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Notes on Looking, May 20, 2010

Hello friends and Fellows! Take the 5 North to the Grapevine, exit at Frazier Park Mountain Road. Travel roughly 6 miles East to Cuddy Valley Road turn right in a generally North-west direction until you come to Mil Potrero Hwy 95. There was a tamale stand back a few miles, if you got some fresh tamales stop and eat now. Quiet and awesome view. Snow remaining on the North-facing mountains, the last wild flowers blooming down here in the valley, a trio of really great fresh salsas gracing now cold tamales. We traveled these lesser highways with names like West Side Highway, Bluestar Memorial Highway, Simmler-Soda Lake, and Soda Lake Road; we passed what seemed to be (repurposing a U2 quote) names with no streets – street signs marking what were meant to be suburban roadways in a town that never happened. I recommend the route to you! The south-western part of California’s Central Valley is stuffed with eye and mind grabbing scenery. Maricopa and Taft, Midoil Road and Fellows, Derby Acres and McKittrick, the romance evoked in these names inspires me. If anytime soon I come up missing, look for me in Taft. New stuff this weekend! Kaycee Olsen Gallery opens at 2685 S. La Cienega on Saturday the 22nd 6 to 8 pm. Olsen has been Director at Paul Kopeikin Gallery, contributed to the Words Without Pictures project at LACMA (more tantalization re: WWP a little later) and is a recipient of the prestigious California Museum of Photography Graduate Student Fellowship at UC Riverside. Now Olsen brings her expertise and passion to us in the form of...

Notes on Looking, May 13, 2010

¬† Hello friends and Fellows, Every week I sit myself down to write and think to myself, “Ok Geoff, what was the BEST show you saw this week?” and then I think, “You’re crazy – they’re all fantastic!” Well this week I get to put on my Audrey Hepburn outfit and pretend I’m at the press conference scene that ends Roman Holiday, when the international press asks the Princess (who had run away from her royal life while visiting Rome and lived briefly with Gregory Peck) “Which of the cities you visited did your highness enjoy the most?” Being diplomatic aristocracy Miss Hepburn responded (in her lovely undefinable accent), “Each in its own way was unforgettable. It would be difficult to… Rome! By all means Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memories as long as I live!” 533! This week by all means 533 will stand out for me as the most interesting and exciting show. It may be a little much to say I’ll cherish my memories of Adam Miller’s curatorial project as long as I live but you and I both know I’m all over hyperbole. Cheers Adam! I’ll have images later on. (Gotta keep you coming back for more!) I do in fact recall each show I’ve seen at this stellar place and the current show, titled In the Eyes of Lions will fit nicely on top of that particular stack of memories. Including work by Brian Bress, Sarah Conaway (hmm… show at Gallery Diet and a pretty neat piece at last year’s LACE auction), Erik Frydenborg, Brett Lund, Samantha Magowan at Coming Soon...

Notes on Looking, May 6, 2010 (this early post is getting attention, plus I like it: May 2010 for you)

Dear friends and Fellows, If you’re a painter, if you love painting, if you have a soul at all then you must, must, must see this show. Really. Alice Neel: Paintings, May 13 through June 26, LA Louver Gallery. Including works spanning a 43 year period from 1935 to 1978. My heart is racing. I mean Good Lord, Alice Neel! Somehow she feels to me like the Giorgio Morandi of American portraiture, at least in terms of rarity of showing. Jeremy Lewison, representative of the Neel estate, has built a wonderful website dedicated to Neel’s work on which one finds news of a current US museum exhibition. Alice Neel: Painted Truths opened at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on March 21 and stays there through June 13. (When it departs our shores for the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the Moderna Museet in Malm√∂ – there will be no further US stops) Meaning my only hope is to visit LA Louver several times over the next 5 or so weeks. Join me at our dependable museum by the sea. In Moyra Davey’s book Long Life Cool White she relates a story of seeing photographer Zoe Leonard speak about Agnes Martin at the Dia. Rather than show images of Martin’s paintings Leonard screened an abstract film by Martin. Davey left the presentation with the distinct feeling of having seen images of Agnes Martin’s iconic pencil-lined paintings. In much the same way last Thursday at LACMA Davey showed a few images of her photographs and screened a short part of her film My Necropolis. (Honestly not nearly enough of either! I...