Monday, January 7, 2019

"2019 LA Open" January 5, 2019 opening at TAG Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Bendix Building Openings for Monte Vista Projects and TSA Los Angeles, January 5, 2019

Opening for Trenton Doyle Hancock "An Ingenue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes," January 5, 2019

Trenton Doyle Hancock: An Ingenue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes 
January 5 - February 17, 2019

Story time with Trenton Doyle Hancock: Saturday January 5th, 4:30-6pm

Public reception to follow from 6-9pm

Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present An Ingenue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes, Houston-based artist Trenton Doyle Hancock’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. The new drawings, paintings, and sculptures in this show expand upon the artist’s saga of The Moundverse, a constructed world that has propelled his artistic practice for the past twenty-five years.

In addition to the narrative tradition of his religious upbringing, Hancock immersed himself in graphic novels, comics, and Greek mythology; at the age of ten, he began creating characters as articulations of his experience as a Black youth in small-town Paris, Texas. In The Moundverse, Hancock has developed an extensive cast: altruistic Mounds, destructive Vegans, and mutated Bringbacks; TorpedoBoy is a tragically flawed hero who serves as the artist’s alter ego; Undom Endgle is a color-wielding goddess who protects young souls, representing the force of the Black women who have affected and supported Hancock over the years. These characters and others explore timeless polarities like good and evil alongside related issues of race, class, identity, politics, and social justice.

Using the fantastical to grapple with the deeply personal has long been at the core of Hancock’s artistic practice. Formally, this is seen in what the artist calls his “rough and tumble” aesthetic: Richly colored tactile surfaces are loaded with objects that range from bottle caps that the artist played with in childhood to bits and pieces of older works that have been rebirthed to create something entirely new. Drawing heavily from the temporal structure of comics, Hancock’s practice seamlessly weaves storylines spanning long periods of time, often within a single artwork. The totality of his practice can be seen as an ever-expanding graphic novel in its own right, articulated through a variety of media.

Laced with personal memoir, Hancock’s Moundverse is a metaphorical space that reflects the everyday world. Several works show TorpedoBoy in mid-stride, clad in football gear, wearing his “cutty black shoes” as he runs from evil-natured Vegans that at times take the aggregated form of a goofy-footed, cloaked member of the Ku Klux Klan (the Paris, Texas, of Hancock’s youth had an active Klan). The malignant force that reaches for this distraught—albeit defiant—central character points to longstanding concerns of systematic racism and oppression.

The exhibition also includes Hancock’s most recurring character, The Mound—a half-plant, half-animal creature that absorbs and processes negative human emotions to bring positive energy to the world. Presented within the exhibition will be two large-scale paintings of Mounds, one standing nearly eight feet tall. In addition, Hancock will present new ink-on-paper works that introduce the first chapter of the artist’s most ambitious drawings to date: Trenton Doyle Hancock Presents The Moundverse. Designed as a traditional graphic novel, this series offers a sequential understanding of the characters and stories that have dominated Hancock’s practice for the past two and a half decades.

An Ingenue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes continues the artist’s exploration of primal forces as they play out in The Moundverse, reflecting our current moment and inviting viewers to consider parallel themes and stories in the world around us today.

Trenton Doyle Hancock (b. 1974, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) grew up in Paris, Texas. Hancock was featured in the 2000 and 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibitions, becoming one of the youngest artists in history to participate in this prestigious survey. In 2014, his exhibition Skin & Bones: 20 Years of Drawingwas presented at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, and traveled to Akron Art Museum; the Studio Museum in Harlem; and Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. A solo exhibition of his work, Mind of the Mound: Critical Mass, will open at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, in 2019. His work has been the subject of one-person exhibitions at The Ringling Museum of Art; The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum; The Savannah College of Art and Design; The Weatherspoon Museum; The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami; Institute for Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania; Olympic Sculpture Park at the Seattle Art Museum; Fruitmarket Gallery; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Hancock’s world has also been translated into performance in the original ballet Cult of Color: Call to Color, commissioned by Ballet Austin; and into site-specific murals for the Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and at the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park.

The artist’s work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum; The Studio Museum in Harlem; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Baltimore Museum of Art; Columbus Museum of Art; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; High Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art; Museo di arte moderna e contemporanea; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Andy Warhol Museum; and Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University.

Klowden Mann Opening for David Lloyd "365 Drawings a Year," Culver City, California

David Lloyd
365 A Year of Drawing

January 5 - February 9
Opening Reception: Saturday January 5, 6-8pm

Klowden Mann is proud to present David Lloyd’s 365 A Year of Drawing, the Los-Angeles based artist’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition consists of 365 mixed-media drawings on paper, spanning the gallery in large clusters according to the date they were made. The show will be on view from January 5th to February 9th, with an opening reception on Saturday January 5th from 6-8pm.

For each day of the 2018 calendar year, Lloyd created one drawing; usually completed in the afternoon, each work was executed on the same spot on his Santa Monica studio wall. Lloyd used social media as a documentation process, with no text or description to accompany the images other than the date. The resulting body of work is one he sees less as a cohesive series, and instead more as a ritualistic meditation on making space for daily creative and intuitive action. As he says, “While there is clearly a connection, I started out the idea that each piece was a brand new drawing… It’s almost the opposite of working on a preconceived project, because here the project is the action of working on a drawing a day and letting those drawings be what they are when made in one go—to not go back.”

The idea for the process came out of Lloyd’s experience with meditation, and his understanding of its insistence on utilizing the discipline of daily action to empty out the internal human dialogue in order to create space to receive. The process also came from personal need: “I have a kind of creative overload that can’t get expressed through planning—maybe it’s kind of attention problem, but it is a need to get what is inside of my head out. And what comes out are I think pretty inventive abstractions. When I work this way, abstraction is what comes out- it’s my natural state.”

That said, the drawings are also referential, frequently looping back to landscape, figure, still life and architecture. Lloyd’s work has consistently ridden the line between categories of abstraction and representation, dismissing purity of form in either realm. Graduating with a BFA from CalArts in 1985, Lloyd was picked up by Margo Leavin Gallery, and became known for a series of intelligent, near-humorous abstractions that quickly entered the market. The visual language he created in the Los Angeles art scene of the 1980’s remained a clear ground for his formal vocabulary, even as he chose to begin incorporating representational imagery—a choice he says he made after the Los Angeles riots in 1992 made him feel that he needed to speak about the world more directly. In the time since he has moved back and forth between these languages fluidly, with signature compositional assurance, anthropomorphic treatment of form, and representational references that exist somewhere between nature and theory.

David Lloyd graduated with a BFA from CalArts in 1985, and began his career with a series of intelligent, near-humorous abstractions, turning towards the incorporation of imagistic referents several years later. He has shown in California at Klowden Mann, Otis College of Arts and Design, Margo Leavin Gallery, Gallery Paule Anglim and the Orange County Museum of Art, along with many others, as well Metro Pictures, and Milk Gallery in New York. His work has been written about extensively, and he is included in the collections of the Orange County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the Getty.

Klowden Mann
6023 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Christmas Art 2018: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I want to wish all of my readers and visitors a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This blog will be back in 2019, after the New Year, with some exciting posts covering the best in both the LA art scene and the rest of the world.

Have a safe and beautiful holiday!

#christmasart #christmascontemporaryart #artaboutchristmas #traditionalchristmasart #christmasinart


Geertgen tot Sint Jans, Nativity at Night, circa 1490

Sandro Botticelli, Mystic Nativity, 1500-01

Alexander Calder, The Pagoda, 1963

Anna Bjerger, Luminous/Night, 2018. Oil on aluminium, 85x100 cm

Andreas Mühe, 1991, from the series: Weihnachtsbäume, 2016

Todd Hebert
Sparkler, 2004
21 1/2" x 17

Marjolijn de Wit, Evidence of Their Existence #45, 2013
Piezography and ceramics
11.60 x 9.25 in

Franz Skarbina, Christmas Market, circa 1900

Xavier J. Barile, 42nd and St. Nocturne, 1953

Hans Gabriel Jentzsch, The Christmas Market
Edgar Degas, Woman Viewed from Behind (Visit to a Museum), circa 1879-1885

Norman Carton, Winter Light, 1956

Thursday, December 6, 2018

"One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art" (Review) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

When it comes to art, these are grandiose times. High prices and market driven aesthetics have taken a toll on the very meaning of art. What if a film critic offers provides an antidote to the current obsession with grandiosity and market driven art? The latest exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles presents that antidote with the work of film critic and painter Manny Farber. Farber made a connection between the great movies that connected with the viewer on a personal level and those whose main concern was with grand appearances.

Manny Farber (1917 - 2008) believed that that there was two types of art: Termite Art and White Elephant Art. White Elephant Art was more interested in grandiosity and big ideas. It is literally the elephant in the room; the art that cannot be ignored by the viewer and has to be acknowledged by all those who are in its presence. Termite Art was about the personal and the exploration of the temporal moment. Like termite bugs that eat from within, Termite Art begins from within the artist and focuses on the immediacy of the moment.  The temporal art and the moment is the focus the group show "One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art" curated by Helen Molesworth, which explores the connection between Manny Farber's theory of art and contemporary artists working today.

Farber wanted the viewer to look at art as an exercise in examining the world; the everyday. It is more than the everyday. It is about the "moment" where the everyday life and "time" itself converge

The exhibition places Farber as the progenitor of an art about the intimate vision of the artists. The objects, people and places that originate and derive from and in the presence of the artist. Termite Art is always focused on a particular area and is not concerned with making big statements. White Elephant Art is self aware and concerned with fame, while Termite Art is derives from the artist and artist centered. Termite Art is concentrated "on nailing down one moment without glamorizing it, but forgetting this accomplishment as soon as it has passed; the feeling that is expendable, that it can be chopped up and flung down in a different arrangement without ruin."

From Farber's theory of art, Molesworth brings together 32 artists who practices reflect various approaches to the idea of Termite Art. The exhibition is divided in 9 different themes reflecting an aspects of  Termite Art. The exhibition begins with the work of Manny Farber himself. The paintings, which are interspersed within the show with other artists, display various objects and images within the canvas. Farber's eye is shared with the viewer of the painting as the objects cover and occupy the entire pictorial space. Farber demonstrates the meaning and practice of "termite art." The immediacy and temporal position of Farber paintings are placed near works by the other artists in the exhibition. The galleries are set up as exercises in comparisons and contrasts.

Of the 32 artists that are gathered for this exhibition, each of the works illustrate and approach the idea of the present differently. the best works are by Dike Blair, Joan Brown, Jordan Casteel, Vija Celmins, Leidy Churchman, Tacita Dean, Manny Farber, Fischli & Weiss, Jennifer Guidi, Roni Horn, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Chris Marker, Josiah McElheny, Roy McMakin, Rodney McMillian, Aliza Nisenbaum, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray, Rachel Rose, and Wolfgang Tillmans. I think a true masterpiece of video art is "Fly Paper" (2017) by Kahlil Joseph, whose video is being shown at the MOCA satellite location in West Hollywood at the Pacific Design Center. The eleven minute video reflects on an aging dancer played by Ben Vereen. It is elegy on the past and present, and where both intersect within the everyday. "Fly Paper" is a thought provoking piece that deserves examination. The most problematic artist in this show is Josiah McElheny. McElheny's large scale sculpture seems out of place compared to the rest of the art, whose work reflects a deep reflection of the everyday. McElheny's work seems large in its ideas and  approach to its subject matter, and fits more into Farber's idea of White Elephant art; the anathema of what termite art is defined. After going to the concurrent survey's of Laura Owens and Zoe Leonard, Owens and Leonard would fit more into the idea of termite art, which are illustrated in the exhibition.

The idea of termite art is presented as an antidote to the current monstrosity of the big name artist. As much as the idea of Termite art is presented as the potential savior from the ego driven art of the current market driven styles and movements, white elephant art is popular. White elephant art brings lines around the block. The challenge to the idea of termite art is go beyond the narcissism that is so prevalent. Molesworth by placing the idea of termite art into the conversation presents an alternative. However, it needs to be translated into something that is a credible challenge to ever popular  superficial. "One Day at a Time" is a good start.

"One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art"
on view through March 11, 2019

Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA

#onedayatatime #mocalosangeles @mocala #mannyfarber #termiteart #DikeBlair #JoanBrown #JordanCasteel  #VijaCelmins  #LeidyChurchman #TacitaDean  #FischliandWeiss #JenniferGuidi #RoniHorn #SylviaPlimackMangold #ChrisMarker #JosiahMcElheny #RoyMcMakin #RodneyMcMillian #AlizaNisenbaum  #CatherineOpie #CharlesRay #RachelRose #WolfgangTillmans

Manny Farber

Roy McMakin
Installation view with Roy McMakin and Many Farber

Manny Farber

Manny Farber

Patricia Patterson

Fischli & Weiss

Fischli & Weiss

Fischli & Weiss

Joan Brown

Taylor Davis

Manny Farber

Jordan Casteel

Jennifer Guidi

Manny Farber

Becky Suss

Rodney McMillian

Josiah McElheny

Leidy Churchman

Dike Blair

Sylvia Plimack Mangold

Jonas Wood

Insallation View of Wolfgang Tillmans

Wolfgang Tillmans

Leidy Churchman

Becky Suss

Aliza Nisenbaum

Manny Farber

Charles Ray

Josiah McElheny

Patricia Patterson

Manny Farber

Manny Farber