NoL Nov 17, 2009

Hello friends and Fellows,

You must, you absolutely must go see the Natilee Harren curated All Time Greatest at the FOCA space in Mandarin Plaza. Of course you’ll say I’m not exactly objective about FOCA, but when have I ever pretended to objectivity? And really – with a line up of artists like this do you even doubt that I’m right?! If you’re able, come this Saturday the 19th at 8 pm across the courtyard from FOCA at 970 N. Broadway, Suite 202-203 and experience concert performances by Steve Roden, Lucky Dragons and Eamon Ore-Giron. And then come again during the day sometime to see the work and play records selected by the artists. Yes my friends, you may handle vinyl, revel in old fashioned record cover art and operate the heavy machinery that is a turntable. AND make sound come out! Funny things will happen to you: your body may move rhythmically – or arhythmically, if you’re like me – your spirits will lift, and your mind will cast aside silly preoccupations and melt into the aether. We all like this. Come enjoy.

While wandering in Chinatown Saturday night I talked with Pam Jorden about two upcoming shows at WPA: Saturday the 19th Dave Hughes has a show opening and then later on in March Pam will curate a show with Julie Becker, Katy Crowe, Virginia Holt, Alice Könitz and Terri Phillips. WPA 510 Bernard St. 90012.

More gossip about 2010! Kathryn Andrews has a space she calls Apartment 2, 2317 Merton Ave. 90041, and on January 10 Scott Benzel will have a string quartet playing new compositions to accompany new videos. Continuing her string of successes in 2010 will be shows with Eve Fowler and two mysterious unnamed European artists.

You know, the internet can be as annoying as it is handy. I usually don’t link to every artist in a post for the simple reason that much of what I find is completely bogus. Take everything with a grain of salt.

Mateo Tannat gave me actual facts about an upcoming project Michael Ned Holte is curating and I’m turning it into gossip because I can only remember that it will be with Tom Solomon at Cottage Home and will feature work by Tannat, Gaylen Gerber, and, and, and… I forget. Heck. Fortunately those names alone are enough to get me out of the house! Show coming early Spring at Tom Solomon/Cottage Home, 410 Cottage Home St. 90012.

It’s a sad world in Geoff-land with David out of town visiting family. To keep myself distracted I left the house at 10:45 Saturday morning heading west for Santa Monica. At Bergamot Rosamund Felsen teased me with i-phone shots of Patrick Nickell sculptures she’s taking to Arco Madrid this February. I expect all of Los Angeles will be decamping for Spain this Spring to the the Kris Kuramitsu and Christopher Miles curated Panorama: Los Angeles. Rosamund promised me there are cheap fares available – you better make plans and get ’em while they last!

Mark Moore is showing work by Cordy Ryman in Hail to the Grid. Seeing an artist’s work just once and trying to talk about it simply is not fair to the artist or to intelligent thinking. I did some reading at the gallery to help get me oriented. The press release has reviewer Nuit Banai, in Time Out New York calling Ryman’s work “formal patricide” which isn’t the most felicitous phrasing, suggesting to me an inbred quality. Thank heavens for the internet, where I found the quoted review in full. Read it and see what you think. Also read this interview with Ryman from Beautiful/Decay magazine – Moore’s gallery offers a pdf of this page, I’ve provided a link to Beautiful/Decay itself. Proper linkage helps everyone :)  The show looks good, it’s up through Saturday the 19th.

Takehito Koganezawa has an untitled show at Christopher Grimes, 916 Colorado Ave. 90401. It’s all video and it’s really great. Grimes, despite remaining in the 20th Century regarding location, is fully on board with the best ways to feature an artist’s work via the internet. Can we simply declare Youtube the musuem of the future?! Check out Dancing in Your Head, 2007, which is not in the current show, or Untitled (water), 2005, which is. Then give up all hope of resisting and head to Grimes. Really – Dancing in Your Head is charming and fun. Click already!

Back on the 10, drive straight west, off at La Cienega North. Wait a minute Geoff. Did you say to turn north? Are you crazy? Everything is south of the fwy! No. We’re heading to 2045 N. La Cienega to Las Cienegas Projects just in time for the last day of Landscape Memories Revisited / Derek Boshier / Patrick Killoran, an excellent group show and two solo shows. I seem to be on a film rave lately and while at LCP I watched three films from 1970ish by Boshier and a 2009 film by Isabell Heimerdinger. And watched them again. Heimerdinger’s film had a pretty young woman hitchhiking in France and taking an unplanned and modestly eventful detour to the Cezanne “shrine” in a field beneath the mountain at Arles. It’s an oddly affecting work. I’m happy that Boshier has a website where you can watch Reel, one film I saw, and also see his new work, which was featured in the solo show. Oh boy! I found a cool 1962 Ken Russell directed BBC TV clip featuring Boshier, David Hockney, Peter Blake, Peter Phillips and Pauline Boty (on Youtube again) called Pop Art Twist! that you really must view to have an idea of how artists partied in ’62. The eternal beauty of youth fussed up in great clothes. Oh my. Sorry I didn’t get to tell you about this show earlier in the run. I hope some of you saw it! [Pop Art Twist clip has since been removed. GT, 12/2010]

Fortunately for all of us Las Cienegas has a show opening Saturday the 19th: Ray Barrie / David Lamelas / Betsy Seder. Barrie, in Physical Limits, is “re-making” three conceptual sculptures he originally made in 1969. From memory, as no plans for the built objects exist. Lamelas will be showing the ur Lamelas film, A Study of the Relationships Between Inner and Outer Space, which again was originally screened in 1969. I think I’m seeing a theme develop here. Betsy Seder will show five photographs from her series Time and Space Died Yesterday, 2009. The series is partially inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1962 film L’Eclisse. I know, some of you reading are thinking, “Wow, that all sounds a little dry for me.” What I also know is that another group are saying, “Hey! I loved Lamelas’ films at MC when it was across Comey Ave. from Champion!” and “Conceptual sculpture just gets me hot!” That’s why I write this, so you can make somewhat informed decisions about whether you want something you think you’ll like or you want to take a risk on something that sounds strange to you.

Up La Cienega I drive, until traffic stops dead just after Wilshire, then over to Robertson and north to Margo Leavin Gallery, 812 N. Robertson 90069. Meanwhile the downpour continues! Traffic snarls! I park and get drenched dropping my key, then spend time admiring the work of Roy Dowell, John M. Miller and Brenna Youngblood. I want them to spin Stan Getz with João Gilberto or Shelly Manne discs while I look at this show. Optimally a barefoot young woman dressed in skinny black tuxedo pants and a man’s white shirt would set her cocktail down, keep a non filtered cigarette in one hand and select records from a jumble of covers and discs on the floor. She’d move to the music and from artwork to artwork, thoughtfully considering each piece and offering spot-on commentary all the while. Such are the dreams…

Tearing myself away from the glories at Margo’s I travel east on Santa Monica to Circus, 7065 Lexington, 90038 to visit again Steven Bankhead’s great painting installation. While there John Knuth teased me with news of Emma Gray’s upcoming curating project You Can Heal Your Life, opening January 7 and starring Sister Corita Kent, John Espinosa, Gustavo Godoy, Dawn Kasper, Jason Meadows, Aleksandra Mir, Jen Liu, Josh Podol, Jeni Spota, Jose Alvarez and Thomas Lanigan Schmidt. I suppose depending on the requirements of your New Year’s resolutions healing your life at with Emma at Circus could let you get back to sinning that much faster! Whew.

Dawn Kasper, Taisha Paggett and Nancy Popp had a performance in Echo Park, my last stop before Chinatown. Artist Curated Projects put this event together – I missed it entirely due to RAIN. A notably unreliable source described it to me as “… three chicks in bikinis destroying cardboard buildings.” When I got there all that was left was crushed white cardboard and loud, loud music.

Chinatown was a quick jaunt east on Sunset, even in the evening downpour. I almost dread the day when public transportation will take us anywhere we want to go. Driving is just so cool, rain or shine.

Sunday afternoon I completed my weekend of looking with a visit to the garden and art space of Jane Chafin at Offramp Gallery in Pasadena for the closing day of her Winter season. Join Jane again in January for Erika Suderberg Some Small Groups 1974 – 2009. While at the party I spoke with Quinton Bemiller about his upcoming mural project in the main stairway at the Armory in Pasadena. Bemiller called his project “an abstracted vision of Pasadena’s Hahamunga Canyon” and the mural is generously funded by a grant from the celebrated public art program of that foothill city. Opening on January 16 in conjunction with the Rauschenberg print show, about which see below.

Did you know that Saturday, January 16 has been dedicated as St. Rauschenberg’s Day? Seem unlikely? Join the faithful at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts for Rauschenberg at Gemini, fifty works Robert Rauschenberg made at Gemini G.E.L from 1967 to 2001.

Among shows closing this weekend that I’d give my eyeteeth to get to are Acme’s 15 Year Gallery Artist Group Exhibition, (Jan Tumlir curates Non-Identical Abstraction Engine opening Jan 9. Work by Alexis Harding, Robert Linsey, Michael Murphy and Sasha Pierce MAKE PLANS TO SEE THIS SHOW!)  Marc Foxx’s group show/gallery artists (FOCA members take note: Jennifer West has a piece in this show. If you ask me “Who?” I’ll scream and direct you to last week’s Notes.) and Richard Telles, Josephine Pryde “La Vie d’artiste” which has a great review in FYI read anything written by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer. Upcoming Jan 9 at Telles is Ginny Bishton. Another go see show.

I’m turning you loose now but may I close with a nice dessert course? Phillip Glass wrote the opera Akhenaten in 1984 intending it to play in Los Angeles. This never happened, although I understand a group of fans are still working toward that production. Artist/writer and NYU grad student Sarah Zucker has reimagined Glass’ opera with clay meerkats on Youtube to wondrous affect with The Funeral of Meerkunkhamen. The disc I have of the Stuttgart State Opera performing Akhenaten stays in our car cd player for months on end sometimes. For all Glass fans out there, check out Glass Pages and the official Phillip Glass Calendar!

Thanks very much for you attention! There’s a lot packed in here today, some times the stars line up and our usual embarrassment of riches turns absolutely glorious. Revel in it.

Always yours,

Geoff Tuck

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