Saturday, December 6, 2008

Since thanksgiving, it seems that LA has taken a break. However, there is always great art to be seen.

First, I would like to congratulate Meghan Reid for the great review in Friday 12/05/08 review by Holly Myers in the LA Times. Holly is dead on in her analysis of Reid's work. She states, "Maeghan Reid’s solo debut at Chung King Project — one of the strongest in recent memory — revolves around the figure of the drifter, the gypsy, the nomad or the outsider. Solitary silhouettes roam her collages with walking sticks in hand and bags slung over their shoulders. Small groups gather in makeshift camps; buildings loom in vast isolation, on the peaks of hills or surrounded by plains. There is a prevailing sense of both alienation and freedom, exclusion and liberation."

To read the complete review, please click this link:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2008/12/review-maeghan.html


Last Thursday, downtown Riverside had its monthly art walk. There was something quite enchanting and almost magical about the downtown area. The Mission Inn was covered in Christmas lights. There were children skating in an ice ring near the Inn. There were carollers singing Christmas songs. It was beautiful. Although I went to see the shows at the Riverside Art Museum and the UCR Arts Block, I can't help but to love the Christmas season.

Now the art. My first stop was at the Sweeney Art Gallery and the California Museum of Photography. At the Sweeney, the group show entitled "Like Lifelike: Painting in the Third Dimension," curated by Brad Spence, exhibits a group of artists who are comfortable in breaking free from the norms of rigid categories of representation. In his essay, Spence states, "It is presumed that artists will want to disrupt rigid classification and that creative possibilities lay precisely in such transgressions. Nonetheless, for my part, the limited surface of paintings has always represented such a desirable refuge from the flux of things—my trajectory as a painter being a steady retreat to the thinnest, faintest airbrushed surface, tinted by a mere breath of the material world." The artist in the show are all strong and I enjoyed the work shown. My favorites in this show, the ones I think stand out the most, are Michael Reafsnyder, Tom LaDuke and Mark Dutcher. definately go see. Ends December 20th.
UCR Sweeney Art Gallery
3800 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501

At the California Museum of Photography, Leica Hasselblad: A Selection of Classic Cameras from the David Whitmire Hearst Jr. Foundation Collection was being shown. Although the breath and scope of both cameras and photographs were quite impressive, I did not care for the show. I though the selections of photos were the basic classic photos you would normally see in an art history course, with some exceptions of course. I have never been interested in the actual physical camera as an object of art or interest in fact. Go see it if you like cameras and photos.
Closes January 03, 2009

California Museum of Photography
3824 Main Street
Riverside, CA 02501

The final stop was the Riverside Art Musem where PAINTING IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: THE 1980s Neo-Expressionism and Driven to Abstraction II, Curated by Peter Frank, this exhibition shows works that have been neglected by recent art histories of Los Angeles art. If you look at books and exhibitions about Los Angeles art, they almost entirely skip the 1980s. When one thinks of neo-expresionism, you think of the cerebral and noir Germans like George Baselitz or Anselm Kiefer or the hyper-ego driven artists such as Julien Schnabel. Here, Peter Frank shows artist that are compelling in their style and their expressiveness of both mystical and religious aspects of life (Jim Morphesis) or as Peter Frank states in his essay,"inflected their own versions of neo-expressionism with their particular interpretations born of everything from geographic context to stylistic attitude, lavish material intervention to broad humor." I think most importantly, neo-expressionism gave a voice to Chicano artist such as Gronk, Patsi Valdes, or Carlos Almarez. I believe that LA art from the 1980s needs to be reconsidered and revaluated. There is no doubt that the LA artist from the 1980s are relavant to today's emerging LA painters. These artist are the forebearers of some of todays most up and coming LA painters such as Pearl S. Hseing and Brian Falhstrom (both shown at the 2006 California Biennial Exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art).
Go see this. December 2, 2008 - February 21, 2009.
Riverside Art Museum
3425 Mission Inn Ave.,
Riverside CA 92501,
Phone 951 684-7111

Pic of the Week 12/05/08


Monday, December 1, 2008

Weeks of 11/21/2008 to 12/01/2008

The last few weeks have been quiet due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope all my readers had a happy thanksgiving.

However, I did go to some noteworthy shows.

Robert Longo, famous for his Men in the City series from the 1980s, has a show of new drawings at Margo Leavin Gallery on Robertson. These drawings technically are well done. The works are made of graphite on paper and portray images of almost photographic quality. The subjects of the works vary from a large drawing of a shark to the outline of woman's bust to a reflection off a jet fighter pilots helmet showing a nuclear bomb blast. Each image seeks to provoke a psychological tension that invokes a sense of fear both real and imagined. Masterfully done, these drawings are Robert Longo at his best.

Robert Longo: “Nights Bright Days” Nov 22 - Jan 10, 2009
Margo Leavin Gallery
812 North Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90069 USA
Tel: (310) 273-0603
Fax: (310) 273-9131
11:00 am to 5:00 pm, Tuesday – Saturday

********************************************

The other noteworthy show was at Sea and Space Exploration. The show was called
"_______________________:___________________, A Solo Show
Your show title here Your name here "

Every artist that Sea and Space Explorations knew had the opportunity to have a solo show, and were able to place this show on their resume as a solo show. Over 100 artist participated in this show with every wall and space in the gallery covered with art. I found the show overwhelming. There were so many works and so many artist, the solo show really diluted each artist showing. However, I did like the idea that the solo show is really a group exhibition aimed at giving an artist an opportunity to have a solo show. This is a participatory show that is part exhibition, part performance piece. This is a definitely a must see. Please see it while it's still up.
Sea and Space Explorations
4755 York Blvd,
LA, CA 90042
tel 323-445-4015
fax 323-982-0854
info@seaandspace.org
http://www.seaandspace.org
November 29th - December 7th, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pic of the Week 11/21/08


MOCA Needs Our Help

I have recently read with great dismay about the recent financial crisis at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). I urge everyone to get involved and help this beloved institution. MOCA means alot to me. It is where I fell in love with contemporary art. It holds a dear place in my heart. I think LA would not be the world art center it is today without it. So please help.

Join the museum on its website. www.moca.org

or Join the Facebook MOCA Mobilization Page to help.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=46490296653&ref=mf

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Machine Project at LACMA, Steve Turner Contemporary, & Chung King Projects

Last weekend, I was planning on going to the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art. However, due to circumstances beyond my control (the fires that were raging in the hills in Chino and Anaheim), I was unable to go. I will go this weekend.

I did see some great art at the gallery openings last Saturday night. Here are the highlights of the night.

My first stop was the Davis Rhodes show entitled White Year at ACME on Wilshire Blvd. I really enjoyed this show. Rhodes work is minimalist in style. Per the press release and the artist statement, Rhodes sought to invoke and reinterpret Barnett Newman. I can see Barnett Newman in his work. Rhodes work is heroic in style and in the way he approaches color and geometry. But an artist that Rhodes does not mention is Robert Mangold. Both Rhodes and Mangold use minimalism and varied shape of canvases as points of reference. Definately a must see. http://www.acmelosangeles.com/ through Dec. 20, 2008.

At Steve Turner Contemporary, a group show where early modernist landscape meets contemporary landscape art with a feminist twist. Entitled The View, a group exhibition of works by four Los Angeles based women artists in concert with paintings and drawings by the California modernist Henrietta Shore (1880-1963) is dialog between early American Modernist landscape artist Shore and contemporary artists such as photographs by Ellen Birrell, paintings by Pearl C. Hsiung, sculpture by Tia Pulitzer and composite paintings by Megan Williams. The show is a delight to see. The works really connect with one another and one can see how the idea of landscape art in the American West has developed from the 1930s almost romantic notion to the contemporary art's view of the landscape. Go. http://www.steveturnercontemporary.com/ through Dec. 20, 2008.

At LACMA, Machine Project, a collective of artist, poets, writers, etc, took over the museum. It was awesome and at time very strange. It was fun. There were artist installations, performance pieces, a murder mystery, and even haircuts with ambient music. Unfortunately it was only for one day. Being there, I felt like I was at the Caberet Voltaire during the First World War. For more info, read this article in the LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-lacma17-2008nov17,0,2476602.story.

My next stop was Maeghan Read's show at Chung King Projects. Maeghan's work shows a great deal depth in her work. She explores Islamic culture and its contrast and conflict with Western culture. One sees images of muslims praying, and gathering at the cafe's. But they are within the context the "other" or outside the culture. In a departure from her previous works, which focused on interior and domestic life, Maeghan's work goes outside to explore the world using collage and mixed-media in her paintings. Her work makes a statement about both the ciltural and geopolitcal situation today. It is really great show. I look forward to seeing more. http://www.chungkingproject.com/ through Dec. 20th, 2008.

My last stop was Jail Gallery.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Random Art for Your Pleasure







Here is some art I really like.






Hello,

Welcome my relocated blog space. My old blog space is still available and you can view it on my myspace page. www.myspace.com/mario_vasquez.

I am looking forward to this blog and I hope to share my love and passion for art. I plan on posting thoughts, comments, interviews and photos of art from all over the world (and until I can travel more, for now it's all in L.A.). So enjoy and feel free to share your comments and thoughts.

Thank you

Alex Katz: Cut Outs. Solo exhibition at Paul Kasmin Gallery New York

At its 27th Street space in New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery presents a solo exhibition of “Cut Outs” sculpture by the American artist Alex K...