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

NEWS

March 26, 2011

LOS ANGELES TIMES REVIEW: 'We're Not Here to Waste Time!' at Luis De Jesus

In contemporary art, sewing and other “textile arts” are always more than just a medium. They stand for women’s work, for craft, for domesticity. The three artists in “We’re Not Here to Waste Time!” at Luis De Jesus seek to turn these assumptions inside out, using art materials in crafty ways, or craft materials in arty ones. The idea is a bit hackneyed, but the show isn’t entirely a waste of time.

Nena Amsler creates lacy filigrees out of “extruded” acrylic paint.   more

Blending Catholic and shamanistic themes, she has created a kind of painting-as-dress ” a canvas with creepy breast shapes pressing through it ” that is also covered with “lace” and little golden flies (also made out of paint). There’s also a painting-as-net: stretcher bars strung with mesh that form a cross atop a metal rod that ends in a cloven hoof. But the religious imagery here is so coded ” the mesh is intended to evoke shrouds used to wrap Peruvian mummies ” that Amsler’s considerable skill at “sculpting” paint feels somewhat beside the point. [ READ ON ]

March 23, 2011

Miyoshi Barosh at Luis De Jesus (Bergamot through April 9)

WE'RE NOT HERE TO WASTE TIME!
This exhibition skillfully blends the work of Barosh, Nena Amsler, and Nava Lubelski under an overarching use of cloth, thread, fabric-like imitations. The range of approaches to materials, the intensity each artist brings to their work, and the commonality bound by thread makes for another refreshing exhibition. Taste and quality are an unbeatable combination.  [ VISIT SITE ]

March 22, 2011

BIG PICK: NAVA LUBELSKI & NENA AMSLER

WE'RE NOT HERE TO WASTE TIME!
It is the stained and embroidered table cloth that really defines this show. Like a worn map filled with the past, the stitches tell you that mending has taken place, the holes that some things are irreparable. Simply covering a tabletop the way it has a million times before, the tablecloth takes you home and conjures all of the memories that go with it. Other pieces in the show are canvases with holes and stitching, some are cartoonish caricatures while others provoke Kandinsky.   more

Colors are stained, splattered and dripped creating a perfect compliment to spidery threads that weave the tale of past loves, births and deaths. [ READ ON ]

March 18, 2011

Christopher Russell: Sniper / Call Ahead for This One

By Shana Nys Dambrot-
Author, visual artist, curator and all-around aesthetic provocateur Christopher Russell is known for illustrated writings and haunting mixed-media gallery installations that put memory and perception to the test. Russell's perennial subject matter is the precarious co-dependency of damaged human beings (aka everybody) and their struggle to make something of themselves.   more

In his soon-to-be-released novel, Russell revisits the 2002 Baltimore Snipers' killing spree as a character study in bad influence, in which repressed memories, oppressive authorities and raw emotion combine to violent effect. Which brings us to Christopher Russell: Sniper at 323 Projects, the city's preeminent telephone-based art gallery. Beginning with tonight's "opening," Russell reads installments of the novel every day until it's finished on April 22, leaving his serialized book on tape on the gallery's public line for anyone with a phone to hear from wherever they happen to be.  [ READ ON ]

March 13, 2011

geoffrey todd smith at luis de jesus los angeles

Psychedelic, hypnotic, dizzying, hallucinogenic. Standing in the midst of Geoffrey Todd Smith's recent show at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles gallery, it is easy to understand the consistency of drug-affiliated adjectives leveled at his work. Unorthodox color combinations of colored circles and ellipses--solids, stripes, and squiggles--are assembled into patterns of pulsating squares and rectangles intersected by strident diagonal lines. The contrasting shapes vibrate with energy, making it difficult to maintain focus on any individual element.   more

The forms seem to do anything but conform to the constraints of the grid Smith has imposed on them, instead creating an optical superhighway that appears to move off the panel and stretch out to some unknown destination.

The 35-year old artist, who has been given such daunting labels as "One of Chicago's Most Collectible Artists," currently teaches painting and drawing at the Northern Illinois University where he earned his MFA after doing his undergraduate studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. The tension created in this body of work reflects the overall balance of opposites that runs throughout Smith's practice. The playful titles belie their abstract formality. He works with materials as orthodox as oil paint blended with those as urbane as gel pens. Smith's influences are equally disparate, ranging from art history to Milton Bradley board games.

Speaking with Smith amid the frenzy of color and activity of his work, it is at first surprising to hear him cite Mondrian as an influence. On second look, despite their overt differences and Smith's dastardly diagonals, there is a correlation, a sense of searching out the possibilities that exist within a given set of controls. "I was never a fan of the grid," says Smith, whose earlier work was almost defined by a chaos theory/horror vacui approach, "but eventually, I thought this would be more challenging to make the work different, and to see how far I could take it." While artists as varied as Vasarely, Noland, and Rex Ray come to mind, there is a measured response to questions about his artistic influences. "I try not to dwell on it; it's too easy to get wrapped up in art history or design history. I am, of course, very aware of it," Smith adds. "I take it as one of many things... and I try not to pin it down."

Popular culture is of equal concern to Smith; this is a world where Atari 1600 has equal influence as Op Art, if not more. "In the old computer games, the graphics were so simplistic, a shape had to stand in for an idea--they didn't have realistic images like the games today," Smith explains. "It influenced me in that I had to use my imagination about what the shapes could be." More than a visual reinterpretation, Smith aims to recreate the physical anxiety produced playing games like Perfection and Tetris through the "physicality of the work," and the tension of color, form and texture. But it isn't all video games and gadgets; Smith is equally at home referencing the influences of Afghans, quilts and sticker collections. The textile patterns created by the free-hand patchwork interrupted by stitches, relate to the complex design of electronic circuit boards. "relate to both," Smith says, "I felt there was connection between this domestic creation and they looked similar to what was then cutting-edge technology."

Watching the snowfall during the beginning of what would rank among the top five blizzards in Chicago's history, Smith speaks of his process of exploring the parameters of his next series of paintings. "I have six drawings that I am doing at the same time," he begins. "I'm looking out the window and it's snowing, and I notice I'm making some that look cold, so then I make some that work in the opposite direction... I zig and then I zag."

by Molly Enholm

Geoffrey Todd Smith's paintings were on view in a solo show, "Casual X", at Luis de Jesus Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. From January 22 - February 27, 2011. www.luisdejesus.com [ VISIT SITE ]

February 19, 2011

PULSE NEW YORK ANNOUNCES FAIR; highlights Luis de jesus los angeles

The 2011 edition of PULSE New York makes its debut in its new home at Metropolitan Pavilion from March 3-6, 2011. PULSE New York 2011 will host 63 exhibitors across two floors in a pristine, recently-renovated setting while continuing its signature series of special projects.

In recognition of the hectic New York art fair week, PULSE New York 2011 is conveniently located in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, minutes from Union Square and all major subway lines, and will provide complimentary wireless internet access to all visitors. [ READ ON ]

February 16, 2011

GALLERY FEATURED IN "ARMORY WEEK DAILY SPOTLIGHT"

In the days leading up to New York City’s Armory Week, Artlog will highlight standout exhibitors and artists featured in the main fair as well as Volta, Independent, Pulse, and The Art Show. We’ve only got two weeks to go, so let’s get moving!

LUIS DE JESUS (Los Angeles, CA) maintains a strong roster of artists with a clear juxtaposition of rough and ragged against delicate. Luis De Jesus is always a guessing game, in a good way, with compelling, political paintings by David Adey and ephemeral pieces by Christopher Russell.   more

Also a prominent Los Angeles contemporary art gallery, Luis De Jesus rose from a grass roots effort in San Deigo, California a couple of years ago. They’re place in Pulse is not only welcome, but invigorating for the rags-to-riches gallery scene in southern California. [ READ ON ]

February 16, 2011

gallery rounds: bergamot station

We actually found quite a lot to like in the course of our afternoon at Bergamot Station late last week. (Bergamot, for readers unfamiliar with the topography of Los Angeles area galleries, is a former train station in Santa Monica, and has been a lively center for galleries and design studios for a number of years now. Soon, I have heard, the trains will be running through the station again. No idea how this will affect the galleries.) It has been too long since Ellie and I last made our gallery rounds, so it was a good moment for a catch-up.   more

I mention here only a few of the highlights, with apologies to some good shows passed over and, to those mentioned, for the brevity of attention to work that deserves more than it gets here. [ VISIT SITE ]

February 15, 2011

MARGIE LIVINGSTON “ PAINT OBJECTS

“Paint Objects,” the first solo show in Los Angeles from Margie Livingston is on now and runs through the end of February at Luis De Jesus. Over the past three years, Margie Livingston has been experimenting with paint in a radically different manner from her earlier work. She has removed the surface of the painting in an effort to concentrate on the sculptural qualities of drying paint.   more


These groundless paintings are often accomplished by pouring several gallons of acrylic paint on the studio floor and allowing the sheets to dry to a pliable new material. The sheets are rolled, cut and otherwise contorted into a variety of shapes that rely on precision to complete the forms with chance often factoring the juxtaposition of color.  [ READ ON ]

February 15, 2011

Peter Clothier on Geoffrey Todd Smith and Margie Livingston

Gallery Rounds/Bergamot Station
We actually found quite a lot to like in the course of our afternoon at Bergamot Station late last week. (Bergamot, for readers unfamiliar with the topography of Los Angeles area galleries, is a former train station in Santa Monica, and has been a lively center for galleries and design studios for a number of years now. Soon, I have heard, the trains will be running through the station again.   more

No idea how this will affect the galleries.) It has been too long since Ellie and I last made our gallery rounds, so it was a good moment for a catch-up. I mention here only a few of the highlights, with apologies to some good shows passed over and, to those mentioned, for the brevity of attention to work that deserves more than it gets here. [ READ ON ]