Agnes Varda in a totally unidentified image from a French "image roulette" site. Instead of linking to that I'm linking to Helen Carter's Varda essay on Senses of Cinema

Agnes Varda in a totally unidentified image from a French "image roulette" site. Instead of linking to that I'm linking to Helen Carter's Varda essay on Senses of Cinema

Dear friends and Fellows,

I’d like to invite you to join me this Saturday, 4 pm at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Fair for X-TRA Magazine’s special live realization of Micol Hebron’s quarterly column 1 IMAGE 1 MINUTE. Inspired by Belgian film director Agnes Varda, Hebron has invited artists and writers to choose a single image to comment on in each print issue of X-TRA. Last year’s public realization of this project sold out in seconds! This year, along with 50 or so other artists, curators and historians I’ll be presenting a single photographic image and talking about it for one minute.  

Good Lord, my friends, I have so much fun talking to you in my head it would be a real treat to talk to you in person! (If only for a minute.)

Besides, the Art LA Contemporary Fair is a great chance to cruise through some of the best international galleries showing their most illustrious artists. Network! Buy art! Gather info! Fun, fun, fun!

Charles Karubian "Untitled (after A. Van Dyck "Paulus Pontius")" 2010 oil on canvas 72 x 72"

Charles Karubian "Untitled (after A. Van Dyck "Paulus Pontius")" 2010 oil on canvas 72 x 72"

Charles Karubian "Untitled" 2009 oil on canvas 36 x 24

Charles Karubian "Untitled" 2009 oil on canvas 36 x 24

Nahr!!!!! Sometimes timing is awful. Parker Jones opened an exhibition of new paintings by Charles Karubian on Wednesday the 27th. I like Charles’ paintings and it seems like a while since he’s shown here. Can I tell you something personal without putting you off? During 2007 I did hemodialysis at home (it wasn’t so bad) David was nurse (yes, he is amazing) and I sat for 3 hours a day, five days a week for an entire year, cycling my blood, reading and looking at one painting of Charles Karubians’. And looking again. It was great.

Parker’s building-mate Francois Ghebaly at Chung King Projects also opened with a group show of Marcus Civin, Channa Horwitz, Michael Müller and Euan McDonald, also on Wednesday. That would be last night. When you get a chance visit 510 Bernard St. in Chinatown. Stop in at WPA and visit Ryan Tomcho’s show of semi-hemi-demi-anti-paintings, too.

A couple of observations. Several of my favorite spaces, several dealers I respect, several places I link to week after week either don’t get images up before an upcoming show or don’t provide images at all.

Elias Hansen "Predicting the Present" installation view at The Company

Elias Hansen "Predicting the Present" installation view at The Company

On the other hand, artist Elias Hansen not only remodeled the gallery but had his own show at The Company installed in time and had images made and posted to his site days before the opening. I love people who get it done. I think I like Hansen. Down from  my soapbox.

Elias Hansen - another view of "Predicting the Present"

Elias Hansen - another view of "Predicting the Present"

Travelling all the way across this middle portion of our fair city (roughly everything between the LA River and Doheny) you’ll find two old masters of LA contemporary art showing in two of our more storied spaces.

John Baldessari, Blue Line (Holbein) opened at Margo Leavin on January 23rd. Scroll around a while on Margo’s site – this show of Baldessari’s looks like a lot of fun! Which, yes, is an accepted art critical term. Fun comes right after “dimensional” and before “expanding.” (David pointed out to me this should read “fun” comes right after “expanding” and before “geometric” if I want to stick to the known alphabet.) I haven’t been to Margo’s yet to see the show and there’s a candy Sweetheart in it for anyone who sees it before I do : )

James Welling’s work graces the walls of Regen Projects beginning January 30th. From 2006 through 2009 Welling made photographs at Phillip Johnson’s Glass House. He presents selections from the Glass House series in this show along with a video installation, Sun Pavillion. (I’m a generous guy – here’s a link to a recent Aperture Foundation/Hammer Museum panel discussion with Welling, Susan Rankaitis, and Notes fave UCLA Art History Professor George Baker, moderated by Lyle Rexer.)

Both of these single-person art practice gesamskunstwurk(ers) over the years have trained an audience how to see and to question what we see, how to think and ways to question our thinking. They’ve also both had game changing influence on several generations of art students who’ve gone on to, once again re-try their audience. Rock on gentlemen!

By the way, having raced to lapl.org with the above names in hand I’m able to recommend Rexer’s How to Look at Outsider Art (which has great images) and Photography’s Antiquarian Avant-Garde (more great images). Rexer’s 2009 release The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstration in Photography is not at the library but is available from Artbook.com. I’m still waiting for Baker’s The Artwork Caught by the Tail: Francis Picabia and Dada in Paris from the library.

Joint Dialogue with work by Lee Lozano, Dan Graham and Stephen Kaltenbach and curated by the often-mentioned and always-interesting Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer is opening this coming Sunday, January 31 from 6 to 8. Where? You’ll find this at Overduin and Kite, 6693 Sunset Blvd at Las Palmas, 90028.

Cardwell Jimmerson has a show I forgot to mention on the opening, The Last Plastics Show – a recreation of a 1972 Cal Arts show. There are too many artists to list, check out the site, some names you’ll recognize with glee (or dismay if you hate this sort of thing) and some complete surprises. That some of this work dropped out of view doesn’t at all imply any lack of quality! I urge you to visit CJ at 8568 Washington Blvd 90232.

Then cross the street and see paintings by Jered Sprecher at Kinkead Contemporary, 6029 Washington Blvd 90232.

While cruising Sprecher’s website to research I found a link to the Drawing Center where Iannis Xenakis: Composer, Architect, Visionary is showing through April 8. Xenakis is a hero as concerns composing and thinking. And now I find also at drawing! Awesome opportunity for those of you attending the Whitney or the Armory!! Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, NY 10013.

Concurrent with my mention of Xenakis comes an email announcement from Piano Spheres convincing me to book tix for Susan Svrcek playing music of William Douglas (Celebration), Messiaen (Petites Esquisses de Oiseaux), Schoenberg (Drei Klavierstücke), Wolfgang Rihm (Ländler) and Xenakis (Mists) at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall. Piano Spheres concerts are piano recitals to make you glad you were born!!! Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave. (our Champs de Élysée?) 90012. (Colburn has an excellent and cheap student cafeteria perfect for pre-concert dinner.)

I know I’m a little early for this BUT the Laguna Art Museum is opening The OsCene 2010 on February 21. I can almost feel some of you geographic snobs wrinkle your noses! The same people who used to sneer at anything but a 310 Area Code. Get over it. Grace Kook-Anderson came to Laguna from San Francisco in 2008 and she, along with Sarah Bancroft at OCMA is making sure our Big Orange down south stays juicy and plump with fresh ideas.

Statler Waldorf Gallery. Isn’t this a drop dead elegant name? At the opening I expect to mingle with Biddles and Astors and Morgans, oh my! However, the space is named for those two favorite hecklers from one’s youth – the gentlemen in the back row on the Muppett Show. Who, as it turns out were named for two famous hotel’s in NY which in turn were named for… wealthy, elegant people. Circular duplicity is my favorite marketing ploy!

Opening Friday, January 29 from 7 to 9 is Depthless with work by Brian Cooper, Deanna Erdmann, Dawn Kasper, Jenn Kolmel, Florian Morlat, Aaron Spangler, Austin Thomas, and Torbjorn Vejvi. 1098 W. Kensington Rd 90026, just east of Echo Park and north of the 101. Links are provided when I am able to give context for unfamiliar names. Some of which you may recognize and some not. If you click around you’ll see stuff to prepare you for Friday.

Jenn Kolmel is not invisible, she’s mysterious and elusive. And she seems to be very involved community-wise, judging by the organizations I found her involved with. The link is to a video in which Kolmel touches… and we look on.

Deanna Erdmann is the second recent UCSD MFA Grad doing interesting work that I’ve noticed in the past two weeks. Remember Robert Becraft last week? Maybe I’m just picking up on something that’s widely known in other circles, UCSD must have an awesome program. Travel down with me for Open Studios anyone?

Also Friday and Saturday January 29 and 30 is UCLA MFA Open Studios. 7 to 9 pm both nights. The art world this weekend, if seen from above, will resemble an ant hill hit by a water balloon. Chattering six-legged creatures scattering in every direction. Join the fun!

I learned something wandering around the internet today. I’m really lucky that all the pretentious, potentially embarrassing projects I may have done in school are fading with the memories of other 50 year olds instead of lingering painfully on Youtube. Be mindful when you play, youngsters.

More good stuff! China Art Objects is opening with Paul Cherwick and Jodie Mohr this Saturday, January 30. Not having seen the show I won’t presume to describe anything but I will advise you to head to 933 Chung King Rd 90012. Hmm. I can tell you that in my experience Mohr makes paintings and Cherwick carves things. Go see.

Unless you’re crazy you’ll spend some time this weekend at the Pacific Design Center visiting the Art LA Contemporary Fair. And hey – if you are crazy come anyway, the out of towners expect fruits and nuts when they come to El Lay! It’ll be fun!

Yours, without sleep this weekend,

Geoff Tuck

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