Paris, France. The LA West Coast version included 80 galleries from 17 countries this year. Most of the fair took place within three large soundstages and among the outdoor New York City brownstone backlot. I was there photographing most of the weekend and talking to collectors and LA-based exhibiting gallerists and dealers. Luckily, I was there for the opening and stayed long enough to experience the fair at night, which became an all-together different kind of experience.
The sunny, subversive thrill of celebrating photography in the heart of movie-land is showing no sign of fading. Paris Photo Los Angeles has kicked off its third stateside edition at Paramount Pictures Studios, with the help of stars from both Hollywood (Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore) and the art world (Sterling Ruby, Catherine Opie). With 70 galleries from 17 countries exhibiting throughout three cavernous soundstages and the ersatz storefronts of Paramount's New York City backlot, this year's fair had an emphasis on emerging artists and young galleries to balance its strong roster of canonical image-makers.
'Paris Photo Los Angeles is a mix of historical and contemporary images, and it's a point of connection located in an iconic place,' said fair director Florence Bourgeois, noting the choice of 33 galleries to present solo shows spotlighting the likes of Guy Bourdin, Ralph Gibson, Liu Bolin, Matthew Rolston and Rachel Rom. 'It's a unique opportunity to really delve into the universe of each artist exhibited.
French society’s love of Los Angeles doesn’t end with Jerry Lewis. Three years into Paris Photo’s residency at the Paramount Pictures studios, it is readily apparent that the Gallic country’s largest and most successful photography and moving-image fair has comfortably settled into its second home.
And it’s not just the French who are colonizing Hollywood—the city is currently a magnet for New York gallerists and artists seeking more space for less rent. In fact, some 50 galleries have opened in the City of Angels since 2013 (the same year that Paris Photo descended on Paramount’s back lots). With Adam Lindemann unveiling Venus Over Los Angeles this past weekend, and Hauser Wirth & Schimmel slated to open a 100,000-square-foot space downtown in early 2016, the message is clear: Los Angeles is not simply an arts destination but a market player.
Dani Tull, too, has had a wide ranging career during which he has explored various avenues of interest in visual art but also performance. He is especially deft at radically adapting musical instruments and playing them in live events. (I've seen him mostly when performing with Jim Shaw with whom he shares an interest in end of the world strategies. In fact, he can be seen playing in Shaw's 2002 video now on view at The Armory in Pasadena.)
His talents are particularly evident in this current show, From Enchantment to Eschaton at a new Hollywood gallery LAM through April 11. On pedestals around the gallery, there stand leaf-shaped sculptures of thin sheets of cast acrylic that he has carved with the delicate patterns of spider webs, symbolic of a larger interconnectedness. Most are faint pastels, though a terrific one is bright red, with a strand of tiny beads threaded through a fissure, Unfolding the Leaf (Convergence) (2014).
Other sculptures feature cubic bases with mirrored tops bearing lit candles and delicate monofilaments that extend from the bases all the way to the ceiling like the single thread of a spider web. Beads of clear liquid glide along it so that the entire piece captures and reflects ambient color.
It’s been nearly 20 years since Monique Prieto emerged onto the LA art scene, after getting her MFA at CalArts in 1994. In her recent solo show—which inaugurated the new LAM Gallery on Highland Avenue—Prieto managed simultaneously to look backward and explore new ground, with paintings that were sumptuously vibrant. Initially, Prieto’s abstract sensibility found voice through blobby forms which she composed using a computer; the implicit contrast between seemingly freeform immediacy and pre-thought formal composition gave the works an elusive frisson. In their newest iteration—which feels like a breakthrough for the artist—Prieto has shifted from bulging globs (and, later, words), to swirling, scumbly lines. But the tension between planning and improvisation remains potent, and imbues these works with a palpable exuberance that seeps out constantly. It also places her in heady terrain explored in the 1980s and ’90s by New York painters such as Brice Marden and Jonathan Lasker, who examined the pleasures and limits of the brushstroke through a highly self-conscious lens. The very title of Prieto’s show, “Hat Dance,” implies an arena of ritualized sensuality and seduction—a promise which is amply realized.
If you tried to hit each of the 15 main stops on the Hollywood Walk of Art that art org ForYourArt organized this past Saturday, it could have easily taken about two hours. That’s if you barely lingered and walked briskly.
This is noteworthy, given that only two and a half years ago there really would have been just three bona-fide art world stops to hit up and around that Highland and Santa Monica intersection. Regen Projects, still the blue-chip queen on the block, had just moved in, the smaller Redling Fine Art had its space in the strip mall across the way, and Perry Rubenstein had moved in a block away. Rubenstein has since buckled but many more galleries have arrived, and the area has become a walkable line of reputable spaces. That seemed to be the main point of Saturday’s event: to show how much is here all of a sudden.
The way Dani Tull mixes painting, sculpture and installation makes for a mad romp through all kinds of interconnected but unrelated metaphors for developing consciousness. For this exhibit, entitled “From Enchantment to Eschaton” (words stretching from alpha to omega in differing belief structures), the artist tumbles together all kinds of allusions. Along the way he visits mind bending psychological states, tosses off bits of flotsam from America’s popular culture and warms up experiences from different points in time. Interestingly the eras and their associations often feel both familiar yet distinctly strange at the same time.
From Enchantment to Eschaton” is artist Dani Tull’s first major solo show of new work in his hometown of L.A. in what seems like forever. He’s been doing psychologically charged, quasi-ritualistic, performance- and sound-based works with an array of collaborators, and in some out-there locations, such as disused space-lab campuses on mountain hillsides. Despite his penchant for spiritual, interdisciplinary experiences that celebrate the weirdness of Southern California culture, Tull is firmly engaged in the formal conversation about objects of visual art as well. He’s making drawings and sculptures and plans to show them in an installation environment. But Tull is Tull, so there will be a special sound performance inside the installation on March 21.
Monique Prieto's new paintings look nothing like any of the works she has made over the last 20 years.
Gone are the crisp contours of her goofy blobs of supersaturated color, the Stone Age graffiti of her enigmatic word paintings, the mix-and-match patterns of her trippy landscapes and the cartoon realism of her silhouetted still lifes.
In their place are the bare bones of painting: color, line, shape and texture, engaged in ways that show Prieto doing what she does best -- having loads of fun with a paintbrush and not worrying about what others think, much less what it all means.
Monique Prieto’s newest exhibition aptly titled Hat Dance, on view at the brand new LAM Gallery on Highland Avenue, charts like the banned Mexican dance it was named for: a kind of radiant courtship between the artist and the painting, and further still between the painting and the viewer. These paintings are rich in the way hieroglyphics are rich; visual information uncovers itself slowly with some complexity as the graffiti in the foreground functions as a means of revealing the serpentine color behind it. They appear deceptively simple, yet it is their simplicity and formal elegance that makes them appear alive and so full of joy.
A new hub on the Los Angeles art scene, LAM Gallery hosted a celebration for its inaugural exhibition last weekend, featuring new works by Monique Prieto. Entitled Hat Dance, the colorful and playful display explores the history, sensuality, and assertiveness of the Mexican Hat Dance, often associated with the ritual of courtship. Indeed the night did not go without a dance, as performers donned traditional gear and gave guests quite a show. Artist Monique Prieto was in attendance, chatting with friends and fans, while other guests looked on in awe of the performance and paintings.
LAM gallery had its inaugural exhibition with new works by artist Monique Prieto on Sat, Jan 10th.
Congratulations to Winnie Lam, founder of LAM gallery and Eva Chimento co-founder & director on your new gallery. The night poured in hundreds of people to view the new gallery and Prieto’s show Hat Dance.
Prieto continues a line of inquiry that begun in her work in the mid-90’s, redefining the parameters of figurative abstraction and the role of viewer participation in the completion of a painting through a playful narrative minimalism. Jarabe Tapatio, or Mexican Hat Dance, is a representation in dance of the advances, retreats, false starts and heady promises of courtship. Historically, it was banned in Mexico for its perceived suggestive sensuality with young dancers defiantly continuing to gather and perform it in public. Drawn not only to its form but its historic roots as well Prieto uses oil paint and ink in swift, frank gestures. Color, line and form assert themselves as analog to the dance’s form and origin. In the India ink on paper pieces, fabric remnants lend themselves as borrowed bits of tattered paint. In this work, Prieto proposes painting as a kind of courtship; between the painter and the painting, and between the painting and the viewer.