Feb 272020
 

Currently at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. gallery in New York is on the lower frequencies I speak 4U (alquimia sagrada), a solo exhibition of work by william cordova.

From the press release-

For the artist’s fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, cordova has developed a multi-media installation seeking to explore “the juxtaposition of past structures to more contemporary structures that illuminate the ephemeral nature of our existence, as beings who create material culture as a means of documentation and memory.”

The exhibition incorporates large-scale drawing collages, photography, and sculpture into an environment that reflects on abstract forms rooted in sacred geometries, while also drawing from historical moments and monuments of resistance. Two large scale sculptures, untitled (RMLZ), and untitled (palenque), reference both Brutalist and pre-Columbian architecture, specifically the temple-Citadel sites at Sacsayhuaman and Ollantaytambo. Incorporating the architectural motifs found at these sites, such as zigzags and grids, cordova’s sculptures thread an ephemeral repository, meditating on the concepts of image encoding from biological, natural, galactic, and cultural sources. The sculptures disrupt the formal structure of the gallery, creating alternative perceptions of space and time.

In his series rumi maki, william cordova takes on an ethnographic approach in addressing shared symbolism found in textile data encoding and architectural design. Named after the ancient Andean martial arts, rumi maki consists of multi-colored collages on paper, constructed from vivid layers of recycled paint chips. The arrangement of colors and patterns carry latent meanings, dependent on geography, culture, and the readings of celestial bodies. As cosmological maps, the collages synthesize the sacred geometries of architecture with the visual narratives of historical civilizations. Its form also recalls pioneering early video installation artist Beryl Korot, and her contributions to the 1970s video journal Radical Software.

ogun (el siglo de silencio) sees the artist return to large-scale collage on paper after several years focused on site-specific installations and smaller-scaled work. This work introduces viewers to a new series titled el quinto suyo (the fifth suyo), collages culled from reclaimed paint chip samples and recycled cardboard pigmented with old discarded oil stick paint. Literary references permeate cordova’s collages; texts such as El Siglo de Las Luces by Alejo Carpentier, El Monte by Lydia Cabrera and Decimas by Nicomedes Santa Cruz point to his ongoing interest in the distribution of power, spirituality, and labyrinths of perception.

In the back gallery is an exhibition of paintings (pictured below) by Josephine Halvorson, titled On The Ground.

From the press release-

On The Ground, also the title of her essay in Art In America (June/July 2018), continues Halvorson’s exploration of the ground—as a motif, material, and metaphor. Each painting registers an area of ground through Halvorson’s close observation and pictorial description, while its accompanying surround incorporates crushed rocks and debris from the site of the painting’s making. Together, they realize a faithful translation of place and time. The work in this exhibition was made in the Berkshire mountains, the Mojave Desert, and Matanzas, Cuba.

These hybrid paintings are made with gouache, site material, dry pigment, and printmaking. They expand Halvorson’s on-site practice of transcribing direct experience by hand. While her previous work in oil allowed her encounter with an object to congeal over the course of a day, Halvorson has turned to gouache, a fast drying and graphic medium, which, like handwriting, records her observations in real time. Her paint application is indelible and fresco-like, transferring color from the brush into the absorbent ground of the panel.

Touching down at various points of interest—a piece of plastic, a blade of grass—Halvorson’s notational marks establish a correspondence between environment, painting, and viewer. Like a map, they depict the literal scape of the ground while offering an escape from mimesis. The reality of proximity breaks down as one gets lost in the archeology of a single stride. Gravel becomes galactic. The surround acts as a legend or key, a space for evidence and tools of calibration. A ruler, coins, or color chart orient the onlooker in terms of scale and perception, and the site material indexes the painting to its original locale. These are paintings of verification and memorialization. They ask how we make sense of what we see, how we express that witnessing, and how an account of experience is made concrete.

Both of these exhibitions close 2/29/20.

Feb 272020
 

Currently at Pace Gallery in New York are Nigel Cooke’s ten large-scale paintings. The paintings have an exuberant intensity to them. Close up the shades of varying color, layers of paint, and the textures created by the brush strokes, show the detail that went in to creating the overall effect of the work.

From the press release-

Completed over the past year, these ten new large-scale paintings mark a significant shift in the artist’s direction toward a more performative, energetic, and abstract approach to figuration. This shift was propelled by a recent residency in the city, where Cooke remarked that “the entire philosophy of what it is I am doing has been adjusted.” These works, which reference actions, places, and people, exist as matrices in which the artist’s free and open process meets wider themes of metaphor, spirit, nature, representation, and the living material quality of paint. In this way, these new works draw on the legacies of American artists such as Willem de Kooning and Clyfford Still as well as Abstract Expressionism, British Figuration, Spanish painting, and Chinese silk painting.

…These dynamic compositions become transitional grids that unfix and multiply the idea of what a figure is, reflecting a complex interplay of vigor, chance, and intuition. They begin with a single color drawn in a loose structure that drives the painting process forward. Building up the canvas in lines and washes, the paintings move away from a defined image, resulting in a myriad of possibilities from the mud and grit of real landscapes to atmospheric emanations or presences. As such, they do not depend on a fixed viewpoint but drift between states, contradicting themselves over time and allowing for the possibility of transformation.

Furthering Cooke’s radical shift in his practice, the paintings were executed on raw canvas—a first for the artist. The natural linen endows the paintings with a unique brownish ground and a textured weave that is seen throughout the works. This material quality also impacts Cooke’s mark-making as washes develop into thickets of dark staining and lines that taper off and sometimes produce kasure or “flying white,” an ancient Chinese silk painting technique known for its ribbon-like strokes that sputter and appear to leap off of the surface of the canvas.

This exhibition closes 2/29/20.

Feb 272020
 

Prism Tats- Big Blue

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (2/27-3/1/20)-

Thursday

Lower Dens are playing at The Roxy Theatre with Ami Dang

Bootleg Theater is hosting Los Angeles College Radio Night with musical guests É Arenas, Fell Runner, Carter Ace, Your Angel, Ryan Pollie and Dylan Meek and Q& A panels with radio DJs

For Freedoms Congress (FFCON) is happening around Los Angeles starting tonight and running through this weekend with artist led town halls re-imagining Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms project: Freedom from Fear, Freedom From Want, Freedom of Worship, and Freedom of Speech. Tonight MOCA is hosting Freedom from Fear- facilitated by Brent Blair with Aloe Blacc, Donna Hylton, and Skipp Townsend, with attendees invited to explore the inequities of privilege and access through an interactive Theatre of the Oppressed performance.

Reckling, Shutups, Niis, and Gustaf are playing at The Factory

Dr. Dog are playing at The Novo with special guest Michael Nau

The first gay country band Lavender Country are playing at Zebulon with Sam Buck opening

 

Friday

Prism Tats is playing a free early show at Gold Diggers with Dumb Thumbs

Actress Rachel Redleaf (Mama Cass) will be in person to discuss Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood after its screening at the Beverly Cinema

Imperial Teen are playing at Zebulon with The Ballet opening

Anamanaguchi are playing at the Fonda Theatre with Saint Pepsi, HANA, and Cowgirl Clue

Best Coast are playing with Mannequin Pussy at The Novo

 

Saturday

Artist Farrah Karapetian is hosting An Infrequent Day: Readings on time, timing, loss, and memory at 12pm at Diane Rosenstein Gallery with readings by Martha Ronk, Janet Sarbanes, Gabrielle Civil, Nylsa Martinez, and Anthony Seidman

Artists Catherine Opie and Lawrence Weiner will be in conversation at Regen Projects at 2pm, moderated by Dagny Corcoran (free but RSVP)

The 6th Annual All Day Carnival Celebration for Bob Baker Day is free and taking place at Los Angeles State Historic Park with musical performances, puppet shows, workshops, games, and more

Zebulon is hosting a free night of Live Readings and Music with Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks), Patty Schemel (Hole), and Rob Zabrecky (Possum Dixon) and accompanying music by Midget Handjob, Matt Devine and special guests

Raphael Saadiq is performing at The Wiltern with Jamila Woods

Vacationer is performing at the Bootleg Theater with Foisey. opening

Death Lens and The War Toys are playing at The Smell

Gold Diggers is hosting the Music Videos and Shorts Night Vol 4 (free but RSVP)

 

Sunday

Public Enemy are playing as part of the Bernie Sanders rally at the Los Angeles Convention Center

Paul Reubens will be telling stories about the making of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure following a screening of the film for its 35th Anniversary at The Wiltern (also Thursday)

Froth are opening for Duster at The Regent Theater

Zebulon is hosting a free screening at 3pm of the music documentary 40 Bands/ 80 Minutes! and the documentary featurette Sean Carnage Parking Lot. There will also be a DJ and a Q&A led by Voyager’s Bret Berg.

Later in the evening Kim Gordon will be playing at Zebulon with Sam Rowell

iLe is playing at the Echoplex with Francisca Valenzuela

 

Feb 212020
 

Currently at Blain Southern gallery’s New York location is  Mircea Suciu’s Universal Fatigue.

From the press release-

Part of the Cluj School, Mircea Suciu (b. 1978, Baia Mare, Romania) is regarded as one of Romania’s leading artists. During his formative years he witnessed the country’s tumultuous transition after the only violent overthrow of a communist government in the 1989 revolutions. Describing himself as an image creator rather than a traditional painter, Suciu mines and references art history and contemporary imagery, reducing down the elements and adding colour coded symbolism. He has ‘his own complex way of making things in which painting, photography, drawing and print all cooperate while playing their individual parts’ 1

Inspired by his former studies on the restoration of Baroque paintings, Suciu has developed a process he calls ‘monoprinting’. A photographic image is split into a grid of A4 surfaces, each one printed onto an acetate sheet onto which a layer of acrylic paint is applied. The paint acts as a ‘glue’ that adheres to directly to the canvas and once dry, the acetate sheet is peeled off. The result is a transference of the printed image with associated faults and imperfections which Suciu then ‘restores’ by re-painting with oil and acrylic paint. Sometimes, as with works in the Disintegration series, he overlays the image multiple times using various colours until he creates a surface that is barely recognisable from the original. As a final stage the whole image is repainted. This multi-layered process creates compositions of reinvented images which allude to history, memory and eventual dissolution of all things.

‘A characteristic of my work is frailty, not regarding the subject but the relationship between the surfaces that constitute the ensemble of the whole picture.’ – Mircea Suciu

This exhibition closes 2/21/20.

 

Feb 202020
 

Closing 2/22/20 at David Zwirner’s 20th Street location in New York is Stan Douglas’s fascinating video installation Doppelgänger. It is also on view at view at Victoria Miro Gallery in London.

From the press release

Since the late 1980s, Douglas has created films and photographs—and more recently theater productions and other multidisciplinary projects—that investigate the parameters of their mediums. His ongoing inquiry into technology’s role in image-making, and how those mediations infiltrate and shape collective memory, has resulted in works that are at once specific in their historical and cultural references and broadly accessible.

Doppelgänger is set in an alternative present. Displayed on two square-format, translucent screens, each of which can be viewed from both sides, the looped narrative unfolds in side-by-side vignettes that depict events on worlds that are light years apart. When one spacecraft embarks on its journey, another is launched at the same time in a parallel reality. Alice, a solitary astronaut, is teleported to a distant planet, and her double to another. Then, Alice and her ship, the Hermes II, for unknown reasons, return. Alice assumes her mission has failed and she has somehow returned home, but she has, in fact, arrived at a world where everything, from writing to the rotation of the sun, is literally the reverse of what she once knew.

The action on the two screens proceeds alternately in tandem and in parallel, seamlessly moving between two oppositional scenarios of Alice’s reception back on Earth. In one version, Alice is received compassionately and welcomed home, whereas in the other, she is treated as an outlaw or a potential threat. Douglas intentionally heightens the viewer’s feeling of displacement through a continual sense of reversal and mirroring, both in the form and content of his installation. Since the early 1990s, multi-channel video installations have been an integral part of Douglas’s practice, allowing for the simultaneous presentation of multiple, overlapping narratives or vantage points, and with Doppelgänger, he extends his ongoing exploration of both nonlinear narratives and alternate histories: the omnipresent sense of doubling that is built into the structure of the work implicitly suggests the possibility of simultaneous, diverging experiences and realities.

Intercut with quasi-abstract passages of color and light, which nod both to avant-garde cinema as well as the history of space exploration, Doppelgänger presents a nuanced and layered parable that powerfully addresses the slippery notion of objective truth, and the position of the “other” in contemporary society.

 

Feb 202020
 

For more of the work of twin brothers Raoul and Davide Perré, aka HOWNOSM, check out their website and Instagram.

This work was created as part of Coney Art Walls.

Feb 202020
 

Mary Jane, 2008

Untitled, 2015

 

1975 (8), 2013

Painting for My Dad, 2011

The “Fitz”, 2015

Black Widow, 2007

Leni Riefenstahl, 2010

Artist Noah Davis’s superb paintings are currently on view at David Zwirner gallery’s two 19th Street locations in New York until 2/22. Although his career was brief, he died in 2015, what he accomplished in his life is admirable.

From the press release

Davis’s body of work encompasses, on the one hand, his lush, sensual, figurative paintings and, on the other, an ambitious institutional project called The Underground Museum, a black-owned-and-operated art space dedicated to the exhibition of museum-quality art in a culturally underserved African American and Latinx neighborhood in Los Angeles. The works on view will highlight both parts of Davis’s oeuvre, featuring more than twenty of his most enduring paintings, as well as models of previous exhibitions curated by Davis at The Underground Museum. The exhibition also includes a “back room,” modeled on the working offices at The Underground Museum, featuring more paintings by Davis, as well as BLKNWS by Davis’s brother Kahlil Joseph; a sculpture by Karon Davis, the artist’s widow; and Shelby George furniture, designed by Davis’s mother Faith Childs-Davis.

Helen Molesworth notes:

Noah Davis (b. Seattle, 1983; d. Ojai, California, 2015) was a figurative painter and cofounder of The Underground Museum (UM) in Los Angeles. Despite his untimely death at the age of thirty-two, Davis’s paintings are a crucial part of the rise of figurative and representational painting in the first two decades of the twenty-first century.

Loneliness and tenderness suffuse his rigorously composed paintings, as do traces of his abiding interest in artists such as Marlene Dumas, Kerry James Marshall, Fairfield Porter, and Luc Tuymans. Davis’s pictures can be slightly deceptive; they are modest in scale yet emotionally ambitious. Using a notably dry paint application and a moody palette of blues, purples, and greens, his work falls into two loose categories: There are scenes from everyday life, such as a portrait of his young son, a soldier returning from war, or a housing project designed by famed modernist architect Paul Williams. And there are paintings that traffic in magical realism, surreal images that depict the world both seen and unseen, where the presence of ancestors, ghosts, and fantasy are everywhere apparent.

Generous, curious, and energetic, Davis founded, along with his wife, the sculptor Karon Davis, The Underground Museum, an artist- and family-run space for art and culture in Los Angeles. The UM began modestly—Noah and Karon worked to join three storefronts in the city’s Arlington Heights neighborhood. Davis’s dream was to exhibit “museum-quality” art in a working-class black and Latino neighborhood. In the early days of The UM, Davis was unable to secure museum loans, so he organized exhibitions of his work alongside that of his friends and family, and word of mouth spread about Davis’s unique curatorial gestures.

In 2014 Davis began organizing exhibitions using works selected from The Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection as his starting point. In the aftermath of Davis’s passing, the team of family and friends he gathered continued his work at The UM, transforming it into one of the liveliest and most important gathering places in Los Angeles for artists, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and activists.

If you are in Los Angeles, The Underground Museum is definitely worth a visit, and if you cannot make it to this exhibition in NYC- a portion of it moves there this March.

Also, Kahlil Joseph’s “BLKNWS” will be shown the Brooklyn Academy of Music in NYC from 3/23-6/21/20.

Feb 202020
 

Metronomy- Walking In The Dark

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (2/20-2/23/20)-

Thursday

Hammer Museum is hosting Constitutional Happy Hour a chance to have a few cheap drinks while learning about the US Constitution. This week Loyola Law School professor David Glazier will be discussing the War Powers Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11)

Runnner are playing at The Echo with Beauty Queen

Artist Gala Porras-Kim will be discussing her work and MOCA’s permanent collection with UCLA Professor of Art History and Conservation of Material Culture Glenn Wharton and MOCA Assistant Curator and Manager of Publications Bryan Barcena at the Grand Avenue location

Hip-hop supergroup Czarface (Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric) are performing at Catch One

Little People, Frameworks, and Yppah are playing at The Paramount

Andy Shauf is playing at The Fonda Theatre with Molly Sarle

Pianist Joep Beving is performing at Lodge Room

 

Friday

Mutual Benefit are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Sonoda and Nicholas Krgovich

As part of the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s John Sayles series, they will be showing Sayles’ film Sunshine State at Hammer Museum with Sayles in attendance for a conversation and book signing ($9)

Here the Birds Burn: A Phantasmagoria Revival, a horror theater performance, is taking place throughout the Victorian era homes at Heritage Square. “Incorporating working authentic 18th & 19th century magic lanterns with hand painted glass slides, along with being joined by fellow period-era theater guests, this immersive performance, set in the 1830s, promises an evening of frightful delight”. (running Thursday-Sunday)

No Age are playing at The Smell with Würm and Milo Gonzalez

HUNNY are playing at the El Rey Theatre with Bay Faction and Michi

Holychild are playing at Moroccan Lounge with Hollander and Tiffany Stringer

 

Saturday

Metronomy are playing at The Fonda Theatre with Bodega and Faux Real opening

No Sesso will be presenting their performance piece/ runway show “A Vignette of the Renaissance on 24th Street” at WAREHOUSE at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (free)

Not From England are playing at The Smell with Moon Fuzz, Poll Tax Riot and Buddha Trixie

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries is hosting a book launch with editors Allyson Mitchell and Cait McKinney for Inside Killjoy’s Kastle: Dykey Ghosts, Feminist Monsters, and Other Lesbian Hauntings. The contributors to this volume consider the role of lesbian feminist histories and direct-action aesthetics in contemporary queer and feminist communities, particularly the ways in which political artwork can produce new ways of knowing about the past.  The book launch will include readings and performances by Deirdre Logue, Nao Bustamante, Kyla Tompkins, Karen Tongson, Jennifer Doyle, and David Evans Frantz, and a pop-up feminist gift shop by Otherwild.

FEELS are playing an early show at Zebulon with Gustaf, Gesserit and Cumgirl8

 

Sunday

Zebulon has a free screening of Walter Hill’s The Driver (1978) with a performance by Charade to follow

Mamalarky are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Girl Friday and Eyeshadow

The Debbie Allen Dance Academy DADA Ensemble will be performing dances inspired by Cross Colours: Black Fashion in the 20th Century at the California African American Museum (free)

WAREHOUSE at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is hosting a conversation with artist Ivan Morley to launch his new book

Artist Samira Yamin will be discussing work from her exhibition To View A Plastic Flower at LAMAG

Lodge Room’s programming series for Black History Month continues with performances tonight by Lonnie Liston Smith, The Katalyst, and Cut Chemist

Orchin are playing at Moroccan Lounge with Goldcage, Lovergirl, and Drowsy

 

Feb 142020
 

 

For Bridge Projects inaugural exhibition at their location in Hollywood they are showing Phillip K. Smith III’s 10 Columns, an immersive light installation created specifically for the space. Watching the colors fade in and out as you stand, sit, or walk around the sculptures is a wonderfully meditative experience.

From the press release-

The faceted surface of the San Bernardino mountains and surrounding desert both frame Smith’s studio and inform his practice; perpetually shifting light and color refracting across the landscape inspires the artist’s exploration into phenomenology, optical theories, and color. As a result, change has become fundamental to the experience of his work. Through the use of reflective, geometric forms just larger than human scale, Smith has distilled something as monumental as a sunset to an intimate encounter.

Commissioned for the inaugural exhibition of Bridge Projects, 10 Columns features Smith’s signature mirrored surfaces and dynamic light program. Expanding on past site-specific installations, the artist adjoined mirrored rectilinear forms to the colonnades of Bridge Projects’ site at Santa Monica Blvd and Highland creating an architecture inside the existing one. The modular structure consists of thirty forms of equal heights and three distinct widths, adhering to the ten concrete columns in unique combinations of 90 and 180 degree angles that shift between aligning with and disrupting the grid of columns. The forms are animated by Smith’s patented light program. As the surfaces emit gradations of light and color, the dimensions and experience of the room shift and blur, evoking the changes of light in the Los Angeles atmosphere throughout the day. Recalling both LA’s Light and Space movement and ancient cosmologies, light is a resonant image for the beginning of Bridge Projects.

This exhibition closes this weekend (2/16) and the gallery is having programming on Saturday and Sunday that includes a soundscape featuring “Watermusic II” by William Basinski, a relaxation workshop, and a tea tasting.