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Showing posts from May, 2014

Mark Ryden "The Gay 90s West" at Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, California (REVIEW)

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Mark Ryden's latest exhibition at Kohn Gallery's new space in Hollywood is a visual delight. Ryden's work is well rendered and intelligent on so many levels. In his latest show, Ryden explores the sentimentality of the 1890s and the underlying themes that are hidden from such sentimentality while making references to contemporary pop culture.

When entering the gallery, one is stunned by the pink colored walls that cover the gallery. Pink both matches the works on the walls and provides a calming effect on the visitor. The works make reference to art history, American history and lore, late 19th century Victorian and current pop culture. There are portraits of Abraham Lincoln along with portraits of a doll figure wearing a meat dress, referencing Lady Gaga. There is a portrait of Katy Perry sitting along with various cute animals wearing a garden dress. The artist wants to make both an analogy and allegory about the Victorian and the current state of contemporary society.

Lynn Chadwick at Blain Southern, Berlin

On the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin 2014 Blain Southern presents a solo exhibition with works by Lynn Chadwick. In the center of the show and presented on the ground floor of the gallery space is the Beasts series, dating from 1989-1991. A number of Lynn Chadwick’s bronze works from the 1950s and 1960s such as Encounter IV, Watcher V or Two Reclining Figures are presented on the upper floor. Jess Fletcher (assistant curator) talks about the concept of the exhibition and the developing process of the Beasts series. Eva Chadwick (the artist’s widow) shares a personal story related to the sculpture Stranger II (1956) and explains the uniqueness of Lynn Chadwick with the work Maquette IV Moon of Alabama (1957). Lynn Chadwick: Retrospectives at Blain Southern, Berlin. Gallery Weekend Berlin (2014); Interview with Eva Chadwick (widow of Lynn Chadwick) and Jess Fletcher (assistant curator); May 2, 2014. Video and interview by Frantisek Zachoval.

"Unity" by Komar and Melamid, US Bank Tower, Los Angeles, California

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One of the most beautiful and provocative public art works is located in the lobby of the tallest building in Los Angeles (and west of the Mississippi). The work is called "Unity" by Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid, also known as Komar and Melamid. Komar and Melamid immigrated from the former Soviet Union in the 1970s. The duos work is known for their art about the Soviet Union using both conceptual and postmodern strategies.

For Los Angeles, Komar and Melamid reflect on both the founding of Los Angeles and the current state of a multicultural Los Angeles. The lobby portrays three angels, each perched on the 3 walls that welcome both visitors and tenants to the US Bank Tower. The angels are based on ones found in Renaissance art. The center angel is dressed in blue and gold. The halo is based on  African, Asian, and Native America motifs and symbols. The side angels are rendered in a energetic manner where they appear floating in a storm of intense energy. While the side angel…