There is a lot of hopefulness in the air right now. After perusing the local art scene I am pleased to see that many galleries are moving forward with their scheduled exhibitions. Many are by appointment only so do check their websites. Enjoy and take care!
IN THE GALLERIES:
Do you know about Ladie’s Room? It’s a gallery in the Bendix Building that is dedicated to the research and exhibition of women artists here in L.A. Their current exhibit is entitled Garden, an exhibition of more than 100 women and non-binary artists and artist teams during quarantine. Understanding that gardens are metaphorical utopias and sites of resilience, but principally serve as bodily nourishment, Garden underscores mutual aid in a moment of institutional atrophy, financial insecurity, and cultural drought. As part of the exhibition’s commitment to the Los Angeles community, LADIES’ ROOM will donate 15% of all sales to benefit LA Food Policy Council, Ron Finley Project, and Summaeverythang Community Center. “Garden considers art production amidst global turmoil by highlighting the linkages between gender, ecological processes, economics, labor, and power obscured by colonial histories. Beyond the narrow assumption that certain gender identities hold an innate closeness with “nature” due to some biological predisposition, this exhibition challenges us to see gender not an isolating construct, but as an expansive and illuminating guide in the realm of environmental mediations.” Here are just a few of the 100 artists: Alex Heilbron, Annie Hodgin, Bettina Hubby, Carolyn Castaño ,Christine Nguyen, Dana Greiner, Rachel Kessler, Delia Brown, Esther Ruiz, Isis Aquarian (The Source Family Archives), Karen Kuo, Renée Fox, Samantha Fields, Soo Kim and many more. Visit their website for a virtual tour. Thru March 2021.
Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to announce, Yellow Haze, an exhibition of new work by New York-based artist Kathy Butterly. Kathy Butterly creates ceramic sculpture and yet she combines it with a daring use of color through glazes. In this latest body of work, she has embarked on making large scale pieces. Most are inspired by poetry and jazz that became her companions during lockdown. These new pieces are striking in so far as they have no front, or frontal aspect, with each and every angle designed to give the viewer a perspective on the same object. Thru April 3, 2021.
Meliksetian/Briggs Gallery is currently exhibiting the work of Alex Heilbron, Time and Intent. The exhibition presents five paintings that are part of a larger body of work she began prior to, and completed after, the onset of the pandemic. Repetition and patterning are a constant in these examples. “Heilbron creates paintings in which patterns form grids of floral motifs, geometric shapes and rigid lines that withhold and expose the underlying imagery of female figures. The various patterning techniques that guide this work facilitate distillation of concepts like adolescence, decay and movement into notions of temporality. Not unlike the specular aspect of a graph, Time and Intent finds a balance in transition between dualisms: order and chaos, active and passive, before and after.” Thru March 27, 2021.
bG Gallery has a wonderful virtual exhibition curated by Kate Stern: Art to Wear. Featured artists are Alexandra Dillon, Glen Miller, Gwen Samuels, Kenny Scharf, Kirsten Fletcher, Melissa Meier, Molly Gambardella, Sandra LaPage, Elena Ponzi and more. A video of the opening can be found on this link. This is really a magical assortment and I highly recommend viewing the artists speaking about their work. Thru March 17, 2021.
I would be remiss to not mention the very powerful and moving body of work by Pam Douglas at Tag Gallery. Sanctuary includes the complete works of the project by Douglas. She addresses global migration here through 50 individual works depicting hardship and hope endured by refugees across the globe. In particular she captures the plight of children, in particular, migrant children torn from their parents and caged at the U.S./Mexican border, reports of families risking drowning in the Mediterranean Sea fleeing climate change, violence and poverty, and others of similar circumstances. They are depicted very realistically to capture our emotions. The carefully rendered faces are created using charcoal and chalk, twine and wood on natural linen and tan burlap. I could not agree more with Scarlet Cheng, contributor to Artillery and the Los Angeles Times: “Pam Douglas adeptly combines drawing, painting and assemblage. …Her work so often expresses the universal polarities that define human existence. This cycle is joyful and sublime.” Thru Feb. 15, 2021. See gallery website for information about an artist talk scheduled for Thursday February 4, 2021.
Sadie Benning: This is Real is the current exhibition at Suzanne Veilmetter. Each painting, some of which span up to six feet in the gallery, begins as an abstract iPhone drawing. They are then transferred to large sheets of plywood where the artist cuts each piece out before applying layers of aquaresin and paints, creating a pillow-like dimensional surface around each element. The pieces then fit together like a grand jigsaw puzzle. . The show, titled This is Real might provide a reminder that the “normal” we came from certainly won’t be the one we return to, and perhaps we will arrive on the other side of this more colorful and dimensional than we were before. Thru February 20, 2021.
Lancaster MOAH:CEDAR presents Royal Disillusion, paintings by Zära Monet Feeney. “This exhibition psychoanalyzes the horrors of our current pandemic, political warfare, personal trauma, and the mental delirium of quarantine. The paintings scintillate and fade between sinister and majestic, grotesque and imperial, exposing the emotional upheaval of cognitive dissonance and dissociation. Using obscured installation and subtle shifts of color and light temperature, the viewing experience becomes nuanced and introspective. More broadly, the paintings also engage in a conversation with intersectional queer feminism, traditional voyueristic compositions, the male gaze and socio-sexual empowerment issues. The work is aimed to reify a psychological and reflexive viewing experience that ultimately transcends the viewer into an unknown consciousness.” Thru March 7, 2021.
Also at Lancaster MOAH is photographic work by Eileen Cowin. The title of this exhibit is What it takes to survive a crisis or the imaginary Richter scale of rage. Cowin is well-known for the Los Angeles experimental photography scene of the 1970s and the East Coast Pictures Generation. During the 80s and 90s her work evolved to include the fully-constructed cinematic installations and videos. In this exhibit, Cowin expands on her themes of anxiety and rage through her various images and video installations. In the age of unprecedented mass upheaval due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cowin explores the constant state of crisis America has dealt with, starting with the 2016 presidential election to the present time. Her visual narratives are symbolic in nature, perfectly encapsulating the constant fear, turmoil and global uncertainty. As seen in this example (below), Deer in headlights, an example of an innocent being caught by surprise and completely displaced in an urban alley may very well mimic the way many of use feel during this miserable pandemic. Thru May 9, 2021.