Friday, August 31, 2012

Reopening of Museum Tamayo, Mexico City

The Museo Tamayo in Mexico City reopened on August 26, 2012 after a major renovation and expansion of the museum. The expansion project was designed by Teodoro Gonzalez de Leon, one of the architects of the original building that was designed over 30 years ago. The Tamayo Museum openes with seven new exhibitions and projects organized by the museum’s curatorial team and guest curators.

Pierre Huyghe created a site-specific intervention titled El día del ojo in the museum’s sculpture patio; Ryan Gander presents an exhibition that is constructed around the artwork The Corridor by George Segal titled Boing, boing, squirt; Michael Stevenson shows a work titled New Math; the exhibition Tamayo / Trayectos is a retrospective exhibition focusing on the diverse ways in which Rufino Tamayo approached various classical art historical genres; the exhibition Tomorrow was already here is a group show that includes works by artists such as Dorit Margreiter, Pedro Reyes, Simon Starling, and Victor Vasarely; First Act is another group show that deals with the role of the Tamayo Museum itself; Finally, the Modulario provides complementary information about the exhibitions on show.

Reopening of Museum Tamayo, Mexico City. August 26, 2012. Video by Jacinto Astiazarán.

Monday, August 27, 2012

John Valadez "Santa Ana Condition" at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego

John Valadez is widely considered the most significant artist to have developed a realist pictorial language recording the Chicano experience in Los Angeles during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. His work has come to define the iconography of Chicano identity of the period, situating it within the changing dynamics of the city rather than nostalgically attempting to reconstruct a mythical and distant past. His style is derived from street photography as he records the life of his community and of other inhabitants of downtown Los Angeles. Yet, his interest in the documentary photographic tradition is also closely related to the use of this genre by experimental L.A. artists who, since the 1960s when portable cameras became ubiquitous, have directed their lenses toward artistic ends. Valadez turned the ordinary snapshot into a source for his portrayal of a large, diverse cast of urban inhabitants drawn from his everyday life. Born in Los Angeles in 1951, Valadez began as a muralist, in which he presented themes of invisible borders and histories binding together Spanish, Mexican, and American culture. Valadez’s intense and colorful artworks express the Chicano experience in a contemporary representational style infused with elements of magical realism. His virtuoso pastel drawings present intense contrasts: the formal and narrative interpretations resemble unlikely photographs that offer social commentary on everyday urban life.

Santa Ana Condition: John Valadez is the first survey exhibition of this important Mexican-American artist and muralist, who has had profound influence on the Chicano art movement in the United States. This exhibition spans 35 years of Valadez’s photographs, paintings, pastels, and other works on paper. Santa Ana Condition: John Valadez presents, for the first time, the development of Valadez’s studio works: from his early use of documentary and street photography to the influence of European baroque and rococo painting and sculpture, and finally, to his more recent amalgamation of photography-based imagery with a spatial and temporal structure pointing towards Surrealism. The exhibition explores the specific documentary implications of Valadez’s paintings, pastels, and drawings of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and their later evolution into cityscapes imbued with his desire to depict the nitty-gritty of urban life in L.A. and its ethnic underclass.

Pastels and paintings from the 1990s and 2000s will also be included in the exhibition. These works, which depart from his earlier strict adherence to deadpan representation towards a more baroque compositional structure, are marked by a need to push the boundaries of structure and style. Memory, desire, intuition, and humor blend in these masterfully accomplished works on canvas and paper, which are thrust by their very excess into a territory that materializes a personal iconography beyond the limits of cultural identity. In his later works, Valadez aims to make familiar the unfamiliar—whether dreams and fantasies, or the cultural identity of others.

Santa Ana Condition: John Valadez is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Support for the exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, the LLWW Foundationand the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund. Additional funding is provided by the Cochrane Exhibition Fund. Related programs are supported by a grant from The James Irvine Foundation Arts Innovation Fund. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

MCASD La Jolla
700 Prospect Street
La Jolla, CA 92037-4291

Friday, August 24, 2012

Martin Creed at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

In works that range from intimate poetic objects to large-scale neon signs, Martin Creed (British, b. 1968) reevaluates the status of art with a generous sense of humor. As part of a yearlong residency at MCA Chicago, Creed brings his avant-garde sensibility to the building and the city. In each month of 2012, Creed unveils an artwork in a different space of the MCA, progressing upward through four floors of the building and extending his work outward to the sculpture garden and plaza and into the city of Chicago. Some works live as sculptures in the museum’s public spaces, and some projects are site specific—for instance, murals in the atrium and café. Others still, such as a work that takes the form of crumpled balls of paper placed in each of the museum’s public spaces, play with the notion of the carefully curated object. Extending his project beyond the MCA, Creed—who fronts a rock band—explores the city’s vibrant music scene as well.
The artist’s work and projects enliven the museum and the city and involve visitors in unexpected ways. As objects are presented throughout the building and city over the course of the year, Creed also gives several performances, building toward the US premiere of his first ballet, presented in the MCA’s theater in the fall of 2012. Martin Creed Plays Chicago connects this renowned artist to the MCA and the city of Chicago in ways that are as multifaceted as his practice.
Creed is one of the United Kingdom’s leading artists and winner of the 2001 Turner Prize. He lives and works in London and spends time in Alicudi, Italy. Creed’s work has been exhibited widely at a variety of international venues, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Moscow Museum of Modern Art; the Centre Pompidou–Metz, France; Tate Modern, London; and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Becky Kolsrud "Road to Rondo" @ Tif's desk at Thomas Solomon Gallery

When gallery space is hard to come by and there are a lot artists that want to show, Tif Sigfrids, the director at Thomas Solomon Gallery in Los Angeles, California, has come up with an interesting idea. Why not make the work desk the exhibition space? During the summer, Tif has been doing a number of projects where her desk and the walls around her desk become a gallery within a gallery. This month Tif invited Becky Kolsrud, a recent MFA graduate from UCLA, to do a project entitled "Road to Rondo," to show works based on a short story written by Frederick Barthelme.

Ann is pretty, divorced, a product model who didn’t go far because of her skin, which is very fair and freckled. After lunch, she comes into my recently redecorated office- the company has done both of its floors in charcoal carpet, ribbed wallcovering, chipboard-gray upholstery, and gunmetal Levolors; the windows were already tinted. “I feel like I’m inside a felt hat,” she says, waving a manila folder to indicate the room. “Your socks don’t match, Henry.” She points to my feet, which are balanced on the taupe Selectric II, then holds the folder out at arm’s length. “The arrangements. You want to check me?”

The arrangements are for a regional sales meeting we’ve scheduled for the Broadwater Beach Hotel, in Biloxi; with the meeting still two weeks off, the preparations are complete. We picked Biloxi because of the beach, the Gulf, the rest of that; Ann did most of the work.

“What I really need is a new game.”

She tosses the folder on my desk and stands by the window, smoothing her salmon-colored skirt with both hands. “What happened to the ant farm?”

“Died. The ants ate parts of each other. The parts they didn’t eat they carried around- it wasn’t fun.”

“She swings one of the gray Italian visitor’s chairs around to face the window. “People don’t have ant farms anymore anyway.”

“I put it in the closet.”

She nods, then puts her handbag on the corner of my desk and sits in the chair. “We should get a radio.”

-Frederick Barthelme

Becky Kolsrud lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She received a B.S. degree from New York University in 2006 and her M.F.A. from UCLA in 2012. She is represented by JTT Gallery in New York, NY where she will have her first solo show in fall of 2012. 

Thomas Solomon Gallery
427 Bernard Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Exhibition hours: Wednesday through Saturday from Noon until 6pm.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Group Show "Fridge" at Control Room, Los Angeles, California

Siamese twins hold the skirt hem of the woman in front of Gray in the checkout line. They aren’t very tall and want to get the woman’s attention. They want the woman to buy them salty peanuts and a package of gummy sharks. Gray starts to think of making paintings about this experience and the really fucked up textures they could have- aged paint over 90’s stucco. “Please,” they say in unison. The woman acts occupied and ignores the request. Gray remembers being a dependent and tells the clerk to charge the peanuts and gummy sharks to the next bill. “If that’s okay,” Gray says looking at the woman who the twins are attached to. “Fine,” the woman says without any expression. They all checkout.
A lamppost in the parking lot appears to have bark, but it’s just the light and the stains on the post. Lampposts don’t have bark. Gray knows this, but the twins from the checkout line walk towards the post to make sure the material is metal and not tree. Gray stops to watch as one of them moves a bit faster, pulling the other. They get to the post and one screams, “Told you!” A few peanuts fly in the air as they scuffle a bit before the woman from the checkout line retrieves them.
Gray starts the car and pops in a tape. Some white metal for the twins’ discovery even though it seems unlikely the twins or the woman would enjoy Trouble. The car’s speakers thrash all the way home and silence when the car is parked.
In the kitchen Gray sets the brown bags next to a postcard of a sculpture of Bruce Connor’s shoe and a football. The leaky ceiling has damaged the postcard. One third of the left corner is now stuck to the football leather. Gray leaves it attached and places bananas on the counter. Gray thinks about the the twins and the lamppost, and whether or not buying candy for children is appropriate. Gray calls Joe for advice on the matter and they talk while the rest of the items get placed in the fridge.

Open hours Sundays 4pm-9pm and by appointment through September 2nd. Evening (after dark) is recommended to view outdoor projection.

Control Room is an artist run space in Downtown Los Angeles.

2006 East 7th Street
Downtown LA 90021
(818) 720-2713
Sundays from 4 - 9pm and by appointment August 4th through September 2nd.

An Interview with Katja Seib

  Katja Seib No Title 2020 Oil On Canvas 20.3 x 20.3 cm / 8 x 8 in Credit: © Katja Seib, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London. Photo: Elon Schoe...