Note to a friend, 1. Artists to look at and try to meet
(this post is somewhat in draft)
A friend – a painter – who recently relocated to Los Angeles sent me an email on Tuesday asking about artists whose work he should look at, and with whom he might talk about painting. The post below is an adaptation of my response. As a matter of fact this painter friend replied to my list of artists with a note, “Wow! My own personal Notes on Looking!” Nice Mr. Painter Friend generously suggested to me an idea and I pretty much ran with it. Here goes:
Hey X– It’s nice to have you back in town! Your request for recommendations of LA artists to look at has my mind leaping and hopping. In Steve Roden and Brian Fahlstrom you’ve made two good choices so far and I know D and I are going back and forth recalling other artists we favor. So far we’ve thought mostly of painters. Prepare for a longish email:
Lecia Dole-Recio (her vellum and tape paintings are all over our house and she currently has work in the small space at Telles)
Since I bring up Telles – check out Tom Allen in the main space – great images on Notes last week http://notesonlooking.com/?p=1643 Not doing abstraction although he edges very close in some of the new paintings. in fact I’d be interested to know what you think, you shd definitely meet him – he thinks.
Tyler Vlahovich – current show at WPA titled “I Drank the Kool Aid” http://www.wpala.com/ in Chinatown. Abstract paintings and drawings. To use an easy tag, think Vorticist or something. This idea will carry you to the gallery, then you can discard it and look at the paintings. Again, you shd see the work and talk with him. http://tyler.artcodeinc.com/
In fact on further searches I was able to find the caption for the above painting: Tyler Vlahovich, “Etching White” (detail), 2010, Oil on canvas, 48 x 56 inches
More Vlahovich quotes to prepare you for your now necessary journey to WPA in Chinatown: “Figuration steps in to maintain a point of reference. Contour lines also suggest a great deal with extreme economy and can easily slip or flash between two and three-dimensional representation. I like how this flux can delay a quick appraisal. And, as the title of the show suggests, I’ve not only embraced the promising/worrisome paradox of clarity but the attraction has become a calling.”
More practitioners may come to mind.
As indeed more have:
I’m wondering whether you want to look at art vaguely like finish fetish? (think McCracken in “the ‘bu” and all that) Or are you thinking only of painters?
Instead of boilerplate CA finish fetish D and I prefer the more recent “Finish Fetish Conceptualism” of artists such as Sayre Gomez http://www.sayregomez.com/ (also see this truly neat exhibition he did at Fourteen30 in Portland http://www.fourteen30.com/Shows-Detail.cfm?ShowsID=33 ) his installations, drawings and paintings are not boring, not vomited repetitions of academic post-Marxian, late-capitalist critique. They are beautiful, sexy, funny and the work manages to get me thinking about the images that manufacture our culture. Most often work about consumption and images and culture is easy for me to dismiss – as is the pop culture from which it derives. Gomez is smart enough to leave room for my brain and my heart.
Kathryn Andrews whose studio we’re visiting after work tonight. Did you see her work at Kordansky last year? I think we talked about it… good stuff.
Hmm… I’m on a roll (or going off entirely, depending on what you think) Phil Chang http://www.philchang.com/ is a photographer. A recent project of his featured photographic images he liberated from the UCLA archives. These are images taken in the early 20th Century by a naturalist. Not pictures of flora and fauna but of the people who happened to be around on the quest. Ship people, field workers, dock workers, “natives.” In the captions the naturalist identified all the “white” people with names and designated the “colored” people (Hawaiians, Japanese, blacks, etc.) with job titles. Pretty basic racist stuff. Chang exposed photo paper to light using the liberated negatives, leaving the paper unfixed so that each future exposure to light will further develop the paper and obliterate the naturalist’s images. Sweet. In his studio Chang installed the photos behind lovely curtains. Each behind its own velvety drape. The colors of the images are sepia or perhaps better mole’s fur. Again, lovely.
Maybe call Phil’s project “Midnight in the mid-Pacific” or “A Coming Dark in the Islands” or “If Value is Placed in an Object, What if Each Appreciation of Said Object By the Owner Causes it to Disappear?”
Off in quite another direction Chris Lipomi comes to mind – he recently told D of interesting new projects in the studio. http://www.meslerandhug.com/artists/view/chris-lipomi no website, nothing too new online, except for the 2008 Mesler & Hug link and a show he organized at Michael Lett in New Zealand http://www.michaellett.co.nz/exhibition/?show=168&s=Interactive+Visual+History+Compression+%28The+Ks%29
I’m pretty sure more will be coming to mind with us both. Let me know if you want more ideas.
btw – Saturday we’re making some of the rounds do you want to come? We’ll be seeing Tyler’s show in Ctown, Justin Cole also in Ctown at Pepin Moore; Richard Telles in midtown, not sure what else there, maybe Edgar Arceneaux and Martin McMurray at Susanne’s; then definitely want to see Amir Nikravan’s show at Rosamund Felsen. Nikravan is a UC Irvine grad or grad student who comes very highly recommended.
Return message from X:
WoW!!!! You gave me my own custom notes on looking! A true keepsake. Thanks….
I’ll look at every one of these artists.
Sat. sounds fun, but I am planning on going out to Sierre Madre (sounds very far!). If something changes I will let you know.
So Thanks again Geoff! very generous and insane of you.
Cool. You’re welcome. Sierra Madre isn’t too far. If you’re feeling up to it you can stop at the Armory in Pasadena to see Steve’s survey show. (awesome, wonderful, too few hyperbolic terms in my arsenal)
Unless you stop me I’ll give you directions and other suggestions for along the way… (totally smiling here) um on that note, did you read about the Raphael “Cowper Small Madonna” at the Norton Simon? Just installed. Looked great in the Times!
Enjoy your freeway time,