Category

Art

“Venice, CA — L.A. Louver is pleased to present a new series of iPhone and iPad drawings by David Hockney. Created by the artist between 2009-12, this is the first time these works will be on view in Los Angeles; they have been newly editioned and released by the Hockney Studio. “Anyone who likes drawing and mark-making will like to explore new media.” – David Hockney From photographic collage to facsimile drawings, copier-machine offset printing to computer generated images, David Hockney has nurtured a lifelong fascination with using new technology to make pictures. In 2008, Hockney acquired his first iPhone and quickly became consumed with the device’s drawing applications. Its portability afforded him the ability to create anywhere, at any time, and without restriction. With the stroke of his thumb, all color and markmaking effects imaginable were at his command. Early subjects included domestic settings, like the sunrise from his bedroom window, or the floral arrangements decorating his home. “I draw flowers every day on my iPhone and send them to my friends, so they get fresh flowers every morning,” said Hockney. “And my flowers last.” But what began as impromptu sketches shared with friends and family, soon became a vital means for Hockney to study and capture the world around him. As Hockney’s proficiency with the software app heightened, so did the complexity of his drawings. By transitioning to an iPad in 2010, the artist could employ a larger screen, and use all of his fingers as well as a stylus pen to make images. “I thought the iPhone was great, but this takes it to a new level – simply because it’s eight times the size of the iPhone, as big as a reasonably sized sketchbook,” Hockney said of the iPad. Working in situ with the touch screen as his blank canvas, Hockney layered stroke upon stroke of color to convey the texture, light and presence of his chosen subjects that range from a glass ashtray and a pair of bathroom robes, to playful self-portraits of varying expressions.”

“Betye, Lezley and Alison Saar have created some of the most powerful, important and deeply moving art in our contemporary world. Their compelling works forge idiosyncratic constructions of social memory and personal identity, as well as the cultural histories underlying them. All three Saars assemble two- and three-dimensional works based on unexpected juxtapositions of form and content. They deploy the flotsam of material culture, from discarded architectural components (old windows, ceiling tiles, wall paper) to domestic detritus (washboards, buckets, shelves) to historic photographs and printed fabrics.

“I like things,” Betye asserted in a recent interview. “Every object tells a story. If I recombine them, they tell another story.”  In their aesthetic practice of collecting and recombining objects, the Saars become what French philosopher Claude Levi-Strauss called bricoleurs: creators who arrange preexisting articles and images to produce dramatic visual compositions.  Levi-Strauss expanded the French term bricoleur (a “Do-It-Yourself” handyman) to include anyone who works with the materials at hand, cobbling together disparate parts to create novel solutions.

All of the Saars use recycled materials not generally considered “appropriate” art media. Modern art academies, founded in Europe in the seventeenth century, had privileged oil paint on canvas and cast bronze as elite, “high art” media. In contrast, creations in jewelry, textiles and ceramics were considered “low art” or crafts. When the Saars employ objects like handkerchiefs and old books as painting surfaces, or tin ceiling tiles and buckets as sculpture, they violate long-held boundaries between high and low arts. Their material contraventions parallel the artists’ transgressions of identity-based binaries such as male/female, culture/nature and master/slave. “

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