Thursday, April 23, 2015

Amelie von Wulffen at Feedman Fitzpatrick, Hollywood, California


March 22 – May 2, 2015

Identikit children in search of their own childhoods line the walls. Children with shit stained hands booty dance through a splintered landscape. A werewolf girl goes for drinks in the night. A decapitated sheep foregrounds naughty children. Spliced elements of pre- and early modernism are layered atop each other. The symbols are shaped to emanate guilt and shame. The tradition of painting is a long history of fabricated images meant to crawl under our skin, and into our psyches.

Amelie von Wulffen’s paintings follow the collage principal of appropriation. If collage is a mirror that reflects a subject or world, assembled from different view points, von Wulffen suffuses this logic with painterly traditions of still life, landscape, and self-portraiture to conflate an abyss of collective history and personal stories into artificial, disconcerting montages of memory. Staged like isolated dolls before a portrait photographer, von Wulffen’s avatars bare the loneliness of children in old paintings and on milk cartons.

Televised warnings dramatized in the unsolved mysteries program “Aktenzeichene XY Ungelöst” leave their mark: Mushroom hunters discover corpses in Germany’s romantic forests. Forgoing nostalgia and reverence, von Wulffen densely melds childhood impressions with dismembered traces of Arnold Böcklin, Paul Cézanne, Giorgio de Chirico, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Hans von Marées, Jean-Antoine Watteau and anonymous hobbyists. Like Vladimir Nabokov’s observation in ‘Despair’ (1934) that Böcklin’s liberally reproduced landscape “Isle of the Dead”, was to be “found in every home in Berlin’, reproductions, like fear and guilt, procreate.

Formed of clay, the plight of fallen butterflies is borne by children.

AMELIE VON WULFFEN (b. Breitenbrunn, Germany,1966; lives in Berlin).

Her upcoming solo exhibition at the Pinokothek der Moderne, Munich will open in October 2015. Von Wulffen’s work has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions including: Portikus, Frankfurt (2013); Aspen Art Museum, (2012); Kunstraum Inns- bruck (2010), Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2006); Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Basel (2005) and Centre Pompidou, (2005). She has participated in numerous group shows at: Liverpool Bienniale (2014); Kunstwerke, Berlin (2013); Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2012); The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin (2011); 3rd Berlin Biennial (2004); Manifesta (2004); 50th Venice Biennal (2003).

Biennial (2004); Manifesta (2004); 50th Venice Biennal (2003).
Her work is represented in important public collections, amongst them: Centre Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Fonds régional d’art contemporain (FRAC) Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand Die Sammlung zeitgenössischer Kunst der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin; Städel Museum, Frankfurt.

Freedman Fitzpatrick
6051 Hollywood Blvd, #107
Los Angeles, CA 90028


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Emily Sudd "Decorative Objects" at The Weingart Gallery, Occidental College, Los Angeles, California

Emily Sudd began working with existing ceramic objects about three years ago. Collecting kitsch figurines and functional ware, Sudd combines souvenirs and thrift store finds to create unique sculptural compositions. By adjusting kiln temperatures in multiple firings, she has developed a technique that results in some objects and glazes melting and changing form while others remain whole in a process that can be seen as a collaboration between the artist, pre-existing objects, and the conditions of the firing. In Emily Sudd: Decorative Objects, the artist continues this examination with eleven wall pieces that engage in conversations surrounding abstract and still life painting, decoration, and institutional critique. For this exhibition, she has expanded the exploration of object making, value, and authorship, and has created a large-scale sculpture using thrift store and collected paintings as building materials. I ♥ Love, 2015, takes on the form of an ocean wave made of intact paintings that crests over the gallery viewer.

Emily Sudd: Decorative Objects opens to the public on February 23 and remained on view through April 11, 2015 with gallery hours from 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday. The public is invited to an opening reception on Wednesday, February 25 from 5pm to 8pm. The Weingart Gallery is located on the Occidental College Campus at 1600 Campus Road in Eagle Rock.

About Emily Sudd

Emily Sudd lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. She holds an MFA in studio art from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Her current sculptures combine discarded ceramic objects in structures that engage in conversations with still life, narrative, and abstract painting; post-minimalist sculpture; hierarchies of materials and taste; and the role of the kitsch object. She has participated in several exhibitions at venues such Angles Gallery in Los Angeles, Sargent’s Daughters Gallery in New York, and Anat Ebgi Gallery in Los Angeles. Sudd was featured in the Ceramic Top 40 exhibition in Kansas City, MO, organized by Ferrin Contemporary. For more information about Emily Sudd, visit her website.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Friday Night (Alternative) Spaces

A warm spring night in Los Angeles brings out the artists. Those who are looking for art spaces outside of the big galleries can always depend on LA for giving the art enthusiast new perspectives and introducing him to provocative art. On Friday, March 27, 2015, I went to three openings and a closing reception for four alternative art spaces that demonstrate the dynamics and vitality of the Los Angeles art scene. 

My first stop was a gallery called Tiger Strikes Asteroid - Los Angeles (TSALA), located in the heart of the jewelry district in downtown Los Angeles. Erin Harmon, a native of Southern California and currently based in Nashville, Tennessee, displays an interest in the organic plant life that surrounds and covers the landscape. The works act as lure to the viewer. The collages are expertly made of cut paper and are alive with bright colors. The works reflect a gardener's care, creating new landscapes and panoramas that are exciting and invigorating. 

Next door is a group show called "I Think I See..." at The Property. The group show features work by Justin John Greene, Dustin Metz, Becky Kolsrud, and Adam Novak. This is a thought provoking show where the artists present an alternative to reductive abstract painting of today. The four painters use various styles to connect to the viewer. I like works whose purpose is the present the viewer a narrative, or part of a narrative structure that connects and brings something more than the mere picture. I enjoyed both Erin Harmon's work at TSALA and the group show next door at The Property. 

Once I left TSALA and The Property, I headed North to Eastside International, located at the Brewery off the I-5 Freeway. where there was a two person show entitled "Time Time Form," curated by Manual History Machines, featuring the works of Ian Pines and Alli Schmeltz. These two artists are diametrically opposed to each other. Pines is an abstractionist whose work is free form, organic, and painterly. Schmeltz's work is a sculptor whose work create structures and formations that are both orderly and reflect a craft aesthetic. This opposition is what made this show brilliant. There is a tension that works well and a dialog that is both contentious and complimentary. It is too bad that this show was closing that night. I truly I wanted to see more. I was then off to Secret Recipe.

Secret Recipe is an artists run space off Sunset Boulevard in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. The exhibitions only run for one night. So I was lucky to see an excellent solo show by painter Natalie Smith.  Entitled "Blue Ridge," Smith is heavily influenced by Matisse and the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s. Smith explores both color and the organic in her paintings. Smith observes the plants and objects and then allows the both paint and composition to create the formations.

I left Secret Recipe with the sense that the Los Angeles art scene is more that its major galleries and big name shows. There is a thriving and dynamic art scene that can found anytime; even on a Friday night.            


1.  Erin Harmon

Tiger Strikes Asteroid (TSA) Los Angeles, 440 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013; Hours: Sat/Sun: 11am-5pm; Questions:

2.  "I Think I See..." A Group Show

featuring the work on Justin John Greene, Dustin Metz, Becky Kolsrud, and Adam Novak.
The Property, 440 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013;

3.  "Time, Time, Form - Ian Pines and Aili Schmeltz", curated by Manual History Machines.

Eastside International, 602 Moulton Ave. (In the Brewery), Los Angeles, CA,

4.  Natalie Smith 
Secret Recipe,1123 N. Benton Way, Los Angeles, CA


Erin Harmon
Tiger Strikes Asteroid (TSA) Los Angeles

"I Think I See..." A Group Show
featuring the work on Justin John Greene, Dustin Metz, Becky Kolsrud, and Adam Novak.
The Property

"Time, Time, Form - Ian Pines and Aili Schmeltz", 
curated by Manual History Machines.
Eastside International

Natalie Smith 
Secret Recipe


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