"Icons" at Chung King Projects (2006), Chinatown, Los Angeles, California



For this week's post, I decided to look back 10 years ago to a group show on Chung King Road, in Chinatown, Los Angeles. This video gives you the sense of what the Chinatown art scene was like prior to 2008. Chung King Project is now Francois Ghebaly Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. Francois is briefly interviewed, and speaks about the group show opening in September 2006. Enjoy this walk down memory lane.

For its season opening, Chung King Project presents “Icons”, an exhibition of paintings by six European artists, all showing in the United States for the first time: Guy Allott, Edward Kay, Victor Man, Gavin Nolan, Rigo Schmidt, Gavin Tremlett. Chung King Project is a collaborative project between Mihai Nicodim (Kontainer Gallery, Los Angeles), Nicholas Baker and Zoë Foster (fa projects, London) and Friedrich Loock (Wohnmaschine, Berlin). Chung King Project, Los Angeles, opening, September 8, 2006. By VTV correspondents Parichard Holm, Slim K and Gerold Wunstel.

United by their employment of the small-scale, referencing the language of icon painting, each of the artists presents a new take on the traditional genres of painting. Guy Allott inserts elaborate spaceships into idyllic pastoral landscapes. In a nod to Surrealism, the spaceships take on a character of their own, becoming portraits. At first sight, Edward Kay’s portraits recall Renaissance portraits and British hunting paintings of the C18th, yet his work is loaded with references to the modern day. Gavin Nolan’s paintings depict ambiguous nightmarish personalities, with features distorted and accentuated. Victor Man transports the viewer into a new socio-satirical context through his delicate landscapes. Drawn from the language of traditional portraiture as seen in natural history museums, the figures in Rigo Schmidt’s work confront us, challenging the viewer. Finally, Gavin Tremlett presents elongated figures of young men, in bacchanalian poses, in a style that distorts the ideals of early mannerism.

Guy Allott, a MA graduate of Royal College of Art in London, lives and works in London. Recent exhibitions include “Flock”, Luna International in Berlin, “The Lost Collection of an Invisible Man”, Laing City Art Gallery, Newcastle, and “Jagsalon”, Kreuzberg Kunstraum/Bethanien, Berlin.

Edward Kay lives and works in London and recently received his MA from the Royal Academy Schools in 2005. Recent exhibitions include “Premiums “, the Royal Academy, London, “Art School”, Bloomberg Space, London, and “Pastoral”, Dicksmith Gallery, London.

Victor Man lives and works in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Recent solo shows include Timothy Taylor, London, Annet Gellink, Amsterdam and plan b, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. His work was included in “Expanded Painting”, Prague Biennal 2.

Gavin Nolan graduated from the Royal Academy of Art, London. Recent exhibitions include “Tokyo Wondersite”, Japan, “NLK”, Wooster Project, New York, and “The Sun Also Rises”, Rockwell Gallery, London.

Rigo Schmidt lives and works in Leipzig. Past exhibitions includes solo shows at Wohnmaschine, Berlin and Laden fur Nichts, Leipzig and group exhibitions at Galeria Leme, Sao Paulo, Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich and Zweidimensionale, Leipzig.

Gavin Tremlett graduated from Royal Academy Schools. Recent exhibitions include “figurative painting”, Wohnmaschine, Berlin and “Faux Realism”, Rockwell, London.

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