Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rodarte at LACMA

RODARTE: Fra Angelico Collection, presented in the museum's Italian Renaissance gallery, features a group of extraordinary gowns by Kate and Laura Mulleavy. The collection is inspired by Italian art, specifically the Renaissance frescoes in the monastery of San Marco by Fra Angelico in Florence, Italy, as well as the Baroque sculpture, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598–1680) in Rome. Rodarte’s signature dressmaking techniques and sculptural details can be seen in each of the gowns. Silk fabrics (including chiffon, georgette, lamé, organza, satin, taffeta, and tulle) are draped and manipulated to give form, texture, and tonal variety to the color palette inspired by the frescoes. The gowns are customized utilizing a variety of materials such as feathers, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, sequins, and custom-made silk flowers. Hand-forged gold metallic accessories such as a headpiece, breastplate, and belts dramatically complete the look of several key gowns.
The Fra Angelico collection will enter LACMA’s Costume and Textiles Department, which houses over twenty-five thousand objects, representing more than one hundred cultures and two thousand years of human creativity in the textile arts.
Kate and Laura Mulleavy received their bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts from UC Berkeley in 2001. Following their graduations, they returned to Los Angeles and launched Rodarte in 2005. Since then, Kate and Laura have won numerous awards and accolades, including the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 2009, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Fashion, and the 2010 National Arts Award from Americans for the Arts. Earlier this year, Rodarte’s first west coast exhibition, Rodarte: States of Matter, was on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Rodarte’s works are featured in the permanent collections of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Museum at FIT in New York City.














Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Tracing Mobility" at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany




The exhibition Tracing Mobility at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, Germany sets out to examine how electronic networks and mobile media are transforming our conceptions of time, space and distance.
The exhibition presents the positions of 16 international artists who trace the shifting terrain of global and local mobility, virtual and material movement. They use varying approaches to pursue the numerous questions of our present’s mobility: Where can we escape to when online- and offline worlds converge? What does the movement of a body in a landscape indicate when every point of the earth is within reach through the aid of digital technology? How do mobile devices and media alter our mindset and change our perception of time and space?

The exhibiting artists are: Frank Abbott (UK), Aram Bartholl (DE), Neal Beggs (UK/FR), Heath Bunting (UK), Janet Cardiff / George Bures Miller (CAN), Miles Chalcraft (UK/DE, Simon Faithfull (UK/DE), Yolande Harris (UK/NL), Folke Köbberling & Martin Kaltwasser (DE), Landon Mackenzie (CAN), Open_Sailing (FR/JP), plan b (Sophia New & Dan Belasco Rogers) (UK/DE), Esther Polak & Ivar van Bekkum (NL), Gordan Savicic (AT/NL) , Mark Selby (UK), and Michelle Teran (CAN/DE).

Tracing Mobility at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. Opening reception, November 23, 2011. Video by Astrid Gleichmann.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"Medley" Group Show curated by Thinh Nguyen. at thinhstudio, Hawthorne, California

Artists Karen Chu, Patrick Grugan, Julienne Hsu, Summer Janelle, Mike McLain, Laurence McNamara, Daniel Porras, Brian Rochefort, and Emily Smith  inaugurated a new alternative experimental exhibition space, thinhstudio in Hawthorne, California. I wrote a short essay to compliment the show.

Essay by Mario Vasquez


The Medley of the Mix
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
William A. Foster

When one thinks of the word “medley,” it instantly becomes associated with a musical arrangement.  It is also defined as a, “An often jumbled assortment; a mixture.” In this sense, it becomes a perfect metaphor for the art of the 21st century, where nothing dominant and everything is mixed within the social, economic, political and identity dynamic that is the contemporary.

                In 1911 contemporary art was beginning to shift away from the visual language that was the 19th century. There was Cubism, Expressionism, Fauvism, and Futurism. All defined the early 20th century. It was painting, sculpture and architecture. This was the art of 100 years ago. So what makes the art of 2011?

                Artist in 2011 have a wide array of styles and visual tools to express themselves in multiple ways and approaches. Styles? Artists today are not bound by the avant garde or modernist conventions of the now. They are truly free to choose the vehicle in which to make a new visual language to communicate to the viewer.  The visual vocabulary of the 20th and 21st centuries acts as a tool box where the artist acts as a strategist. Thus, the artist creates a medley of the visual.

                In “Medley,” the emerging artists  all reflect this approach. They approach various issues and practices using the various techniques, styles, and practices of the past. They thus create a medley , a mixture of everything to create something new. It is a sign of the ages as hybrid form the visual language of today.                          


**Mario Vasquez**

Summer Janelle

Summer Janelle

Karen Chu

Karen Chu

Patrick Grugan

Daniel Porras

Daniel Porras

Laurance McNamara

Laurance McNamara

Mike McLain

Emily Smith

Julienne Hsu


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Bon Voyage" Group Show at WPA, Chinatown, Los Angeles, California

Bon Voyage | Holiday Group Exhibition
December 10th-11th
Gallery Hours: 12–6pm, Sat-Sun.
Reception: Saturday, December 10, 6-10pm

Bon Voyage, was a special two-day exhibition and holiday party featuring work by all the members of WPA: Bart Exposito, Andrew Hahn, David Hughes, Charles Irvin, Pamela Jorden, Michael Minelli, Rachael Neubauer, John Pearson, Terri Phillips, Fil Rüting, Amy Sarkisian, Henry Taylor, Ryan Tomcho, Tyler Vlahovich.

WPA is takin' it on the road. Which "road" or which "it" we can't say right now; only that we will be moving from our Bernard Street space as of December 12, 2011. What started out as a one year proposal for a dozen or so artists turned into a two year commitment to a space that occupies not only the inherent traditions of the white cube but the challenges and possibilities offered through collective risk.

Holiday cheer and end of year celebrations await. DJ sets by the yams throughout the evening beneath the mistletoe and tinsel. Special hourly calendar raffle and discounts Saturday evening. We hope you can attend.

Marking this transition WPA has produced a 13-month calendar for the new year, a collaborative project featuring artwork by each of the members.
Limited edition of 100, including a unique rubberstamp collage by Dave Hughes, only available at the gallery - $20.
Gallery hours:
Open 12-6pm, Saturday-Sunday or by appointment.


Bon Voyage WPA Holiday Exhibit from Andrew Pearson on Vimeo.






Tyler Vlahovich, "Strata Drawing", 2010, Ink on paper, 17 x 24 in.

John Pearson, "untitled (Knoxville)", 2011, Silver gelatin print (ed. 1/3) 11 x 14 in.

Charles Irvin, "Pseudo Mandala", 2011, Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 in.

Pam Jorden, "Chord (C, D, E)", 2011, Unique screen prints, 30 x 22 in.

Ryan Tomcho, "untitled", 2010, Gouache on paper, 15 x 20 in.

Terri Phillips, "Something of Value", 2011, Plywood and glass, 42 x 9 x 9 in.

Andrew Hahn, "Oh Please Do!", 2011, Linocut monotype triptych, 30 x 22 in. each

Fil Rüting, "Snow Globe", 2011, 60 min. looped HD video, Blu-ray edition of 5

Rachael Neubauer, "Study for the Valley", 2011, Mixed media, 18 x 47 x 12 in.

David Hughes, "Printing Block Apartment Building", 2010, Wood, wire, and ink, 6 x 6 x 1 in.

Michael Minelli, "Office Party Virgin", 2011, Sculpey III, 3/4 x 1/2 x 2 1/4 in. (detail)

Michael Minelli, "Office Party Virgin", 2011, Sculpey III, 3/4 x 1/2 x 2 1/4 in.

Henry Taylor, "untitled", 2011, Acrylic on canvas 24 x 8 in.

Bart Exposito, "The Archer", 2011, Acrylic and Pastel on Canvas, 20 x 16 in

Pamela Jorden, "Bon Voyage", 2011, Oil on linen, 30 x 30 in.

Ryan Tomcho, "untitled", 2011, Gouache and panel, 20 x 16 in

Charles Irvin, "Merry Xmas", 2003, Acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 in.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Martin Boyce: 2011 Winner of the Turner Prize



Martin Boyce is this year's winner of the Turner Prize in Great Britain. Boyce's work engages with the historical legacy of Modernist forms and ideals to create deeply atmospheric installations drawing upon text and elements of design. His investigations will often re-stage the outside within the gallery space, evoking the urban landscape through precisely explored sculptural details. Steeped in an understanding of the concepts of Modernist design, his work draws upon its visual language with a complex repertoire of forms. Noted for his engagement with how these objects are produced, Boyce is interested in how their original political or aesthetic ethos changes over time. His meticulous sculptures bear out his imaginings for the alternative lives these objects might lead if created at a different moment.I had the pleasure of seeing his work at the Orange County Museum of Art in Alexander Calder and Contemporary Art: Form, Balance, Joy during the summer. I loved his mobiles and sculpture. I am happy to see him win the Turner Prize this year. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brenna Youngblood "The Mathematics of Individual Achievement " at Honor Fraser, Culver City, California

The Mathematics of Individual Achievement, is a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Brenna Youngblood.

Negotiating the tension between representation and abstraction through the language of photography, collage, painting, and more recently, sculpture, Brenna Youngblood's practice has explored and transformed some of the conceptual and formal strategies associated with American West Coast assemblage. Initially trained in photography, Youngblood began to treat her photographs as source material for large-scale layered collaged compositions that mined the relationship between the autobiographical and the historical. Invested in exploring the multidimensional qualities of materials, Youngblood soon began to expand her formal sensibilities, leading to unconventional treatments and juxtapositions of materials and forms. Photographs, wallpaper, textbook pages, wooden sheets, and paint, amongst other things came together to create Youngblood's unforeseen palette. Similar to predecessors like Rauschenberg, and perhaps more accurately, Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge, and Betye Saar, Youngblood began introducing found materials to her work, translating the accumulative conditions of the studio into painterly objects with a raw sculptural quality.

While shaped canvases, plywood, and other materials began to serve as backdrops for Youngblood's painting exercises, more recently, Youngblood has furthered her investigations; the new materials that exist in the studio have called for a different conceptual approach to both painting and sculpture, one that Youngblood communicates through this exhibition. Like in many of her previous projects, Youngblood draws from documents and materials in her personal archive to establish both a point of departure and context for the work, a conceptual gesture that echoes the process through which materials are selected and used in her broader practice. In this particular instance, Youngblood takes her old elementary school math book as a point of departure. Intrigued by the visual composition of each page—her penciled problem solving marks and residue of erasers—Youngblood takes both the visual and material language of the math book to create a series of wall sculptures that take the form of familiar arithmetic symbols and equations. These works create an infrastructure for the exhibition that Youngblood playfully uses to speak about the human attempt to rationalize, solve, and reach concrete solutions—a self-reflexive process that she herself engages in through this show. A selection of paintings that demonstrate her signature approach to the utilization of photographic imagery as painting material are included alongside a new body of sculptural wall paintings of stars, clouds, and domestic icons, juxtaposing her now perfected material techniques with her ongoing interest in the everyday, the subjective, and the politics of personal narrative construction.

As the mathematical signs create a translating mechanism to reveal the relationships between these works, viewers will also be presented with a new sculptural work that marks Youngblood's most recent experiments with free standing sculpture. Taking on some of the iconography normally used in her paintings, Youngblood converts a symbol from the math book into a large-scale jungle gym sculpture. Youngblood hints at some of her more recent aesthetic investigations, allowing us for the first time to trace a historical trajectory of her creative process and its influences. In creating a seemingly rational system with which to read the work, Youngblood puts forth an interrogation of objectivity, more specifically in relationship to our ongoing debates about the condition of painting, its viability, and its relationship to other mediums. In this environment of sculptural paintings and painterly sculptures, Youngblood extends these debates even further, presenting viewers with aggressive interrogations of both painting and sculpture traditions that simultaneously remind us about the possibility of both mediums' intimate coexistence.

Brenna Youngblood earned a BA in 2002 from Cal State Long Beach and an MFA in 2006 from UCLA, where she studied with Cathy Opie and James Welling. Recent solo projects include exhibitions at Jack Tilton Gallery, Susanne Vielmetter Berlin Projects, Margo Leavin Gallery, Wignall Museum, and the Hammer Museum. Youngblood has also participated in exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Harris Lieberman Gallery, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, the 2008 California Biennial, and the California African American Museum.

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"Liquid Dreams" a Summer Group Show at Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Liquid Dreams featuring works by Kelly Akashi, Farah Atassi, Davide Balula, Genesis Belanger, Neïl Beloufa, Lila de Magalhaes, Dorian Gau...