The show runs through October 22 at Richard Heller Gallery.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
As I walked into the final gallery room of the James Turrell show, a gallery guy said - It's on a 2 1/2 hour loop, I'll bring you some coffee. I didn't stay for the whole cycle but I will be back for more, because what you see in this room is alive and transformative.
You walk into a darkened room and there is a single bench facing a rectangle of light. The rectangle is about twice your body length and about your height and in viewing the change of light, one is flooded with emotions and sensations. The above pics are deceiving because the room isn't this dark, in fact it's a diffused light that is impacted by Turrell's piece, making for an atmospheric infusion. Colors softly and slowly morph into other colors and it's a little bit like watching an alive Mark Rothko painting. Obviously it also brings to mind sunrise/sunsets but these color changes are more than that. This view of color shifting in space, is more immediate, not so physically far and therefore removed from you. Here the light surrounds you, is almost a physical force. If you walk right up to the piece you see that there is space between the glass and physical area of where the light seemingly emanates from. It made me feel like I was next to an aquarium or underground cave with light reflecting from an unknown source. Sitting still, watching the non-image of light mutating, you lose the heaviness of your own physical presence, the radiating light is always in transition and it floats you as it shifts from the deepest of purples to the sheerest of yellow. Sensations fluctuate as the light and color rhythms transverse the color spectrum in unexpected ways. Akin to light affected by atmospheric changes, this glowing space parallels nature yet feels like an expression of an internal non-language communication.
The show runs through December 17 at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. The gallery guy told me that eventually they would have a time lapse of the different cycles on their website.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Chris Barnard's paintings are filled with eerily desolate landscapes. Most of the paintings include a structure that is created by human hands, symbols of our advanced civilization, yet they are strangely devoid of human life. Light is painted in a way that makes it a character, a force in the painting. Sunlight streams like lightening bolts, in a most alien way. In fact in all of these paintings there is a feeling of extra terrestrial pervasiveness. There is an element that is foreign, other worldly and you can't tell if what you are seeing is the result of a society that has completely alienated itself or if the world has been de-peopled by a race from another planet. High tech is coupled with simple structures like a bleacher. Nature scenes act as weirdly as do a cityscape, with skies that are interrupted by unexplainable light forms. All display something like a virus that has altered the norm. These associations are amplified by the flatness of painting of structures, as in the bleacher which seems comprised of flat lines that are not physically solid, as cloud and light intersect the structure in unreal ways.
The work is a modern take on Edward Hopper, going one step further and removing the figures in those paintings that displayed their angst and isolation. Here buildings and nature speak for the lack of human life present.
The show runs through October 15 at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Ed Ruscha. California Grapeskins, 2010. Acrylic on canvas. 38 1/8 x 64 1/8 in.
(96.8 x 162.9 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. © Ed Ruscha.
Ed Ruscha. Manaña, 2009. Acrylic on canvas. 38 5/8 x 72 in. (98 x 183 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. © Ed Ruscha.
Ed Ruscha. Everything Takes Care of Itself, 2009. Acrylic on museum board paper. 20 x 30 1/8 in. (50.8 x 76.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery. © Ed Ruscha.
Recently I read that in the many Pacific Standard Time exhibits showing over the next few months in LA, Ed Ruscha's work would be shown more often than any other artist, with the exception of John Baldessari. So whether the Hammer Museum was trying to get in on the glut or it was all just perfect timing that they would have the opportunity to show Ruscha's work based on the infamous novel "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac around the same time, this show dips into the Ruscha’s conceptual waters. It’s obviously fitting that Ruscha, the guy who shot the pics for Twentysix Gasoline Stations, while on his own road trip on Route 66, would have an affinity for the book. Ruscha’s signature lettering, flattened mountainscapes, and billboard references are in big abundance here.
What may be most interesting about the work, is Ruscha’s decision to make this work now. At this point in Ruscha’s 50+ year career, he can do anything he wants. So why make these paintings now? Paintings that reference work he was been making since the late 1990’s? There’s a great romance with the notion of the freedom of being on the road, the rebellious beat poets living outside of society’s norms and our countries’ mythologizing of the 50’s in general. With unemployment at it’s highest since the Depression, with ultra-extreme politicians ranting, the fear of a double dip recession and the first Afro-American president, it’s no wonder Ruscha would choose to make and show work that relates to a time that lives on in fantasy in our minds. It’s a nostalgic daydream while also being a swipe at our super fast paced lives, lives that are driven by the hyper media of the 24/7 news channels and the overwhelming amount of info on the internet. Surely Ruscha continues to comment on media and society, if only in a slightly different way.
The show runs through October 2 at the Hammer Museum.
To read my other post on Ruscha regarding his Gagosian show earlier this year, go here.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
In Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi's paintings on mylar, she confronts the the war inside and out, that a native born Iranian woman living in the US would encounter on a daily basis. Living in Iran until she was 18, Ilchi knows the cultural furies that exist within society and her own psyche. Using vibrant color representative of her youth, there is an optimism to her work as her heroine bombs and parachutes her way through the turbulent land and sea. Incorporating scrolling vines, Ilchi literally infuses the work with visuals from the traditions of her homeland. Repunzel like black flowing hair signals escape and the ultimate freedom for a woman who wears no burka. Landscapes are filled with color that pops while bombs explode, fire consumes and smoke fills the air. Ilchi's heroine is powerful, yet untouched, almost an observer to what is going on around her, she brings flowers, balloons and baby pacifiers into view. Seemingly whimsical, these accessories symbolize the seeds of birth women bring into the world. A bomb that looks like a pencil with a string attached to her hand, illustrates the power waiting to be unleashed by the freedom education brings to the women of Iran.
It is a timely show that brings hope while showing the conflicts of cultures that are personal and at the same time, something that the entire world is watching unfold.
The show runs through October 22 at JK Gallery.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Details of pics below
Details of pics below
Laurie Yehia's work is visually a combination of stained glass window meets mosaic collage with paint. Using tiny paint chips that she incorporates into the paintings, she emulates both techniques with bright colors that are simultaneously forming shapes and vaguely figurative references while also intersected by ropey lines. Yehia creates landscapes that are infused by medieval traditions and contrasted with urban scrawl. Areas of canvases are akin to concrete walls or walks with crude writing. Other areas feel like graffiti that has been not spray painted over and over again. There is a constant covering and revealing; mosaics are made murky with over painting while others are jewel like. Huge areas are abstract paintings within paintings, rough terrains of dried patchy land sit next to stellar galaxies. This is a kind of grand map making where not only physical environments are explored but society's psyche and art through the ages, are also probed. These are detailed maps where you can click on the zoom magnifier and see into the past and present in constellations that travel through the memory of cultures that have gone before and exist in the here and now.
This pop up show runs through today at the Santa Monica Bay Women's Club.
Check out Yehia's website.
Posted by Tracey at 7:09 AM
Friday, September 2, 2011
Using recycled cardboard boxes, Weber uses one of the most common every day materials and transforms it into totems, fetishes, and primitive re-imaginings using glue, staples and shellac. Many of the pieces are 7-8 feet in height and this towering jungle of awkward tiki's emanates a strange mix of primordial ancestry and 50's design. Weber makes her material do unnatural things like curve and weave, she gives it a shiny coat and suddenly, the mundane has been renewed. By taking a material we usually think of as a flat plane and turning it into circular baskets and poles, Weber exposes the concept that our fixed notions about the world around us, is a very limited one. Inherent qualities like print, tape, and holes are used to amplify Weber's personal designs, akin to the way a primitive ceramicist would use red clay and burnishing it to enhance it's natural color.
The show runs through September 11 at CAFAM.
Vist Ann Weber's website.