Sunday, March 25, 2007

3 Days in LA part 2

Alison Schulnik at Mark Moore Gallery.

Two final images from our Bergamot Station field trip on April 12. Both are from the Mark Moore Gallery. Above, Alison Schulnik's odd paintings of animals and landscapes were in the main gallery. A couple including the one above, were most diggable because of their wierdness.

Boo Ritson at Mark Moore Gallery.

In a side gallery were five large photos by Boo Ritson. Each work featured a portrait; the sitter slathered with some sort of paint or makeup giving the appearance of a person posing as the confectionery equivalent of himself.

After Bergamot Station, we laid low at the hotel until A's opening. The Paul Kopeikin Gallery is located a block from the LACMA, and is one of a handful of galleries gathered around a courtyard on Wilshire Blvd. I've posted images of A's installation over at maykr.

Other openings that night included two separate shows of Nicola Tyson's work at the
Mark Foxx Gallery, one of drawings, and another of paintings. The drawings, which I liked, traced familiar steps as an exercise in loose and spare psycho-figurative sketches. Nothing really original, but that kind of work appeals to me. The paintings felt even more loaded with self conscious steps, and did not go far enough in any direction for my taste.
Located directly above Mark Foxx Gallery, 1301PE was showing a group of small paintings by Charlene Von Heyle which I liked.

Directly across from Kopeikin's space, Roberts & Tilton featured and enjoyable show of the sculpture and drawings of Thomas Kiesewetter. The scale, color and nature of the constructions all worked for me. The use of a variety of pedestals added much to the spirit of the work as each piece was set atop a unique plinth, each one stained or marked showing signs of having served as working platform in the creation of the sculptures.

Thomas Kieswetter at Roberts & Tilton.

3 days in LA part 1

Bergamot Station

We were in LA last weekend for Angelika's opening at the Paul Kopeikin Gallery. I was in Denver for a few days of work, then headed out to LA from there on Friday morning. I hadn't heard about the snowstorm in NY until I got to the airport. I felt very fortunate to be heading in the other direction, particularly knowing that the mess out East would straighten itself out by the time I was ready to return.
Our leisure time both before and after A's opening was filled with looking at art....what a change.
On Saturday morning, we went over to
Bergamot Station, a collection of over twenty galleries housed in a former undustrial area encircling a parking lot in Santa Monica.
We stopped into most of the galleries, and saw some very good shows. I snapped some images of the work I found most interesting.
Patrick Painter Inc. has separate spaces at Bergamot.

Hope Atherton at Patrick Painter East

The East gallery featured a show of paintings by Hope Atherton that treated the representational subjects with a natural abstract approach.

Albert Oehlen at Patrick Painter West

Painter's west gallery featured the "Leg Show" a group of leg-centric work by Tim Berresheim, Albert Oehlen and Matthia Schaufler which was the initial incarnation of a recurring theme of the ubiquiteness of the German artist. The day before, A was having a conversation with another artist about the current tide of German artists that are supremely visible in LA exhibits currently. It could be that my krautsense is more highly attuned given my domestic situation, but in any case there indeed seemed to an inordinate number of German's represented in the exhibits we saw.

The two most effective exhibits were also very entertaining: Jean Lowe's papier-mache installations at
Rosamund Felsen Gallery, and a survey of the work of Scott Grieger at Patricia Faure Gallery.
Both artists appropriate the familiar and send it back to us with a twist.

Jean Lowe at Rosamund Felsen Gallery

Lowe's exhibit spanned three rooms all with intricate constructions. Her collection of fully stocked bookshelves are capable of keeping you engaged for hours perusing the volume of titles riffing on subjects through out the entire Dewey Decimal system.

Scott Grieger at Patricia Faure Gallery.

The Grieger exhibit covers work from 1969-2007 in a variety of media that pointedly references recent art history. There is a group of photographs recreating famous artworks by Robert Irwin, Rauschenberg, Barnett Newman where Grieger cast himself as the replacement for the essential element in each piece. In other pieces, he creates works that could be supposed to be the result of fantasy mashups of artists like Johns+Judd and Newman+Stella.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Grand Central Interminable

On February 24, I was standing at the foot of one of the staircases in Grand Central, reading, waiting for the 2:51 back to Beacon after having run through the Armory show. I arrived almost an hour ahead of time, and had become pretty absorbed in my magazine. I looked up from my reading, and after a couple of seconds realized something odd was afoot. Portions of the crowd in the hall were frozen still. I estimate several dozen people had stopped mid step on the floor of the great hall. The fellow nearest me was struck in mid-bite of his cupcake. I stood and watched the unmoving among the otherwise normal GCT rush for two or three minutes before the living sculptures melted into the crowd at 2:35 accompanied by applause throughout the hall. After just a few seconds, another arrangement of people fixed in location became apparent. This time, a young woman looked on as two companions embraced sadly at the base of the staircase, and another woman lay prone as if after stumbling. This moment of inaction lasted five minutes, and again evaporated with more applause.
Standing unwittingly amid such an intervention was thrilling, partly for the unexpected twist it provided, and by the palpable sense that though not in on the action, by being present, I too had a role to play in the performance. By having been initially unaware of the inaction around me, the entertainment of the moment was provided by the same process of growing awareness repeated dozens of times over as more people found themselves confronting the strange obstacle course, realizing something was up, then reacting to it, trying to interact with it, or imitating it. The most entertaining, though, was the population of folks that traversed the space, weaving around the frozen actors without a clue that anything differentiated that moment from any other.

Update 3/08: I finally discovered the group responsible for the action - Improve Everywhere.