Delaware-based artist Peter Williams has won the Artists’ Legacy Foundation’s 2020 Artist Award, a $25,000 prize granted annually to a painter or sculptor who has made significant contributions to their field and whose work “shows evidence of the hand.” The foundation, which is headquartered in Oakland, California, named Howardena Pindell as last year’s winner.
Peter Williams Wins Artists’ Legacy Foundation 2020 Award – The Delaware-based artist, who has spent four decades documenting current and historical events in brightly colored works that highlight the Black American experience with wit and humor, has won the annual $25,000 award. Williams incorporates scenes of police brutality, slavery, environmental damage, and cultural stereotypes into his work, and his most recent series chronicles the life of an Afrofuturist superhero.
The Artists’ Legacy Foundation named Peter Williams as the recipient of its 2020 Artist Award, which grants $25,000 to a “painter or sculptor who has made significant contributions to their field and whose work shows evidence of the hand,” according to a press release. Over the course of more than forty years, Williams’s painting practice has reflected on racism, police brutality, incarceration, and environmentalism, often through a vivid, figurative lens.
Peter Williams is an African American artist whose exemplary career spans more than forty years. While teaching at the University of Delaware for fifteen years, though he is now retired, and before that at Wayne State University for seventeen, he also exhibited extensively. Williams paints both figuratively and abstractly, focusing on formal qualities like color, pattern and paint application, as well as on content that stems from current events and includes topics like racial discrimination and climate change. In his exhibition Black Universe (a concurrent exhibition of related works is on at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit), he presents a series of paintings that are informed by a fantastic narrative about a journey to outer space in search of a better world.
The South Florida Cultural Consortium (SFCC) announces 13 awards to distinguished South Florida artists through its 2020 Visual and Media Artists Program. The Consortium, an alliance of the arts councils of Broward, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach Counties, has recognized seven individuals from Miami-Dade County (including Antonia Wright), three from Broward County, one from Palm Beach County, and two from Monroe County.
Peter Williams is this year’s recipient of the Artists’ Legacy Foundation’s annual Artist Award, which comes with an unrestricted $25,000 purse. Williams is known for his vibrant paintings and works on paper that address racism, mass incarceration, environmental destruction, and other current issues. The artist’s works often contain references to allegories, personal experiences, pop culture, and art history. “I’m trying to be subversive by saying underneath all this humor is something we’d better start paying attention to,” he has said of his practice. “And I’m using the signs and symbols and signifiers that I learned from the Western tradition of oil painting.”
IN EARLY AUGUST, artist Peter Williams presented The George Floyd Triptych (2020), at Untitled, Art Online, the art fair’s inaugural virtual event. The work, which depicts the arrest, death, and burial of Floyd in three panels, was the central focus of the Luis De Jesus Los Angeles virtual booth. Untitled, Art hosted a Zoom conversation with Williams and critic John Yau. The two discussed the paintings and the artist’s lengthy career.
Former Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow, Ken Gonzales-Day, thinks about who is and who is not represented in the National Portrait Gallery and in the Smithsonian collection as a whole, while researching in the institution’s massive digital archive.To commemorate MHz Foundation’s collaboration with the Smithsonian Open Access initiative, we asked artist Shana Lutker, one of MHz Curationist’s Advising Editors, to introduce the new Smithsonian Open Access collections to artists and talk with them about what they found.
There is no precedent for 2020 and no reference point for this particular confluence of events. The injustices and inequalities that afflict some of us have been magnified by toxic politics, a crumbling public health infrastructure, economic collapse, and racism that has been nurtured and protected by the institutions that make the United States what it is. "If you're on a planet beaten and tortured over and over, there's an inner world we get transported to. Little by little you realize you are building a new world." -Peter Williams
Luis de Jesus Los Angeles presents “Andre Hemer: Sunset/Sunrise,” an online exhibit running from Thursday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 19. The exhibit features new paintings, sculpture, photographs and video.
“Al otro lado” is a phrase used in Mexico referring to shared borders with the United States and the space populated by many Mexican immigrants on the other side of the Mexico/US border. Inspired by award-winning author Reyna Grande’s A Dream Called Home, a required text for FIU’s First-Year Experience Program, Otros Lados weaves narratives of historical memory, personal experience, and social justice. The works of Itzel Basualdo, Hugo Crosthwaite, and Judithe Hernández offer shared vantage points with Grande’s memoir, bringing distinct perspectives to Mexican and Mexican American experiences.
“Seed to Harvest,” an outdoor photo exhibition at Wellesley College by artist Alexandria Smith, portrays five of the first Black graduates of the college in bold portraits. For her final project, Elana Bridges, class of 2020, brought the show online and drafted in-depth bios of each graduate to accompany the photographs.
“I thought it was important to highlight where they were coming from before Wellesley … to make a point that Wellesley didn’t make them special,” says Bridges. “These women on their own, in their own right, were gifted and deserved to be in this space. Wellesley gave them the tools to continue their social justice work.”
Peter Williams’ query is one with a storied lineage within the Black community. Over the course of 45 years, Williams, a senior professor of painting at the University of Delaware with time spent in the Detroit arts community and as a professor at Wayne State University, has tackled problematic social structures of white supremacy and discrimination with uncensored perspectives. Curious and inquisitive, he is often in a state of mental travel and critical culture investigation within his practice.
The image above is from Ken Gonzales-Day’s Erased Lynchings series, which documents the historic lynchings of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian American individuals across California. The victims in these images have been removed by the artist. The horrific nature of these crimes often makes it difficult to see the apparatus that surrounds the spectacle of the dead body on display. By removing the victim, Gonzales-Day allows us to see what is hiding in plain sight: the white audience gathered for this act of racial terror. The image is a stark reminder of the invisibility of white identity. Whiteness permeates through western society as thoroughly as the air that we all should have the right to breathe. The people in this particular image are not all actively tying a noose, but their mere presence and inaction creates an atmosphere within which such violence is normalized and perpetuated.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit launched its Peter Williams: Black Universe exhibition at the beginning of the year, but it has since become particularly timely. Former Wayne State University instructor Peter Williams employs allegories, historical allusions, and references to his own personal experiences to create colorful and lively abstract works. Black Universe is a commentary on dominant modern culture that addresses social issues, such as discrimination and climate change, making it the ideal learning experience for those of us seeking a fresh or expanded perspective on race and culture in light of recent injustices and unrest.
This year’s auction will works including paintings, sculptures, photography and more — all donated from artists and galleries both locally and internationally. The auction, hosted on ARTSY.com, will feature approximately 100 works by early career and internationally recognized artists, including Leonardo Drew, June Edmonds, Luchita Hurtado, Jean Lowe, Kim MacConnel, Rubén Ortiz Torres, Trevor Paglen, Helen Pashgian, Ed Ruscha, Marnie Weber, and James Welling.
I began my career as a documentary photographer. I worked in that capacity (primarily in New York) for nearly ten years. For most of that time, I thrived on the energy and challenges of photojournalism. However, towards the end and over time I began to feel bit constrained – constrained not only by the practical limits of journalism but also the demands of a commercial art practice. In reaction to these feelings, my interest in fine art blossomed.
This spring, Los Angeles-based artist Lia Halloran was to have joined Caltech as artist-in-residence in the Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences as part of the Caltech-Huntington Program in Visual Culture. COVID-19 upended those plans, and Halloran’s residency has been postponed until the spring of 2021.
The past few months have been busy for Halloran, however, as she has put the finishing touches on a book project she has been working on for more than a decade with Kip Thorne (BS ’62), Caltech’s Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, Emeritus, and one of the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics. The book, The Warped Side of Our Universe, is to be published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2021 and features poetic verse by Thorne alongside paintings by Halloran.
“The art produced by Mexican and Mexican American artists in the U.S. has a long history that continues to reverberate–this echo is a dynamic and necessary narrative that expands traditional interpretations of American art,” said Amy Galpin, Chief Curator at the museum. Artist Hugo Crosthwaite, whose paintings are featured in the exhibit, was born in Tijuana, Mexico and the cultural aesthetics are influenced with his crossing of the border between Mexico and the United States. The subject matter he paints is inspired by the novel A Dream Called Home by Reyna Grande.
"I think you know a lot about how visibility is, you know, begins with representation, begins with images and how the kind of dearth of images of people with disabilities and trans people and people of color existing in public life have kind of invisibilized to us and made our need sort of…underground, concealed, the physical needs for us to exist. Invisibilized representation in the trans community I think has really been front and center and the conversation over the past several years because of the emergence of gender diversity on screen and the counter."
- Zachary Drucker
Peter Williams began three of the paintings illustrated in this book in 2014 after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. He began the rest in 2015 in response to the killing of Eric Garner in New York. Unfortunately, they have lost none of their relevance. The earlier paintings respond to the late work of Philip Guston, whose comment about his turn from abstraction resonated with Williams: “What kind of man am I, sitting at home, getting into a frustrated fury about everything and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue?” The paintings are poster-like and rendered in blue, rather than black, and white, with red banners at the top – Guston’s red and blue put to use for political commentary on the murder of black men.
Carla Jay Harris is equally driven by research and materiality, as she builds complex mixed media images and objects on the foundations of painstaking historical deep dives into personal and geopolitical events. Across photography, collage, drawing, and environmental installation, Harris delicately blurs the boundaries of space and time to highlight ancestral rhymes and the follow-on effects of history. Part of her practice involves literal place-making, as she incorporates her juxtapositions of archival and original images with pattern, portrait, and talisman into rooms that ideally function as social gathering points where the conversations sparked in the work can continue in the present.
When I first saw Carla Jay Harris’ project Celestial Bodies at AIPAD (NYC) in 2019 I was spellbound. More than beautiful and graceful, her work was ethereal. Like a bashful vagrant, I conspicuously loitered by the Kopeikin Gallery booth, hoping I would have a chance to meet the artist. Ironically, I learned that she was from my hometown of Los Angeles. Emblematic of her stratospheric talent, it required a transcontinental journey for me to be introduced to someone that was practically my neighbor. Perhaps you really can’t go home again! I chatted online with Carla in June 2020 about her work and process.
As the pandemic tethers us close to home, Calgary-born Erik Olson has unveiled a travelogue three years in the making of his 10,000-mile motorcycle odyssey through the storied places and dysfunctional underbelly of the United States.
The oil paintings and digital collages in Caitlin Cherry’s online show “Corps Sonore” call forth a phantasmagorical nightclub harboring cliques of bionic sirens bathed in an opulent, rippling iridescence. Sourced from social media feeds, Cherry’s reimagined subjects embody a specific ideal of Black femme beauty associated with rappers, exotic dancers, and glamour models—women whose efforts are frequently disparaged, ignored, and, in some instances, even criminalized.
For her new online exhibition, “Corps Sonore,” artist Caitlin Cherry sources her subjects through social media. They include “Instagram influencers, glamour models, rappers, and exotic dancers — Black American femmes who play a dominant role in shaping popular culture without due credit.”
Seemingly at an opposite pole from Ruznic’s tenuous phantasmatic visions is the often ferocious, sometimes grotesque pictorial imagination of Peter Williams. He’s an artist that I didn’t discover via social media—though I follow him now on Instagram—but in a more old-fashioned way: I saw a painting of his, earlier this year, reproduced on a book’s cover. The book is a new novel by one of my very favorite writers, Lynn Crawford’s Paula Regossy, but the cover image so fascinated me that I almost had to force myself to move past it to the book’s interior.
Gonzales-Day’s powerful and nuanced investigations of intersectionality and racial violence stem from an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of art history and a desire to rewrite a more inclusive past and advocate for a more equitable present. The work has a gravitas that is often accentuated by a poetic manipulation of light and form, and exhibits Gonzales-Day’s dexterity in working in a range of modes from performance and installation to projects that are more documentary in nature. What is perhaps most profound about his work is that he invites inquiry and connections, but not without effort from his audience; the more open the viewer, the more the work reveals.
When De Jesus was forced to close in March, he transitioned to an online platform and even managed to make a couple of sales. Given that the gallery was able to reopen for private appointments last month, he’s cautiously optimistic. As a whole, however, the industry has taken a hit: In an Art Dealers Association of America survey of nearly 170 art galleries in April and May, galleries across the country forecasted a gross revenue loss of 73 percent in the second quarter of this year.
More recently, she has produced prismatic paintings from photos of Black femmes (including models, exotic dancers, porn actresses, rappers, and influencers) culled from social media. Inspired by the promotional posts of a Brooklyn cabaret, her newest works feature its servers and dancers in suggestive poses, flattened by delirious patterns and alphanumeric codes onto canvases with widescreen dimensions. Here, the slipperiness of digital images comes up against the slickness of oil paint, which she manipulates into a kind of filter that both obscures and refracts representations of Black femininity. A virtual presentation of Cherry’s new paintings and digital collages, entitled “Corps Sonore,” is currently viewable in the online viewing room of Los Angeles’s Luis De Jesus Los Angeles through August.
The exhibition opens with a rapid, stand-alone animation that displays 19 images at a speed evoking the highway, testing our powers of perception and suggesting that the story of the journey could be told entirely visually, as if by Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, who avoided scripted narration. The first sets the bike against an expanse of sky and sea near Vancouver, recalling Arthur Rimbaud’s discovery of “eternity” in the sea merged with the sun.
An American painter based in Los Angeles, Edmonds has described her work as a “doorway to memory,” which is evident in the many allusions to longstanding African traditions and influential African Americans from bygone eras...“The bending lines of contrasting colors lead your eye around the painting, and in person, the texture invites a close look,” says Gilvin. “It intrigues me because of the almost dizzying experience of studying it, and because of its conceptual and formal conversations with other artworks.”
Compelling works intertwine art historical references, allegories, current events, and personal life experiences. In this two-part exhibition, which presents more than two dozen paintings, the artist addresses difficult social issues, such as racial discrimination and climate change, through symbolic imagery, grotesque figures, and vibrant compositions. Now a professor of painting at the University of Delaware, Williams taught for 17 years at Wayne State University in Detroit and was a well-established member of the arts community.
Caitlin Cherry: Corps Sonore at Luis De Jesus. An online show that toggles between art, technology, codes, Cherry's Black femmes, & digital graphics that function like visual intermissions.
Peter Williams: Black Universe at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. With vibrant palettes and expressive drawing presenting scenes and figures from an off-beat Afrofuturist fantasy, Williams’ paintings have the energy of folk and Outsider style and the pure imagination of science fiction. The world they describe is both a possible reality ahead and a revisitation of ancestral tradition from the past — and ultimately a metaphor for the inner work of reframing identity and consciousness.
This exhibition is concurrent with William’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). His extremely colorful and attention-grabbing paintings combine abstract and figurative elements. The gallery’s press release described them as, “seductive paintings intertwining art historical references…. with current events and personal life experiences.” After briefly seeing his cartoonish characters on my computer screen, I couldn’t seem to get them out of my head. It was like a straight shot of Vodka. It’s no surprise that Williams refers to color as his, “gateway drug” that entices the viewer to engage with his paintings.
Over Independence Day Weekend, 80 artists [including Ken Gonzales-Day and Zackary Drucker] asked Americans to look up at the skies. Throughout July 3 and 4, messages related to immigration were written at 10,000 feet by World War II military planes, sky-typed over 80 sites related to the country's network of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, immigration courts, and the southern border. The idea was to bring attention to these facilities, which may not be familiar to many Americans.
The purpose of the temporary works was to raise awareness about social injustice rampant in the US’s immigration system and where these injustices are carried out. Over the weekend, XMAP: In Plain Sight uplifted the children and adults who have suffered from inhuman living conditions, the separation of detained families, violence, and, in some cases, death at the hands of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce Peter Williams: Black Universe, the artist's second solo exhibition with the Gallery, on view from July 9 through October 10, 2020. This exhibition* is held concurrent to, and is an extension of, his solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the alternative space Trinosophes.
Two fleets of five skytyping planes each are set for takeoff across the country this Independence Day weekend armed with calls for the abolition of the immigrant detention in the United States as part of the project “In Plain Sight.” (Developed from older skywriting technology, skytyping planes inject oil into their exhaust systems to produce a white smoke that is released into the sky by a computer-controlled system to produce precise letter-writing.) Phrases like “Care Not Cages,” “Unseen Mothers” and “Nosotras Te Vemos (We See You)” will momentarily hover above 80 locations — including detention facilities, immigration courts, prisons, borders and historic sites like Ellis Island — before dissipating into the atmosphere.
A group of 80 artists from around the country have teamed up to produce skytyped messages that will appear over immigrant detention camps around the United States, as well as other sites related to internment and incarceration. Among the participating artists of “In Plain Sight” are Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors; graphic designer Emory Douglas, once the minister of culture for the Black Panther Party; and a range of cultural practitioners, including Ken Gonzales-Day, Harry Gamboa Jr., Mary Kelly...
For Luis De Jesus of the eponymous gallery on South La Cienega Boulevard, moving online has been an expansion rather than a limitation. When lockdown began, his staff was already redesigning the gallery’s website, so they added an “online viewing room.” “It’s like the second gallery that we don’t have,” De Jesus said, “It functions like an alternative space, a project space, and that to me is very exciting.”
There is a profound stillness in Carla Jay Harris’ photographs—her framing and shooting style emits a pervasive calm that quiets the anxiety of her subject matter. Harris’ ability to create silence amid moments of emotional upheaval is eerie, tense, and evocative. Two bodies of work portray people and places in the midst of economic and cultural change; Dirt, Dust, Sand, Concrete (2012–2015) shows Smithfield, Virginia, amid a corporate buyout, and Culture of Desperation (2012) portrays a struggling record company during lean times.
Some of the most alluring art shows happening virtually this season. Chris Engman: Looking at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Ongoing at viewingroom.luisdejesus.com
"So, I think about Peter’s paintings. I think about their fundamental contradiction. They are an exquisite gutting. He paints, with reverence, the eviscerated body of monumental oppression. His artistic kin include Grünewald, Kahlo, Salcedo and Marshall. I think about what Peter refuses us—illusion and comfort. And I think and about what he gives us—empathy, and a deep love for painting..."
The California African American Museum (CAAM) presents recently acquired works in its exhibition called Sanctuary. The exhibition focuses on safety and refuge in relation to the African American experience. One piece in the exhibit is from Carla Jay Harris, which pictures a female figure in a celestial landscape. She explains, “I’ve had a bit of a nomadic life…Through my life, I seek to connect with permanence. Safe space and making time for self-care is essential to your own mental health and wellness.”
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles gives us a chance to be amused and fooled by Chris Engman’s photographs, that give you a sensation that what you see is three-dimensional paper sculptures. But no, my friends, don’t trust your eyes. Come close, and “touch” these framed photos with your eyes, and discover to your astonishment that you have been magically tricked.
"Making things allows one to be a member of a group: of ideas, forms, awareness, sensitivities, none of which is ever in isolation. You can always feel the spirit of those fleeting thoughts and mega-disciplines which keep you in focus and feeling alive while having an exploration in paint. I have discussions with myself; I become the Other."
In this Episode I feature June Edmonds, a west coast based abstract painter that was awarded the AWARE prize during the 2020 Armory show in NYC. AWARE, an acronym for Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, is a Paris based non profit that this year debuted an award for a Solo Exhibition of Work by a Woman Artist. June’s work was exhibited by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Artist Peter Williams created The Death of George Floyd, a 48-inch-by-60-inch oil on canvas in response to Floyd’s Memorial Day death, which has invigorated civil disobedience by drawing attention to centuries of institutionalized racism. “My work has always had a political ethos, it comes out of my self-awareness as a black American. This work is a compendium of modernist form and the politics of right now. I had been working, shifting the work toward a more abstract base. I had always been a figurative narrative painter,” said Williams.
Artist Ken Gonzales-Day has been widely recognized for the “Erased Lynching” series, which include lynching postcard photos that effectively “erased’ the victims of lynching and focused on the white crowds gathered to witness the murders. Gonzales-Day argues that the erasure of the lynching victim “allows the viewer to see, for the first time, the social dynamics of the lynching itself.” The photos, absent of the images of victims, “helped us to recognise the dynamics of whiteness within the complex history of racialised violence in America,”
Searching for California’s Hang Trees, grew out of the research artist Ken Gonzales-Daywas doing for his book Lynching in the West: 1850-1935, published by Duke University Press in 2006. In it, Gonzales-Day sets out to assemble the most complete record of lynching in California that had yet been published. What his research uncovered, was that contrary to popular belief, African Americans were not the only targets of lynching in California and the west. In fact, Gonzales-Day was also able to document the lynching of Latinos, Native Americans, and Chinese immigrants, at least in part due to their racial identity. In doing so, Gonzales-Day has revealed a history of violence against immigrants in the west that still goes on today, with mass incarceration and family separation taking place at our borders.
Galleryplatform.la launches May 15, featuring online viewing rooms for small and blue-chip galleries, video profiles of artists, and a column on the history of LA galleries — all to help galleries stay afloat. Luis De Jesus also added that “this period has been a welcome respite from the hectic, nonstop schedule of back-to-back gallery shows and art fairs. It’s given me time to think about the business — what’s working and what isn’t.”
The New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) announced on Thursday that it plans to launch a new digital art fair to support member galleries who have been impacted by Covid-19. Titled “FAIR,” the online initiative will boast of a profit-sharing model designed to give participants who have recently experienced revenue loss due to the closure of their physical locations a financial boost. Kicking off next week, FAIR will run from May 20 through June 21.
Greetings from the timeless void of quarantine, where we all feel like astronauts who have been in space just a little too long. I’m Carolina A. Miranda, staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, with your essential guide to all things arts — and operatic krumping. On Instagram, I’ve been very much enjoying Hugo Crosthwaite’s stop motion animations of his quarantine drawings.
Within figuration, the materiality of oil paint has been bound to its relationship to the depiction of skin. Velasquez went so far as to say that if not for skin, oil painting wouldn’t exist. ...This obsession with material skin seems to have lost its privileged position due in no small part to how incredibly realized it’s been within the traditions of western art history. There is a completeness to Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995) and Saville’s surgical portraits that followed, that have made contemporary artists disregard flesh, instead pursuing a frontier that investigates the body as one that is weightless, boneless, hollow, thin, and digital- phantom bodies.
Since 2017, The Universe in Verse has been celebrating the natural world — the science, the splendor, the mystery of it — through poetry, that lovely backdoor to consciousness, bypassing our habitual barricades of thought and feeling to reveal reality afresh. And now here we are — “survivors of immeasurable events,” in the words of the astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson, “small, wet miracles without instruction, only the imperative of change” — suddenly scattered six feet apart across a changed world, blinking with disorientation, disbelief, and no small measure of heartache.
Federico Solmi (Italy, 1973) currently lives and works in New York. Solmi’s work utilizes bright colors and a satirical aesthetic to portray a dystopian vision of our present-day society His exhibitions often feature articulate installations composed of a variety of media including video, painting, drawing, and sculpture. Solmi uses his art as a vehicle to stimulate a visceral conversation with his audience, highlighting the contradictions and fallibility that characterize our time. Through his work, Solmi examines unconscious human impulses and desires in order to critique Western society’s obsession with individual success and display contemporary relationships between nationalism, colonialism, religion, consumerism.
J'ai rendez-vous avec Nicolas Grenier dans so atelier de l'îlot Bellechasse. Ce n'est pas la première fois que j'y recontre des artistes, mais il se pourrait bien que ce soit la dernière... / I have an appointment with Nicolas Grenier in his workshop on the Bellechasse block. It is not the first time that I meet artists there, but it may well be the last ...
How are you overcoming the challenges we are now facing?
Like many other galleries, we are looking for ways to stay present and relevant. We recently launched our new website and we’re in the process of adding a new page that will pull together all of our artist’s video and film projects as well as links to other feeds and impromptu and intuitive content. We’re in production mode—a good thing.
Art galleries provide necessary spaces for creative discovery and connection—experiences we all may be seeking in our current existences. Luckily, many galleries across the country can still be visited virtually, and at your work-from-home leisure through Artnet Galleries.
If you’re in need of an art break, here are 13 of our favorite exhibitions, from New York to California, that you can gallery hop through your laptop.
The $10,000 Aware Prize for solo presentation by women artists was awarded to June Edmonds, whose politically charged paintings were represented at the fair by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
“Citizenship acknowledges the political power of images,” [curator Georgia Erger] said, “and the power that comes from the fact that photos, and graphics and ultimately video and film can be so widely and easily disseminated, and therefore, much more accessible.” The works of art include 20th-century photographs by Leonard Freed, a series of etchings by Francisco de Goya, and engravings by William Hogarth, along with “Erased Lynchings,” which Mr. Gonzales-Day produced from 2006 to 2019. Based on actual postcards, and his visits to where lynchings took place, Mr. Gonzales-Day’s work shows crowds gathered at places across America, such as California and Montana, to watch the hangings.
June Edmonds’ dark, seemingly abstract paintings at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles (Booth 827, Pier 94) are actually based on flags and their palettes are derived from a spectrum of black and brown skin complexions.
June Edmonds’s Flag Paintings explore the American flag as a symbol of ideals, promises, and identity. Each flag is associated with the narrative of an African American, past or present. Edmonds explores the psychological construct of skin color, utilizing the primary colors of brown skin tones to build symbols of American identity that reflect the broader changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of the country's population and the ideals and promises enshrined in the Constitution.
Additionally, the inaugural edition of the $10,000 Aware Prize for solo presentations by women artists—presented by the Paris-based nonprofit AWARE (Archives of Women Artists, Research, and Exhibitions) in partnership with the Armory Show—was given to June Edmonds, whose work at the fair is presented by the Los Angeles-based gallery Luis De Jesus. Edmonds is known for abstract paintings that explore race, gender, and politics, and the prize was juried by a cast including AWARE co-founder Camille Morineau, writer and curatorial activist Maura Reilly, and Swiss Institute director Simon Castets, among others.
Drucker of Los Angeles explores the novel’s themes of gender and time as part of her photo series “Rosalyne,” which show trans elder and activist Rosalyne Blumenstein in a variety of poses that evoke some of the classical imagery of the novel as well as the blending of time periods. A photo of a nude Blumenstein mimicking the pose of a nearby Venus de Milo also manages to recall the aesthetic of Potter’s film.“Rosalyne is a legend in the trans community,” says Drucker, who lives in Los Angeles. “The photos came about because I felt she was the perfect living Orlando, she was traveling through time and crossing genders.”
This week we made our way to Luis De Jesus’ opening of Britton Tolliver’s Bend To Play and Ethan Gill’s, New Paintings. Upon walking into the gallery, we were met by the boldly colored geometric abstract paintings by Tolliver. The vibrant works featured thick layers of smoothly applied paint the resulting decisive forms suggestive of decadent topographical psychedelic maps. The satisfying hardy spreads of acrylic paint resulted in the paintings existing more as sculptures and exemplified the physicality of Tolliver’s practice, which requires pushing paint through sieve-like grids.
The first-ever winner of the Armory Show's AWARE Prize is artist June Edmonds. The $10,000 juried prize was given for the excellence of the artist’s work and for the Luis de Jesus Los Angeles gallery’s courage to present a solo-female artist’s work in a market that has systematically undervalued art made by women. The prize's short list of five finalists also included Rina Banerjee, Yuko Nasaka, Aase Texmon Rygh and Alexis Smith. AWARE co-founder Camille Morineau said, “Edmonds was unanimously selected by the jurors, who coalesced around the discovery of her new Flag Paintings—a breakthrough body of never-before seen work by the artist presented by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles at this year’s Armory Show.”
CBC Listens IDEAS with Nahlah Ayed interviews the four 2019 Sobey Art Awards Finalists across two episodes, "The New Masters: Sobey Art Awards: Part 1 & 2." Nicolas Grenier discusses his practice and two projects, The Time of Work and Vertically Integrated Socialism.
Peter Williams doesn’t make things easy for the viewer, and why should he? Peter Williams is a painter who paints both abstractly and figuratively, with a jaunty, cake frosting palette as the main connection between the two approaches. I first saw his work in the 2002 Whitney Biennial (March 7–May 26, 2002), curated by Lawrence R. Rinder, Chrissie Iles, Christian Paul, and Debra Singer.
If comedy equals tragedy plus time, artist Peter Williams is defying the mathematics of the aphorism in his newest paintings. In his works, Williams compresses time and expands painterly space to extract a subversive sense of humor from acts of violence and oppression, even in the midst of their perpetuation. “Peter Williams: Incarceration,” a show of his work on view at the Cressman Center, tackles themes of black incarceration — both historical and contemporary — through paintings that sing with exuberant form and hyperbolic color. The overall effect is, by turns, shocking, joyful and unnerving.
We came across an installation from Puerto Rican Edra Soto. It's called Open 24 Hours and looks like different stands with several polished glass bottles inside, some clear, some green. And the art has a creative story to go with it: On her walks through Garfield Park, Edra Soto noticed how the streets became a "24/7 living history of a place," always collecting waste on display for all to see. Inspired by the high number of liquor bottles, she began taking them home, removing their labels and photographing them. One man's trash is another woman's art.
As the kick off to the 2020 edition of the Armory Show edges closer and closer, the fair has announced a new art prize to add to its list of juried awards. The AWARE Prize, which will be presented for the first time this March, will deliver a $10,000 prize to one deserving female artist, or the artist’s estate, whose works will be exhibited in a solo presentation in the Galleries section of the Armory Show.
Perspective is constantly shifting, from Lia Halloran’s cyanotype of The Great Comet, 2019, trailing clouds of glory, to the spider who does an unscripted walk-on in Christopher Richmond’s looped video of a rotating asteroid, Viewing Stone, 2018. The spider remminds the viewer how ultimately small we, and spiders, are in the cosmic view of things.
Hugo Crosthwaite, the 2019 first place winner was recognized for a stop-motion animated drawing. “A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez” (2018) depicts a young woman from Tijuana and explores her pursuit of the American dream. The animated video project is part of a series based on oral histories Crosthwaite has gathered at the U.S.-Mexico border.
A personal telescope belonging to astronomer George Ellery Hale, developed in 1885 that afforded a precise view of the night sky representing a leap in astronomical technology, is adjacent to Lia Halloran’s The Great Comet, 2019, a monumental cyanotype suggesting the marvels of astronomical phenomena that might have been experienced by pre-technological peoples
The artists shortlisted for the prize, funded by French nonprofit AWARE, are Yuko Nasaka, Rina Banerjee, Aase Texmon Rygh, Alexis Smith, and June Edmonds. The perception that art made by women is less valuable is one that the French nonprofit Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions (AWARE) seeks to correct. For the 2020 Armory Show, the international art fair held every year in New York City, AWARE will recognize a solo booth of a woman artist by a gallery at the fair with a $10,000 award to either a living artist or her estate.
Drawing its title from my Pulitzer Prize-nominated book of the same name, Lynchings in the West: 1850-1935, this series considers the transracial nature of lynching in California, from statehood to the last recorded lynchings in 1935, as well as other western states and territories outside the historically better-known Southern black lynching areas. Given the broad number of people touched by this history (Asians, Anglos, Blacks and American Indians), many will be suprised to learn that Latinos (Mexican, Mexican- American, and persons of Latin American descent) were statistically more likely to die of lynching than those of African, Asian or European descent.
Artist Lia Halloran has skateboarded through runoff drains in pitch darkness, piloted a plane solo over Los Angeles and navigated dense theories of interstellar wormholes.Her diverse studio practices simply follow her personal curiosities, which she said often land her in interdisciplinary spaces where she can warp and manipulate concepts of space and time.The alumna most recently experimented with spatial distortion through an audio-visual installation called “Lia Halloran: Double Horizon,” on display at the ArtCenter College of Design’s Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery until March 15.
Sometimes a sausage is just a sausage, but not in Miyoshi Barosh’s archly adorable world. Her kielbasa-shaped glass sculpture, Untitled (Sausage) from 2015, gleams suggestively from a vitrine at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. In case you doubt its Freudian implications, its cellmates are a penis and a pair of breasts, also made of glass, both trussed with twine as if ready for the oven. The vitrine’s fourth occupant, Untitled (Meat), is a smooth hunk of reddish-brown glass, tied up like a small ham. Equating body parts with meat is nothing new, but these works put a sharper point on Barosh’s more prominent work in textiles, which tends to be exuberantly domestic and slightly macabre.
In the early 2000s Los Angeles-based artist Miyoshi Barosh started making large-scale textile sculptures that combined the intimacy of craft with the bold, irreverence of Pop. Though vibrantly colorful and often playfully ironic, a dystopian sense of decay and death characterized these pieces. After the artist’s untimely death last year, the artworks have taken on new poignancy; they’re spirited, contradictory, and full of mischief and the carnivalesque madness of contemporary life.
Art Los Angeles Contemporary (ALAC) returns to Hollywood for its international art fair producing a dynamic and informed cross-section of international contemporary art. The massive exhibition will feature 50 artists at the historic Hollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Boulevard utilizing the ballroom, bars and athletic spaces of the once celebrity hot spot.
Carla Jay Harris’ series, Celestial Bodies, does not entirely eliminate facial features in the work, but the features of these powerful women are not the focus either. Rather, Harris creates regal, spiritual images that combine a range of mediums. She terms them a link between the mythological and the real; travels as a child in a military family, and a sense of rootlessness, of being an outsider attracted her to the inclusiveness of legend.
Lia Halloran, Double Horizon, at Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery. To create large-scale filmic views of Los Angeles, Halloran takes to the air, mounting four cameras to an airplane that she piloted during more than 30 flights. She has put the footage together into an immersive, three-screen projection that is accompanied by a score created by Allyson Newman. Runs through March 15. ArtCenter South Campus, 1111 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena
A painter, photographer, and science enthusiast, Lia Halloran fuses together artistic creativity with a splash of scientific elements into her works. As an investigative explorer of space in its physical, psychological, and scientific forms, Lia uses these concepts as a major point to begin her creations; art allows her to express various concepts in science and gives her an outlet to explore many different themes that relate to humans, such as our place in the world, both psychologically and emotionally.
For the past four years, Margie Livingston has been dismantling the line between painting and performance. In a hybrid form of Action Painting, performance, and Land Art, she drags constructed paintings across terrain, inscribing the canvases with the ground to what she calls Extreme Landscape Painting or “non-painting painting.” Inherent in this process is the use of chance procedures and the knowledge that the ideas change and evolve as she gets into the work.
Three local galleries are honoring the groundbreaking artist and L.A. native with simultaneous exhibits: Before she succumbed to uterine cancer last February at age 59, artist Miyoshi Barosh spent the better part of three decades cultivating an art practice that was compassionate yet contrarian, conceptual yet craft-made, and Pop yet profoundly personal.
Throughout L.A., three galleries have teamed up to honor artist Miyoshi Barosh, who passed away last year. Barosh’s fiber-based work is exuberant and joyful. LOVE!, one proclaims, next to a giant oversized yarn tassel. At Night Gallery, a collection of pink oversized and fabric cartoon legs called Large Legs spew off the wall. At Luis De Jesus, I ♥ Kitties is a photograph of a cat’s head, embellished with embroidered patches. While this all might sound saccharine, Barosh’s work intentionally tugs our heartstrings to get at larger messages of consumerism, ecological failure, and social control. By using techniques associated with “woman’s work” and a cutesy aesthetic, Barosh slyly pokes at our associations with each, while uncovering a rawer, more unnerving element underneath.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles announced the opening of two new galleries, “The Earth is a Brush” and “Love,” on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Margie Livingston’s “The Earth is a Brush,” the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery, will be on view through Feb. 15. Miyoshi Barosh’s “Love,” the late artist’s third solo show with the gallery, will also be on view through Feb. 15. Her work combines humor and dystopian irony in a style she dubbed “conceptual pop.”
While researching Latino portraiture from the 1800s, the photographer Ken Gonzales-Day found an image of a young Latino man. "Last man hanged in Los Angeles," was written on the back. When he read that phrase, Gonzales-Day came to the conclusion that he didn't have a clear understanding of California history. To make sense of his discovery, he began to work on the series of photographs that's now known as "Erased Lynching" (2006). The Santa Clara University Art Department's exhibit "Ken Gonzales-Day" features several of his photographs from the collection.
Santa Clara University (SCU), a flag bearer in an ongoing crusade for social justice, regularly raises awareness of social issues through the arts. A free exhibition of 25 Erased Lynching and California Hang Tree photos by Los Angeles-based artist Ken Gonzales-Day is on view through Jan. 24 in the Gallery of the Art and Art History building.
“Ken Gonzales-Day is an artist who makes work as an act of compassion,” said exhibition curator Renee Billingslea, a senior lecturer in the Department of Art and Art History.
ZACKARY DRUCKER: I think all of us in the community have had those moments of being like, “Is this going to somehow alienate people who aren’t ready yet?”
SUSAN STRYKER: Why is it that trans issues have become like a front-and-center issue in the culture wars?
ZACKARY DRUCKER: I think capitalizing on people’s fear is what has landed us in this moment right now, and you have hope on one side and fear on the other.
Carla Jay Harris’s work investigates how physical space influences psychological space. Through photographs, composites, sculptures and built environments, Harris explores the interaction of the interior with the exterior, of home with the outside world, of image and meaning. A 2015 graduate of UCLA’s MFA program, where she studied with Catherine Opie and James Welling among other artists, Harris exhibited her work this fall at Sonce Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles.
Yale School of Art faculty member and alumna Sarah Oppenheimer ’99 ART, along with some former faculty members and alumni, are featured in the current Artspace exhibition “Strange Loops,” on view through the end of February. The group exhibition explores psychological affect and the human condition expressed through instruments, systems, and objects of human design.
Hugo Crosthwaite's La Güera, 2018, is featured in the "Readings" section of Harper's Magazine in print in January 2020.
...The selection includes far more photographs and videos than paintings and drawings, although some entries blur those categories. The top prize went to Hugo Crosthwaite for a series of black-and-white drawings, animated into a video, of Berenice Sarmiento Chavez. She is a young Mexican woman who ventured north across the border in search of the American Dream, but has since been deported. The artist encountered her in Tijuana. As winner of the top prize, Crosthwaite will be commissioned to do an official portrait. The 2016 winner, Amy Sherald, made a painting of Michelle Obama that became one of the gallery’s most popular attractions.
I have never before seen an artist who can sidle right up to Goya’s Caprichos or Desastres de La Guerra and not only survive the comparison but generate mutual enrichment. Hugo Crosthwaite’s TIJUAS! (Death March, Tijuana Bibles, and Other Legends) at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles presents a breathtaking collection of drawings ranging from small to mural-size, as well as video animations and books, all made over a period of over a decade. Crosthwaite’s work addresses life on both sides of the US–Mexican border where he conveys the feeling of life bottled up beneath a merciless cork, his observations packed with violence, tenderness, pain, boredom, and his mind-boggling draftsmanship. —Daniel Gerwin
Ultimately, spending time with artists is what truly “floats her boat.” Currently, she is working with her dear friend and renowned artist Antonia Wright on a project called “WWWW - Suffer in Style” that will be the next ARTSail residency. The two plan to produce a luxury chain of accessories inspired by environmental causes in an effort to make climate change more stylish. “It is about talking about dark issues with irony and humor,” she says, “while making it all — art, fashion, etc. — as accessible as Mother Nature.”
Ken Gonzalez-Day’s images from the series Erased Lynchings sees the artist digitally remove the dead hanging body of a nameless murdered person of colour, in order to avoid re-victimising the individual. This places our attention on the real guilty subjects, those white people who take it upon themselves extrajudicially to police black and brown bodies. The black body is here removed from the gaze of white eyes, a form of sight which undergirds the social dominance of whiteness. Gonzales-Day writes: “The work asks viewers to consider the crowd, the spectacle, the role of the photographer, and even the impact of flash photography, and their various contributions to our understanding of racialized violence in this nation.”
From December 5–8, the 17th annual NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) art fair took place at Ice Palace Studios, focused on supporting new voices in the contemporary art community. Fairgoers were also treated to solo showings of artists like Agnieszka Brzezanska (BWA Warszawa), Guadalupe Maravilla (Jack Barrett), Ariana Papademetropoulos (Soft Opening), Aaron Gilbert (Lulu), and Peter Williams (Luis De Jesus Los Angeles).
Positioned at entrance to UNTITLED, overlooking the South Beach is Ruben Millares and Antonia Wright’s It’s not down on any map; true places never are (presented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles), a motorized public sculpture made out of flagpoles, chains, a steel platform, and 16 flags of countries currently involved in migration crises, such as Venezuela, United States, South Sudan, Myanmar, Turkey, Germany, and Mexico. Rotating in a steady half loop, the chain structure moves the flags up and down, creating a metallic machinery noise as the flags ascend, squeeze through the chains, and rise again. Flags which have traditionally been placed on high ends of dwarfing poles are upside down, crumbled, and eventually risen, in a system that recalls the instability and interchangeability of sociopolitical power and nationalistic ideologies.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., named Hugo Crosthwaite the 2019 winner of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, an astute selection for several reasons. Crosthwaite’s entry, a meditative, three-minute stop-motion animation about a woman migrating from Mexico to the United States, stretched the conventional bounds of portraiture and affirmed the genre’s relevance, both of which are aims of the prize. Over nearly two decades, Crosthwaite has applied portraiture’s concentrated attention not only to individuals but even more avidly to place.
Don’t miss: The greenspace of Lummus Park has been commandeered for public art displays under the auspices of the fair, all of them large-scale works—look for the kinetic sculpture from Miami-based artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares. Make sure, too, that you pick up a copy of Untitled News—or whatever writer-in-residence Osman Can Yerebakan chooses to call the daily dispatch he’s been tasked with producing about the fair and its fairgoers.
Double Horizon reflects the artist’s ongoing investigations of the body’s relationship to space in three simultaneous, large-scale, aerial views of the greater Los Angeles landscape. Double Horizon is Lia Halloran’s most recent work in her ongoing investigations into the physical, psychological and scientific explorations of space.
The Baltimore Museum of Art has announced that it will dedicate the next year to women artists, most notably by spending its entire acquisitions budget for the year on works of art by women, as part of its 2020 Vision campaign. The museum’s permanent collection contains over 95,000 pieces of art, but only about 4% of those pieces were created by women. Next year’s initiative is meant to help rectify that imbalance. “You don’t just purchase one painting by a female artist of color and hang it on the wall next to a painting by Mark Rothko...To rectify centuries of imbalance, you have to do something radical.”
NADA, December 5–8: With representation from 25 countries and 56 cities, the 17th annual NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance) art fair will take place at Ice Palace Studios, putting a focus on supporting new voices in the contemporary art community. Joined by 136 presenters this year, the fair will feature 71 NADA member galleries and will also include 28 first-time exhibitors.
Fairgoers can expect to see solo showings of artists like Agnieszka Brzezanska (BWA Warszawa), Guadalupe Maravilla (Jack Barrett), Ariana Papademetropoulos (Soft Opening), Aaron Gilbert (Lulu), and Peter Williams (Luis De Jesus Los Angeles)...
It’s an exciting year for UNTITLED Miami Beach, the fair situated on Ocean Drive and 12th Street that’s celebrated for being highly curated, architecturally mindful, and pleasant to navigate. The 2019 edition launches Monuments, a new program of large-scale, site-specific installations such as It is not down on any map; true places never are (2019). This kinetic outdoor sculpture by collaborative artists Antonia Wright and Ruben Millares, presented by Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, consists of a group of flags sliding up and down on a flagpole in an allegory of complicated global hierarchies.
Vibrant and joyful with eye-popping colors and textures, Thread at the Long Beach Museum of Art pushes the boundaries of textile art. Selected works range from modern to contemporary and display the ability to use thread to create narratives, sculpture and political comment.
Laura Krifka's The Game of Patience at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is at its core about seduction, built through scenarios of being seduced, and how the artist constructs each painting to both seduce, and, by revealing subtle (metaphorical) cracks in the foundation. The interview covers topics such as: playing with repulsion; the frank reactions Krifka’s received from more non-Art World audiences about being a ‘weird lady’ for the things she paints; her process of working with models, and more...
The title of this year’s winning work, by Hugo Crosthwaite, tells us the name of the person represented in the artist’s three-minute stop-motion animation of black-and-white drawings. It is A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, a young woman from Tijuana, Mexico, who is seeking a better life in the United States. Her face emerges from a blank space, like a piece of paper or canvas, and then we watch as her body is sketched in, as though she’s materialized from nothing. In a series of brief vignettes, we learn about the danger that she, like other migrants, has faced, including violence and sexual harassment.
The Baltimore Museum of Art will celebrate 2020 by adopting a daring new policy designed to reverse the art world’s historic marginalization of female artists. Museum director Christopher Bedford said Thursday that every artwork the BMA purchases for its permanent collection next year — every painting, every sculpture, every ceramic figurine — will have been created by a woman. In addition, each of the 22 exhibits on view will have a female-centric focus. Nineteen will showcase artworks exclusively by women and will include works by at least one transgender woman, Zackary Drucker...
The new exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles by Mexican-American artist Hugo Crosthwaite (b. 1971) grabs your attention the moment you walk into the gallery. The artist, who lives and works in San Diego and Rosarito, Mexico, created a monumental, 27-foot wide multi-panel work called Death March. Multiple human figures and skeletons compose a funeral march, appearing to honor the deceased in a manner that calls to mind Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead.
For painter and video artist Hugo Crosthwaite, life has unfolded in equal parts on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, and he has come to understand that in a way the border region itself is its own nation, with a unique culture that is both blended and divided, and a population comfortable with dualities. Both his films and graphite and ink drawings on canvas—often at monumental scale—exist in a black-and-white palette and are rich with regal, stylized detail.
The painter is showing a new series of drawings, panel paintings and animations that chart the ebb and flow of humanity, along with unseen magical phenomena, in the U.S.-Mexico-border region where he lives and works. (The artist divides his time between Rosarito and San Diego.) Crosthwaite, a painter whose work is as influenced by comic books as it is by Gustav Doré, recentlywon the top prize in the National Portrait Gallery’s Outwi Boocheyer Portrait Competion, pays tributes to Goya’s Caprichos. A recent series capturing grotesqueries and folly.
Los Angeles artist Lia Halloran wants to touch the heavens and to celebrate women who had the same ambition long before her. Her The Same Sky Overarches Us All, at the University of Maryland Art Gallery, mostly consists of seven-foot-high vertical prints inspired by a group of women known as the Harvard Computers. Halloran weaves their story, along with her own and the universe’s, into cosmic vignettes.
The video begins with the sound of a guitar strumming and a voice singing in Spanish. The main character is sketched quickly, beginning with her eyes, then face, hair and shoulders. She gazes into the distance. Over the course of the three-minute stop-motion drawing animation video, we watch as the main character goes about her life, immigrating to the United States and trying to succeed in her new country.
Portraiture is due for a reframing. Although the art form has traditionally served to memorialize the affluent and the powerful, the finalists of the 2019 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition point to a future where portraits empower the disenfranchised. The triennial competition, founded in 2006 by an endowment from the late Virginia Outwin Boochever, calls for artists to “challenge the definition of portraiture.” First-prize winner Hugo Crosthwaite does just that. His 2018 stop-motion animation, A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, illustrates one woman’s journey from Tijuana, Mexico, to the United States.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announced that artist Hugo Crosthwaite has been named the first-prize winner of the fifth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, which aims to reflect the contemporary state of portraiture in the United States. Recognized for his stop-motion drawing animation A Portrait of Berenice Sarmiento Chávez, 2018, Crosthwaite is the first Latinx artist to receive the $25,000 award since the national competition was founded in 2006. Following in the footsteps of Amy Sherald, the previous winner of the prize, the San Diego–based artist will receive a commission to create a portrait of a living individual for the National Gallery’s collection.
The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, has announced the winner of the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition, a triannual contest honoring artists that “challenge the definition of portraiture.” Hugo Crosthwaite, a San Diego-based artist, will take home the $25,000 prize, which also comes with a commission to create a new portrait for the museum’s permanent collection.Crosthwaite follows in the footsteps of now-veritable art star Amy Sherald, who won the last Boochever award in 2016.
Laura Krifka enjoys doing things she is not supposed to do. Having absorbed the tenets of neoclassical painting, she bypasses high-minded seriousness by adding a candy-coated veneer of hyper-artificiality adopted from 1950s MGM musicals to the domestic decor of private scenes she then undercuts with a deviant sexual subtext recalling David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. This irresistible mix of dexterity, decor, decorum and deviance makes viewing her paintings a guilty pleasure — rather like sneaking into a peep show or secretly spying on neighbor’s forbidden acts.
"Painting is an interesting medium — it's old and traditional, and in that respect it has inherent qualities that keep it grounded. It is the most primary visual language, pigments on a flat surface, and to me it acts as a constant reminder of the temporality and physicality of our bodies. By contrast, the types of socio-political power dynamics that I often explore are rather intangible, diffused and abstract."
Laura Krifka is a superlative, if shifty, storyteller — a cross between a delectably unreliable narrator and a canny ventriloquist. Her intriguing recent oils on canvas and panel at the Los Angeles gallery Luis De Jesus Los Angeles are painted with brushless exactitude, their crisp and controlled surfaces belying personal and interpersonal complexities beneath. Krifka tells it super-straight, but the “it” is slant.
Past and present, history and amusement, reality and spectacle are conflated and distorted in Federico Solmi’s monumental media work, The Great Farce (2017), recently acquired by Northwestern University’s Block Museum of Art. The Block received the multiscreen, limited-edition work as a gift from the artist’s studio in recognition of the museum’s upcoming 40th anniversary and its related initiative “Thinking about History.”
Speaking of pop culture, if you’re excited to see the upcoming Joker film, you may want to stop by Frederico Solmi’s work at the gallery of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. The animation and colors present in his five-minute video, The Drunken Boat, are eerie and mesmerizing. Notable historic figures are seen partying together, vulgar smiles on their faces. It’s like a nightmare steeped in a rainbow of colors that you can’t stop watching.
At Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in Culver City, Laura Krifka’s hyper-realistic figurative paintings build to create an uncanny mood. In each work, figures are placed within an interior domestic space, and subtle sexual cues build as you view the works. The breast of a sleepy figure mimics the egg-patterned wallpaper behind her; lemons in various stages of juicing are laid on a table next to a bare buttox. These more overt sexual themes are soon overtaken by more subtle ominous ones—strange shadows fall over the furniture in each painting, as if someone or something is looming just outside of the picture.
With sweeps of blue and white, painter and photographer Lia Halloran explores the often overlooked accomplishments and progression of women astronomers through her exhibition The Same Sky Overarches Us All. Curated by Taras Matla, acting director of the University of Maryland’s Art Gallery, the exhibit is beautiful — and it has an admirable purpose. “Everyone’s promoting gender equality… this is a good place to portray female accomplishments,” said Victoria Hernandez, a senior art and communication major who works in the art gallery.
Throughout The Body Electric,groupings of artists demonstrate shared engagements with themes of transgender identity (Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker, Juliana Huxtable), visualizing queerness (Paul Mpagi Sepuya), and race (Howardena Pindell, Lyle Ashton Harris), speaking to how we negotiate our sense of self in relation to media-driven systems of representation.
Drucker, the 36-year-old transgender artist, activist, actress and producer of the television series Transparent, who The New York Times described as “tall and blonde with eyes as blue as swimming pools”, momentarily loses her train of thought.I had asked her what she sees when she sits in front of a mirror. “That's such a revealing question, it's wonderful,” she says, smiling.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery announces the acquisition of a photograph of the bust of Shonke Mon thi^, who was a prominent warrior and spiritual leader of the Osage people and hereditary Chief of the Pa tso li^ Big Hill Band at the turn of the 20th century. This work by Latino artist Ken Gonzales-Day was first displayed by the Portrait Gallery in UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar, which was presented as part of the museum’s 50th anniversary exhibition program.
Now, it seems the Shed, a new arts complex in the heart of Hudson Yards, may be going through its own, lower-key crisis. Earlier this month, a boycott of fitness properties such as Equinox, Soulcycle and Blink over owner Stephen Ross’ decision to host a fundraiser for President Donald Trump bled into other investments. The artistic duo who style themselves Zackary Drucker + A.L. Steiner have removed their work from the Shed’s “Open Call, Group 2” exhibition, in protest of Ross’ fundraiser.
Zackary Drucker says she’s used “code-switching” as a trans woman navigating the complex contexts of social and cultural structures. Add to that, she appreciates the nuances of moving between and among the interconnected yet oppositional worlds of fine art and entertainment production in Los Angeles.
Laura Krifka takes on the classical stance of European academic painting in her first solo show with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, smashing ivory tower patrician preciousness with a cheeky wit, advanced technique, and lush elements of both social realism and rococo modernism. The new work represents an evolution from her Flemish Renaissance style toward more modern visual cues and a crisper hand that is less folk-inflected and while not quite surreal, are certainly uncanny.
Ken Gonzales-Day is a historian, and the author of the book Lynching in California. He included the Callahan lynching story in his book as an unconfirmed case. And he says that people don’t often realize how common racist violence was in the history of the Western US. “I wanted to write a book to clearly demonstrate racialized violence was active in California, and that it wasn’t just some sort of race-neutral wild-west frontier sort of activity, which is what many people thought at the time,” he says.
Few other places in New York conjure up such strong feelings. For residents, those feelings range from irritation to revulsion. For tourists, it’s a must-see falling somewhere on their itinerary between the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State building. From the unwashed hordes to stores that can be found in any mall to the neon sorcery decking every block, there’s no question that Times Square is a repository of excess in every way. Whether you find it distasteful or endearing, there’s no denying its pull, even if your personal contact with it is limited to TV on New Year’s Eve or, for locals, a train transfer on its many platforms.
Concordia grad Nicolas Grenier has been shortlisted for one of the world’s most prestigious contemporary art prizes, the Sobey Art Award. Global’s Tim Sargeant meets the Montreal artist who could walk away with a $100,000 prize.
Best known as a co-producer of the TV series Transparent, Zackary Drucker is an artist-activist who has devoted her career to making the world less grey and lonely for people who, like her, define themselves as transgender or non-binary. Her photographic and video artwork has been shown at the Whitney Biennial in New York, the Venice Biennale, and nominated for an Emmy. But in one of her most recent projects, she has resorted to direct action, creating an open-access database of pictures available to any media outlet, anywhere in the world, wishing to represent people who don’t fit into traditional gender moulds.
“My transition from young white boy with a false sense of privilege in the 1970s to young tranny-girl with little or no privilege was a real smack in the face,” Rosalyne Blumenstein wrote in her 2003 autobiography, Branded T. “My spirit and soul seemed to be uplifted and smashed on a daily basis.”Blumenstein is an icon. I met her, in 1993, when I came to New York as a newbie trans activist from San Francisco and visited the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center, where Blumenstein, a self-described “woman of transexual experience,” lent street cred as director of the center’s pioneering Gender Identity Project, which included an HIV-prevention program for trans people.
When tasked with defining America, the forefathers of this country attempted to create a union that, though forged in rebellion to an oppressive regime, was ultimately funded by slave labor. By declaring this land a union where all men are created equal, only to deny representation and basic civil liberties to all who are not white men, the framers of our constitution bequeathed to us a contradiction that we are still working to correct today. Almost 250 years later, with the divisive nature of our political system and a multitude of bifurcation points within each party, it seems that defining the American identity has become nearly impossible.
Jamie Martinez: Congratulations on your recent shows, especially the solo booth with Ronald Feldman at the last Armory. It was one of the top booths in many publications. We’ll have to get back to that. Can you first talk about your background in the arts and your journey to becoming an artist in New York? Where did it all begin? Federico Solmi: Well, it’s a long story. It all began almost 20 years ago, when I left my hometown: Bologna, Italy, and I decided to move to New York to pursue a career in the arts. It was the best decision of my life, of course; not an easy decision, but it proved to be the right one.
“Guest-edited by Tilda Swinton. Inspired by Virginia Woolf,” so reads the cover of this year’s summer edition of Aperture. The issue and the accompanying exhibition are centered around Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando, a piece of writing Swinton knows intimately, as she embodied the character Orlando in Sally Potter’s 1992 film adaptation of the novel.
Transamerica/n: Gender, Identity, Appearance Today celebrates the authentic, beautiful, and vulnerable voices of contemporary, North American artists who express their true selves through a broad gender spectrum. Some of the artists identify as LGBTQ+, and some do not. The art in Transamerica/n speaks to family, community, self-discovery, and ultimately identity. Artists’ experiences are highlighted as part of the McNay’s dual commitment to artistic excellence and community impact.
Concordia grad Nicolas Grenier, BFA 04, is among five shortlisted candidates in the running for the Sobey Art Award, the largest prize in Canada for young artists. The prestigious prize for contemporary Canadian art is awarded annually to a Canadian 40 or younger who has exhibited work in a public or commercial art gallery in the previous 18 months.
Your Body is a Space That Sees is a series of large-scale cyanotype works (approximately 6ft x 6ft) that source the fragmented history and contributions of women in astronomy to represent a female-centric astronomical catalog of craters, comets, galaxies and nebula drawing from narrative, imagery and historical accounts of a group of women known as ‘Pickering’s Harem’ or the ‘Harvard Computers’. This little-known group of up to forty women made significant influences in the field of astronomy by setting up classification systems that are still used today to measure the distance,at and chemical content of stars and yet were paid less than half the wages of men.
Caitlin Cherry’s growing invaluability to the art world should come as no surprise; her commitment to black female subjectivity places the oft-imitated but systematically dismissed aesthetics of hip-hop hustle front and center, posing a real threat to the sleepy status quo we've come to expect from genre figuration. Smart, subversive, and incontrovertibly sexy, Cherry's pieces hum with radioactive irreverence, transforming viewers into beholders with the flick of a brush.
The Sobey Art Foundation and National Gallery of Canada have named the five finalists for the 2019 Sobey Art Award, which is presented annually to a Canada-based artist age 40 or younger. The finalists represent Canada’s five geographic regions, with Nicolas Grenier representing Québec. An exhibition of works by the short-listed artists will open at the Art Gallery of Alberta on October 5, and the 2019 Sobey Art Award winner—to be revealed on November 15—will receive 100,000 Canadian dollars ($75,300).
The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada are delighted to announce the five finalists for the 2019 Sobey Art Award. As one of the world's most prestigious contemporary art prizes, the Sobey Art Award is presented annually to a Canadian visual artist age 40 and under."The Sobey Art Award helps to keep the National Gallery of Canada current within the dynamic landscape of contemporary art in Canada. It offers invaluable opportunities to exchange ideas between curators and artists across the country, and the chance to learn about a myriad of different artistic practices." notes Dr. Sasha Suda, CEO and Director of the National Gallery of Canada.
A Toronto artist showing in Berlin, a Montrealer working in Los Angeles and an Inuvialuk artist based in Calgary are among this year’s finalists for the $100,000 Sobey Art Award. The leading visual-art prize for younger artists, the award recognizing Canadian artists 40 and under from five regional categories, will be announced in November.
A flag, any flag, is the very definition of a symbol, a thing that exists in the service of what it represents, such as a nation for example, or a movement. At the same time, a flag is also a color story, a designed image, and a made object. The American flag in particular enjoys status as both image and object as well as symbol. Its distinct patterns are perhaps the most recognizable and narratively fraught in the world. Laws prohibit its physical destruction, but not its use as elements of corporate logos, fashion items, and superheros.
First published in 1985, the essay by Donna Haraway known as The Cyborg Manifesto made waves by criticizing the gender essentialism and idenity politics of feminism and encouraging people to unite with others baded on affinity. It proposes the symbol of the cyborg as rejection of boundaries "unfaithful to their orgins" and that this symbol can help to free peple from racist, male-dominated capitalism. The essay also purports that the "boundary between science fiction and social reality is an optical illusion."
Jasper Johns famously attributed the origin of his iconic painting of the American flag to a vision he had at night; likewise, June Edmonds arrived at her first stroke-by-stroke reconstitution of a flag through a dream she had in 2017, after she returned to her home town of Los Angeles from a residency in Paducah, Kentucky. In her case, though, it wasn't about the same stars and stripes; during her residency, while driving to Memphis, she had seen a wall-size Confederate flag—a looming, unapologetic beacon still standing on the Southern hillside—to which she later responded in a series of paintings.
For Aperture’s Summer 2019 edition, guest editor Tilda Swinton turned to Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel Orlando for its uncannily prescient explorations of gendered identity.Set in the 16th century, the titular protagonist lives for 300 years, sliding back and forth between the genders on the way. Swinton’s fascination with the novel began when she starred as the titular character in the 1992 film adaptation directed by Sally Potter.
The actress makes her first foray into art curation in a photography show that revolves around the gender-defying themes of Woolf’s novel Orlando.Tilda Swinton can boast of many achievements, having performed in more than 70 films, including Michael Clayton, for which she won an Oscar in 2008. In a way hers is the broadest of careers, stretching from her salad days of the 1980s working with the acclaimed independent director Derek Jarman to her appearance in this year’s Avengers: Endgame, which is already one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
Long relegated to the margins of the art world, LGBTQ artists have always tested the borders of expression. Now they’re claiming their place at center stage.Zackary Drucker’s videos delight in deconstructing gender binaries (she’s also a producer on Transparent).
June Edmonds, Allegiances and Convictions, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. An exhibition by the L.A.-based painter dwells on the significance of flags — both as visual statements and tokens of identity. In this case, each of her flags pays tribute to African American history past and present.
The solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist June Edmonds at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is a series of multi-colored paintings inspired by the American flag. All of them, vertical, and in earth tones, evoking the variety of brown skin colors.
TRhe Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM), formerly Shir Madness Melbourne, takes over the Melbourne Recital Centre in a day-long immersion of contemporary Jewish culture with 30 performances across music, theatre, dance and conversation on Sunday 8 September, 2019.
The anchor fair of the week promises to be just as chock-full of programming as in previous years. There are also some new additions, including the Diálogos section, which will show works by Latinx and Latin American artists like Ana Mendieta, Ken Gonzales-Day, and Marta Chilindron; and the Frieze sculpture prize, a new commission made this year by up-and-coming artist Lauren Halsey.
El Museo del Barrio, the NYC museum dedicated to Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American culture turns 50 years old this year. Frieze New York, the biggest week of the year for art in New York, kicks off on Thursday, and it won't overlook the milestone of the institution, which was founded in 1969, when Latino artists were largely overlooked by mainstream museums.
Another themed section of the fair turns a spotlight on contemporary and modern Latin artists. Taking cue from the legendary performance artist Ana Mendieta, Diálagos presents works from artists whose practice includes a bold sense of color, pageantry and performance, alongside a highly politicized examination of identity. Ken Gonzales-Day explores, through various media, the material legacies of identity-based oppressions, casting an unflinching eye over histories of slavery, colonialism, gender-normativity and other systemic evils.
Double Horizon takes its title from Lia Halloran’s three-channel video installation composed from documentation of roughly thirty flights the artist made in the course of her training in air piloting and navigation and early aviation experiences over the greater Los Angeles area. In its play of continuous moving and transformed moving images, the work represents a significant departure from work that precedes and continues alongside it.
How far will an artist go to create their work? ORLAN altered her physical appearance, transforming herself using elements from famous paintings and sculptures via plastic surgery. Marina Abramovic invited Museum of Modern Art visitors to sit still and silently across from her for unspecified durations of time over 10 weeks in 2010. Lia Halloran, an artist who grew up surfing and skateboarding in the San Francisco Bay Area, learned to fly airplanes in order to film the landscape of Los Angeles from the sky.
The Olde Towne of Flushing Burial Ground in Queens holds the remains of around 1,000 people, many of them African or Native Americans—but it only has four grave markers, all naming men. The women buried at the landmarked site are now publicly remembered at the Queens Museum, in the exhibition Alexandria Smith: Monuments to an Effigy (18 August), the Bronx-born artist’s first solo show in New York City. “My focus was to honour the women,” Smith says of the show.“Traditionally, women of colour—their stories have been buried or changed, or just not really told.”
Downtown Baltimore got a surprise this April, with the reveal of a large format work of art affixed to the side of Harbor Park Garage, a parking garage located at 55 Market Place. The artwork, which is visible from the Jones Falls Expressway, is a custom piece by artist Edie Beaucage.
Stock photos don't have a great reputation when it comes to gender-inclusivity. Options are limited at best or non-existent at worst.
That's why Vice Media's feminist channel Broadly decided to launch their own stock photo library of gender-inclusive images. The Gender Spectrum Collection includes over 180 images featuring 15 trans and non-binary models
On Tuesday, Broadly, Vice’s vertical covering women, gender non-conforming folks, and the LGBTQ+ community, published a stock photo library featuring more than 180 images of trans and non-binary models that, according to the site’s announcement, “go beyond the clichés of putting on makeup and holding trans flags.” It is the first database of its kind, and, while stock photos might seem like the stuff of goofy memes, it actually represents a historic step forward for queer representation in media.
Lately, I have been thinking of 1 minute short stories when I paint. I want to know who the character is, what is she doing and that she is being herself. I am interested in finding an emotional value to the portrait; then I feel the character has landed. It’s similar to finding the right tone when you play music. My work can range from emotional loss and fragility to bravura and extravagant characters. It is all improvisation and it varies with my mood.
A photographic image represents the transformation of the three-dimensional world onto a flattened picture plane. In our mind’s eye, we recreate the scene to understand the image. Many photographers are interested in the relationship between illusion and reality and the camera’s ability to collapse or expand space. In the 1970s and 1980s, photographers like Zeke Berman and John Pfahl fabricated interventions in the natural and man-made landscape that only cohered when seen from a specific vantage point— the exact spot where they placed their cameras.
8. Luis De Jesus Los Angeles A new series of works by Peter Williams on view at Luis de Jesus’s booth is not to miss. Within the busy patterns and cheerful color palette, Williams tackles issues of race and representation, power dynamics, and oppression in his dizzying tableaux. Booth F17, Pier 90
A Los Angeles Presence: Ramekin may not be in L.A. anymore, but other dealers hailing from the city were out in force. Kayne Griffin Corcoran sold a Llyn Foulkes work for $60,000 and three Mika Tajima pieces for $7,000 each. A Mary Corse painting was on reserve for a price around $400,000. Luis De Jesus sold two Peter Williams paintings for around $20,000 to $30,000 each.
Continuing her exploration of the representation and visibility of black women, the paintings Caitlin Cherry showed at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles depict black female figures who appear to be trafficking in the sort of flattened sexuality seen on Instagram. The women pose in alluring ways, as if the paintings were selfies that might procure thousands of likes.
There is no single archetype of the art dealer. Many gallerists are known for their selflessness and devotion to the creative process, but there are certainly bad apples, infamous for running glorified racketeering schemes. It can present a tricky dilemma for a young artist seeking representation—eager to take her career to the next stage, but wary of locking herself into a relationship that might not pay off.
In Culver City, I stopped by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles, to see the exhibition of Los Angeles photographer Chris Engman. The trademark of his art is fooling your eye not once, not twice, but many times. And the more his art fools you, the more pleasure it delivers. At the entrance to the gallery, you are confronted by a full-scale installation made out of several vinyl photographs that make you believe you are stepping into water, walking through a forest, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Refraction features Containment, a site-specific work originally commissioned for the FotoFocus Biennial 2018 in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as new photographs from the Prospect and Refuge and Ink on Paper series. These various photographic projects range from architectural to sculptural to two-dimensional, each acknowledging strategies of seeing. Refraction explores the relationship between illusion and reality by exposing the deceit inherent in photographic image-making while engaging in philosophical and material play around slips in translation.
A review of Nicolas Grenier's monograph Structures. Après un baccalauréat ès Beaux-arts de l'Université Concordia (Montréal), en 2004, et une maîtrise du California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA), en 2010, Nicolas Grenier est récipiendaire du Prix Pierre-Ayot en 2016. / After a bachelor of fine arts from Concordia University (Montreal), in 2004, and a master's degree from the California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA), in 2010, Nicolas Grenier was awarded the Pierre-Ayot Prize in 2016.
The first thing one notices upon entering Caitlin Cherry‘s show at Luis De Jesus is her sensational palette so improbable that it seems to have dropped from outer space. Clashing vibrant colors contrast, oscillate and dazzle as though her paintings were a laser light show. As the shock of hue subsides, you find yourself drawn into a bizarre alternate world ruled by curvaceous mystic black women who exude eccentric glamour while confronting discriminatory stereotypes.
In a world where every image is distorted, manipulated, aspirational and dysmorphic, what is to become of painting's history of generating interpretive, fantastical pictures? Beauty is both longed-for and suspect, female power is both lauded and feared. What is a self-assured paint warrior with an operatic talent and a love of disruptive art history supposed to do?
Hollywood loves selling binaries — comedy or drama, period or futuristic, action or romance, which means it should come as no surprise that this same philosophy typically applies to gender. So when Zackary Drucker, a transgender woman who had a background in experimental art, entered the industry in the early 2000s, she (predictably) had a hard time with the adjustment: “We all exist in so many worlds, but trans folks, especially, have a different way of compartmentalizing,” she says. “Sometimes it’s hard to integrate.”
Public art is the icing on the cake in the transformation of Liberty Station from a formal, staid Navy training center into a vibrant entertainment, shopping and arts destination. This year, six artists participated in Installations at the Station, the NTC Foundation’s public art program, which will continue next year. This year’s projects included community-painted skateboards representing a wave and a ship on a rooftop, a braided rope bench inspired by the native tribes and the Navy and murals of border scenes by Tijuana artist Hugo Crosthwaite as part of an ongoing narrative in multiple locations that started in 2009.
And so we come to the Wildass Beyond of the exhibition itself, a dystopian beyond in the “no where” here and now. You forget that you’re in a city, least of all New York City, when you enter into the idyllic and rustic space, your feet literally in the dirt, so you feel at once reminded of and ensconced in Earth, something that is so easy to forget in the epicenter of global capital and its technologies of cable, wire, concrete and steel. Yet this is the imagined earth that remains after the end of the world.
Four and Twenty Blackbirds (2018) is subdivided by a tree whose branches spread across the canvas, filling it with foliage painted by means of closely packed green dots, patches of sky denoted by blue dots, and passages of red dots interspersed throughout. Among the branches are six birds and three human faces, two of the faces in profile are barely evident, the third, fully articulated face, looks out from the trunk’s base.
A panel of nationally recognized curators, local arts professionals and community members from the Purple Line Extension Section 1 area has selected artists to create site-specific, integrated artworks for Wilshire/La Brea, Wilshire/Fairfax and Wilshire/La Cienega Stations. The diverse range of accomplished artists includes: Ken Gonzales-Day, Todd Gray, Karl Haendel, Soo Kim, Eamon Ore-Giron, Fran Siegel, Susan Silton, and Mark Dean Veca.
I first came across Caitlin Cherry’s work through her excellent Instagram account, where she jokes about her art (one of her paintings mocks her for ripping off George Condo), posts pictures of her sphynx cat, and displays new work (recently, a tote bag emblazoned with a W-9 form). Her installation at New York’s Performance Space, A Wild Ass Beyond: ApocalypseRN, brings her into collaboration with Nora N. Khan, American Artist, and Sondra Perry.
Having seen two exhibitions of James Allen's collected photographs of lynchings — both of them in New York, in 2000—I braced myself for The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America, at Haverford College's Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery. The horrific images I saw 18 years ago are permanently seared into my mind.I was curious how this new exhibition of works by prominent contemporary artists would treat such an appallingly inhumane period in American history and its reverberations today.
The Seattle-based artist fastens long straps to a canvas or wooden panel, which is usually covered in several alternating layers of gouache and acrylic paint. Livingston then attaches the straps to a harness inspired by those worn by body builders for strength training, and drags the painting facedown behind her across varying environments, like hiking trails, city parks, and asphalt roads.
Edra Soto’s Open 24 Hours is an exploration of consumption, waste, and vernacular architecture. Discarded liquor bottles accumulated during Soto’s daily walks through East Garfield Park in Chicago are transformed into jewel-like totems. Rejas, decorative iron screens enclosing outdoor domestic areas in Puerto-Rico, also serves as an influence on the work—highlighting an interplay between security and ornamentation. They are beautiful, haunting, socially conscious works.
Peter Williams’ pointillist painting technique, crowding thousands of tiny dots of enamel color within pencil-drawn contours of people, places and things, is not the same as the celebrated one pioneered more than a century ago by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. His look yields a very different feel from the measured, careful tone of those French Postimpressionists. Brash color is plainly important to the 14 Williams paintings in his Los Angeles debut at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, most (though not all) of which explode with pointillist dots.
With this initial installment of Broadly’s Trans Legends oral history project, which I’ve led as a contributing editor to the site, we are shining a light on trans resilience by gathering stories and wisdom from 13 trans women who have been witness to—and key characters in—decades of LGBTQ history.
In each of the four paintings in Josh Reames’s exhibition BO-DE-GAS, uniformly distributed idiomatic images floated graphically on raw canvas surfaces. Punctuating each of the intimate gallery’s four walls, the paintings were supplemented with three black, wall-mounted handrails that sported a selection of attitude-declaring bumper stickers.
To say that Los Angeles-based artist Chris Engman’s photographs are trompe l’oeil illusions would be a gross understatement. Created through an elaborate and time consuming physical process, his work evocatively merges indoor and outdoor environments into mesmeric compositions that both perturb and dazzle viewers with their non-binary disposition.
DnA explores moments in the school’s history, which track with LA’s growth as an art and design capital--from its founding on Wilshire Boulevard through its transition from what artist Billy Al Bengston calls its "constipated" years in the 1950s. Alum Garth Trinidad recalls the struggles in the 1990s and remarks on its blossoming in Westchester today. Edie Beaucage talks about being part of the new generation that has revived painting.
Who doesn’t love a good magic trick?! Photographer Chris Engman masterfully demonstrated that augmented reality and light projections are not the only way to create mesmerizing perspective illusions. Good old traditional photography will get you there as well if you’re creative enough. Chris Engman transformed 2D landscape photos into awe-inspiring rooms, where each inch is covered with prints to give off a 3D perspective.
Photographer Chris Engman is one of his landscape photos at a large scale in an unusual way: instead of showing it as a 2D print, Engman transformed a room into his photo by covering the wall, ceilings, and floors with prints.It’s essentially what you’d get if you used a projector to project the photo into the space, except he used prints instead of light.
For the first time in its 11 years, the Creative Time Summit, the world’s premier conference at the intersection of art and politics, will convene in Miami from Nov. 2-3 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Perez Art Museum Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Complex and other venues.This international platform for socially engaged art not only will consider topics of relevance to Miami, but that also were generated by Miami. For instance, sea level rise and borderlessness will be highlighted by Miami’s unique positioning as the major U.S. mainland link to the Caribbean and Latin America, and as a place particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Among purchases by notable individual collections was Kenneth Montague’s acquisition of Jim Adams’s Centurion (Self Portrait) (1977) from Luis De Jesus Los Angeles for the Wedge Collection. The large acrylic on canvas work was purchased on opening night. “Adams grew up directly under a major flight path in Philly, and dreamt of one day flying his own plane,” Montague explained on Instagram. “Upon arrival to Canada’s West Coast while still in his 20s, he immediately got his pilot’s license… and started painting.
We carried onward with excitement to Luis De Jesus gallery where we were met by the work of Peter Williams for his opening, River of Styx. The show’s array of colorful, multi-figurative, narrative pieces was seemingly bright and cheery, yet it alluded to a heavier history. With the political climate so out of wack, Williams’s images address topics quiet poignantly. I had the treat of talking to the delightful artist as he explained that his paintings composed of many marks, were in fact not pointillism.
The 19th edition of Art Toronto includes 102 exhibitors from seven countries, and it kicks off tonight at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For years, the Surrey Art Gallery has been highlighting important artists overlooked by other Canadian art institutions. Among these talents is the 75-year-old Surrey local Jim Adams, whose retrospective The Irretrievable Moment they presented by the Surrey Art Gallery (as well as the Reach in nearby Abbotsford) in 2017.
Curator of painting and sculpture & Latino art and history at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Taína Caragol, said: “I co-curated UnSeen: Our Past in a New Light, Ken Gonzales-Day and Titus Kaphar with Dr. Asma Naeem, as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s 50th anniversary program..."
Chris Engman’s Prospect and Refuge teaches us not to trust our eyes. On display at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery through November 18, the exhibit unsettles our senses of depth and scale, interior and exterior, origin and reproduction. It ushers us into artificial spaces and then immerses us in the tropes of nature. Engman achieves his uncanny effects mainly by taking enormous, high-density photographs and then affixing them to walls, ceilings, floors, and objects in domestic rooms and workspaces...
Though Luis De Jesus and Tarrah Von Lintel technically share an address in the Culver City gallery district, their operations are independent of each other. However, this month these neighboring exhibitions are very much in conversation. Unintended as this confluence is, in each of the three artists having solo shows at 2685 S. La Cienega we see a version of the same dynamic—a totally unexpected, materially subversive and exceptionally analog, labor-intensive take on what would otherwise be traditional mediums of photography and drawing.
Three large wooden tables that feature in-process paintings, resource books and a host of media are installed in the middle of the Lux Art Institute’s main gallery. The impromptu workshop has started to resemble the studio of artist Lia Halloran as she begins her residency at the museum. Halloran will continue to make work in the space for the next few weeks, while the current exhibit frames her interest in invisible histories and reimagined possibilities in astronomy.
Photographer Chris Engman invites you to enter a world within a world. His photography installation, titled Containment, is an immersive work that features images spanning the walls, ceilings, and floors of a specially constructed room. Upon stepping foot inside the space, you’re transported from a gallery setting to the middle of a bustling stream surrounded by a dense forest with trees cloaking most of the blue sky above.
In 2016, poet and author Claudia Rankine received $625,000 as a stipend from her MacArthur Genius Grant and decided to put the funds toward founding The Racial Imaginary Institute, an organization that gives artists and writers a platform to address issues of race. This summer, the Institute has found its new home at The Kitchen in New York, through a series of programs surrounding the exhibition On Whiteness, incorporating a day long symposium, a library of books, residencies, and performances.
Artist Chris Engman transports natural landscapes such as waterfalls, caves, and vast deserts to domestic interiors by securing large-scale photographs to the room’s walls, ceilings, and floors. “I believe photography derives its power precisely from the fact it can’t be entered, however much we may want to,” Engman tells Colossal. “When I make photographs I try to be mindful of this, even to exploit it.”
Prospect and Refuge, an ongoing series of work by photographer Chris Engman, investigates the medium of photography through complicated juxtapositions. this body of work explores the relationship between illusion and materiality, nature and the man-made universe, moment and memory. through engman’s documentation and detailed re-creation, the artist asks the viewer to consider how we understand photographs and how we experience the world.
An exhibition of new works by an internationally acclaimed Canadian artist was inspired by a motorcycle trek across North America.
Danica Phelps draws with uncommon grace. Her line moves with liquid ease, following the momentum of time. It describes what happens in her life, and it also makes things happen. As her beautifually affirming show at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles attests, her line has agency.
Since 1996, Danica Phelps has been keeping track of her income and expenses, integrating details of her financial life into her artworks. Often placed below simple, yet elegant and descriptive pencil drawings, Phelps creates long strips of short vertical lines— red for expenses and green for income—where each painted mark on the page represents a dollar. Using her finances as a point of departure, her layered and multi-dimensional artworks investigate the relationship between labor and value, both within and outside the art marketplace.
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce DANICA PHELPS: Many Drops Fill a Bucket, the artist's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2011, to be presented from August 4 through September 1, 2018. The drawings and sculptures that Danica Phelps has created for Many Drops Fill a Bucket record the experiences that she and her son, Orion, shared together during trips to California and India earlier this year.
A Tijuana artist is painting murals to raise awareness about the Trump administration’s family separations in San Diego. Hugo Crosthwaite is painting Mexican families on the beige walls of the Arts District Liberty Station. In one painting, a mother clutches her son. In another, a family behind bars, separated.
Luis De Jesus hopes that a new class of Latinx collectors will emerge in the US like it has in the African-American community. A former artist and one of only a few successful Latinx dealers in the US, Luis De Jesus understands the difficulty of getting the art world to pay attention. Since founding his gallery Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in 2010, he has made a career of showing young artists with something to say, and has quietly become a staple of the city’s art scene in the process.
Transgender representation in media is shamefully scarce, offering few avenues for trans people to see their stories represented accurately in the world of entertainment. What’s even rarer is for trans women, especially trans women of color, to call the shots in the industry. But in the film Mother Comes to Venus by trans director Zackary Drucker, that reality is flipped on its head.
When did you start incorporating printed imagery/print techniques into your work? About seven years ago my practice was driven by drawing and painting, but I became more conceptually interested in the off-handed quick cell phone pictures that I took as progress shots, than in the actual drawings or paintings. The camera added an extra layer of remove and movement and calculation that felt right.
After years of tenaciously applying, Brooklyn native Alexandria Smith got the news she’d been waiting for—the mixed-media visual artist had been accepted into the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts residency program. Her patience had finally paid off.
Although many artists and non-artists alike engage with the process of collaging, a successful collage is not that easy to achieve. For the merger of unrelated images and/or texts to resonate beyond the obvious, there is much to take into consideration— point of view, message, cohesion of elements, formal arrangement, etc. Juxtaposing disparate elements from various sources does not necessarily construe art. Collage has a broad history and those who venture into collaging must take into consideration their historical precedents.
Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ platform dubbed "them" has revealed its first major project, Queeroes, a short film series developed in partnership with 5050by2020. The initiative includes a mentorship program designed to elevate storytelling from queer, trans and POC points of view. Mentors include Soloway, Emmy winner Lena Waithe (The Chi, Master of None) and writer-creator-showrunner Tanya Saracho (Vida). Featured voices in the program are Zackary Drucker, Chelsea Woods and Natalia Leite.
The bicoastal art-film nonprofit Dirty Looks today detailed the upcoming edition of its “On Location” festival in Los Angeles, naming the four programs that will form the core of its month-long screening series of queer cinema in queer-oriented spaces...Also on deck for the L.A. edition of “On Location” is a survey of short films and documentation of the life of Zackary Drucker, an influential trans performance artist and filmmaker who has been a producer of the Amazon series Transparent since it premiered in 2014.
“THE GREATEST SCIENTISTS are artists as well,” said Albert Einstein. For as long as artistic expression has existed, it has benefited from interplay with scientific principles – be it experimentation with new materials or the discovery of techniques to render different perspectives. Likewise, art has long contributed to the work and communication of science. We asked four outstanding artists to comment on their work and its relationship to science.
Sometimes what’s absent from a museum says more about history than what’s included. Two contemporary artists—Titus Kaphar, who is African-American, and Ken Gonzales-Day, who is Mexican-American—have spent their careers addressing this issue. In the National Portrait Gallery’s newest exhibition, Unseen: Our Past in a New Light, the two artists take contrasting approaches—and work in two different mediums—to tell the stories of the missing and overlooked. The museum’s director Kim Sajet says Unseen hopefully will act as a town square.
Even before pie charts and bar graphs, before we’re plotting curves and breaking down conic sections in algebra and analytic geometry, we become very accustomed to the graphic visual representation of every kind of trend, concept, and systematized data or information. It almost goes hand in hand with the way we structure ideas, systems, and organizations.The visual concepts become part and parcel of the systems and ideas they express. They become integral to the way we extrapolate, track progress, draw conclusions, predict outcomes.
LOS ANGELES-BASED GONZALES-DAY mines museum archives and photographs sculptural objects most of them rarely, if ever, displayed publicly. His work deconstructs racial hierarchies, considers beauty ideals, and evaluates how artists have treated and interpreted white bodies and bodies of color. He embarked on this aspect of his practice in 2008 during a residency at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles.
Last Saturday, March 18, a memorial service was held for Jack Doroshow, better known as Mother Flawless Sabrina, who passed away on November 18, 2017. A prolific drag queen and activist, Flawless Sabrina was a queer icon without parallel, whose work and mentorship has profoundly influenced (and continues to influence) generations of LGBTQ+ people. Among Flawless Sabrina’s closest confidantes was Zackary Drucker, an artist and cultural producer who is working to preserve Sabrina’s legacy through the Flawless Sabrina Archive.
News media, despite respective biases, seem to agree in the description of contemporary politics as “complicated” and “divided.” While accurate, this semantic admission fails to demonstrate the accountability of the status quo. Soul Recordings, a group exhibition currently on view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, examines ideas around representation and meaning amid the persisting trauma of colonial histories.
The opening movement of “Soul Recordings” is a polka-dot revelry, a bedazzled wake-up call, a cymbal-clap altarpiece, a plastic-bead trumpet blast, and a monster of a skull-ringed, glitter-bombed orchestral chord breaking in fuchsia major. This is Ebony G. Patterson’s heartbreaking and eminently Instagrammable mixed media installation work, and the poignant grandeur of its regal and folkloric memento mori is alert and ineffable.
Some years ago, a student of mine made what might be construed as a Freudian slip in a written exam, when she bemoaned the pernicious effects of a “dominant white male vulture.” That vulture is certainly still picking the flesh off the bones of mainstream cinema (should that read “manstream”?), and AIFF is doing its best to redress the gender balance, not only by screening work by women (in 2017, 53% of directors who had films at AIFF were women), but also through its Pride Award which is presented this year to transgender media artist Zackary Drucker, a co-producer of Transparent, the Amazon TV series.
Soul Recordings, at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. A group exhibition featuring works by artists such as Lisa C. Soto, Deborah Roberts, Caitlin Cherry and Lex Brown shines a spotlight on our state of political unease. This includes work that examines neocolonial architecture, painting that toys with the nature of stereotype and textile work that takes on issues of gender. Accompanying the exhibition will be an essay written by independent curator Jill Moniz, who organized the very compelling show of sculpture by African American female artists at the Landing last year.
“As an adolescent, I discovered that by taking a Polaroid picture of myself dressed as a girl, I could escape the confines of boyhood.” Zackary Drucker, artist, trans activist, and producer of the series Transparent, shares how photography saved her life in the opening letter of Aperture magazine’s latest issue. Themed ‘Future Gender’, the issue is an expansive celebration of trans pioneers and today’s trans icons, guest edited by Drucker herself.
This year’s Round Hole Square Peg is dedicated to the question “What is queer photography?” and Tarely will join jurors Laura Aguilar, Paul Bridgewater, Zackary Drucker, Bert Green, and Robert Summers in selecting Best in Show.
Peter Williams makes art to bear witness, he told Bradley Rubenstein back in March. This challenging interview, conducted at a time when police brutality against Black men and women is more visible than ever, shows the seasoned painter thinking about the purpose of art history and grappling with how his art enters the broader conversation between politics and history.
A special in-studio episode of The Limit Does Not Exist! podcast. Lia Halloran is the type of artist who knows no bounds, exploring everything from the depths of our solar system to her local skate park. In this episode, Halloran shares her keys to successful collaborations and why she seeks out learning new skills. Plus, she offers advice on funding your ideas and why personal embarrassment can be a really good thing.
Zackary Drucker: I wanted to start by telling the story of how I found my way to you and your writing as a fourteen-year-old queer youth. It was the mid-’90s and I’d recently discovered the word queer. There I was, in the LGBT and women’s studies section at the bookstore. I don’t know what possessed me, but I shoplifted a copy of Gender Outlaw, and discovered the word transgender, and found myself in your words and in your experience in a way that I had never felt reflected before.
Her work is centered on ideas concerned with cultural and individual “Failure” (the failure to make life better), Utopia, and Ruins. Materials such as fabric, glass, steel, Plexiglas, foam, fiberglass, paint, and found objects together with fabrics and yarn are used with both comic irony and heartfelt sincerity, pointing to both material and emotional excess. The uses of vernacular craft processes and folk traditions in combination with digital technologies contradict ideas about progress and technological determinism. While socio-economic questions are raised around ideas about authenticity, labor, and value in the use of craftwork, value is also seen as a projection of ourselves onto things, like cute animals on the Internet, mythic American landscapes, and the built environment.
Curator Trevor Schoonmaker has given the title “The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp” to his edition of Prospect New Orleans, the just-opened fourth installment of an ambitious art fest that has evolved into a triennial affair.
In these days of digital magic, it’s rare to have an “Oh, wow!” moment looking at a photograph. When everything is possible, nothing is exceptional. But Los Angeles artist Chris Engman doesn’t rely on computer wizardry to create his weirdly surrealistic images. Instead, he constructs elaborate, labor-intensive installations, which he uses a camera to document.
IntoThis Podcast is delighted to present our conversation with Montreal artist Nicolas Grenier. With an impressive display of talent, Nicolas lays down a path for self-scrutiny paved with paintings, architectural installations, videos, texts, etc. His works both, seduce and confront the viewer with formalist elements and objective imagery. He holds a BSA from Concordia University and a MFA from the California Institute of the arts. He is represented by Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran in Montreal and by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles in LA.
Même si elles sont conçues individuellement, les peintures de Nicolas Grenier se regroupent autour de ses préoccupations socio-environnementales. L'artiste de 35 ans, qui vit en partie à Los Angeles, a été marqué par l'élection de Donald Trump à la présidence des États-Unis et par sa coïncidence avec la montée des partis d'extrême droite en Europe. / Even if they are designed individually, Nicolas Grenier's paintings are grouped around his socio-environmental concerns. The 35-year-old artist, who lives in part in Los Angeles, was marked by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and by its coincidence with the rise of far-right parties in Europe.
"When I was four years old, maybe even younger, I would dive into this chest of dress-up clothes that my mother had in the basement and my parents would take Polaroids of me. This is something trans folks have done since the inception of photography. Imagining themselves outside the constraints of their everyday reality."
Featuring work by Cindy Sherman and Juliana Huxtable, and guest edited by artist, activist, and producer, Zackary Drucker, Aperture’s new issue celebrates the infinite possibilities of our identities. Newton’s third law, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction,” goes far beyond the scope of physics. We can see it in all areas of life, perhaps most clearly where oppression exists and takes root.
Upon coming up with this idea, Grenier then asked himself: “How do I, as a painter, visually display [it]?” The artist, who sometimes spends months developing his projects, admitted he liked the idea of land as a starting point for the pieces in Precarious Geographies. He used it to build upon the ideas and concepts in his paintings.
As a transgender artist, actress and producer, Zackary Drucker (Transparent, I am Cait) is often asked about trans narratives in film and television. In part, that’s why she’s curating the TransNation Film Festival, running this weekend in Los Angeles.
A new tradition may be starting between the transgender film festival TransNation and the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in Los Angeles. For the second year in a row the two groups are collaborating to bring relevant trans stories to a collective stage. Stepping into a similar role as last year, filmmaker and producer Zackary Drucker (Transparent) has been given the official title of creative director this year.
In our culture we find “space” everywhere. It is prevalent as a type of background noise in our speech and writing. Space is taught in geometry, physics, architecture, and even in psychology, with terms like “personal space” and “psychological space.” The (often subliminal) purpose of adding space to terms that stand-alone is to make those terms more passive, and to give the term’s user distance from the subject.
"I'm a trans woman myself, and I think that the lived experience that I bring to my job in 'Transparent,' and all of the entertainment projects that I work on, is crucial. You can't just make it up and have this kind of created notion of what a trans experience is like. I think that the only way that our stories can be told accurately is by us."
It says a great deal about the post-genre moment that these works would be at home now in a range of sculptural contexts, even if, for instance, the use of pantyhose was a dramatic, disjunctive move when Senga Nengudi first started engaging with it decades ago. There are striking pieces here using fake fur and innertube rubber (Victoria May), vinyl (May Wilson), industrial felt (Lloyd Hamrol) and found afghans (Miyoshi Barosh). Allusion to the body is one through line, many of the soft surfaces evoking skins, pelts or protective coverings. Contrasts between the animate and the mechanical, the organic and the industrial, is another.
“We the people” is a slogan for the United States and a rallying cry. But the exhibit asks: Who is the “we”? In response, Christopher Harrison (independent curator and artist), Johnnay Leenay (Minnesota Museum of American Art), Mary Anne Quiroz (Indigenous Roots Cultural Center) and Maggie Thompson (Two Rivers Art Gallery) present artwork with disparate cultural points of view. Artists include Star Wallowing Bull, Zackary Drucker, Rico Gatson, Susan Hauptman, Nooshin Hakim Javadi, Steve Ozone and others.
Laverne Cox narrates the history of the transgender civil rights movement in an illustrated video in collaboration with Time and the ACLU. The video is a collaborative effort from “Transparent” producer Zackary Drucker, artists Molly Crabapple and Kim Boekbinder and Cox.
Nicolas Grenier’s Vertically Integrated Socialism, presented at Centre Clark from May 18 to June 23, is also a kind of ambiguous moral fable. Grenier’s “architectural fiction,” delivered as a live lecture-performance by artist with video accompaniment, takes the form of a condo pitch presentation and warps it into something vaguely dystopian. Originally conceived in the post-crash aftermath of 2009, while he was a student at CalArts with a studio in Los Angeles’ Skid Row, the project is an attempt to conceive a “Machiavellian solution” (i.e., one that “solves” a problem by dispensing with ethical considerations) to the overlapping problems of homelessness, gentrification and real-estate speculation.
The list of participating artists for Prospect.4, titled “The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp,” has been made public. The triennial exhibition, spread across seventeen venues in New Orleans, will feature seventy-three artists from “North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, and the European powers that colonized New Orleans, addressing issues of identity, displacement, and cultural hybridity within the context of the celebration of the city’s tricentennial,” according to an announcement from the event’s organizers.
I met my grandmother, Flawless Sabrina, when I was 18. It was 2001, and I had just moved to New York City from Syracuse. I went to the West Side Piers for Wigstock, a drag festival they had back then. I couldn't afford the $20 to get in and see the performance, so I hung out near the entrance and took pictures of some of the queens who were coming in and out. As Flawless Sabrina left, I took a picture of her, and she said to me, "You're on the wrong side of the camera, kid."
Visual artist Lia Halloran's newest exhibit, Your Body is a Space That Sees, features large-scale paintings of astronomical objects that were photographed and catalogued by women working at the Harvard Observatory in the late 1800s. Those women, along with their male colleagues, took thousands of photographs, catalogued and characterized the cosmic objects therein, and changed the landscape of space science. Despite the impact their work had on the world, those women were left out of history for many decades, a fate suffered by many female scientists that is now being somewhat remedied.
Théâtre-vérité, récit-mise en abyme ou exposition-conférence ? Un peu tout cela, le projet proposé par Nicolas Grenier dans un centre Clark méconnaissable. L’espace est feutré et les miroirs tout autour précipitent le public au coeur de l’intrigue. / Truth theater, story-telling or exhibition-conference? A little of all this, the project proposed by Nicolas Grenier in an unrecognizable Clark center. The space is hushed and the mirrors all around bring the audience to the heart of the intrigue.
Artist and photographer Ken Gonzales-Day explores the history of racial violence in America and a survey of his work, Shadowlands, which opens today and runs through April 16 at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, investigates how this history informs our current reality. Among the works is Gonzales-Day's series Erased Lynchings, a set of digitally altered 19th and 20th century lynching postcards, where hanged figures of various races have been removed by the artist, allowing the remaining participants to take focus.
For more than a decade, Ken Gonzales-Day has been exploring the history of racialized violence in America, creating several bodies of work that are brought together for the first time in this exhibition. Cumulatively, his work is a powerful and complex statement that challenges what we thought we knew about this country’s great dilemma. The Los Angeles–based artist has extensively researched lynchings in California, where Mexican Americans and Asian Americans were widely targeted during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Although I have known Peter Williams for decades, and have written about his work in the past, we had never sat down and done a proper interview—it’s been more of a 30-year-long conversation. Recently, however, I wanted to get down his thoughts on several of his latest bodies of work: urgent paintings that are at once timely and have art historical resonance. His inclusion in the November group exhibition As Carriers of Flesh, at David & Schweitzer, saw the artist confronting Whiteness and police brutality against black men and women in colorful canvases that unite history, biography, and allegory.
If it seems like Adams’s paintings have a story to them, that’s intentional. He tries to capture “the irretrievable moment” (the title of his art exhibit), which he describes as “where you’re committed to the action but the action hasn’t actually happened yet.” Such is the case with the signature image of his show, Nighthawks (Homage to Hopper).
There's sculpture that requires viewing from multiple angles, then there's the kind that stops viewers in their tracks. In artist Miyoshi Barosh's case, audiences are compelled to do both. Her inexplicable, intriguing creations are fashioned from unpredictable stuff such as yarn and cast-off clothes, as well as more "traditional" elements including paint, steel, glass, and more. But the aesthetic arrangement of unconventional raw material yields methodically rendered artworks with a conceptual core. Wry, dystopian undercurrents lurk in the various textures, patterns, and forms all waiting to be teased out.
Last week, Pioneer Works held a lecture discussing Dava Sobel's new book The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars, as part of a series of events bridging the arts and sciences. In a collaborative conversation with artist Lia Halloran and the center's director of science Janna Levin, Sobel took to introduce the audience to the untold story of Harvard’s first female computers.
From the lynching of Charles Valento (aka “Spanish Charlie”) in 1920 to the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, Los Angeles-based photographer Ken Gonzales-Day brings America’s violent racial past into the present in a visceral show at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul. Shadowlands, on display through April 16, amounts to a smart critical analysis of race in America. One series in the show, Erased Lynchings, presents images that Gonzales-Day created from vintage postcards of lynchings in the 19th and early 20th centuries — but the victim has been removed, in order to show only the crowd.
Photographer and Scripps College professor Ken Gonzales-Day decided to take a look at history to see if it would shed any light on the situation. "Initially, I was just trying to understand it as a Mexican-American myself," he said. "I was trying to understand the context in which people could turn against a whole part of the community."
A ghostly tree caught in the glare of headlights at night. A few scattered trees framed by a barbed wire fence in what seems to be a random field. The gnarled branches of a massive oak tree. Los Angeles artist and academic Ken Gonzales-Day creates these and other images. The story they tell is deeper than the roots of the trees, though.
Aude Moreau and Nicolas Grenier are conceptual artists who use the forms and symbols of architecture to make social and political statements in the guise of great visual art. They were recently honoured by the city of Montreal and the Contemporary Art Galleries Association. Moreau won the Prix Louis-Comtois for a mid-career artist, worth $10,000, and Grenier won the Prix Pierre-Ayot for an artist under 35, worth $7,500.
In 2001, Ken Gonzales-Day set out to write a book on Latino portraiture in 19th- and 20th- century California; his research led to his discovery of dozens of images and written records of lynching, and, ultimately, to his 2006 book Lynching in the West, 1850-1935. On view through April 16 at the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Shadowlands, which grew out of this publication, comprises his own photographs, archival images, books, and ephemera. All of this material, along with his photographs about this country’s recent racial violence, deftly compresses history and raises questions about our historic construction of race.
This past summer, in a stand-alone cube not much bigger than a closet, Montreal-and-LA-based artist Nicolas Grenier reversed the give-and-take polarities of art-world commerce. For The Time of the Work, Grenier invited 14 artists and one collective to contribute works to the Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery’s “SIGHTINGS”project series.
Williams is an African-American artist whose youth coincided with the galvanizing events of the Civil Rights era. His three other works in the show, all large oil paintings (six feet on the longer side), are racked by the presence of a malevolent white man — part clown, part ogre, all cannibal. As with the bucktoothed head in “Watercolor I,” inexplicable beings pop out of the ogres’ faces, but this time it’s tiny black people doing the popping.
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) The Fed Galleries @ KCAD present Cultural Landscapes, an exhibition uniting eight of the contemporary art world’s most dynamic voices in a conversation about how artists affirm cultural values and shape our larger collective identity.
Edith Beaucage’s paintings pulsate with bright acrylic pigments at the Luis De Jesus Los Angeles in Culver City. This fresh and inspiring exhibition, Sequencer – Spectrum – Reverb, features 25 mostly small-to-medium sized paintings that interact with each other playfully. Beaucage’s world is filled with techno music surround sound. Her abstract, gooey, melodious and loosely representational portraits of millennials are aptly titled with Euro pop names, such as Basil and Zeek, Otto in Pottsdam, Producer Bruno B, and DJ Ferdy Scholk.
A great deal of art leverages mystique by processing experience through varying layers of abstraction. The N-Word, a new collection of paintings by the artist Peter Williams — published by Rotland Press and with contributions by writers Lynn Crawford and Bill Harris — does the opposite: it lays out a response to systemic violence against people of color by the police in graphic and direct terms.
“Representation is where acceptance and understanding begin,” transgender performance artist Zackary Drucker explained in an interview with The Huffington Post. “Film is such an integral component in creating empathy. It shapes how so many people perceive the trans experience.”
...Allowing them to gawk for a while, I took in the success of the show before rounding up the troops to see the rest of what Culver City had to offer that night, stopping at Edward Cella‘s for a crazy terrific installation by Jun Kaneko and Luis De Jesus’ two-person show with Bryan Zanisnik and Edith Beaucage. We couldn’t make it to ALL the Culver City openings unfortunately, but finished the night at The Mandrake to retrieve our buzzes...
It’s an honor to write to you as the guest editors of Out’s October issue. For those of you who don’t know us, we are artists and filmmakers. We are both trans, but in opposite directions — Zackary is a trans woman, and Rhys is a trans man. We both moved from New York City to Los Angeles to attend CalArts, and we both transitioned at age 25. We have many things in common, but we are also very different. We both identify as queer but have been L, G and/or B at different points in our lives. We are collaborators and colleagues, and were formerly romantic partners.
On a hot night in July at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst perched on stools to discuss their new book of photographs, “Relationship.” It is by far the most personal of the many projects they have worked on together. The photographs chronicle their six-year romance, which ended soon after many of these images were shown at the Whitney Biennial in 2014.
Edith Beaucage, “Sequencer, Spectrum, Reverb,” at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. In loose, wild brush strokes, the L.A. artist captures figures in hallucinatory landscapes that evoke a painted rave. Also on view will be an exhibition of photographs and large-scale video by Bryan Zanisnik, a New York-based artist preoccupied by the architecture of monuments and theatrical sets.
Dubbed the TransNation Festival, the October event’s proceeds will benefit Los Angeles-based organizations that provide services to transgender people, including the festival’s creator, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, who have one of the largest transgender health programs in the country. Celebrity Kelly Osbourne is lending her voice to the cause, along with award-winning transgender creative Zackary Drucker.
Built by the US army in 1907, the remote and beautiful Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, went from a soldiers’ barracks that was active until the 1970s to an artists’ residence in 1987. In this lovely, quiet environment, I feel deeply conscious of my inner world. In my weeks here, I’ve come to recognize how the noises and distractions of modern life affect me and how all the micro interactions that I have with nature, other people, and technology influence my life. This residency feels like a spiritual gift.
In Relationship, their new book of photographs, artists Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker document the six-year span of their romantic union—a time period when their careers and lives were undergoing incredible (and parallel) shifts. By 2014, when the book concludes, they’d gone from grad students in the arts to artists featured in the Whitney Biennial (where these photos debuted publicly), and from making films at home on severely limited budgets to working on the blockbuster Amazon show Transparent.
Un projet original intitulé Le temps de l'oeuvre, le temps du travail débutera lundi dans l'espace d'exposition SIGHTINGS de l'Université Concordia. Cet été, des amateurs d'art vont acquérir une oeuvre d'art en restant dans le cube transparent SIGHTINGS le temps que l'artiste a mis pour la créer. / An original project called The Time of the Work will begin on Monday in the SIGHTINGS exhibition space at Concordia University. This summer, art lovers will acquire a work of art while staying in the transparent SIGHTINGS cube the time it took for the artist to create it.
When she was younger, filmmaker, photographer, and performance artist Zackary Drucker promised herself that she “would never be bored as an adult.” As a result, neither are her audiences. Through her work, Drucker confronts gender norms, sexuality, the body, and her own experience as a trans woman, challenging viewers to reconsider their attitudes about each. Her work ranges from highly personal photographs of moments with her partner, to chilling incantations of LGBT slurs juxtaposed against the tranquility of an autumn landscape.
Between 2008 and 2014, Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker were both transitioning genders — Ernst from female to male, and Drucker from male to female. They were also a couple. For six years, the two photographed themselves and each other, documenting both the course of their relationship and the joys and trials of the transitioning process. The 2014 Whitney Biennial featured 46 of their photographs, in addition to a collaborative film called She Gone Rogue and a performance piece by Flawless Sabrina, an iconic drag performer.
Last Thursday evening the rare books room on the third floor of the Strand bookstore in Union Square was filled by transgender people and their loved ones. Two young artists had come together to talk about their new book with a curator named Stuart Comer and one of history's most important gender scholars: the artists' transgender "auntie," Kate Bornstein. A collaboration between Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, Relationship documents their six-year love affair, during which both of them changed their sex.
"Dude, don't be weird," Zackary Drucker told her former romantic partner Rhys Ernst during a photoshoot at BuzzFeed’s studios in New York last June. As they stood beside one another, Ernst had turned his face away from Drucker, as if attempting to distance himself from her. He finally settled into a pose.
The final cast was reasonably diverse and undeniably talented, as history has proved. Contestant Abigail DeVille is the youngest sculptor included in Hauser, Wirth, & Schimmel’s monumental Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016 exhibition. Transgender performance artist Zackary Drucker is an associate producer on Amazon’s celebrated Transparent series, and has exhibited at institutions like MoMA PS1 and the Hammer Museum.
Skin—dragged and torn, wrapped and layered, weeping and fossilized—resonates from Margie Livingston’s latest exhibition, Holding it Together. On view at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Livingston’s exhibition offers nine pieces that contemplate structure and form as an enduring plexus. Acrylic and leather are employed as canvases, which become the base by which Livingston plays with and blurs sculpture, painting, and dimensions. These pieces, what Livingston names “paint objects,” reach out from the walls and draw in the light of the gallery, glowing and nearly vibrating, beckoning viewers for a closer look.
Why did you decide to integrate 3D space into your photography? It might be the other way around—that I was interested in integrating photography into 3D space. Even when I work with flat planes mounted on a wall, I’m thinking about space. I’m thinking about the allegory of space, the language of including and excluding, of interior space and exterior space. And I just happen to be using photographs as a material to break into that space, to layer, to cut into it, to fold it, to splice it, to create multiple spaces in one flat area.
Here’s our Lookbook from Volta NYC the 2016 Edition of the art fair. All photos courtesy of POVarts staff. Edith Beaucage, "Gudbjorn and Petunia" and "Zest" at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.
Using a combination of sculpture, photography, and painting, Kate Bonner speaks to our current state of confusion about what, exactly, photographs are and where they live (in the "cloud," on paper, or in memory, to name a few possibilities). Made with the help of CNC routers and scanners, her works manipulate images in ways obvious and not and force them to interact with colorful frames and supports. Bonner, who is based in Oakland, has an upcoming show at Luis De Jesus in Los Angleles.
One of the great things about the fairs is the amount of painting on exhibition. For painters it's a slice of heaven. Even if you don't love everything you see, the sheer variety is satisfying. I started with some last-century work and moved into a few installations and individual artworks.
30. Zackary Drucker: Drucker, a multimedia artist who was featured on our list of 15 revolutionary transgender artists, participated in Cooper Union’s acclaimed “Bring Your Own Body: Transgender Between Archives and Aesthetics” alongside Chris Vargas, Vaginal Davis, Justin Vivian Bond, and others. Drucker is also a co-producer on the acclaimed Amazon series “Transparent,” which will return for a second season in 2016. She will also be featured alongside longtime collaborator and partner Rhys Ernst in a photography show at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in spring 2016, which will explore the pair’s journey a transgender couple.
The surprise of the week was Untitled Art Fair located on Miami’s South Beach. I found it risky and full of discoveries. The selection of galleries was diverse and prospective. The booths were spacious and well installed to appreciate large-scale works that also included installation and sculpture. Adriana Minoliti at Diablo Rosso (Panama), Nino Cais at Central (São Paulo), and Edith Beaucage at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles (Los Angeles), are some highlights of my selection. The fair therefore affirms itself to be a great spot to glimpse aspects of Latin American art, both in the emerging and very en vogue rediscovery range, but also as a place for different U.S. and Canadian proposals.
Entering James Hyde’s show at Luis De Jesus, one immediately wonders: What sort of pictures are these? At first glance, it is difficult to determine whether the expansive images are manual or mechanical, painterly or photographic. Materially, they are hybrids. Each canvas is inkjet-printed with one or more intricately detailed landscape photos that are subsequently covered, divided and framed by abstract hand-painted curves and circles suggestive of Minimalist and Color Field painting.
Ken Gonzales-Day’s manipulated archival photographs of Western lynching victims and the crowds that witnessed and committed their mob-mad murders allude to these lost lives by erasing the victims and their ropes from his images. The works are subversive – titles like This is What He Got or Five in a row cue viewers to search for the victims/subjects in the images and to imagine them in the spaces they once occupied. The voyeuristic point of view creates a kind of complicity that aligns the viewer with the pictured mob rather than with the victims, with whom most might seek to empathize. There is a kind of moral presence in the corporeal absences in Gonzales-Day’s images that picture atrocities, whether we can see them or not.
In this 4-minute, short-form pilot, Southern for Pussy, real life mother and daughter and longtime collaborators — Zackary Drucker and Penny Sori — traverse a wide swathe of political and intrapersonal subjects, toggling between the conventional (online dating, aging, and relationships) to the unorthodox (vaginal atrophy, smoking dope, and cruising for sex). These mother-daughter vignettes deftly straddle hilarity and honesty; the short was recently in the exhibition, Bring Your Own Body: Transgender Between Archives and Aesthetics, in the New York gallery 41 Cooper Union, and premiered on the Chicago web series platform, Open TV.
“I started working on Transparent two and a half years ago when Jill was developing the pilot, and the cultural landscape was so different back then. It was before the quote-unquote ‘trans tipping point,’” the show's co-producer and trans consultant Zackary Drucker told us. “We’ve made these enormous strides, I think, over the past two years, and I think it absolutely informs our flexibility on Transparent with the trans characters, because we are all kind of moving forward more rapidly..."
Positioned south of the Convention Center at 10th and Ocean Dr., the Untitled Art Fair returns to its prime beach real estate this year, bringing with it another year of tightly-curated booths, installations and special projects. It’s a refreshing change of pace from the bustle of ABMB, complemented by the fair’s signature tent design, which boasts wide aisles and spacious booth for exhibitors that gave the exhibition a distinctly relaxed air, while offering ample light to emphasize the works on view.
Alkotója, a mindössze harminchárom éves, éppen krisztusi korban levő Nicolas Grenier megfogalmazásában a Vertikális Szocializmus olyan építészeti típusterv, amely „a modern nagyváros körülményei között kezeli a gazdasági, politikai és társadalmi egyenlőtlenséget.” / In the formulation of its creator, Nicolas Grenier, who is only thirty-three years old and just in age, Vertically Integrated Socialism is an imagined architectural design and ideology that “addresses economic, political, and social inequality in the context of a modern metropolis.”
Perceptual psychologists have long dismissed the notion that our brain records images like a camera; seeing is an interactive process of grazing, in a visual field that extends around us on all sides, rather than a series of flat images projected to a single point. Yet photographic images retain special authority as records of visual experience. In his current exhibition, James Hyde undertakes to dislodge this persistent prejudice.
In this conversation, Flawless Sabrina, Zackary Drucker, and Elisabeth Sherman, Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney, discuss the tarot card readings; the first drag contest Flawless Sabrina initiated in 1959; and the ever-changing landscape of New York City. The interview is illustrated by snapshots taken by Drucker inside the apartment.
Zackary Drucker (trans consultant on Transparent): I have concerns about trans actors being cast in roles that are being written by cis people entirely. I read a lot of pilots last season and they had trans characters just popping up and saying, "I'm trans. I'm trans. I'm trans. Genitals!" and then disappearing. Writers that are trans, consultants who are informing cis writers to help create more complex renderings of our lives, it all has to happen.
The "Bring Your Own Body" exhibit at the Cooper Union in New York City features works of transgender artists and archives from the renowned Kinsey Institute illustrating the experience of the transgender community in America through official history as well as modern-day artistic expression.
FAITH, a hot-button issue in the political arena these days, is the subject of a messy, restless new exhibition at Real Art Ways in Hartford. The exhibition, organized by James Hyde from New York, with assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation and others, consists of artworks in all media by a dozen artists. Some of the artists, like Matt Collishaw, Patty Chang and Josiah McElheny, are rising stars. This is a fashionable show.
As a society, we’re waking up to the idea that gender identity doesn’t fit into two neat, blue and pink boxes, but rather exists on a spectrum that might not always mirror the biological body. Perhaps nowhere is the notion of gender fluidity being more tangibly explored than in the fashion industry, where designers are increasingly creating collections that blur the boundaries between boys and girls.
The vast majority of the art we see — in Jackson Hole and pretty much everywhere else — comes in neat, tidy packages: a surface, covered with paint, contained by a frame, displayed on an otherwise blank span of wall. Artist Kate Bonner, however, mutilates that neat package, exposing the guts of our traditional ideas about what a piece of art is and thus forcing us to confront and question those ideas.
Aujourd'hui, dans les grandes villes du monde, la manière dont nous concevons le développement immobilier et l'urbanisme est constamment remise en question par la croissance démographique, la migration, le fossé grandissant entre les riches et les pauvres. / Today, in the big cities of the world, the way we understand real estate development and urban planning is constantly challenged by demographic growth, migration, the widening gap between the rich and the poor.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I grew up in multiple cities in Texas and Michigan. I’ve lived in Japan, Chicago, Brooklyn, San Francisco and now Oakland. Maybe it is because I have lived in so many cities, or because I was very shy when I was young, that I am interested in location and structural divisions and how they shape perspective. Part photo, part sculpture, my work is an attempt to expand space and to bar entry. I use scissors, scanners, digital erasers and jigsaws to break apart images and deny story to the viewer.
Een werk dat mij aangenaam verrast is Vertically Integrated Socialism van de Canadese kunstenaar Nicolas Grenier. Grenier, die geïnteresseerd is in ongelijkheid binnen politieke, economische, culturele en sociale systemen en principes, ontwierp een experimenteel huisvestingsconcept dat de sociale piramide in één enkel gebouw integreert. / A work that pleasantly surprises me is Vertically Integrated Socialism by the Canadian artist Nicolas Grenier. Interested in inequality within political, economic, cultural and social systems and principles, Grenier designed an experimental housing concept that integrates the social pyramid into a single building.
In the collaborative project, Relationship (2008-2013), Drucker and Ernst document their romantic partnership as a transitioning transgender couple—Drucker from male to female, Ernst from female to male. “We are all collectively morphing and transforming together, and this is just one story of an opposite-oriented transgender couple living in Los Angeles,” Drucker has said. The artists fairly represent and qualify their own experiences in terms of the gender discourse they provide, and thus the work can produce relatable, understandable narratives in terms of content.
This narrative, however, is merely a scaffold for Beaucage’s sun-drenched, acid-hued palette and the assurance with which she renders loose portraits — in broad, fluid strokes as relaxed as her subjects. The lush, Arcadian surroundings get the same treatment. Trees are little more than wavering verticals: a kelp forest in a rainbow of shades. Mountains, lakes and sky are rendered breezily in lemon yellows and cobalt blues, appearing to glow with energy.
Our artists are crafting stories and expanding upon themes in this week’s gallery picks. #4: Edith Beaucage’s Chill Bivouac Rhymes invites you to follow a small group of teens at a rave concert. In parallel to Roland Barthes search for openness of interpretation in literature; Beaucage organized her current exhibition to allow for a looseleaf narrative.
"The viewer will discover the paintings by looking through sculptures and painting installation. Twelve feet tall multicolor trees, an octagon geometric shape and freestanding painted campers are installed on the gallery floor to produce a deep focus space. The inclusion of the three levels of foreground, middle ground and extreme background objects create for the viewer a effect similar to a depth of field composition in cinematography; allowing the viewer to focus on both close and distant planes. In addition to paintings, Beaucage has created enamel on iron pieces that where fired at 1450° F; fusing glass to metal. Influenced by Limoges enamelings from the mid 1600s, her ravers are incapsulated in a deep glossy tranced out spaces."
There’s something unnervingly sinister in Nicolas Grenier’s Promised Land Template (2014). The work’s looming wooden exterior dominated one of the Biennale’s central galleries with a mysterious, monolithic weight. On one side, a doorway leads into a small interior cell. A potted cactus sits on the tiled floor. A pair of paintings hang lit by a false skylight, their desert ochres, pinks and blues mapped by texts that hint at utopian dreams. It’s another world; calm, eerie, claustrophobic. For Grenier, who splits time between Montreal and Los Angeles, it’s a metaphor for the failed systems of integration and immigration, a transitory space that at once promises and denies hope.
From night at the Palace to afternoon in a mysterious Venice alley, the gritty glamour of L.A. serves as a backdrop to this enigmatic game of hide-and-seek. At the story's end, model Daisy and transgender performance artist Zackary reunite in a single morphed portrait.
Performance artist/filmmaker/occasional actress Zackary Drucker has evolved from a superstar of the Los Angeles queer scene to a prominent figure in the American art world. Onscreen, the CalArts graduate is best known for her performance as "Darling" in the short experimental film She Gone Rogue, a dream-like exploration of gender and identity with cameos from Holly Woodlawn, Flawless Sabrina, and Vaginal Davis.
In writing about Peter Williams’s 2013 show of paintings at Foxy Production, John Yau stated that “the world Williams depicts [...] is a vulnerable one where everything has either gone haywire or is about to.” In The N-Word, Williams’s current show at Novella Gallery, Williams shows viewers what it is like now that everything has actually gone haywire. The central figure of the show is an African American superhero sporting an American flag cape.
The 2014 deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of police — to name but two of the highest-profile such incidents in that, or any, year — catalyzed a series of in-your-face, unapologetically brash paintings that Peter Williams finished in a concerted burst last winter, on view at New York’s Novella Gallery through April 5.
If the images on display in the Torrance Art Museum’s latest photography exhibit cause people to gaze with curiosity or take a second look, that’s OK. The show is meant to challenge the definition of a photograph. “This exhibit shows how artists are using photography in new and different ways, how they’re redefining the medium and challenging the medium."
Nicolas Grenier’s Promised Land Template (2014), an elegant, corporate-looking folly, made of wood, that fast-forwards viewers into a honey-coloured dystopia. The tomb-like structure suggests an art gallery in which glowing paintings on warm walls invoke the digital in their colour and graphics style, and speak to the displacement of ethnic populations. The central painting, recalling a labelled illustration, represents the “End of the Line: Designated area for problematic population groups,” which cynically offers up a mock utopia with “green grass,” “decent facilities” and “proper graves” interred in “indifferent dirt.”
America's majestic drag queen mother has spent her life mentoring her daughters and granddaughters...Rarely do these people get recognized, and almost never while they're alive. To be honest, I'd heard Flawless's name bandied about for years, but I never really knew who she was. So when I received an email last fall from performance art star Zackary Drucker announcing a funding campaign for the Flawless Sabrina Archive, my first thought was "Shit, she's dead," followed by "Does she really need an archive?"
Like Wolkoff, Margie Livingston makes sculptural objects from acrylic paint, which she thickens with a gel medium. She pours and pools it into swirls of color. Once it dries, she takes the highly elastic skins and folds or drapes them. Other works are carved from dry chunks of paint into remarkable shapes. Livingston says of her process: “I’m playing with the weight of paint, letting gravity reveal the material’s flexibility.”
Television has so refined the model of caddy woman-centric talk shows that nearly every major network has one. The "by women for women" panels of hostesses typically include a stand-up comedian, an African-American woman (or two), an A-list headliner and a lesbian. Then there's the wildcard: likely to be Asian or Republican, possibly both. Discussion points run the gamut of hot topics—everything from ISIS to Sarah Palin, from a woman's perspective… and that is, in part, why The Skew is so important.
Kate Bonner lives and works in Oakland, CA creating sculptural works through both digital and manual processes that combine photography with physical structures. Chopped up glimpses of photographs are mounted, layered, and reassembled on solid surfaces, variously bent and reaching away from the wall, or simply leaning up against it; their unexpected forms exceed the typical photographic frame, in turn making the entire wall or room the frame.
Photographer Carla Jay Harris generously shares with LFF about how her nomadic existence inspires her work; her upcoming thesis exhibition, If She Were Me, for her studies at UCLA; her wish for art; how LA is for women in art and more.
This year Tourjee, along with her friend Zackary Drucker, the artist and Transparent associate producer, has embarked on preserving Doroshow’s life’s work and activism. The Flawless Sabrina Archive — presently unfurling on the western wall in the form of boxes heaped with old gay magazines, photographs, notebooks, letters, and court documents — is a nonprofit, set up by Tourjee and Drucker, that aims to be a historical resource for the LGBT community with a focus on young artists, performers, and students.
La iglesia del Gran Seminario acoge la obra Vertically Integrated Socialism del artista canadiense Nicolas Grenier. Propone un alojamiento experimental que integra toda la pirámide social en un único edificio, que expresa y critica la estratificación de la estructura social. / The Church of the Grand Seminary houses the work Vertically Integrated Socialism by Canadian artist Nicolas Grenier. He proposes an experimental accommodation that integrates the entire social pyramid in a single building, which expresses and criticizes the stratification of the social structure.
"In this photoessay, I document the changing economic realities of the American worker by evaluating my relationship to my family heritage. The essay is centered on Smithfield, VA. In 2013, Smithfield, home to my family for many generations, lost its primary employer (Smithfield Foods) to a Chinese conglomerate in the largest ever buyout by a Chinese firm. Since that time, a pall of fear and trepidation has fallen over the town. These images serve as a lasting testament to the personal costs of our 21st century consumer-driven culture."
For the 2014 Biennial, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst present three collaborative projects. Ernst is a director and filmmaker; Drucker’s work as an artist spans photography, film, and performance. The photographs on view on the Museum’s third floor, Relationship, are an intimate and diaristic record of their relationship as a transgender couple whose bodies are transitioning in opposite directions (for Drucker from male to female, and for Ernst from female to male).
L’installation de Nicolas Grenier, Promised Land Template, exposée au Musée d’art contemporain pour la Biennale de Montréal, ne manque pas de surprendre. Dans cette œuvre, réalisée en 2014, l’artiste aborde la question de l’immigration et de l’intégration dans les sociétés modernes. / Nicolas Grenier's installation, Promised Land Template, exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art for the Montreal Biennale, is sure to surprise. In this work, produced in 2014, the artist addresses the question of immigration and integration in modern societies.
As it happens these are extremely interesting, held together in an engaging architectural installation, a wooden box with weird traction sandpaper flooring, by local artist Nicolas Grenier, and one of them, Incoming Flux (2014), in oil and acrylic on wood, is among the most intriguing and accomplished paintings I’ve seen for a long while. But it is typical that these paintings are seemingly only considered acceptable for the Biennale because they deal with a subject matter, a topic, a social or intellectual issue, rather than just being purely visually or aesthetically rewarding.
Nicolas Grenier's paintings reference visual maps of information that merge abstraction with polemics. They take their cues from data visualizations where gradients are often used to depict transitions from one state to another, often with arrows that flow in multiple directions indicating the different ways that information can move. Under the title "One Day Mismatched Anthems Will Be Shouted in Tune" Grenier creates a suite of paintings in which colors are mixed to form earth-toned gradients sharing space with cryptic texts and looping arrows.
Par des moyens symboliques et architecturaux, Nicolas Grenier transpose la réalité des populations apatrides en une expérience pénétrante. Son œuvre Promised Land Templateest présentée au Musée d’art contemporain (MAC) dans le cadre de la Biennale de Montréal. / By symbolic and architectural means, Nicolas Grenier transposes the reality of stateless populations into a penetrating experience. His work Promised Land Template is presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) as part of the Biennale de Montréal.
This summer, artistic collaborators Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst hit a high point in their careers by being included in the Whitney Biennial. The diaristic photo portraits on display recorded their relationship and their bodies as they transitioned (for Drucker from male to female; for Ernst from female to male), even as their lives continued to evolve.
SculptureNotebook is an online platform that features artists, events, books, and other cultural material pertinent to issues in contemporary sculpture. FEATURED ARTIST: Kate Bonner, Seen through the side, 2013. Digital print on MDF. 36 x 44 x 10 in.
The idea to include The Queen in the Transparent opening titles came from associate producers Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst. Drucker and Ernst have steadily won acclaim for their art work over the last three years, with projects featured in the inaugural Made in L.A. 2012 biennial and the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
With sections previously shown in the Made in LA 2012 and the Whitney Biennial, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst’s current exhibition at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles captures in scattered pictures and videos the rise and fall of their years-long love affair, a relationship that ravels and unravels whilst both more fully transition into their true genders.
Transformation is never easy, but almost always necessary, and in the case of Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, a cause for undaunting exploration. Their most recent collaboration, aptly titled “Post/Relationship/X” explores the intimate moments within a relationship between an opposite-oriented transgender couple, during which time Ernst transitioned from female to male and Drucker transitioned from male to female.
America in general and Los Angeles in particular have a reputation as places for a second chance, places where anyone might reinvent a self. Photographers and filmmakers Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst are emblematic – and in mind-and- body-bending ways. Their work moves forward propositions perhaps first encountered 20 years ago in Cathy Opie’s widely acclaimed art. At Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Druckerand Ernst show two videos and a selection of 62 color photographs that were featured in the Whitney Museum’s Biennial this year.
Nearby, amidst the beaming rows of trans and cis supporters sat two young artists, Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst, who had more than a hand in shaping Transparent. Long time collaborators, Drucker and Ernst have had a surge of attention in 2014. At the Whitney Biennial they showed a photo series that documented their six-year relationship between 2008 and 2014, a period during which both transitioned — Drucker to female, Ernst to male.
The artist Zackary Drucker presented the film, in the context of Queer/Art/Film—L.A., a film series presented at Cinefamily and curated by Lucas Hildebrand. Zackary’s work is imbued with her interest in queer and trans history—a history that is hard to trace and therefore precious, whatever form it takes. Let Me Die a Woman presents its trans characters as specimens, to be scrutinized within a medical frame, but it also implicitly allows us to wonder at the motivations of the individuals who were willing to undergo the objectification of that frame, in order to achieve a presence, as representation, for unknown others—for us, in the future.
Last Saturday (September 13) at the Craft in America Center, Miyoshi Barosh shared a retrospective of sorts at our open house in celebration of the Body Conscious exhibition. Here’s a few photos from the talk and open house.
Transgender artists Zackary Drucker and Rhys Ernst are transitioning in opposite directions and have captured their individual transformations in the "Relationship" series, a collection of photographs on exhibit as part of Biennial 2014 at The Whitney Museum of American Art from March 7 to May 25. The photo series is an intimate diary of the couple's love affair and their gender identity transitions -- Drucker from male to female and Ernst from female to male.
Ink on Paper represents a temporary shift in Engman’s artistic practice from photographic documentation on environmental installation phenomena – records of processes and the passage of time – to a consideration of photographs themselves as an inherently false, mediated and distancing way to experience the world. By focusing not on outer constructions but on the photograph as a constructed challenge to perception, this new body of work continues Engman’s inquiry into the illusive and unknowable nature of reality.
What are you working on in your studio right now?
I’m making draped paintings out of white paint skins. Just to clarify, a paint skin is what I get after pouring out whole gallons of acrylic paint to form a sheet and then leaving that sheet to dry. So far, most of my paint skins have been multicolored, but I’m pouring special white skins for the draped paintings, and I’m developing a way to create a white-on- white pattern so the surface of the painting will shimmer in the light, kind of like a damask tablecloth. I stumbled across the idea of making draped paintings when I tied some scraps of dried paint into a big loopy
At last weekend's Paris Photo LA, many works stood out to us for their ability to talk about photography in fresh, captivating ways. One such artist at the helm of sculptural photography pieces is Kate Bonner, who showed two of her works at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles booth this year. Bonner's works typically combine photography, sculpture, and installation for pieces that appear to come out of walls and corners. At the fair in particular, one seemed to be trying to leave the fair entirely, as it was positioned at an exit.
A trompe l’oeil photograph may seem like an oxymoron — photographs are constantly fooling the eye with their verisimilitude. Yet in his exhibition at Luis De Jesus, L.A. artist Chris Engman has managed to create photographic images that evoke this playful artistic tradition while examining the mechanisms of their own presentation. They engage in a kind of generative navel-gazing: Photography has caught itself looking.
Edith Beaucage sought to capture the courage it took to chart one's path as an immigrant in "Dragon Frederick Louis of Rimouski," a lush painting full of bold strokes and melting colors. "I'm not Asian, I'm French-Canadian, but I connected with their story of immigration. I believe that all immigrants have to have a dragon with them to undertake such a big move. They have to be courageous. These two men were that and their story had that underlying American theme of being able to do what you want in a new place."
The first time Rhys Ernst saw Zackary Drucker was in 2005 at a bar in the East Village. At the time, both were aspiring artists. Rhys had recently graduated from Hampshire College and was working for MTV networks. Zackary had graduated from the School of Visual Arts and was appearing on a reality TV show called “Artstar,” hosted by Jeffrey Deitch.
Two rows of color photographs make up Drucker and Ernst’s glamorous Relationship, 2008-13. In the top row, a figure with long bleached-blond hair poses in heels or in a dark apartment; below, a person with short dark hair lounges in bed or wades in the ocean. The series documents the couple’s gender transitions, artist Drucker from male to female and filmmaker Ernst from female to male, in images that, like gender, walk the line between documentary and performance.
When I drove up to Zackary Drucker’s home off San Fernando Road, the front door was wide open—a startling sight since most of the surrounding houses have metal bars over the windows and doors. The Los Angeles video and performance artist lives in Glassell Park, an industrial strip in Northeast Los Angeles. Besides the open door, the house also stood apart with its manicured lawn and the polished wood floors I glimpsed through the doorway. It was as if Drucker’s house was in color, and the rest of the neighborhood in black and white.
Google “feel better” and 130,000,000 suggestions for attaining happiness pop up in 0.24 seconds. If the American Dream is working, why are so many of us overdosing on sugar laden treats or seeking joy in the endless line-up of adorable pets that populate You Tube? Miyoshi Barosh opens her examination of this conundrum by confronting us with “Feel Better,” a mattress-sized wall sculpture of a chocolate bar flecked with gold, imprinted with its title, commanding us to improve our emotional state. This humungous symbol addressing the pitfalls of destructive consumption is in a face-off with four digital prints of adorable kitties across the room. A scattering of burns revealing underlying collages of colorful printed fabrics mars the kittens’ irresistible faces. In an adjoining room, Barosh’s “Arcadia” is a standout adaptation of crazy quilt fabrics into a folksy 3-dimensional suggestion of computer gaming landscapes. Re-interpretations of vintage post cards of scenic America with titles such as “Monument to Manipulated State of Well Being” reinforce sculptures including “Monument to the Triumph of the Therapeutic,” emboldening Barosh’s captivating examination of a variety of ways in which cultural failure has become internalized. - Diane Calder
Performance/video artist Zackary Drucker and London-based photographer Manuel Vason have teamed up to create a series of self-reflexive and sometimes enigmatic images shot in Milan in 2010 during one of Drucker’s seminal performances. Drucker’s imagery does more than explicate transgendered identities; each of these photographs in some way expands the transgender dialectic to include, and indeed embrace, the compulsion toward violence, voyeurism and the interior space of the body versus the exterior space of public display and performance.
FEEL BETTER: The exhortation, wish, or command, chiseled in “stone” calls to me in huge upholstered capital letters from what looks like a black vertical gravestone in relief hung as a tapestry on the wall. On it and on the floor are shiny gold-colored nuggets or “rocks.”
Miyoshi Barosh’s 2013 installation concentrates in one piece her deft use of linguistic slippage, and the dark humor of double entendre. Through the intense materiality of language-as-sculpture, the work activates a kind of monumental craftsmanship that oscillates between the fleeting virtuality of a Facebook “wall” and the timeless finality of a tombstone. That the work is made of illusionistic movie prop materials (fabric, paint, foam, fake gold) adds to this collision.
The clash produces in the viewer a Brechtian estrangement effect, as when we are obliged to stand at a certain distance from the work, a distance that prevents us from being sucked in by the face value of language or the seduction of workmanship in the materials alone. According to the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, “words are deeds.” Language
This strong group exhibition at Catherine Clark Gallery is rounded out by Kate Bonner, Lauren Marsden, Bruno Fazzolari, Josh Greene, Patricia Esquivias, and collaborators Gareth Spor and Piero Passacantando celebrates the contributions made by CCA graduates and staff and further strengthens Clark's ties to the neighborhood.
Using photography as a main component, the artists visit and revisit objects and images, manipulating them, cutting them and repositioning them until the originals are transformed into new iterations. The iteration becomes a documentation of the changes that take place between originals and the outcome. The final pieces are collages and configurations of process, landing in a space pushing the boundaries of three-dimensionality. Kate Bonner’s new work is a strong example of that push, disrupting the limitations of two-dimensional images.
Featuring works by Kate Bonner, Andrew Chapman, Anthony Discenza, Aaron Finnish, Chris Hood, and Cybele Lyle, the overall aesthetic of the installation is chromatically minimal, which helps to keep the room from feeling cluttered. In a continuation of the exhibition title, the works are all deliciously anti-cathartic. What we see is a biopsy from a larger narrative that the artists never full reveal. Instead the works confront the viewer with tension and aura, encouraging the consideration of the exhibition as a whole.
Peter Williams—who is sixty and black—is having his first solo exhibition of paintings in New York. And not one to ever play it safe, he is exhibiting two distinct bodies of work at Foxy Production (February 15, 2013–March 23, 2013)—three smallish abstract paintings and five large figurative ones—which share a palette of pinks, violets, blues, turquoises, reds, greens and yellows.
Drucker kicked off the evening with “Bring Your Own Body,” a tribute/biographical monologue to the late transgender figure Lynn Elizabeth Harris. Harris, who was born a hermaphrodite in Orange County in 1950, was raised as a female through high school and beyond by parents who never reconsidered his gender identity...
A baker’s dozen of arts-centric individuals and organizations were celebrated by White Rock council as ‘community inspirations’ Monday. The list of nationally and internationally known honourees was far from complete, Mayor Baldwin noted in recognizing the 13 artists in attendance and another nine who were invited but were unable to attend.
Bidibidiba is a figure of speech for love, pleasure & sentimentality. Bidibidiba is where characters are build with painting activation in mind. Childlike multicolored brushstrokes are used to build abstractions that are part of the figure. There is a lot of interesting interaction with the background & the figure in the painting.
Bidibidiba is the title song of the 1970 movie “L’homme Orchestre” (“The Orchestra Men”) with French comedian Louis De Funes. Specifically, the Bidibidiba dance within this comedy had the effect of molding a desire in Beaucage for a modern and colorful life. Bidibidiba is light, entertaining, new, and full of sentimentality: idealistically bound portraits of diverse characters including girls and philosophers, art students (both fictional and real), hipsters with mustaches, Egyptian girls, princesses, knights, dragons, musketeers, wigged women, bearded men, and dandies. They are sometimes in conversations or simply doing their jobs of being portraits and holding the paint together.
Zackary Drucker is a dynamo, who, at the young age of 29, has created an insightful body of films, photographs and performances challenging gender normativity. Her work, which always intersects with her own transsexual identity, postulates queer alternatives to the status quo. She has staged performances inviting audience members to perform depilatory actions on her body.
The American Chris Engman, on the other hand, sculpts his way to surreal illumination. Here, he plants a multi-part frame on a swathe of barren scrubland. Either side of the structure, the sky is a merciless blue yet through the openings a veil of cloud is visible thanks to a photograph stretched across the frame. Recalling Magritte, the effect of this sleight of eye is to intensify the cerulean real.
Imagine glancing quickly past photographer Chris Engman’s work, Transplant—where the entire image of a tree is constructed using panels of images—while in development. Is it any less real when you are unaware that it is a set of constructed images? Is it more false because the images are broken into smaller, square frames? Can you say, definitely, that the tree exists at all, despite being photographed in one place and constructed in another? These are all questions Engman forces the viewer to confront after his first, quick, absorbing glance, and all questions Engman himself considers in the process of developing his work.
Filmmaker Rhys Ernst and artist Zackary Drucker have a name for their situation. They sometimes refer to themselves as “reverse heterosexuals.” “It’s radical to most people that we’re such a normal couple,” says Ernst, who met Drucker three years ago in the backyard of a mansion in Los Angeles, the city where they now share an apartment. At the time, both were beginning a period of life-altering transition: Drucker from male to female, Ernst from female to male.
Zackary Drucker is a transgender performance artist who breaks down the way we think about gender, sexuality and seeing. The artist uses a female pronoun, and through her participatory pieces she complicates established binaries of viewer and subject, insider and outsider, and male and female in order to create a complex image of the self. “The Gold Standard” is a collection of Drucker’s projects, including performances and photography, documentation and exhibitionism, and combinations of the above.
The roster of emerging and under-recognized L.A. artists for the inaugural Hammer/LAX Art biennial has been released, along with an announcement of a $100,000 prize to be awarded to one participant. Liz Glynn, Analia Saban and Henry Taylor are among the 60 artists tapped for the show.
With his latest effort, the burgeoning publishing mogul shifts a gear that looks to me like a focus from the people to the artist — the rich, mesmerizing and artistically elevated art publication, TRANSLADY FANZINE. As coffee-table as OP is pocket-sized, TRANSLADY FANZINE does not attempt to hand a microphone to the infinitely varied experience of transgender females, but rather is the product of an obsessively intimate collaboration between Amos Mac and a muse, the acclaimed performance and video artist Zackary Drucker.
CB1 Gallery hosts artist Edith Beaucage from February 26 through April 3, 2011. Her exhibition .hurluberlu, explores the relationship between her characters and their abstractions. Beaucage talks about her exhibition.
The three artists in this exhibition––Nena Amsler, Miyoshi Barosh, and Nava Lubelski––make works that resist being slotted into traditional categories like sculpture or painting, decoration or craft. Materially and visually, their pieces exhibit permeability or seepage—holes, drips, and stains figure prominently throughout—indicating a space where one object or concept blends into or creates a dialectic with another. These artists’ material-conceptual investigations invoke the relational perspective of the French feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray, who writes in her 2008 book Sharing the World, “It is no longer a question of moving in a space arranged by the words of only one subject, but of taking the risk to open one’s own world in order to move forward to meet with another world." Barosh’s sculptural chairs sprout an array of armatures—shiny black drips, metal coils, and foam protuberances—suggesting both the exuberance and the violence of growing outside or through limitations and constraints.
Edith Beaucage’s “hurluberlu” paintings, which feature idiosyncratic figures and architectural references are about the rich interaction of the imagination and social spaces. Beaucage’s new series has a Rococo energy, and is peopled by an engaging cast of lusciously painted faux-naif characters. The paintings are sweet, challenging, and utterly original. To better understand the artist’s ideas, I sent her a set of questions, and also asked her husband, Glen Irani, if he would add his perspective.
A hurlyburly is a real-world Tumblr of sensory and dimensional elements, but it denotes a vision or experience that's more captivating and even funhouse than actual chaos or anything destructive. The idea that not only modern art but life itself is a bit of a hurlyburly is at the heart of Edith Beaucage: .hurluberlu.
It started with a hairball. Margie Livingston wondered if she could draw the light filtering through that hairball — and with this challenge, launched herself into an exploration of depicting 3D space in 2D space, but always by first constructing and then copying a model. In order to produce one of her early paintings, Livingston would build a model, often a grid-like structure of string and wood. Then the small object standing in her studio would provide inspiration for an atmospheric, tasteful oil study in space, form and light. But recently those objects, built as models and collectively saved over the years, began to garner as much if not more interest than the paintings.
Such exhibitions are always hard to find, but there’s one on view now at the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College here in upstate New York. Consisting mostly of paintings, and with work by 60 artists, it’s called “The Jewel Thief.” Piece by piece it’s a modest affair, but as an ensemble it’s vibrant. It makes even minimally interesting components feel vivacious... The surface of a Styrofoam bench by James Hyde incorporates photographic details of a Stuart Davis painting.
Zackary Drucker Performance Artist, Filmmaker– The most memorable work to date by 27-year-old performance artist Zackary Drucker may well be a piece entitled The Inability To Be Looked At and the Horror of Nothing to See, staged four times in 2009, where Drucker lays on a table wearing only underwear and a blond wig with a steel ball in her mouth.
Chris Engman's series Landscapes is based on the vast open spaces of Washington State outside of Seattle, where Engman lives. The title of the series, just like the images themselves, suggests one thing, while revealing many others. He has a show on at the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle until Christmas Eve 2010. This interview with Engman was done for the Talent Issue (#24) of Foam magazine which came out in September 2010.
But none of these artists seems to have as much fun as Edith Beaucage, whose confidently spontaneous figures are breezy, casual and exuberantly expressive. Usually isolated on plain white grounds, Beaucage’s characters — and they are characters, not just figures — emerge from strikingly economical means. “Monster With Blue Eyes” is a Muppet-like figure whose “fur” has been quickly delineated in a fan of broad, blue-green brushstrokes. In the diptych “Hexagon” a brushy sketch of a woman on one canvas calmly looks at another, hexagonally shaped canvas painted in thick concentric stripes. It’s a succinct commentary on viewership that makes us aware of our own position in a network of gazes.
PHONG BUI (RAIL): I think the first time I was exposed to your work was in 1989 at the John Good gallery, where Chris [Martin] had his show a year later, which was the first time I was exposed to his work. What I remember from your show was a group of frescoes painted on all kinds of materials: glass, slate, wood, medium-density board, and so on. They were installed quite irregularly.
So it started with admiration....Well, I never wanted to paint like him, but he did get me into dealing with language in art. I was always interested in the way he seemed to go from shape to sign, using letters as an intermediary step in that process. The paintings you see here in my studio are also based on Davis, though they’re a bit different from the ones at the Boiler because they incorporate actual words. There is a type of reading involved, which is a way of looking at something while not looking at the same time.
James Hyde is a painter who can rarely contain himself within two dimensions. His semiotic explorations of the medium have taken him in the direction of paint filled Plexiglass vitrines that approach the condition of sculptural installation, Styrofoam supports as deep as they are high or wide, and furniture. When he does play within a conventional painting support, as often as not found objects are affixed. But he will as good as ask you to step outside if you question his membership of the painting guild.
Consisting of thick lashings of acrylic over humongous vinyl prints of details taken from 1930s Stuart Davis canvases, [James] Hyde’s muscular manipulations (he used a housepainter’s roller) pay homage to an underappreciated American modernist while supersizing issues of influence, quotation, and sampling. A feat that owes something to James Rosenquist’s literal magnification of pop culture, Hyde’s riffs on abstract painting scale up the impacts of gestural rhythm with Times Square results.
"I do consider myself a performance artist, though it’s only one of a few mediums I work with. My performance of gender and sexuality is the common denominator in all of my film, video, photographic, and performative works. My performance mode is continuous and fully-integrated into my everyday life; as a gender variant person my physicality in this world is always on the line, always under review and scrutiny to the audience of greater culture..."
“It's hard for me to separate Nathan, the person, from the Nathan, the artist—the two were inextricably bound,” says Luis De Jesus, director of Luis De Jesus Seminal Projects, San Diego, who was Nathan's best friend and was with him when he died.Anyone who knew him personally can see his quirky, yet elegant sense of style, sharp wit, all-encompassing knowledge, refined appreciation of the classics and, above all, his oddball sense of humor reflected throughout his work.
The effectiveness of UNBUILT is less the result of mercy than rigor. What the viewer sees upon breaching Southfirst’s gallery is a salon-style wall of rectilinear, mostly flat paintings of various sizes. But from the outward noise, an internal structure begins to emerge. The majority of the pieces originate in photographic images of building skeletons, which Hyde, depending on one’s point of view, embellishes, reworks, conceals, defiles, augments, punctuates, comments on, or contributes to, by painting over them.
Peter Williams is a troubling painter for troubling reasons. There is a disconnect between his sophisticated paint handling—which can veer from dry pointillist dots to hard-sculpted tonalities to bejeweled washes and drips, all in the same picture—and the low-culture effrontery of his images.
Under most circumstances, the desert does not seem like an ideal working atmosphere. If not for the hot, dry, and desolate environment, then certainly for the lack of cell-phone reception and Internet connectivity.