Notes on Looking, March 18, 2010
I’m a bit off my leash lately friends and Fellows, read on:
The wisteria are in bloom along the Hollywood Fwy again – southbound near the Darling’s Flowers sign. What a sweet reminder of… well, pick your sentimental poeticism. It’s nice to imagine that I can catch the scent when traffic is bad and I have the top down. Indeed on my way home tonight, northbound, traffic was stopped in the transition and I could smell wisteria. Whatever charmed neighborhood once graced this spot lives on through its residents planting choices. Yay! I’m glad our makings and remakings of Los Angeles can’t entirely wipe away our shared past.
Closing this weekend but I swear not before I make it in is Minimum Yields Maximum at Monte Vista Projects. I almost got there this past Saturday but they close at 5. Keep that in mind when you make plans. Leah Ollman wrote a review in the Times which has a few images, if you like. Monte Vista, 5442 Monte Vista St. 90042.
So I ask you. Is the Joshua Callaghan who has work in Minimum Yields Maximum the same Josh Callaghan that Nicholas Bourriaud curated into Repurpose, a show at Southern Exposure in SFO a fairly long time ago? I’ve been seeing Callahan’s work around town lately and until now hadn’t the sense to google “Bourriaud Southern Exposure” to find out. I answered my own question – he is. He had a great video in that 2002 show: a million Hollywood movie clips with characters saying “Josh” and “Callahan” over and over. And over. We laughed out loud. I remember Michael Douglas with big hair in The Streets of San Francisco and a really young Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Harry Callahan that is. Try to say it like Eastwood did.
Another piece in that long ago show was a battery powered (or wind up, I’m not sure) Carolee Schneemann doll. A working doll! Reenacting Schneemann’s legendary 1975 performance Interior Scroll. Eek. Complete with vocals! Think about this for a minute. When is the last time you heard of anything cooler?! Also included in the piece was a second doll in hand-made “original packaging” for those true toy collectors. I can’t recall who the artist is who made this piece. I’ll pass the name on to you if someone tells me.
Southern Exposure, 3020 20th St., San Francisco 94110.
Should you wish to visit the Bay area, your friends at SoEx provide links to several worthwhile guides to art up there. Hey! If you make the trek and find something neat in one of the suggestions on their site remember to give SoEx a nice bump – looks like they’re six sevenths of the way to their Ensure We Remain Viable campaign goal. Smiles all around.
Since you’re already going to Highland Park, why not head over the hills north on Avenue 50 from Monte Vista St. to York Blvd. where you can park and hit Kristi Engle Gallery and Sea and Space Explorations? I haven’t seen Meg Madison’s Rightsizing Narrative show at Engle but I have told you about Mostly Sculpture at Sea and Space a few times. I was at the opening Saturday – it’s a great show! Alice Clements, artist and curator will be gallery sitting this Saturday and what better way to see a show than in the presence of the person who made all the choices? So go! Kristi Engle, 5002 York Blvd. 90042; Sea and Space 4755 York Blvd.
Apropos nothing but a desire to once again recommend Matt Connors Dromedary Resting show at Cherry and Martin I tell you that Calvin Phelps has a new website. Huh? Pertinent only because on his new site I found that Phelps reviewed Connors’s show for Art Slant and offers a link to the review. I’m sure this all seems wacky but honestly this is how information works. Things come my way (e.g. news of Phelps’s new site), I follow them and click around and I end up with a reminder about a show I like, a review to link to and… I’m sure Phelps himself is going to wonder if I’m crazy. The thing is, as you may have noted in the Callahan post – the more you pay attention the better chance you have of recalling something when it comes around again. Cherry and Martin, 2712 S. La Cienega, 90034
Speaking of new websites: Amanda Ross-Ho doesn’t have one. (This is not my Cherry and Martin corner. Stop thinking that way.) She hasn’t had for the past eight weeks since I’ve been checking (weekly), although her home page continues to promise “Coming Soon!” What Ross-Ho does have is a show at Pomona College right now. David and I went a few weeks ago to see Cheshire Cat Principle. Amanda’s work starts me out a little befuddled and then, eventually, leaves me entranced. Quoting the text by Angie Keefer (who may or may not be a designer of handbags) featured in the Dexter Sinister publication for this show, “Theoretical physics is not the native province of amateurs.” I sometimes feel the same is true for conceptual art. And then with Ross-Ho’s work I start making connections and having fun. Pomona College Museum of Art (for 52 years at) 330 N. College Way, Claremont 91711
Claremont, although it recently lost it’s new namesake museum, still has in the Pomona College Museum of Art one of the best venues for contemporary art in So Cal. One of the best anywhere. Rebecca McGrew rules!
Overduin and Kite just closed a show and I’m furious I missed telling you before now! Joint Dialogue included work by Lee Lozano, Dan Graham and Stephen Kaltenbach and was curated by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer. I digress, but valuably so: here’s a link to Graham’s 1982-1984 video Rock My Religion on Ubu.web and here’s his 1975 Performer/Audience/Mirror performance. Pretty cool. Lozano links: Making Art is the Greatest Act of All, essay by Iris Müller-Westerman accompanying Müller-Westerman’s exhibition Lee Lozano at the Moderna Museet through April 25th. If you followed the Kaltenbach link and on the home page saw his Portrait of My Father painting (seven years in the making) perhaps you’ll appreciate this odd blog link regarding visiting a 2005 show at the Crocker Museum in Sacramento with detail images of the incredible 10′ x 15′ painting.
Did you miss the Joint Dialogue exhibition? Well that’s a shame but all is not lost. The excellent Ms. Lehrer-Graiwer along with Overduin and Kite Gallery are producing a publication to be released in a few weeks. I’m already in line to buy one – contact O & K to get your copy!
A couple of things about Lisa Overduin and Kristina Kite: 1. they’ve taken the space next door and opened a second, light-filled beautiful space to supplement their original gallery (people must be buying at the corner of Las Palmas and Sunset) and 2. coming up next at a date and time I don’t know is a show by Tris Vonna-Michell. Make that Tris Vonna-Michell2. Still again Tris Vonna-Michell3. Or better yet Tris Vonna-Michell4 which has more personal history of the artist. Unnervingly enough in this final link (to Finding Chopin: Endnotes 2005-2009, Vonna-Michell’s exhibition at the Jeu de Paume) Elena Filipovic, (the dialoguist/curator) as she describes the program and methods of this curious artist I begin to hear speaking in a rhythmic, hypnotic, almost not making sense way as though Vonna-Michell’s own mannered and compelling vocal pattern has overlayed the speech recognition centers of my brain. .
Tris link #1 is to Check In Architecture interview at Kunst Werke Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin where Vonna-Michell rebuilt the city of Detroit and tells a story of his residency in that American city. Tris link #2 is to clips of Henri Chopin and then Vonna-Michell performance/story about his search for the deceased French sound poet. Tris link #3 has a brief ad then his Art Statements piece at Basel in 2009, great story-telling in this one. Link #4 is described above.
If you do check out any of the performance videos I’ve linked to you’ll get the idea of this artist’s work. He doesn’t make things, although he once was a photographer, and I’m curious to see what it is that a dealer will be able to sell. Tris tells stories. Fast and fascinating stories. Way back when I was a teenager in the suburbs hanging out with the stoners I sometimes met up with smooth operating scruffily charming guys who would move into and out of town easily in a rootless way and could spin intricate, beguiling tales that the girls (well, and me too) would fall for. I think this one grew up and went to art school. Overduin and Kite, 6693 Sunset Blvd. 90028 Contact the gallery for information regarding the Joint Dialogue publication and the Vonna-Michell show.
A good show opened at Mihai Nicodim’s gallery Saturday – A Harmonious Mix of Objects. Torbjorn Vejvi at the center front, Chris Lipomi and Neal Rock in the back corners and Michael Brown, Jason Kraus, Shio Kusaka, Miklos Onucsan, and Tia Pulitzer ranged in between. Harmonious yes, also nicely varied and not over-installed. You’re gonna have to follow the link and see images, my descriptive powers are fading… Um, did I tell you about the sculpture by Lipomi that puts the viewer on the pedestal? Railroad ties. Tactile, rough-hewn, heavy. These hunks of wood have heft, the creosote they’ve been soaked in occupies greater space than you’re prepared for and you sense that the mass of these objects exceeds their size, as with Serra’s early lead pieces. Then you stand on them. Nicodim Gallery 3143 S. La Cienega Unit B, 90016.
Typing that last sentence I remember earlier this week finding a copy of Get Up Stand Up: The Bob Marley & the Wailers Cartoon Book at the library misfiled between Gogol and whoever comes next in the Russian Lit pantheon. This unexpected event made me happy. Get Up Stand Up the song’s been in my head ever since and now I’m giving it to you – enjoy!
Mara de Luca has work installed along Venice Blvd between Hauser and Spaulding until 9 pm Saturday. De Luca is a painter, she has a show (curated by Associate Curator Lucía Sanromán) coming to the MCA San Diego Cerca Series opening March 26. (Good Lord Geoff, can you get any less enticing with your writing?!) Stations, de Luca’s current project, seems to take somc of it’s notions from Barnett Newman’s Stations of the Cross series of paintings, I think also from (or as a response to) the merciless, seductuve and difficult to resist cacophony of image-voices that we fill our lives with and that speak directly to our souls today rather in the way the gods once upon a time spoke directly to our pre-conscious bi-cameral minds.
This might be a good time to take the train to SD! Also opening at the MCA downtown space on March 26 are shows by Lael Corbin (curator Dr. Robin Clark), Lærke Lauta (again curator Dr. Robin Clark), and Ruben Ochoa (Lucía Sanromán). Downtown MCA 1100 and 1001 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, 92101
So ok admittedly there is probably a lot to do in LA that weekend but should you wander south I want you to know the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park has Hugo Crosthwaite Brutal Beauty, a show of his masterful drawings. (For two weeks Crosthwaite worked in the gallery making his drawing installation. Click for video.) Also Joaquín Torres-García, who’s work it would be interesting to see. I think it odd the museum doesn’t have images on their site, but there it is. San Diego Museum of Art 1450 Del Prado, Balboa Park San Diego, 92101
Coming up this weekend in LA that I know of? Michael Arcega omg and Emily Mast It will never be known how this has to be told, Mats’s show curated by Andrew Berardini. In 2004 Arcega made a galleon out of manila folders and sailed it in the San Francisco Bay, or maybe it was Lake Merritt in Berkeley. Anyway, he showed this piece in a show Divide and Concur at Lucky Tackle in Oakland and we were in town and flying out of the Oakland Airport. Desperate to see his show we scanned a road map for the 6608 San Pablo Street address and for a long moment considered walking the twenty-five or so blocks. As that moment grew longer our time grew shorter. Oh dear, we can’t do everything. Steve Turner 6026 Wilshire Blvd. 90036.
Dennis Oppenheim at Tom Solomon Gallery. Can you even consider not seeing this show?! Showing will be important early works including continuous screenings of film and videos from 1970 – 1974. I imagine many of you got Tom’s email – he’s pretty thorough – so you can read the press release yourself. Tom Solomon 427 Bernard St. Chinatown.
Paul Pescador at Outpost for Contemporary Art has installed a window project called Thank You. This exhibition should resonate deeply with my friends the Fellows as it’s all about the “Thank you note” that essential grace note to any transaction. This is the first I’ve heard of Pescador’s interest in the subject and I’m charmed at the thought of hundreds of nice notes carefully transcribed and displayed for all to see! What better way to make us consider the care it takes to be civilized rather than simply human? Thanks Paul! Outpost for Contemporary Art, 1268 N. Avenue 50, 90042. So yes indeed you can walk here from Kristi Engle, Sea and Space or… Good Lord the possibilities for your Saturday afternoon in Highland Park are endless!
And thanks also to Laurie Smits Staude who for thirty years has taught FOCA the clear, correct and nice way to communicate. Cheers to you Laurie!
Now with all our heads drooping over our screens I say good-bye. Thanks for reading and please come back next week. Hey! If you forward my message to friends ask them to subscribe – good grief you must know I count each one of you when I send this out!
Blessings heaped upon you,