NoL, January 21, 2010

The Films of Cynthia Hooper, opening Friday, January 22, 2010, 8 pm at the Center for Land Use Interpretation. I can't resist pictures that look like roads going off into the distance. And concrete turns me on, too. Link in image.

The Films of Cynthia Hooper, opening Friday, January 22, 2010, 8 pm at the Center for Land Use Interpretation. I can't resist pictures that look like roads going off into the distance. And concrete turns me on, too. Link in image.

Hello friends and Fellows!

“Hey – what did you see this weekend Geoff?” “I’m glad you asked me that, kind readers, let me tell you.”

But before I go any further, I offer you images of Michele O’Marah, A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do, courtesy of those great people at Try-Har-Der blogspot. Revel in these! Then get in your car and drive to Cottage Home Gallery like the blood-thirsty bats out of hell that we all are when it comes to cool installations and video.

Friday: Driving through Hollywood on what used to be the main north/south road into our neighborhood but is now branded as The Cahuenga Corridor is a slow and decidedly unglamourous crawl between Fountain and Yucca. Once through we kicked butt over the pass, east on the 134, off at Harvey, then east to 2225 Colorado Blvd 90041 to see Current Trends in Modern Painting at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock.

Miller Updegraff, not the painting at Eagle Rock. Rather "We, too, longed to find a cause greater than ourself - fortunately we never did" Detail Link to Michael Benevento website

Miller Updegraff, not the painting at Eagle Rock. Rather "We, too, longed to find a cause greater than ourself - fortunately we never did" Detail Link to Michael Benevento website

[Brief breakage of fourth wall here: As is often the case, I began writing knowing about only the artists in the show that I knew about. Any one of them is strong enough to get me to drive to Eagle Rock after work one Friday. Researching on the internet to post these notes for you I had the pleasant experience of being made aware how much great stuff there is that I simply don’t know! What an amazing crew these artists are! Write their names down. Come see the show. Continue to follow their work. If you can sometime, buy something!]

There’s a wonderfully fierce painting by Nathan Hylden. The media in this piece are simply white gesso on white canvas, no frame, hung by itself on a white wall (stop, it hurts); several works by the pair Kye Potter and Julia Dzwonkoski (one portrait of a ceramic bust and two black/blue-ish canvases with jewelry or other shiny decorative metal bits pinned on them); Carter Mull doing his tour de force thing (using unashamedly beautiful and sexy oil-slick colored reflective paper surfaces, photo reproductions and oil paint); Miller Updegraff showing a painting (a really great painting) of a man attempting the nearly impossible (keep trying Miller); Becca Mann presenting two graphite on paper works in which the graphite seems to be built up on the paper rather than applied with a pencil.

To carry on: Robert Becraft shows a small screen video, Doggy, that I couldn’t do justice to by watching completely. Parties are bad for watching video or anything requiring time. [I am now listening to a sound work of Becraft’s on haoyanofamerica.com. Nice stuff!] I’ll go back, to misquote our Governor in one of his past lives, and watch the film. A large rectangular canvas gridded off with something called “acrylic and graphite transfer” with a low rail across the bottom holding a square of what looked like felt (and was called “a low ineffective visor”) is the offering of artist Lisa Williamson. In her name is a link to her website, last updated April 2008. Here’s a link to Fette’s Flog showing more recent work at 2nd Cannons, and here’s a link to David Kordansky Gallery where she’s showing with Kathryn Andrews, Heather Cook and Lesley Vance. No images up yet. Opening Janaury 23 and thereby sneaking early into the upcoming events portion of my notes.

Untitled, Everything on Sayre's Website, 2010, digital media. Link to I Heart Photograph blog with images of Sayre Gomez' work from 2009. Link to his own site is in the post, you can find it.

Untitled, Everything on Sayre's Website, 2010, digital media. Link to I Heart Photograph blog with images of Sayre Gomez' work from 2009. Link to his own site is in the post, you can find it.

You’ll recall Alex Olson from shows at Khastoo, Redling and China Art. I remember being struck by her work. Nice piece in this show, too. Mark Hagen, for this show, made an obsidian-shards-hanging-on-burlap wall piece. I have to admit, the only work of Hagen’s I’ve seen in the past was at the Maya Schindler curated portion of LACE’s 2009 Auction. It was a beautiful piece. So is the one in this show. Brian Kennon hits one out of the park, to employ a sporting cliche, with two beautiful and sexy hippy chicks. On paper that is. The women are images printed on paper. Brian hits nothing. He wasn’t even around when I saw them.

Not to be left out but also not getting the space they deserve because I’ve already gone too long are Mateo Tannatt (painting on linen that looks like a screen-print, about 3′ x 4′ with goldish dots, goldish brushstrokey swoop; if you don’t recognize this work you haven’t been paying attention) and Guan Rong (two works, a small mixed media rectangle wrapped in Saran wrap and a larger work on paper) who again is someone I’m embarrassed not to know about! You must check out her wonderfully circular website Nomad Post School It contains such philosophical wonders as a video lesson in “How to do a Two Handed Drawing,” a 24 hour barber shop open anywhere, any time of day by appointment only, and a class in “Sensory Profusion” taught by Master Kanga Bell and promising that attendees will “…investigate the purpose of feeling, examine Pleasure’s relationship with morality, and learn how to enhance their experience of the world.”

We have Sayre Gomez to thank for this show. Thanks Sayre!

Saturday we stopped at Circus Gallery to really see You Can Heal Your Life, this time without 100 people wandering around drinking and talking. It’s up through February 6th.

A favorite detail in Schindler's Buck House. Wait till you see it! At once it delights, informs and confuses one's eye. Link to ArchInform website page for Schindler.

A favorite detail in Schindler's Buck House. Wait till you see it! At once it delights, informs and confuses one's eye. Link to ArchInform website page for Schindler.

The exciting news, let me restate that, THE BIG NEWS is that John Knuth has joined forces with Country Club and will be taking his program to Rudolph Schindler’s Buck House, just south of Wilshire near LACMA. Circus served well it’s purpose of introducing Knuth’s aesthetic and a number of great artists to Los Angeles and now, in a pristine and estimable space, Knuth can hold forth in style. In my mind’s eye I’m seeing gentlemen wearing Windsor double-breasted suits and smoking pipes, ladies in Schiaparelli day suits smoking cigars, all with cocktails lounging on Mies furniture.

After arriving too early to see Matt Wardell’s show at S1F we travelled on to Chinatown and visited The Company to see disorienting and charming installation work by Elias Hansen. (Charming feels like such a charged word. Maybe an artist would rather his work be called anything else for fear it won’t be taken seriously. Down with affected seriousness.) In the cool garage space Adam Janes was busy bringing more candles for his installation. You may recall Janes from his 2008 solo at Roberts and Tilton. I didn’t get enough of a look at either artist’s work and will have to revisit the show. I am interested enough to go back though, and let’s be honest – it’s remarkably easy to stay away sometimes.

We walked to Kathryn Brennan at her Chung King Road space, 955 Chung King Road 90012, where she’s showing Guy Goodwin: Paintings 1974, 2008. I take the comma to mean there are works from 1974 and 2008, with nothing in between. Someone interesting in the past six months told me she studied with Goodwin. I can’t remember who. I want to see this show, which was closed for installation, so we’ll have to go back.

A brief aside. The way spaces in Chinatown trade off among galleries is very confusing. Not a complaint – the arrangement gives us more to look at. It’s just difficult to of the dates and who’s where.

Back in the car and north we go on the 110, sweetly cutting in just at the corkscrew to the 5. Over the river and past Ribet Academy to Phil at 4918 York Blvd where we spent time pleasuring our eyes looking at Monica Majoli’s new drawings (of Amy Adler) and Amy Adler’s new drawings (of Madonna). Under most circumstances five modest-sized drawings would feel… modest in this gallery space. If you know Majoli’s or Adler’s work then you know how much visual information and beauty they each can pack into small packages. Run, don’t walk to Phil. I understand Majoli is showing a new oil painting upstairs in a group show at Gagosian. I’m told she’s paired a small portrait with a small abstraction. To me this sounds new and completely interesting! Go upstairs at Gagosian.

Back down the 2 to the 5 (being passed at 80 mph by an unrestored 1962 VW Bug) up the roller coaster ramp to the 110 transitioning to the 10 west and off at Washington in Culver City.

Western Project has moved east! 2762 S. La Cienega to be exact. Group show, gallery artists. Congratulations to Cliff and Erin!

Julia Dzwonkoski and Kye Potter, Sea Shell Owl, 2007 oil on canvas. Again, not the piece at Eagle Rock. Link to another site for the pair.

Julia Dzwonkoski and Kye Potter, Sea Shell Owl, 2007 oil on canvas. Again, not the piece at Eagle Rock. Link to another site for the pair.

Hey – don’t let the relocation of one space let you forget to visit the nearby CLUI or the Museum of Jurassic Technology! In fact opening Friday the 22nd at CLUI is Opportunistic Vistas: Films of Cynthia Hooper. Center for Land Use Interpretation is 9331 Venice Blvd, Jurassic Museum is 9341 Venice, both in 90232.

David McAuliffe and Nowell Karten and all the Anglettes are showing Tom LaDuke: Auto Destruct, also a recent video by Ori Gersht and all this in their new Angles Gallery at 2754 S. La Cienega 90034.

We made it into Cherry and Martin to see new paintings by Daniel Dove (and interesting individual pieces by Brian Bress, Mari Eastman and Matt Connors). Dove is recognizably an excellent painter, the image in the link is of a wonderful and complicated painting that’s nice to look at. I just don’t know what to do with his work. You should go see, I’d be interested to hear what you think. To enticeyou to look as well as inform you, Wexner Center Director and Curator Christopher Bedford and Dove are having a conversation on Monday, February 1st at 7:30 pm.

Then we were hoovered up into Peres Projects’ universe to spend 45 minutes with Boy, a new movie by SSION (Cory Critcheloe). This glorious film is a one hour pop music video with an arcing story line. It was amusing to stand and watch as art-type-people wandered in and looked around, listened briefly to the loud music and saw the gender-challenged performers doing hilarious, campy routines. I could almost see people thinking, “Oh dear, this is one of Javier’s wild parties.” Most fled. SSION is a pop performer with ambitions to art. That’s ambiSSION to us mortals. He pretty much succeeds! In the course of the film he creates his brand, makes a pact with the devil, conquers most of the teenage world and then hands it all over to his nemesis/inamorata The Woman, actress Shannon Michalski. Javier’s got a bar – if I were you I’d get a drink and settle in for an afternoon of fun.

Peres’ party made a great segue to the car (giving up prime parking real estate right in front of Angles) and on to Santa Monica and Harrison Birtwistle’s Linoi, (clarinetist Stuart Clark with piano string plucking by Gloria Cheng), Benjamin Britten’s Third Suite for Cello (transcendantly played by Timothy Loo), Gerald Barry’s Bob and other exciting sounds lovingly selected by Patrick Scott for Jacaranda.

Sunday we visited WPA to see the work of and talk with Ryan Tomcho. Digital painting-like canvases. Nice, complicated, colorful abstractions with the immediacy of a microwave. It’s an interesting choice, taking the paint out of painting. As it happened we spent more than an hour at WPA with Ryan. An unfortunate set of circumstances involving a disoriented wayward youth, trespassing, a shower, violation of personal space, a distraught friend, a helicopter and three squad cars rounded out the visit. “Forget about it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” (link to actual clip from the film, actual line – Dunaway being shot through the eye, wrenching scene) WPA, 510 Bernard St. 90012.

Onward to the upcoming!

Alex Olson, Cleo, 2009 oil on canvas. Link to Lisa Cooley website

Alex Olson, Cleo, 2009 oil on canvas. Link to Lisa Cooley website

Seems like I mentioned Kordansky’s show with Kathryn Andrews, Heather Cook, Lisa Williamson and Lesley Vance but I’ll do it again because I admire the artists and I’m pretty shameless about broadcasting my admirations! David Kordansky 3143 S. La Cienega, Unit A 90016.

Ladies and gentleman, will you welcome please Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects now showing Rodney McMillian, Succulent, new work by the master of conceptually stringent social commentary in the form of sculpture, video, painting, and in this case garden design. Curious? Come see the new space and find out what’s going on. (This link is Marvin Gaye and you’d be crazy not to listen.) Susanne Vielmetter LA Projects 6006 Washington Blvd, 1 block west of La Cienega.

USC MFA Open Studios, Saturday, January 23 at 3001 S. Flower St 90007.

Dawson Weber and Vi Ha, 2010 Wall Calendar, Friday January 22, 6 to 9 pm at Canal, 4026 N. Figueroa 90065. Canal is both a web and a storefront project space that invites artists to engage the audience in non-traditional ways. Dawson Weber is a graphic designer and artist and Vi Ha is a bookbinder and artist. Wall Calendar almost explains itself – and doesn’t that “almost” make you want to learn more?

Have I ever linked you to Robert Olsen’s A List of LA Art Openings and his blog with pix of his paintings? See how much more you know now?

Extra-far coming up! (There’s a pun in there somewhere) Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the art fair with attitude, opens Thursday, January 28 at  8:30 pm. Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Melrose at San Vicente.

And then, just when you thought your fun was over, X-TRA Magazine (there’s the pun) presents 1 Image 1 Minute at the PDC Silver Screen Theater, hosted by Art Los Angeles Contemporary. 45 Los Angeles artists, curators, writers and historians each select one image and speak for one minute. Last year this event sold out in minutes so hurry and book you seat! No long boring speeches here! Never a drunken ramble! Just quality pictures and quality words. Come hear! Come see!

I know I’m missing some things. I promise to catch up next week. Thanks for reading and please have a wonderful weekend!

Geoff Tuck

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