Notes on Looking, May 20, 2010

California Valley, May 2010, snapshot by Geoff Tuck

California Valley, May 2010, snapshot by Geoff Tuck, link to my Youtube site

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.

Maha Saab, Photograph of Flowers Arranged by an Architect in Shades of Green (#2) 2008 link to Maha Saab

Maha Saab, Photograph of Flowers Arranged by an Architect in Shades of Green (#2) 2008 link to Maha Saab

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 a gallery with a really exciting program. Check out the Artists List!

I’ll take the liberty of linking to as many individual websites for the artists as I am able: Cameron Crone; Roni Feldman; Jesse Finley Reed; Christine Frerichs (Frerichs has been in several interesting group shows in the last few years, including Seasonal Pictures in 2009 at Acme); Aaron Noble (Noble I vividly recall from his 2002 Hammer Project as well as group shows in the intervening years.); Josh Peters; Angelika Rinnhofer (Rinnhofer I’m not so familiar with, her blog notes her recent inclusion in a group show at Paul Kopeikin and she links to a charming MFA Diary on her website); Jeff Sheng (Sheng was featured in a November 2009 LA times article by David Ng about his photographic project Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell); Dana Weiser (Weiser was included in Maha Saab’s 2009 exhibition The Chef’s Theory at 533).

An aside: take a look at images from Adam Miller’s In the Eyes of Lions at 533 from the good people at Try-har-der.

By the way, the aforementioned Maha Saab has a current solo show called Ozy at Midway Contemporary Art in Minneapolis. Make that the legendary Midway Contemporary Art. Home away from home for may Angeleno/a artists per exemplé: Brian Calvin, Samara Caughey, Sarah Conaway, Sarah Clendening and that’s just the “Cs” I can identify at a glance! Oh wow!

While we’re in the Midwest, have you heard of The Suburban in Oak Park, Illinois? Michelle Grabner’s tiny yet mighty curatorial excercise soon will celebrate 10 years of showing great art and generating great conversation. (OK. I’ll do it. LA artists on the roster I can identify, no more than 5 no fewer than 3 in date order because I can’t sort them alphabetically.) Dave Hullfish Bailey, Karl Erickson (please get a website Karl, I need something to link to!), Andrew Falkowski, Drew Heitzler, Ricky Swallow (he is too!) and with that I must stop. I only got back to 2008 and I stopped just short of mentioning such luminaries as James Welling, Kevin Appel, Brendan Threadgill, Lesley Vance, Stephen Berens (Yay X-TRA!), Shana Lutker (One more for X-TRA!), Walead Beshty (Yowza! Catch video of Walead in conversation with Olivier Mosset. While I’m at it here’s part of a MOMA video with Walead and Eva Respini.), Andrea Zittel and Smockshop (Joshua Tree is LA to New Yorkers) and now I’m done.

In Current Exhibition The Suburban home page lists artists Francesco DiMattio and Garth Weiser AND they provide a link to an historical survey of past Suburban projects on website: The Lives of Objects at the Suburban.

This last is but one portion of the fascinating online project of Mieke Marple. Any of you web-interested friends will want to check this out. (Beatrix Barker, I’m thinking of you with your passion for web excellence.) Possibly the most fun (and consternation) I’ve ever had online is after Kathryn Andrews introduced me to Marple’s main website. As an experience it very closely mirrors the act of thinking. (Look and see if I’m not right.) Familiar images lead to new and more interesting things when clicked, two-imensional conceptual descriptions quickly become three-dimensional installations using the Google Sketch Up modeling, things and websites you know metamorphose, twist around corners and lead you astray.  The site manages to be without external reference, to be non or multi dimensional, to skirt through time. It’s all that’s promised of the internet without the ads, the mundanities or the 24 hour news cycle. Awesome.

Furthermore, also on the Suburban site is the promise of an upcoming 10 Year Anniversary catalogue. Yay! You need to see the list of artists Grabner’s worked with. Again, awesome.

Bart Exposito preview, studio shot by Dennis Hollingsworth. Grateful am I to snag this image from Hollingsworth's blog which is here-in linked. Thanks Dennis!

Bart Exposito preview, studio shot by Dennis Hollingsworth. Grateful am I to snag this image from Hollingsworth's blog which is here-in linked. Thanks Dennis!

More and more comes our way! Dan Graham Studio is a new space on Bernard St. in Chinatown (Adjacent the 510 building and that lovely vegetable/herb garden along the 110 Hill St. offramp.) Aaron Wrinkle is the proprietor. If you clicked you know that Wrinkle’s website isn’t full of information, although maybe that in itself is a lot of information… Arely Villegas at her blog Art A L.A. Mode offers more facts than I can, plus a nice contextualization for the Graham moniker. Aaron Wrinkle’s Myspace page has a bit, ArtSlant a bit more. (This process we’re engaged in, along with visits to places, is how information builds into knowledge.) My guess is we’ll be hearing more from Wrinkle and Dan Graham Studio. And from Arely Villegas, too!
Dan Graham Studio, 506 Bernard St. Chinatown, 90012

So hey Arely – about the Duchamp playing chess with Eve Babitz video you link to: in my charmed existence as an historical-minded (and voraciously curious) member of the Fellows of Contemporary Art I have met original members of the group who attended that party at the Castle Green and watched that very game!

I quote an August, 2005 email from founding member Martha Padve, “The Duchamp show was the most incredible, imaginative exhibition I think I’ve ever seen. And of course its spell was cast upon all of us who attended the dance in the ballroom of the Green Hotel, where Duchamp himself danced with an old flame. It was all kind of ‘out of this world’ while being very much ‘in’ and beyond it. So much of my stuff regarding the Pasadena Art Museum is in archives at UCLA. I wish I could recall with whom he played chess at the Museum. She was nude!!!!”

After Dan Graham, be sure to visit the spaces at 510 Bernard and then… cross the hated and feared Hill St. one more time, stop at Thomas Solomon Gallery to see Bart Exposito’s new paintings. (Christopher Knight review) Seconding Knight’s review I’ll add that (it’s my belief that) Bart Exposito is one of the defining painters of our time and place. You can’t think about LA art since 1999 without studying Bart’s deliberate and steady development as a painter, his painstaking approach to the refinement of his tools and the consideration he takes for each move in his progress. In addition, one can’t imagine the development of art in Chinatown or Los Angeles without Bart’s generous heart and his willingness and ability to further the careers of artists he admires. Take a moment at Solomon’s to learn how to see.
Thomas Solomon Gallery, 427 Bernard St., Chinatown, 90012

I really think you need to backtrack a bit. Directly where you crossed Hill is Solway Jones. Do see G Sculpture Show by Koh Byoung-Ok. Koh has a delightfully light touch at producing surprise as a moment. I haven’t see Mario Correa’s show at Redling Fine Art yet and plan to on Saturday. Join me?

Then, at some point this week, stop by Cottage Home for Katie Brennan and James Griffin’s LAst Show. Be there at 9 pm Saturday night and have a blast with a Charles Irvin performance!
Kathryn Brennan Gallery at Cottage Home, 410 Cottage Home St., Chinatown, 90012

Chinatown Rainbow 4 this is called. I don't know who took it. Good Lord, it's quite lovely! One can't help but wonder what lies over that particular rainbow. Link to Kathryn Brennan

Chinatown Rainbow 4 this is called. I don't know who took it. Good Lord, it's quite lovely! One can't help but wonder what lies over that particular rainbow. Link to Kathryn Brennan

A million things are happening this weekend. Honest.

Be at LACMA on Sunday, May 23 for a giant book release party for Words Without Pictures editor Alex Klein, Four Over One by Phil Chang, Bananas for Moholy-Nagy by Patterson Beckwith and The Sun as Error by Shannon Ebner. Indeed my friends I realize I’ve talked about this event previously… I’m like a bull terrier about things I admire: I never let go.

A friend sent me a link reminding me that Phil Chang writes quite interestingly about his book in Art Forum’s “500 Words” column. I find that back in March Shannon Ebner occupied the Art Forum “500 Words” space with thoughts on her book, The Sun as Error. Bananas for Moholy-Nagy seems to have been the title of Patterson Beckwith’s 2006 exhibition at (the then) Daniel Hug Gallery, although more Beckwith information is certainly available on his own website. I’ve linked Words Without Picture to death, how about giving its sibling Pictures Without Words a try? (Ooh gee, that one’s gone now. Instead give Aperture a moment of your time. Be sure to run your cursor over the grey navigation bar and try the Blog, Multimedia, Magazine and other internal sites. Alex Klein currently has a solo show at Las Cienegas Projects.

You’ll of course recall Tragic Dinner Theater. Got your tix yet? Still time.

I’m working backward here. And somehow thinking of Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk. Do I need a reason? 

Robert Olsen On Foucault oil on panel, 2010 Link to Robert Olsen blog

Robert Olsen On Foucault oil on panel, 2010 Link to Robert Olsen blog

Alice Clements has work in a group show at the Brand Library in Glendale. Yes, Glendale. You know – the Verdugo Mountains. The Rossmoyne District. Montrose. Houses by John Lautner. Chevy Chase Canyon. The Brand Art and Music Library at the top of Brand Blvd. Opening Saturday from 6 to 9 pm. Also featured will be work by Janet Bothne, Mary Addison Hackett and Julie Schustak.

Robert Olsen’s A List of Art Openings in Los Angeles has what you need for Saturday. (That and a half pint and a diet pepsi I once wrote in another context. Need. It’s always around.)

While we’re with Robert Olsen and since we’ve been sharing videos all day, check out Olsen’s own wonderful short essays in film.

Mark Licari has The Finishes That Stand the Test of Time opening at Honor Fraser on Saturday, so you may stroll the length of La Cienega looking and talking. If you can park, that is. Fortunately Licari has his own website, too or I wouldn’t have any images to share. 

Mark Licari Nervous Men, Ttelephone wire and mixed media motorized to shake nervously n.d., Link to interview with Licari in Beautiful Decay

Mark Licari Nervous Men, Ttelephone wire and mixed media motorized to shake nervously n.d., Link to interview with Licari in Beautiful Decay

I’m afraid that I’m leaving things out. I’ll pick them up next week, I guess. One thing I know is that on Saturday night I’ll be at the Jacaranda Concert in Santa Monica enjoying the best musicians in the world playing selections of Hindemith, Schubert, Wagner and Mahler.

Oh wait! (You knew this was coming didn’t you?) PDC PDC PDC Alert. New Atlantis Enterprises with Piero Golia, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, Lesley Moon and Justin von der Fehr. A new paradigm will (shall?) premier in Suite B215. I know nothing. Thursday the 20th. Thats tonight!!

Much more tonight at the PDC here.

Forgive me for begging off New Atlantis Enterprises (oh dear, I’m tired – take a minute to Google the characters involved in this New Atlantis project and see if you aren’t thrilled and impressed) and the other PDCers in West Hollywood but I’ll be at the LACE Auction. I’ve got some bidding butt to kick! See you there????????????

Xs and Os everyone, thanks for reading.

Geoff Tuck

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