Los Angeles Galleries
On a recent trip to Los Angeles I got to check out some gallery exhibitions. Here are some of my favorites:
Alessandro Pessoli at Marc Foxx
Having recently moved from Milan, Pessoli is now based in Los Angeles and his exhibition reflects work that came about as a result of this transition in his life. He explores his feelings that vacillate “between a sense of belonging and one of alienation.” I loved this exhibition that was chock full of art historical references and beautiful pieces. Pessoli, previously known for his ceramic sculptures, here experiments with bronze, aluminum and steel. One work entitled Books Waiter includes a book of drawings housed within the back of the sculptural figure. Newspaper seems to be an oft used material in Pessoli’s work. Metal clips held up a painting that had a drawing layered on top with a nod to old school Italian works. In the The Player, the largest sculpture in the show, there is a bronze figure on a bench under a red flag. The bronze material of the sculpture is smooth, yet there are clearly rough patches with gestures of the artist’s hand showing the manipulation of the clay the artist used to make the original form. Perhaps this piece represents Pessoli himself searching for his identity in his new home.
Matthew Marks new space
The simple white box is crowned by a black rectangle hovering just in front of the facade. It is truly a beautiful space to see work as the interior is infused with natural light.
Ellsworth Kelly at Matthew Marks Gallery
It seems very fitting that the first show in Matthew’s new space is Ellsworth Kelly. The pared down shaped canvases in one or two colors energize the white cube. My favorite part of the show are the collages from the mid 50s. Across from the studies is the 1966 painting Black Over White. It is wonderful to see the dialogue these works have. And even more fun to recognize that, in fact, this is the inspiration for his sculpture that has been permanently installed on the facade of the gallery. The exhibition is on view through April 7, 2012. Be sure to also catch Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings at LACMA on view through April 22nd.
Shio Kusaka at Blum and Poe
Blum and Poe’s space in Culver City is breathtaking; I was particularly taken with the upstairs gallery. Light poured in on the 50-foot long pedestal which housed the varied ceramic works of Shio Kusaka. What I was most drawn to were the different shapes, patterns and colors utilized in their creation–every work is “distinctively unique.”
Carlos Bunga at the Hammer
Using cardboard, tape and paint, Bunga, a Portuguese artist, created an entirely new environment in the lobby of the Hammer. In the Projects room of the museum, collages documenting his completed installations are on view as are performative videos. Trained as a painter, he became intrigued by decaying architecture and began integrating his paintings into urban landscapes. This work questions “ideas about the physical permanence and societal importance of architecture.” His large-scale installations are really oversized maquettes that take form as he creates them. His works deteriorate over time and thus become “meditations on impermanence.” This show is on view through April 22, 2012
Chris Burden at LACMA
What fun Los Angeles-based artist Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is! Metropolis I was made seven years ago and included 80 matchbox cars traveling around a model city. This second work is on a much grander scale and has been in the making for 6 years. Including 1200 custom designed cars, 18 highways, and wooden blocks and Legos making up buildings, Burden has created a miniature Los Angeles. Metropolis II runs every hour and is ongoing.
Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair Opening Night
Very cool piece by Fiona Banner at 1301 PE booth
And last but not least, I felt compelled to head to Larry’s gallery to see the infamous Spot Paintings of Damien Hirst. And, I felt the same way about them after seeing them as I had before I went, totally unimpressed.