Installation view, Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2019
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present a group presentation of artists for Art Los Angeles Contemporary 2019 featuring new and recent works by Lex Brown, Caitlin Cherry, June Edmonds, Laura Krifka, Molly Larkey, Alexandria Smith, and Britton Tolliver on view from February 13-17, 2019.
The artists presented here address various cultural contexts, identities, and interests in exuberant bursts of criticality and political awareness. Using strategies as diverse as text, humor, figuration, abstraction, and the development of new symbols and meanings, these artists build a discursive space of studio practices well equipped to engage in nuanced narrative storytelling. From June Edmonds’ new flags built from daubs of skin-inspired colors to the intimacies of Laura Krifka’s playful protagonists, these artists engage new spaces for subjective exploration.
Bronx-based Lex Brown is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and performer whose work creates interplay between personal and emotional experience in relation to large-scale systems of social and economic organization. In the process of dismantling her own internalized racism and sexism, Brown builds new characters, worlds, and linguistic relationships, often fluctuating between humor and urgent seriousness. Brown’s text-based densely geometric colored pencil drawings conceal the artist’s diaristic narratives.
Brooklyn-based Caitlin Cherry combines painting, sculpture, and installation with references to history, popular culture, and political current events. Her recent paintings explore the solarization and inversion effects created by tilted or malfunctioning Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) monitor technology. Extrapolating this image and color distortion even further through her painting process, Cherry’s futuristic aesthetic becomes an apparatus to discuss the exploitation, overexposure, and colonization of black female bodies that persist in popular culture, music, and pornography.
A native Angelino, painter June Edmonds explores aspects of her African American identity through her spiritual and abstract painting practice. Color plays a defining role in Edmonds’ paintings as it is often connected to culturally symbolic imagery that references power and systemic disenfranchisement. Edmonds’s new flag paintings represent the alignment of multiple identities including race, nationality, gender, and political leanings.
Lesser-known historic Black Americans and their histories serve as inspiration for Edmonds as she investigates the complexity of their stories through the creation of new flags.
Through intimate and carefully constructed figurative paintings San Luis Obispo-based artist Laura Krifka dissects the mechanisms of power, identity, and observation in visual culture. Collapsing several views of the same pose, subject, space, and time Krifka creates scenes that appear deceptively simple, but are rife with distortions and physical impossibilities that make visual factuality tenuous at best. Krifka’s figures are in various states of undress, preparation, or play, expressing an ease with intimacy and an acknowledgement that looking is a central component of desire.
Los Angeles-based artist, activist, and writer Molly Larkey explores the relationship between line, space, and language. She creates dynamic objects that incorporate the fundamental aspects of painting, sculpture, graphic design, and architecture and seem to radically change form as the viewer experiences them. Larkey’s ongoing explorations into the concept of an “imaginary” language are steeped in the belief that language is ever-shifting and always becoming, much like subjectivity and identity.
Through a regenerative collage process, Brooklyn and Wellesley-based artist Alexandria Smith creates paintings, drawings, and installations defined by a unique relationship to the body and responsive to notions of cultural difference. Smith’s recent works from the series “Dualism and the Emblems of Prowess” were created at the Fountainhead Artist Residency Program in Miami. The paintings feature shape-shifting figures as they explore their environments and express emotion, pleasure, and spirituality.
Britton Tolliver’s paintings draw from a range of abstraction's possibilities, fusing diverse positions and processes in hard-fought, deeply considered compositions. His thickly applied paint yields sculptural configurations of shapes and color, which seem to emerge as if by virtue of their own will, according to an innate, almost biological rhythm that reflects the plasticity of paint itself. Tolliver's paintings speak to a nuanced relationship with the natural world.