a mixed media work, primarily using turf, first as a tri-panel backdrop for part of the piece, over which what seem to be shadows from tree branches are cast, and secondly as the shadow—in the form of a human's silhouette—of the central object, which seems to be a chair with very tall legs. Behind this, black and white geese walk in a line.

Sung Eun Park: Pleasant Exchanges

The COVID-19 pandemic has urged us to reflect on our mortality. The intensity of this inevitable shadow forces us to accept the prospect of death—an acceptance that impacts the way we lead our lives.

In each work, Park weaves a narrative that allows you to follow the journey through a surreal world, a journey that will drive you to stay immersed in the present, free yourself from the past and the future, and to contemplate the dignity and value of your life.

Sung Eun Park is an artist working across the medium of drawing, sculpture and painting. In her current body of work, Park explores the conflicts between humanity’s desperate hopes and reality. Such conflicts occur between desire and forbiddance, desire and the ideal, consciousness and unconsciousness, and instinct and rationality in our human nature.

www.parksungeun.com

Sung Eun Park’s Well Well artist page.

Silver construct in a jet-black space gives the visitor the sense they are viewing in black and white, transporting the viewer into a surreal tiny universe

Avantika Bawa: Constructing Darkness

AGENDA announces its fourth exhibition, Avantika Bawa: “Constructing Darkness” from February 27 – March 27, 2021

Born of pandemic challenges and creative necessity, Avantika Bawa and AGENDA have collaborated to enable this monumental artist to continue working in an imaginative and completely unprecedented way. Bawa and curator Jamie Wilson met at AGENDA’s inaugural opening in October of 2020. AGENDA’s space is small and lends itself to installation, but would it be possible to exhibit the work of Avantika Bawa in a meaningful way? Bawa asked “What if we painted the whole gallery black?” and the brainstorming began. What resulted is this exploration and response to the quiet and intimate architecture of AGENDA.

Constructing Darkness is the fifth of the ‘Scaffold Series’ by Avantika Bawa. In this site-specific installation, utilitarian structures are transformed into objects of beauty by their altering color and formation in response to site. By so doing they cease to be objects of function and become instead visual representations of planning and possibility represented in small-scale sculpture.

Earlier iterations of this series were exhibited in Mumbai, India (Another Documentation, 2012), Astoria, OR (Mineral Spirits, 2016), Gujarat, India (A Pink Scaffold in the Rann, 2019-20) and most recently in Eugene, OR (#FFFFFF, 2020).

Collectively, the ‘Scaffold Series’ has enabled Bawa to explore the endless possibilities of a single structure by pushing permutations and combinations of color, form and scale in relation to location. While responding to the topography and geography of each site as well as limitations posed by the pandemic, a new iteration of the series is manifested. Bawa intends to expand upon this small-scale series by exploring new terrain and different ways of configuring these installations. Bawa wishes to acknowledge Noah Mattuecci, who inspired and managed the printing and production of the miniature scaffolds, without whom the miniature series would not exist.

 

 

Numerous carved wooden sculptures displayed in a room with wooden floors and white walls, some seeming to be functional (e.g. a chair, a bench) and others seeming to take on abstract forms, including one vertical, rectangular piece displayed on a stand with jagged, irregularly spaced edges cut into it. Most of the pieces have flat faces and 90 degree edges and seem to be cut from similar wood.

Vince Skelly: New Works

Adams and Ollman is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions: New Works by Vince Skelly and Overlook by Mariel Capanna, both opening on February 12 and on view through March 13.
Vince Skelly (b. 1987, Claremont, California;  lives and works in Portland, OR) creates carved wooden sculptures, both formal and functional. Using wood from a variety of trees native to the Pacific Northwest in addition to American chestnut and eucalyptus, Skelly works reductively to shape each stool, chair, or abstract form from a single block. Following grain, patterns, knots, and other irregularities inherent to the material, Skelly highlights simple and essential abstract shapes informed by intrinsic characteristics of the material. The sculptures are inspired by various traditions of wood carving—which is one of the oldest artforms—as well as by a history of objects that extends back to megalithic dolmens, ancient figurines, the sculptures of Brancusi, and paintings of Phillip Guston. With a chainsaw and traditional hand tools, Skelly slowly reveals biomorphic volumes, off-kilter angles, and carved portals within his glyph-like forms, each bearing their own spirit, rhythm and personality.
Skelly received his BA from San Francisco State University. This is the artist’s debut solo exhibition.

 

Photograph hanging on a white wall. Center frame, a Black woman wearing a striped t-shirt stands before a black background, facing to the right, evoking the image of a mugshot. Behind her head on the left hangs a newspaper clipping depicting a grid of headshots of people of color below the words "IS THIS THE END?" Just before her torso hangs another clipping, this one a grid with mostly white headshots, reading "WHY IS OUR CITY COUNCIL SO WHITE?"

Sites of Memory

UTA Artist Space is pleased to present Sites of Memory curated by Essence Harden in her first collaboration with the venue, featuring artists Noel W Anderson, Gideon Appah, Natalie Ball, Pamela Council, Janvia Ellis, Anique Jordan, Lebohang Kganye, Basil Kincaid, John A Rivas, Adee Roberson, and Muzae Sesay.

Sites of Memory considers how the act of remembering is a site of critical and generative excess. Contained to reverie, remembering resides in an illimitable space, extending out and in towards what was or what perhaps or what could have been. Finding utility in the photographic strategy of the snapshot, where spontaneity and chance hold the capacity to formulate volumes on otherwise ephemeral moments, this exhibition explores the sensory components in such wanted desires. Titled after Toni Morrison’s essay, “The Site of Memory,” the show is guided by her notion that “the act of imagination is bound up with memory” and that remembering is the modality of visions.

The exhibition pivots the work of image-making to a multitude of artistic mediums and materials. Images are exhibited as abstracted paintings, sculptural arrangements, print assemblages, photographic forms, installations, and collage. Diasporic pull, familial legacy, architectural scapes, queered futures, national belonging, and satirical gestures are surveyed as rich sites. The mark of the snap is considered here as an entry to other worlds of image making where snapshots are a task of memory, offering a litany of proof of what mattered then to suggest what is worth remembering now.

“Essence is a curator with an eye on the future of the art world,” said Partner & Creative Director of UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space Arthur Lewis. “She creates compelling stories from the African diaspora in ways that never leave you. This show is a perfect example of how she is able to place her finger on the heartbeat of this cultural moment. We are really proud to be the home for her talents to shine.”

Harden has curated exhibitions at Human Resources, Oakland Museum of California, El Segundo Museum of Art, Eduardo Secci Contemporary, California African American Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and Museum of the African Diaspora, among others. She is also a contributor to several publications and has written catalog entries for several exhibitions, including Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrowBrave New Worlds: Exploration of Space; and What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts. Additionally, she is the recipient of The Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and is an Annenberg Innovation Lab Civic Media Fellow.

As part of an exclusive print collaboration with Absolut Art, new limited edition prints from Gideon Appah and Muzae Sesay that relate to their works in the exhibition will soon be available on AbsolutArt.com.

Visiting the Artist Space is by appointment only, with a four-guest maximum at any time. All visitors will have to acknowledge via the online appointment system both the health and safety guidelines and their health status before they visit. All visitors will have to wear mask at all times in the artist space. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available on site for guest usage. All guests will have a 30-minute window for viewing the gallery. Guests will not be permitted to the gallery before or after their viewing time. If they arrive earlier, they will be asked to wait in their car until their appointment time. Guests must practice social distancing. There is ample signage throughout the space including arrows on the floor that tell guests which way foot traffic is flowing. Restrooms will be closed to guests and the Artist Space will be deep cleaned on a regular schedule following the close of business each day.

About UTA Artist Space:

UTA Artist Space is an exhibition venue in the heart of Beverly Hills that is committed to showcasing art by globally recognized talent. Since its establishment in 2016, UTA Artist Space has presented notable exhibitions with interdisciplinary artists and creatives, including Derrick Adams, Myrtis Bedolla of Galerie Myrtis, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Larry Clark, Petra Cortright, Conrad Egyir, Amanda Hunt, Mariane Ibrahim, Arcmanoro Niles, The Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, The Haas Brothers, and Ai Weiwei, among others. For more information, please visit UTAArtistSpace.com

About Absolut Art:

Absolutart.com sells signed, limited edition, framed prints by emerging and established artists from around the world. Building on Absolut’s thirty-year involvement with contemporary art (from Warhol to Damien Hirst, Keith Haring and Louise Bourgeois), the goal of their global online gallery is to expand access to contemporary art, support local artist communities, and democratize the art buying process. Recent collaborations include an exhibition co-curated with Wu-Tang Clan, a collection of re-imagined classic movie posters with Metrograph cinema, a series of prints to accompany The Hole’s “Meet Me in the Bathroom” show, a charitable editioned print with Kehinde Wiley to benefit Black Rock, and a large scale installation at the Oculus with Mona Chalabi and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Artists featured on our platform include Hank Willis Thomas, Shantell Martin, Francis Stark, Samara Golden, Kambui Olujimi, Rashaad Newsome, Brigitte Lacombe, Wing Shya, and Jayson Musson.

A ceramic sculpture in the shape of a torso, from clavicle to hips, made out of leaves. The warm brown leaves are layered, but don't entirely cover the torso, leaving gaps where you to see into the sculpture.

Love Letter to Linda Litteral

A ceramic sculpture in the shape of a torso, from clavicle to hips, made out of leaves. The warm brown leaves are layered, but don't entirely cover the torso, leaving gaps where you to see into the sculpture.
Linda Litteral, Armor.

It would be hard to be an artist—a good one, anyway—if you weren’t able to express yourself candidly, look into the dark recesses of your brain and pull out a vision.

Even still, multimedia artist and educator Linda Litteral stands out for being remarkably generous in sharing her experiences. Looking at her work, I get the feeling she is reaching through the canvas or the sculpture to grab her viewers by the shoulders and say “You can do this, too! You don’t have to live in silence!”

Litteral was sexually abused by her grandfather for over a decade, when she was a child—something so unspeakable, the pain it caused could only be conveyed through art. Her ceramic torso series is one of my favorites. Made out of ceramic leaves, the sculptures represent the psychological armor she found in nature as a child to protect herself when she was otherwise so vulnerable. Looking to her own experience with the therapeutic benefits of making art, she also teaches healing art classes in spaces such as women’s prisons, where people aren’t typically encouraged to heal. 

What I love most about Litteral’s art is how she extends the title of “artist” to everybody, removing the pedestal others in her position might stand on with satisfaction and encouraging anyone to join her. Why not be an artist? Just calling yourself one opens the door to an entire new world.

blurred depictions of indigenous women are woven onto silkscreened posters, forming a rectangular scene of overlapping, collaged images, featuring primarily earth red and sky blue threads.

After the Fire

Round Weather’s second exhibition recognizes fire as central to our earthen experience.  “We seem almost a fire dependent/ species like this tree,” writes poet Ed Roberson in “Sequoia Sempervirens,” and our next years promise increasing conflagration born of our natural resources.  We must work now toward tomorrow’s recovery.  After the Fire is both the title of Sylvia Fein’s painting of a fuming forest and a primary metaphor and/or method connecting Miguel Arzabe’s paper weavings and kite rituals, Ashwini Bhat’s sculptures of weathered ecology, Sarah A. Smith’s corroded gold leaf and endangered spirit animals, Martha Tuttle’s depiction of space dust and galaxy haloes, and Andy Vogt’s drawing with rust, oxidation using sunlight, and salvaged wood.

Proceeds from every artwork sold largely go to Dogwood Alliance, Friends of the Earth, and Indigenous Environmental Network. Each year Round Weather’s advisory board selects three nonprofit organizations to reward for their track record in helping temper the climate crisis.

You may visit in person by appointment only with all safety precautions in place.

 

two pieces hang on a white wall: the first seems to be an image from a newspaper clipping of a hand with the words "I BELIEVE" written on the palm in pen; the second features a landscape image on its side of a figure walking toward the camera and away from a barn, alongside a copy of the front page of a newspaper, the headline reading "No does not mean convince me."

As Far As You Can, Tell The Truth

As interest in creating alternative narratives of varying measure grows, ‘truth’, as it relates to reality, has become an inconvenient impediment for a progression of agendas. The truth, becoming all the more elusive, has since become the most powerful course correction to date. In this exhibition an expression of truth is appealed to: it is witnessed, it is allowed for, it is resolved through the object. Each artist in this exhibition has unceasingly examined truth, (that being the reality of historical events and the social conditions as demanded by these actions, and how those points intersect to inform our present moment), for themselves and others, as central to their practice.

In 1967, Raymond Saunders declared “black is a color.” Throughout his career Saunders has questioned the premise that Black artists produce something that should be uniquely identified as “Black art.” In his own work, he looked to separate his practice from the restrictions of identity-driven art “I am an artist. I do not believe that art work should be limited or categorized by one’s racial background.” Featured in this exhibition is a single french door assemblage by Saunders from the 1990s. The significance of a door, as entry way or barrier, has been seen in many of Saunders’s assemblage works over the decades, as a canvas for his assemblage works and paintings.

Through painting, drawing and sculptural installation, Libby Black’s work explores the course of her personal history and broader cultural context, examining the intersection of feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, politics, consumerism, notions of value, and desire. In these recent drawings, Black has replicated portions of recent features published in the New York Times related to the #MeToo movement and the protests over the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford hearings in 2018.

Cameron Clayborn approaches the history of trauma, its weight and sharp corners, with a tactile exploration through the physical object. As a conceptual sculptor, designer, performance artist, and community organizer, Clayborn creates sculpture that spans the distance between a viewer’s private headspace and the civic sphere. Working with a sewing machine, Clayborn’s sculptures, grouped together titled ‘coagulates’, combines an artistic lineage of queer history, from drag shows to protest banners, zipped through this mechanical lens. Using elements that impose tension (zipper, the physical weight of sand) Clayborn’s sculptures exist within an emotional history searching for liberation. These disembodied sacks that derive their forms via measurements taken off the bodies of the artist and his father—an abstraction of self and lineage into a collection of handsomely constructed objects highlight the intersections he stands in as gay black man raised in the American south. Inherently sexual and playful but also deeply serious, Clayborn’s works taunt the rigid dichotomies of male/female, gay/straight, human/inhuman, and valued/undervalued.

Suné Woods examines absences and vulnerabilities within cultural and social histories through visuals, sound and movement, and is interested in how language is emoted, guarded, and translated through the absence/presence of a physical body. On view, an early work by Woods, ‘From Here We Go Nowhere’ (2015) contains hundreds of color pages from travel catalogues and magazines, each individual page worn and creased. The collage explores the social phenomena that indoctrinate brutality and the ways in which propaganda and exploitation have employed photography. The freedom of collage allows Woods to consider a new topography all together, while addressing perception-based ‘truths’ as separate from reality.

Through portraits, landscapes, and collaborative works, Jim Goldberg’s expansive Open See follows refugee and immigrant populations traveling from war-torn, economically devastated, and often AIDS-ravaged countries, to make new homes in Europe. The photographer spent four years documenting the stories of refugees in over 18 countries, from Russia and the Middle East to Asia and Africa. To convey a “more in-depth understanding” of the people he was working with, he tapped into a practice he had developed while in graduate school: hand finishing photographs, and including handwriting to tell the stories of his subjects, making each a unique object encapsulating a story.

Raymond Saunders (lives and works in Oakland, CA) is part of collections including the Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center. Other collections he is included in are the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Legion of Honor (San Francisco, California), Bank of America (San Francisco, California), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, California), Hunter College (New York, New York), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York), the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum (San Francisco, California), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, California), the Museum of Modern Art (New York, New York), the Oakland Museum of California (Oakland, California), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, California), the Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley, California), the Walker Art Center, (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, New York).

Libby Black is a painter, drawer, and sculptural installation artist living in Berkeley, CA. Her artwork charts a path through personal history and a broader cultural context to explore the intersection of politics, feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, consumerism, addiction, notions of value, and desire. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with such shows as “California Love” at Galerie Droste in Wupertal, Germany; “Bay Area Now 4” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; “California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art; and at numerous galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Black has been an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA; Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA; and Spaces in Cleveland, OH. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Flash Art, and The New York Times. She received a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999 and an MFA at the California College of the Arts in 2001. Libby is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University.

Cameron Clayborn was raised in Memphis, TN and lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. In 2016, Clayborn received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, and in 2018 attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. Recent exhibitions include Ralph Arnold Gallery at Loyola University, Chicago, IL (2019); Fat City, Chicago, IL (2019); Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL (2019); Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL (2018); Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Bawdy (solo), Boyfriends, Chicago, IL (2017); Rover Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); Lawrence & Clark Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); and Tritriangle, Chicago, IL (2016).

Suné Woods (b. Montréal, Canada, works in Los Angeles). Woods received her BFA from University of Miami, in 1997, and MFA from California College of the Arts, in 2010. Most recently Woods was featured in Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018). Her work has been included in exhibitions at Light Work, Syracuse, New York (2017); Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York (2017); Urban Video Project, Syracuse, New York (2017); Papillion Art, Los Angeles (2015, 2014); Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles (2015); 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, California (2012); Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles (2012); Performance Art Institute, San Francisco (2011); and Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco (2009), among others. She has had residencies at Light Work (2016), Center for Photography at Woodstock (2015), Vermont Studio Center (2014), and Headlands Center for the Arts (2012). She is a recipient of the Artadia Award (2020), a John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award from the San Francisco Foundation (2015), Visions from the New California Award from the James Irvine Foundation (2012), and Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship (2009).

Jim Goldberg has exhibited widely, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMOMA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery. His work is also regularly featured in group exhibitions around the world. Public collections including MoMA, SFMOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, the National Gallery, LACMA, MFA Boston, The High Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Library of Congress, MFA Houston, National Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Goldberg has received three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships in Photography, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, among many other honors and grants.

A large, craggy-edged and shiny black rock surrounded by bright yellow archway with a reflective pink background.

Pangea: Hannah Newman

Carnation Contemporary is pleased to present Pangea, a solo show featuring recent work by Hannah Newman. Pangea releases a stream of potential energy from language and inanimate objects, sending resources and bodies into intersecting orbits. Rocks, minerals, research, digital technology, sound, and sculpture are mined for their poetic possibilities to create new supercontinents–clumps of information and materials that stick together. Consciousness moves between and within shared bodies to reimagine community and kinship on a planet where geologic time moves slow, but surface time moves fast. New, craggy landscapes emerge, powered by the hum of soft bodies and hardware.

Hannah Newman is an interdisciplinary artist reuniting digital technologies and experiences with their physical, emotional, and material sources. She has exhibited with galleries, institutions, and artist-run spaces across the U.S. and is a co-founder of the collective WAVE Contemporary. Based in Portland OR, Newman received a Master of Fine Arts from Oregon College of Art and Craft and a B.S in Ceramics and Fine Arts from Indiana Wesleyan University.

 

 

 

Four pieces displayed in a gallery space, including a single painting hanging on a white wall on the left; a sculpture displayed on a white stand, center frame; and two paintings hanging to the right of the sculpture in the background, also on a white wall. The piece on the left is a large blue painting with textured, horizontal stripes on canvas with a stripe of grey populating the bottom right corner. The sculpture in the middle is a white cement figure resembling a puzzle piece, with both jagged and rounded edges, a hole in the middle and four blue stripes going out from it. The paintings on the right are the same size and close together. One displays a large cream circle, partly out of frame, a pink circle within it and a shadow of the cream circle on a pink background. The other has a pink circle near the center, the same size as the other, with a dark stripe to the left of it, all against a background of the same color pink.

Johansson Projects: Community Garden

Group exhibition for 8-bridges and SF Artsweek preview, featuring Miguel Arzabe, Rachelle Bussieres, Craig Dorety, Matthew F Fisher, Alexander Kori Girard, Kristina Lewis and Blaise Rosenthal.

Opening: Saturday, January 23 with safe and staggered entry from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.

At a time when it feels like the light is finally breaking through the darkness, Community Garden — a group exhibition of seven artists — cultivates an abundance of connections. Using a variety of methods, the artists achieve a naturalism that aesthetically binds their work together into a single gesture, allowing us glimpses and sensations of the open spaces where we once walked freely, and will soon return.

Matthew F Fisher’s stylized landscapes evoke comparison to the Chicago Imagists while occupying a position in the space between the universal and the subjective. Fisher’s motifs, surreal, and almost exclusively by the sea, evoke an existential impulse. On his super flat canvases, waves rise up, playfully suspended at their most animated state, just before they crash into oblivion. The sun and the moon hang low in Fisher’s skies, rising, setting and reflecting off the water in shimmering detail. There is a subtle humor in these paintings, rendered in his free yet deliberate visual vocabulary, but there is also a quietude and a spiritual depth. This dynamic reminds us of the balance between our realities and our ideals, and that it is not always easy to tell which is which.

Rachelle Bussières fuses her background in sculpture, photography, and material research, into the lumen printmaking process by which she creates her photograms. These geometric abstractions and their luscious palette are a function of light, time, and manipulation. To define the composition of each work, throughout her process Bussières maneuvers household objects such as lamp shades, curtains and boards over her support, while regulating exposure to both natural sunlight and the artificial light she releases from flash equipment, light bulbs and her space’s pre existing ceiling fixtures.  Rachelle’s recent works, created as a new resident in the World Trade Center’s Silver Arts Project, reflect the artist’s relocation, as she has successfully captured the light of her new environment while producing pictures that offer a new range of forms and gestures.

Clean lines, clear forms and shifting color. Craig Dorety utilizes LED technology and custom firmware to build what could be the futuristic paintings of a utopian society. Wall mounted and composed of layered planes, the structural face of these objects serves as the support upon which embedded LED lighting reflects the illuminated content of each piece. By deconstructing digital imagery mined from a range of sources Dorety recomposes something as simple as a static photo of a bay area sunset into an experience of changing colors over time, similar to the way in which music functions as a composition of sequential sounds. This visual effect defies the possibility of a fixed reading, and demands that viewers remain in the present moment of the work. The reward of their attention is a mesmerizing ebb and flow of light coalescing into impermanent crescendos of beauty that constantly fade into the next as each moment of time is lost to history.

Guided by his early childhood impressions of folk art from his legendary grandfather of the same name, Alexander Kori Girard works in a range of mediums including acrylic paint, collage and watercolor. Using an all-over composition reminiscent of textile design and the New York school of the mid-20th century, Girard densely populates his surfaces by placing petroglyphic figures and ancient nature into a hazily defined field of activity. The results of this process are paintings that contain rich landscapes of interconnectedness. In these spaces viewers are set free to navigate and insert their own narratives within works that hum with a spiritual vibration that travels across history and space

Kristina Lewis navigates her urban surroundings like a hunter-gatherer, collecting the cityscape’s detritus and debris. Reminiscent of the Bay Area funk movement, her practice involves deftly transforming this bounty into sculptural objects that exude the weight of their history while assuming dynamic and elegant forms. The resulting works shift in their potential depending on one’s vantage point, presenting light-hearted whimsy in one moment, and tongue-in-cheek irony the next.

Meticulous and monumental, Blaise Rosenthal’s paintings command a formal vernacular derived from invention, isolation and yearning. Given time, the subtleties redolent in Rosenthal’s monochromatic works provide discoveries similar to those realized by viewing majestic environments, such as the artist’s childhood home at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Also on view are several recent works that stray, delightfully, into an approach that is at the same time playful and refined. Using sewing, these works, titled ‘Composites’, employ contrast to achieve a whole that is truly greater than the sum of its parts.

Born in the US to parents who immigrated from Bolivia, Miguel Arzabe’s work is informed by his heritage as well as his initial foray into professional life as an engineer. Drawing on these disparate identities, the artist utilizes media from contemporary resources and applies them to his grand works inspired by traditional Andean weaving. Miguel reclaims discarded work from other artists, collects outdated art related paper ephemera, and political posters, and produces raw materials using, among other things, acrylic paint, yupo paper, and inkjet printed onto canvas. This robust range of media combined with his mastery over materials allows Arzabe to achieve dynamic woven abstractions. These works are rich with color, the dramatic physical presence of their undulating fields referencing nature and identity while spanning out through culture and composition across space and time.

 

An installation view of a darkly lit gallery. The image is bisected by a wall on the left painted brick red with a glass aquarium inlayed half way up from the floor. The aquarium has sand, rocks, aquarium plants, and two clay vessels suspended in the center like giant round eyes. In the background, another water tank stands on a plinth in a room lit with blue and green lights. This water tank holds a tall, red clay amphora.

Cammie Staros: ​What Will Have Being​

Shulamit Nazarian is pleased to present ​What Will Have Being​, a series of new sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Cammie Staros. This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

The artworks in ​What Will Have Being ​draw the relics of fallen empires into discourse  with contemporary political and environmental instabilities, considering the legacy of our species on this planet. Creating a throughline between ancient past and possible future, the works suggest a museological exhibition of antiquities that has been forgotten and reclaimed by nature. Through twists on Greco-Roman works in ceramic and stone, and gestures that upend traditional display tactics – such as melting light fixtures, architectural interventions, and submerged vessels – the artist asks us to consider how we understand both the objects and ourselves along an unfixed or perhaps unmoored timeline.

Central to the exhibition is a series of vitrines that function as life-supporting aquariums. These self-illuminated display cases reference those found in the Greek wings of the Met and the British Museum. Inside, immersed in an environment of fish and plants, sit ceramic sculptures reminiscent of Greek vases and wine cups. The submerged ceramic forms appear distorted or conjoined, their zoomorphic shapes adapting to their watery habitats, as if sinking back to an organic state. The use of water contrasts the precious materials of art with those of life, and summons the existential threats of flood and drought. The drowned museological display flattens historical time, simultaneously referencing the ancient past, later underwater discoveries, and an impending ecological and environmental reckoning.

A new series of ceramic pot sculptures are transformed through the act of cutting, splitting, and twisting. Here, Staros pushes the boundaries of the material until the vessels become shell-like – undoing the object. For these intimate and vulnerable forms, and throughout the exhibition, the artist classifies her works using a poetic Latin taxonomy, as if identifying rare specimens in an eccentric natural history museum. Staros addresses the fragility of human power by making a cross species analogy of things we creatures leave behind.

A pair of stone wall works evoke classical ruins through the contrast of highly polished arches and rough, natural edges. Veins and cavities in earthy green onyx lend a sense of dissolution to otherwise architectural forms. Stone, a material parallel to ceramic in the legacy of the Greco-Roman world, is also formed by nature and shaped by humankind; it is the material of the planet and of ancient ruins; it is a fossil of both past geologic forces and past societies. In addition, the artist will present a group of new neon pieces installed directly into the gallery’s light grid. Fitted specially for fluorescent ballasts, these neon artworks glow in otherworldly colors and droop out of their fixtures, evoking unknown forces on a space left behind.

Over the past decade, Staros has investigated the ways in which classical antiquities have come to represent an origin story of Western art history. While continuing to address the historical narrative surrounding these objects, the body of work in What Will Have Being focuses more on the prescience of ancient artifacts – how their treatment might foretell a possible future of today’s objects. Relics and ruins, which outlast the societies that made them, emphasize both the achievements and the hubris of humanity. But by shifting our contextual understanding of these objects, by considering how meaning is made, we can begin to understand an alternative narrative. The works in What Will Have Being not only question our understanding of contemporary political and environmental instabilities, they also poignantly consider how our current moment will be remembered, and what kind of world it will produce for tomorrow.


Cammie Staros (b. 1983, Nashville, TN) received her BA from Brown, Providence, in 2006 and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, in 2011. Staros has had solo exhibitions at Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles, Lefebvre & Fils, Paris, and Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles. The artist was included in the Craft Contemporary’s second clay biennial in Los Angeles. Staros’ work is featured in 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow, a survey of contemporary sculpture, authored by Kurt Beers and published by Thames & Hudson. Staros was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship award in 2020.