Articles
OCTOBER, 2014

 

 

 

Our current Previews feature our editors' and contributing writers' evaluations of exhibition that open or continue into the current month, so as to provide you with the opportunity to view those that are of interest to you.

 

To look up past articles you can go to our archive of Articles forward from April, 2010; or the ArtScene Articles Archive prior to April, 2010 will be called up from a database separate from those starting April, 2010, so you will experience differences in appearance and navigation.

 

Here are our Previews and Recommendations for October, 2014.

 
ROBERTO CHAVEZ

 

Roberto Chavez, “The Path to Knowledge and the False University,” 1974 (whitewashed 1979), mural at East L.A. College.

 

 

September 23 - December 6, 2014 at Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles College, East Los Angeles

by Kathy Zimmerer

 

 

This long overdue retrospective of pioneering Chicano artist, Roberto Chavez, highlights his magnificent mural "The Path to Knowledge and the False University" (1974) (whitewashed by the East LA College President for political reasons in 1979), plus edgy, lush portraits, still lifes, political and genre scenes, which have been an inspiration to many Los Angeles Chicano artists. Concentrating on the work he created in the sixties and seventies through 1980, when he was a faculty member at East Los Angeles College, this exhibit is an eye opening look at an artist who easily incorporated ancient Mexican and colonial imagery, channeled European painting, especially cubism and the expressionist tendencies of Van Gogh, and then mixed in his unique California vision to create memorable and always dynamic paintings.

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BRUCE RICHARDS

Bruce Richards, "Darwinian Theory"

 

 

September 20 - November 29, 20145 at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Miracle Mile

by Daniella Walsh

 

 

The invitation to Bruce Richards, "Future/Past" consists of a cut-out of Richards’ diptych paintings “Before" and "After.” Placed in shaped frames, the stylized rendition of a woman’s lower torso was inspired by a performance by Marina Abramović during which she cut a pentagram into her belly with a razor blade. Perhaps off-putting to some at first glance, it is an apt introduction to an artist whose paintings and sculptures are informed by well-known and obscure facets of art history. Richards also delves into politics, dives into the mire of personal relationships and eviscerates a few sacred cows, all deployed with intelligence, wit and humor.

 

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DAVE LEFNER

Dave Lefner, “Sky Ranch Motel (Diptytch)”

 

 

October 18 - November 15, 2014 at Skidmore Gallery, Santa Monica

by Jeanne Willette

 

 

Whereas some people sport Mohawks, very few of those people have hair that stands tall and proud and also devote their lives to resurrecting an obscure printmaking technique called “reduction linotype process.” Sure, there was Picasso but he was bald, so that leaves Los Angeles artist Dave Lefner and his magnificent comb-up who carries on a printing technique almost lost to history. Even more incongruous, this very contemporary printmaker has dedicated his career to seeking, finding and photographing neon signs, signatures of the past, marking with their distinctive calligraphy waning decades of a city of lost angels. Lefner moves through the streets of old Los Angeles, not at night, for the neon interests him not as a form of light, but as a linear shape that during the day cast shadows. It is the dark and fleeting shapes that Lefner wants to capture.

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KIRK PEDERSEN


Kirk Pedersen, “Bangkok Chinatown”

 

October 4 - November 1, 2014 at Launch Gallery, Miracle Mile

by G. James Daichendt

 

 

Kirk Pedersen’s multidimensional approach to art making includes everything from the recent series of mixed media works seen here, to shaping the aesthetic and foundation of his company Zero+ Publishing. An eye for the ordinary positions him as a curator of the commonplace, yet his sensitive approach as photographer perhaps is his best asset. We see this in a set of works entitled “Ambiguity," collaged, layered, and gritty pieces that are his most expressive to date and a welcome departure from the viewfinder.

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RUTH ASAWA

 

Ruth Asawa, “Desert Flower,” 1965, lithograph, 2nd state, 18 1/2 x 18 1/2”.  Norton Simon Museum, anonymous gift, 1966. © 2014 Estate of Ruth Asawa.

 

 

September 19, 2014 - January 19, 2015 at Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

by A. Moret

 

 

“Home and Away” celebrates the two-month fellowship that Japanese-American artist Ruth Asawa spent at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles in 1965. Despite the brevity of her time at the Workshop, founded in 1960 by June Wayne as a way to rescue the dying practice of fine art lithography, Asawa had rare and unique to access to all seven printers and produced 54 editions, experimenting with technique, palettes and processes. Twenty-three lithographs serve as the subject for “Home and Away,” organized by Assistant Curator Melody Rod-ari.  While Asawa is most recognized for her crochet wired sculptures and public fountains in her native San Francisco, her printed works are more than a chapter in the rich narrative of a pioneering artist; they are testament to Asawa’s belief that family and art making are bound by a single thread.

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CONTINUING AND RECOMMENDED, OCTOBER 2014

 

Jeffrey Vallance, “Oscar Mayer Weiner Mascot Meetings,” 1974, is currently on view at CSU Northridge.

 

Former CSU Northridge faculty member Peter Plagens wrote “Sunshine Muse,” purportedly the earliest publication to introduce Southern California art into the New York-centric history of American modernism, in 1974. Forty years later, the focus narrows with “Valley Vista: Art in the San Fernando Valley ca. 1970 – 1990,” a long overdue overview of the stereotyped San Fernando Valley’s under-recognized role in L A’s emergence as a center of contemporary art activity. Curator and art historian Damon Willick welcomes personal remembrances from the likes of Jeffrey Vallance, Benjamin Weissman and Mark Van Proyen, enhancing his astute examination of roles played by the Orlando and R Mutt galleries, mini malls, LAICA, CSUN and L.A. Valley College faculty and students in the generously illustrated companion book he has authored.

The exhibition itself is energized by its diversity. Vallance’s fascination with the Oscar Mayer Wiener Mascot meets Michael MacMillen’s dusty Mystery Museum. Karen Carson’s smoldering beds suggest a feminist’s viewpoint alongside Jon Swihart’s mystifying “Untitled (CSUN Tool Guy).” A delicate, logically derived construction by Channa Horwitz makes Fidel Danieli’s “Portrait of Peter Lodato” all the more darkly dramatic. Conceptual photographer John Divola’s high contrast black and white images of Valley women watering their lawns foretell the sprawl of domesticity that will inevitably edge into the wide open, rugged hillsides so convincingly portrayed by Bruce Everett in “Sand Canyon Road.” Visitors willing to let Jerry McMillan’s “Untitled Torn Bag (Porch)” act as a stimulus to look beyond the conventional will be rewarded by what they find (CSU Northridge Art Gallery, Valley).

Diane Calder

 

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SEPTEMBER, 2014

 

 

 

Our current Previews feature our editors' and contributing writers' evaluations of exhibition that open or continue into the current month, so as to provide you with the opportunity to view those that are of interest to you.

 

To look up past articles you can go to our archive of Articles forward from April, 2010; or the ArtScene Articles Archive prior to April, 2010 will be called up from a database separate from those starting April, 2010, so you will experience differences in appearance and navigation.

 

Here are our Previews and Recommendations for September, 2014.

 
ROBERTO FABELO

 

Roberto Fabelo, “Anatomia de un pensamiento / Anatomy of a Thought”

 

 

 

June 28 - September 28, 2014 at Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach

September 13 - October 18, 2014 at Couturier Gallery, Los Angeles

by Shirle Gottlieb/Bill Lasarow

 

 

Though he's internationally known in a career spanning five decades, most of us have never heard of Roberto Fabelo for a good reason. His exhibit continuing at the Museum of Latin American Art is his first solo museum show in the United States, and the show of new work at Couturier his first gallery exhibition here. I guarantee this, however; if you take a trip to Long Beach to see "Fabelo's Anatomy” or to see the recent work in Los Angeles you will never, ever forget this artist. Not only does his playful imagery evoke Gabriel Garcia Marquez's magical realism and the surreal world of Hieronymus Bosch — executed with the craftsmanship of Dutch/Flemish masters — it is also humorous in its comedic treatment of human desire. In fact, the term "Kafka-esque" might spring to mind; and that's no joke.

 

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LUCY + JORGE ORTA

 

Lucy + Jorge Orta, “OrtaWater—Mobile Intervention Unit,” 2005, Mexican transport tricycle, steel structure, 4 bivouacs, 2 Mexican water carafes, 6 OrtaWater bottles, 2 jerry cans, plastic tubes, 2 taps.

 

 

August 16 - December 6, 2014 at Otis College, Ben Maltz Gallery, West Side

by Michael Shaw

 

 

Lucy and Jorge Orta are nothing if not optimistic. The work and life partners — she from the UK, he from Argentina — converged to form their collaboration over twenty years ago; and their projects encompass design, architecture, couture and a Paris-adjacent non-profit research organization that encourages the site-specific experimental work of others. Their work, often performative and participatory, offers its viewers-cum-participants the opportunity to engage socially while simultaneously encouraging us to confront our (that is, the world's) various food and environmental crises.  This is not only a worthy but noble gesture, not to mention a tough sell. Diners at a Studio Orta event might, for instance, eat from a Royal Limoges porcelain plate (from an edition of up to 1500) atop a silkscreen-printed runner or an inkjet picnic cloth. Lucy Orta started working with recycled food way back in the mid-90s, when she took produce discards from Parisian farmer's markets and converted them to pickles, jams and purees, tapping into the zeitgeist of the Freegan movement, then just in its infancy.

 

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