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 and also Previous Site (insane and cool paintings by Magowan by the way. Like the acid-tinged, psychedelic hippie art David and I used to see at the Rose Bowl and PCC swap meets – wow), Adam Miller and Bobbi Woods (more for Bobbi Woods).
Friday at 533 5 artists present an evening of performances. I don’t know much, I can quote the email I got: Ranging from the banal to the dramatic, each of these durational performances will develop over the course of the evening. (This will also be an opportunity to see the great current show.)
List of performers with info: Nathan Bockelman (has 3 interesting pages for linking: Instructions On How to Perform ‘Dance For Legs Only’, My Life in GIFs, and eponymous blog), Alexis Disselkoen, Peggy Pabustan (around now is when I wish I had called and asked for information about artists… Pabustan doesn’t seem to have a website. She has performed at Redcat.), Paul Pescador, Stephen Van Dyck also has several pages to visit: Torrential’s Channel on YouTube, and an eponymous site.
Good Lord I regret to tell you that Chicago artist Jim Lutes is not having a show at Kinkead Contemporary any time soon, despite last weeks post. Lutes had a show at Kinkead in April and May, 2008. I offer you here a link to the google search which bizarrely took me to a two year old page rather than the current page. (Be like me and click on the first possible google choice and you’ll find yourself in the same time travel.) John Kinkead and Whitney Carter thought I was nuts when I went in on Saturday and asked about the putative “Lutes show.” Half a dozen excited people told me over the weekend they had calendared a visit to the show I mentioned. I’m sorry. (Damn it would have been nice – the paintings look interesting!) Lutes was included in the 2010 Whitney Bienniel and currently shows with Valerie Carberry Gallery in Chicago. Onward.
The LACE Auction is happening on May 20th at 7 pm. Twenty smart people were each invited to curate their own portion of this exhibition. (And it is an exhibiton!) Among my current faves of the selected groupings are (btw fave list still in formation and always expanding):
For Dead Letter Office Andrew Berardini invited 9 artists to each mail letters from or to historical artists to the care of LACE. Each artist’s envelope and accompanying letter/drawing/poem/newsclipping is framed and the group is arranged on two walls. (Blatant gossip here – I’ve heard that a Certain Astute Gentleman About Town is considering the group as a single piece and craving it for his own legendary collection. Trust this C.A.G.A.T., he really gets it!)
Individually these letters are charming works by artists we admire. As a group Berardini offers us a collectable moment that reaches back to LAs Bohemian art roots and forward to the future of each of the artists he’s selected. Berardini is one of our more pénétrant observers of the LA art scene so you can be sure he’s made thoughtful and interesting choices in the artists he includes.
Jeff Kopp has curated an installation of sculpture for his contribution. I think LACE might be smart to put a clipboard for bidding on the base Kopp made to feature the sculptures of Sayre Gomez, Emelie Halperin, Adam Janes and Olga Koumoundouros. To me the base relates directly to Kopp’s projects using the shapes punctuation marks removed from any language-based context as sculptures. His recent project at Westfield Culver City with giant-sized and brightly colored asterisks, commas and ampersands arranged as a playground for one’s eyes, mind and the little climbing kid in all of us is surely one parent. The sculptures by Gomez, Halperin, et al. each on their own and in conversation with one another and Kopp’s base provide for us similar mental and visual exercise and delight.
Another cool example of what can happen when a curator is invited to bring her expertise with ideas to bear on the challenge of presenting work intended to raise funds for an institution:
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer selected three artists who seem determined to keep us guessing about their very existence. I know Darren Bader is real – he’s published a book and multiple with 2nd Cannons and had a show at Eighth Veil (among others) – but Bader’s work resists claims of authorship the way mercury resists our touch. Untitled, 2010 (in the LACE Auction) consists of two bags of topsoil (fertilizer) and a staple remover (although I swear I recall it being a can opener!). “Gee Daddy, is that art?” “Of course it is sweetie, ask Mommy to explain it to you.” When I think of all the fertilizer I’ve seen at shows…
Sergio Sergio is an artist I only know exists because I trust Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer not to mess with my head. (Like many people I trust curators, bios and reviews in ArtSlant.) Sergio’s piece in the auction is titled Belief Experiments #39 and 40, 2009-2010, edition 1 of 1 w/1 artist’s proof. Are we part of this experiment if we believe? Eek.
Most of the amazing things in the world seem to happen to me. (Don’t you always feel this way?) In 2001 at our first LACE Auction David and I noticed and talked about a piece by D’Ette Nogle titled The Complete Early Works of D’Ette Nogle. This piece strongly resembled an empty cardboard storage box with a label on it. I was totally intrigued. An obviously young artist places her entire ouevre in a box and the box is still empty. Had she done nothing? Were ideas her work? Need there be any physicality to an artwork? Is it ok for art to be this funny? Over the years I’ve continued to think about Nogle’s Early Work.
For her piece in the 2010 LACE Auction Nogle asked to have back the box from LACE’s archive and paired it with a duplicate box she made at the time (how can both boxes ever be the complete early work?!) and stored herself for 10 years. (Or did she? I love how slippery the “truth” becomes in the hands of a gifted artist!)
You’ll of course have your own favorites and by the time the 20th rolls around I’ll probably have a few more myself! The curators and artists involved have paid us the compliment of taking seriously our interest in art by challenging themselves and us with their work and the artists they’ve chosen. You owe it to yourself to visit the gallery, which is open Wednesday thru Sunday, 12 to 6 pm thru May 19th. And of course we each owe it to the continuing conversation that LACE brings to our city to bid and buy. (5 minute letterbox clip of Bob Fosse’s “Hey Big Spender” dance sequence after that last link.) (And no it’s not just because I’m gay. This scene is classic Hollywood ACTION. Ooh, you’re so tall!) (Thanks to Stephanie Taylor for inspiring me to look it up again.) (One more: yes, there I am in the LACE announcement photo, green patterned shirt, sox and sandals, staring at the sky.)
Because I’m interested to see who picked what (and I have no filter between what I want to know and what I tell you) I offer you a list of the remaining curators with links to their selections: Barbara Bestor, Andrea Bowers, Kristin Calabrese & Joshua Aster, Carolyn Castaño, Tim Christian, David Dick, Tomory Dodge, Robert Fontenot & Glenn R. Phillips, Brooke Hodge, Julian Hoeber, Kim McCarty, Jamie Rosenthal, Joy Silverman, and Monique van Genderen.
You know what my friends? Tis the season! I’m going with give-aways this week. (This means you and me giving away.) You know I have a lot of favorite non-profit art spaces. The Great Highest Chief among them is FOCA. (I truly feel I was destined to be a part of FOCA, my obsession is that complete.) LACE is another. (In 1978 when I was 18 in distant Diamond Bar the two big city things I wanted to see were LACE and the Womens Building. It only took me 20 years.)
There is another space, and if you’ve been paying attention over the last few years you’ll guess I’m going to leap to Monte Vista Projects. We here at Notes Central advise you to visit the Monte Vista website and learn about Monte Vista Sells Out, a chance to have your name as donor put on… A Tool Box, A Beer Tub, A Secret Passageway and more. Essentially every object at the Monte Vista space is a naming opportunity! Feel like a billionare and have your name on a drain pipe! Be like the quiet rich and buy the bottom rung of the gallery ladder, or if you’re a stand out kinda person bid on the top rung!
Bidding started on a special E-Bay Monte Vista page on May 11 and the auction closes on May 20th with a party and countdown for the online bidders. How much more exciting do you want life to be?! Check out these past exhibitions and projects of Monte Vista if you need examples of their excellence as incentive.
If you, like me, dream each week of winning the lottery so you can give your favorite museums and art spaces a jillion dollars then here’s your chance to do at least a part. And if you pay for the medallion and the engraving MV will probably use a brass plaque for your donation!
More great things that can’t happen without us. And another opportunity to have more creative fun than grown ups usually get to have!
May 23rd at 5 pm we’re invited to the Tragic Dinner Theater, an afternoon of viands, beverages and a new treatment of Ovid’s Tereus by artist and director Anna Wilson. The play will be presented in a true to life sit-on-cushions-before-the-stage, feast-like-Greek-kings-and-queens, drink-from-a-golden-cup gloriousness. We’ll be mirrored by actors lounging onstage, also feasting, and (even better) practicing lechery, violence, and betrayal before us.
I found a wonderful quote that conveys the emotion and drama of Tereus on the Letters from a Librarian blog, “Oh, the doom in these plays. The excruciating blood — the shame — the sense of character, overwhelming each individual. I cannot get Kassandra’s words away from me — ‘I will walk with my song torn open.’ I think of Philomela whose cry is cut out so she can’t proclaim Tereus’ violence.” Link to Crimsoncovered, the post from which I quoted. Clavdia the Librarian/Student is wonderful!
The evening should be fabulous.
Yet another chance to show support of greatness: The Society to Activate Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) has it’s annual event at the home of Abby Sher on May 23rd from 4 to 8 pm.
Directly competing with several things in my life, but there it is. Most of the events in today’s post compete. Eek,
Art Catalogues at LACMA (along with the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department) are hosting a book launch and conversation to celebrate Bananas for Moholy-Nagy, by Patterson Beckwith; Words Without Pictures, ed. Alex Klein; Four Over One, by Phil Chang; and The Sun as Error, by Shannon Ebner. Four great artists, four important books. Run don’t walk to LACMA. By the way, LACMA needs help with their website – anyone want to volunteer? Art Catalogues, Dagny Coleman’s long time place to go for artist books and catalogues in LA has been in residence at LACMA for some months. One wouldn’t know it from the website, nor would one know about this fantastic program on the 23rd. I may be overlooking something, if I am show me the way. I read an article in the LA Times a few months ago about Art Catalogues and have searched online many times so I can link to it. Instead I’m ranting. Forgive me. Go buy these books and talk to the artists. Cheers.
Mario Correa, as you see above has a show opening at Redling on May 15th. In it Correa presents paintings as well as a new project: wood cut prints made using Redling’s famous floor. This seems incredible to me. Erica’s floor has become a sort of psychic blueprint of the constant state of flux that is Chinatown. Several artists have made use of this floor and the walls have been moved so many times that there are pentimenti of many shows visible to the eye and, if you’re so inclined the imagination. Click and read the press release. I promise it’s worth your while to do so. I don’t recommend every press release.
Richard Hawkins opens at Telles Fine Art on May 15th from 5 to 7. I’ll tell you more when I see the show. Hawkins had a solo show at the De Appel Center for Contemporary Art in Amsterdam in 2008, see images, text and catalogue here.
Do you know about Fine Arts LA? I hadn’t had the pleasure until I met Editor-in-Chief Joshua Morrison at an event the other night. A comprehensive Los Angeles culture round up from a group of excellent writers, some native to LA and some from around the country. (It’s funny to me who’s lived in LA for 50 years that now people come here from all over to do fascinating things the way people only went to NY for the same reasons when I was young.)
Morrison told me Fine Arts LA positions itself as the cultural news source for young people living in and interested in LA. He blushed a little at the specificity of “young” given, well, my own age. But whatever, fine Arts LA works for me, too. I’m impressed by what they have on their site. It really is comprehensive, and ambitious. The city can use another source for culture since many print sources are going away or diluting their coverage. That’s Fineartsla.com.
My friends, I’ll be thinking of you while I sit back with a glass of wine looking at the Milky Way from my chaise longue in the Carrizo Plain this weekend. Later in the weekend we’ll be staying in the bunk house at the V6 Ranch in Parkfield. Hiking not horsing. Horses are fun to pet and wash but my feet need to stay on the ground.
(Apologies for the length of this post!!! We live in a huge big city.) Thanks for reading, see you next week!
I forgot Eighth Veil. Arik Levy. The 15th. Go.