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Blum & Poe : Anya Gallaccio | Matt Johnson - 31 May 2014 to 5 July 2014

Current Exhibition

31 May 2014 to 5 July 2014
Hours -Tuesday - Saturday from 10:30 am to 6 pm
Blum & Poe
2727 S. La Cienega Blvd
CA 90034
Los Angeles, CA
North America
T: +1 (310) 836-2062
F: +1 (310) 836-2104

Anya Gallaccio
This much is true, 2013

Artists in this exhibition: Anya Gallaccio, Matt Johnson

Anya Gallaccio
May 31 - July 5, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, May 31, 6-8 pm
Blum & Poe is pleased to present Anya Gallaccio's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. Exploring the malleability, density, and spatial possibilities of natural substances such as stone, clay, and obsidian, the exhibition posits a trajectory of formal, literal, and entropic attributes of matter into transient illusionistic realms. A British transplant living in California, Gallaccio works to excavate a material understanding of western America, extending processes of mining, core sampling, and specimen collecting into additive mark making to create sculpture conversant with American Minimalist artists Carl Andre, Sol LeWitt, and Robert Smithson.

A series of large open cubes was first realized during her residency at Artpace in San Antonio, which Gallaccio constructed using locally sourced stone from Texas, including sandstone, limestone, and granite. A rich, varied sedimentary topography is demonstrated in the individual units of each cube, which corral open areas of space within a framing of multiple landscapes or mindscapes.

Debuting in this exhibition will be a mountain of clay cubes stacked high beyond the ceiling, balanced upon a framework of timber beams. Here Gallaccio builds a monument to her craft as a sculptor in a work that reprioritizes history, image, and artifice in favor of presence. Oftentimes her careful selection of unpredictable materials--soft clay in this instance--leads to unexpected results.

Gallaccio has sculpted a second new work for the exhibition consisting of obsidian mirrors that challenge one's perception of the objects themselves. Obsidian, formed of lava from volcanic eruptions, has a glassy luster, which Gallaccio has polished into a reflective surface. Revered for its protective qualities in some cultures, Gallaccio transforms it into a highly seductive item.

Anya Gallaccio (b. 1963, Paisley, Scotland) has had numerous international solo exhibitions, including at Artpace, San Antonio, TX; Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh, Scotland; Camden Arts Center, London, United Kingdom; Sculpture Center, Queens, NY; Palazzo delle Papesse Centro Arte Contemporanea, Sienna, Italy; and the Tate, London, United Kingdom. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, Ohio; Whitechapel Gallery, London, United Kingdom; Macro Museum, Rome, Italy; Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Dusseldorf, Germany; Museum of Contemporary Art of the National University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico; Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, United Kingdom; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany; Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA; and Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA.


Matt Johnson

May 31 - July 5, 2014
Opening reception: Saturday, May 31, 6-8 pm

Blum & Poe is very pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Matt Johnson, marking the artist's third solo show with the gallery. This exhibition brings together Johnson's most recent work questioning the meaning and potential of familiar objects rendered via classical modes. Johnson's instinctive humor and ongoing investigation of antiquity, science, and religious thought are played out in materials both modern and timeless, high and low.

Featured prominently are four works from the artist's new series Lautner Beam / Super String. Johnson repurposed cast-offs from John Lautner's demolished Shusett House into rustic metaphysical visualizations of string theory, the forms hypothesized to describe matter itself. Cast in steel from the arched beams of Lautner's modernist structure, they are reworked into trompe-l'oeil, elegant forms, as if each hulking 20th century strut were flexible as a rubber band, or fluid as a vibration.

A discrete series of hand-carved granite sculptures, beginning with a freestanding nose in 2013, has evolved to include Stone Eye and Stone Ear. All of them were modeled after generic plaster casts now generations removed from Michelangelo's David (1501-04). Recalling the Colossus of Constantine (c. 280-337), which was dismembered and re-grouped piecemeal over millennia in Rome, Johnson's fragments consisting of rough hunks of granite are immediately forlorn and relatable.

In a scrappy reimagining of Bernini's tumultuous Rape of Proserpina (1621), Johnson's new sculpture Tin Foil Sculpture (Pluto and Proserpina) reveals its own frailty through the deliberate use of aluminum foil. Another versatile invention of the last century, the omnipresent blue tarp, becomes a canvas for the heavens in the artist's Untitled (Cosmos Tarp). Seeing the expansive universe in the commonplace, Johnson aims to point out that oftentimes the mysteries of time and space emerge out of the commingling of contradictions, apparent opposites, and dualism.

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 the University of California, Los Angeles. He has exhibited widely at international venues, including the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY; 11th Tiennale für Kleinplastik, Fellbach, Germany; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Hydra Workshop, Hydra, Greece; and Astrup Fearnley, Oslo, Norway.

Blum & Poe
2727 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
T: 310. 836. 2062
F: 310. 836. 2104

Blum & Poe
19 East 66th Street
New York, NY 10065
T: 212. 249. 2249
F: 212. 249. 2995

Blum & Poe
1-14-34 Jingumae
Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo 151-0001 

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