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emsarts

“Until the Meiji Restoration in 1868, the Japanese language did not have a word for fine art. The word bijutsu was constructed, combining Chinese characters bi, for beauty, and jutsu, for craft. This hybrid term reveals the unique trajectory of Japanese contemporary art, different from the foundations of contemporary art in the West.

Tokyo Pop Underground, curated by Tokyo gallerist Shinji Nanzuka, explores the complex history of Japanese contemporary art from the 1960s to the present through the works of seventeen artists who emerged from pop and underground culture.

Shinji Nanzuka explains that “originally in Japan, most of what is referred to as art are practical items, developed together and in integration with popular culture.” He cites examples from calligraphy to folding screens, paintings on sliding paper doors, lacquerware, netsuke, and the Ukiyo-e prints that served as posters and commercial portraits. He also mentions art historian Naoyuki Kinoshita’s study of intricately realistic handicrafts such as iki-ningyou, life-like dolls that were made for exhibitory performances. Nanzuka’s mission in this exhibition is to present contemporary artistic commentaries on this Japanese artistic heritage.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“Founded in 1931, the Nevada Museum of Art (the Museum) is the only art museum in Nevada accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Co-founded in 1931 by Dr. James Church, an early climate scientist, humanist, and lover of art, the Museum in its early days was run by a small group of outdoor landscape painters. As a result, the Museum has long understood the importance of examining how humans interact with their natural, built, and virtual surroundings. Designed by internationally renowned architect Will Bruder, the present Museum facility opened in 2003 at the heart of Reno’s downtown Liberty district. The four-level, 70,000-square-foot building is inspired by geological formations in northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, and serves as a visual metaphor for the institution’s scholarly focus on art and environment.

The institution’s identity continues to be shaped by the geographic location and environment. The Museum’s proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and the surrounding Great Basin desert region places it at the nexus of both awe-inspiring scenery and a rapidly changing landscape. It is an ideal place for dynamic conversations about the ways that humans creatively interact with environments. This idea is reflected in the Museum’s permanent collection, which is divided into four thematic focus areas: the Robert S. and Dorothy J. Keyser Art of the Greater West Collection, the Carol Franc Buck Altered Landscape Photography Collection, the Contemporary Art Collection, and the E. L. Wiegand Work Ethic in American Art Collection.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“Tanya Bonakdar Gallery is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition with multidisciplinary artist Jónsi, on view at the gallery’s Los Angeles space from November 16, 2019 through January 9, 2020.

What is the shape of sound? What does it feel like? Can we smell it? How does it move through your body and what kind of sensations does it trigger? These are the questions that are posed by Jónsi in his first exhibition at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in Los Angeles. Best known for producing distinctive musical sounds ranging from hypnotic ambient incantations to driving sonic waves as a member of the band Sigur Rós, Jónsi has expanded his artistic practice over the past few years in a series of collaborations with visual artists such as Doug Aitken, Olafur Eliasson, Merce Cunningham and most recently the artist and composer Carl Michael von Hausswolf with whom he formed the musical duo Dark Morph. In the wake of these collaborations, Jónsi’s most recent solo aesthetic explorations have resulted in a series of immersive installations that sculpt with sound as they ask us to meditate on the liminal threshold between our bodies and the world around us.

In a series of three new gallery-based works, Jónsi riffs on the invocation of sensory inversion in Goethe’s fifth Roman Elegy in which the Romantic poet makes a connection between the experience of a lover’s body and a classical marble sculpture with the phrase, “see with a feeling eye, feel with a seeing hand.” In Jónsi’s remix, Goethe’s advice to experience the world in a different way is given a sonic update that might read as follows: “hear with a feeling ear, feel with a hearing hand.” Seeing, hearing, feeling – each of these senses collapse upon one another in Jónsi’s work as sound takes a concrete form and the tactile and the auditory merge into a surprising synesthesia. While one might read these works within the lineage of bombastic noise experiments harkening back to those of the Italian Futurists who championed the revolutionary aspects of noise in opposition to formal music, Jónsi’s approach is far more interested in exploring the phenomenological complication and extension of the senses as an antidote to a world in which we are constantly confronted by the agitated white noise of contemporary civilization. In his work there is an overarching attempt to assert the primacy of the auditory, the tactile, and the visual in helping the human organism navigate its way through this unmoored and volatile world.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“Regen Projects is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Alex Hubbard. On view will be a selection of new works comprising multimedia paintings and two handmade projectors streaming animated videos. Hubbard has often experimented with various media to extend the prescribed characteristics of both painting and video.

The moving image has always been an integral thematic of Hubbard’s practice. His early video works often render a series of alternating acts of construction and deconstruction across a flattened plane while proposing a visual allegiance to painting. With these new works comes a series of questions concerning the position of video in a post-YouTube era. The two projectors display referential animations – recycling elements of Hubbard’s past videos while alluding to the history of structuralist films. Each projector’s animations – one a surrealist landscape, the other a hand-drawn layered composition – feature colorful kinetic forms that play out on the gallery walls.

Hubbard’s paintings combine the language of abstraction with nontraditional, industrial materials like resin, fiberglass, pigmented urethane, and auto-body paint. In this series of paintings Hubbard has employed a new UV printing technology. Each composition is achieved through a multi-layered process of paint pours and printing. While still employing abstract compositions, traces of the figurative are present through cut-out prints of machinery and quotidian objects.

Alex Hubbard (b. 1975 Toledo, OR) received a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art. In 2003 he attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. He lives and works in Los Angeles. 

He has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions including Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham (2014); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012); The Kitchen, New York (2010); and Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis (2009). Hubbard’s works have also been featured in group exhibitions at Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2016); Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach (2016); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2015); Museo Experimental del Eco, Mexico City (2014); Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (2012); Le Consortium, Dijon (2014); and the 2010 Whitney Biennial; among others.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature.

Crystal Bridges takes its name from a nearby natural spring and the bridge construction incorporated in the building, designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A series of pavilions nestled around two spring-fed ponds house galleries, meeting and classroom spaces, and a large, glass-enclosed gathering hall. Guest amenities include a restaurant on a glass-enclosed bridge overlooking the ponds, a Museum Store designed by architect Marlon Blackwell, and a library featuring more than 50,000 volumes of art reference material. Sculpture and walking trails link the museum’s 120-acre park to downtown Bentonville, Arkansas.

Crystal Bridges acknowledges and pays respect to the Osage, Caddo, and Quapaw people and elders past, present and future, offering deep gratitude to the ancestral land and water that supports it.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“ComplexCon is a catalyst for creative collaboration between the most influential people and the hottest brands that move our culture forward. This groundbreaking festival and exhibition brings together pop culture, music, art, food, sports, innovation, activism, and education. ComplexCon launched in Chicago this July and returns to Long Beach in November. Shop hundreds of exclusive releases from the most sought-after brands, catch stunning live performances, watch inspiring talks from the most influential minds in our culture, and experience the future through the most immersive and ambitious pop culture experience yet.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“David Kordansky Gallery is pleased to announce GO HANG A SALAMI IM A LASAGNA HOG, an exhibition of new work by Calvin Marcus. The exhibition will be on view November 1, 2019 through January 11, 2020. An opening reception will be held on Friday, November 1 from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm. 

GO HANG A SALAMI IM A LASAGNA HOG is Marcus’s second exhibition at the gallery and his most extensive and immersive in any venue to date. The gallery has become a “rabbit hole”: four bodies of work—including paintings, sculpture, and photography—unfold across its three exhibition spaces, with only one way in and one way out.

Unexpected shifts in scale, and the uncanniness these shifts engender, are a feature throughout Marcus’s practice and a pronounced theme for the show. This idea is initially raised in the first gallery, where a group of new paintings evoke watercolor pictures at a heroic scale. Whether a filmic depiction of a greyhound chasing a rabbit or a cartoonish rendering of a mortal forearm contorting to shake hands with the divine, these objects balance, with heady precariousness, the washy immediacy and insouciance of a hobbyist’s sketches with the incisive line, poised composition, and physical and psychological gravity of serious painting.

The series, which debuted at the 2019 Whitney Biennial, marks an important development from Marcus’s prior serial production. Each painting attempts to achieve complete autonomy within its edges and is a vignetted universe unto itself. Capturing dream-like visions and snapshots of the absurdity of contemporary life, the paintings depict diverse subjects: animals, humanoid figures, and interior and landscape-like spaces. These singular representations share a sensibility, at once idiosyncratic and disarming, that immediately draws the viewer into the mysteries of the quotidian world. While the pictures retain an inherent openness and recognizability and can often be described succinctly in a few phrases, the paintings belie a prickly, even anxious subjectivity, denying the simple readings they seem to proffer. They also refuse to settle into any one genre, typology, or even medium; amongst one another, the works’ painterliness is a function of formal qualities shared with drawing, sculpture, and installation-based practices. Each, therefore, poses—with Marcus’s humorous brand of surrealism—as many questions as answers.

A second gallery funnels inquiry into two objects, a sculpture lit from within and a color photograph, the only elements in an otherwise darkened space. Each inverts the expectations of the prior room, recalibrating perception again. The sculpture is a small-scale replica of the exterior of an East Los Angeles storefront. Existing somewhere between a memorial and a facsimile, the object expresses a remarkable degree of fidelity, maintaining a working ventilation fan and lights, and retaining a sense of life on its own. The photograph seemingly portrays similarly mundane stuff: a meal of asparagus on a plate. This image, reminiscent of Surrealist photography, flips conventions of representation as it deceives the viewer using only analog means.

The effects of exaggeration reach a crescendo in the final room, a terminus where four monumental paintings encircle the viewer. Each titled Stretch Sturgeon, the four pictures follow the same format: a five-by-twenty-two-foot canvas has been painted in watercolor washes of yellow and green to depict an impossibly extended fish. Recalling both naturalists’ field guide illustrations and the folk-art tradition of fishermen recording their haul, each painting also functions as surrogate human portraiture, as a trophy representing the angler who made this proverbial catch of a lifetime. Anomalous if not absurd, Marcus’s sturgeon stretch belief; indeed, they suggest tall tales by literal elongation. The length of each painting matches that of a novelty stretch limousine, and they follow a similar creation logic. The front and back (or head and tail) of a car bookend multiple middles of the same model, all welded together with custom touches to confirm seamless continuity. The resulting form is still at human scale, but beyond reason. Repeated four times, this expansion inches toward abstraction and the sublime.

As in much of his production, in GO HANG A SALAMI IM A LASAGNA HOG Marcus translates the vagaries of an interior, personal world into images and objects notable for their clarity and directness. By amplifying the peculiarities of his own vision and processes, he channels the contradictions of contemporary life. Through this, Marcus demonstrates how familiar and unfamiliar, large and small, and heroic and ordinary are no longer oppositional categories, but unified experiences in the collective awareness.

Calvin Marcus (b. 1988, San Francisco; lives and works in Los Angeles) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Power Station, Dallas (2017); Peep-Hole, Milan (2015); and Public Fiction, Los Angeles (2014). Recent group exhibitions include Whitney Biennial 2019, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Trick Brain, Aïshti Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon (2017); Inaugural exhibition, Syz Collection, Banque Syz, Geneva (2017); and High Anxiety: New Acquisitions, Rubell Family Collection, Miami (2016). His work is in the permanent collections of the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“Gagosian is pleased to present On the Eve of Never Leaving, new drawings and sculptures by Tatiana Trouvé. This is her first exhibition in Los Angeles.

In her large-scale drawings, cast and carved sculptures, and site-specific installations, Trouvé assesses the relationship between memory and material, pitting the ceaseless flow of time against the remarkable endurance of common objects. Combining fragments from both natural and constructed ecosystems, she creates hauntingly familiar realms in which forest, street, studio, and dream coalesce.

“On the Eve of Never Leaving” is a translation of “Na Véspera de Não Partir Nunca,” the title of a poem by Álvaro de Campos, one of the many heteronyms of the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa (1888–1935). De Campos’s deeply melancholic writings often deal with notions of time and nothingness; they are hymns to the existential void. Trouvé—attuned to the ways in which journeys, physical and spiritual, can circle back on themselves—visually collapses past and future, echoing Pessoa’s linguistic paradoxes in uncanny material form.” per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

“ACID-FREE is pleased to announce the return of the Los Angeles Art Book Market & Bazaar, a three-day event produced by a programming committee of LA-based publishers, librarians, and curators, hosted by Blum & Poe Los Angeles.

Following the success of our inaugural Market in 2018 and our temporary installation at Frieze Los Angeles, join us November 1-3 for the 2019 Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market. A-F ⅠⅠ provides a platform for 90+ West Coast and international exhibitors presenting new publications and projects alongside film programming by Now Instant Image Hall and La Collectionneuse, an archival exhibition curated by Guadalupe Rosales, music by Pacoima Techno, and a full schedule of ongoing discursive programming and signings.

This year will also premiere The Bazaar, a new outdoor book publishing-adjacent area including presentations by Artists 4 Democracy, High Desert Test Sites, Virgil Normal, and more.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 is the first full-scale scholarly survey of this groundbreaking American art movement, encompassing works in painting, sculpture, collage, ceramics, installation art, and performance documentation. Covering the years 1972 to 1985 and featuring approximately fifty artists from across the United States, the exhibition examines the Pattern and Decoration movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental, or craft-based and thought to be categorically inferior to fine art. Pattern and Decoration artists gleaned motifs, color schemes, and materials from the decorative arts, freely appropriating floral, arabesque, and patchwork patterns and arranging them in intricate, almost dizzying, and sometimes purposefully gaudy designs. Their work across mediums pointedly evokes a pluralistic array of sources from Islamic architectural ornamentation to American quilts, wallpaper, Persian carpets, and domestic embroidery. Pattern and Decoration artists practiced a postmodernist art of appropriation borne of love for its sources rather than the cynical detachment that became de rigueur in the international art world of the 1980s. This exhibition traces the movement’s broad reach in postwar American art by including artists widely regarded as comprising the core of the movement, such as Valerie Jaudon, Joyce Kozloff, Robert Kushner, Kim MacConnel, and Miriam Schapiro; artists whose contributions to Pattern and Decoration have been underrecognized, such as Merion Estes, Dee Shapiro, Kendall Shaw, and Takako Yamaguchi; as well as artists who are not normally considered in the context of Pattern and Decoration, such as Emma Amos, Billy Al Bengston, Al Loving, and Betty Woodman. Though little studied today, the Pattern and Decoration movement was institutionally recognized, critically received, and commercially successful from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. The overwhelming preponderance of craft-based practices and unabashedly decorative sensibilities in art of the present-day point to an influential P&D legacy that is ripe for consideration.

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 is organized by Anna Katz, Curator, with Rebecca Lowery, Assistant Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.” – per website

– for more information on additional images from this event please contact EMS at emsartscene@gmail.com or Instagram at @ericminhswenson

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