Video Art::Doomsday Dreams Panel Discussion Featuring Federico Solmi Hosted by The Brooklyn Rail
February 12, 2020
The Brooklyn Rail
253 36th Street, Suite C304
Brooklyn, NY 11232
A conversation with Eleanor Heartney, Joan Jonas, Barbara London, and Federico Solmi, moderated by Martha Schwendener, and Phong Bui to celebrate the publication of Barbara London's recent monograph Video Art: the First Fifty Years (Phaidon) and Eleanor Heartney's new book Doomsday Dreams (Silver Hollow Press).
André Hemer at Mass MoCa Residency Program
February 8, 2020
We are pleased to announce that André Hemer is an artist-in-residence at The Studios at Mass MoCA. The Studios is MASS MoCA’s artist and writers residency program situated within the museum’s factory campus and surrounded by the beautiful Berkshire Mountains. Operated by MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program, the residency runs year-round and invited artists make work on site for periods of 4-6 weeks. Hemer is a resident for the month of January and will be featured in the open studio event. While in residence Hemer has been collecting videos, images, and 3D scans using the environment within the Museum campus—these will be developed into new paintings, sculptures, and video works to be shown during 2020.
OPEN STUDIOS AT MASS MoCA
The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
Date: Saturday 5-7pm, January 28, 2020
Building 13, 2nd Floor
Hugo Crosthwaite Awarded First-Prize in Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition
October 26, 2019
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that gallery artist Hugo Crosthwaite has been awarded First Prize in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.
Hugo Crosthwaite’s work will be presented in The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today, a major exhibition premiering at the National Portrait Gallery October 26, 2019 through August 20, 2020. The exhibit will present the work of this year’s nearly 50 finalists, including seven artists that were shortlisted for prizes, selected from over 2,600 entries. As the first-prize winner, Crosthwaite receives a cash award of $25,000 and a commission to create a portrait of a notable living person for the museum’s permanent collection.
Federico Solmi’s surreal, satirical universe comes to The Block Museum collection
September 25, 2019
Past and present, history and amusement, reality and spectacle are conflated and distorted in Federico Solmi’s monumental media work, “The Great Farce” (2017), recently acquired by Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art. The Block received the multiscreen, limited-edition work as a gift from the artist’s studio in recognition of the museum’s upcoming 40th anniversary and its related initiative “Thinking about History.”
Originally commissioned for the 2017 B3 Biennial of the Moving Image, Frankfurt, Germany, “The Great Farce” is Solmi’s most ambitious work to date in terms of technical complexity, physical scale and scope of content. Featuring a cast of time-traveling world leaders with a feverish madness for power, Solmi’s animation turns a frenzied, fun-house mirror to grandstanding historical figures.
Nicolas Grenier Shortlisted for the 2019 Sobey Art Award
June 12, 2019
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is proud to announce that Nicolas Grenier is a finalist for the 2019 Sobey Art Award. The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada will present the 2019 Sobey Art Award exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton. The exhibition presents the work of the five outstanding Canadian artists who have been shortlisted for the 2019 Sobey Art Award.
Drawing its title from my Pulitzer Prize-nominatated book of the same name, Lynchings in the West: 1850-1935, this series considers the transracial nature of lynching in California, from statehood to the last recorded lynchings in 1935, as well as other western states and territories outside the historically better-known Southern black lynching areas. Given the broad number of people touched by this history ( Asians, Anglos, Blacks and American Indians), many will be suprised to learn that Latinos (Mexican, Mexican- American, and persons of Latin American descent) were statistically more likely to die of lynching than those of African, Asian or European descent.
Artist Lia Halloran has skateboarded through runoff drains in pitch darkness, piloted a plane solo over Los Angeles and navigated dense theories of interstellar wormholes.Her diverse studio practices simply follow her personal curiosities, which she said often land her in interdisciplinary spaces where she can warp and manipulate concepts of space and time.The alumna most recently experimented with spatial distortion through an audio-visual installation called “Lia Halloran: Double Horizon,” on display at the ArtCenter College of Design’s Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery until March 15.
Sometimes a sausage is just a sausage, but not in Miyoshi Barosh’s archly adorable world. Her kielbasa-shaped glass sculpture, Untitled (Sausage) from 2015, gleams suggestively from a vitrine at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. In case you doubt its Freudian implications, its cellmates are a penis and a pair of breasts, also made of glass, both trussed with twine as if ready for the oven. The vitrine’s fourth occupant, Untitled (Meat), is a smooth hunk of reddish-brown glass, tied up like a small ham. Equating body parts with meat is nothing new, but these works put a sharper point on Barosh’s more prominent work in textiles, which tends to be exuberantly domestic and slightly macabre.
Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) returns to Hollywood for its international art fair producing a dynamic and informed cross-section of international contemporary art. The massive exhibition will feature 50 artists at the historic Hollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Boulevard utilizing the ballroom, bars and athletic spaces of the once celebrity hot spot.
In the early 2000s Los Angeles-based artist Miyoshi Barosh started making large-scale textile sculptures that combined the intimacy of craft with the bold, irreverence of Pop. Though vibrantly colorful and often playfully ironic, a dystopian sense of decay and death characterized these pieces. After the artist’s untimely death last year, the artworks have taken on new poignancy; they’re spirited, contradictory, and full of mischief and the carnivalesque madness of contemporary life.
Lia Halloran, Double Horizon, at Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery. To create large-scale filmic views of Los Angeles, Halloran takes to the air, mounting four cameras to an airplane that she piloted during more than 30 flights. She has put the footage together into an immersive, three-screen projection that is accompanied by a score created by Allyson Newman. Runs through March 15. ArtCenter South Campus, 1111 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena
A painter, photographer, and science enthusiast, Lia Halloran fuses together artistic creativity with a splash of scientific elements into her works. As an investigative explorer of space in its physical, psychological, and scientific forms, Lia uses these concepts as a major point to begin her creations; art allows her to express various concepts in science and gives her an outlet to explore many different themes that relate to humans, such as our place in the world, both psychologically and emotionally.
For the past four years, Margie Livingston has been dismantling the line between painting and performance. In a hybrid form of Action Painting, performance, and Land Art, she drags constructed paintings across terrain, inscribing the canvases with the ground to what she calls Extreme Landscape Painting or “non-painting painting.” Inherent in this process is the use of chance procedures and the knowledge that the ideas change and evolve as she gets into the work.
Three local galleries are honoring the groundbreaking artist and L.A. native with simultaneous exhibits: Before she succumbed to uterine cancer last February at age 59, artist Miyoshi Barosh spent the better part of three decades cultivating an art practice that was compassionate yet contrarian, conceptual yet craft-made, and Pop yet profoundly personal.
Throughout L.A., three galleries have teamed up to honor artist Miyoshi Barosh, who passed away last year. Barosh’s fiber-based work is exuberant and joyful. LOVE!, one proclaims, next to a giant oversized yarn tassel. At Night Gallery, a collection of pink oversized and fabric cartoon legs called Large Legs spew off the wall. At Luis De Jesus, I ♥ Kitties is a photograph of a cat’s head, embellished with embroidered patches. While this all might sound saccharine, Barosh’s work intentionally tugs our heartstrings to get at larger messages of consumerism, ecological failure, and social control. By using techniques associated with “woman’s work” and a cutesy aesthetic, Barosh slyly pokes at our associations with each, while uncovering a rawer, more unnerving element underneath.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles announced the opening of two new galleries, “The Earth is a Brush” and “Love,” on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Margie Livingston’s “The Earth is a Brush,” the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, will be on view through Feb. 15. Miyoshi Barosh’s “Love,” the late artist’s third solo show with the gallery, will also be on view through Feb. 15. Her work combines humor and dystopian irony in a style she dubbed “conceptual pop.”
While researching Latino portraiture from the 1800s, the photographer Ken Gonzales-Day found an image of a young Latino man. "Last man hanged in Los Angeles," was written on the back. When he read that phrase, Gonzales-Day came to the conclusion that he didn't have a clear understanding of California history. To make sense of his discovery, he began to work on the series of photographs that's now known as "Erased Lynching" (2006). The Santa Clara University Art Department's exhibit "Ken Gonzales-Day" features several of his photographs from the collection.
Santa Clara University (SCU), a flag bearer in an ongoing crusade for social justice, regularly raises awareness of social issues through the arts. A free exhibition of 25 Erased Lynching and California Hang Tree photos by Los Angeles-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day is on view through Jan. 24 in the Gallery of the Art and Art History building.
“Ken Gonzales-Day is an artist who makes work as an act of compassion,” said exhibition curator Renee Billingslea, a senior lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History.
Yale School of Art faculty member and alumna Sarah Oppenheimer ’99 ART, along with some former faculty members and alumni, are featured in the current Artspace exhibition “Strange Loops,” on view through the end of February. The group exhibition explores psychological affect and the human condition expressed through instruments, systems, and objects of human design.
Hugo Crosthwaite's La Güera, 2018, is featured in the "Readings" section of Harper's Magazine in print in January 2020.
...The selection includes far more photographs and videos than paintings and drawings, although some entries blur those categories. The top prize went to Hugo Crosthwaite for a series of black-and-white drawings, animated into a video, of Berenice Sarmiento Chavez. She is a young Mexican woman who ventured north across the border in search of the American Dream, but has since been deported. The artist encountered her in Tijuana. As winner of the top prize, Crosthwaite will be commissioned to do an official portrait. The 2016 winner, Amy Sherald, made a painting of Michelle Obama that became one of the gallery’s most popular attractions.
I have never before seen an artist who can sidle right up to Goya’s Caprichos or Desastres de La Guerra and not only survive the comparison but generate mutual enrichment. Hugo Crosthwaite’s TIJUAS! (Death March, Tijuana Bibles, and Other Legends) at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents a breathtaking collection of drawings ranging from small to mural-size, as well as video animations and books, all made over a period of over a decade. Crosthwaite’s work addresses life on both sides of the US–Mexican border where he conveys the feeling of life bottled up beneath a merciless cork, his observations packed with violence, tenderness, pain, boredom, and his mind-boggling draftsmanship. —Daniel Gerwin
Ken Gonzalez-Day’s images from the series Erased Lynchings sees the artist digitally remove the dead hanging body of a nameless murdered person of colour, in order to avoid re-victimising the individual. This places our attention on the real guilty subjects, those white people who take it upon themselves extrajudicially to police black and brown bodies. The black body is here removed from the gaze of white eyes, a form of sight which undergirds the social dominance of whiteness. Gonzales-Day writes: “The work asks viewers to consider the crowd, the spectacle, the role of the photographer, and even the impact of flash photography, and their various contributions to our understanding of racialized violence in this nation.”
Ultimately, spending time with artists is what truly “floats her boat.” Currently, she is working with her dear friend and renowned artist Antonia Wright on a project called “WWWW - Suffer in Style” that will be the next ARTSail residency. The two plan to produce a luxury chain of accessories inspired by environmental causes in an effort to make climate change more stylish. “It is about talking about dark issues with irony and humor,” she says, “while making it all — art, fashion, etc. — as accessible as Mother Nature.”
Positioned at entrance to UNTITLED, overlooking the South Beach is Ruben Millares and Antonia Wright’s It’s not down on any map; true places never are (presented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles), a motorized public sculpture made out of flagpoles, chains, a steel platform, and 16 flags of countries currently involved in migration crises, such as Venezuela, United States, South Sudan, Myanmar, Turkey, Germany, and Mexico. Rotating in a steady half loop, the chain structure moves the flags up and down, creating a metallic machinery noise as the flags ascend, squeeze through the chains, and rise again. Flags which have traditionally been placed on high ends of dwarfing poles are upside down, crumbled, and eventually risen, in a system that recalls the instability and interchangeability of sociopolitical power and nationalistic ideologies.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., named Hugo Crosthwaite the 2019 winner of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, an astute selection for several reasons. Crosthwaite’s entry, a meditative, three-minute stop-motion animation about a woman migrating from Mexico to the United States, stretched the conventional bounds of portraiture and affirmed the genre’s relevance, both of which are aims of the prize. Over nearly two decades, Crosthwaite has applied portraiture’s concentrated attention not only to individuals but even more avidly to place.
Double Horizon reflects the artist’s ongoing investigations of the body’s relationship to space in three simultaneous, large-scale, aerial views of the greater Los Angeles landscape. Double Horizon is Lia Halloran’s most recent work in her ongoing investigations into the physical, psychological and scientific explorations of space.
Don’t miss: The greenspace of Lummus Park has been commandeered for public art displays under the auspices of the fair, all of them large-scale works—look for the kinetic sculpture from Miami-based artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares. Make sure, too, that you pick up a copy of Untitled News—or whatever writer-in-residence Osman Can Yerebakan chooses to call the daily dispatch he’s been tasked with producing about the fair and its fairgoers.
The Baltimore Museum of Art has announced that it will dedicate the next year to women artists, most notably by spending its entire acquisitions budget for the year on works of art by women, as part of its 2020 Vision campaign. The museum’s permanent collection contains over 95,000 pieces of art, but only about 4% of those pieces were created by women. Next year’s initiative is meant to help rectify that imbalance. “You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall next to a painting by Mark Rothko,” the museum’s director, Christopher Bedford, told the Baltimore Sun. “To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”
NADA, December 5–8: With representation from 25 countries and 56 cities, the 17th annual NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) art fair will take place at Ice Palace Studios, putting a focus on supporting new voices in the contemporary art community. Joined by 136 presenters this year, the fair will feature 71 NADA member galleries and will also include 28 first-time exhibitors.
Fairgoers can expect to see solo showings of artists like Agnieszka Brzezanska (BWA Warszawa), Guadalupe Maravilla (Jack Barrett), Ariana Papademetropoulos (Soft Opening), Aaron Gilbert (Lulu), and Peter Williams (Luis De Jesus Los Angeles)...
It’s an exciting year for UNTITLED Miami Beach, the fair situated on Ocean Drive and 12th Street that’s celebrated for being highly curated, architecturally mindful, and pleasant to navigate. The 2019 edition launches Monuments, a new program of large-scale, site-specific installations such as It is not down on any map; true places never are (2019). This kinetic outdoor sculpture by collaborative artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares, presented by Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, consists of a group of flags sliding up and down on a flagpole in an allegory of complicated global hierarchies.
Vibrant and joyful with eye-popping colors and textures, Thread at the Long Beach Museum of Art pushes the boundaries of textile art. Selected works range from modern to contemporary and display the ability to use thread to create narratives, sculpture and political comment.
Laura Krifka's The Game of Patience at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is at its core about seduction, built through scenarios of being seduced, and how the artist constructs each painting to both seduce, and, by revealing subtle (metaphorical) cracks in the foundation. The interview covers topics such as: playing with repulsion; the frank reactions Krifka’s received from more non-Art World audiences about being a ‘weird lady’ for the things she paints; her process of working with models, and more...
The title of this year’s winning work, by Hugo Crosthwaite, tells us the name of the person represented in the artist’s three-minute stop-motion animation of black-and-white drawings. It is A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, a young woman from Tijuana, Mexico, who is seeking a better life in the United States. Her face emerges from a blank space, like a piece of paper or canvas, and then we watch as her body is sketched in, as though she’s materialized from nothing. In a series of brief vignettes, we learn about the danger that she, like other migrants, has faced, including violence and sexual harassment.
The new exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles by Mexican-American artist Hugo Crosthwaite (b. 1971) grabs your attention the moment you walk into the gallery. The artist, who lives and works in San Diego and Rosarito, Mexico, created a monumental, 27-foot wide multi-panel work called Death March. Multiple human figures and skeletons compose a funeral march, appearing to honor the deceased in a manner that calls to mind Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.
The painter is showing a new series of drawings, panel paintings and animations that chart the ebb and flow of humanity, along with unseen magical phenomena, in the U.S.-Mexico-border region where he lives and works. (The artist divides his time between Rosarito and San Diego.) Crosthwaite, a painter whose work is as influenced by comic books as it is by Gustav Doré, recentlywon the top prize in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwi Boocheyer Portrait Competion, pays tributes to Goya’s Caprichos. A recent series capturing grotesqueries and folly.
Halfway through the pages of Consciousness, 2011-2019, her remarkable book of texts and images, Lex Brown asks a staccato question—“Who’s that | What’s she?”—before immediately supplying an equally rapid answer: “Just out of hand, just out reach” (58). And, indeed, the author of these texts seems tantalizing just out of reach. The texts are officially to be understood as the lyrics to songs she has performed over the last decade, everywhere from backyards to the New Museum for Contemporary Art in New York City, but the lyrics work just as well on the page as imagistic poetry. The poetic density of Brown’s texts in Consciousness, 2011-2019 asks those of us interested in experimental black poetics to reconsider our long-held assumptions about text and performance.
For painter and video artist Hugo Crosthwaite, life has unfolded in equal parts on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and he has come to understand that in a way the border region itself is its own nation, with a unique culture that is both blended and divided, and a population comfortable with dualities. Both his films and graphite and ink drawings on canvas—often at monumental scale—exist in a black-and-white palette and are rich with regal, stylized detail.
Los Angeles artist Lia Halloran wants to touch the heavens and to celebrate women who had the same ambition long before her. Her The Same Sky Overarches Us All, at the University of Maryland Art Gallery, mostly consists of seven-foot-high vertical prints inspired by a group of women known as the Harvard Computers. Halloran weaves their story, along with her own and the universe’s, into cosmic vignettes.
The video begins with the sound of a guitar strumming and a voice singing in Spanish. The main character is sketched quickly, beginning with her eyes, then face, hair and shoulders. She gazes into the distance. Over the course of the three-minute stop-motion drawing animation video, we watch as the main character goes about her life, immigrating to the United States and trying to succeed in her new country.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, has announced the winner of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, a triannual contest honoring artists that “challenge the definition of portraiture.” Hugo Crosthwaite, a San Diego-based artist, will take home the $25,000 prize, which also comes with a commission to create a new portrait for the museum’s permanent collection.Crosthwaite follows in the footsteps of now-veritable art star Amy Sherald, who won the last Boochever award in 2016.
Portraiture is due for a reframing. Although the art form has traditionally served to memorialize the affluent and the powerful, the finalists of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition point to a future where portraits empower the disenfranchised. The triennial competition, founded in 2006 by an endowment from the late Virginia Outwin Boochever, calls for artists to “challenge the definition of portraiture.” First-prize winner Hugo Crosthwaite does just that. His 2018 stop-motion animation, A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, illustrates one woman’s journey from Tijuana, Mexico, to the United States.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced that artist Hugo Crosthwaite has been named the first-prize winner of the fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which aims to reflect the contemporary state of portraiture in the United States. Recognized for his stop-motion drawing animation A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, 2018, Crosthwaite is the first Latinx artist to receive the $25,000 award since the national competition was founded in 2006. Following in the footsteps of Amy Sherald, the previous winner of the prize, the San Diego–based artist will receive a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the National Gallery’s collection.
Laura Krifka enjoys doing things she is not supposed to do. Having absorbed the tenets of neoclassical painting, she bypasses high-minded seriousness by adding a candy-coated veneer of hyper-artificiality adopted from 1950s MGM musicals to the domestic decor of private scenes she then undercuts with a deviant sexual subtext recalling David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. This irresistible mix of dexterity, decor, decorum and deviance makes viewing her paintings a guilty pleasure — rather like sneaking into a peep show or secretly spying on neighbor’s forbidden acts.
Laura Krifka is a superlative, if shifty, storyteller — a cross between a delectably unreliable narrator and a canny ventriloquist. Her intriguing recent oils on canvas and panel at the Los Angeles gallery Luis De Jesus Los Angeles are painted with brushless exactitude, their crisp and controlled surfaces belying personal and interpersonal complexities beneath. Krifka tells it super-straight, but the “it” is slant.
Past and present, history and amusement, reality and spectacle are conflated and distorted in Federico Solmi’s monumental media work, The Great Farce (2017), recently acquired by Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art. The Block received the multiscreen, limited-edition work as a gift from the artist’s studio in recognition of the museum’s upcoming 40th anniversary and its related initiative “Thinking about History.”
Speaking of pop culture, if you’re excited to see the upcoming Joker film, you may want to stop by Frederico Solmi’s work at the gallery of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. The animation and colors present in his five-minute video, The Drunken Boat, are eerie and mesmerizing. Notable historic figures are seen partying together, vulgar smiles on their faces. It’s like a nightmare steeped in a rainbow of colors that you can’t stop watching.
At Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in Culver City, Laura Krifka’s hyper-realistic figurative paintings build to create an uncanny mood. In each work, figures are placed within an interior domestic space, and subtle sexual cues build as you view the works. The breast of a sleepy figure mimics the egg-patterned wallpaper behind her; lemons in various stages of juicing are laid on a table next to a bare buttox. These more overt sexual themes are soon overtaken by more subtle ominous ones—strange shadows fall over the furniture in each painting, as if someone or something is looming just outside of the picture.
Drucker, the 36-year-old transgender artist, activist, actress and producer of the television series Transparent, who The New York Times described as “tall and blonde with eyes as blue as swimming pools”, momentarily loses her train of thought.I had asked her what she sees when she sits in front of a mirror. “That's such a revealing question, it's wonderful,” she says, smiling.
Laura Krifka takes on the classical stance of European academic painting in her first solo show with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, smashing ivory tower patrician preciousness with a cheeky wit, advanced technique, and lush elements of both social realism and rococo modernism. The new work represents an evolution from her Flemish Renaissance style toward more modern visual cues and a crisper hand that is less folk-inflected and while not quite surreal, are certainly uncanny.
For a residency at Recess Art in Brooklyn from April to June of this year, Lex Brown built a participatory production studio—equipped with a sound booth, editing dock, and a floor-to-ceiling green screen––called “The Inside Room.” Brown acted more like a producer/director than an artist-in-residence.She spent much of her time arranging shoots with friends, family, members of the public, and participants in Recess’s Assembly initiative, an artist-led program for youth convicted of misdemeanors in Brooklyn that offers work experience as an alternative to incarceration and may end in a clean record.
Few other places in New York conjure up such strong feelings. For residents, those feelings range from irritation to revulsion. For tourists, it’s a must-see falling somewhere on their itinerary between the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State building. From the unwashed hordes to stores that can be found in any mall to the neon sorcery decking every block, there’s no question that Times Square is a repository of excess in every way. Whether you find it distasteful or endearing, there’s no denying its pull, even if your personal contact with it is limited to TV on New Year’s Eve or, for locals, a train transfer on its many platforms.
When tasked with defining America, the forefathers of this country attempted to create a union that, though forged in rebellion to an oppressive regime, was ultimately funded by slave labor. By declaring this land a union where all men are created equal, only to deny representation and basic civil liberties to all who are not white men, the framers of our constitution bequeathed to us a contradiction that we are still working to correct today. Almost 250 years later, with the divisive nature of our political system and a multitude of bifurcation points within each party, it seems that defining the American identity has become nearly impossible.
“My transition from young white boy with a false sense of privilege in the 1970s to young tranny-girl with little or no privilege was a real smack in the face,” Rosalyne Blumenstein wrote in her 2003 autobiography, Branded T. “My spirit and soul seemed to be uplifted and smashed on a daily basis.”Blumenstein is an icon. I met her, in 1993, when I came to New York as a newbie trans activist from San Francisco and visited the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, where Blumenstein, a self-described “woman of transexual experience,” lent street cred as director of the center’s pioneering Gender Identity Project, which included an HIV-prevention program for trans people.
Jamie Martinez: Congratulations on your recent shows, especially the solo booth with Ronald Feldman at the last Armory. It was one of the top booths in many publications. We’ll have to get back to that. Can you first talk about your background in the arts and your journey to becoming an artist in New York? Where did it all begin? Federico Solmi: Well, it’s a long story. It all began almost 20 years ago, when I left my hometown: Bologna, Italy, and I decided to move to New York to pursue a career in the arts. It was the best decision of my life, of course; not an easy decision, but it proved to be the right one.
Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today celebrates the authentic, beautiful, and vulnerable voices of contemporary, North American artists who express their true selves through a broad gender spectrum. Some of the artists identify as LGBTQ+, and some do not. The art in Transamerica/n speaks to family, community, self-discovery, and ultimately identity. Artists’ experiences are highlighted as part of the McNay’s dual commitment to artistic excellence and community impact.
Your Body is a Space That Sees is a series of large-scale cyanotype works (approximately 6ft x 6ft) that source the fragmented history and contributions of women in astronomy to represent a female-centric astronomical catalog of craters, comets, galaxies and nebula drawing from narrative, imagery and historical accounts of a group of women known as ‘Pickering’s Harem’ or the ‘Harvard Computers’. This little-known group of up to forty women made significant influences in the field of astronomy by setting up classification systems that are still used today to measure the distance,at and chemical content of stars and yet were paid less than half the wages of men.
Caitlin Cherry’s growing invaluability to the art world should come as no surprise; her commitment to black female subjectivity places the oft-imitated but systematically dismissed aesthetics of hip-hop hustle front and center, posing a real threat to the sleepy status quo we've come to expect from genre figuration. Smart, subversive, and incontrovertibly sexy, Cherry's pieces hum with radioactive irreverence, transforming viewers into beholders with the flick of a brush. Her blockbuster turns at the Brooklyn Museum, Performance Space in New York, and Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles have secured her spot as a needed, disruptive force in contemporary art dialogue. Currently a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, Cherry is not only a steward of pictorial anarchy, but also a deeply funny Instagrammer, dedicated hairless cat mom, and white wine connoisseur.
The Sobey Art Foundation and National Gallery of Canada have named the five finalists for the 2019 Sobey Art Award, which is presented annually to a Canada-based artist age 40 or younger. The finalists represent Canada’s five geographic regions, with Nicolas Grenier representing Québec. An exhibition of works by the short-listed artists will open at the Art Gallery of Alberta on October 5, and the 2019 Sobey Art Award winner—to be revealed on November 15—will receive 100,000 Canadian dollars ($75,300).
The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada are delighted to announce the five finalists for the 2019 Sobey Art Award. As one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art prizes, the Sobey Art Award is presented annually to a Canadian visual artist age 40 and under."The Sobey Art Award helps to keep the National Gallery of Canada current within the dynamic landscape of contemporary art in Canada. It offers invaluable opportunities to exchange ideas between curators and artists across the country, and the chance to learn about a myriad of different artistic practices." notes Dr. Sasha Suda, CEO and Director of the National Gallery of Canada.
A flag, any flag, is the very definition of a symbol, a thing that exists in the service of what it represents, such as a nation for example, or a movement. At the same time, a flag is also a color story, a designed image, and a made object. The American flag in particular enjoys status as both image and object as well as symbol. Its distinct patterns are perhaps the most recognizable and narratively fraught in the world. Laws prohibit its physical destruction, but not its use as elements of corporate logos, fashion items, and superheros.
First published in 1985, the essay by Donna Haraway known as The Cyborg Manifesto made waves by criticizing the gender essentialism and idenity politics of feminism and encouraging people to unite with others baded on affinity. It proposes the symbol of the cyborg as rejection of boundaries "unfaithful to their orgins" and that this symbol can help to free peple from racist, male-dominated capitalism. The essay also purports that the "boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion."
For Aperture’s Summer 2019 edition, guest editor Tilda Swinton turned to Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando for its uncannily prescient explorations of gendered identity.Set in the 16th century, the titular protagonist lives for 300 years, sliding back and forth between the genders on the way. Swinton’s fascination with the novel began when she starred as the titular character in the 1992 film adaptation directed by Sally Potter.
Jasper Johns famously attributed the origin of his iconic painting of the American flag to a vision he had at night; likewise, June Edmonds arrived at her first stroke-by-stroke reconstitution of a flag through a dream she had in 2017, after she returned to her home town of Los Angeles from a residency in Paducah, Kentucky. In her case, though, it wasn't about the same stars and stripes; during her residency, while driving to Memphis, she had seen a wall-size Confederate flag—a looming, unapologetic beacon still standing on the Southern hillside—to which she later responded in a series of paintings.
The actress makes her first foray into art curation in a photography show that revolves around the gender-defying themes of Woolf’s novel Orlando.Tilda Swinton can boast of many achievements, having performed in more than 70 films, including Michael Clayton, for which she won an Oscar in 2008. In a way hers is the broadest of careers, stretching from her salad days of the 1980s working with the acclaimed independent director Derek Jarman to her appearance in this year’s Avengers: Endgame, which is already one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
Long relegated to the margins of the art world, LGBTQ artists have always tested the borders of expression. Now they’re claiming their place at center stage.Zackary Drucker’s videos delight in deconstructing gender binaries (she’s also a producer on Transparent).
June Edmonds, Allegiances and Convictions, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. An exhibition by the L.A.-based painter dwells on the significance of flags — both as visual statements and tokens of identity. In this case, each of her flags pays tribute to African American history past and present.
The solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is a series of multi-colored paintings inspired by the American flag. All of them, vertical, and in earth tones, evoking the variety of brown skin colors.
TRhe Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM), formerly Shir Madness Melbourne, takes over the Melbourne Recital Centre in a day-long immersion of contemporary Jewish culture with 30 performances across music, theatre, dance and conversation on Sunday 8 September, 2019.
El Museo del Barrio, the NYC museum dedicated to Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American culture turns 50 years old this year. Frieze New York, the biggest week of the year for art in New York, kicks off on Thursday, and it won't overlook the milestone of the institution, which was founded in 1969, when Latino artists were largely overlooked by mainstream museums.
Another themed section of the fair turns a spotlight on contemporary and modern Latin artists. Taking cue from the legendary performance artist Ana Mendieta, Diálagos presents works from artists whose practice includes a bold sense of color, pageantry and performance, alongside a highly politicized examination of identity. Ken Gonzales-Day explores, through various media, the material legacies of identity-based oppressions, casting an unflinching eye over histories of slavery, colonialism, gender-normativity and other systemic evils.
Double Horizon takes its title from Lia Halloran’s three-channel video installation composed from documentation of roughly thirty flights the artist made in the course of her training in air piloting and navigation and early aviation experiences over the greater Los Angeles area. In its play of continuous moving and transformed moving images, the work represents a significant departure from work that precedes and continues alongside it.
How far will an artist go to create their work? ORLAN altered her physical appearance, transforming herself using elements from famous paintings and sculptures via plastic surgery. Marina Abramovic invited Museum of Modern Art visitors to sit still and silently across from her for unspecified durations of time over 10 weeks in 2010. Lia Halloran, an artist who grew up surfing and skateboarding in the San Francisco Bay Area, learned to fly airplanes in order to film the landscape of Los Angeles from the sky.
Downtown Baltimore got a surprise this April, with the reveal of a large format work of art affixed to the side of Harbor Park Garage, a parking garage located at 55 Market Place. The artwork, which is visible from the Jones Falls Expressway, is a custom piece by artist Edie Beaucage.
The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground in Queens holds the remains of around 1,000 people, many of them African or Native Americans—but it only has four grave markers, all naming men. The women buried at the landmarked site are now publicly remembered at the Queens Museum, in the exhibition Alexandria Smith: Monuments to an Effigy (18 August), the Bronx-born artist’s first solo show in New York City. “My focus was to honour the women,” Smith says of the show.“Traditionally, women of colour—their stories have been buried or changed, or just not really told.”
Stock photos don't have a great reputation when it comes to gender-inclusivity. Options are limited at best or non-existent at worst.
That's why Vice Media's feminist channel Broadly decided to launch their own stock photo library of gender-inclusive images. The Gender Spectrum Collection includes over 180 images featuring 15 trans and non-binary models
On Tuesday, Broadly, Vice’s vertical covering women, gender non-conforming folks, and the LGBTQ+ community, published a stock photo library featuring more than 180 images of trans and non-binary models that, according to the site’s announcement, “go beyond the clichés of putting on makeup and holding trans flags.” It is the first database of its kind, and, while stock photos might seem like the stuff of goofy memes, it actually represents a historic step forward for queer representation in media.
Lately, I have been thinking of 1 minute short stories when I paint. I want to know who the character is, what is she doing and that she is being herself. I am interested in finding an emotional value to the portrait; then I feel the character has landed. It’s similar to finding the right tone when you play music. My work can range from emotional loss and fragility to bravura and extravagant characters. It is all improvisation and it varies with my mood.
There is no single archetype of the art dealer. Many gallerists are known for their selflessness and devotion to the creative process, but there are certainly bad apples, infamous for running glorified racketeering schemes. It can present a tricky dilemma for a young artist seeking representation—eager to take her career to the next stage, but wary of locking herself into a relationship that might not pay off.
Refraction features Containment, a site-specific work originally commissioned for the FotoFocus Biennial 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as new photographs from the Prospect and Refuge and Ink on Paper series. These various photographic projects range from architectural to sculptural to two-dimensional, each acknowledging strategies of seeing. Refraction explores the relationship between illusion and reality by exposing the deceit inherent in photographic image-making while engaging in philosophical and material play around slips in translation.
In Culver City, I stopped by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, to see the exhibition of Los Angeles photographer Chris Engman. The trademark of his art is fooling your eye not once, not twice, but many times. And the more his art fools you, the more pleasure it delivers. At the entrance to the gallery, you are confronted by a full-scale installation made out of several vinyl photographs that make you believe you are stepping into water, walking through a forest, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
The first thing one notices upon entering Caitlin Cherry‘s show at Luis De Jesus is her sensational palette so improbable that it seems to have dropped from outer space. Clashing vibrant colors contrast, oscillate and dazzle as though her paintings were a laser light show. As the shock of hue subsides, you find yourself drawn into a bizarre alternate world ruled by curvaceous mystic black women who exude eccentric glamour while confronting discriminatory stereotypes.
In a world where every image is distorted, manipulated, aspirational and dysmorphic, what is to become of painting's history of generating interpretive, fantastical pictures? Beauty is both longed-for and suspect, female power is both lauded and feared. What is a self-assured paint warrior with an operatic talent and a love of disruptive art history supposed to do?
Public art is the icing on the cake in the transformation of Liberty Station from a formal, staid Navy training center into a vibrant entertainment, shopping and arts destination. This year, six artists participated in Installations at the Station, the NTC Foundation’s public art program, which will continue next year. This year’s projects included community-painted skateboards representing a wave and a ship on a rooftop, a braided rope bench inspired by the native tribes and the Navy and murals of border scenes by Tijuana artist Hugo Crosthwaite as part of an ongoing narrative in multiple locations that started in 2009.
And so we come to the Wildass Beyond of the exhibition itself, a dystopian beyond in the “no where” here and now. You forget that you’re in a city, least of all New York City, when you enter into the idyllic and rustic space, your feet literally in the dirt, so you feel at once reminded of and ensconced in Earth, something that is so easy to forget in the epicenter of global capital and its technologies of cable, wire, concrete and steel. Yet this is the imagined earth that remains after the end of the world.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds (2018) is subdivided by a tree whose branches spread across the canvas, filling it with foliage painted by means of closely packed green dots, patches of sky denoted by blue dots, and passages of red dots interspersed throughout. Among the branches are six birds and three human faces, two of the faces in profile are barely evident, the third, fully articulated face, looks out from the trunk’s base.
A panel of nationally recognized curators, local arts professionals and community members from the Purple Line Extension Section 1 area has selected artists to create site-specific, integrated artworks for Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega Stations. The diverse range of accomplished artists includes: Ken Gonzales-Day, Todd Gray, Karl Haendel, Soo Kim, Eamon Ore-Giron, Fran Siegel, Susan Silton, and Mark Dean Veca.
I first came across Caitlin Cherry’s work through her excellent Instagram account, where she jokes about her art (one of her paintings mocks her for ripping off George Condo), posts pictures of her sphynx cat, and displays new work (recently, a tote bag emblazoned with a W-9 form). Her installation at New York’s Performance Space, A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN, brings her into collaboration with Nora N. Khan, American Artist, and Sondra Perry.
Having seen two exhibitions of James Allen's collected photographs of lynchings — both of them in New York, in 2000—I braced myself for The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America, at Haverford College's Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. The horrific images I saw 18 years ago are permanently seared into my mind.I was curious how this new exhibition of works by prominent contemporary artists would treat such an appallingly inhumane period in American history and its reverberations today.
The Seattle-based artist fastens long straps to a canvas or wooden panel, which is usually covered in several alternating layers of gouache and acrylic paint. Livingston then attaches the straps to a harness inspired by those worn by body builders for strength training, and drags the painting facedown behind her across varying environments, like hiking trails, city parks, and asphalt roads.
Edra Soto’s Open 24 Hours is an exploration of consumption, waste, and vernacular architecture. Discarded liquor bottles accumulated during Soto’s daily walks through East Garfield Park in Chicago are transformed into jewel-like totems. Rejas, decorative iron screens enclosing outdoor domestic areas in Puerto-Rico, also serves as an influence on the work—highlighting an interplay between security and ornamentation. They are beautiful, haunting, socially conscious works.
Peter Williams’ pointillist painting technique, crowding thousands of tiny dots of enamel color within pencil-drawn contours of people, places and things, is not the same as the celebrated one pioneered more than a century ago by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. His look yields a very different feel from the measured, careful tone of those French Postimpressionists. Brash color is plainly important to the 14 Williams paintings in his Los Angeles debut at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, most (though not all) of which explode with pointillist dots.
In each of the four paintings in Josh Reames’s exhibition BO-DE-GAS, uniformly distributed idiomatic images floated graphically on raw canvas surfaces. Punctuating each of the intimate gallery’s four walls, the paintings were supplemented with three black, wall-mounted handrails that sported a selection of attitude-declaring bumper stickers.
To say that Los Angeles-based artist Chris Engman’s photographs are trompe l’oeil illusions would be a gross understatement. Created through an elaborate and time consuming physical process, his work evocatively merges indoor and outdoor environments into mesmeric compositions that both perturb and dazzle viewers with their non-binary disposition.
DnA explores moments in the school’s history, which track with LA’s growth as an art and design capital--from its founding on Wilshire Boulevard through its transition from what artist Billy Al Bengston calls its "constipated" years in the 1950s. Alum Garth Trinidad recalls the struggles in the 1990s and remarks on its blossoming in Westchester today. Edie Beaucage talks about being part of the new generation that has revived painting.
Who doesn’t love a good magic trick?! Photographer Chris Engman masterfully demonstrated that augmented reality and light projections are not the only way to create mesmerizing perspective illusions. Good old traditional photography will get you there as well if you’re creative enough. Chris Engman transformed 2D landscape photos into awe-inspiring rooms, where each inch is covered with prints to give off a 3D perspective.
Photographer Chris Engman is one of his landscape photos at a large scale in an unusual way: instead of showing it as a 2D print, Engman transformed a room into his photo by covering the wall, ceilings, and floors with prints.It’s essentially what you’d get if you used a projector to project the photo into the space, except he used prints instead of light.
For the first time in its 11 years, the Creative Time Summit, the world’s premier conference at the intersection of art and politics, will convene in Miami from Nov. 2-3 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Perez Art Museum Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Complex and other venues.This international platform for socially engaged art not only will consider topics of relevance to Miami, but that also were generated by Miami. For instance, sea level rise and borderlessness will be highlighted by Miami’s unique positioning as the major U.S. mainland link to the Caribbean and Latin America, and as a place particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Among purchases by notable individual collections was Kenneth Montague’s acquisition of Jim Adams’s Centurion (Self Portrait) (1977) from Luis De Jesus Los Angeles for the Wedge Collection. The large acrylic on canvas work was purchased on opening night. “Adams grew up directly under a major flight path in Philly, and dreamt of one day flying his own plane,” Montague explained on Instagram. “Upon arrival to Canada’s West Coast while still in his 20s, he immediately got his pilot’s license… and started painting.
We carried onward with excitement to Luis De Jesus gallery where we were met by the work of Peter Williams for his opening, River of Styx. The show’s array of colorful, multi-figurative, narrative pieces was seemingly bright and cheery, yet it alluded to a heavier history. With the political climate so out of wack, Williams’s images address topics quiet poignantly. I had the treat of talking to the delightful artist as he explained that his paintings composed of many marks, were in fact not pointillism.
The 19th edition of Art Toronto includes 102 exhibitors from seven countries, and it kicks off tonight at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For years, the Surrey Art Gallery has been highlighting important artists overlooked by other Canadian art institutions. Among these talents is the 75-year-old Surrey local Jim Adams, whose retrospective The Irretrievable Moment they presented by the Surrey Art Gallery (as well as the Reach in nearby Abbotsford) in 2017.
Paul Anthony Smith’s show Containment was expressly concerned with what cannot be contained, what exceeds the bounds of a single photograph to render, or an individual consciousness to reconcile. The discontinuous self, memory as an act of creative nonfiction, history as endlessly splintered and unreliably narrated – over the past few decades, these have all gelled into foundational truths and served to underpin myriad image-making strategies favoring montage, disruption, and contradiction.
“This painting stopped me in my tracks,” wrote Katherine White, a Fairfax resident and community organizer at Network NoVA, on her Facebook as she shared it with the public and created some conversations. I decided to reach out to the National Portrait Gallery (NPG) and ask them why and how: Curator of painting and sculpture & Latino art and history at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Taína Caragol, said to Fairfax times: “I co-curated UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar with Dr. Asma Naeem, as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary program.
Though Luis De Jesus and Tarrah Von Lintel technically share an address in the Culver City gallery district, their operations are independent of each other. However, this month these neighboring exhibitions are very much in conversation. Unintended as this confluence is, in each of the three artists having solo shows at 2685 S. La Cienega we see a version of the same dynamic—a totally unexpected, materially subversive and exceptionally analog, labor-intensive take on what would otherwise be traditional mediums of photography and drawing.
Three large wooden tables that feature in-process paintings, resource books and a host of media are installed in the middle of the Lux Art Institute’s main gallery. The impromptu workshop has started to resemble the studio of artist Lia Halloran as she begins her residency at the museum. Halloran will continue to make work in the space for the next few weeks, while the current exhibit frames her interest in invisible histories and reimagined possibilities in astronomy.
In 2016, poet and author Claudia Rankine received $625,000 as a stipend from her MacArthur Genius Grant and decided to put the funds toward founding The Racial Imaginary Institute, an organization that gives artists and writers a platform to address issues of race. This summer, the Institute has found its new home at The Kitchen in New York, through a series of programs surrounding the exhibition On Whiteness, incorporating a day long symposium, a library of books, residencies, and performances.
From a distance, Paul Anthony Smith’s “picotage” pieces, 2012–, resemble movie stills interrupted by television static. Up close, they look like pictures dotted with tiny dabs of white paint. Smith creates these small, textured imperfections by carefully picking apart his mounted photographs with a ceramic needle, exposing their white undersides.
An exhibition of new works by an internationally acclaimed Canadian artist was inspired by a motorcycle trek across North America.
Danica Phelps draws with uncommon grace. Her line moves with liquid ease, following the momentum of time. It describes what happens in her life, and it also makes things happen. As her beautifually affirming show at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles attests, her line has agency.
Since 1996, Danica Phelps has been keeping track of her income and expenses, integrating details of her financial life into her artworks. Often placed below simple, yet elegant and descriptive pencil drawings, Phelps creates long strips of short vertical lines— red for expenses and green for income—where each painted mark on the page represents a dollar. Using her finances as a point of departure, her layered and multi-dimensional artworks investigate the relationship between labor and value, both within and outside the art marketplace.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce DANICA PHELPS: Many Drops Fill a Bucket, the artist's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2011, to be presented from August 4 through September 1, 2018. The drawings and sculptures that Danica Phelps has created for Many Drops Fill a Bucket record the experiences that she and her son, Orion, shared together during trips to California and India earlier this year.
A Tijuana artist is painting murals to raise awareness about the Trump administration’s family separations in San Diego. Hugo Crosthwaite is painting Mexican families on the beige walls of the Arts District Liberty Station. In one painting, a mother clutches her son. In another, a family behind bars, separated.
After years of tenaciously applying, Brooklyn native Alexandria Smith got the news she’d been waiting for—the mixed-media visual artist had been accepted into the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts residency program. Her patience had finally paid off.
Although many artists and non-artists alike engage with the process of collaging, a successful collage is not that easy to achieve. For the merger of unrelated images and/or texts to resonate beyond the obvious, there is much to take into consideration— point of view, message, cohesion of elements, formal arrangement, etc. Juxtaposing disparate elements from various sources does not necessarily construe art. Collage has a broad history and those who venture into collaging must take into consideration their historical precedents.
Even before pie charts and bar graphs, before we’re plotting curves and breaking down conic sections in algebra and analytic geometry, we become very accustomed to the graphic visual representation of every kind of trend, concept, and systematized data or information. It almost goes hand in hand with the way we structure ideas, systems, and organizations.The visual concepts become part and parcel of the systems and ideas they express. They become integral to the way we extrapolate, track progress, draw conclusions, predict outcomes.
News media, despite respective biases, seem to agree in the description of contemporary politics as “complicated” and “divided.” While accurate, this semantic admission fails to demonstrate the accountability of the status quo. Soul Recordings, a group exhibition currently on view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, examines ideas around representation and meaning amid the persisting trauma of colonial histories.
The opening movement of “Soul Recordings” is a polka-dot revelry, a bedazzled wake-up call, a cymbal-clap altarpiece, a plastic-bead trumpet blast, and a monster of a skull-ringed, glitter-bombed orchestral chord breaking in fuchsia major. This is Ebony G. Patterson’s heartbreaking and eminently Instagrammable mixed media installation work, and the poignant grandeur of its regal and folkloric memento mori is alert and ineffable.
Soul Recordings, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. A group exhibition featuring works by artists such as Lisa C. Soto, Deborah Roberts, Caitlin Cherry and Lex Brown shines a spotlight on our state of political unease. This includes work that examines neocolonial architecture, painting that toys with the nature of stereotype and textile work that takes on issues of gender. Accompanying the exhibition will be an essay written by independent curator Jill Moniz, who organized the very compelling show of sculpture by African American female artists at the Landing last year.
It says a great deal about the post-genre moment that these works would be at home now in a range of sculptural contexts, even if, for instance, the use of pantyhose was a dramatic, disjunctive move when Senga Nengudi first started engaging with it decades ago. There are striking pieces here using fake fur and innertube rubber (Victoria May), vinyl (May Wilson), industrial felt (Lloyd Hamrol) and found afghans (Miyoshi Barosh). Allusion to the body is one through line, many of the soft surfaces evoking skins, pelts or protective coverings. Contrasts between the animate and the mechanical, the organic and the industrial, is another.
“There’s an economy to emotional expression,” says Lex Brown, when speaking by phone of her desire to “de-internalize racism and sexism.” The New York-based artist’s fluency in expressive economies is evidenced in her artworks, which deftly balance a sense of comedy that is dark and vaudevillian with the strength of her subjectivity – a counterpoint on which the other elements turn. Materially, her works encompass performance, sculpture, writing (her erotic novel My Wet HotDrone Summer is available through Badlands Unlimited), video, and, most recently, drawing.
Don’t let those foam cinder blocks on the floor fool you. Lex Brown’s first solo exhibition ain’t soft—it’s a razor-edged debut with a droll twist. “Immortal Duck” departs from Looney Tunes’ iconic 1951 “Hunting Trilogy,” where Daffy Duck is shot multiple times by Elmer Fudd but never dies, like some eternal god in an Attic comedy—though the cartoon is, of course, deeply American and quite current, with vainglorious characters center stage, avaricious and always craving attention. But Brown mines Daffy Duck’s enduring potential as positive and perhaps even as an avatar.
Skin—dragged and torn, wrapped and layered, weeping and fossilized—resonates from Margie Livingston’s latest exhibition, Holding it Together. On view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Livingston’s exhibition offers nine pieces that contemplate structure and form as an enduring plexus. Acrylic and leather are employed as canvases, which become the base by which Livingston plays with and blurs sculpture, painting, and dimensions. These pieces, what Livingston names “paint objects,” reach out from the walls and draw in the light of the gallery, glowing and nearly vibrating, beckoning viewers for a closer look.
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I’m making draped paintings out of white paint skins. Just to clarify, a paint skin is what I get after pouring out whole gallons of acrylic paint to form a sheet and then leaving that sheet to dry. So far, most of my paint skins have been multicolored, but I’m pouring special white skins for the draped paintings, and I’m developing a way to create a white-on- white pattern so the surface of the painting will shimmer in the light, kind of like a damask tablecloth. I stumbled across the idea of making draped paintings when I tied some scraps of dried paint into a big loopy
“It's hard for me to separate Nathan, the person, from the Nathan, the artist—the two were inextricably bound,” says Luis De Jesus, director of Luis De Jesus Seminal Projects, San Diego, who was Nathan's best friend and was with him when he died.Anyone who knew him personally can see his quirky, yet elegant sense of style, sharp wit, all-encompassing knowledge, refined appreciation of the classics and, above all, his oddball sense of humor reflected throughout his work.