Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980 On view October 21, 2012—March 11, 2013
Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980 chronicles the vital legacy of the African American arts community in Los Angeles, examining a pioneering group of black artists whose work and connections with other artists of varied ethnic backgrounds helped shape the creative output of Southern California. The exhibition presents approximately 140 works by thirty-two artists active during this historical period, exploring the rising strength of the black community in Los Angeles as well as the increasing political, social, and economic power of African Americans across the nation.
Several prominent black artists began their careers in the Los Angeles area, including Melvin Edwards, David Hammons, Maren Hassinger, Senga Nengudi, John Outterbridge, Noah Purifoy, and Betye Saar. Their influence, like that of all of the artists in the exhibition, goes beyond their immediate creative circles and the geography of Los Angeles and is critical to a more complete and dynamic understanding of twentieth-century American Art.
Matt Connors: Impressionism On view October 12—December 31, 2012
Like many younger painters working with abstraction, Matt Connors (American, b. 1973) engages freely with the histories of his medium without depending upon them. His canvases absorb influences from a disparate and evolving roster of artists, as well as writers, filmmakers and musicians to whom the artist looks for inspiration, and this casual porosity is likewise reflected in the formalities of his method. Connors mostly uses raw canvas, often taking rubbings from his studio floor, pouring layers of paint into the fabric like dye, or using one wet painting to imprint another. His paintings are remarkable for the apparent thinness of their surface; paint ends up in them, rather than on them. As such, Connors’ works act as both pictures and objects, registering the surfaces behind or beneath them, as well as those before them—including other paintings and things close at hand in his studio. His paintings inhabit a space in between, taking and offering impressions of their immediate surroundings in time and space, and those more distant. Impressionism is the artist’s first solo museum presentation in the United States, and features a focused selection of extant pieces alongside new work made specifically for the exhibition.
New Pictures of Common Objects On view October 21—December 31, 2012
Artists today have a very different relationship to mass consumption and images then artists who first engaged with these topics in the 1960s. Recent technology has created a vast archive of images that is easily accessible by computer, smartphone, and other devices. Technology has also amplified the flexible nature of pictures—early pop culture envisioned throngs of passive consumers while individuals today engage with imagery as active participants. Twenty-first century images are not only distributed from central hubs, but are rapidly circulated and exchanged among peers. The decentralized model has flattened hierarchies, fostering a sense of equivalence and ambiguity in which making, consuming, and sharing are all regarded as creative acts. The five emerging artists in the exhibition engage with images as raw material to create sculptures, videos, photographs, and installations. They recognize the elastic and diffuse nature of images, utilizing pictures to challenge expectations of genre, form, and meaning. The exhibition features artists Trisha Baga, Lucas Blalock, Josh Kline, Margaret Lee, and Helen Marten.
Ferhat Özgür: I Can Sing On view October 25—December 14, 2012
Ferhat Özgür‘s (Turkish, b. 1965) practice critiques contemporary political realities with humor and irony. Living and working in Istanbul, Özgür principally focuses upon the relationship of the individual with society, using his work as a space within which individuality can be expressed in spite of the context of oppressive environments.
Özgür‘s video I Can Sing (2008), depicts an Anatolian woman in a headscarf, standing before a backdrop of contemporary Ankara featuring minarets alongside the ever-expanding sprawl of urban development. The woman’s lips move in conflict with the soundtrack of Jeff Buckley’s cover version of Leonard Cohen’s classic song “Hallelujah”. Her personal lament becomes a lament for the disappearance of cultural traditions and identities in the wake of western homogenization. She appears to both praise and despair, but the lines between Islam and Christianity, Western influence and Turkish tradition are blurred--suggesting that change is being both embraced and shunned. She is an embodiment of societal upheaval and change. Even the major key of the Western popular song is an indicator of uprooting as it obliterates the minor tones characteristic of Turkish music.
"I use light as a material to work the medium of perception, basically the work really has no object because perception is the object. And there is no image because I am not interested in associative thought."
- James Turrell
PIPPY HOULDSWORTH GALLERY, London presents RUTH CLAXTON - Specular Spectacular
7 June - 6 July 2013
Specular Spectacular is a complex maze that occupies the 'centre stage' of the gallery.
Interconnecting structures hold mirrors that both become part of and reflect the installation itself.
Worlds within worlds are housed here, and inhabited by found figurines that are themselves swallowed up by amorphous reflective masks.
Icelandic nature is prominent in Eliasson's work, and his artistic relationship with it often involves collection or documentation that is scientific in tone. The country becomes a sensory laboratory where ideas can be developed and evolved into art, as evidenced in the multiple photographic series that would seem to witness a near compulsive need for collecting.