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Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 | T 310 838 6000


November 15, 2014

Sculpture Center Featured artist:
kate bonner

SculptureNotebook, a program of SculptureCenter, a not-for-profit arts institution located in Long Island City, NY, is an online platform that features artists, events, books, and other cultural material pertinent to issues in contemporary sculpture.

FEATURED ARTIST: Kate Bonner - Part photo, part sculpture, Bonner’s work is an attempt to expand space and to bar entry. She uses scissors, scanners, digital erasers and jigsaws to break apart images and deny story.   more

She describes a photograph as a wall— a glossy surface that can be either beautiful or dim. In her work, the viewer is neither familiar with the people, places, or things included in the images, nor with the artist’s connection to the imagery depicted.

Her work uses representation but for abstract, formal reasons. She treats photographs as objects and sometimes uses them as portals to break through the surface of the piece. Her work values perceptual failures and contains real boundaries: literally walls, windows, and frames that serve as entry points or that limit access.

Kate Bonner received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2012. She lives and works in Oakland, CA. In 2013, Bonner was included in NextNewCA, a survey of select California MFA graduates at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. She has exhibited at The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Et al Gallery, Queens Nails, The Popular Workshop, Important Projects, Paris Photo LA, and NADA New York, among others. [ VISIT SITE ]

November 11, 2014

update: This Trans* Couple Photographed Their Changing Relationship — & Genders

Update: Since we originally published this story on May 15, artists Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker have expanded on their photographic project, Relationship, which chronicled the pair's romantic relationship as Ernst transitioned from female to male and Drucker transitioned from male to female. Whereas Relationship was a "celebratory and sentimental" look at the opposite-oriented trans* couple's shared life, the new photos in "Post / Relationship / X" reflect Ernst and Drucker's romantic separation: The two remain creative partners, but are no longer lovers.   more

Click through to see 10 photographs from Relationship, followed by 19 from Post / Relationship / X.  [ READ MORE ]

November 07, 2014

Beating around the bush Episode #4 - starring Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst, Jutta Koether, Maha Maamoun, Ed Templeton, Aline Thomassen | 07.11.2014 - 08.02.2015

Beating around the bush is an exhibition programme for 2014, in which the Bonnefantenmuseum is presenting its collection in an investigative way. In four episodes, both the fixed values and the 'quiet reserve' of the collection will be brought into dialogue with new and proposed acquisitions. In addition, interventions in the form of small solo presentations will function as mirrors to reflect new content-related insights and perspectives.   more

Each episode has a different thematic angle, through which the individual artists' practices will be explored, as well as the museum collection as a whole and associated movements.

The fourth and last episode of the exhibition programme Beating around the bush focuses on artworks that can be connected to a greater or lesser degree with themes like identity, performance and physicality. The exhibition shows how artists use the most diverse media in their work - including painting, video, photography, textiles, sculpture and installation - to relate to subjects like origins, gender, sexuality, morality, culture and subculture. [ READ ON ]

November 02, 2014

OUT100: Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst

The Moment: 1967: Andy Warhol meets Candy Darling.

This summer, artistic collaborators Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst hit a high point in their careers by being included in the Whitney Biennial. The diaristic photo portraits on display recorded their relationship and their bodies as they transitioned (for Drucker from male to female; for Ernst from female to male), even as their lives continued to evolve.   more

Following the exhibition, Drucker (right), a performance artist, and Ernst (left), a filmmaker, jumped into production as trans consultants and associate producers on Amazon’s groundbreaking original series Transparent. The inspirations for this portrait, Andy Warhol and his muse Candy Darling, also struck a personal chord. “Andy Warhol was a futurist and a visionary,” Drucker says, “and Candy Darling was a pioneer — an archetype and ingenue in the fledgling trans community. We’re honored to inhabit these roles and hope to similarly have an impact on our time.”

Photographed at the Hollywood Loft on September 2, 2014

Styling by Alison Brooks. Makeup: Alexis Ellen/Rex. Hair: Marina Migliaccio/Rex. Vintage Chanel Jewelry available exclusively at JET, Los Angeles.

SLIDESHOW: See the Complete Out100 List [ READ ON ]

November 01, 2014

November 8 - December 20, 2014

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present NICOLAS GRENIER: One Day Mismatched Anthems Will Be Shouted in Tune, on view from November 8 through December 20, 2014. An artist’s reception will be held on Saturday, November 8, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Grenier, who splits his time between Montreal and Los Angeles, is currently participating in the 2014 Biennale de Montreal, L'avenir (Looking Forward), at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal.   more

This is his first solo exhibition with the gallery.

One Day Mismatched Anthems Will Be Shouted in Tune relays the cruel optimism of political ideals and proposals. On one hand, we rely upon systems to protect the legitimacy of living life, and on the other hand, these systems continually fail us—proving to be antagonistic and serving their own idealized representation rather than their subjects. Nicolas Grenier's work channels this cycle of faith, obedience and betrayal—within and towards systems—through a careful mapping of color and text.

The paintings in this show propose a dialectical tension between the perceptual and the didactic as visual and verbal signs are deployed into complex forms of abstraction and representation. Based on the interaction between concept, language, color and form, these systems evoke conflicting ideologies, changes in the social order and issues of inclusion and exclusion. Arrows and other representational minutiae of bureaucracy function as signifiers for the strategic planning models of corporate and government enterprise, while the use of text creates an indexical relation to specific ideas and concepts outside the painting—yet the meaning of these words remains relative to the colors and shapes they are attached.

For Grenier, color functions as a kind of ecosystem to house the social, political, and cultural systems that serve as points of departure within the work. Gradation is used as a scalable, mutable device for organizing the paintings into large, concentric forms, as well as the interface through which we experience smaller letterforms and vectors. Thus, color plays a double agent: working to both solidify meaning (produce readability) and obscure signs as they become recognizable. Grenier's intuitive but highly ordered system of depiction amounts to a schema that reveals abstraction as both a system of control through this confounding means, and also a possible respite from the administrative, logistical, and quantitative—reigniting the color field in service to the politics of subjectivity.

The result is a perverse (and darkly humorous) play on these standardized design mechanisms' desire to “chart” material things systematically. As words begin to function less as graphic elements and content dissolves into the color field, Grenier's modular jewels become sites for contemplation. Neither illustrations of ideas, theories or opinions, these works invite us to reconsider the issues and concepts outside of their usual framework, offering a complex visual experience that slows down our reading of the works and brings us to a psychological “meditative” state that helps to facilitate a form of critical engagement—less strictly cerebral and more intuitive—a place of contemplation where the political dissolves into the philosophical.

Nicolas Grenier received his BFA from Concordia University, Montreal, in 2004 and his MFA from CalArts, Los Angeles, in 2010. He lives and works in Los Angeles and Montreal, and has exhibited regularly in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Recent exhibitions include Schemas/Assorted Templates, galerie Art Mûr in Montreal; Chroma-Système, Centre Bang (Espace Séquence), Montreal; Promised Land Template, Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles; The Road, Luis De Jesus, Los Angeles; Marginal Revolutions, KUAD Gallery, Istanbul; The Work of The Work, University of California, Santa Barbara; Building on Ruins, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles; Color Consciousness and The Subterraneans, Torrance Art Museum; Untitled Tower/Brutalist Treehouse, Concord, Los Angeles; Corner-Thru, Choi&Lager Gallery, Cologne, and Union Gallery, London; and, Proximities, galerie Art Mûr, Montreal. His work is included in the Loto-Québec Collection, the Musée Nationale des Beaux-Arts du Québec (CPOA collection), as well as numerous corporate and private collections.


November 01, 2014

LILY STOCKMAN: WOMEN | November 8 - December 20, 2014

“Had I been blessed with even limited access to my own mind there would have been no reason to write. I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. …What is going on in these pictures in my mind?” - Joan Didion

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present LILY STOCKMAN in her first solo exhibition with the gallery, titled Women, on view from November 8 through December 20, 2014.   more

An artist’s reception will be held on Saturday, November 8, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Lily Stockman describes the experience of creating the paintings in Women like that of being in a painterly feminist utopia, wherein each of the human-scaled paintings stand as portraits of her three sisters and mother. Women also brings to mind Willem de Kooning’s own iconic contributions and, a half century later, seems to beg the question: where do we stand now in abstraction and the female form? Stockmanʼs paintings pose new questions for process in terms of both the analysis and the making of paintings.

Lily Stockman’s brilliantly colored and elegantly executed abstract paintings are based on commonplace experience that transcends the “object” to reveal a phenomenological experience for the viewer. They are a distillation of her own immediate interactions in the world: her observations on architecture (a drive-in theater in Twentynine Palms, the Art Deco “movie palaces” of Downtown Los Angeles), landscape (the desert palette of Rajhasthan and Joshua Tree), opinions (Joan Didion, Janet Malcolm, her mother), passions (gardening, Indian textiles), and labors and sacrifices (craft, beauty, purpose). Stockman forces us to look at the object as not so much the result of a process but a representation of one. Her work points at how multiple activities, histories, and locations can be embedded within single images.

Borrowing from a banquet of art historical traditions –Stockman is a student of both Indian miniature and Mongolian thangka painting– Stockman’s work is athletic and rigorously anti-technology—hers is a practice devoted to the hand, the pulled line, and multiple layers of transparencies that serve to coax her curiosity about the physical process of making a painting. The Women are “represented” through a combination of pared down geometricized compositions that employ tubular lines, heightened colors (flesh tones, Pepto pink) and bawdy, organic shapes suggestive of body parts. Yet the works are not the contrived detritus or byproduct of art history; hers is neither a form of appropriation nor a form of conceptual painting.

Stockman writes about her hardscrabble garden in the Mojave Desert as “the perfect metaphor/mode for painting: a fine balance between bending something to your will, your fancy, your instinct, your style, your perspective, while also working within the strict parameters of the given conditions; the harsh climate of the desert or the picture plane.” Thus, we are brought to her worksʼ ultimate dislocation: out of history and into the moment.

“Ultimately how one couches oneself as a painter in 2014—in the tradition of 19th and 20th century Western art—is completely irrelevant,’ states Stockman. ‘What endures, what has meaning, what has lasting clout is the experience. Experience is the only real thing.”

Based in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, Lily Stockman graduated with an honors thesis in painting in 2006 from Harvard University and received her MFA in studio art from New York University in 2012, where she also taught undergraduate painting. She was a 2013 teaching fellow in the Visual & Environmental Studies Department at Harvard University. She has apprenticed in thangka painting with the Union of Mongolian Artists in Ulanbaataar, Monglia, and in Indian miniature painting with Ajay Sharma in Jaipur, India. She is co-founder of Block Shop Textiles, a hand block printed textile collaborative in Bagru, Rajasthan. Recent exhibitions include The Morning After at Tyler Wood Gallery in San Francisco. Stockman will participate in exhibitions at Gavlak Gallery in Los Angeles and Palm Beach.

October 22, 2014

Transitioning Through a Love Affair

by Andrew Berardini

Have you ever fallen in love? Her face is open, unselfconscious, laughing. Framed by wash of blonde hair, the light sheen of sweat settles on her skin and both eyes beam, full of trust and free of tension. Here is unalloyed happiness on the face of a full-grown woman, a joy one rarely sees in adults.   more

Of course, she’s looking at her love, the man holding the camera.

As a love-story between this couple unfolds in scattered pictures, videos, and poems read aloud (each word a thud, but so carefully chosen), so does another story. Our woman over the course of the courtship has been changing physically. As has her man. Both are transgender and are transitioning.

With sections previously shown in the Made in LA 2012 and the Whitney Biennial, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst’s current exhibition at Luis De Jesus captures in scattered pictures and videos the rise and fall of their years-long love affair, a relationship that ravels and unravels whilst both more fully transition into their true genders. [ READ MORE ]

October 22, 2014

KILLER PICK OF THE WEEK: Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst @ Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

By Eve Wood

Transformation is never easy, but almost always necessary, and in the case of Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, a cause for undaunting exploration. Their most recent collaboration, aptly titled “Post/Relationship/X” explores the intimate moments within a relationship between an opposite-oriented transgender couple, during which time Ernst transitioned from female to male and Drucker transitioned from male to female.   more

The photographs are less diary oriented and more exploratory of the impulse to create a fragmented compendium of dual lives lived on their own terms. Terming the work a “life collaboration,” Drucker and Ernst postulate so much more than the dissolution of a relationship, but the beginning of a new future as working artists.

Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst
Post/Relationship/X on view until Nov. 1, 2014
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034

October 11, 2014

Review: Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, from many angles

By Christopher Knight | America in general and Los Angeles in particular have a reputation as places for a second chance, places where anyone might reinvent a self. Photographers and filmmakers Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst are emblematic – and in mind-and-body-bending ways.   more

Their work moves forward propositions perhaps first encountered 20 years ago in Cathy Opie’s widely acclaimed art.

At Luis De Jesus Gallery, Drucker and Ernst show two videos and a selection of 62 color photographs that were featured in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial this year. “Relationship” documents theirs, over the course of nearly six years.

The pictures aren’t comprehensive, probing every nook and cranny of their lives together. Nor do they capture dramatic moments of interaction.

Instead, they are almost entirely capital-R Romantic portraits – often dreamy, preternaturally still and imbued with clear and gentle light – of one or the other, or of the couple together.

Some compositions are simply coded. A young man stands stock-still in a spectacular, unreal field of brightly blooming daisies. He loves me, he loves me not.

Others are more complex. A soft and seductive body dressed only in a camisole lies in a rumpled bed, shown from behind like a Titian reclining nude or the classical Roman “Sleeping Hermaphrodite.” A bracelet-bedecked arm is raised aloft and holds a syringe, which is being injected into the naked left buttock.

Further complicating “Relationship” is its status as a record of a transgender couple. Their bodies are transitioning in opposite directions (for Drucker from male to female, and for Ernst from female to male). The relationship triples. It encompasses each person’s physical interaction with him- and herself; the one between the protagonists; and, finally, the relationship of the photographs to a viewer.

Perhaps it even quadruples. Prior to their transition, Drucker and Ernst might have self-identified as homosexual. After, they might self-identify as heterosexual. Or they may well regard gender and sexual identity as instead far more fluid and ambiguous than most people do.

The setup for one of the videos underscores the point. Resting on top of the video monitor, where a meditation on the couple unfolds (the other, more elaborate video hinges on a drag-dream), a framed still-photograph shows them seated side by side in blue sling-chairs. Drucker glances to the side at Ernst, who looks straight ahead through the camera lens at you.

The actual sling-chairs have been placed in front of the monitor. Silently they invite a viewer to sit and watch – and, perhaps, to take a sidewise glance at whoever might be seated next to you.

There is something almost Pre-Raphaelite about the tone and feeling of the Drucker-Ernst display. Both noble and, in the best sense, moralizing, it offers the self-reflective pleasures of a secret society unveiled.

Luis De Jesus Gallery, 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, (310) 838-6000, through Nov. 1. Closed Sun. and Mon.

September 25, 2014

REVIEW: Kate Bonner: The Path of A Free Object

Situated between photography and sculpture, Kate Bonner’s work in The Path of a Free Object defies easy explanation. Neither the minimal sculptural mounts nor the haphazard photographs are compelling as individual objects. Rather, the magic in this compact show lies in the unexpected combination of the two: Bonner’s point-and-shoot photographic aesthetic at odds with the linearity and rigidity of the colorful sculptural mounts. [ READ ON ]