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

NEWS

January 23, 2019


REVIEW: CAITLIN CHERRY AND ZACKARY DRUCKER

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.   more

Dressed like pop stars in halters, leggings and high heels, Cherry’s female protagonists appear eerily spotlighted by feverish intermittent beams that play across vibrant rainbow striations evoking oil spills and luminous digital bursts. The more you gaze, the creepier Cherry’s mesmerizing world seems. Some of her women, such as the model-esque subject of Ultraviolet Ultimatum Leviathan (2019), exude a languid allure, while others hold mirrors to society’s sexism and racial bigotry. The suggestively posed, bespectacled woman of grossly distorted facial features in Sapiosexual Leviathan (2018) serves as an incisive retort to the derogatory absurdity of blackface and “sexy librarian” clichés. Cherry titled her show “Threadripper” after a brand of powerful computer processing unit; through her paintings inspired by LCD technology, she reflects and processes exploitation of black female bodies. Tangential to this notion, LCD mounts brandish ostentatious canvases at humorous odds with the quotidian office furniture to which they are attached. In the smaller gallery, “Mother Comes to Venus,” Zackary Drucker‘s entertaining short film featuring real-life stars, resonates with Cherry’s work from a transgender perspective. [ READ MORE ]

January 10, 2019


Caitlin Cherry Strikes a Masterful Pose at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

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.   more

What is a self-assured paint warrior with an operatic talent and a love of disruptive art history supposed to do?

Within the hierarchy of desires, what place is there for images further viewed through the mediation of technology — especially when that tech isn't working right? And what does "right" even mean when we're having a subjective and subversive discussion on patriarchal, racial and colonialist paradigms of beauty in the first place?

In the paintings of Caitlin Cherry, black female bodies and sexually confident women in general are portrayed as self-possessed in the face of oppression and outmoded, moralizing aesthetics. Her topsy-turvy palette riots topple expectations and reveal an emboldened generation of women ready to rule this jacked-up kingdom. She’s also a formal wizard and a beast with the brushes. [ READ MORE ]

December 23, 2018


HUGO CROSTHWAITE AT LIBERTY STATION

Year in review: 18 things we loved in the San Diego arts scene in 2018

LIBERTY STATION

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 participat

ed in “Installations at the Station,” the NTC Foundation’s public art program, which will continue next year.   more

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. The most recent installation, a kinetic light sculpture by Nico Meyer, is part of Liberty Station’s holiday “Salute the Season.” (Martina Schimitschek) [ READ MORE ]

December 11, 2018


REVIEW: PETER WILLIAMS: RIVER OF STYX

By Daniel Gerwin

"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.   more

Written inside of a branch, the width of the rectangle, is the line “Four and twenty blackbirds—baked in a pie, oh my oh my!” Williams pushes this nursery rhyme into more troubling territory through the presence of the tree, which for Williams is an inescapable image of lynching. As these linkages sink in, the red passages in the painting suddenly become savage: “Blood at the leaves and blood at the root,” as Billie Holiday famously sang. [ READ MORE ]

December 11, 2018


CAITLIN CHERRY AT PERFORMANCE SPACE

A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN

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.   more

Here everything is makeshift and repurposed because everything has a purpose—to undermine capitalism’s axiomatic of extraction.

Following this practice, the artists even engaged viewers in a workshop about strategizing and envisioning the end of the world and how we will continue to survive, which included a conversation about horticulture, healing, and a beautiful altar as well. After thinking about what to contribute to this temporary fabulous zone, this aesthetic sanctuary, at once ephemeral and momentous, I decided to bring irises for the altar, to denote the liminality between this world and the next. In the Greek myth, Iris figures as a rainbow and is able to move between the realm of the world and that of the afterlife.

There at the gorgeous altar, after watching participants talk about how to live, in this version of the Earth as well as the next, I left them. [ READ MORE ]

December 06, 2018


INTERVIEW: CAITLIN CHERRY

Can a Painting Not Have Fun?: Caitlin Cherry Interviewed by Zoe Dubno

The New York-based artist discusses collaboration, deskilling, and life after the end of the world.

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.   more

The artists have transformed the space into a projection of the world they will inhabit together after the apocalypse. Their trailer home is retrofitted with surveillance cameras, a faux stained-glass window, bunk beds, and a shared library that befits artists at the end of the world: survival manuals, art books, theory texts, monographs—among them, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins, the anthropologist’s examination of the cross-contaminated conditions that the matsutake mushroom thrives under, and its parallels to the circumstance of inhabitants of the Anthropocene living among “capitalist ruins.” That book is also quoted in the show’s—co-written, of course—text. A video of the artists talking together is projected in the backyard, and copies of a collectively created zine are available throughout the exhibition. We opened our correspondence by considering this idea of cross-contamination. [ READ MORE ]

December 05, 2018


MARGIE LIVINGSTON Dragged Her New Paintings Facedown Through Downtown Bellevue

"Dragging a painting down the road is a comic gesture turned dark," artist Margie Livingston tells me. "Originally, I intended to harm a painting, so I could explore the rich potential of mending it. Enacting this gesture was more powerful than I anticipated."  more

This process by which these finished paintings come together, this dragging, is the focus of Livingston's solo show Extreme Landscape Painting in Seattle.

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.

There is something powerful, almost spiritual, about her work. The caustic character of her dragged paintings appears to reveal something through the eroded layers. It would be easy to imagine someone claiming to see the face of a divine being or spirit in them, such is their resemblance to holy water stains and the burnt surfaces of toast. [ READ MORE ]

December 03, 2018


EDRA SOTO AT UNTITLED MIAMI BEACH

Untitled Art, Miami Beach Preview: Creative Time's Justine Ludwig Picks Her Favorites

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.  [ READ MORE ]

November 30, 2018


REVIEW: PETER WILLIAMS

Dot by dot, painter Peter Williams makes points about racial violence

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 Gallery, most (though not all) of which explode with pointillist dots.   more

Rather than the scientifically inflected approach of letting pure hues painted on a canvas mix only when they reach an observer’s eye, the Delaware-based artist, 66, uses staccato dots in an almost ritual way. [ READ MORE ]

November 20, 2018


MICHELLE GRABNER ON JOSH REAMES

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.   more

The works are stylistically indebted to the appropriation work of the 1980s, such as the commodity-driven, logo-festooned work of Ashley Bickerton, Matt Mullican, and Peter Nagy, and to the later work of Laura Owens. Yet Reames's lexicon of found imagery is devoid of critical engagement with the updated questions of authorship, originality, and the authority of painting. Instead, his paintings imitate and aggregate languages of critique, not as a counterposition but as a nullification of those conditions of representation. [ READ MORE ]