Apr 032024
 

Summer Wheat created this mural, Foragers, in 2020 for the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it remains on view today.

From the museum about the work-

This monumental “stained glass” installation celebrates the resilience of North Carolina’s community of makers and providers and creates a space where our present-day Charlotte community can gather for contemplation and inspiration. Collaging sheets of colored vinyl, Wheat has created a towering, prismatic composition that fills all 96 windows of the Mint atrium with female figures of varied sizes, ages, shapes, and races performing acts of labor: fisherwomen, beekeepers, hunters, mothers, caretakers, farmers, bankers.

Following the tradition of stained-glass windows found in places of worship, Wheat offers a narrative of hope and resilience that can be enjoyed in a few minutes or studied over hours. Wheat says that “Foragers presents a tradition in which women were the original hunters, technologists, and artists. This array of women connected by geometric patterns echoes the psychological space of women supporting each other. They are marching together, connecting to creatures from land and water, demonstrating their inherent link to natural elements and to the intricate depths of the unconscious.”

The women in Foragers also call attention to the underrecognized populations who have cultivated the land that we now call North Carolina, from the indigenous tribes to the colonial settlers to the enslaved Africans and all those who have followed. The region is home to myriad traditions-ceramics, basket weaving, quilting, furniture construction, textile production-and The Mint Museum specifically celebrates that legacy through its collection and exhibitions. Foragers salutes North Carolina’s history of creativity and industry, both by those whose names we know and those who remain anonymous.

Her latest exhibition, Fertile Ground, is currently on view at Nazarian/Curcio in Los Angeles, closing on 4/6/24. It includes new paintings and three stone mosaic sculptures.

Jan 192024
 

Pictured above is Drossos P. Skyllas‘ painting, Wisconsin Ice Cave, 1950, part of LACMA’s 2018 exhibition, Outliers and American Vanguard Art.

About the artist from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. where the exhibition was also on view-

Drossos Skyllas achieved the exquisitely detailed, jewel-like surfaces of his paintings with tiny brushes he fashioned himself. He applied miniscule dabs of luminous oil paint in a pointillist manner, which gave his subjects a petrified yet shimmering quality. His refined technique and adherence to the academic genres of still life, landscape, portraiture, and mythological scenes demonstrate his knowledge of art history. And inspired by the old masters, he perfected the difficult depiction of reflective surfaces, including gems, mirrors, water, and ice. At the same time, his uniform clarity of detail, imposed symmetry, and sense of frozen time create a dreamlike mysteriousness reminiscent of magic realism. In addition to high art sources, Skyllas likely drew upon commercial illustration and photography. Untitled (Roses) resembles both traditional floral still lifes and midcentury advertisements for jewelry and flowers. Wisconsin Ice Cave relates as much to northern Renaissance landscape painting as to mass-produced picture postcards.

Born in Greece, Skyllas worked in his father’s tobacco business before emigrating to the US shortly after World War II. He settled in Chicago and devoted himself to becoming a professional artist, though he had no formal artistic training. Supported financially by his wife, Skyllas produced thirty-eight paintings from the late 1940s until his death in 1973. Some of these he submitted to the annual juried exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago and Vicinity, which featured his work in 1955, 1967, 1969, and 1973. He also sought commissions to paint portraits, but with asking prices as high as $30,000, he never found any patrons.

Skyllas’s work was discovered after his death by Chicago gallerist Phyllis Kind, who added him to her roster of self-taught artists in 1974. He was likely known to artists Jim Nutt and Gladys Nilsson before this, as they had exhibited alongside him in the 1967 Chicago and Vicinity exhibition and are enthusiastic collectors of self-taught artists (Wisconsin Ice Cave is in their collection). The meticulous finish of Skyllas’s paintings, which simultaneously evokes advertising art and Renaissance illusionism, appealed to Nutt, Nilsson, and fellow Chicago imagist Roger Brown, whose art collection also included the self-taught Greek master.

 

Dec 272023
 

This painting, Night Breeze, by Sarah Lee, was part of a group exhibition last year at 1969 Gallery in NYC. It seemed like a good choice to post in honor of tonight’s full moon, the last of 2023, known as the Cold Moon.

Lee is currently part of two group exhibitions- Quiet Storm at Long Story Short’s Paris location and Standing Still at Gana Art’s Los Angeles location.

Dec 142023
 

Mirror House, 2016 by artist Paige Jiyoung Moon was one of the paintings in her 2019 exhibition, Days of Our Lives at Steve Turner in Los Angeles. Her works are all of scenes from her life, painted from memory.

She is currently part of Hammer Museum’s most recent biennial, Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living, its sixth iteration, on view until 12/31/23.

The house in the painting, Mirage, was created by Doug Aitken for Desert X in 2017. On the fictional television series, The Curse, created by Nathan Fielder and Benny Safdie, the main characters are building houses with similar look.

Nov 272023
 

Tonight is the penultimate full moon of the year, so it seemed like a good moment to post this painting, The Real Realities 2, 2013, by Friedrich Kunath. It was on view in 2019 at the Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles which after abruptly closing due to a labor dispute, appears to have reopened.

The Art of Surviving November, Kunath’s inaugural solo exhibition at Galerie Max Hetzler’s London location, and consisting of a new body of paintings, is on view until 1/6/24.

 

Oct 052023
 

Above are images from Olimpia Zagnoli’s 2018 exhibition Cuore di Panna at HVW8 Gallery in Los Angeles. She is currently showing her work, along with her talented family at Antonio Colombo Gallery in Milan, Italy. That exhibition, ZaLiZaZa. Inventario di famiglia will be on view until 11/19/23.

The press release from the gallery-

Galleria Antonio Colombo is pleased to present the exhibition ZaLiZaZa. Inventario di famiglia, curated by Francesca Pellicciari, featuring a group of artists belonging to the same family: the photographer Miro Zagnoli (Za), the artist Emi Ligabue (Li) and their two daughters: the illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli (Za), already connected with the gallery, and the costume designer Emilia Zagnoli (Za).

The members of ZaLiZaZa are a very modern family, but also one of days gone by: were they not engaged in making their own various artifacts, we could imagine them operating in a family workshop in the Renaissance or Baroque spirit, experimenting with new painting techniques, revolutionizing styles or using them as examples to make their own; creating majestic theatrical wings, garbed in their style which is simultaneously classic and eccentric.

After all, this image is not so far from what ZaLiZaZa are doing today, in the 21st century, each in his or her own field – contiguous and often overlapping ambits – constantly coming to grips with their own research and experimentation, relying on a shared language, a true family lexicon.

The exhibition pathway is an inventory of works of all kinds – drawings and photographs, wooden books, collages, object/sculptures, fabrics, screens and magic boxes – in an intense dialogue of correspondences, where the four voices alternate and take turns, without a chronological order; a dialogue accompanied by a selection of items (sketches, notes, postcards, family photos) that document a methodology, while at the same time emphasizing the constant presence of art in the private life of ZaLiZaZa.

Thus it is no coincidence that many subjects are similar in the work of ZaLiZaZa.

While for decades design has pervaded the still analog settings and photographs of Miro (Za), it is also a recurring theme in the works of Emi (Li), from the Cicognino of Albini to the life and work of Charlotte Perriand, or anonymous design found for sale online: “I have no taboos, no type of respect or norm.” Similar use of anonymous and unconventional materials is found in the “Souvenir” clothing series by Emilia (Za), made from touristy dishtowels with the map of Italy, just as certain archetypes return in the thousands of stripes traced by Olimpia (Za), always in pursuit of the perfect synthesis between the idea and its representation.

Beyond this, beyond design, mountains, figures, bodies, portraits, chiaroscuro effects, balconies, there is the continuing echo – in the various generations of ZaLiZaZa of what Matisse said one day to Picasso, as Emi (Li) reminds us: “In the end, Picasso, we don’t have to try to be so smart. You and I are alike: what we try to rediscover in art is the atmosphere of our First Communion.” To always observe the world with the eyes of children, with the gaze of ZaLiZaZa.

If Olimpia Zagnoli’s work looks familiar, she also designed The New Yorker’s August 28th issue, seen below.

Sep 142023
 

“Untitled”, 2020, glazed ceramic

“Midnight Garden (Jnana)”, 2020 Pigment on canvas

“Untitled”, 2020, glazed ceramic

The works above are from Sam Falls’ 2020 exhibition at 303 Gallery in NYC. For more on these works, check out the gallery’s press release.

He is currently showing his work at The Little House, located at 451 N. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles, presented by Dries Van Noten.

From their press release-

On view will be a selection of recent work by Sam Falls which merges photography, painting, and installation which results in captivating pieces that invite viewers to explore the relationship between humans and the environment. The works in the exhibition offer a meditation on the sublime dichotomy of mortality, including ceramics combining fossilized images of nature and the human form, as well as found airbags from crashed cars that are embroidered with symbolic idioms on the transience of time and life quoted from ancient Greek and Roman sundials.

Falls’ artistic process explores the varying representations of nature and materials through the passage of time. Rain, sunlight, wind, and the gradual effects of weathering all contribute to the unique aesthetic of each piece, creating a dialogue between art and nature that captures the essence of life represented in time and space. By exposing his artwork to elements, he invites the environment to act as a collaborator in reinterpreting organic materials into new forms.

This exhibition will be on view until 9/30/23.

 

Jul 212023
 

“Precarious recline”, 2015, Found lawn chairs, strap, bottle

This sculpture, Precarious recline, is from Bjorn Copeland’s 2015 exhibition Over Easy at Various Small Fires Los Angeles. It was created using discarded furniture found around East Los Angeles.

The exhibition also included a sound sculpture, Scrambled Eggs, Mexican Radio Edit (2015).  It was made in collaboration with the artist’s Black Dice band mates Eric Copeland and Aaron Warren, and combined signals from multiple car radios in an unpredictable and erratic disharmony. The resulting composition was synthesized in real-time and constantly changing.

The video below is for White Sugar, from Black Dice’s 2021 album Mod Prog Sic.

Jul 212023
 

“You’re Fired”, 2015, Concrete, grill, shredded office documents, charcoal

This sculpture by Josh Kline was located in the Various Small Fires Los Angeles courtyard in 2015.

From the press release-

In the warm breeze of Southern California’s endless summer, the 20th Century dream of life in the early evening after work: a large backyard covered in concrete and grass, a hammock or a lawn chair, cold beer, and a blazing grill. Ground meat sizzling above a glowing bed of charcoal soaked in lighter fluid. Underneath the avocado tree. Or the oak tree. Or the whatever tree. Putting the last 8-10 hours of your day out of your mind and enjoying your “free” time. A nuclear family fantasy repeated across hundreds of millions of suburban and semi-suburban homes and half a century of North American lives.

Pattern recognition is the primordial ooze from out of which living consciousness and intelligence crawled into the minds of animals. The ability to recognize repetitive relationships and recurring phenomena. The habits of food, the faces of your loved ones, and the sounds of human language. From automobile factory assembly line and the discount drug store cash register today to the taxi cab’s driver seat and patent lawyer’s office tomorrow: unconscious software is slowly and not-so- slowly aping the abilities of the living mind.

Reading without eyes. Recognizing without consciousness. The outsourcing of understanding. You’re Fired!

The first U.S. museum survey of his work, Josh Kline: Project for a New American Century, is currently on view at the Whitney Museum in NYC.

 

Jun 222023
 

“When I Was Young”, 1995

“Here I Am/Estoy Aquí”, 2022

Two works from Joey Terrill: Cut and Paste, a solo exhibition at Ortuzar Projects in NYC this past February.

From the gallery’s press release-

Raised in Highland Park and East Los Angeles, Terrill was part of a small group of Chicano artists who in the 1970s and 80s created works that diverged from traditional Chicano-based imagery and subject matter to include visual representations reflecting his queer lived experiences. Utilizing the existing image culture that surrounded him, Terrill combines personal photographs, found pop cultural imagery, and reproductions of artworks by queer predecessors, including Diane Arbus, Robert Mapplethorpe and Wilhelm von Gloeden, to conjure utopic spaces. Spanning from his earliest explorations to substantial new works, Cut and Paste reveals collage as a foundational element to Terrill’s expanded artistic practice.

Beginning with abstract collages and silkscreens made while Terrill was an undergraduate at Immaculate Heart College—an art department still heavily influenced by the graphic artist and activist Sister Corita Kent—the exhibition draws out the interconnectivity of illustration, collage, and printmaking in Terrill’s work and their influence upon the characteristically flat style of his early paintings. Like many artists who came of age in the wake of Pop, he found refuge within the fantasies of American image culture–his earliest artworks covering his bedroom walls, which he transformed with a mix of drawings, photographs, and clippings of comic books, film starlets, and music icons. His silkscreens from the mid-1970s–a medium central to the larger Chicano art movement–find him applying a graphic sensibility to not only representations of brown bodies, but queer desire, an impulse he would continue to explore in his episodic Homeboy Beautiful proto-zines from the end of the decade.

Terrill was selected to be one of the artists in Hammer Museum’s 2023 biennial, Made in L.A., which will open this October. He also has a work in the current exhibition at the museum- Together in Time: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection running until 8/20/23.