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

NEWS

June 28, 2019


INTERVIEW: LUIS DE JESUS AND JUNE EDMONDS

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.   more

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. While interviewing June Edmonds about her series of flag paintings that comprise Allegiances and Convictions, the current exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Owner/Director Luis De Jesus observed that the colors of the American flag were (transferred or lifted) directly from its British counterpart—it seems reasonable to suggest that our flag is due for an update. Vertically oriented, Edmonds’ flags vary from one to the next in color and pattern. They employ the primary hues of red, yellow, and blue, the three colors necessary to create a full spectrum of brown skin tones. During a recent public conversation between Edmonds and curator/writer Essence Harden hosted by De Jesus, an insightful teenage art student asked about the literal and conceptual roles that labor plays in the surrounding artworks. The student noted the meticulously painted smaller stripes that comprise each of the larger flag stripes, and the uniformity of each performed painted stroke. In person, these paintings certainly provoke questions about all aspects of American life, including the shrinking labor force that is so often leveraged by politicians on both sides of the aisle for personal gain. In an age when the average American seems illiterate or oblivious to abstraction and the power of art, it seems that the emblems to which we are asked to pledge our allegiances are in need of redefinition, and that definition necessitates an honest reflection of who we are: multi-hued, multi-faceted, of varying size, and in constant flux. The following conversation between Luis De Jesus and June Edmonds was conducted this past April at her studio at the Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro, CA, in advance of her first solo exhibition at the gallery. [ READ MORE ]

June 28, 2019


FEATURED: ZACKARY DRUCKER PHOTOGRAPHS ROSALYNE BLUMENSTEIN

Rosalyne Blumenstein and the Art of Living

In her newest series, artist and activist Zackary Drucker pays homage to a trans icon.

“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.   more

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. Blumenstein didn’t invent the word transgender, but she popularized it through her public-health work. [ READ MORE ]

June 27, 2019


INTERVIEW: FEDERICO SOLMI

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.   more

It was the best decision of my life, of course; not an easy decision, but it proved to be the right one. I knew immediately that this was my city, I guess I felt great chemistry. I would say that I have a very unconventional background if compared to my peers. I never really attended any art school, colleges, or MFA programs. I am a self-educated artist; I simply wanted to be an artist on my terms, and I thought the best way to educate myself in the arts was to move to NYC, then get a studio and simply to visit as many galleries, museums, exhibitions as possible, and to try to meet artists, curators, and art professionals… to learn directly from the people that were making and exhibiting important art. It was a wonderful way to educate myself. I met amazing artists from everywhere; I learned so much from them, from their careers, their successes and their failures. It was real… no classroom, no theory, it was a debt-free art education, and it worked!

The Armory Show was so exciting for me, so many people stopped by at the booth. Now that the pressure is off, I can enjoy the success for a few minutes. Once in a while, it’s good to take it easy, it does not happen that often, but I’ll keep my feet on the ground. We had some great feedback from the press, art collectors, curators, and we had museums acquisitions, a fantastic response from the public. People really connected with my works, and Ronald Feldman and his staff were very pleased. [ READ MORE ]

June 19, 2019


EXHIBITION: ZACKARY DRUCKER FEATURED IN TRANSAMERICA/N: GENDER IDENTITY, APPEARANCE TODAY AT THE MCNAY ART MUSEUM

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.  [ READ MORE ]

June 18, 2019


EXHIBITION: FEDERICO SOLMI AT THE NORTH DAKOTA MUSEUM OF ART

POWER / EMPOWER
April 24- July 7, 2019

Who owns the power or controls it? Who has the power and can it be shifted, negotiated. Nature pitted against Humans is one of the most important power struggles of our time. Wealth against Poverty is another. People against Government. Religions against Each Other. Belief against Non-belief. Humans verses Religion. Past struggling with the Present as in language being lost to shifting history. Race against Race. Nature against Humans who are also part of nature—all timeless struggles.   more

The North Dakota Museum of Art has acquired important works of art that reveal aspects of power and the conflicts over power. These will be in the exhibition along with contemporary work by four other artists timely today. The exhibition will span four decades, from1985 to the present. Rather than singular pieces the artists are represented by seminal bodies of work. [ READ MORE ]

June 18, 2019


EXHIBITION: LIA HALLORAN AT THE SCHNEIDER MUSEUM OF ART AT OREGON CENTER FOR THE ARTS AT SOUTHERN OREGON UNIVERSITY

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’.   more

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, heat and chemical content of stars and yet were paid less than half the wages of men. Harvard University houses the largest collection of astronomical glass plates in the world – over 500,000 including the very first daguerreotype every taken of the moon. Research for this series was done in partnership with the archive to identify specific plates that were studied and used by the women in the ‘Harvard Computer’ group and these plates serve as a reference for large paintings of the galaxies or stellar objects within the plate. Your Body is a Space That Sees will offer an experience of the night sky through the discoveries made by these astronomers.

The cyanotypes works are created using a painting of a galaxy or stellar image on semi-transparent drafting film then pressed over paper that has been coated with light sensitive emulsion and exposed in the sun. The resulting piece is cyanotype print of the positive image in equal scale to its matching negative created without the utilization of a camera. This process mimics early astronomical glass plates moving between transparent surfaces and is multi-layered in meaning and technique: images of stars created by a star (our sun), paintings used to create a painting (light sensitive emulsion painted out and exposed by another painting). This is an expansion of a previous series titled Deep Sky Companion, which reinterprets the 18th Century French comet hunter Charles Messier’s Catalogue of Deep Sky Objects in 110 paintings and 110 photographic twins and is currently on view at Caltech’s Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics through December 18th, 2016. Cliché Verre was a process used by French painters such as such as Carot, Millet and Daubigny in the early 19th century as a method of making a photograph by painting on glass as the negative.

Successful art and science collaborations have an underlying theme of creativity and curiosity, and this project will emulate this diversity to reach a broad audience. It is intended that the catalog create an interactive interface between visual art, literature, and science. Contributors include; Dr. Janna Levin, Jennifer Oullette, Diane Ackerman, Maria Popova, Dava Sobel, and Dr. Anna Leahy, Dr. Rebecca Oppenheimer. [ READ MORE ]

June 15, 2019


INTERVIEW: CAITLIN CHERRY

RESPECTABILITY POLITICS AND PAINTING: AN INTERVIEW WITH CAITLIN CHERRY

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.   more

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.  [ READ MORE ]

June 13, 2019


DATEBOOK: JUNE EDMONDS

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. [ READ MORE ]

June 13, 2019


NICOLAS GRENIER: SOBEY ART AWARD SHORTLIST

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.   more

The finalists, who represent Canada’s five geographic regions, are D’Arcy Wilson (from the Atlantic region), Nicolas Grenier (Québec), Stephanie Comilang (Ontario), Kablusiak (the Prairies and the North), and Anne Low (the West Coast and the Yukon).

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). Each of the other four finalists will get 25,000 Canadian dollars ($18,800); artists on the long list will each receive 2,000 Canadian dollars ($1,500). [ READ MORE ]

June 12, 2019


NICOLAS GRENIER SHORTLISTED FOR 2019 SOBEY AWARDS

2019 Sobey Art Award shortlist announced: $240,000 CAD in prize money and international residencies support excellence in Canadian contemporary art

OTTAWA, June 12, 2019 /CNW/ - 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.   more

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. "It's an initiative that supports and promotes Canada's talent at home and abroad, which is core to our mission and mandate as the Nation's Gallery." [ READ MORE ]