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

NEWS

October 08, 2018


REVIEW: CHRIS ENGMAN AT THE FOTOFOCUS BIENNIAL

Outside In: Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge at the Weston

Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge teaches us not to trust our eyes. On display at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery through November 18, the exhibit unsettles our senses of depth and scale, interior and exterior, origin and reproduction. It ushers us into artificial spaces and then immerses us in the tropes of nature.   more

Engman achieves his uncanny effects mainly by taking enormous, high-density photographs and then affixing them to walls, ceilings, floors, and objects in domestic rooms and workspaces, sometimes doubling the perceived size of those spaces, other times making them appear to go on forever. Engman reveres the organic world while at the same time resisting idioms of purity and wildness, insinuating that vision adheres to conventional behaviors and perceptual expectations rather than some absolute presence that discloses itself to the viewer. He troubles those conventions by refusing to let them hide, but he never imagines that highlighting them means canceling their power. That power depends on a dialectical movement between materiality and illusion, which Engman ties firmly to the governing concepts of the show: “Materiality, like refuge, refers to what is here and now, what is in front of us, what we can see and touch. Illusion, like prospect, refers to what we would prefer to believe, or, to put it more positively, what we can imagine. Neither, without the other, is quite satisfactory.” As the various entries in the exhibit fuse banal living areas with dream-like projections, blending attention to the tactile substance of photography with evocations of complex affect, they probe the bond between established custom and desire. [ READ MORE ]

October 03, 2018


review: Paul anthony smith

At a Pair of Culver City Galleries, Three Artists Flip the Script on Technique

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. [ READ MORE ]

October 03, 2018


JOSH REAMES IN "REINTERPRETATION AS RESISTANCE," AT THE NATALIE AND JAMES THOMPSON ART GALLERY AT SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

Am  more

ong the 27 displayed artworks in the exhibit “Reinterpretation as Resistance,” a big painted American flag on a trampoline stood in the center of the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery at San Jose State University.

The piece, titled “90 Different Ways,” was created by artist Josh Reames.

The art exhibit had its opening Tuesday evening, drawing students and visitors from around the neighborhood.

Visual arts coordinator of Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA), Damian Kelly said “90 Different Ways” drew his attention the most.

“Besides the object itself, it gives you imagery of people bouncing, people manipulating it, of it warping, of people waving in the wind or people having sex on it, it could be anything,” Kelly said.

“Without that piece, it would be a different show,” he added. [ READ MORE ]

October 02, 2018


CAITLIN CHERRY AND PETER WILLIAMS AT EXPO CHICAGO 2018

Kunstmesse Expo Chicago: Zeichen der Zeit

38 000 Besucher hat die Expo Chicago bis Sonntag auf dem Gelände der historischen Seebrücke Navy Pier empfangen. Die 7. Ausgabe gab sich so politisch wie nie und punktete mit Werken von afroamerikanischen Künstlern. [ READ MORE ]

September 30, 2018


LIA HALLORAN AT THE LUX ART INSTITUTE

At Lux, Lia Halloran creates the experience of science through art

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.   more

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.

Art, science and skateboarding were the magic combination of interests that propelled Halloran into her life as an artist. The UCLA and Yale grad grew up in her father’s laboratory at UC San Francisco, which prepared her for her first job at the city’s Exploratorium. This unusual background was balanced with a passion for skateboarding and surfing, talents that led a 14-year-old Halloran to be featured in Thrasher Magazine. Halloran’s is a unique history that leaves her well positioned to address a combination of aesthetic delights mixed with deep and insightful concepts about science and history, especially the historical role of women in science. [ READ MORE ]

September 28, 2018


LUIS DE JESUS AT EXPO CHICAGO

EXPO CHICAGO 2018 MUST-SEE SHOWS: IN/SITU, PETER WILLIAMS, MATISSE

New Voices Roar:

Justine Ludwig curated EXPO’s “exposure” section, which is made up of galleries that have been around for eight years or less—an impressive accomplishment considering most galleries don’t make it past five years. The participating spaces have put together solo or two-person shows spotlighting exciting newcomers.   more

This section of the fair is where collectors can find good deals, and maybe take a gamble on some artists still making a name for themselves.

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles has a particularly strong booth with work by painter Peter Williams, and Derek Eller Gallery boasts wonderful drawings by Chicago legend Karl Wirsum. But our favorite comes from the young Detroit gallery Library Street Collective. Its booth is whimsical and weird, but it also represents the clear and steady vision of the collective’s exhibition program; even in an EXPO packed full of superstar artists, it feels ahead of the curve. A new painting by Thrush Holmes, Suck It (2018), embodies the contradictory nature of the gallery’s artists—their output is punk but also pristine, political but also populist. Of course, Library Street Collective can afford to be playful with money-making anchor artists like Adam Parker Smith and Mark Flood on its roster. [ READ MORE ]

September 28, 2018


ERIK OLSON AT THE GLENBOW MUSUEM

Three artists explore the cosmos in new Glenbow exhibit

Painter Erik Olson became interested in the cosmos the old-fashioned way.

It involved a dusty, inexpensive old telescope and a starry night. The Calgary-born artist was living in Fernie, B.C. at the time but had just returned from a motorcycle trip through India, where he worked on a collection of paintings that were later exhibited in 2010 at Calgary’s Skew Gallery.

His portraits in India, done over six months, took on a “frenzied” and “cubist” style.   more

When he returned to Canada he was looking for clarity for his work “and maybe just life in general.”

So one night he pointed a telescope at the moon.

“I was just really struck by how, even with just a cheap little telescope, you can really see the texture of it and three-dimensionality of it and the reality of it,” says Olson, who now lives in Dusseldorf but is back in town for the opening of the multi-artist exhibition, Cosmos, at the Glenbow Museum. “It becomes very clear, just by a simple tool like that. That’s almost how it began. I thought maybe there was something there. Maybe I could approach it the way I do portraits, or any of my projects, which is that I will have an interest in a topic or a person and I’ll try and go in for a closer look. I find that when I do that, when I really start looking at the particular details of whatever my topic is, that can start generating the work. It tends to lead me to things that I couldn’t have planned beforehand. With this, I thought what if I tried to do portraits of all of the major bodies in our solar system.”

Olson painted the series and again exhibited them at Skew Gallery in 2011, where they caught the attention of Cosmos curator Mary-Beth Laviolette. [ READ MORE ]

September 26, 2018


CHRIS ENGMAN AT FOTOFOCUS

Immersive 3D Installation Invites Viewers to Step Inside a Giant Photograph

Photographer Chris Engman invites you to enter a world within a world. His photography installation, titled Containment, is an immersive work that features images spanning the walls, ceilings, and floors of a specially constructed room. Upon stepping foot inside the space, you’re transported from a gallery setting to the middle of a bustling stream surrounded by a dense forest with trees cloaking most of the blue sky above.

Containment is Engman’s first foray into work that allows you to physically enter his photographs.   more

But, the idea is something he examined long before then. “I believe photography derives its power precisely from the fact it can’t be entered, however much we may want to,” Engman explains. “When I make photographs I try to be mindful of this, even to exploit it.” [ READ MORE ]

September 26, 2018


REVIEW: KEN GONZALES-DAY

TO WATCH AND BE WATCHED: THE RACIAL IMAGINARY INSTITUTE: ON WHITENESS // THE KITCHEN

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.   more

Within her own work as a part of the Institute, Rankine states “…it is important that people begin to understand that whiteness is not inevitable, and that white dominance is not inevitable.”1 In this sense, Rankine suggests that whiteness’ hyper-visibility is what allows it to become invisible; a racial default that society has built itself around—the consequence of which is white people having the luxury of achieved racial ‘neutrality.’

While blackness and otherness has been the object of attention in conversations surrounding race, it is equally important that we raise questions and consciousness around whiteness and its pervasive monopoly over cultural narratives. The exhibition presents a collection of artworks that utilize the formal qualities of proximity, orientation, sensation, and visibility to foster a reflexive relationship between the viewer and the work.

The exhibition opens into a small room with a lowered ceiling and a blindingly bright light shining directly into viewers’ eyes—a club-like light fixture spinning overhead. Experiencing this installation by Baseera Khan, [Feat. ] with lowered ceiling (2018) is like being in a parody dreamscape of a nightclub. The harsh spotlight strikes like a deer in the headlights, while the lowered ceiling makes one feel so disproportionately large that proceeding to the main room of the exhibition is disorienting.

Continuing into the space, viewers are confronted with the bust of a white woman missing an eye. As a white woman, facing this bust at eye level, the image feels in some way like a mirror held up: me, like her, half-seeing (my vision still recovering from the glare of light). Looking out to either side of the woman’s bust at the surrounding works—scanning many large-scale vertical sculptures, video installations, and photographs—the physical scale and dimensionality of each of the selected works invite a confrontation as one body facing another.

Ken Gonzales-Day’s Untitled III (Antico [Pier Jacopo Alari-Bonacolsi], Bust of a Young Man and Francis Harwood, Bust of a Man, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) (2010), is a photograph of two busts staring intently at one another. Antico’s Bust of a Young Man (approx. 1455–1528) depicts a Roman looking curly-haired male, where Hardwood’s Bust of a Man (1726/27–1783) is one of the first European depictions of an African man in sculpture. Both appear to be cut from the same slick black material, more like ebony than like marble; yet, one is stone and one is bronze. Both sculptures are owned by The J. Paul Getty Museum. The faces, facing one another forever in time, serve as a record of the art world’s relationship with whiteness and the ubiquity of European assimilation of global culture. Both sculptures have a regal air, and if anything, the African man appears distinct only for the fact that this image is less engrained throughout Westernized history. As for the Roman figure, his whiteness appears indistinct, as it assumes what has been defined as the default status throughout historical narratives both in the art world and at large. [ READ MORE ]

September 25, 2018


CHRIS ENGMAN AT THE FOTOFOCUS BIENNIAL

Artist Chris Engman transports natural landscapes such as waterfalls, caves, and vast deserts to domestic interiors by securing large-scale photographs to the room’s walls, ceilings, and floors. “I believe photography derives its power precisely from the fact it can’t be entered, however much we may want to,” Engman tells Colossal. “When I make photographs I try to be mindful of this, even to exploit it.”

His most recent work, Containment, is his first installation which allows visitors to step inside.   more

The work features a rushing stream surrounded on two sides by dense forest, and on the top by a branch-covered sky. Engman thinks of the work as a singular photograph, even though it consists of more than three hundred individual prints applied to the surface of the installation’s temporary walls. Although the piece can be entered, unlike his other works, there is still a hesitation on the part of the viewer. Engman explains that once one enters the work its believability as a singular landscape becomes penetrated. Each step deeper inside the work makes the photographed landscape appear increasingly warped and unreal.

“Even so,” says Engman, “compared to a singular framed photograph the experience of this installation for the viewer is much more physical and immersive. The structure is a room, not an image of a room. The photograph is an object, in addition to being an illusion. It has weight, and volume, and changes as you walk around it. Making this installation has been a thrilling process, and this new way of working seems to afford many new possibilities.”

The work is curated by Carissa Barnard of FotoFocus and is exhibited alongside several of his photographs at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio through November 18. The exhibition is a part of the 2018 FotoFocus Biennial, a photography and lens-based presentation of over 400 artists at art spaces across Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky. You can visit exhibitions and attend programming for the biennial through January 2019. Engman will have his third solo exhibition with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in February 2019. [ READ MORE ]