Tag

LA Louver

“Venice, CA — L.A. Louver is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based artist Alison Saar. Taking inspiration from the character of Topsy in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic Civil War-era novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Saar re-contextualizes the sprightly uncouth slave girl as a symbol of defiance, through paintings on dyed vintage linens and sculptures carved from wood. “She was one of the blackest of her race,” writes Stowe of Topsy in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. “Her woolly hair was braided in sundry little tails which stuck out in every direction… there was something odd and goblin-like about her appearance.” In over a dozen works, Saar utilizes this literal characterization to figuratively transform the chastised and ill-mannered Topsy into a fearless girl-at-arms. Topsy, abused and mistreated by her former owners, was purchased by Augustine St. Clare and presented to his cousin Miss Ophelia as a gift with the challenge to make her “good.” Despite Ophelia’s attempts, Topsy steals and neglects her servant duties, and when reprimanded describes herself: “I’s wicked, – I is. I’s mighty wicked.” By contrast, Eva, Topsy’s child mistress and playmate, is portrayed with purity and light — her flaxen hair likened to a glowing halo. Upon her untimely death, Eva gifts each of the family’s slaves a lock of her hair. It is this final act of Eva’s love that ultimately tames Topsy’s wicked, wild-child ways. However, Saar imagines a different fate for Topsy. In the sculpture Topsy and the Golden Fleece (2017), the slave girl refuses to be pacified, and is emboldened to take matters into her own hands. Saar braids tales, and weaves into Topsy’s story the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, drawing upon their seafaring journey to retrieve the Fleece of the Golden Ram to fulfill Jason’s claim to the throne. The artist recasts Topsy as a nude female figure, carved from wood, firmly postured like a self-possessed conqueror. Having deployed the sickle clenched tightly to her chest, Topsy rejects Eva’s docile offering of a single curl of hair, and instead commandeers her entire golden scalp, seizing Eva’s power to carve out her own destiny.”

“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.”