Notes on Looking, April 1, 2010
Hello friends and Fellows!
Sorry I’m late this week but all of us here in Notes on Looking Land are a little under the weather with a cold. Even typing hurts my head. Tylenol, lots of fluids and brevity, that’s my plan.
William Wegman, Some Tricks at Marc Selwyn. Go. Go again. Again: go! If you must cheat, the entire show seems to be on Selwyn’s website but then you’ll miss the sweet and vital relationship that develops between a person and a photographic image printed at human-scale. This show has a short run for one of Selwyn’s shows: March 27 through April 24. So hurry! (God, one of Selwyn’s shows late last year seemed to last forever! Every time I checked the site or drove by, there it was. Why so brief with great work like this?)
I’m embarrassed to admit that I wasted valuable years thinking of Wegman only in the context of cute dog pictures. Fortunately, we who are ignorant can learn. In their last few permanent collection shows MOCA has featured examples of Wegman’s early conceptual photography, and I particularly remember looking at See Saw an Crow, two spot-on simple tricks that keep bouncing around in my head long after. Since then I’m able to use my now-opened eyes to really look at what’s going on in the later work. Selwyn has excellent, really excellent photographs spanning the period from 1972 through 2008 in this current show. (By the way, thanks once again MOCA for teaching me by showing me.)
All my rambling says nothing without seeing Wegman’s amazing work. Which fortunately can speak quite well for itself. Check out this link to his website, Wegmanworld. (The site opens to what may be the funniest underarm deodorant film of 1973! You may be too young to recall high V.O.C. spray deodorant. It was scented hairspray for your pits.) Another link, this time to the Wegman Store. Everything in Wegmanworld is for sale. Well, you can’t buy the dogs but you can buy
Holiday Cards! (April Fools cards anyone?)Wall Decals! (I see a Banksy opportunity for some crumb crunching young artiste.) And cheer up that sullen teenager who’s hanging around your house with her own Rad Ray Poster!
Marc Selwyn Fine Art, 6222 Wilshire Blvd, 90048
I’ll leave William alone now but I’ll return often to look at the Crooked Finger film. (“Wow, what a neat stick. Boy is it crooked. Uh, that’s nothing – you oughta see my finger…”)
A few weeks ago I regaled you with a story of visiting Kristin Calabrese’s studio. I promised you then that you would see the paintings in October. Well. Kathryn Brennan Gallery beats Gagosian to the punch by featuring one of Calabrese’s paintings in a show opening Saturday, April 3. And it only gets better from there: Andy Parker, Mary Weatherford and Roger White each have work in the show, too! Don’t recognize quite all the names there? Click on the link and look at images. Or be like me and google the heck out of them! Andy Parker (You should check this guy out. The images on Katie’s site are great but in no way convey the breadth, depth and oddness of Parker’s various projects, e.g. The Abundance, Seconds, and Sugarcoated the work at Katie’s seems to be taken from photos of re-homed racing greyhounds.) Mary Weatherford, Roger White. (White shows at Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York. Have you come across references to Uffner’s gallery really often lately? Even here in LA. Good PR.) Kathryn Brennan Gallery 955 Chung King Road, Chinatown, 90012, Rachel Uffner Gallery 47 Orchard Street, NY NY, 10002
[Editor’s note: although the above Kristin Calabrese/Gagosian info was accurate at the time of the original post while researching to re-post this April 1, 2010 Notes today (July 27, 2010) I find that Calabrese is slated to have two solo exhibitions that were not on the radar back in April. Brennan and Griffin Gallery in NY in 2011 and Susanne Vielmetter in LA also in 2011. Very good and exciting news for all involved!!]
Another recent post alked about Tris Vonna-Michell showing at Overduin and Kite. Vonna-Michell is here, egg timer in hand and ready to talk. Opening reception and performance Sunday, April 4, 6 to 8 pm. (I hesitate mention it because if I get crowded out of the performance I’m going to be crabby.) Tris Vonna-Michell, Not a Solitary Sign or Inscription to Even Suggest an Ending. Overduin and Kite 6693 Sunset Blvd (at Las Palmas), Hollywood 90028
So if I recover enough to go out looking this weekend, where will I go?
Sea and Space Explorations has been on my radar a lot recently. Saturday, April 3, Queer Territory, curated by Nicholas Grider opens with work by Kaucyila Brooke, Grider and Michael Buitrón, Joanne Mitchell, Eric Lindley, Lee Perillo and Matthew Siegle. I’ve admired Brooke’s work at Dawson’s Books on Larchmont over the years, and Buitrón’s writing on his now deceased Leap into the Void blog. Through a post by Buitrón I became acquainted with Grider. I did a lot of linking last week to Grider, Siegle (as well as Clarissa Tossin and RJ Messineo) and Buitrón in preparation for the current (and still highly recommended) show at Redling Fine Art, The First Thing, which was curated by Siegle.
In this Sea and Space show Brooke will be showing photographs from her ongoing series The Boy Mechanic, in which she documents the sites of former Lesbian bars in LA. This reminds me of a project I became aware of through Eve Fowler; Taking Back the Night which took place both in New York and LA and had queer artists “re-queering” former gay and Lesbian bars. Sub-cultures, underground cultures exist in the same territory as everyone else, only hidden somewhat. With the past decades of assimilation many of the sites of gathering for these sub-cultures have disappeared or been re-purposed. Drive through Silverlake if you wonder. There’s something poignant in this – assimilation, it’s success as well as losses, is familiar to us all.
Researching to write about Siegle’s The First Thing at Redling and then again Grider’s Queer Territory at Sea and Space I could almost hear the knobs turning, the doors opening and the clicks and whirrs as my brain processed the fascinating ideas I found in these shows and their connections to work I’ve seen in the past. And in this case the doors open forward and outward not just to history. For instance, lacking a link for Lisa Ohlweiler last week I used a picture of her taken by Evan Walsh (an artist not associated with either of the shows). Walsh sent me a nice note and mentioned the importance to him of Moyra Davey’s work, asking me if I had read her exhibition catalog Long Life Cool White. Um, no Evan, not yet. But it’s on order for me at the library so I will soon! More to see, more to learn. Life is good.
David and I were at Redling last week; the show is wonderful. The works, taken separately and together, have a poetic feel to me. Simple statements from five artists who have a lot to say. Make notes and keep watching, I’m sure you’ll see more from each of them.
Sea and Space Explorations, 4755 York Blvd, 90042
Redling Fine Art, 990 N. Hill St, Suite 210, 90012
P.S. A caveat: Queer has become a somewhat loaded term. Try not to read it and let yourself think, “Oh, right, another gay show.” I cheer that my younger brothers and sisters are continuing to take ownership of that term away from a larger society who once used it as a term of denigration. I mean good lord, within living memory and all that. But… As a sensibility “queerness” (difference, oddness, eccentricity, the unconventional) is a state we all sometimes inhabit. I think there’ll be great work at Sea and Space – go see. Chances are it’ll be great for you, too.
[P.S. July 28, 2010: Nicholas Grider has a show, Soldiers and a Sailor at the Angel’s Gate Cultural Center through August 29.]
Yet another post script. Leap into the Void blog is back, at least for the moment. Check it out – in it Buitrón links to a series of blog posts discussing queerness and abstraction.
[Another July 2010 editorial update: Buitrom continues to write – most recently (in June) on MOCA, Jeffrey Deitch, an Art Forum. the Getty and Aztecs, The Kaprow Happenings of 2008 and manages to tie it all together nicely and effectively!! Yay.]
Monte Vista Projects, Laurel Beckman New Fools (13 Ways to Feel You) also opens Saturday, April 3. Busy weekend. Along with a video and sculptures the show features an Anamorphic Tuner which is, according to the press release, “Inspired in part by Caleb Coppock’s Graphite Sequencer, the “Anamorphic Tuner”, is a turntable rigged to play graphite drawings of the 13 characters rendered in anamorphic distortion. The turntable’s cartridge has been replaced by wires that track the electricity-conducting graphite to signal an audio feed. In the center of the turntable is a reflective cylinder that corrects the anamorphic distortion of the drawings.” It’s sad for me to simply cut and paste information but I have no idea what I’m writing about here. It sounds fascinating! I can think of five or six artists I know who’ll want to see this. (So ok. You knew I’d do it: Caleb Coppock and Caleb Coppock blog. Cool stuff. Laurel Beckman also has a site. Among other things, Beckman teaches a course called Self-Organization and Distribution for Artists at UCSB where she is Associate Professor.)
Monte Vista Projects, 5442 Monte Vista St, 90042
Sherin Guirguis Qasr El-Shoaq, opening at LAXART on Saturday. Also it seems, William Cordova untitled (chincanas). I think you have to go see the show – it’s been a few years since I saw Guirguis’s work and despite Cordova’s apparent fame I don’t think I’ve yet had the pleasure. (Sliding gracefully past my own ignorance.)
LAXART 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd, 90034
Liz Craft and Larry Johnson each have shows opening at Patrick Painter, West and East galleries respectively. Life was easier for me when Painter had a space on Melrose.
Patrick Painter, 2525 Michigan Ave, Units A8 and B2, Santa Monica, 90404
Should you make it that far west Luis de Jesus has moved to Bergamot Station from San Diego. (I think there’s a joke in there somewhere – hasn’t he heard the news about Culver City?) Now that I’m looking I recall hearing about de Jesus’s previous project in San Diego – Seminal Projects. He did interesting things there; I came across it once in planning a failed trip to San Diego. A friend told me about this new space opening, and all I’ve been able to do so far is visit online.
Um, but before I go closing this weekend are some really great shows:
Mark Grotjahn at Blum and Poe (upcoming at B&P is a nice surprise: Carroll Dunham)
Ed Templeton at Roberts and Tilton (upcoming is Adam Pendleton)
Ssion Boy at Peres Projects (upcoming Dorothy Iannone)
Matt Connors at Cherry and Martin (upcoming Erik Frydenborg)
Robert Mallary at the Box (upcoming is Mike Bouchet Cola Works, but not until May 22)
Oliver Michaels at Shoshana Wayne (up coming is Pieter Hugo – delightful alternate spelling of upcoming borrowed happily from Wayne’s website)
Aaaargh. I need to set a cut off time.This just in by email:
Raid Projects and Workspace are ganging up to present RAIDspace/workPROJECTS, four one week shows at both spaces.
April 3-9 is curated by David Horvitz
April 10-15 is curated by Jessica Minckley
April 17-22 is curated by Zemula Barr, Jennifer Lieu, Sarah Brin and Melinda Guillen
April 24-29 is curated by Elizabeth Cline
If I could make this long story short I would, instead I encourage you to follow the link and read a bit. Have I ever led you astray before? If you’ve been reading Notes in the past year then you know how much I admire Minckley and now I come out of the closet as a complete fan of David Horvitz (someone about whom you need to know more). Here I go cutting and pasting again:
DRUGSTORE BEETLE (Sitodrepa Paniceum), (one of Horvitz’ projects showing) …aims to infiltrate into a closed circulatory system: the library. Using the process of the library donation, 30 exhibitions-in-a-box were donated by Horvitz to various art libraries around the world. (…) Before these exhibitions were gifted, Horvitz purchased an ISBN and coordinated the meta-data for the exhibition to be uploaded into Worldcat, the database librarians use to input and receive a publication’s information. Since the information will exist in two digital databases, the hope is that this exhibition can slip with ease, like a sly fox, into collections around the world (the title refers to the most notorious of book-worms, burrowing into books and shelves …there is certainly the risk of thesee being rejected, returned or lost… Each exhibition contains the work of 27 artists. All works are loose, and contained in a box like structure called a four-flap, an archival casing librarians use to contain loose prints so that they may be shelved with the books in the collection. (…) RAID will be checking out the exhibition from USC’s Architecture and Fine Art Library. On display will be various types of prints, the archival four-flap container, and other documentation/ephemera that surrounds the project. Some works, such as the paintings by Marley Freeman, Paul Branca, and Graham Anderson, will be unique works (at each library is a similar but different painting).
[Take a deep breath!! This paragraph goes on and on…]
Avalon Kalin and Santos Vasquez’s photographs were made inside other libraries. Luke Fischbeck of Lucky Dragons presents small musical notation, which is different at each library and would combine to make the complete piece when played all together. Similarly, Daniel Gustav Cramer has put in a different colored paper in each one, which when combined would form a complete rainbow.
Finally: for those keeping track (and in the spirit of the still dead Generalissimo Francisco Franco) Amanda Ross-ho still doesn’t have a new website. [Incredibly long start on the NBC Original Cast Saturday Night Live clip with Chevy Chase announcing Franco’s continued existence.]
I shall leave you to your own devices my friends. The fever is passing from my brow and I would fain be out looking that I may write more next week!