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Antony: The Cut


The Cut was an exhibit of mixed media collaged piece of work by Antony Hegarty. He is both a fine artist as well as a musician. The work really explored materials and the juxtaposition of different materials. He used materials such as paint, fabric, plastic, tape, etc. The show was entitled The Cut in reference to a poem written by the artist.

Through juxtaposition of materials and the treatment of the materials (torn, burned, melted) Antony created a very visceral and gestural group of works. You could picture the physicality of the treatment of the materials. There was almost a violent tone in the way that he manipulated the materials. He utilized the surface of the materials in order to call attention to certain details. In the piece above, he has ripped up a black piece of paper and then taped it back together. The shine of the tape next to matte color of the paper call attention to this process and action of the tearing and the taping. In many of his pieces there was a repetition of tearing and taping. And, in the tape, he left pieces of hair that had gotten caught on the tape during the process. You really had to look closely to fully appreciate the mixture of delicate details and violent manipulation of the surface of his materials.

The Cut was very inspiring to me and my work because I am so interested in process, but also I work similarly to Antony in my Artist Book. It is a new way for me to work as a “distresser “of the image. I am normally very controlled in my process, not to say that I am not controlled in my Artist Book, but it is a different kind of control. When I am working on the spreads in my book, I am working in a kind of controlled chaos. This controlled chaos is also seen in Antony’s work. You can tell that each action was carefully thought out. The hand of the artist and process is very apparent in the scratching and distressing of the surface just as in my book. Both of leave a part of ourselves behind on the surface through gesture, but also I am printing my body on the page and he is leaving hair and fingerprints on his “page.”


Elizabeth Sanders





Paul Donald: CB1 Gallery



Paul Donald’s exhibit titled Blind, is located in the other half of the CB1 Gallery in downtown LA. The entire exhibit displays duck figures (of the same species, it looks like) with molded heads, seemingly going about their day or posing in the “natural habitat” of the gallery space. I found the literal translation of the paintings into sculpture (or perhaps Donald began with the sculptures?) interesting in that it was so faithful in replicating all the aspects of the figures, which made me wonder why he intended such a precise conversion. It almost looks like the paintings were created as character design sheets as a means to bring these characters into 3-dimensional being. This interplay between sculpture and painting reminds me of one of the artists whose lecture we attended a few weeks ago – she would choose a particular figure amongst a crowd of figures and made it into a sculpture that still appeared to retain its painterly qualities. Her translations, however, were much more compelling in that it really exposed the distortions of the body in a very raw way. Donald’s simplistic design and decision to solely represent one type of figure made me indifferent toward the relationship between his paintings and sculptures.

I enjoyed the visual playfulness and Dr. Seuss-like comicalness in the overall presentation of the exhibit. The basic out-of-the-tube color choices makes me recall my artistic endeavors in childhood – for a while I (and probably most children) didn’t have an elaborate set of crayons and colored pencils with the slightest nuances in shades. I often relied on a small box set of Crayola crayons that would contain precisely the black, white, orange, yellow, blue, and green we see in the paintings. Though there is something viscerally disturbing about how the beaks of the eye-less ducks morph in unexpected ways, the coloring book quality mostly steers our impression toward childhood imagination. It is sort of channeling some themes of Dada art, encouraging us to take a fantastical perspective on commonplace non-exotic beings such as ducks we can see in most parks, lakes, etc. Something as simple as distorting beaks/heads upwards, downwards, elongating, flattening already produces a sense of fantasy. The paintings did not so much resonate with me as did the sculptures. I felt that the paintings lost the innocence and playfulness by being too direct/trying too hard to convey the stark simplicity and funny head shapes. I didn’t like how Donald promoted the imagination and quirkiness of his ideas through the paintings – but it worked for the sculptures, which appear more elegant and are more successful. It’s almost like a child was assigned to create duck modeling show, something that might be titled “The Latest in Fashion for Duck Masks.” I think by me having that very thought, Donald achieved his aim to draw out some more of the uninhibited creativity of the childhood mind, temporarily Blind to the formal education and training that people popularly like to claim has been killing our creativity. In the words of Picasso –  “All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” I had a good time trying to interpret this exhibit. Go check it out to experience something oddly fun, or to have a chuckle.

– Jessica Huang



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Gallery Visit #2

 Today I went to the Daniel Maltzman gallery on N Beverly Drive. The entire gallery had all of his works, and there were about 10-15 pretty large paintings. At first I walked around a bit then chose my two favorite works which are uploaded with this post. I walked up and back from each a few times to view it from as many angles as possible.

These paintings are so modern, fresh, and bold; it immediately grabbed my attention. The figures are more abstractly and loosely rendered, yet have such a realistic alive feeling to them. The brush strokes are messy yet perfectly placed, and evoke emotion and movement. The size is also extremely intriguing because when standing right next to it, you can’t exactly tell what it is. The size of the piece creates an interaction with the viewer. Some of his paintings almost look like pre-sketches, but they are rendered so well and work so perfectly.

I absolutely love this artist and his style. I went on his website and found a painting of a skull he did also- so cool. I feel like he incorporates the kind of graphic style I love, as well as has a similar commentary on women, pop culture, and fashion. I really enjoyed  the very abstract, colorful backgrounds and how it flows around and on to the figure. I also thought he did an amazing job at using chunks of color to create shadows and make the figures look life like.ImageImageImage

Mira Schor’s Chthonic Garden at CB1 Gallery by Katy Durbin

Mira Schor’s Chthonic Garden is currently on display at the CB1 Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. In this show, Mira Schor is attempting to break from the more traditional conceptions of art, time, and space. There is an irony in the title; Schor takes “chthonic” for its literal meaning of subterranean, rather than its spiritual one of underworld. This further distances her work from a traditional format, by pushing it away from normal interpretations of spirituality. However, there is a definite psychological feel to her pieces, which is more palpable in some than in others. While her Reversible Painting: Map appears as a simple play on space and orientation, her multiple I Want to Let You Know that I am Real” paintings have a dark, subconscious quality to them, that touch on the human psyche and feelings of intrusion upon the individual by social order and regulation. This is then compared to the physical order of ground versus sky, and its connection with our own perceptions. Two paintings use the gallery space to enhance the sense of disorientation: Underground Garden is mirrored by an upside down replica across the gallery.

Although I found the message of Schor’s work interesting, her work was dull, and might have more attention-grabbing if the paintings did not look like the artist had done each one in ninety seconds. One of the pieces even had visible lines covered with white paint; it appeared that the artist had decided to do a painting similar to another style featured in a few of her works, then changed her mind and hastily painted over it. Perhaps this was intentional, though it did not appear to be so, and I could see no reason for it. The message was too reliant on visual acknowledgement of spacial orientation to merit this extremely lax attitude towards technique. The work was highly conceptual, yet there remained an air of laziness about her pieces, which was distracting. All in all, though, her paintings maintained a pleasing theme; the subject matter was dark, with subjects buried underground and speech bubbles hovering above, containing imposing, slightly menacing comments. She achieved an element of horror in her otherwise playful work, and, even with the lack of clean application or process, the exhibit holds together well under a unifying message of the imposition of order clashing with a reversal of spaces.




Edouard Vuillard at LACMA


Nude       walking

At Los Angeles County Museum of Art, there were lots of famous artists’ work such as Picasso and Kandinsky’s works, but most of all, two of Edouard Vuillard’s paintings caught my eyes.  One is his painting work called “Nude on a Chair” and the other one is called “Walking in the Vineyard”.

Jean Edouard Vuillard is a French painter and printmaker.  He was not as widely known as impressionist, but he created more than 3,000 paintings.  Some of his most famous works were made early in his career during his involvement with Nabis. (It is an avant-garde group, which is deeply influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin.)  His early works were small-scale prints, primarily color lithographs of Parisian life, but later he did many big size works including oil paintings.

“Nude on a Chair” is a small size oil paint work on the cardboard.  He did not put oil paints thickly, but softly and lightly.  He depicted light by using various kinds of bright pastel colors with blurry brush strokes.  He focused on showing emotional sensation and emotion rather than direct observation, and his description of color and tone inspired me a lot.  In contrast, his other work “Walking in the Vineyard” is a huge painting hanging in the 3rd floor of LACMA.  I really loved this piece because of its overwhelmed size and atmosphere.  Every element in the painting was interesting and mostly soft shades of green, yellow, and brown were amazing.  Even though I didn’t know much about him but I really enjoyed his rich colors and dreamlike imagery.

-Jiwon Kim

Kush Fine Art

Vladimir Kush is a surrealist artist from Russia that focuses on painting and sculpture. I’ll admit that I’ve been to this gallery space once or twice before, but in my defense it was almost 4 years ago. The work of Vladimir Kush is unlike any other body of work I’ve had the pleasure of viewing. And seeing it years later with a stronger painting, and sculptural background, I appreciate it more then ever. Back in 2010, this Laguna Beach gallery space opened and I was lucky enough to make it to the opening night. There was an incredible video played that was a stream of animated versions of the exact paintings that surround the walls of the space. (Here is the link for a quick version of the animated video. It’s really worth taking a look at.) Along with this video there were sculptures created that emulated the images within the incredible collection of paintings.

vladimir rose painting

vladimir sculpture
These oil paintings are not only visually pleasing to look at, but they are painted with such expertise and realistic qualities, that anyone who views them seems to be beyond amazed with Kush’s talent. Among most of the work Kush sets up a scene in which you can easily read the upfront location. As you gaze further into the work you start to see what certain aspects are made of and how they morph into something completely different. When you think your looking at a vase with some flowers in it, set besides a window sill, you then realize that your actually looking at a woman’s body with a giant head of flowers emerging from the vase. These surrealist images are visually creative as well as metaphorical. Being that you can relate a woman to the natural aspects of a rose or a flower. Seeing a woman romantically gazing out of a window in the nighttime is a scene that is also believable. Another example of this is his “Departure of the Winged Ship,” which displays large ship with sails made from butterflies. More of his work incorporates highly detailed miniature figures helping to build what would appear to be a huge structure or building, much like we do in the world today. But unlike building it in a human way, they work like little ants in an unrealistic process. Examples of these structures are giant fish made of coins or giant iguanas being pieced together. All highly detailed and beautifully rendered.
vladimir painting gun

Vladimir Kush one of my favorite working painters today and it was beyond exciting to visit the gallery years later to view even more works he has recently created. My favorite aspect of all of his work is the interchangeability of people, animals, nature, and mechanical goods, which he blends together to form single images. I love the ability to change peoples perspectives of what they are seeing, making them feel as though they could be surprised at any moment while looking within your work. It is this uncertainty and illusion that I strive for. I believe that seeing the work of Vladimir Kush when I first began making art has helped develop this desire for me as an artist myself. Overall, I highly recommend getting a chance to view this work, not only online, but in person as well. You will not be disappointed.

-Valerie Schub

“Redactor” at Mark Moore Gallery

“Redactor” by Ryan Lewis at Mark Moore Gallery presented a series of abstract paintings. The media he used include enamel, crystalina, glass powder, pigment, cold wax, glass film, tape, and vinyl on both wood panels and canvases. While the canvases themselves lacked paint, the materials mimicked layered paint in a Jackson Pollock fashion. They felt painterly but also industrial. I attribute it to the relatively neutral color palette and you know, the harder manufactured materials used in the works. I also feel like it had a relationship to the gallery floor that made it feel more industrial because the ground was worn looking and in shades of grey.


I found getting up close to see the texture created by layers of materials rewarding, especially catching glimpses of tape tears, something resembling silver tape, and this dot patterned material I cannot identify. The rawness of edges gave off a very spontaneous and primal feel. And although chaotic and fragmented, the paintings remained a sense of calm because of the singular horizontal or slightly diagonal direction the “strokes” tended to move in. Certain areas of the paintings had some transparency which I found really delicate in contrast to the aggressive strokes. Despite all the disjointed and jagged elements involved, the paintings felt unified.

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The gestures of these paintings actually reminded of Margaret’s work, although different in many ways. One of my take-aways from the show was seeing the use of unconventional materials. Painting is not limited to paint and it’s all good. It’s encouraging for me to explore a wide range of materials in the future. As someone interested in using wood as canvas, it was also nice to see how somebody else decided to treat that surface. It’s also just fun to look at abstract work when I usually prefer figurative.

I enjoyed the show and it will be up till November 16 for anyone who’s interested in going.  I also really liked Kim Rugg’s exhibition that’s also currently showing at the Mark Moore Gallery. They’re not paintings but I think they’re really neat. She reorganizes newspaper articles and maps. It’s cool stuff.

Kelly Guan

“Solace of the Sword” at ACE Gallery

Phil Frost was one of the featured artists at Ace Gallery, Los Angeles. There were 18 pieces showcased in “Solace of the Sword,” and I was instantly captured by the vibrant colors and the tribal patterns that appear in every one of his pieces. He repeatedly paints large white mask-like tribal faces layered on top of neon geometric shapes and occasionally the work will include objects glued to them, such as toy cars or scraps of metal cans.

Tournquet” was his main piece in the gallery and largest of his work showcased. The scale of the painting immediately attracted me to it, and as I got closer, the level of intricate detail and the use of an assortment of media caught my attention. It was interesting to notice that there were almost an infinite amount of different faces one could find in just one painting. In addition, the way Frost layers the geometric shapes creates a 3-dimensional effect where some faces pop out at the viewer and others fade to the background. He included several 3-dimensional objects in his work, including tops of metal cans, small rocks, and other unrecognizable parts of objects. This piece seemed to be an ode to the “internal struggles” involved in painting, which he mentions in his current artist statement in relation to this exhibition. It also relates back to the title of his exhibition, “Solace of the Sword.” In his statement, he mentions the struggle with solitary confinement that is required in order to successfully create. To me, this idea is conveyed through the white masks creating an obvious barrier to the chaos of colors and shapes that are behind. The colors in the background are similar to the unbounded creativity that the mind needs to access in order to create artwork.

Frost repeats this theme of white masks on top of a vibrant background in another piece, “Untitled,” 2013. This piece is much smaller (3’ x 2’), however the colors he uses are even more vibrant than in his larger works. There is one large mask that is the central focus surrounded by smaller dull brown masks fading into the background. This was my favorite piece from the exhibition because of its vibrant colors and the figures in it played with the issue of space. I was instantly drawn to the contrast created by the opaque white paint layered on top of the colorful neon background in this one in particular, because it seems that the background is more exposed to the viewer, with only one large mask covering part of the background, unlike the rest of his works. In addition, many of the smaller masks are falling away and fading in the background; this could symbolize a barrier in the creative thinking process being knocked down as ideas begin to flow in. IMG_4560 IMG_4556


-Brittany Lala

“The Unpainted Landscape” at Mihai Nicodim Gallery

“The Unpainted Landscape” is a group multimedia show comprised mostly of sculpture.  The show is based on the original “Unpainted Landscape” touring group exhibition from 1987 in Scotland, featuring work by Ian Hamilton Finlay, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Andy Goldsworthy, and David Tremlett.  The artists featured at this new show, Olga Balema, Keltie Ferris, Jack Lavender, and Hannah Lees, were inspired by their predecessors and the concept of the “unpainted landscape.”  They take the ideas from the 1987 exhibition, which consisted of landscape as sculpture in a literal sense with the artists’ use of natural elements, and reexamine them with a contemporary vision.  They reinterpreted the idea of the “unpainted landscape” in a more conceptual way, creating metaphysical landscapes, and referencing cultural, political, and social discourses.  Three of the pieces, Dreams Chunky 2, 4 & 5, by Jack Lavender, are sculptural wall hangings made out of metal bar grids which are bent and folded.  In these grids, which act as sort of metal nets, he has placed multiple items, both ordinary and strange, from a lightbulb to an hourglass.  Two of the other pieces, Tablet IX &X, by Hannah Lees, are smooth, flat plaster tablets with various items, both man-made and from nature, placed within it.  Keltie Ferris also contributes an oil and acrylic abstract painting on canvas, and Olga Balema contributes a mixed media sculpture which lies on the floor in the center of the gallery space.

In Jack Lavender’s sculptures, I see the landscape as being represented by the metal grid, which is reminiscent of topographical maps, and the somewhat random objects seem to be representative of different aspects of our human footprint on this landscape.  The hourglass, of course, always seems to be representative of the passage of time, and these objects, like the crumpled energy drink can, take on the feeling of snapshots of our gradual effect on the world around us.  Hannah Lees sculptures are notable as well, as they capture a capture a similar essence to those of Lavender.  The objects which are placed in these plaster tablets are set inside, with holes in the plaster left for them to be seen, making them reminiscent of fossils.  The objects range from small stones, wood, and animal bones to glass and plastic.  I’m not entirely sure if this was intentional or not, but one of the tablets even has a small nike symbol carved it’s surface.  This juxtaposition of natural elements and very man-made ones seems to be a commentary on, again, our footprint on the landscape in which we live, including industrial and commercial forms.

I found this show to be really interesting.  I loved the way each of these sculptures was able to make a very subtle commentary, getting across their ideas, while still maintaining an actual connection, however vague, to landscape.  Lees’ sculptures were probably my favorite, simply because of their aesthetic value.  Lavenders’ are equally strong conceptually, but not as aesthetically pleasing in a clean and simple way.  I don’t think that Ferris’ and Balema’s works fit as cohesively together with the show, but overall I think it was successful.


Tablet IX, Hannah Lees, 2013


Dreams Chunky 5, Jack Lavender, 2013



-Erin O’Brien

Trang Le at Ruth Bachofner Gallery (Sept 7, 2013-Oct, 12, 2013)

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Desert Sky-Horizons

Trang Le’s series “Threads” at the Ruth Bachofner Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is beautiful.  Trang Le is a Vietnamese American who lived through the Vietnam War, escaping from Vietnam with her family as a child.  In efforts to heal the pain she experienced as a child caught in a war time environment and the renewed memories as a result of the War on Iraq, she painted 11,978 as a way to remember and treasure the lives of all the men and women who fought in the Iraq War and never came back.  While this particular painting was not at the show, the same techniques creating the waves, lines, and circles in her series “Threads” are clearly evident.  The paintings were presented in a large, brightly lit, open, rectangular room with white walls.  As you entered, you immediately saw one of her thread paintings in front of you, and two rectangular wooden frames carefully laced with colored yarn that mirrored many of her paintings.


There were about five paintings in her series called “Threads” and two physically threaded boards.  On those wooden boards, she nailed several hundred nails along both edges and weaved the yarn back and forth, from one nail to another.  This motion is replicated again in her paintings.  Up and down. Back and forth. Smooth, never ending motions.  They echo one another.  The yarn pieces draw attention to the physicality of the lines, this motion of pulling and stretching.  It creates a tension, juxtaposed beside a fluidity.  A never ending motion.  Repetition.  The tight circles present in many of her paintings suggest a need for control, but her waves, while very close together, still seem looser.  Le let her lines fall off the edge of the canvas, never restricted by the size of the canvas.  They suggest a timelessness.  An eternity.  A space unknown to the viewer but her lines suggest her strong emotions continue beyond the viewer’s comprehension.  The lines represent patience.


Midnight After the Rain


I really liked Trang Le’s paintings because her strands seemed to go on forever, winding and turning.  I really connected with her when she said she creates these strands in a meditative state and that when she was hurting and needed healing, she would paint these lines.  I loved that her paintings are so organic and natural.  As simple as they seem, I find myself continuously drawn to her work—whether it is the desire to sit on one of her lines and ride the wave, or create something similar myself.   Personally, I was not the biggest fan of her actual wood and yarn threading piece as it didn’t carry the same sophistication and expansiveness as her paintings, and the yarn pieces seemed limited, confined.  They seemed to regress to an age when women wove their own blankets, say back in the 1800s.  But the paintings, despite carrying that same back and forth motion, take this simple idea to great sophistication.

-Kristen Chen