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Art

Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition by Deborah Roberts in our Downtown gallery entitled Native Sons: Many thousands gone.

Below is an essay commissioned on the occasion of Roberts’s exhibition by Dr. Cherise Smith of the University of Texas at Austin: 

“The fourteen works on display reflect a shift in Roberts’s practice, from collages on paper that depict girls to mixed-media paintings, such as Our Destinies are Bound (2018), in which the artist focuses her gaze on Black boys. In recent years, Roberts has reminded viewers that Black girls are indeed girls whose youth is worthy of protection, whose intelligence is worthy of cultivation, and whose dreams are worthy of fostering, particularly in the moments of #MeToo and #MuteRKelly. In these new works, she turns exclusively to Black boys, whose well being and futures are equally at risk, while deepening her examination of the childhood years of African Americans—an exceedingly treacherous period of our lives.

Founded in 1976, Printed Matter, Inc. is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination, understanding and appreciation of artists’ books and related publications.

First established in Tribeca by a group of individuals working in the arts (among them artist Sol LeWitt and critic Lucy Lippard), Printed Matter was developed in response to the growing interest in publications made by artists. Starting in the early 60s, many of the pioneering conceptual artists (as well as performance, process, environment, sound and other experimental media artists) began to explore the possibilities of the book form as an artistic medium. Large-edition and economically produced publications allowed experimentation with artworks that were affordable and could circulate outside of the mainstream gallery system. Printed Matter provided a space that championed artists’ books as complex and meaningful artworks, helping bring broader visibility to a medium that was not widely embraced at the time.

After 13 years on Lispenard Street in Tribeca, Printed Matter moved to a location on Wooster Street in SoHo in 1989. The spacious bookshop with large storefront windows allowed for the development of expanded public programming, including more exhibitions and events, and contributed to the cultural vibrancy of the neighborhood. In 2001 Printed Matter made its move to Chelsea, which had since become New York City’s contemporary arts district. In 2015, the store relocated to its current space on 11th Avenue. The new location features a much larger bookstore spread across a ground floor and a large public stairwell leading to a mezzanine level. The space features a dedicated exhibition area, as well as increased office space for its growing staff. Printed Matter’s new home provides a much more comfortable environment for visitors to engage with the ever-growing inventory, and for a busy schedule of public programs.

Artists’ books continue to provide a remarkable reflection of contemporary artistic practices – tracing and even leading many of the most important developments in the historical trajectory. In the face of the ongoing proliferation of digital media and information, there has been an astounding resurgence over the past several years in both artists’ publishing and public interest. In tandem with this truly international phenomenon, Printed Matter founded the NY and LA art fairs (in 2004 and 2013 respectively), which have become the world’s largest venues for the distribution, investigation and celebration of artists books and art publishing. It is thrilling that Printed Matter’s mission continues to be resilient, and remains more relevant than ever.

Blum & Poe is pleased to announce the second installment of Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s, a selected survey exhibition curated by Mika Yoshitake. Focusing on the themes of retro-futurism, noir, satire, and simulation, as well as those that probe national boundaries, the show is presented in two parts at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles. Works from over twenty-five artists including EYE, Kenjiro Okazaki, Mariko Mori, Kodai Nakahara, Masato Nakamura, Yukinori Yanagi, Kenji Yanobe, and Tadanori Yokoo feature media spanning painting, sculpture, performance, noise, video, and photography. A catalogue will be published for the occasion, with artist testimonials and new scholarship by Yoshitake and David Novak, award-winning author of Japanoise: Music at the Edge of Circulation (Duke University Press Books, 2013).

Part II of Parergon expands on the thematic territories explored in Part I, with seminal installations and sculptures from the era and performances by renowned figures of noise, sound, and electro-acoustic music genres. Kenji Yanobe’s Tanking Machine (Rebirth) (2019) is a darkly humorous, interactive, sci-fi sculpture first presented in 1989 that addresses the ever-present reality of nuclear crisis through a retro-futurist narrative. Influential multimedia artist, Kodai Nakahara’s bizarre installations of figurine-like marble stones and brightly, suspended spheres reflect a humorous take on sculpture’s “post-medium” condition.  As an intellectual and artist, Kenjiro Okazaki’s practice engages with theories of perception through interdisciplinary genres spanning architecture, literary theory, painting, reliefs, sculpture, robotics, and dance. Trained in both Japan and the U.S., Yukinori Yanagi’s large-scale and site-specific installations interrogate the politics of institutional borders and boundaries often drawing from semiotic systems of symbolic imagery. Psychedelic ’60s graphic designer Tadanori Yokoo revisits strategies of historical pastiche with his figurative noir paintings that hang alongside his cut-canvas portraits of Dada figures, as well as ceramic depictions of spiritual mediums. Finally, a dedicated Japanese noise archive of photography, journals, and vinyl records from Tokyo’s experimental underground will also be featured on the second floor giving historical context to the live performances. 

The exhibition title makes reference to the gallery in Tokyo (Gallery Parergon, 1981-1987) that introduced many artists associated with the New Wave phenomenon, its name attributed to Jacques Derrida’s essay from 1978 which questioned the “framework” of art, influential to artists and critics during the period. Parergon brings together some of the most enigmatic works that were first generated during a rich two-decade period that are pivotal to the way we perceive and understand contemporary Japanese art today. In the aftermath of the conceptual reconsideration of the object and relationality spearheaded by Mono-ha in the 1970s, this era opened up new critical engagements with language and medium where artists explored expansions in installation, performance, and experimental multi-genre practices. 

WHAT’S THE POINT?   SPRÜTH MAGERS LOS ANGELES  

Every time I put a brushstroke down on a canvas I ask myself, “What’s the Point?”

What’s the Point of each and every mark going onto the painting? It is important for an artist to ask themselves that question. I am intentional with every move I make as a painter. Even if it appears to be random or an accident, or just a part of a painting that seems less important than another, it is not and cannot ever be. The choice of color has a point. It may be to balance an area of a painting in coordination with another part or to equalize the fine line between perception and reality within the abstract perception of a formal set of guidelines (that never apply to anything other than the singular experience invested in each artwork). There is no guideline to the unknown. It is a path cut out in the wild with a machete looking for a clearing and hoping to arrive at a destination. That, I believe, is the point, in fact: to arrive at your destination. It may be on the other end of an illogical equation which finally makes sense only some number of years later, or finally does not make sense in the end but remains the ultimate ending: the finished painting. 

One can see the entire world through this lens, to ask What’s the Point of meaningless intangibles and vacant thoughts, blank space or overpopulated ruminations. The degree to which the mind can play games with itself or the degree to which it can be misled with false, if not real, information. Real information can in fact be false today. We are living in a time when what is presented to us in the news cycle is real—there is no doubt that it is in fact what is being presented. However, What’s the Point in believing in the material content when it could be a truth constructed to make you believe something for the purpose of political manipulation? 

What’s the Point of being consistent? In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” 
—George Condo

Regen Projects is pleased to announce But I Woke Jus’ Tha Same, an exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Los Angeles-based artist Christina Quarles. This marks her first solo presentation at the gallery. 

Quarles’ seductive paintings feature polymorphous figures arranged in contorted positions in space, rendered through expressive and gestural strokes that teeter on the edge of abstraction and representation. Referencing the history and techniques of painting, her work propels forward the limits of her chosen medium, and is informed by her multiply situated identity as a queer woman of mixed race. Dynamic compositions feature bold patterns and decorative motifs such as flowers, latticework, and plaid tablecloths – feminine tropes that reference domestic space. Yet the subjects in Quarles’ paintings simultaneously inhabit interior and exterior space. Perspectival planes both situate and fragment the bodies they bisect, representing the boundaries that demarcate a space from the individual, and expanding the limits and potential for representation. 

Similar to her paintings, her drawings deftly combine pictorial elements using economy of line with cross hatching, and other modes of mark making, to create form and depth. Punctuating the picture plane, or outlining a figure, text additions in the form of puns or poetic wordplay often reference pop culture, situating the works in our time. 

Christina Quarles was born in Chicago, IL in 1985. She received a B.A. from Hampshire College and an M.F.A. from Yale University in 2016. That same year she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. She lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. 

Jarvis Boyland – Flaunt

April 09, 2019 in BoylandFlauntNews

Q&A | JARVIS BOYLAND AT KOHN GALLERY

By Christopher Andrew Armstrong

Growing up in the South isn’t easy. Not only do you have to deal with the overbearing humidity during the summers, but there’s also the sea of neighboring red states which blanket the United States map each election cycle, the conservative attitudes polluting a majority of its residents, and, of course, the reality of the South’s ugly history which you must confront each time you’re walking down the street and see a Confederate flag posted on a neighbor’s porch. The burdens of living there are even heavier when you’re a person of color, or, heaven forbid, your sexuality is anything other than hetero. Jarvis Boyland, an emerging black, queer artist from Memphis, Tennessee, currently based in Chicago, experienced these burdens throughout his childhood. Instead of allowing the discomfort of his background and surroundings to overwhelm him, he’s using them as catalysts for his work.

Boyland’s most outstanding pieces focus on intimate portraits of queer, black men in the comfort of domestic settings, free from the prejudices which follow them throughout their life. Although relaxed, by deconstructing their anxieties, the men are inherently defiant in their abode. On Saturday, April 6th, Kohn Gallery opened On Hold:, an exhibition, which, in conjunction with NY-based artist Heidi Hahn’s stellar show, Burn Out in Shredded Heaven, continues on until May 23rd. Flaunt had the lovely opportunity to chat with Boyland on his experiences growing up in the South, the inspiration behind his work, and the power behind portraiture.

Heidi Hahn Burn Out in Shredded Heaven
Opening April 6, 2019

Kohn Gallery is very pleased to announce its first solo exhibition by New York-based artist and painter Heidi Hahn, opening on April 6 and on view through May 23, 2019. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hahn creates introspective paintings that engage with the female body. Her sumptuously atmospheric and layered application of paint, in conversation with art-historical traditions, draw the viewer into a psychological space that evokes our attachment to the female form and how that is processed through both traditional and contemporary readings of the male gaze. Hahn incites the sinuous lines of Edvard Munch, the soak-stained expressionism of Helen Frankenthaler, and therawsymbolismof late-Guston, all the while establishing a truly distinctive voice of today–aware of what came before, but also untethered to it. Gestural, fluid, and frequently spectral, Hahn’s works reframe and re-contextualize her subjects, exploring the ambiguous and shifting boundaries between public and private selves.

The Biosphere 2 facility serves as a laboratory for controlled scientific studies, an arena for scientific discovery and discussion, and a far-reaching provider of public education. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe; to catalyze interdisciplinary thinking and understanding about Earth and its future; to be an adaptive tool for Earth education and outreach to industry, government, and the public; and to distill issues related to Earth systems planning and management for use by policymakers, students and the public. 

Nude Art LA is an event unlike anything you have ever seen. Exploring the artistic expression of the nude human form, the show combines a carefully curated collection of world-class, traditional fine art (photographs, paintings, sculptures, etc.) with interactive exhibits and jaw-dropping live performances that include body painting, burlesque, live figure sketching, nude yoga, pole dancing and a “naked fashion show” with some of the most amazing and revealing examples of wearable art and fashion you have ever seen. Featuring artists from across the United States and around the world, with pedigrees that include shows at the Louvre in Paris and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (among many, many others) Nude Art LA’s Spring 2019 show will take place at the historic Cooper Design Space in downtown Los Angeles.

Steve Turner is pleased to present Night Pockets, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based Gabby Rosenberg consisting of paintings that combine figuration and abstraction. The gender-ambiguous figures are part self and part monster and are comprised of lushly layered bold colors juxtaposed against solid backgrounds of white or black. Many of Rosenberg’s subjects have fragmented body parts that are stacked in concentric circles. These blobby characters are often depicted with exposed joints or innards, a suggestion of vulnerability. According to the artist, they represent a visceral feeling of otherness and the complex fluidity of identity. She also acknowledges a debt to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with its creature’s desire for intimacy.

Gabby Rosenberg (born Chicago, 1992) earned a BA from Hampshire College (2014) and an MFA from CalArts (2018). Her work is currently on view in Show Me as I Want to Be Seen at the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco. This is Rosenberg’s first solo exhibition at Steve Turner.

Childhood mementos—some cheery, others a bit creepy—are endemic in Pierre Ardouvin’s oeuvre. For his first solo show in Los Angeles, the French artist presents a selection of new and recent works in which youthful delights like toys, costume jewelry, carnival rides, playground equipment, and family vacations factor prominently. Featuring watercolors of stuffed animals, plastic figurine assemblages, and spectacular room-filling installations—notably the show’s title work, Ohlala, 2013, which evokes the pride and trauma of losing a tooth—this exhibition is an ode to a more innocent time.

Among the most recent works on view, Ardouvin’s “Phrase” paintings (2018-19) are sensitive watercolor renderings of well-loved (but inevitably discarded) playthings. Like the famous sled in Orson Wells’ Citizen Kane, each fuzzy animal, miniature car, and limp marionette that Ardouvin paints is a “Rosebud.” These nostalgia triggers, which appear individually and in pairs against a blank background, are simultaneously haunting and huggable. Similarly, poignant, if a bit livelier, are two small sculptures made from actual toys. Mounted on rotating mirrored bases, the bedazzled assemblages—The story makes no sense. Very disappointed and A lot of fiction is intensely nostalgic (both 2014)—twinkle as they slowly spin round and round. Surprisingly soulful, these glitzy sculptures are like totems from the realm of make-believe. 

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