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


August 05, 2011

abel baker gutierrez REVIEW ON PAIDEIA: "The Spirit Is There in Every Boy"

Last Saturday, I attended the Luis De Jesus Gallery's opening of "Swimming", a solo show featuring the works of Abel Baker Gutierrez. The images are inspired by '50s era photos and films of Boy Scouts, specifically in regards to water-related survival training. From this source material, Gutierrez has contextualized the imagery within a dark, ambiguous but vaguely menacing setting.   more

The technique and style of these oil paintings evoke a 19th century feel, part Realisim and part late Romanticism.

Gutierrez's exquisite painterly technique creates a rich surface texture and engaging play of light and shadow. All these elements combine to make this a fascinating show.

But my favorite element to the exhibit is how it captures the "spirit" of the youths within the darkened context. This is most notable in the video part of the show. Footage of boy scouts at play around a pair of picnic tables has been reworked into a spectral display, with the ghostly children silently frolicking within the silver environment. It's creepy, but the sense of play still comes through as powerful presence. Likewise, check this out:

The overall effect is haunting. There is an incongruity between image and style. We imagine the boy scouts training in a bright, sunny setting, but these paintings are dark and mysterious. The style is associated with nude female bathers and naturalist wooded landscapes, but here we have energetic youths and rowboats. A subtle sense of wrongness pervades these works. Yet, the images are compelling compositions, with hints of narrative inspired by the clash of subject and style.

The original photo probably showed a boy scout relaxing by the water, gazing at his reflection. The contextualization creates a darker feel, but the sense of introspection is still pervasive. It's a captivating image.

Here's a vid featuring typical modern merit training for Boy Scouts. Definitely, a different mood characterizes the footage.

Anyways, I highly recommend this exhibit.


August 05, 2011

L.A. TIMES Art review by Christopher Knight: "Abel Baker Gutierrez at Luis De Jesus Gallery"

Fourteen modest recent paintings by Abel Baker Gutierrez, all but one on wood panel, have the look and feel of oil sketches. The abbreviation of the paint-handling is beneficial. Rather than laborious finish, which would suggest a declarative statement, the sketchiness is a painterly equivalent of drawing.   more

Wistful rumination and reflection emerge.

For his debut solo show at Luis De Jesus Gallery, what is Gutierrez asking us to join him in thinking about? Adolescent boys are adrift in watery fields -- rocking in small rowboats, engaging in rescues, giving and receiving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. In one, a pair of slightly askew legs is all that remains of a body disappearing into roiling blue water. (There's nothing sinister about the image, just the suggestion of falling backward into the deep.) Affection and loss are leitmotifs.

"Adrift," which homes in on a boy snoozing lazily within a boat's enveloping hull, juxtaposes a crimson shirt and white shorts in the watery scene. It's a quietly patriotic color scheme. Gutierrez has based his works on old scouting manuals and magazines, and you can't help but think the paintings are a call to "be prepared" on a more general, less dogmatic, nonetheless important level.

An exclusively male world imbued with homoerotic undertones -- not unlike those of Thomas Eakins' "The Swimming Hole" -- is characterized by conflict between isolation and mutual care. "Gazing at his Own Reflection" shows the sun-blasted, down-turned head of a youth who becomes a metaphoric Narcissus, gazing into a pool but unaware that he's seeing himself.

In the back gallery, a short video digitally altered from a found film is presented in negative rather than positive black-and-white. Seven young scouts (you can tell from the uniforms) jump and play in slow-motion on outdoor picnic-table benches to a dream-like musical soundtrack. Wild boys released from the social constraints implied by their specific clothing glow with quiet grace.

Luis De Jesus Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 453-7773, through Aug. 27. Closed Sun. and Mon. [ VISIT SITE ]

July 25, 2011

Seen: Abel Baker Gutierrez's ‘Swimming’ at Luis De Jesus Gallery (7/23)

“Swimming” is a memorable new exhibition of paintings and a video installation by Abel Baker Gutierrez at Luis De Jesus in Bergamot Station. These intimate, mysterious works are based on black-and-white and color photographs taken from 1950s scouting manuals and magazines. Gutierrez employs his own unique talent to add a layer of haunting ambiguity to the paintings. Read more about the exhibition here, and be sure to stop by the gallery before the show ends on August 27. See more images at:  [ VISIT SITE ]

July 21, 2011

Martin durazo awared 2011 CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists by California Community Foundation

LOS ANGELES, July 20, 2011 - California Community Foundation (CCF) in Los Angeles announced a record 20 recipients of the CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists and a new online gallery of art by current and past fellows. The recipients of the 2011 CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists are emerging and mid-career artists in L.A. County who each receive a $15,000 to $20,000 grant and opportunities to develop business skills necessary to become self-supporting over time.   more

Since the fellowship was established in 1988, nearly $1.8 million in grants has been awarded by the community foundation to 195 professional artists.

Mid-Career Artists:

* Kevin Appel “ painting and sculpture
* Deborah Aschheim “ drawing, interdisciplinary“ mixed media, installation
* Cindy Bernard “ interdisciplinary-mixed media
* Carolyn Castano “ painting
* Zoe Crosher “ photography
* Tony de los Reyes “ painting
* Martin Durazo “ drawing, experimental film and video, interdisciplinary“mixed media, installation, painting, photography, sculpture
* Christina Fernandez “ photography
* Charles Gaines “ interdisciplinary-mixed media
* Janie Geiser “ experimental film and video
* Alexandra Grant “ painting
* Mungo Thomson “ interdisciplinary-mixed media

Emerging Artists:

* Patricia Fernandez “ installation
* Jocelyn Foye “ interdisciplinary-mixed media
* Gregory Michael Hernandez “ installation, photography, painting, sculpture
* Andrew Lewicki “ interdisciplinary“mixed media, installation, photography, sculpture
* Nuttaphol Ma “ drawing, installation, sculpture, other
* Alison O'Daniel “ experimental, film and video, performance art, photography
* Nate Page “ interdisciplinary“mixed media, installation, sculpture
* Nancy Popp “ performance art

"As one of the largest patrons of the arts in L.A., the community foundation strives to keep the arts healthy, vibrant and accessible to all," said Antonia Hernandez, president and CEO of CCF. "Our fellowship program is important and unique because it provides direct and meaningful support to visual artists so they can devote themselves fully to developing their work as art and as a career."

The CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists is made possible by the generous funding of sponsors which currently include: J. Paul Getty Trust, Brody Arts Fund, Atlass Fund, Joan Palevsky Endowment for the Future of Los Angeles, T.M. and R.W. Brown Fund, Harry J. Volk Fund, Pamela Simon-Jensen Fund, Scott N. Kivel Charitable Fund, The Jane Eisner Fund and The Tom and Janet Unterman Family Gift Fund.

The works and biographies of current and past fellows, in addition to more information regarding the fellowship program and its generous donors are available for viewing in the new online gallery at

California Community Foundation (CCF) is a public, charitable organization serving Los Angeles County in multiple capacities since 1915. It encourages philanthropy by individuals, families, companies and organizations, and serves as a steward of their charitable funds and legacies. It also makes grants to nonprofits in the arts, education, health care, housing and neighborhoods, and human development, and collaborates in addressing the needs of vulnerable populations such as adults with developmental disabilities. In addition, it actively engages in community problem solving with business, civic, government and other organizations. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook at

July 12, 2011

Abel Baker Gutierrez, "Swimming", Opens July 23 - August 27, 2011

Los Angeles , California - 27 June 2011 (

Abel Baker Gutierrez’s work explores the way images acquire different meaning over time and the overlapping systems that shape perceptions about the archetypal male. Taking inspiration from rock music's aesthetic trends to Scout culture and Old Master paintings, Gutierrez utilizes a diverse range of source material to create paintings, photographs, sculpture and video installations loaded with potential interpretations.   more

His recent work reflects upon society’s obsession with youth culture, issues of “growing up”, and ideals of masculinity, yet these subjects are negotiated through a visual vocabulary that effectively blurs the distinction between social critique and melancholic nostalgia. [ READ ON ]

July 05, 2011

federico solmi featured in LACDA's Analog to Digital

Opening in Downtown Los Angeles on July 9th, 2011 @ the Los Angeles enter for Digital Art (LACDA) is an exhibition entitled Analog to Digital.   more

Curated by Rex Bruce“an artist who is also founder and director of LACDA“this digital and new media show presents a stellar display of work by many notable creatives, including John Baldessari, Gronk, Patti Heid, Dennis Hopper, Kathryn Jacobi, Luke Matjas, Miss Maytag Collective, Mark Mothersbaugh, Federico Solmi, Anneliese Varaldiev, Robert Williams, Joel-Peter Witkin.

Several of the artists, like Baldessari and Hopper, are not typically thought of as being in the genre of “digital and/or new media” per se. Yet to this point, Bruce says “New media is not-so-new at all really.” Adding in his curatorial statement that:

I see more kindred relationships between forms than not, historically and otherwise. I embarked on an exploration of that notion by curating an exhibit which contains analog and digital works together and traces these relationships. Although the differentiation between digital and other forms is largely artificial, the perception of difference and change with emergent technologies and the culture surrounding them is very strong.

Analog to Digital runs at LACDA July 9th through September 2, 2011, with an opening reception on July 9th from 7 to 9pm. An select image slideshow follows a multi-part, video discussion with Bruce, in which he talks about the upcoming exhibition, also sharing his views on the value of the arts and humanities as well other enlightening thoughts relating to culture-at-large. [ READ ON ]

July 02, 2011


Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is pleased to present a special screening of three new videos by Deanna Erdmann, Wednesday, July 13, 2011, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. The three videos are "Cosmos", "Untitled (Women)" and "Untitled (Green)". An artist's reception will take place during the screening.

Deanna Erdmann's work engages perception as a process of accumulation.   more

Presenting a choreography of the “in-between,” she uses transitory, repeated, and improvised gestures to reveal the fleetingly visible spaces between frames, thus allowing for deeper considerations of the here and now”a present that is always more than can actually be perceived. Each work unfolds as a unique landscape, a collection of sensory fragments mapping physical terrain and cultural geography.

In the making of Cosmos, a stop-motion animation, Erdmann collected discarded bus windows from the LA public transit system and created high-resolution scans of each window. This archive of mark making documents the ephemeral choreography of the body moving through the city’s complex network. In Untitled (Green) and Untitled (Women), the video editing process is similar to a repeated folding and interlacing of materials, a cross between weaving and origami. The images and sound disrupt a sequential narrative, a reminder that we are perpetually between past and future, on the edge of the present. The sonic/visual relationship in Untitled (Green) and Untitled (Women) intensifies both the physical and psychological experience.

Untitled (Green) weaves together six different videos frame by frame, each image visible for a single frame, then cycling through the other videos. Originally posted online by US military personnel, each video contains glowing “green” night-vision footage documenting US-led bombings abroad. In a play between presence and absence, the green color creates a magenta after-image and eventually leads the entire image field to shift to magenta, after which the green becomes the after-image. Untitled (Women) interlaces female singers Karen Dalton, Lesley Gore and Marianne Faithful, creating a simultaneously haunting and alluring experience. Through editing they become apparitions of one another, sharing harmonic and discordant sounds and echoing one another’s physical movements. From these discordant fragments, new harmonics emerge.

Deanna Erdmann is an artist and educator living and working in Los Angeles. She received her MFA (2008) from University of California, San Diego, where she was a Russel Grant recipient, and BA (2002) from UC Irvine. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions at Luis De Jesus, Patrick Painter, REDCAT, LACE, Kavi Gupta Berlin, Sundown Salon, Lui Velasquez, compactspace, The New Children’s Museum San Diego, workspace, and Statler Waldorf.

June 25, 2011

geoff tuck on margie livingston's "20 gallons" at lace

Over the course of her residency at LACE Margie participated in several public conversations: at the reception speaking with those in attendance about her practice and on the following weekend LACE invited other artists to engage with the installation and speak with her in a more intimate setting. Livingston mentioned work by Roy Lichtenstein. Not being familiar with her reference I spent time looking online. Below are images that I found. [READ ON]

June 22, 2011


Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce our participation in NADA Hudson, July 30-31, 2011, at the Basilica Hudson in Hudson, New York. The Gallery will present a new site-specific installation by MARTIN DURAZO and a weekend-long performance by BRIAN DICK.

Organized by the New Art Dealers Alliance and the Basilica Hudson, NADA Hudson is a large scale exhibition featuring over 40 projects presented by NADA members and affiliates.   more

NADA Hudson is not an art fair, but rather a site-specific project for the New Art Dealers Alliance, which will build upon the character of a historic venue in showcasing contemporary sculpture, installation and performance. The Basilica Hudson, built in 1884 as a foundry and forge for the manufacture of steel railway wheels, is the last great 19th century building on the Hudson River waterfront. NADA Hudson will occupy nearly 8,000 square feet of indoor space, a theatre space and over 10,000 square feet of outdoor space.

MARTIN DURAZO - The romance of enigmatic escape

Using a small sound-sensitive stage laser, magnifying lenses, a MacBook Pro laptop with DJ software, multiple ear phones, and pixilated images of troubled celebrity figures Linda Lovelace and Lindsay Lohan, Martin Durazo's installation, The romance of enigmatic escape, explores night club nuances that offer opportunities for an escape from reality. Transitory in nature, the idea of a party is fleeting. Moreover, there exists a parallel with the economic law of diminishing returns--the longer the festivities last the less intense the feelings of joy and reverie. At the center of this installation will be a high intensity laser and a magnifying lens that will simultaneously distort and enhance the laser's ability to project, while music mixed from a laptop computer will power the pulsations of the beams that scatter across the images of Lohan and Lovelace--enigmas created by popular culture, exposed to the transcendent sobriety of reality. Nearby, a bank of earphones will invite viewers/listeners to enjoy the sound that powers the work. Martin Durazo is a multi-media artist whose work is concerned with the intersection between elements of high-design and the grittiness of social subcultures, and is known for creating large scale installations combining painting, sculpture, ready-made objects, video, sound, light, and performance.

BRIAN DICK - The Nationwide Museum Mascot Project
A collaborative performance with Christen Sperry-Garcia

Working in a post-studio style of practice that he often documents in photography, film, and video, Dick creates playful sculptures and performances that are meant to last for a brief amount of time. The Nationwide Museum Mascot Project functions as a spontaneous public forum for random encounters that involve an exchange of creative ideas that help solve problems, implement policy, and offer a critique of an institution that is not at all interested in this kind of undisciplined, non-contextual discourse. The Mascot Project for NADA Hudson will follow these same principles. It will be a unique "corporate mascot"--an inhabited phantom sculpture created specifically for NADA Hudson (sourced from secondhand materials found at local thrift stores, dime stores, and even dumpsters)--with unscheduled performances taking place throughout the course of the two-day exhibition in and around the Basilica Hudson as well as the village of Hudson. Recent manifestations of the Mascot Project have appeared as "OCMAscot" for the 2010 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, "Bushie" at Bushwick: SITE FEST 2009, and "LACMAscot" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Martin Durazo and Brian Dick live and work in Los Angeles. Hudson, New York, is a popular satellite city for cultural activity and is home to many dealers specializing in antiques while also attracting international contemporary artists like Marina Abramovic and Jason Middlebrook. Hudson is easily accessible to visitors from New York City. Direct trains run frequently to Hudson, leaving from Pennsylvania Station (W34th St and 8th Avenue) and the ride is about 2 hours. As always NADA Hudson will be free and open to the public. For additional information about NADA Hudson please visit

For further information about Martin Durazo and Brian Dick, please visit

June 17, 2011


LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA) is proud to announce this year's Wall Work commission by Seattle-based artist Margie Livingston, entitled Twenty Gallons, on view from June16, 2011 through March 25, 2012, is designed to activate LACE's monumental archway and greet our visitors for the coming year.   more

Using acrylic paint as both a surface and structural material, Livingston will cover the 15-foot tall archway leading into LACE's front gallery with a series of "wafer board" panels constructed entirely from, as her title suggests, twenty gallons of acrylic paint.

Originally trained as an abstract painter, Livingston's early work approached the subject of landscape through the lens of geometric abstraction, exploring the intersection of the architectural grid and organic forms within the conventions of the two-dimensional picture plane. In her recent work, she has inverted the relationship between content and material, with the canvas having been abandoned entirely in favor of exploiting paint for its sculptural properties, yet still maintaining a reference to abstract expressionism that is both witty and sincere.

Livingston deliberately conflates an expressionist, processed based approach of abstract painting and the structured, reductive approach of minimalism to create self-described "paint-objects." The artist states, "As I work, my goal is to keep the process open so that accident and discovery can combine with invention to make works that surprise me. In hopes of making work that is not merely personal but also cognizant of history and relevant to our time."

Each year, LACE commissions a new Wall Work for its front gallery. Past projects have featured artists Nick Lowe, Ami Tallman and Jason Yates. For further information about LACE please visit