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Blum & Poe : MATT JOHNSON | SHARON LOCKHART - Podwórka - 10 Sept 2011 to 22 Oct 2011

Current Exhibition

10 Sept 2011 to 22 Oct 2011
Hours -Tuesday - Saturday from 10:30 am to 6 pm
Opening reception: Saturday, September 10, 6-8pm
Blum & Poe
2727 S. La Cienega Blvd
CA 90034
Los Angeles, CA
North America
T: +1 (310) 836-2062
F: +1 (310) 836-2104

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Artists in this exhibition: Matt Johnson, Sharon Lockhart


September 10 - October 22, 2011
Opening reception: Saturday, September 10, 6-8pm

Blum & Poe is very pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Matt Johnson. This marks the artist's second solo show with the gallery.

Johnson's new work transforms materials commonly found in art studios and construction sites, such as dust, drywall, stone and steel, into unexpected forms, exposing the scientific and spiritual potency of these seemingly humble objects. The six new sculptures freely traverse the myriad paths of human expression in physical manifestations.

With the works, Touch the Void (2011) and Pyramid of Dust (2011), Johnson subtly intervenes with matter found in the natural world. In Touch the Void, Johnson has meticulously carved and rendered the impression of his handprint on the face of a billion year old granite boulder. By leaving a physical mark, Johnson dates his contribution within the finite life of this stone, exposing man's ongoing impulse to alter his surroundings, even if only to leave evidence of his existence. In Pyramid of Dust, Johnson delicately balances notions of stability and instability, construction and destruction, through the creation of a four-sided temple built up from several months of collected studio dust. The work, appearing as if poised to crumble at the slightest shake, offers a bittersweet reminder of the temporality of the artistic gesture.

Rising nine feet high and cast in bronze, the monumentally scaled, Nuked Buddha (2011), assumes a serene pose, yet its warped and blasted torso suggests a more violent history. Inspired by documentary images taken in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, this fictionalized artifact holds in suspension the velocity of human desecration alongside the endurance of an enlightened icon. In Star in a Jar (2011), Johnson illuminates a trapped light bulb within a Mason jar, with no visible electrical charge present. The spark of creativity is held captive, as if by magic, to be treasured like a caught firefly in a child's grasp. In the infinitely looping Trefoil I-Beam (2011) and the precariously leaning Dodecahedron (2011), Johnson creates "geometric readymades" from iconic architectural elements, such as steel and drywall. These familiar skeletal building materials give visual and tangible weight to the underlying mathematical ideas governing all physical structures.

The span of Johnson's new work investigates the human desire to interact with the given world through science, mathematics, religion, art and architecture. Johnson's own exploration points to our inherent need to connect with the cosmos, our desire want to understand it, and our attempts to control it.

Matt Johnson (b. 1978, New York) lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his B.F.A. from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore and his M.F.A from UCLA. Johnson has exhibited widely in such international venues as: The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005, 2009); The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); The Saatchi Gallery, London (2009); The Hydra Project, Hydra, Greece (2011). Johnson was also included in the 2007 travelling exhibition, American Art inthe 3rd Millennium, Astrup Fearnley, Oslo; traveled to Bard College, New York, NY; Serpentine Gallery, London; Reykjavik Art Museum, Reykjavik, Iceland; Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic.

For further information and press materials, please contact the gallery at (310) 836-2062 or


September 23 - October 29, 2011
Opening reception: Friday, September 23, 6-8pm

Blum & Poe is pleased to present the first US exhibition of Sharon Lockhart's recent film Podwórka, marking the artist's seventh solo-exhibition with the gallery. Podwórka takes as its unique setting six different courtyards in the city Lodz, Poland. Within these liminal urban spaces, the youth from the surrounding apartments engage in varying forms of everyday play.

As in much of Lockhart's previous film-based work, Podwórka is shot with specific structural parameters, including a fixed lens and uninterrupted extended takes. For this presentation, Lockhart again collaborates with Los Angeles-based architects Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena to create an installation based on the architectural setting of the film's six scenes. The courtyards featured in the film, which characterize the city's design, provide a sanctuary from the traffic and commotion of the city. Unlike the over-determined playgrounds of America, the courtyards are still very much urban environments. A series of fleeting city-life interludes, Podwórka is both a study of a specific place and an evocation of the resourcefulness of childhood.

Podwórka was commissioned and first exhibited in 2009 for the Festival of Dialogue of Four Cultures in Lodz, Poland, curated by Adam Budak.

Sharon Lockhart lives and works in Los Angeles and has had solo exhibitions at international venues, including Wiener Secession, Austria; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Sala Rekalde, Bilbao, Spain; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands; Kunsthalle Zürich; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Wolfsburg Museum, Germany; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis; the Power Plant, Toronto; and MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna. Her films have been included in the New York Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival.

Lockhart's exhibition Lunch Break will be on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in October of 2011 and will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Espai d'Art Contemporani de Castello in Spain in January of 2012. Lockhart's new five-channel film installation Noa Eshkol will debut at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem in December and will travel to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2012.

For further information and press materials, please contact the gallery at (310) 836-2062 or

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