Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition curated by Emily Gonzalez-Jarrett, of Los Angeles-based artists who are continuing, challenging, or depicting the work of the Minimalists and early Conceptual Art. The exhibition features works by Sarah Cain, Kate Costello, Rachel DuVall, Victoria Fu, Sherin Guirguis, Tarrah Krajnak, Dan Levenson, Kaz Oshiro, Vincent Ramos, Glen Wilson, and Brenna Youngblood.
For better or worse, Minimalism and Conceptual Art have become the dominant modes of art schools, and the art world in general, for the past forty years. The artists included in this exhibition have had to mature under the long shadow of Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, and Frank Stella. Few of the works in this exhibition were made specifically in response to these seminal artists, but the younger artists all admit that the aesthetics and strategies of Minimalism influenced the development of their work.
Echoes of the square
Sol LeWitt famously used the cube throughout his work as it was a unit of measurement that offered endless potential and progression. The form was a literal building block for his structures and occurs repeatedly in the outside world. Rachel DuVall sees a grid in the warp and weft of her textiles and experiments with the possibilities of color and form within that system. The square appears repeatedly in the background of Tarrah Krajnak’s videos and photographs as she overlays her own personal history onto the cannon. The chainlink fence and base of Glen Wilson’s work evokes the cube as much as the combination of materials echoes the work of Noah Purifoy. The chainlink fence appears as a battered square in the paintings of Brenna Youngblood as well, but it is rendered in trails of paint squeezed out of the tube and directly onto the canvas.
Starting with simple elements such as the line, the rectangle, the dot, Sarah Cain builds nonrepresentational paintings that can be seen as Minimalism gone awry. She uses many colors in a decidedly feminine palette and incorporates decorative objects such as seashells and beads into her canvases. She works quickly and densely, allowing paint to drip as she works. This messy, improvisational approach is in contrast to the measured and deliberate paintings of Stella and LeWitt. Victoria Fu makes photographs, sculpture, and videos that implicate the viewer in a digital landscape. She began her practice with the desire to avoid representation and stayed within Minimalist conventions, but moved away from purely formal concerns to considering the body’s relationship to imagery. Also building upon and problematizing the nonrepresentational line and its relationship to the body, Kate Costello has been incorporating elements of the figure throughout her multidisciplinary practice. Recently returning to painting, she experimented with straddling the line between representation and abstraction, but then moved away from such painterly concerns. Accepting that painting was inherently loaded, she decided to embrace outright illustration and all of the associations that viewers bring to it. Similarly considering the visual lexicon, Sherin Guirguis aims to uncover the codes of abstraction by incorporating Egyptian forms into Modernist tropes. Her abstracted riffs on pottery, jewelry, and architecture remind viewers that the East influenced Western ideas of Modernism.
Aiming for a direct engagement, some artists analyze historical moments through depiction. Kaz Oshiro’s three-dimensional paintings of I-beams recall the primary sculptures that were ascendant during the 1960s and 1970s. Placed directly on the floor, his paintings illustrate the era’s interest in industrial materials and removal of hierarchies of display. Considering the role of fine arts education in this ecosystem, Dan Levenson imagines a Bauhaus-style school in Zurich and represents its fictional history through artifacts. The false relic in this exhibition is meant to embody a lesson in removing subjectivity from one’s work: each fictitious student made a monochrome painting and then was paired to create diptychs. Highlighting movements in parallel to the Minimalists of New York, Vincent Ramos’s work grows out of a West Coast strain of Conceptual Art and offers alternative views of the era. The drawings included here render favorite songs of Vietnam veterans with a Minimalist aesthetic. These songs are evocative and meaningful in the same way that instructions for a drawing can create an image in the mind’s eye.
In one way or another, each artist in this exhibition builds upon, pushes back against, or depicts the work of LeWitt and his peers. Though varied, this exhibition offers a glimpse into some ways in which the canonization of Minimalism has impacted many artists. For these Los Angeles-based artists, making artwork is a continuing dialogue across generations.
Sarah Cain received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, CA and a MFA from University of California, Berkeley, CA. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Los Angeles Nomadic Division, CA (2014); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2015); Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh, NC (2015); Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2017); and Aspen Art Museum at Elk Camp on Snowmass Mountain, Aspen, CO (2017). Cain has received the SECA Art Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2006), The Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2007 and 2011); and the Durfee Grant (2008). Works by Sarah Cain are included in public collections internationally, including the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin; The FLAG Art Foundation, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; The Margulies Collection, Miami, FL; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC; Perez Art Museum Miami, FL; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; San Antonio Museum of Art, TX; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Saratoga, NY; UBS Art Collection, New York; and Zabludowicz Collection, London.
Kate Costello holds an MFA from the University of Southern California, a BA from Tufts University, and a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She will open a commissioned public project at Plummer Park, West Hollywood, CA in March 2018 and she will have a solo exhibit at the Aidekman Gallery, Tufts University, Medford, MA in January, 2019. In 2016, she published an artist’s book, P&P with Midgramme, New York, and was an Artist-in-Residence at Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin, CA. In 2015, she co-curated an exhibition of figurative sculpture with Liz Craft, Mirror Effect at The Box Gallery, Los Angeles. Costello’s first book, Fears & Accessories was published by Onestar Press, Paris in 2014. Recent solo exhibitions include: Drawings, LAXART, Los Angeles (2015); Kiki & Me, Rob Tufnell Gallery, London (2014); Kiki & Me, Wallspace Gallery, New York (2011); Kate Costello, the Suburban Gallery, Oak Park, IL (2011); Cockaigne, Redling Fine Art, Los Angeles (2010); Tattooed Ladies, Wallspace Gallery, New York (2011). Selected group exhibitions include Extraterrestrial, with Jedediah Caesar, Finley Gallery, Los Angeles (2014); Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012); This Place You See, Kadist Foundation, Paris (2009); Making Do (curated by Robert Storr) Green Gallery, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, CT (2007); THING: New Sculpture from Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2005); High Desert Test Site 2, Joshua Tree, CA (2003).
Rachel DuVall received a BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. Her work was the subject of a solo exhibition at The Main Museum, Los Angeles (2017). DuVall has participated in residencies at The Vermont Studio Center (2016), where she also received the Windgate Fellowship, and at Penland School of Crafts, NC (2015).
Victoria Fu received a BA from Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; a MA from University of Southern California, Los Angeles; and MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. She also attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, ME. Victoria Fu: Out of the Pale is currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson through March 25. Other monographic exhibitions of her work have been mounted at The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI (2016); Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY (2016); Center for Ongoing Research & Projects, Columbus, OH (2015); The Contemporary, Baltimore, MD (2015); University Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine, CA (2014); Anderson Hall Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2013); and Savannah College of Art + Design, Savannah, GA (2009). Works by Victoria Fu can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Sherin Guirguis was born in Luxor, Egypt, completed a BA at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received a MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is currently preparing for a solo exhibition at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles. Additionally, Guirguis’s work has been featured in monographic exhibitions at 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, CA (2017); The Third Line Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (2016, 2013); Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, Venice, CA (2015); Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale AZ (2012); Frey Norris Contemporary, San Francisco, CA (2010); and LAXART, Los Angeles (2010). Her work can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; the Houston Museum of Fine Art, TX; the Las Vegas Museum of Contemporary Art, NV; the Metropolitan Authority Los Angeles, Public Art Commission; and the US Department of State, U.S. Consulate, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Tarrah Krajnak was born in Lima, Peru. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA. She has exhibited nationally and internationally at the SUR Biennial in Los Angeles, PGH Photo Fair, Filter Photo Festival, Art London, Art Basel Miami, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Center for Photography Woodstock, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, San Francisco Camerawork, Columbus Museum of Art, The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, and Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books. Her work has appeared in both print and online magazines including the LA Review of Books, Nueva Luz, and Camerawork. She received grants from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Vermont Council for the Arts, The Vermont Community Foundation, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She was recently awarded the Texas Photographic Society’s First National Photography Award in 2017 and has a forthcoming solo exhibition at Fotofest Houston in Spring 2018.
Dan Levenson received a BA from Oberlin College, OH and a MFA from Royal College of Art, London, United Kingdom. He has had solo exhibitions at Praz-Delavallade, Paris (2018); House of the Book, American Jewish University, Simi Valley, CA (2017); Praz-Delavallade, Brussels (2016); Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles (2015); Vox Populi, Philadelphia (2011); and White Columns, New York (2003). His work has been featured in group exhibitions at numerous institutions including PARTICIPANT, INC (2009); Cabinet, Brooklyn, New York (2012); International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York (2012); Triangle, Brooklyn, New York (2012); and LAXART, Los Angeles (2016, 2012). Levenson has had fellowships at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York (2004, 2006, 2008, 2014) and The MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire (2011) and artist-in-residence at USF Verftet, Norway (2008). He was a participant at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine in 2009. He received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant in 2006.
Kaz Oshiro was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1967 and lives in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts from the California State University, Los Angeles. One-person exhibitions of his work have been presented at Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Charles White Elementary School Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2013); Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan (2007); Las Vegas Art Museum, Las Vegas, NV (2007); and Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (2005). His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Space Between, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2015); Visual Deception II: Into the Future, Bunkamura: The Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2014); Between Critique and Absorption: Contemporary Art and Consumer Culture, Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (2013); Simulacrum, Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH (2012); Bruce Connor and the Primal Scene of Punk Rock, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO (2012); Lifelike, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2012); American Exuberance, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL (2011); New Image Sculpture, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX (2011); Artist’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Less is less, more is more, that’s all, CAPC Musée d’art contemporain, Bordeaux, France (2008); One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA (2007); Red Eye: Rubell Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL (2006); THING: New Sculpture from Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2005); Nothing Compared to This, Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH (2004); and California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2004).
Vincent Ramos received his BA from Otis College, Los Angeles (2002) and his MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA (2007). His work has been shown in solo exhibitions internationally including Las Cienegas Projects, Los Angeles (2011); 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica, CA (2008); and Crisp, London and Los Angeles (2008). His work was most recently featured in A Universal History of Infamy at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017). In addition to including his own work in the museum’s main campus, Ramos organized A Universal History of Infamy: Those of This America, currently on view through October 6, 2018 at Charles White Elementary School Gallery, Los Angeles. Awards for his work include the 2015 Friends of Contemporary Arts Fellowship; Legacy Artist in Residence Fellowship, 18th Street Arts Center (2011); and the California Community Foundation Emerging Artist Fellowship (2010). Ramos’s public work El Monte Legion Stadium Nocturne (2014) can be seen at the El Monte Station of the Los Angeles Metro.
Glen Wilson received his MFA from University of California, San Diego and BA from Yale University, New Haven, CT. His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as The Photographic Imaginary, Nan Rae Gallery, Woodbury University, Los Angeles, CA (2017); Echo Location, Eastside International, Los Angeles (2017); Biomythography: Currency Exchange, East and Peggy Phelps Galleries, Claremont College, CA (2016) and William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art, California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, CA (2017); Why Art Matters, Torrance Art Museum, CA (2017); Biomythography: Currency, Eastside International, Los Angeles (2015); and Flight Patterns, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2000).
Brenna Youngblood received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University, Long Beach in 2002 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. One-person exhibitions of her work have been presented at the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (2015); Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (2015); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2014); Wignall Museum, Rancho Cucamonga, CA (2007); and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, (2006). Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, MI (2017); California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2017, 2015, 2007); Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, Charlotte, NC (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2016, 2013); Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (2016); Los Angeles (2016); Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Paris, France (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2014); Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2014); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2012); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2011); Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL (2009); and Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008).