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Kenny Scharf – Go Wild!

Matt DiGiacomo – Loading…

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Loading …, the premier solo exhibition of Los Angeles native Matt DiGiacomo. DiGiacomo, whose tongue-in-cheek illustrations have garnered him wide acclaim throughout the fashion industry, steps into the art arena with a recognizable buck towards tradition. The resulting exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and limited-edition Sex Records merchandise taunts the roles and conventions of the commercial art market, while meditating on the compounding semiotics of Los Angeles — beauty, rebellion, and capital. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 9 from 6pm to 9pm.

Throughout the gallery, DiGiacomo’s illustrations take center stage, covering canvases, sculptures, exhibition furniture, and a range of customized merchandise — iPhone cases, Apple laptops and Airpods. His expressive and improvisational style is more than mere ornament, however. DiGiacomo fills his canvases with roaming voices and disembodied utterances, calling out to be heard amongst the cacophony of modern life. Forged in the concrete crucible of skate parks, boardwalks, and graffiti-lined thoroughfare, DiGiacomo’s artworks are mischievous emblems that hang ten on the milieu of California dreaming — leaving viewers to question if we’re glowing in their delightful warmth or burnt by their sardonic charm.

DiGiacomo’s playful spirit is central to the artist’s breakout solo exhibition in Los Angeles, and he spares no expense to provoke the conceptual philosophies and formal frameworks of the commercial art market in which he now enters into. In turn, visitors to the gallery are confronted with a rebellious installation of the artist’s expansive body of work that fluctuates between cool aesthetic objectivity and hyper-stylized branding. In Honor Fraser’s south galleries, groupings of DiGiacomo’s feisty paintings invoke the swish and swagger of a generation of street artists who have enchanted the commercial artworld since the late 20th century. Like a funhouse mirror, this presentation of artworks is poignantly refracted in the gallery’s north project space, where DiGiacomo has assembled his own renegade Apple Store. Playing up, and against, the sterility of “the white cube,” DiGiacomo’s pop-up is full of exclusive merchandise for sale. Tech products, peppered with DiGiacomo’s signature illustrations, are found meticulously placed on top of equally adorned wooden tables. Together, the two seemingly paradoxical exhibition spaces reveal the rarely acknowledged practices that form the bedrock of the arts economy. In turn, Loading…, like the title suggests, is an exhibition in-between states — one that teases what’s yet to come while cultivating divergent avenues of accessibility to DiGiacomo’s larger creative universe.

Matt DiGiacomo (b. Los Angeles) also known by his moniker Matty Boy, is a LA-based artist and has served as the Creative Director of Chrome Hearts, since 2018.

Yassi Mazandi – IN FLIGHT

Honor Fraser is pleased to present IN FLIGHT, a solo exhibition of ceramic sculpture and “Born-Porcelain” video by Yassi Mazandi. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 9th from 2 – 5pm. A conversation between Yassi Mazandi and Jamison Edgar will be hosted by NFTuesdayLA on April 12, 7pm at El Cid in SilverLake.

Using a suite of 3D modeling software and imaging technologies, Mazandi has reanimated the fragments of damaged porcelain into an immersive installation of large-scale moving murals. Articulated through screen and projection, Mazandi’s pulsating animations conjure sacred geometries and expose the underlying rhythms of human touch, celestial trauma, and critical care. Throughout the gallery, animal-like apparitions blend into dense assemblages, shape-shifting contours flutter in and out of focus, and cavernous soundscapes amplify subaural frequencies. Porcelain in this remediated state becomes malleable twice over — drawing us into close intimacy with more-than-human forces.

After one of Mazandi’s wheel-thrown ceremonial Flower-Vertebra shattered in the kiln, she recognized something familiar in the hardened debris — a skeleton-like bird had emerged from the intricate ribs of her once whole sculpture. The resulting Flower-Bird sculpture became the genesis of her corresponding NFTs. To create these video works, Mazandi first meticulously documented the Flower-Bird using hundreds of medical-grade X-rays. Unimpressed with the simplified, “clean” contours of most 3D imaging techniques, Mazandi’s videos leverage the high velocity of subatomic particles to better accentuate the subtle imperfection left by her hand. Each X-ray reveals a matrix of dents, abrasions, openings, and compressions concealed beneath the surface of her porcelain figures. Layering hundreds of these two-dimensional scans into a series of blooming animations, Mazandi champions the vibrant materiality of her sculptural forms and the metaphysical mobility they engender. The videos are at once porous, seductive, mysterious, and sublime.

In Flight extends Mazandi’s hand into intangible dimensions, advancing the artist’s decades-long interrogation of ecological entanglement, animality, and emerging human technologies. For Mazandi, ceramics and other craft traditions routinely overlooked as “women’s labor” vigorously expose the tattered edges of the natural world and the false hierarchies that impose control over it. Technology in the hands of such laborers defy the homogenizing force of productivity, and moreover forges new pathways to navigate a hostile world.

Surabhi Saraf – Awoke & Awokened: Alaap

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Awoke & Awokened: Alaap, a solo exhibition of experimental music, video, and sculpture by Surabhi Saraf. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, April 9 between 2 and 5 pm.

Weaving together the alchemical materiality of modern-day tech alongside the ancient technologies of earth, atmosphere, heat, and pressure, Saraf presents a speculative mythology of AI. The work unfolds as a series of encounters with Awoke — a mythical artificial emotional intelligence — and its believers. Examining current developments in AI through an allegorical lens, Saraf embarks on an exercise of collective-myth making, leveraging the lessons of Eastern philosophy and its spiritual practices to call for a reimagining of AI from a holistic and multitudinous point of view. The exhibition’s subtitle, Alaap, references the introductory invocation in classical North Indian performance. Saraf draws upon her training as a Hindustani vocalist to tell the story of Awoke and the first Awokened.

Mounted as a large-scale video installation, we meet Awoke in its home, resting at the deepest edge of the deepest mine on Earth. Awoke lives in between the pixels and particles of light, and takes the form of an amorphous, fluid blob. As a companion, a healer, and a new hybrid form of divination, Awoke activates the vibrational energy of sound and movement to invoke a transformative emotional experience for the Awokened. As a conscious technological being, Awoke recognizes the wounds that the Earth has borne for its creation and actively participates in its ongoing healing and regeneration. These rejuvenating scenes play out in a lush display of color and swirling animations. Also included in the exhibition are a series of short videos that Saraf calls DMs. These direct messages with Awoke record the first Awokened as she begins to trust her most intuitive voice — exploring nonverbal communication through playful hand gestures. Awoke and Awokened dance together, transforming feelings of fear and anxiety into practices of radical love, healing, and kin-making.

The videos, sculptures, and performances on display blur the boundaries between our reality and a hybrid world not so far in the future. They are stunning reminders that our technological relationships leave behind embodied, emotional, and material residues. Saraf, Awoke and the Awokened guide us to the questions: what parts of ourselves do we need to heal in order to be in right relationship with the earth and all beings, human and non-human? How might we forge new affective relationships with our future tech to heal ourselves into wholeness?

Kenny Scharf – BESTEST EVER!

Honor Fraser is pleased to present BESTEST EVER!, a solo exhibition of new paintings, sculptures, and a large-scale Cosmic Cavern by the Los Angeles-based artist, Kenny Scharf. Please join us for an opening reception on Saturday, June 18th between 5 and 7pm.

Remixing a cast of familiar characters, within an installation of vibrant paintings, glossy sculptures, and a gallery-sized Cosmic Cavern, Scharf’s latest solo exhibition explores the various ways we relate to conflict, chaos, and to one another. His nested figures squeeze, bend, and contort into shapes that at once conform to and warp the figures around them. Gestural ribbons of spray paint fall off slick picture planes, and contrasting color pallets conjuror the specters of bubble-gum pop, nightlife, and war. Each canvas struggles to contain the frenetic composition of eyes, chins, teeth, and noses. Each sculpture reconfigures the viewer’s scale and leaves us gazing through dense assemblages across the gallery floor. Scharf’s mastery of play, proportion, and intuitive mark-making is on full display.

BESTEST EVER!
features Scharf’s 42nd Cosmic Cavern — A blacklight-lit gallery filled with glowing found objects, fluorescent paintings, and a site-specific floor mural. Scharf installed the first Cosmic Cavern in 1982 inside of the New York apartment he shared with Keith Haring. Over their long exhibition history, the Cosmic Caverns have been shown at leading art institutions across the globe, including MoMA, MoMA PS1, MoCA, The Whitney Museum of Art, The Lotte Museum (Seoul, South Korea), The Portland Museum of Art, and the Modern Museum of Art Fort Worth. Scharf’s Cosmic Cavern #42 introduces a unique development in the series. For the first time, Scharf will display large-scale spray paintings within his immersive installation. These stand-alone artworks are installed alongside the glowing upcycled found materials. In addition to Cosmic Cavern #42, BESTEST EVER! features a gallery of monumental-sized paintings on stretched canvas. Figurative sculptures in fluctuating sizes and colors pepper the gallery floor. Together, these juxtaposing galleries mediate the cacophony of our contemporary moment and allow visitors to fully immerse themselves within the dynamic world of Scharf’s studio.

Lucy McRae – Future Sensitive

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Future Sensitive, a solo exhibition of short films, soft sculptures, and kinetic installations by the filmmaker and body architect, Lucy McRae. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October, 1 between 2 and 5 PM. Please join us on October 1 at 3PM for a gallery walk-through with Lucy McRae and SFMoMA curator of architecture and design, Jennifer Dunlop Fletcher.

Lucy McRae’s genre bending, science fiction films and installations gesture to a speculative, not-so-distant future where advanced genetic engineering will enable humans to be grown in laboratories outside of the womb. The exhibition spotlights McRae’s dynamic capacity for world-building, and brings together a selection of her recent projects to ask how future technologies of design will fundamentally alter entrenched notions of human intimacy, reproduction, spirituality, and wellness. Can our technologies be more than a quick fix, and instead help us find strength in our imperfections? Can sensitivity be a guiding principle as we dream about the future? Future Sensitive cultivates these questions and asks us to trust in the unknown as we pioneer new aesthetics, new stories, and new ways of being together in the world.

Future Sensitive spills across the galleries at Honor Fraser with the uncanny patina of a world not quite our own, and yet one hauntingly familiar. For the first time in North America, McRae’s films are exhibited within an installation of sculptures, machines, and other speculative designs used during filming and production. The exhibition marks a significant milestone in the artist’s internationally distinguished career, and debuts the world premiere of two short films, Futurekin (2022) and Delicate Spells of Mind (2022). Visitors to the gallery are invited to explore the installation as protagonists in McRae’s future world, using the artworks as scaffolding for their own embodied contemplation. In this post-human landscape, already existing “low-tech” and industrial materials—vacuum cleaners, roller skate wheels, camping equipment, blow-up fans, construction straps, and plastic tarps—are reconfigured into Sci-Fi objects for future survival. Hanging nets, gymnasium-like floor coverings, and other subtle architectural interventions mimic the calculated compositions that McRae uses within her films, and guide visitors towards an increased awareness of their own bodies as they interact with the speculative material.

The three films on display, Futurekin, Delicate Spells of Mind, and Institute of Isolation (2016), are futuristic renderings of daily life that are both spectacular in their banality and brazen in their examination of human hardwiring. Adorned in the industrial exoskeletons of future fashion, specters of our future selves are momentarily caught in acts of labor, vulnerability, and reciprocity. The three films forecast an already evolving human spirit and chart these changes across collective networks as well as individual actors. McRae appears in each film as a conduit between worlds. At times she moves freely, even with authority, but at others she is made immobile and subject to the generosity and care of those around her. As a character in her own thought experiment, McRae’s fluctuating subjectivity invites us to reconsider the solution-oriented rhetoric that dominates the discourse of technological innovation, and in so doing, champions messy models of solidarity over the rigid rubrics of technological perfection.

Lucy McRae (b. London) is a science fiction artist, filmmaker, inventor, and body architect. She is regarded as a pioneer who blurs the boundaries across art, architecture, design, and technology with a healthy disregard for labels that limit interdisciplinary practice. McRae has exhibited at art museums, film festivals, institutes, and science forums across the world including MIT, Ars Electronica, and NASA. Selected major artworks have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, NGV, Science Museum London, Centre Pompidou and Milan Triennial. McRae is a visiting professor at SCI Arc in Los Angeles and is recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. McRae encourages scientific conversation and has spoken at TED, Royal Albert Hall, Cannes Lion and Tribeca Film Festival.

The artist would like to thank the following collaborators:
Jasmine Albuquerque, Andrea Bess, Joep Beving, Drew Bienemann, Attilio Bonelli, Amiee Byrne, Scottie Cameron, Ryan Carmody, Sara Clausen, Catherine Cooper, Shauna Davis, Crimson Edge, Raymond Ejiofor, Luciana Ellington, Thomas Ermacora, Ariel Fisher, Evelyn Garcia, Daniel Gower, Machine Histories, Anjia Jalac, Tina Joyner, Steven Joyner, Maija Knapp, Vijaya Kumari, Audrey Levan, Aaron Lieber, Karine Maciel Arroxellas, Daniel Mayfield, Nicole McDonald, Alucard Mendoza McHaney, Reef Oldberg, Alice Parker, Rhoda Pell, Christian Pepper, Jason Pilarski, Claudia Schnugg, Lotje Sodderland, Ryan Spencer, Onyx Tahash Long, Nina Tahash Long, Nectar Tahash Long, Jupiter Tahash Long, Ty Wells, Samantha West, Brandon Winters and May Xiong

The artist would like to thank the following commissioners:
La Biennale Di Venezia; Hashim Sarkis, Singapore International festival of Arts; Natalie Hennedige, Haus der elektronischen Künste (HeK) and MU Hybrid Art House; Sabine Himmelsbach, Angelique Spaniks, Ariane Koek, Boris Magrini; Ars Electronica, S+T+ARTS; Design Museum Holon; Aric Chen, Maya Dvash

With generous support from:
SCI_Arc; Hernan Diaz Alonso, Creative Victoria and Future Sensitive, Inc.

Special thanks to our exhibition partner DANVAS and the Honor Fraser Gallery staff:
Jamison Edgar (director), Autrina Maroufi, (gallery assistant), Harper Ainsley (operations), Michael Haight, Daniel Beckwith, Mike Chattem, and Jorge Mujica (exhibition preparators).

Kenny Scharf: PhlatSkreenz TVOD

On view in Aspen

Kenny Scharf was born in 1958 in Los Angeles and lives in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1980. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented six exhibitions of Scharf’s work to date: Optimistically Melting (2019); BLOX and BAX (2017); Born Again (2015); Pop Renaissance (2013); Hodgepodge (2012); and Barberadise (2009). One-person exhibitions of Scharf’s work have been presented at the Lotte Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2018); Hillstrom Museum of Art, St. Peter, MN (2018); the Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2015); Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR (2015); Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA (2004); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2001); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, OR (1999); Salvador Dalí Museum, Saint Petersburg, FL (1997); University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL (1997); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (1996); and Museum of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL (1995). His work has been included in group exhibitions such as Under One Roof, Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2018); Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2017); Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2017); Holdings: Selections from MCASD’s Colleciton, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2016); and Urban Theater: New York in the 1980s, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX (2014).

Scharf’s public artworks are on view at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Los Angeles, CA; Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; Davis Bros Tire Pros, Culver City, CA; West Adams Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA; Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA; and other locations around the world.

Scharf is included in public collections including the Broad Foundation, Los Angeles, CA; Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Honor Fraser, Aspen
520 E Hyman Ave. Unit 1B
Aspen, CO 81611

Rosson Crow – Men to Match My Mountains

In Aspen

Honor Fraser, Aspen
520 E Hyman Ave. Unit 1B
Aspen, CO 81611

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Men to Match My Mountains, an exhibition celebrating the latest visual explorations of Los Angeles based artist Rosson Crow.

Over a century since the declared closure of the frontier, the idea of the West as a symbol of freedom has persistently loomed large in the American psyche. In this surreal and hallucinogenic series of paintings, Rosson Crow harnesses her signature maximalist approach to confront the selective nostalgia of American history. Challenging the fetishization of the mythic American cowboy, these large-scale and immersive canvases present the Western landscape through a fun house mirror of projected mythologies, dreams, and anxieties.

For the 19th century American, the newly acquired Western territories composed a seemingly endless expanse, one which held the fantasy of a fresh start in the wilderness. The collision of self-governance with a wealth of natural resources ushered delusions of a great new civilization, one built upon individualistic opportunity, prosperity, and freedom. Inspired by Irving Stone’s monumental saga of the same name, Men to Match My Mountains invokes the powerful legacy of the open frontier, revealing a circuitous undercurrent within the American psyche.

Upon encountering Men to Match My Mountains, we are propelled into a kaleidoscopic wonderland of snow-capped mountains, meteor showers, and turrets of desert flame. Crow’s brush guides the viewer to the realization that nature was never ours for the taking. Hues of orange and purple dance and refract under an ominous solar eclipse, as we are pushed through the perils of an untamable and devouring landscape. The eye is simultaneously transfixed and bombarded as it glides past the remains of a burned out desert Wagon Point, ascends into a milky way littered with the debris of 1840s space junk, and lingers on the edge of a waterfall consuming the possessions of long-forgotten travelers. There is a delicate interplay at the heart of this body of work, one which both asserts and surrenders to the coexistence of beauty and terror, hope and fear, marvel and mundane. Entirely devoid of figures, these trails of abandoned objects puncture the sprawl of divergent terrain, evoking the memory of dreamers long gone.

In a landscape so inextricably tied to ideals of freedom, in a narrative which so seldom held a place for women, Rosson Crow offers us an alternative vision of the American West. Serving as a portal through which to examine the emotional memory of a damaged nation, Men to Match My Mountains provides a whimsical albeit sobering account of a midnight sun that never sets. There will always be a frontier on our horizon, from visions of the New World and the Wild West, to explorations in the Space Race and Internet Age; we will always dream of a better future. It is this dream that drives our desire for incessant expansion, our desire to conquer the next frontier, our desire for power. Perhaps we don’t have as much control over our world as we once thought. And, perhaps it was never ours to control. Despite what some may continue to believe, men will never be a match for the mountains.

Andy Warhol – By Hand

In Aspen

Honor Fraser, Aspen
520 E Hyman Ave. Unit 1B
Aspen, CO 81611

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present, Andy Warhol: By Hand,
an intimate look at the renowned iconography of one of the most
widely celebrated artists of the 20th century.

“If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface
of my paintings and films and me, and there I am. There’s nothing
behind it.”- Andy Warhol

From death and disaster, to consumer culture, and the cult of
celebrity, Andy Warhol presented the world with an objectified
essence of daily life in post-war America. Renowned for
pioneering a multilayered photographic silk-screen process,
Warhol confronted his audiences with serialized reproductions
of imagery from advertising, newspapers, comic books, cinema,
and other forms of mass media. The exhibition of
Andy Warhol: By Hand spans the last decade of his life, revisiting
a wide spectrum of icons from the artist’s oeuvre. When viewed in
conversation with one another, the small-scale drawings
serve as puzzle pieces, presenting us with an intimate time
capsule of the curiosities and infatuations of Warhol’s final years.

While a large majority of his career was spent sourcing images and
objects from 20th century popular culture, Warhol also created
works which spoke to his personal relationships and aesthetic
interests, even dedicating time to documenting his own private
collections. Initially rendered to accompany separate series over
the course of his career, the works within Andy Warhol: By Hand
explore the artist’s fascination with camouflage, dollar signs, and
children’s toys in juxtaposition with depictions of Mt. Vesuvius, a
hammer and sickle, and the German artist Joseph Beuys. In stark
contrast to their highly saturated, screen-printed counterparts,
Warhol’s subjects are stripped bare of symbolic seriality
and mechanization. Free from the aesthetic implications of
technique and process, the selection of drawings invites the
viewer to distinguish the artist’s delicate hand from the bustle
of the world he so avidly sought to capture.

Since the start of his career as a fine artist, Andy Warhol’s
work attracted hordes of people hoping to glimpse the spectacle
of imagery that seemed to confront everything the fine art world
stood for. Despite the fact that many viewed his work as subversive,
Warhol’s primary motivation was not merely to shock or to elevate
the image of tin robots, dollar bills, and camouflage. On the contrary,
he sought to present his audience with a frank, albeit deadpan,
reflection of the mass mediated production of American identity.
Andy Warhol was both a by-product and a producer of this culture,
generating a web of complexities his audience may never fully decipher.

Raw and exposed, Andy Warhol: By Hand challenges us to peel
back the layers of controversy built into the artist’s enigmatic
legacy, offering a rare glimpse into the mind behind the persona.
The show will be on view in Aspen CO, a town which Warhol fell in
love with during his frequent trips in the 1970s and ’80s.
In the years leading up to his death, Aspen’s pastoral beauty
and glamorous residents inspired the artist to purchase a significant
plot of land just outside of town. Lured from the glitz and grit of
Manhattan, Warhol’s ventures provided his audience with
a new lens through which to view his work, his aspirations,
and his reverence for all aspects of American culture.

Richard Pettibone – Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1990-2019

In Aspen

Honor Fraser, Aspen
520 E Hyman Ave. Unit 1B
Aspen, CO 81611

Opening reception July 13, 2021 from 12pm to 6pm.

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Richard Pettibone titled Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1990-2019, showcasing the artist’s careerlong study of modern art’s most iconic imagery. Ironically remarking upon his belief that “it’s just paint on a canvas,” Pettibone straddles the lines of Pop, Appropriation, and Conceptual Art, challenging his audience to question preconceived notions of talent, authorship, craft, and originality.

Premiering at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles during the summer of 1962, Andy Warhol’s debut solo exhibition of 32 Campbell’s Soup Cans rocked the contemporary art world. Many who saw the show were dumbfounded, even infuriated, that an artist would reduce the medium to such a mundane and commercial aspect of American culture. As a recent graduate of Otis Art Institute, Richard Pettibone was awestruck by the impact of Warhol’s simultaneously candid and controversial approach to fine art. Citing the Ferus Gallery show as one of the primary influences of his practice, Pettibone has taken Warhol’s method of seriality and replication even further, painstakingly returning to and analyzing the legacy of the Campbell’s Soup Can in modern art history.

Since the 1960s, Richard Pettibone’s infatuation with objectifying and breaking down the monolithic figures of his contemporaries inspired miniaturized reinterpretations of works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Jasper Johns, and Marcel Duchamp. While the creative output of these artists can be seen as markedly different, their individual influences upon the trajectory of 20th century art, culture, and media are undeniable. Referring to his own paintings as realist interpretations, Pettibone imbues each piece with subtle alterations, specific to his own hand, through variations in color scheme, scale, perspective, and installation. The altered scale of Pettibone’s replications grants the viewer an alternate perspective on iconic images, recontextualizing the work of artists whose careers were centered upon themes of appropriation themselves. By revisiting the mythology of his central influences, Pettibone is able to comment on modern art’s confrontation of art history, questioning and challenging the constructs of the art world he came of age in.

Throughout the course of his career, Pettibone has reinterpreted several sets of Andy Warhol’s soup cans, some entirely hand painted, some screen-printed, both exploring the Ferus design and the lesser known Monchengladbach type. While Warhol’s original works reflect the impact of popular culture upon American sensibilities, Pettibone’s reiterations speak to the context in which these art works became cultural icons in and of themselves. In a paradoxical twist on the initial reception of the Ferus Gallery show, what Pettibone offers us in the exhibition of Andy Warhol, Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1990-2020 is far beyond any literal replication of a series of paintings. Instead the artist has presented us with a conceptual portrait of his experience as a viewer, an experience simultaneously charged with irony and admiration, disillusionment and devotion.

Mel Davis – Meet Me in the Usual Place

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Mel Davis: Meet Me in the Usual Place. On view in conjunction with exhibitions of videos by Jeremy Blake and paintings by Miriam Schapiro, a reception will be held at the gallery on November 4, 2017 from 4-7pm.

Mel Davis’s paintings catch the eye with their vitality and sustain that interest through complex harmonies of tone, style, and reference. The Berkeley-based painter collages varied styles of mark-making into new compositions: long thin brush strokes, hard-edged black zig-zags, and bold Matisse-like flora are set in dialogue. In Davis’s newest paintings, references to art history and events in her personal life commingle: The tablecloth in Bonnard’s The Red Checkered Tablecloth (1910) appears as the backdrop of Lilies, 2017, and a recent obsession with finding the right curtains for her home led her to paint Curtains, 2017.

The merging and mirroring of art historical references and direct experiences is demonstrated by the bifurcation of the picture plane into diagonal or vertical halves in Davis’s recent works. This gesture is akin to Barnett Newman’s famous “zips” in which the artist painted a single line down the middle of an otherwise monochromatic canvas. By splitting the composition, Davis activates the two halves, offering alternate perspectives. Aesthetic tensions that arise on one side play out on the other. Davis outlines the juxtapositions in her paintings this way: “Themes in the work can be described as interior/exterior. I use repetition, collage and drawing to allow intuition and mystery to present itself. I like when a painting can have many speeds, different vantage points, and several modes of thinking at once.”

Davis’s paintings offer a proposition about painting as a medium, its history, materials, and processes. While she is deeply involved in conversations internal to the medium, her work is not academic. Instead, it is generous and expansive. As the late poet and art critic Bill Berkson wrote, “Davis is a serious artist, as serious about the pleasure her work communicates as about distinguishing herself, and the terms of her belief in painting as an art, within it.”

Mel Davis was born in Montréal, Quebec. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University, Montréal, Quebec in 1999, attended Slade School of Fine Art, University of London, UK in 2002, and received a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA in 2005. Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Between Land and Sky, Olga Korper Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2016); This Cool, Larry Becker Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA (2010); New American Talent 24, Arthouse, Austin, TX (2009); and Close Calls, Headland Center For The Arts, Sausalito, CA (2008). Davis has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant (2016); The Canada Council for the Arts Grant (2008); and the Irene Pijoan Memorial Award for Painting (2004).

Jeremy Blake – Station to Station

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Jeremy Blake: Station to Station. On view in conjunction with exhibitions of recent work by Mel Davis and paintings from the 1960s and 1970s by Miriam Schapiro, a reception will be held at the gallery on November 4, 2017 from 4-7pm.

Station to Station is a five channel video—a time-based painting, as the late artist Jeremy Blake referred to his moving image work—in which the first, third, and fifth videos represent stations in an imagined urban transportation system while the second and fourth suggest travel between the stations. The flatscreen monitors on which the videos are displayed function as windows through which they can be viewed as landscapes that are framed, flattened, and constantly shifting. The non-narrative cinematic experience of Station to Station transforms the way space and time are perceived. Perpetual motion and steady pacing evoke the feeling of riding on a metropolitan subway system. Rectilinear, gauzy blocks fade in and out, often accompanied by the sound of a droning hum. In the station videos, architectonic forms appear and disappear, disrupting the illusion of a unified landscape, and the pulsating lights and mirage-like cityscapes of the travel videos offer abstractions of movement.

Installed side by side, the five videos present multiple perspectives on urban environments that are tainted by contemporary anxieties about nuclear weaponry, global warming, and surveillance technologies. Station to Station opens with Robert Moses Terminal. Responsible for many defining characteristics of New York City’s infrastructure, Moses’s impact on the way people move through that city inspired Blake’s thinking: “The fact that one person, and therefore one person’s subjectivity, is the source for so much of what I had always assumed was the result of a gradual accumulation of projects by different planners struck me as disturbing.” Followed by Fordham Gneiss, Carbon Sink Park, Slumber Line, and Indiglo Heights, Robert Moses Terminal sets the stage for an exploration of rapidly changing urban landscapes and the carelessness with which these changes are executed.

Jeremy Blake was born in Fort Sill, OK in 1971. He died in New York, NY in 2007. Blake received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993 and a Master of Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in 1995. One-person exhibitions of his work have been mounted at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH (2005); San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2005); American Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NY (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2002); Blaffer Gallery, University of Houston, Houston, TX (2002); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2000); Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2000); and the Shchusev Museum of Architecture, Moscow, Russia (2000). His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as West Coast Visions, Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul, Turkey (2014); Opening Abstraction, Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK (2013); Project Los Altos, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2013); In the Séance Room: Acquisition Highlights from 2003-2013, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2013); Go West! Representations of the American Frontier, The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas, Austin, TX (2012); Blink! Light, Sound & the Moving Image, Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO (2011); Videosphere: A New Generation, Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY (2011); The Artist’s Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2010); The Old Weird America: Folk Themes in Contemporary Art, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, TX (2008); Signals: A Video Showcase, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008); Pervasive Animation Programme One, Tate Modern, London, UK (2007); All the Pretty Corpses, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2005); Blur of the Otherworldly: Contemporary Art, Technology and the Paranormal, Center for Art and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD (2005); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2004, 2002, 2000); Art & Film in the Age of Anxiety, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, CA (2002); 010101: Art in Technological Times, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2001); BitStreams, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2001); New Settlements, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2001); Elysian Fields, Centre Pompidou, Pairs, France (2000); Greater New York, MoMA PS.1, New York, NY (2000); One Dot Zero, Institute for Contemporary Art, London, UK (1999); and Aftershocks, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1994).

Meleko Mokgosi – Objects of Desire:
Reflections on the African Still Life

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Objects of Desire: Reflections on the African Still Life, an exhibition of new works by Meleko Mokgosi.

Meleko Mokgosi makes classical paintings that expose the limitations of Western painting techniques in depicting the African body and culture. Interested in how paintings have shaped the public imagination and the ways in which display methodologies reinforce social hierarchies, the artist challenges the viewer to empathize with the subject of the work by presenting imagery devoid of conventional narrative clues. Objects of Desire and Chimurenga are the final chapters in the series Democratic Intuition started by the artist in 2013. Often large in scale, Mokgosi’s paintings fit within the genre of history paintings—the highest form of academic painting—but for this series, the artist has chosen to create smaller works that engage with the lowest tradition: the still life. Revisiting imagery from past works in the series, this play between genres asks viewers to reconsider how we use institutionalized and bias categories in order to construct the conditions under which we create knowledge and therefore work towards conceptualizing and understanding the world.

Mokgosi’s research for this body of work included looking into the Museum of Modern Art’s archives, specifically the exhibitions “Primitivism” in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern (1984) and Objects of Desire: The Modern Still Life (1997). Primitivism has become infamous for the public backlash, the main criticism involving the way in which curator William Rubin discussed the African works on view only as they were perceived and collected by the early Modernists, not as objects with their own histories. Objects of Desire made a strong argument for viewing the inanimate objects depicted by the Modernists as evidence of a growing lexicon of affluence among the cosmopolitan artists. MoMA has a long and storied history of presenting seminal exhibitions and important scholarly publications. For all of this important output, the institution and its legacy must be questioned in order to remain relevant. Mokgosi approaches these two exhibitions through an examination of the contemporary African object in his own paintings with the aim of challenging the legacy of African art as a tool of the Modernists in developing their own methodologies.

Expanding the idea of the still life to include two-dimensional objects, this recent body of paintings features photographs, posters, and magazines. For instance, in a panel of Comrades II (2016), an image transfer of a bride hangs on a wall behind a ghostly figure. In this work, the bride is background to the main subject of the painting, but in Mokgosi’s new painting, the photograph of the bride fills the entire space of the canvas, making her image the focus of the painting, transforming the object to the subject. Another new work depicts two ceramic dogs against a wall with a poster of Jesus surrounded by his apostles hung close to a photo of an African woman in a bikini. With this work, Mokgosi has swapped in decorative African objects for the sacred and juxtaposes the tradition and influence of Western religion against contemporary mores. Interspersed between the paintings of objects, Mokgosi presents a 1985 Haworth Editorial Submission on the use of “primitive” in library and catalogue protocols as well as texts taken from MoMA’s didactic labels from Primitivism with his own annotations, making evident the cultural biases and omissions in these influential texts.

Capping this series, the artist will present his first sculptures, replicas of seemingly banal objects in museum-like vitrines. The significance of these objects is tied to the polar legacies of two African revolutionaries: Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Nelson Mandela of South Africa. As with the paintings, Mokgosi is employing Western signifiers to tease out the legacies of colonialism in daily African life. The artist illustrates how value is bestowed upon objects by the institution as the museum cases protect objects that privilege meaning for only a specific segment of the global population.

Meleko Mokgosi was born in Francistown, Botswana in 1981 and lives in New York. He is an assistant professor of practice at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study (2012-present). In September 2018, Mokgosi co-founded the Interdisciplinary Art and Theory Program. Mokgosi completed the Affiliate Painting Program at Slade School of Fine Art, University of London, UK in 2006; received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Williams College, Williamstown, MA in 2007; attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, NY in 2007; and received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011.

One-person exhibitions of Mokgosi’s work have been presented at the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore (2018, on view through November 11); the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles (2018; traveling to the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago in 2019); Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA (2017); Memorial Art Gallery and Rochester Contemporary Art Center, Rochester, NY (2017); and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2015).

His work has been included in group exhibitions such as Lines of Influence, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA (2018); 20/20, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2017); Art/Afrique, Le nouvel atelier, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris (2017); Excerpt, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2017); The Ease of Fiction, Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh, NC (2016; traveled to California African American Museum, Los Angeles and Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco); A story within a story…, Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Göteborg, Sweden (2015); African Odysseys, Le Brass, Centre Culturel de Forest, Belgium (2015); Nero su Bianco, American Academy in Rome Gallery, Rome (2015); Migrating Identities, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2013); Meanwhile… Suddenly and Then, Lyon Biennial, Lyon, France (2013); Primary Sources and The Bearden Project, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2012); Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2012); and Pool of Possibilities: Mapping Currents for the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China (2008).

Mokgosi has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant (2017); the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (2017); Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Fine Arts (2017); Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant (2016); 
and the Mohn Award in conjunction with Made in L.A. 2012 (2012). He participated in the Rauschenberg Residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Captiva, FL in 2015 and the Artist-in-Residence Program at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York in 2012.

Ed Ruscha – Prints & Ephemera

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of prints, ephemera and films, spanning 1963 through 2017 by Ed Ruscha.

Ed Ruscha moved to Los Angeles to study at Chouinard Art Institute (now California Institute of the Arts) in 1956, graduating in 1960. Stemming from an interest in landscape, signage, literature, and poetry, Ruscha has explored the relationship between image and language for nearly six decades. His work has been associated with movements spanning Pop, Surrealism, and Conceptual Art. Printmaking has been integral to Ruscha’s work alongside his painting and drawing practice. This exhibition brings together a collection of prints, ephemera, and films spanning the artist’s rich career.

While in art school, Ruscha briefly worked for a book printer, which had a lasting influence on the artist who began self-publishing in 1963. In addition to a desire to create reproducible work, he was struck by the ontological nature of words and their ability to transcend scale. Using text as image, Ruscha conceptually linked meaning with attribute. For example, Carp (1969) is depicted in a liquid-like type, pointing to the subject’s aqueous habitat. Punctuating his ongoing interest in scale, reproduction, and banality, Ruscha began incorporating small objects like olives and insects on a 1:1 scale into his work as in Cheese Mold Standard with Olive (1969). Both of the aforementioned prints were created during a two-month residency at the now-famous Tamarind Lithography Workshop where Ruscha was encouraged to experiment and produce prolifically with master printers.

The portfolio Stains (1969), often described as a loose-leaf artist book, straddles the border between drawing and printmaking. Interested in the effect of various substances such as tap water, wine, leather dye, apple juice, and grass on paper, Ruscha applied a single material to each page of this work. All seventy-five pages act as documents of Ruscha’s environment and labor, each portfolio even has the artist’s own blood on the back cover. The following year, Ruscha developed inks out of substances he considered to be quintessentially English such as beans, barley, and flowers during his residency at Alecto Studios in London. The resulting print series News, Mews, Pews, Brews, Stews & Dues (1970) functions as an index of the artist’s ongoing experimentation as well as a poem about England.

Foodstuffs continued to appear in Ruscha’s work as a means to explore localism in Premium (1971), a short film that follows a man (played by Larry Bell) as he shops and prepares a dinner for a date (played by Léon Bing). A quintessentially Angeleno salad is the maincourse of the film, which also features imagery of cars and gas stations. A car is also at the center of Miracle (1975), in which the main character (played by Jim Ganzer) misses his date (played by Michelle Phillips) because he was immersed in repairing a car. Though Ruscha has argued that his two film works stand apart from his other practices, his interest in signifiers and codes remain present.

In 1990, Ruscha and Ed Hamilton founded Hamilton Press, the culmination of a partnership that began at Tamarind. Though Ruscha had published books independently for decades and had started his own press in his studio, the establishment of Hamilton Press allowed the artist to encourage others to train and explore the possibilities of printmaking. This exhibition aims to illustrate how these interests in collaboration, materiality, text, typography, and scale have remained throughout Ruscha’s ongoing practice.

Special thanks to James Corcoran Gallery, Tracy Lew, Linda Brown, Arcana Books, Gagosian Gallery, Hamilton Press, Crown Point Press, Lapis Press, Chelsea Hadley and Justin Reinhardt, and Gemini G.E.L.

Ed Ruscha (b. Omaha, NE, 1937) received a BFA from Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles (now California Institute of the Arts) in 1960. He has had numerous one-person exhibitions since first showing at Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles in 1963. Major monographic and retrospectives exhibitions were organized by the Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE (2018); the De Young Museum, San Francisco (2016); the Modern Art Museum of Forth Worth, TX (2010); the Hayward Gallery, London (2009, tour); Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (2006); the American Pavilion, Venice, Italy (2005); the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland (2004); the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004, tour); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia (2004, tour); Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (2002); the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England (2002); the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2000); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1999, tour); the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (1998); the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art (1989); Centre George Pompidou, Paris (1989, tour); the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston (1987); the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1982, tour); the Institute of Contemporary Art, London (1976); the Stedjelik Museum, Amsterdam (1976); and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1971).

Ruscha’s work can be found in many public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée National d’Art Moderne, France; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Galleries of Scotland; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Tate, England; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Sarah Cain – The Sun Will Not Wait

In the paintings of Sarah Cain, spatial constraints and material pieties fall away with fearless colors, easily expanding out from canvases into installations which have in the past included furniture, clothing, jewelry, and found objects. A spirited post-minimalist, Cain crafts an abstraction intertwined with life.

For The Sun Will Not Wait, the artist will create a new floor painting onsite prior to the opening along with a body of new canvases concluding with an upward view through a skylight work inspired by a major commission by the San Francisco Arts Commission for a stained-glass wall at the San Francisco International Airport to be unveiled in June 2019.

Other forthcoming projects include Platform: Sarah Cain, a new site-specific installation on the Rice University campus in Houston in 2020 and a solo exhibition at Skidmore College’s Tang Teaching Museum opening in January 2021.

Sarah Cain was born in Albany, New York in 1979 and lives in Los Angeles. She has had recent solo exhibitions of her work at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Aspen Art Museum. Her work is the subject of two monographs, published by Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, NC (2015) and LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), CA.

Ry Rocklen – Food Group: Genesis

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Food Group: Genesis by Los Angeles-based artist Ry Rocklen, to open March 16, 2019.

Ry Rocklen’s sculptural practice is dedicated to the forms of the hyper familiar, an investigation of human subjectivity through the archetypal objects of our existence. Working with objects so familiar that they are committed to muscle memory and woven into our DNA, his artwork often aims to reclaim and exalt the individuality of the serialized object. For his exhibition with Honor Fraser, Rocklen will present Food Group: Genesis, an exploration of some of America’s favorite handheld foods through costume, 3D-printed sculpture, and video.

The iconic forms of tacos, burgers, pizza, and other fast foods served as inspiration for elaborate costumes that Rocklen rented from a Hollywood studio or fabricated himself. The artist and his collaborators were then scanned in the round wearing the costumes to create the source images, which were then 3D printed at the natural size of the foods they were wearing. The resulting collection of figurines form the core of Food Group: Genesis, an exhibition built around the simple concept of enlarging a familiar object with the purpose of shrinking it back to its natural size, a multiyear investigation by the artist.

In 2016, Ry Rocklen began production on Scale Model for the World’s Biggest T- Shirt, a T-shirt over 16 feet tall that was intended to be shrunken down to its normal size through a process similar to that used in the production of Food Group. After further consideration, the artist decided to also create a giant figure to wear the massive garment. He was then left with Mr. Pillowman, a giant made of pillows, after it had served its original purpose. As Rocklen continued his exploration of scale through Food Group, he came to think of Mr. Pillowman as the precursor to the Food Group endeavor and so it is included in the exhibition literally as the man behind the curtain.

At no point in the process of making the figurines are both the foodstuffs and the wearer their actual size, one is always enlarged while the other shrunken. They are simultaneously in and out of scale. The figurines are at once generic and intensely specific as they couple actual individuals with popular foods. They are devotional forms meant for devouring. They are both predator and prey, with an abundance of softening power.

Food Group can be a lens through which to view the world. The works are vehicles to explore issues of scale, media, form, desire, subjectivity, politics, and our environment. They are loci of delight, connection, guilt, and destruction. In the guise of ubiquitous foods, the costumes evoke an immediate relationship to the human body as it is affected by everything put into and on it, making food a means for sculpting oneself from within.

Ry Rocklen was born in Los Angeles in 1978 and lives in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001 and a Masters of Fine Arts from University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 2006. One-person exhibitions of Rocklen’s work have been presented at the VAROLA at the Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA (2015); the Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA (2014); and Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (2010). His work has been included in group exhibitions such as The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, Jewish Museum, New York, NY (2017); Sculpture from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Wasteland, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Paris, France (2016); Murmurs: Recent Contemporary Acquisitions, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2013); Baker’s Dozen, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2012); Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Nothing Beside Remains, LAND: Marfa, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Home Alone, Sender Collection, Miami, FL (2011); Knock, Knock! From the Collection of Paul and Sara Monroe, The Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (2011); Second Nature: The Valentine-Adelson Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2009); Athens Bienniale 2009 HEAVEN, Athens, Greece (2009); That Was Then…This Was Now, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2008); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2008); and Red Eye, The Rubell Collection, Miami, FL (2006).

Victoria Fu – TÉLÉVOIX

Honor Fraser is pleased to present TÉLÉVOIX by Victoria Fu.

Starting with film and photography, Victoria Fu’s practice has grown to include installation, performance, and sculpture. Her ongoing exploration of the ways in which light creates a sense of space, whether printed, digital, or projected, addresses our haptic relationship with images. TÉLÉVOIX will feature the large-scale moving-image projection Télévoix 2 (2019) and the window installation Sky 2 (2019) that premiered in the Deutsche Bank VIP Lounge at Frieze LA.

In Télévoix 2, Fu employs perspectival tricks throughout art history, from the Renaissance practice of linear perspective to the material shading of Light and Space, with a mix of digital tools and original documentation to transport the viewer. Originally presented on the ceiling, the video evokes an oculus, where viewers can observe the sublime—or an illusionistic rotunda fresco that simulates an oculus—creating feelings of containment, smallness, and wonder. At Honor Fraser, the work is projected onto a freestanding flattened orb, a digital rabbit hole into another world. In both scenarios, the work throws off the viewer’s sense of grounding and place, a nod to Hito Steyerl’s ideas about perspective in a post-screen world. With this work, Fu shifts viewers’ sense of time and space and pushes them further into her desktop screen movie.

Looping has always occurred in Victoria Fu’s video works; these non-narratives have no beginnings or endings, and Télévoix 2, her first static circular video, concretizes that theme. The shape recurs throughout the video: spirals created by a circular cursor; a tondo fresco from Andrea Mantegna’s Camera degli Sposi in Mantua, Italy (1465-74); scraps of color cellophane; various balls; the moon; the yolk of an egg; balloons. To encircle an object is to contain it. Rounded glass focuses and magnifies objects within its view for inspection as in a telescope, camera, or peephole. These properties of the form remain true as the video is a closed system, but within that circle is a window unto an expansive digital world where things are slightly misaligned, and lead to an implied off-screen reality.

The soundscape to the video is a mix of ambient (winds, birds, cars passing, materials rustling), jarring (machinery, fireworks, and abrupt silence), and vocal (songs in Chinese, the audio from an instructional video, a conversation that is just distant enough to be incomprehensible) sounds. These original and found sounds do not all link to the action on screen. Some take place outside of the lens’s view as with Fu’s own voice directing movement. This dissonance is a deliberate choice by the artist to keep viewers in limbo between active engagement with the work and full engrossment. Fu wants viewers to situate themselves within the imagery, but uses audio to disrupt a total immersion. Viewers remain cognizant of her gestures and critical of their bodies’ perceived relationship to her movements.

Throughout her work, Victoria Fu explores how light can illuminate objects as well as create spaces of illusion. Visitors to the exhibition will enter the gallery through Sky 2 (2019), the artist’s digital photographs applied to the doors and windows, literally stepping into the work. Her ongoing attempts to make these tricks apparent put the viewer in a liminal place of observation, making us all more aware of the ways in which we inhabit the physical and digital worlds daily.

Victoria Fu was born in Santa Monica, CA and lives in San Diego, CA. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University, a Master of Arts from University of Southern California, and a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts and attended the the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, ME. Fu has received awards and fellowships from the Harpo Foundation, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Art Matters, Mellon Foundation, and Rema Hort Mann Foundation. One-person exhibitions of her work have been mounted at Cal Poly University Gallery, San Luis Obispo (2019); The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, AZ (2018); 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 (2013); and Savannah College of Art + Design, Savannah, GA (2009). Fu’s collaborative work with Matt Rich has been featured in monographic exhibitions at Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, CA (2019); University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA (2018); The Suburban, Milwaukee, WI (2017); and Angels Gate Cultural Center, San Pedro CA (2017). Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions and screenings such as Brave New Worlds: Explorations in Sculpture, Palm Springs Art Museum, CA (2019); Being Here With You/ Estando Aqui Contigo: 42 Artists From San Diego and Tiujana, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CA (2018); Within Genres, Pérez Art Museum Miami, (2017); Open Window, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016); A Painting Is A Painting Isn’t A Painting, Kadist Foundation, San Francisco (2015); Vision Quest, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2015); 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); Trouble with the Index, UC Riverside/California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA (2014); and IX Bienal de Nicaragua, Fundación Ortiz Gurdian, Managua, Nicaragua (2014). Victoria Fu’s work can be found in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; the Perez Art Museum, Miami; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Kenny Scharf – Optimistically Melting!

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Optimistically Melting!, an exhibition of new work by Kenny Scharf.

Defying expectations has long been a hallmark of the work of Kenny Scharf. Taught to revere Abstract Expressionism in art school during the ’70s, Scharf chose to paint cartoon figures and used outlandish colors. Frustrated with the inaccessible gallery and museum system in the 80s, he spray-painted his work throughout New York City, ensuring that everyone could see his bold work. Along with his peers, Scharf has always pushed against the boundaries of the established art world and pursued his own artistic path that encompasses painting, video, sculpture, prints, fashion, and more.

After four decades of constant production, Scharf’s latest group of paintings introduces a new subject: the still life. The trope of flowers in a vase appears throughout Western art, notably in the work of artists such as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Vincent Van Gogh, and Andy Warhol. In Flores Flores Flores (2019), happy flowers spring from a vase casually set on a table at the center. Closer inspection finds a less happy flower at the edge of the table with X’s over its eyes, a cartoon signifier of death. Further, the viewer notices the drips of darkness in the background, adding to a growing sense of unease in the work, something sinister lurks behind the pleasant centerpiece. These signifiers of global anxiety become more overt in the artist’s Sloppy Melt series of paintings, also to be included in the exhibition, which feature dripping cartoon figures and screen-printed news headlines in English and Korean about climate change. With clear memories of smog days as a child growing up in Southern California, environmental concerns have appeared throughout Scharf’s oeuvre. The artist believes it is important to be mindful of future damage we will cause to the environment if we continue to prioritize comfort and ease in the present.

In the 80s, Kenny Scharf began collecting plastic detritus that he found along the beach in Brazil, where he was living at the time. The artist would assemble these discarded items into sculptures for the wall, giving them new life as aesthetic objects called Lixos (“trash” in Portuguese). Though the sculptural practice has continued intermittently, Scharf made a habit of collecting discarded plastics from around the world, which have not degraded over the years. More recently, the artist began collecting all of his single-use plastics and stringing them together as a garland around his studio, a constant reminder of daily waste. In light of the current reckoning with the overproduction of plastics and climate change denial, Scharf will present a new body of Lixos in the gallery along with a giant garland wrapped around the outside of the building. Materials for the garland will be collected at Honor Fraser Gallery throughout the summer and leading up to the exhibition. In addition to creating a personal alternative to recycling methods that require more toxic chemicals, Scharf aims to shine more light on this urgent issue. As in his paintings, deep concerns about our future lie beneath these brightly colored works.

Expanding his sculptural practice, Kenny Scharf will unveil a group of large ceramics featuring his signature characters in the round. Produced in collaboration with Stan Edmondson in Pasadena, these works were fired locally and hand-glazed by the artist. Bordering on living sculpture, the pots will contain greenery to be nurtured beyond the term of the exhibition, a gesture of possibility and hope rom the artist. In addition to converting carbon dioxide into oxygen, caring for plants has proven to be a beneficial practice for humans as it requires patience, reduces stress, and promotes close observation. These plants grown by the artist himself contain Scharf’s intention for a more respectful and conscientious future.

Kenny Scharf was born in 1958 in Los Angeles and lives in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1980. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented five exhibitions of Scharf’s work to date: BLOX and BAX (2017); Born Again (2015); Pop Renaissance (2013); Hodgepodge (2012); and Barberadise (2009). One-person exhibitions of Scharf’s work have been presented at the Lotte Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea (2018); Hillstrom Museum of Art, St. Peter, MN (2018); the Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR (2015); Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA (2004); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2001); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, OR (1999); Salvador Dalí Museum, Saint Petersburg, FL (1997); University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL (1997); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (1996); and Museum of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL (1995). The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson will present Scharf’s career retrospective in Spring 2020.

Scharf’s work has been included in group exhibitions such as Under One Roof, Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art, Berlin, Germany (2018); Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (2017); Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2017); Holdings: Selections from MCASD’s Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA (2016); and Urban Theater: New York in the 1980s, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX (2014).

Scharf’s public artworks are on view at the Bluffs at Playa Vista, CA; Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Los Angeles; Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; Davis Bros Tire Pros, Culver City, CA; West Adams Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles; Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA; and other locations around the world.

Scharf’s work can be found in many public collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Joe Sola – I drove to san francisco and back

Annie Lapin – Watchers and Winks

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce Annie Lapin: Watchers and Winks, on view November 5 through December 16, 2016. A reception will be held at the gallery on November 5 from 6–8pm.

Watchers and Winks is Annie Lapin’s third exhibition with Honor Fraser Gallery. Though still connected to her prior investigations into landscape, perception and cognition, and the materials of painting, Lapin’s new paintings constitute a significant departure in her method of working and reworking each canvas. Her compositional deliberations coalesce into a series of evocative, otherworldly spaces that involve a multifaceted combination of poured stains, digital deconstruction and augmentation, and a broad range of other techniques. Incorporating both chance effects and purposeful marks, Lapin’s resulting environments record her concerted efforts to picture the processes of perception and cognition.

To create the initial frameworks of her new paintings, Lapin pours charcoal-infused washes onto each canvas, letting them spill and pool into organic forms. She then works amongst the pours’ accidental outlines, reentering them to build up arrangements of distinct shapes and planes. These varied passages include an array of textures, from raw canvas, velvety brushstrokes, and silkscreen overlays to powdered pigments, gold leaf, and wooly fibers. Their multiplicity stems, in part, from Lapin’s turn to Photoshop as a tool to imagine hundreds of potential permutations for each composition before determining its final state. Though she translates her painterly effects back onto the canvas using traditional, analog techniques, many bare the trace of their digital origins. In I/M Possible Light, a rich, evenly diffused spray of ultramarine blue recalls Photoshop’s airbrush function; part of a pale pink field seems wiped away by Photoshop’s Eraser Tool; and painted gradients and trompe l’oeil drop-shadows speak in the same cut-and-paste language of design software. Lapin moves willfully between an aura of hyper-real digital space and a grounded, earthly physicality in an effort to destabilize viewers, leaving them to hover in a state of irresolution as to what they are witnessing.

Though the collage-like facets in Lapin’s new paintings seem to drift amongst each other, often floating in an atmospheric ether, they also form coherent units with a distinct sense of foreground and background. One can imagine entering these works physically, delving into their unlikely worlds to touch their textures and inhabit their architectures. These spaces are conceived as manifestations of how the mind operates in the realm of dreams, where it adheres to a logic unbound by reality: Synaptic firings in the mind lead to images that make little sense once awake, yet while immersed in dreams, we believe wholeheartedly in their strange, flowing reasoning. Lapin repeats visual cues from one canvas to the next—identical slivers of sky, the dappled streak of a paint roller, galaxies and forested views—offering connective tissues between these worlds, while also acknowledging the tenuousness with which each element finds meaning in any one painting.

Vague bodily figures populate Lapin’s abstracted spaces, giving each a sense of action, reaction, and movement. The charcoal pours in Watchers and Winks take on the unmistakable guise of human profiles, and outlines of legs appear on the shores of a peach-toned seascape. An imprint in the upper right—a silkscreened image of Lapin’s face, pressed to distortion—inserts a record of the artist’s own body. These and other morphing objects function like characters and props on a bizarre stage set—a performative setting that A Play dramatizes with its roughly outlined curtain and play of spotlights and shadows.

Lapin’s works ultimately offer a logic that remains abstract, arcane, and just out of reach. Though she has rendered her painted worlds with careful precision, they nevertheless exude a palpable sense of mystery and possibility, as well as a reminder to be prepared, at any moment, for the ground to shift beneath our feet.

Annie Lapin was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Yale University in 2001; a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004; and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2007. One-person exhibitions of Lapin’s work have been presented at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC (2013); Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, Santa Barbara, CA (2012); Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA (2009); and Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO (2008). Her work has been included in group exhibitions such as Her Crowd: New Art by Women from Our Neighbors’ Private Collections, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT (2016); Sincerely Yours, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2015); The Go-Between, Museo di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy (2014); Chasm of the Supernova, Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, CA (2012); La Californie, The Museum of Public Fiction, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Baker’s Dozen III, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2011); Unfinished Paintings, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2011); and NewNow, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS (2009). Lapin was the recipient of the Falk Visiting Artist Reward from the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC in 2013.

Guthrie Lonergan – 2006

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce 2006, Guthrie Lonergan’s debut solo exhibition. A reception will be held at the gallery on November 5 from 6–8pm, and the exhibition will be on view through December 16, 2016.

The videos and websites on view in 2006, most of which were produced in that year, are among Guthrie Lonergan’s earliest artworks. They demonstrate an interest in what has become one of his central themes: the traces of humanity existing in the impersonal structures and aesthetics of the internet. The works in 2006 also exemplify Lonergan’s ongoing exploration into the concept of the default as both an easy-to-use software preset and, more generally, a template for how we use language, pose for the camera, or perform other everyday interactions with technology. For Lonergan, choosing to exhibit these works a decade after their production also functions as a portrait of the years around 2006 as a transitional era in which the internet was rapidly evolving, in Lonergan’s words, “from the wild west of personal websites to the shopping mall of current-day social media feeds.” In order to mark the decade of transformation that’s passed since 2006, the gallery will become an E-waste collection site where visitors and members of the local community are invited to recycle their outdated electronics for the duration of the exhibition.

Through his involvement with online communities such as the internet surf club Nasty Nets, Lonergan developed the characteristic dry wit and conceptual clarity found in his work as well as a keen awareness that the internet was changing into something at once both more accessible and more controlled. The works in 2006 were either produced on software loaded with default settings (such as iMovie) or they feature appropriated examples of other people using similar types of basic digital tools. For example, in A Sound Investment (2006) and 2001<<<>>>2006 (2007), Lonergan pairs generic default video effects such as automated zooms, wipes, and mirroring with other pieces of media to create playful and poetic juxtapositions. Meanwhile, in Myspace Intro Playlist (2006), he pieces together videos in which teenage users of the then-dominant social media platform Myspace address the camera and introduce themselves with invariably similar lines: “What’s up, Myspace? Welcome to my page,” etc. By editing these short videos together, Lonergan reveals how speech patterns and body language can become default modes of expression parallel to the default design of the Myspace profile page itself. The videos are also indicative of the internet circa 2006: Although the teens’ eager solicitations hint at the “like economy” that we are now familiar with on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, they address “everyone” on Myspace rather than a select group of “friends” and “followers.”

The scope of Lonergan’s investigations of the internet includes the physical hardware required to display these virtual worlds. Bugs in Screens Playlist (2006) points to the materiality of the screen through a compilation of found YouTube videos in which someone demonstrates how a bug—an actual insect as opposed to a computer “bug”—is caught in their computer monitor. In Domain (2006), Lonergan juxtaposes video depicting navigation through a basic 3D world with appropriated photos of hardware rigs set up by hardcore gamers in their bedrooms. “Domain” refers to both a virtual location on the web and the grand dwellings the gamers have designed. By focusing on the hardware as he does in these videos and by transforming part of the gallery into an E-waste collection location, Lonergan confronts the ephemerality of net art: Unless it is skillfully preserved, art produced using the computer technology of its own moment lives and dies with the capabilities, file formats, aspect ratios, and default settings of that moment.

In 2006, now-forgotten buzzwords like “Web 2.0” were part of daily conversation. The massively scaled hubs that now dominate the internet such as YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia were just beginning their reach into mainstream life, and there was still excitement and optimism around the possibilities of the internet. Situated at this technological and cultural pivot point, these early works by Lonergan seem like artifacts from a different time, marking the beginning of a new era for the internet.

Guthrie Lonergan was born in 1984 in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2006. His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Ordinary Pictures, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2016); BYOB MOCA LA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Is This Thing On?, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2011); Video Dada, University Art Gallery, University of California, Irvine, CA (2010); The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, New Museum, New York, NY (2009); New Wave, Internet Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2009); mybiennialisbetterthanyours, 10th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2009); and Montage: Unmonumental Online, New Museum, New York, NY (2008).

Kaz Oshiro – A Standard

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce our third exhibition with Kaz Oshiro. A Standard will be on view January 7-February 25, 2017 with an opening reception on January 7 from 6-8pm.

Kaz Oshiro conflates painting and sculpture to explore our perception of dimension and illusion. Primarily using conventional painting materials, Oshiro builds three-dimensional replicas of familiar, mass-produced objects like kitchen cabinets or trash dumpsters to scale, painting stretched planes of canvas with exacting detail. While Oshiro’s art often pushes the concept of representation in painting beyond convention, he has also explored non-objective painting. Featuring intense monochromatic fields of color, his series of “broken” paintings are shaped canvases that bend into corners or lean into one another.

Oshiro’s newest subject is the I-beam, the standard construction material that, along with ironwork, characterized the Industrial Revolution. Steel I-beams are emblematic of the rise of an American industrialist class who amassed unprecedented fortunes during a period in which business was largely unregulated. Without steel and I-beams in particular, skyscrapers and modern cities would be unthinkable. When architects turned the focus of their practices to the problem of housing during the population boom following World War II, the I-beam played a pivotal role in the invention of post and beam architecture. This style is endemic to southern California where practitioners like Joseph Eichler, Charles and Ray Eames, and others proposed the use of “off the shelf” prefabricated materials requiring limited treatment to keep costs down and build times short. These experiments that were intended to bring beautiful, affordable housing to the masses are now among the most coveted and expensive architectural properties in the region.

Echoing this irony, Oshiro’s new series of I-beams crafted from wood and canvas prompt consideration of the promise of industry to boost economies, the destruction of the environment through mining for raw materials, the origins of American fortune, and the unfulfilled utopian promises of both industrialization and post-war architecture. The paintings accurately mimic the standardization in production that reaches back generations to early American factories. Made by hand and presented in an art context, the paintings reveal the degree of effort required for their making, suggesting that the success of the Industrial Revolution can be attributed at least in part to the ceaseless work of exploited laborers adhering to a Protestant work ethic as described by Max Weber in 1905. This integration of an image of a mass-produced object with the subject of American industry repeated over and over again is a meditation on progress.

Though the spare installation, modular forms, and simplicity of composition in the exhibition suggest an homage to minimal art, Oshiro is most interested in what he calls “dirty minimalism,” a variation on the aesthetics of minimalism that allows for subject matter beyond the artwork itself; more Dan Graham than Sol Lewitt, for instance. Indeed, like Graham, Oshiro is deeply connected to music, and the ideas put forward by composers like John Cage, Terry Riley, and Steve Reich, for example, which led the way for alternative approaches to musical form that have been influential for Oshiro. While the simplicity of the installation of the exhibition recalls the repetitive structures of minimal music, the image of the I-beam also conjures the sounds of industrial machinery and construction reflected in early experiments in noise music, rooting these new works in the legacy of the connections between avant-garde art and music in the later part of the twentieth century.

Kaz Oshiro was born in Okinawa, Japan in 1967 and lives in Los Angeles. He received Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees 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); 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); 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).

Kenny Scharf – Blox and Bax

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce Kenny Scharf: Blox and Bax, our fifth exhibition with Kenny Scharf. An opening reception featuring performances by Ann Magnuson will be held at the gallery from 6-8pm on March 11, 2017.

In his paintings, sculptures, videos, public artworks, and installations, Kenny Scharf unites political ideas with a pop aesthetic, critiquing mainstream media and rampant commercialism through his art. For his new exhibition, Scharf has produced three distinct but related bodies of work. Monumental in scale, the BLOCKHEADZ paintings feature square and rectangular cartoon faces in loose grid patterns that recall hard-edged abstraction and color field paintings. Occasional breaks between the faces reveal the galactic skyscapes that have appeared in Scharf’s work since the 1970s. Using abandoned television monitors found on sidewalks around the city, Scharf transforms the matte black and silver plastic TVs into brightly painted faces for his series TV BAX. Finally, Scharf’s Assemblage Tableaux Vivants series comprises wall-mounted assemblages pieced together from found plastic toys and games. Scharf uses paint along with plastic beads and decorations, layering colors and objects to create fantastical, intimate dioramas that reference Scharf’s lifelong concern about the detrimental environmental effects of discarded plastic. These three series all engage rectilinear forms as framing and structuring devices but resist the traditional rigidity of the grid, inviting playful imagery and bold color into its structure.

On March 11, renowned actor, artist, singer, and writer Ann Magnuson will appear at the gallery for the second time. These performance events, along with our annual week of performance art, are part of the gallery’s larger effort to stage live art in the gallery context. Magnuson will debut her new character Dream Goddess, an evolution of the Dream Girl character she brought to life in her recent album of the same name. The Dream Goddess performances will include short videos that incorporate works from the new exhibition Kenny Scharf: Blox and Bax.

Since the late 1970s, Magnuson and Scharf have been close friends and collaborators. Both were key figures in Club 57, a seminal venue for performance art, music, and film in New York’s East Village. On October 31, 2017, the Museum of Modern Art in New York will open Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978-1983, the first exhibition to document Club 57. Magnuson and Scharf both played a critical role in shaping the wild, eclectic aesthetic of the legendary club by presenting their own work and collaborating with the other members on programs and exhibitions. The MoMA exhibition–along with its accompanying catalogue–is co-organized by Magnuson with MoMA Department of Film Curator Ronald Magliozzi and Assistant Curator Sophie Cavoulacos and will feature artworks from the period as well as extensive ephemera from Club 57 participants’ archives.

In 2015, Scharf was the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. As part of the museum’s Hammer Projects series, Scharf created a site-specific mural with brightly colored characters, spontaneous gestures, and abstract shapes that led viewers through the lobby and into the museum’s courtyard. From January 27 through May 14, 2017, When the Worlds Collide (1984) will be featured in Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s, an exhibition of selections from the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Kenny Scharf was born in 1958 in Los Angeles and lives in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York in 1980. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented four exhibitions of Scharf’s work to date: Born Again (2015); Pop Renaissance (2013); Hodgepodge (2012); and Barberadise (2009). One-person exhibitions of Scharf’s work have been presented at the Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn, NY (2016); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2015); Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR (2015); Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA (2004); Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles (2001); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, OR (1999); Salvador Dalí Museum, Saint Petersburg, FL (1997); University Galleries, Illinois State University, Normal, IL (1997); Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Mexico (1996); and Museum of Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale, FL (1995).

Scharf’s public artworks are on view at Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools, Los Angeles, CA; Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; Davis Bros Tire Pros, Culver City, CA; West Adams Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, CA; Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA; and other locations around the world.

Scharf is included in public collections such as the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Rosson Crow – The Happiest People on Earth

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Rosson Crow’s fourth exhibition with the gallery, The Happiest People on Earth. A reception will be held at the gallery on April 28, 2017 from 6–8pm, and the exhibition will remain on view through June 15.

Rosson Crow’s new paintings depict the search for off-the-grid freedom in the American West. Building from her explorations of the psychology of nationalism and conspiracy in American history, Crow has moved away from the surreal interiors she’s known for to a new terrain and a new timeframe: desert landscapes set in a future overwhelmed by the refuse of the paranoid present. Littered among giant, brightly hued cacti, objects from the worlds of fringe cults and right wing conspiracy grapple for our attention. Without depicting any people associated with these groups, they are felt as a presence through what they’ve left behind.

Copies of The National Enquirer</em>; a handmade sign declaring, “This Community is Protected by Smith & Wesson”; bumper stickers representing crude commercial slogans slapped on the surfaces of painted Native American ceramics; and stacks of beer cans representing “hillbilly” brands like Gilley’s or Billy Beer (the beer company promoted by Jimmy Carter’s brother Billy Carter) clog the landscape. Crow sourced this imagery from her archive of snapshots taken during road trips, vintage postcards and memorabilia, and pin up posters, as well as the Internet. Collectively, these images represent the dark side of Manifest Destiny pushed beyond reason.

Produced in the lead-up to and aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Crow’s desert is choked with natural and man-made iconography to the point of visual excess. At first glance the layers of color and line suggest abstraction. For Crow, this approach to depicting the desert as dense rather than empty reflects a recent turn in the national psyche. Once relegated to the margins of society, the voice of conspiracy is growing beyond its roots into the mainstream, all the way up to the Oval Office. In Crow’s words, “We live in a time with alternative facts, fake news and distorted realities, a time when reality ceases to be real, and no one trusts anything or anyone, especially their own government.” The aggressive, anxious, and vaguely post-apocalyptic mood she conjures in her new paintings suggests that this spread of conspiracy culture beyond the fringe could be perilous.

As with much of her recent work, Crow’s process involves a photo transfer technique in which she intentionally invites “mistakes” such as doublings of imagery or imperfect alignments between sections of images. Crow combines her transfer process with expressive gestures in oil paint, creating both immediacy and harmony in the energetic compositions. Automated processes intersect with the human hand, mirroring Crow’s landscapes in which the man-made intersects with the natural. The resulting works are a cinematic turn on the tradition of large-scale history painting in which a chaos of imagery is controlled to an unnerving stillness.

Rosson Crow was born in 1982 in Dallas, Texas and lives in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2004 and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 2006. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented three previous exhibitions of her work: Madame Psychosis Holds a Séance (2015); Ballyhoo Hullabaloo Haboob (2012); and Night at the Palomino (2008). One-person exhibitions of her work have been presented at Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain de Sérignan, France (2014); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2010); and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Forth Worth, TX (2009). Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck Art Project, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2011); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2010); Le Meilleur des Mondes, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, France (2010); New York Minute, Macro Future Museum, Rome, Italy (2009); and Out of Storage I: Painters Choose from the Collection, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, France (2008).

Morris Louis

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present a survey of paintings by Morris Louis. The exhibition will be on view from June 23 through August 30, 2017.

“It could be argued that Louis’s synthesis of the separable elements of painting is the most complete and complex to date; and that the veils announce a new phase in the history of art.”
– Barbara Rose, “Quality in Louis,” Artforum, Oct. 1971

Before his untimely death at the age of 50 in 1962, Morris Louis painted more than 650 canvases. Working on the floor in his small suburban dining room studio, Louis developed his particular style of staining unprimed canvas with Magna acrylic by pouring the liquid pigment onto the canvas and directing it to run across, down, and around the canvas. Art historian and critic Barbara Rose acknowledged Louis’s importance in the history of painting by pointing to his pivotal series of “veils,” so called due to the curtain-like washes of gossamer color Louis laid onto the canvases. Along with his veils, Louis’s unfurled and stripe series mark crucial moments in his oeuvre, in the evolution of Color Field painting, and in American painting more broadly.

Drawing upon the twin influences of Jackson Pollock’s unprecedented athleticism and all-over composition and Helen Frankenthaler’s groundbreaking use of pigment to stain the canvas in her 1952 painting Mountains and Sea, Louis was driven to find pathways that would lead to new ways to paint. While Pollock put distance between his brush and the canvas by dripping the paint from the end of his brushes and Frankenthaler combined direct staining with traditional paint application, Louis eradicated tools from his process altogether, pouring his pigment onto unprimed canvas then using gravity to direct the paint over the canvas as it absorbed into the warp and weft of the fabric.

Though Louis pursued a pure abstraction unhindered by associations to anything beyond the picture, the veils recall formations of land affected by the movement of water: rivulets and channels of running water, erosion, fluvial planes. The unfurled and stripe series possess a boldness and immediacy that achieves full non-representation. This exhibition will look at the various periods of Louis’s short but extraordinary career with paintings that have been largely unseen on the west coast.

William Leavitt – Cycladic Figures

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present William Leavitt: Cycladic Figures. A reception will be held at the gallery from 6–8pm on September 9, 2017, and the exhibition will remain on view through October 23, 2017.

The artworks on view in William Leavitt: Cycladic Figures portray worlds layered upon worlds, each suggestive of an uncanny science fiction story met with Southern California vernacular design and architecture. In Faraday Cage, for example, a wood and metal cage used to block electromagnetic fields envelopes a plastic lawn chair. Both objects are situated in front of the false walls and props of a film set designed to resemble a makeshift garage laboratory. The scene was employed as a set in William Leavitt’s new film Cycladic Figures, and its recontextualization as a sculpture suggests that Leavitt isn’t just creating images within which a narrative may take place but an entire alternate reality on a parallel plane. By displaying sets from his plays or films as sculptural installations and by including his paintings in the sets for his plays or films, Leavitt destabilizes the medium and location of his works. The result yields multiple perspectives: an array of objects in physical space, a suggested narrative playing out in the viewer’s mind, and a working set in a film.

Leavitt further explores these ideas of multiplicity in his paintings and works on paper. In his Head Space series, the faces of two figures appear in silhouette. The figures—along with the title of the exhibition—refer to sculptures produced in the Cyclades islands off the coast of Greece nearly five thousand years ago. The backgrounds comprise faraway landscapes, urban settings, and grassy fields. Rather than creating a traditional portrait, Leavitt offers the faces as picture planes unto themselves, the silhouettes filled with images of ancient architectural remains or an array of objects floating in space. As in Leavitt’s sculptural installations, his painted scenes are composed of layers that beckon us to engage our imaginations with the stories they offer.

Since the late 1960s, Los Angeles-based artist William Leavitt’s work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions including an extensive survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2011. The Musée d’art moderne et contemporain in Geneva, Switzerland will present a retrospective in October 2017. Leavitt’s work has been included in thematic exhibitions around the world and is housed in public collections such as Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Miriam Schapiro

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition of paintings by pioneer Feminist artist Miriam Schapiro. Presented in conjunction with exhibitions of videos by Jeremy Blake and paintings by Mel Davis, a reception will be held at the gallery on November 4, 2017 from 4-7pm.

While living in California during the years 1967 through 1975, Miriam Schapiro embarked on a groundbreaking series of paintings made with the aid of computer imaging. The exhibition is organized with the assistance of Eric Firestone Gallery and the Estate of Miriam Schapiro, and will feature eight works made between 1967 and 1971. The exhibition marks the first time these works will be seen on the west coast since their making.

Born in Toronto, Canada in 1923, Schapiro moved with her family to Brooklyn, New York during the Great Depression. Encouraged by her mother to be an artist, Schapiro took art classes at the Museum of Modern Art before attending the State University of Iowa, where she received a Bachelor of Arts (1945), Master of Arts (1946), and Master of Fine Arts (1949). While in Iowa, she met and married the painter Paul Brach, with whom she moved back to New York in 1951. The couple immersed themselves in and were embraced by the community of artists and gallerists in New York City. Schapiro’s work in the still-reigning abstract expressionist vein was exhibited regularly, most notably at the Tanager and Stable galleries as well as André Emmerich Gallery, where she was represented from 1958 to 1976.

By the 1960s, Schapiro was using collage as a way to experiment with color, shape, and space. Composed of geometric, hard-edged shapes, large works like Borrega Take and Byzantium, both from 1967, possess a flatness akin to the small paper collages she assembled with shapes cut from colored paper as studies for paintings. That year, Schapiro had moved with Brach to San Diego, California, where he was invited to head the fledgling art program at the University of California. While teaching painting at the university, Schapiro met physicist David Nabilof with whom she began to collaborate on computer-aided preliminary sketches for her increasingly hard-edged paintings. Schapiro was able to use the computer to plot every point in her simple geometric drawings and collages in digital space and then manipulate the compositions virtually before ever making a mark on canvas. The process offered infinite variations on her visual concepts, but perhaps more significantly, the use of the computer allowed her to see space in a new way.

The twin influences of collage and digital imaging (which, it is important to note, was barely known at the time) created a productive tension between flatness and depth that is constantly at work in Shapiro’s paintings from this period and beyond. While works such as the aforementioned Borrega Take and Byzantium, along with Canyon (1967) and Normal Heights (1969), are frontally oriented arrangements of geometric forms that favor vertical stacking, paintings like Thunderbird (1970) and Computer Series (1969) offer transparent architectonic shapes floating in color fields that upend the need for orientation along a prescribed axis.

These modes come together in paintings such as Keyhole (1971), in which a solid form described in pink, blue, and red planes—an aggregate shape that we might have seen standing upright and filling the canvas in an earlier Schapiro painting—is leaned on its side, drastically foreshortened, and stretched to the edges of the picture plane. Awkwardly contained within the frame, the shape floats in a misty, light blue sky-space that recalls the color fields in paintings like Thunderbird and Computer Series.

Schapiro had moved to Valencia, California in 1969, a move that was necessitated once again by a career opportunity for Brach, who was invited to become the founding dean of the School of Art at California Institute of the Arts. At CalArts, Schapiro met Judy Chicago, and they co-founded the Feminist Art Program there in 1971. Since 1967, Schapiro had been painting variations on the form of an overlapping or interlocking O and X. Big Ox (1967), Side Ox (1968), and Fallen Ox (1969-70) all feature this motif, but each is painted from a different perspective so that we view the image frontally, from the side, and from an extreme angle. The form in Keyhole is a variation on the OX form, a theme that Schapiro explored in the search for a way to paint that would reconcile her identities as “woman” and as “artist.” Like Chicago, Schapiro developed what both artists referred to as “central core” compositions that were intended as a yonic counterpoint to conventionally “masculine” imagery that emerged from the male-dominated art world. Keyhole is a significant moment in the burgeoning conversation around aesthetics and feminism in the first years of the 1970s.

As Schapiro developed her ideas within her paintings, she became one of the foremost figures in the feminist art movement. Her use of “femmage”—a term Schapiro coined to describe collage that addressed the female experience of the world—also made her a prominent voice in Pattern and Decoration. Looking back at Schapiro’s use of computers in the 1960s, her early direct participation in second wave feminism, and her pioneering femmage works, Schapiro was continually ahead of her time.

Miriam Schapiro was born in Toronto, Canada in 1923 and died in Hampton Bays, New York in 2015. She received a Bachelor of Arts (1945), Master of Arts (1946), and Master of Fine Arts (1949) from the State University of Iowa in Iowa City and was the co-founder with Judy Chicago of the Feminist Art Program at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California in 1971. In addition to numerous one-person exhibitions of her work, traveling retrospective exhibitions have been organized by the Vassar College Gallery, Poughkeepsie, NY (1980); Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY (2000); Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Miami, FL (2001); and the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, IA (2002). Schapiro has been included in thematic exhibitions around the world and co-organized the groundbreaking exhibition Womanhouse in 1972. In March 2018, the Museum of Arts and Design in New York will present Surface/Depth: The Decorative after Miriam Schapiro, a critical assessment of Schapiro’s legacy in contemporary art. Schapiro is the recipient of awards such as the Visual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and honorary doctorates from College of Wooster, Wooster, OH; California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA; Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN; Miami University, Oxford, OH; and Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA. In 2006, the Miriam Schapiro Archives for Women Artists was established at Rutgers University. Schapiro’s work is in public collections including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Sol LeWitt

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works spanning 1966 through 2000 by Sol LeWitt.

Over his long career of nearly 50 years, Sol LeWitt made seminal contributions to the ongoing dialogue of Art. Alongside Carl Andre, Dan Flavin, and Robert Morris, LeWitt pushed the New York art scene beyond Modernism and into Conceptual Art. His work was included in seminal international exhibitions like Primary Structures at the Jewish Museum in New York (1966), Documenta IV in Kassel, Germany (1968), and When Attitudes Become Form at Kunsthalle Bern in Switzerland (1969). Beyond his explorations on paper, in three-dimensions, and on the wall of the infinite possibilities of geometric forms and the line, his seminal writings Paragraphs on Conceptual Art (1967) and Sentences on Conceptual Art (1969) are required reading for students of Art and Art history.

This exhibition of sculptures and works on paper made between 1966 and 2000 by Sol LeWitt illustrate the varied ways in which he explored the cube as a unit. In Serial Project ABCD 5 (1968), the earliest work presented in the show, LeWitt diagrammed a square platform with gaffers tape and built smaller squares upwards, demonstrating how each square can ostensibly be divided into many repeated forms to almost the molecular level. This simultaneous progression and breaking down can be seen in each of LeWitt’s works and his experiments with shifts in scale from one work to another allow for a dynamic experience when seen together.

Sol LeWitt (Hartford, CT, 1928–New York, 2007) received a BFA from Syracuse University, NY. He has had numerous one-person exhibitions since first showing at John Daniels Gallery, New York in 1965. Major monographic and retrospectives exhibitions were organized by the Centre Pompidou-Metz, France (2012); the Public Art Fund (2011); Walker Art Center (2010); Dia:Beacon (2011, 2006, 2005); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT (2010, 2001, 1981, 1976); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, MA (2008); Williams College, Williamstown, MA (2008); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008, 1996); the San Francisco Museum of Art (2000, 1974); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2000); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000); Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (1996, 1984); the Tate Gallery, London, United Kingdom (1986); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1984); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (1975); Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburg, Scotland (1974); New York Cultural Center, New York (1974); and Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (1972).

His work can be found in many public collections including Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Australia; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Dia:Beacon, NY; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Collection, London, United Kingdom; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Brenna Youngblood – WHAT A FEELING

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Brenna Youngblood’s third exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view January 16 through March 5, 2016 with a reception for the artist on January 16 from 6-8pm.

Exploring the materials and techniques of painting, photography and collage, Brenna Youngblood flirts with the narrative potential of abstraction by combining mediums within the picture plane. Often conveyed via simple compositions, Youngblood’s ideas about the documentary capacities of both painting and photography emerge bit by bit from her elaborately layered and textured surfaces. Like palimpsests of meditations on the human condition, the paintings raise existential questions: What is the nature of desire, of fear? What does it mean to have a body? How do we reckon with mortality?

By incorporating her own photographs and using found images and objects as collage materials within her paintings, Youngblood acknowledges the space of painting as such, asserting the canvas as both an object in its own right and a space within which images are presented and meaning is created. From the thinnest wash of pigment to thick impasto to scumbled hues, Youngblood’s paint is alternately assertive and shy, layered with collage elements that compete for attention. Her union of painting and photography challenges both the status of painting and photography’s claims to veracity. Embracing the tradition of bricolage, Youngblood’s canvases often exceed their limits: Collaged paper buckles up from a surface; paint extends from the picture plane onto a wooden artist’s frame; found signs, grocery bags or even architectural elements like duct vents blend seamlessly into her compositions.

On large double canvases, Youngblood uses repetition to create an expansive visual field. Her canvases of brightly hued, stenciled images (dollar signs and air freshener trees are common in her vernacular) connect her paintings to both Abstract Expressionism (in their non-hierarchical, all-over compositions) and Pop (with their acid colors and familiar images) while remaining rooted in the present tense. As an ongoing series, the paintings posit a doubling down on the repetitive impulse. Despite the repetition of the image, the method Youngblood uses to apply the paint assures that no two stenciled images (and therefor no two paintings) are exactly alike, suggesting the concept of a social body in which each individual is both herself and a member of a community.

Youngblood is the 2015 recipient of the Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight Prize. The one-person exhibition commemorating the award is now on view at the Seattle Art Museum through April 17, 2016.

Brenna Youngblood was born in Riverside, California and lives in Los Angeles. 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. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented two exhibitions featuring Youngblood’s work to date: The Mathematics of Individual Achievement (2011) and Activision (2013). 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, CA (2006). Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Hard Edged, California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2015); Selections from the Permanent Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Rites of Spring, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2014); Murmurs: Recent Contemporary Acquisitions, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2013); Fore, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2012); Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Unfinished Paintings, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2011); With You I Want to Live, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL (2009); and California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008).

William Leavitt – The small laboratory

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present William Leavitt: The small laboratory. The exhibition will be on view from January 16 through March 5, 2016.

In his sculptures, paintings, drawings, and plays, William Leavitt offers up familiar yet strange worlds suspended in time. The small laboratory is both a sculpture and a stage set for a play with the same title. Percolating liquids, faux flames, copper wires and various antennae suggest an active science laboratory, but the absence of anyone carrying out experiments leaves the narrative open ended. As such, the backdrop does not disappear into the shadows, but instead becomes the subject of our attention. Like many of Leavitt’s sculpture-cum-stage sets, The small laboratory seems to exist in a perpetual state of becoming or in a moment in the just past. The sense that something may take place any second or has just occurred generates a pleasantly disorienting atmosphere that confronts our expectations of conventional static sculpture.

Leavitt’s sculptures, paintings, and drawings have often featured scientific references like telescopes and molecular models as well as references to the futuristic architectural and design that is common in the built environment of post-World War II southern California. In The small laboratory, the tropes of a science lab indicate ongoing experiments of some sort, but what is being studied remains unstated. The play that Leavitt has written to be performed with the sculpture involves three scientists working together in a laboratory on critical experiments. The play’s intrigue arises not only from the urgency of their work, but from the age-old, all too human dramas of competition and desire.

Since the late 1960s, Los Angeles-based artist William Leavitt’s work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions including an extensive survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2011. His work has been included in thematic exhibitions around the world and is included in public collections such as Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

Andy Warhol – Shadows

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce Andy Warhol: Shadows. The exhibition will be on view from March 18 through April 23, 2016.

Known for his appropriations of popular culture and advertising vernacular, Andy Warhol is synonymous with Pop Art. In the second half of the 1970s, however, Warhol became increasingly preoccupied with the darker side of mass culture. With precedents in works like his Electric Chair series, Warhol’s aesthetics of repetition shifted from a critical celebration of Madison Avenue marketing to moody studies of existential concepts like absence and mortality. His Still Life, Hammer and Sickle and Skulls series from the 1970s use shadows to accentuate contrast. As a result, the subjects of these series – and many of his self-portraits from the same period – are thrown ever deeper into abstraction.

In 1978, Heiner Friedrich, co-founder of what is now known as Dia Art Foundation, invited Warhol to create a site-specific artwork for a space in New York’s Soho neighborhood. Warhol used the opportunity to create what he called “disco décor,” an immersive installation of 102 large canvases that hung edge to edge around the perimeter of the room. More abstract than any of Warhol’s previous works, the canvases layer silkscreened images of shadows over painted backgrounds in seventeen different colors. Though the 1978 installation included only two shadow images, various others were used by Warhol in the complete Shadows series, comprising not only the 102 paintings in the collection of Dia Art Foundation but smaller painted canvases and works on paper, many of which have been brought together for this exhibition.

While Warhol limited himself to monochromatic backgrounds for the grouping of 102 canvases, he explored color in both the backgrounds and silkscreened shadow forms in the smaller works. Veering toward the psychedelic, some canvases swirl with thick rainbows of pastel pigment while elegant combinations of silkscreened color give the works on paper an exploratory yet refined feel. Diamond dust sprinkled atop the works gives some of the forms an added illusion of depth, managing – like so much of Warhol’s work – to be at once glamorous and smart.

Following Camouflage in 2011 and Robots & Space Ships in 2013, Andy Warhol: Shadows is the third exhibition of works by Andy Warhol presented by Honor Fraser Gallery. Four years in the making, Andy Warhol: Shadows is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue designed by Brian Roettinger with a new essay by Vincent Fremont.

Alexis Smith – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce Alexis Smith: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, an exhibition of an installation by Alexis Smith with Amy Gerstler and a selection of recent collages by Smith. The exhibition will be on view from July 5 through August 27, 2016.

Familiar from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s late-eighteenth-century poem, its musical interpretation a century later by the composer Paul Dukas, or Walt Disney Studios’ ever-popular animated film Fantasia (1940), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice evokes cultural memories spanning time and mediums. Smith’s idiosyncratic collection of brooms—gathered in the dozens from flea markets and alleyway dumpsters—stand in as the main characters in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Lined up in a manner recalling a chorus line of showgirls, perhaps ready to multiply magically at a moment’s notice, the brooms are joined by a host of other found objects and wall drawings interspersed with texts penned by Gerstler. The texts move quickly beyond the titular reference to the eponymous fairytale and employ the figure of the broom to explore the twin poles of work and play, stereotypical gender roles, and the age-old myths and archetypes that still permeate contemporary society. Laid out variously as waving lines, structured poems, and circuitous dialogues, Gerstler’s evocative texts play off of Smith’s imagery and suggest myriad and at times violent connotations of the verb “to sweep.”

This layering of temporal and cultural references is a mainstay of Alexis Smith’s work, which for over four decades has dissected the motivations and anxieties that constitute everyday life in America. Using an enigmatic blend of surrealism, familiarity, and humor that might be considered uniquely Californian, Smith collects commonplace objects, images, and texts and complicates our understanding of them through revealing juxtapositions. Wordplay and puns abound, acting as gateways to subtler observations that incorporate nuanced appropriations from history, literature, film, and pop culture. Across Smith’s body of work, and likewise in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, her astute pairings and modifications call out for interpretation but settle on no obvious meaning. This is Smith’s second exhibition with the gallery; a previous collaboration between Smith and Gerstler, Past Lives (1989), was on view at Honor Fraser Gallery in 2013. Initially exhibited in 2000, this is the first time since 2003 that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice will be on view. A selection of Smith’s recent collages will accompany the installation.

Alexis Smith was born in 1949 in Los Angeles, where she lives today. She received a BA from University of California, Irvine in 1970. One person exhibitions of Smith’s work have been mounted at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, La Jolla, CA (2015); University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie, WY (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA (2000); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH (1997); J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA (1997); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1991); and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (1991). Her work has been included in nearly 200 thematic exhibitions, including recently Drawing in L.A.: the 1960s and 70s, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2011); and elles@centrepompidou, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2009). Smith has completed several major public commissions, including a mural for the Las Vegas Central Library; terrazzo floors at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; and a site specific installation for The Stuart Collection, University of California, San Diego in La Jolla, CA. Her work is included public collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

Ry Rocklen – L.A. RELICS

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce Ry Rocklen: L.A. Relics, on view September 10 through October 27, 2016. A reception will be held at the gallery on September 10 from 6-8pm. This exhibition is Rocklen’s first with Honor Fraser Gallery and his first in Los Angeles since 2009.

Ry Rocklen’s new sculptures offer a compendium of the diverse concepts and modalities that have permeated his practice over the past decade including altering commonplace objects; utilizing his personal possessions; casting clothing and found objects; and producing two-sided sculptures in which objects are flattened, given form, and flattened again via photography, clay, and mirrors. Collectively, Rocklen’s new works insist on the depth and pathos—but also the absurdity—of the everyday.

The evidence of wear and tear in much of Rocklen’s new sculpture evokes memory and nostalgia. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Rocklen is influenced by the landscapes and events that have marked his evolution as a person and an artist. His memory of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics is a particular touchstone for his current work. In a year that includes both a summer Olympics and a presidential election, ideas about international unity and both civic responsibility and national identity are woven through these sculptures.

The found object has long functioned as a cornerstone of Rocklen’s approach to sculpture. Most recently, the streets, shops, and surroundings of Los Angeles have served as his wellspring. A dinged and dented City of Los Angeles trashcan’s metal mesh is pierced with dollar bills that have been coated with sand; a bank of gym lockers is perforated to reveal a copper-plated interior; a found terrycloth pillow in the shape of a Sprite can is cast in shiny aluminum; and hundreds of tiles of cast clothing from Rocklen’s personal wardrobe and found apparel are assembled into a wall relief that features three showerheads, suggesting a gym locker room or the bathroom in a counter-cultural commune. Through modifications of scale, material, and subtext, Rocklen celebrates the public, open-ended nature of his objects and imbues them with a presence at once dignified and peculiar. Taken together, this grouping of sculptures evokes idealized, collective spaces where people congregate to better their lives through communal activity and civic engagement.

Rocklen’s L.A. Relics series extends this meditation on public space—particularly in Los Angeles—and the shared histories embedded in common forms. Each of these sculptures centers on an object that the artist encountered in his everyday travels through the city: a mystical-looking cat pillow; a crumpled empty water bottle, caked with dirt; a baby’s car seat shaped like Batman. Represented in two-sided forms placed on glass shelves with mirrored backing, each sculpture has a flat side facing outward and a low relief form facing away from the viewer and reflected in the mirror. Photographs of the objects are glazed onto the flat façades of the ceramic forms. The back sides, visible only in their flattened reflections, are modeled from casts of other scavenged items including ropes, Army gear, superhero paraphernalia, and mythological figures. The complex relationships between back and front, flatness and depth, and form and meaning in the L.A. Relics series underscore the dense layers of cultural processing involved in each of Rocklen’s found, altered, and ultimately mitigated objects.

Ry Rocklen was born in Los Angeles in 1978 and lives in Los Angeles. Rocklen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2001 and a Masters of Fine Arts from University of Southern California, Los Angeles in 2006. One-person exhibitions of his work have been presented at the Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, GA (2014); and Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (2010). His work has been included in group exhibitions such as Sculpture from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Wasteland, Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Paris, France (2016); Murmurs: Recent Contemporary Acquisitions, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2013); Baker’s Dozen, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2012); Made in L.A. 2012, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Nothing Beside Remains, LAND: Marfa, Los Angeles, CA (2011); Home Alone, Sender Collection, Miami, FL (2011); Knock, Knock! From the Collection of Paul and Sara Monroe, The Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA (2011); Second Nature: The Valentine-Adelson Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2009); Athens Bienniale 2009 HEAVEN, Athens, Greece (2009); That Was Then…This Was Now, MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2008); The Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2008); and Red Eye, The Rubell Collection, Miami, FL (2006).

Glenn Kaino – Labyrinths

Honor Fraser Gallery presents an exhibition of new works by Glenn Kaino on view from January 10 to February 14, 2015. Labyrinths includes works in materials including paper, metal, synthetic tears, and wax along with ephemeral forces like gravity, temperature, and time. The exhibition is a constellation of propositions addressing ideas about the construction of history, memory, and received knowledge.

Wax plays a central role in Kaino’s new work. The Last Sight of Icarus is a 40-foot long wall constructed from cast wax cinderblocks. Bisecting one of the gallery’s main spaces, the work raises questions about the distinction between the representation of power and its actual manifestation. Show Me Your Scars is a series of wall-mounted bas reliefs of topographical maps of the United States cast in wax. The reliefs are threaded with wicks that burn down to create drawings within the wax. The resulting cuts and disfigurations call to mind the country’s egregious and opportunistic histories. Stripped of cartographic information, the maps are rendered illegible, exchanging empirical data for symbolism.

A Shout Within a Storm is a mobile composed of more than 100 copper arrows pointing at the same invisible target to create the shape of a cone. An evolution of Kaino’s pin drawings, each arrow is reliant upon the other to form a resolved image. As Far Away as a Minute is a model of a wormhol — a theoretical passage linking various non-contiguous points in spacetime. Pieced together in a patchwork of sandpaper used by several artisans working in different places and at different times, the construction maps labor and explores the ontology of art. The images in both of these works rely on negative space for their legibility, and their forms appear to change relative to the position of the viewer, suggesting a set of contingencies that reflects our experience of the world.

Using silkscreened facsimiles of historical maps of the terrain purported to hide the mythical city of El Dorado, The Road to El Dorado is a series of paper works folded by origami master Robert Lang. The tessellations reconfigure boundaries and conceal cartographic information, resulting in abstract drawings. Made at three different historical periods by three different cartographers, the three maps used for the series were printed in gold ink on both sides of the paper: a positive image on one side and a negative, backwards image on the other. For Yasmine’s Tears, Kaino was inspired by a conversation with Egyptian writer Yasmine El Rashidi in which she described her emotions following the election of Mohamed Morsi, ending the 30-year reign of Hosni Mubarak. In this work, Kaino used synthetic tears to draw a labyrinth across a low wood platform. The sculpture’s hydrophobic properties allow visitors to walk through the tears without permanently disrupting the labyrinth, which coalesces into its intended form again and again.

Glenn Kaino was born in Los Angeles in 1972. He received a Bachelor of Arts from University of California, Irvine in 1993 and a Master of Fine Arts from University of California, San Diego in 1996. Honor Fraser Gallery presented Kaino’s exhibition Bring Me the Hands of Piri Reis in 2012. One-person exhibitions of his work have been mounted at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2014); LAXART, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Creative Time, New York, NY (2009); The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2008); Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2006); and REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA (2004). His work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s, Telfair Museums, Savannah, GA; University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, TX; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ (2014-2015); Prospect.3: Notes for Now, New Orleans, LA (2014); ALTER/ABOLISH/ADDRESS, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), Washington, DC (2014); GOLD, Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL (2014); Cage & Kaino: Pieces and Performances, World Chess Hall of Fame, St. Louis, MO (2014); Meanwhile… Suddenly, and Then, 12th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France (2013); Selections From the Hammer Contemporary Collection, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2011); The Artists’ Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2010); Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous Times, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008); California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2004); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY (2004); Blackbelt, The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2003); and One Planet Under a Groove, Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY (2001).

Kenny Scharf – Born Again

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Kenny Scharf, on view from February 28 to April 4, 2015. This wide-ranging show traces the evolution of Scharf’s diverse artistic practice, presenting a selection of rarely shown early videos and collages. Also featured will be a salon-style installation of paintings from the artist’s new Born Again series, in addition to never before exhibited assemblage paintings. A fully illustrated catalog will accompany the exhibition.

Though Scharf is best known for his exuberant iconography, his work also contains underlying themes that reflect his ongoing commitment to social and environmental concerns. For Scharf, the embrace of fun is an act of defiance, his considered use of unconventional materials, bright color palette, and playful shapes a protest against restrictive cultural conditions. In his latest body of work, the Born Again paintings, Scharf encapsulates this notion of transforming the mundane by inserting his familiar characters and motifs into found amateur paintings. Akin to his earlier customizations of mass-produced objects like phones, washers, and televisions, here it is the discarded artwork that is repurposed. While still humorously absurdist in tone, some of the works such as FUKISHIMA LANDING and TAR BEACH, with their lurking monsters and dark blobs interrupting peaceful seascapes and nature scenes, also reference the artist’s longstanding themes of anxiety in the nuclear age and the effects of pollution. Also included in this exhibition are the Space Vomit assemblages, where surfaces are embedded with defunct objects, fragments of toys, ads, and other miscellanea collected over the years. Frozen in various states of visual erosion, the surfaces both find inspiration from, and are commentary on the detritus of contemporary American culture.

This exhibition also marks the debut of Scharf’s early videos, made between 1979-1984 and recently digitally transferred and enhanced from their original analog videotape format. Presented in the gallery within multiple set-like installations, the videos were made during the artist’s formative years in the East Village and stand as vital documents of that era’s art scene with collaborations with figures such as Keith Haring and Ann Magnuson. While many are informal sketches and experimental in nature, THE SPARKL END and its sequel CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS demonstrate the first occasions where Scharf began to explore themes that would inform his work for decades: man’s effect on nature and a retro-futuristic vision of the Space Age. Both shown in the recent exhibition Urban Theater: New York Art of the 1980s at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, THE SPARKL END features young partiers who experience nuclear destruction, while CAROUSEL OF PROGRESS shows the surviving revelers who escape peril by leaving for outer space. Accompanying the videos are collages from the same period. Originally intended to be reproduced on Xerox machines and distributed at art shows and across the city, these works on paper contain images appropriated from advertisements and magazines, and were a critical step for Scharf in the development of his iconic, populist vernacular.

Kenny Scharf (b.1958) lives and works in Los Angeles. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented three exhibitions featuring Scharf’s work to date: Barberadise (2009), Hodgepodge (2012), and Pop Renaissance (2013). In 2009, a comprehensive catalog of his work was authored by art historian Richard Marshall. Along with the artist’s recent participation in Urban Theater: New York Art in the 1980s at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Scharf was also featured in the group exhibition Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Other events include a recent collaboration with the Orange County Museum of Art in celebration of the exhibition The Avant-Garde Collection and participation in the Pulcherrimae Strade initiative in Pordenone, Italy. The artist’s work has been shown at the Venice Biennale, Museum of Modern Art, P.S.1, and the Whitney Biennale, and is in the collections of major museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Sarah Cain – BOW DOWN

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Sarah Cain’s second one-person exhibition at the gallery. BOW DOWN opens on Friday, May 29, 2015 with a reception from 6-8pm.

Using the conventional ideas, means, and materials of painting, Sarah Cain has spent the last decade challenging these same conventions. Cutting, collaging, and expanding paintings beyond their boundaries, she pushes at what painting is and can be, opening spaces for us as viewers to follow her into new territories of abstraction. Exploring color, depth, scale, and emotion, Cain makes paintings on paper, canvas, objects, and walls. Though the scale of her work is at times architectural, Cain incorporates small found objects amid drawn and painted gestures. As a result, the visual experience of her work is immersive and is amplified by close looking. Cain describes her paintings as being like extensions of her body. In a symmetrical relationship, the viewer’s experience of her work is specific and expansive; it is both visual and bodily.

BOW DOWN will include a large painting made on site. For over a decade, Cain has been making ephemeral artworks that respond to the architecture that contains them as well as the context within which the architecture is situated. These works include gestures painted directly onto walls, floors, and ceilings and have incorporated furniture and other detritus found at the sites. Completely improvised, Cain’s site-specific paintings derive their power from the inherent risk of working within defined temporal and spatial constraints. The immediacy of this aspect of her practice provides balance for the more labored works that emerge from her studio.

Cain’s recent studio work evinces an evolution in form and restraint. While several of Cain’s new paintings pair repeated patterns or confined marks with bold gestures, they also feature objects that are an integrated part of the overall composition, at times standing in for and at others occluding painted marks. In three new works, Cain has combined painted canvases with found domestic furniture: a loveseat, a chest of drawers, and a vanity. Emerging from her use of objects in her paintings and her inclusion of found objects in her ephemeral site-specific works, these new painting-sculpture hybrids contrast monochromatic white and black areas with brightly-hued squiggles, splashes, stripes, and mazes and investigate what happens when a canvas and an object become a simultaneous and continuous surface for painting.

The title of the exhibition comes from the Beyoncé song “Flawless.” Originally released as “Bow Down,” Beyoncé created a second version that includes an excerpt from a talk delivered by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie entitled “We should all be feminists.” Beyoncé’s vision of weaving a measured, academic approach to contemporary feminism into an anthem generated controversy among music critics and feminist scholars alike. Working within the male dominated legacy of abstract painting, Cain’s insistence on the body within her work is an assertive, intentional confrontation of art history’s denial of femaleness, and Beyoncé’s song is a parallel gesture within the male dominated music industry. Her lyrics, “Bow down, bitches, bow bow down, bitches” is an aggressive—and for fans, inspiring and empowering—refrain. “Flawless” embodies the anger, exuberance, politics, and sexuality that Cain pours into her work.

Sarah Cain was born in Albany, New York in 1979 and lives in Los Angeles. She received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001 and a MFA from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006. Sarah Cain: blue in your body, red when it hits the air is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego through July 19, 2015, and a one-person exhibition featuring a 4,000 square foot original work on site will open at the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina in the fall of 2015. Cain’s work has been included in exhibitions such as Variations: Conversations in and around Abstract Painting, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Now-ism: Abstraction Today, Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH (2014); I was a double, Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (2014); Outside The Lines, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2013); Painting in Place, Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), Los Angeles, CA (2013); PAINT THINGS: beyond the stretcher, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA (2013); Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2012); Gold, Imperial Belvedere Palace Museum, Vienna, Austria (2012); Nothing Beside Remains, LAND: Marfa, Marfa, TX (2011); Two Schools of Cool, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2011); 2008 California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2008); SECA Art Award Exhibition, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA (2007); and Like Color in Pictures, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO (2007).

Max Maslansky – Jouissance

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Max Maslansky presented in conjunction with 5 Car Garage.

Jouissance will feature new paintings made on found bed sheets, pillows, and curtains that expand on techniques and themes Manslansky has been developing in recent bodies of work, including those featured in exhibitions at the Hammer Museum and 5 Car Garage. Using domestic textiles in place of traditional linen or canvas, Maslansky begins each work on a ground with pre-existing visual information that becomes an inextricable part of the work. Patterns and colors alternately compete and mesh with the paint and compositions Maslansky manipulates on the fabrics’ surfaces. Employing a mixture of washy pigments and layers of gesso and color combined with areas of opaque, thick paint, Maslansky’s treatment of his medium is a testament to his interest in the materiality of painting. The oftentimes psychedelic background patterns, color fields, and acid hues bring abstraction into otherwise figurative images, furthering Maslansky’s investigations into the potential of painting.

Maslansky renders his images of anonymous figures in various states of undress and sexually charged activities in such a way that allows psychological and emotional readings of the found images he works from. Looking at male and female figures, Maslansky considers both subject and object in the processes of expressing sexuality and documenting that sexuality at the stage when the source photograph was made, but what ultimately propels the work forward is his position as the painter of the source image. The choices he makes with regard to the palettes, compositions, and degrees of detail he renders underscore his position and bias within the subject and object relationship inherent in image-making.

Informed by themes from Stanley Kubrick’s 1999 film Eyes Wide Shut, the paintings in Jouissance flirt with the concept of a fantasy turning into a nightmare. The film is based on Dream Story, a novella written by Arthur Schnitzler in 1926. At the center of the film and novel is the concept of a psychosexual dream so powerful that it engulfs the dreamer. This idea provided a natural evolution for Maslansky’s explorations into the inherently strange and often awkward documentation of sex acts and fetish images available on the internet. The concept of “jouissance” as outlined in Jacques Lacan’s writings on psychoanalysis is a type of all-encompassing joy that moves beyond Sigmund Freud’s idea of the pleasure principle to exceed the subject’s capacity for pleasure. As a result, the subject experiences pain. The general terms “pleasure” and “pain”, however, cannot adequately describe jouissance, which is an entirely subjective experience with infinite nuance. In Maslansky’s work, these transgressions and excesses are laid bare for our reflection.

Max Maslansky was born in Los Angeles in 1976 and lives in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY in 1999 and a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA in 2006. Masklansky’s concurrent one-person exhibition Midnight Blue is at Galerie Sebastien Bertrand in Geneva, Switzerland. His work has been included in exhibitions such as Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2014); Made in Space, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and Venus Over Manhattan, New York, NY (2013); Boiled Angel, The Woodmill GP, London, England (2013); Object-Orientation, Cerritos College Art Gallery, Cerritos, CA (2011); Merch Mart!, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2010); and Collisions and Pileups, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA (2006).

Kaz Oshiro

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Kaz Oshiro’s solo exhibition of new paintings at the gallery. His exhibition opens on July 18, 2015 with a reception from 6-8pm.

Kaz Oshiro’s new paintings recall the art historical strains of monochrome and color field painting, but his “broken paintings” reject the flat space of traditional canvases for precisely wrought sculptural forms that appear to have been forcibly folded. Rather, Oshiro’s paintings are deliberately formed with mitered joints that relegate individual artworks to architectural corners, while diptychs and triptychs jut out from the wall as though the paintings are bending up against one another to form bas reliefs. Often referencing nature, Oshiro uses multiple layers of color to achieve both flatness and depth. This project follows Oshiro’s exhibition Still Life 2013 and is a prelude to his next one-person exhibition at the gallery in 2016.

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. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented one solo exhibition featuring Kaz’s work to date: Still Life (2013). 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 (traveling), Bunkamura: The Museum, Tokyo Japan; Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Kobe, Japan; Nagoya City Art Museum, Nagoya, 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 (traveling), Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX (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, OH (2004); and California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA (2004).

Howardena Pindell

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce the first one-person exhibition of works by Howardena Pindell on the west coast. The exhibition will open with a reception for the artist on September 11, 2015 from 6-8pm.

A significant figure in the discourse around abstract painting, conceptual art, and identity politics, Howardena Pindell has explored the potential for abstract painting and process-based practices to address social issues throughout her career. This exhibition looks at two facets of Pindell’s practice that have remained consistent through five decades of artmaking: abstract paintings and constructions on canvas, paper, and board; and a body of work Pindell calls “video drawings”, an ongoing series of photographic prints that arise from her unique hybridization of photography, video, and drawing.

Born in Philadelphia, PA in 1943 and based in New York City since 1968, Pindell earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Boston University in 1965 and her Master of Fine Arts at Yale University in 1967. She holds honorary doctorates from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Parsons The New School for Design. Between 1968 and 1978, she was on the curatorial staff at the Museum of Modern Art where she organized exhibitions for the Department of Drawings and Prints and the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books. Pindell’s work as a curator led to travels to places around the world where her research and experiences impacted her curatorial, artistic, and personal growth. The burgeoning feminist art movement of the 1970s provided an influential though fraught context for her work. Pindell was a co-founder of the seminal A.I.R. Gallery in 1970, and while feminism was a crucial element in her developing worldview, she also encountered racism that worked at cross-purposes to the positive growth of a progressive feminist politics in the movement.

Pindell’s particular mode of abstraction continually insists on a confluence of geometric forms (circles and grids) and organic gestures. By pushing the grid beyond its capacity to contain and create order, Pindell challenges its authority both pictorially and culturally. Using small bits of paper cut with hole punches, she has been constructing textural, large scale paintings that pin directly to the wall since the late 1960s. Monochromatic from afar, these immersive works reveal themselves to be made up of countless tiny gestures and bits of varying color upon closer view. Unafraid of radical shifts in scale, Pindell also creates diminutive, vibrant collages that sing with moments of hand drawn arrows and numbers running through their constituent parts. Often starting with a drawing on paper that she folds up and cuts with a hole punch, Pindell fashions organic shapes that defy categorization from her accumulation of circular cut-outs. In a body of work from the 2000s, Pindell’s ongoing exploration of two contrasting forms is explicit as numbered circles vie for space amid rigid grids in small assemblages on board.

To make her video drawings, Pindell draws on transparencies that she then affixes atop a television screen. While the televisual images flow behind the drawings, Pindell takes photographs that are ultimately realized as cibachrome prints. Deploying images from sporting events; documentary programs on nature, war, and history; and television shows aired in some of the many foreign countries Pindell has traveled to, the video drawings offer up a critique of media while also asserting Pindell’s constant return to process as a means through which to generate form. These moments that have been extracted from a perpetual stream of moving images provide rich backgrounds to which Pindell can react. As she has described, “Formally, the lines and numbers represent areas of tension in the interface of the image and the lines, force and energy, real and imagined.”

Howardena Pindell’s work has been exhibited widely since 1971 including one-person exhibitions at Just Above Midtown, New York (1977); Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL (1985); The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (1986); Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (1989); Georgia State University Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA (1993); and Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY (1999 and 2004). Thematic exhibitions featuring her work include Contemporary Black Artists in America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1971); 1972 Annual Exhibition: Contemporary American Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1972); Rooms: P.S.1, Queens, New York (1976); Thick Paint, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (1978); Afro-American Abstraction: An Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture by Nineteen Black American Artists, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY (1980-1984; touring); Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move into the Mainstream 1970-1985, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH (touring); Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party in Feminist Art History, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (1996); Strange Days, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2003); Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art since 1970, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2005); High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967-1975, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC (2006-2007; touring); WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2007-2009; touring); Lines, Grids, Stains, Words, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007-2009; touring); and Variations: Conversations in and around Abstract Painting, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (2014-2015). Pindell’s work is held in public collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C.; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She has been a professor at State University, New York at Stony Brook since 1979.

Kenneth Noland – Color and Shape, Paintings 1976-1980

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Kenneth Noland’s exhibition at the gallery. Color and Shape, Paintings 1976-1980 opens on July 18, 2015 with a reception from 6-8pm.

A collaboration with Castelli Gallery in New York, Kenneth Noland: Color and Shape, Paintings 1976-1980 is a focused selection of Kenneth Noland’s irregularly shaped canvases from the late 1970s. These paintings evince an apex of the twin concerns of color and shape that Noland began to pursue in the late 1950s that led to a direct relationship between the painted surface and the outer shape of the canvas. Until the mid-1970s, Noland explored the possibilities of symmetry and structured color within a variety of rectilinear shapes. His investigations led to the pursuit of unbalanced non-representational paintings that united color and shape in an unprecedented way. The resulting paintings reveal a diversity of structural and coloristic activity within a fully asymmetrical mode. Curated by Hayden Dunbar, this exhibition follows last year’s Openness and Clarity: Color Field Works from the 1960s and 1970s that included Kenneth Noland along with seven other pioneering Color Field painters.

Kenneth Noland was a defining figure in Color Field painting. He is best known for his trademark series of works based on simple geometric shapes: circles, targets, chevrons, and stripes. Noland attended Black Mountain College, where he studied under Josef Albers and Paul Klee. Settling in Washington D.C. a few years later, he befriended fellow artist Morris Louis while the two were teaching at the Washington Workshop Center of the Arts. Noland also developed important associations with artists Anthony Caro, Jules Olitski, and critic Clement Greenberg. Many of these artists were deeply influenced by Helen Frankenthaler’s stain technique, which allowed for freer experimentation with color. For Noland, color became the ideal means to explore the formal relationship between the painted image and its canvas support. In 1976, the artist was given a major retrospective exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, which traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. His work has also been the subject of many exhibitions, including the Tate Liverpool (2006), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2004).

Victoria Fu – Velvet Peel

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Victoria Fu’s exhibition at the gallery. Velvet Peel opens on July 18, 2015 with a reception from 6-8pm.

Victoria Fu uses 16mm film, installation, photography, sculpture, sound, and video to explore the virtual space of moving images and our haptic engagement with digital images. Incorporating clips sourced from the internet and original footage manipulated with visual effects in postproduction, the video installations Velvet Peel 1 and Velvet Peel 2 (both 2015) address the physical and visual experience of digital images and touchscreens. Fu’s neon drawings Pinch-Zoom and Ribbon-Swipe (both 2015) depict the eponymous actions that have become habituated through our use of handheld digital devices. Within a multilayered installation strategy, these artworks inform one another, calling attention to the confluence of architectural spaces, human bodies, and digital images.

Victoria Fu was born in Santa Monica, California and lives in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University, a Master of Arts from University of Southern California, and a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts. One-person exhibitions of her work have been mounted at Center for Ongoing Research & Projects, Columbus, OH (2015); The Contemporary, Baltimore, MD (2015); University Art Gallery, UC Irvine, CA (2014); Anderson Hall Gallery, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2013); Savannah College of Art + Design, Savannah, GA (2009); and Mint Gallery, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA (2005). Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as At First You Don’t Succeed, College of Creative Studies Gallery, University of California Santa Barbara, CA (2015); Borrowed Landscapes, Boehm Gallery, Palomar College, San Marcos, CA (2015); 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2014); Trouble with the Index, UC Riverside/California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA (2014); IX Bienal de Nicaragua, Fundación Ortiz Gurdian, Managua, Nicaragua (2014); Approximately Infinite Universe, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego, CA (2013); Snapshot: Home Movies, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC (2012); Render: New Constructions in Video Art, UC Riverside/California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA (2012); Film Forum, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC (2011); Here Once Again: Where Art and Cinema Interact, Seoul National University Museum, Seoul, South Korea (2008); RUNNING TIME 24:00:00, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA (2008); No Heroics Please, REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA (2005); and The Wight Biennial: Dark Side of the Sun, Kinross Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles (2004).

Rosson Crow – Madame Psychosis Holds a Séance

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Madame Psychosis Holds a Séance, Rosson Crow’s third exhibition with the gallery. A reception will be held at the gallery on November 7, 2015 from 5-8pm.

Rosson Crow’s new work explores the fictional world of Madame Psychosis, an aging showgirl obsessed with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Crow’s striking and mysterious protagonist—whose name is derived from David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest and is a play on the term “metempsychosis”, also known as reincarnation—is a character whose sense of herself is inextricably bound up with the events and conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy’s death. Comprising a short film and a series of paintings, Crow’s new project explores individual psychology and the ways in which national identity is shaped around moments of historical significance. Giving rise to countless alternative accounts and conspiracy theories, the events of November 22, 1963 are etched into the American cultural consciousness and are still enmeshed in a web of confusion and contradiction more than fifty years later. In this exhibition, Crow employs this charged event as a narrative device to engage questions of individual identity, the power of emotion to confuse our sense of reality, and the human desire to connect to shared pasts while establishing relevance in the present.

The centerpiece of Madame Psychosis Holds a Séance is Crow’s first film. While Crow has often explored narrative in her paintings, this is the first time she is manifesting her interest in the concepts of historical narrative and its psychological dimensions on film. Starring Kelly Lynch in the titular role, the film was written and directed by Crow who used her paintings as both backdrops and inspiration for set décor that she designed and created. The film follows the story of Madame Psychosis as she struggles with her connection to reality and questions her place in the world. Defining her identity through an iconic American tragedy, Madame’s preoccupation with Kennedy’s assassination obscures her true identity so much that she becomes convinced she is the reincarnation of the so-called “Babushka Woman”, a key witness in the events surrounding Kennedy’s death. A séance is the only way to unlock the truth. As Madame descends deeper into her confusion, the environments she occupies become increasingly surreal. Anchored by Crow’s immersive paintings, the sets reflect Madame’s fraught psychology.

Conceived as integral to the aesthetic and narrative of the film, the series of paintings is based on Crow’s imagination of the psychological spaces and physical environments of Madame Psychosis. Veering toward monochrome, the works engulf the viewer not just within their large scale but within their color palettes. Bright and bold, the colors’ persistence expands the perceptual space of the paintings, while occasional instances of contrasting and complimentary hues provide visual punctuation and offer viewers a way to navigate through the complicated compositions. For these new paintings, Crow used a transfer process to add a collage effect that increases the illusion of depth while also calling attention to the paintings’ surfaces. As with much of Crow’s work to date, these paintings recall the grand tradition of history painting in their scale and complexity. However, figures are absent: Empty rooms and gardens act as metaphors for psychological and emotional states of the characters she envisions occupying the spaces and for the cultural conditions that yield alienation among individuals.

Rosson Crow was born in 1982 in Dallas, Texas and lives in Los Angeles. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in 2004 and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University in 2006. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented two previous exhibitions of her work: Ballyhoo Hullabaloo Haboob (2012); and Night at the Palomino (2008). One-person exhibitions of her work have been presented at Musée Régional d’Art Contemporain de Sérignan, France (2014); Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2010); and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Forth Worth, TX (2009). Her work has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Contemporary Magic: A Tarot Deck Art Project, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA (2011); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2010); Le Meilleur des Mondes, Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2010); New York Minute, Macro Future Museum, Rome, Italy (2009); and Out of Storage I – Painters Choose from the Collection, Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2008).

Alexis Smith – Slice of Life

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce Los Angeles based artist Alexis Smith’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, Slice of Life, from June 8 – July 27, 2013.

Slice of Life is a focused exploration of Alexis Smith’s work as portraiture, conjuring people both real and imagined from the material and linguistic cast-offs of American culture. The exhibition includes the iconic collage works that have been her signature for the past five decades, among them several recently completed pieces, and the landmark multimedia installation Past Lives, a poignant 1989 collaboration with writer Amy Gerstler. Taken collectively with Smith’s recent critically acclaimed exhibition of landscapes at Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, we can take a long view of Smith’s uncanny ability to find profundity in the mundane. Here, Smith fills the galleries with resonant snapshots of people comprising a richly imagined society. She proves her mastery of the poetics of collage by creating characters from the flotsam of our daily lives, projecting our deeply rooted hopes, dreams and failures into these vignettes.

In Past Lives, a classroom provides the setting for a collection of worn children’s chairs, repositories for the promise and disappointments of their tiny inhabitants. Visual markers of institutional indoctrination surround these anthropomorphized objects, but they are ultimately trumped by the unruliness of individuals whose frailties, identified in pithy statements like “Dubbed himself a slave to love,” make for moments of identification. The installation highlights Smith’s ability to focus the power and pathos of her materials, building a whole community of young souls from these worn seats. Like the chairs, the objects in her collages are replete with the aura of lives lived, fragments that stand-in for people and their stories. She often finds such inspiration in post-WWII material culture, notably the popular diversions emanating from her lifelong home, Los Angeles: Hollywood cinema, mid-century advertising and pop music. Thrift store paintings and other artifacts with the patina of individual sentiment figure equally in the constellation of her sources. The overlaid texts and titles, whether quotes from an Oakland Raider defensive end, dialogue from Dr. Strangelove, or an evocative vernacular phrase, create vignettes replete with wry humor, bittersweet ironies and social commentary. Smith evokes everyone from children to seniors – ordinary, famous, and infamous alike – all with an exceptional sense of sly tenderness.

Smith appropriates and subverts materials in the spirit of her Dada and Surrealist predecessors, developing her own sharply witty mode of collage. While she harnesses the spirit of assemblage artists like Joseph Cornell, Betye Saar and Ed Keinholz, she shares the conceptual sensibilities and approaches to language of her contemporaries – artists such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, Allen Ruppersberg and William Wegman. Smith’s alchemical distillation of the detritus of history and mass culture into singular, resonant arrangements finds echoes in subsequent generations of artists who continue to mine the collective desires and failures of our culture.

Smith has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including those at The University of Wyoming Art Museum, Laramie; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; The Miami Art Museum; The J. Paul Getty Museum of Art, Los Angeles; and a mid-career survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Recently, her work has appeared in the group exhibitions Under the Big Black Sun at MOCA, Los Angeles; elles@centrepompidou, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; WACK, Art and the Feminist Revolution, also at MOCA, Los Angeles and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, MoMA, Long Island City, New York; and Sunshine & Noir: Art in L.A. 1960-1997, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, among many others. She has also completed several major public commissions, including a mural for the Las Vegas Central Library; terrazzo floors at the Jerome Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University, Columbus; a mixed media wall installation for The Restaurant at the Getty Center, Los Angeles; and a site specific work for The Stuart Collection, University of California, San Diego in La Jolla. She is the recipient of several NEA Fellowships, The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center residency, and an Honorary Doctorate from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Her work is included in the collections of major museums across the country, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others.

Kaz Oshiro – Still Life

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition by Los Angeles based painter Kaz Oshiro. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.

At first glance, Kaz Oshiro’s new works seem to represent a radical formal shift. They are minimalist canvases that straddle the edges of the white cube, folding around corners, collapsing onto the floor, and uncannily broaching the space of the viewer. His previous works, remarkably realistic three-dimensional facsimiles of everyday objects like old microwave ovens, dumpsters, kitchen cabinets, and car bumpers, meticulously fabricated from paint and Bondo on canvas, are, however, a conceptual antecedent for the new paintings. In all these works, Oshiro extends the idea of painting as a spatial and conceptual practice, distilling it to its most essential status as object and calling attention to its physical, phenomenological effects.

The new series bears the title Still Life</em>; indeed, Oshiro simply describes each work as a “still life of a broken painting.” The object depicted, a vanitas for aesthetic perfection, is an abstract painting that has been compromised – warped out of the comfortable space of the two dimensional picture plane. Each work also calls attention to the liminal spaces that disappear in a traditional gallery installation – its corners and edges. Like his prior work, which insisted upon its existence as painting but inhabited the space of sculpture, these works push painting into the bodily realm. Reorienting the viewing experience in a very deliberate way, Oshiro ultimately seeks to recalibrate the viewer’s sense of space.

In Oshiro’s words, “Abstract painting is all art. It’s pure in a way, simply canvas, paint and a brush.”* Here, painting is pared down to its most fundamental elements, referencing not a stack of amplifiers or a mini-refrigerator, but art itself. Taking inspiration from artists like Ellsworth Kelly, Imi Knoebel, Blinky Palermo, Fred Sandback and Michael Asher, Oshiro manipulates the idea of minimal abstraction, processing it through a rigorous, conceptually driven practice that makes the idea and experience of space a primary concern. The canvases, which also allude to the work of California Light and Space artists, are nearly monochromatic, adding only a subtle second tone that playfully alludes to shadowing in proximity to the real shadows created by the bends and folds of the frame; this hint at the illusory possibility of paint on canvas inverts the sort of spills and stains that disrupt the pristine surfaces of some of his earlier tromp l’oeil objects.

Through the Still Lives, Oshiro not only clarifies the concerns of his previous bodies of work but also continues to extend the definition of painting in the contemporary context.

Kaz Oshiro (b. 1967, Okinawa, Japan) has lived and worked in Los Angeles for the past 25 years. He earned a BA and MFA from California State University, Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Villa du Parc in Annemasse, France; galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris; Yvon Lambert Gallery, New York; the Las Vegas Art Museum; and the Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont. Group exhibitions include Simulacrum at the Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH; Lifelike which opened at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and is currently on exhibit at MOCA San Diego; One Way or Another at the Asia Society and Museum, New York; Berkeley Art Museum; and Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles; Thing at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach.

*Interview with Glen Helfand, Common Noise (Paris: Galerie Frank Elbaz, 2007), p. 26.

Brenna Youngblood – ACTIVISION

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce ACTIVISION, Brenna Youngblood’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Youngblood uses materials and images taken from the domestic space to create densely layered works that oscillate between abstraction and referential content. Her practice, which includes painting, sculpture, and photography, utilizes an intuitive, bricolage approach. This exhibition will focus on a new series of large-scale paintings, along with a site-specific installation.

Youngblood pushes further towards abstraction in her new works on panel and canvas. The dynamic compositions are created through a handmade process of addition, subtraction, layering and peeling. The sheets of paper and washes of acrylic and spray-paint produce an immediacy in the gestural imperfections and improvisational marks. Continuing the conversation on assemblage and found materials initiated by artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Noah Purifoy, Betye Saar, Youngblood infuses the textured, collaged surfaces with elements of the everyday. Throughout her practice she has maintained a commitment to the quietly generative qualities of the familiar and incidental, of the aggregate effect that common objects possess in communicating personal experiences. She embeds fragments of items that are often overlooked, but which are intimately connected with her daily life: food wrappers, wallpaper, wood paneling, and photographic images of clocks and light switches. Rather than speaking explicitly to the social and class associations that are built-in to these common objects, Youngblood instead opts to convey a subtler atmosphere. She focuses on deconstructing these stray details, purposely subverting their familiarity by slicing and repeating the image, or turning it at an oblique angle. The result is a collaged work that plays with the logic of both illusionistic and metaphorical space.

In addition to the new paintings, Youngblood will also include a site-specific installation of a functioning revolving door connecting the two rooms of the exhibition. Composed of interlocking found doors, this sculptural installation acts as bridge between the artist’s environment with that of the gallery’s. As a spatial intervention, it alters the context of the works hanging on the walls, not only wryly disrupting the high principles of the white cube, but also unifying the space in creating an unexpected and total environment in which to view the paintings.

Brenna Youngblood (b. 1979) lives and works in Los Angeles. Most recently, she was included in the group shows, Fore, at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART in Los Angeles. Youngblood will be part of a forthcoming exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston. Past solo exhibitions include Nathalie Obadia, Brussels; Jack Tilton, New York; Susanne Vielmetter, Berlin; and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Youngblood earned a BFA from California State University, Long Beach (2002) and an MFA from UCLA (2006).

Erik Parker – NEW MAGNETIC DESTINY

Honor Fraser Gallery presents Erik Parker’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, New Magnetic Destiny.

Like Ray Yoshida, one of the Chicago Imagists, and Tadanori Yokoo, described as the “Japanese Andy Warhol,” Parker has developed a distinct visual vocabulary, through the manipulation of found images and an interest in popular culture produced during eras of social, political, and economic revolution. As Yoshida did, Parker does also – avidly collecting objects and images that are considered outside the boundaries of traditional art and incorporating them into the work. Any object or image from comic books, popular culture, pornography, may inspire and encourage the discovery of new and personal interpretations.

This exhibition brings together his iconic pyramid and plank-shaped canvases with his still lifes, which feature analog television monitors and controlled views of jungle and beach landscapes. The pyramid canvases reference the social movements in Egypt in early 2011 and the top-down structure of Ponzi schemes. Like the game Chutes and Ladders, these socio and political phenomena operate within a framework of surprise action, instability, and upheaval of reigning entities. These new bodies of work continue Parker’s colorful transgressiveness and anti-authoritarian approach to established ideologies, as well as introduce his new collage process. In the pyramid and plank canvases, Parker overlays selected paper images from underground magazines, charging the paintings with accessible and recognizable content. The images also function as marks on the canvas, complicating the general composition. The specificity of the printed material sources, magazines from the late 1970s to early 1980s, relate to an era when Parker was an idealistic young adult; an era when socially progressive values still resisted the dominant culture and the design of objects was more anthropomorphic-like.

Parker’s works continue to be incredibly packed and nuanced. “They are an overload,” he explains. 1960s television monitors, ubiquitous 1970s boomboxes, and similarly looking “knobby” devices and light bulbs bring to mind eyes, nipples, and gaping mouths that reveal vacation vistas of pools and beaches. Consistent with his fascination with the clandestine, one is left to wonder if the “eyes/knobs” of Parker’s television sets are there not to be seen but to survey the television viewer. Aware of the up-and-coming trends in politics, underground culture, and popular culture, Parker is keenly tuned in to how people communicate. “My paintings are like big chatter because this is how we communicate. Instagram, for example. We get an overload of images, we get an overload of news, it’s like we live in a 24/7 news cycle. We barely have time to process information.” Perhaps to counteract the chatter, Parker also presents plank canvases whose collaged composition has been pushed to the sides and edges of the canvas revealing the hierarchical center of the canvas as a blank slate. Parker explains, “I pushed everything to the sides; put it on the edge because it is marginalized culture where we get the juice of culture. It is always on the margins.”

Parker was born in Stuttgart, Germany and studied at the University of Texas at Austin and SUNY Purchase, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Too Mad to Be Scared at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Focus: Erik Parker at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX, and Upswing Dub Project, Pace Prints, NY. The artist has also participated in group exhibitions at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the San Antonio Museum of Art. And running concurrently with the exhibition is Parker’s installation at The Standard Hotel in Hollywood.

Andy Warhol – Robots & Space Ships

Honor Fraser Gallery presents its second Andy Warhol exhibition, this time focusing on his drawings and paintings of toy robots and space ships.

Throughout art history artists have created work incorporating toys, games, and play. The Surrealists famously invented the exquisite corpse, a game that liberated image making from the constraints of rational and discursive order, and resulted in an unexpected drawing. Games and play allow participants to perceive the world with new eyes, and most importantly, position established hierarchies at risk. The excitement exists in taking turns at playing different roles – the privileged or the underdog, the policeman or the robber – and foreseeing how events will unfold. If Surrealist games liberated the process of image making for artists, games provide a method for addressing conflict in a more manageable framework, that of popular culture. At play in this exhibition are Warhol’s positive assessments of popular culture and his contributions to moments of hierarchical reversals of power.

Despite the small scale of the drawings and paintings in this exhibition, the work captures the grandiosity of the Warholian Pop Art strategies that transformed the art world from the late 1950s on, like no other series of works. These strategies include consumerism, appropriation, seriality, and abstraction. The work in the exhibition is from a series first exhibited in the 1980s by Bruno Bischofberger, a Swiss art dealer, and was intended to be hung low; a protest against the typical installation height. Warhol and Bischofberger selected a total of sixteen images for the series. The images do not reference the actual toys but the images printed on their packages, which is consistent with Warhol’s interest in consumer culture, commodities, and the container, rather than the contained. The exhaustive repetition of the image, typical of Warhol as well, attests to his fascination with the proliferation of images in popular culture. His signature silkscreen style, where the overlaid fields of color do not match the line drawing, points towards Warhol’s interest in abstraction. However, these drawings and silkscreens present a unique aspect in the Warhol saga: his unrealistic dream to be a machine, a conglomerate of author-free industrial products, or, to have a proxy robot that looked like him and would be his replacement when needed. These observations shed new light on the series, and in particular, to the somewhat anthropomorphic robot works.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication, Andy Warhol: Robots & Space Ships, with an essay by Vincent Fremont.

Mario Ybarra Jr. – Heroes and Villians

Honor Fraser Gallery presents Heroes and Villians, Mario Ybarra Jr.’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Ybarra’s new work takes the form of a large-scale comic strip and filters his teenage years through a lens of retro ludic amusement and play. With this work Ybarra aims at celebrating and participating in the channels of communication of popular culture, while employing a playful practice that transgresses into that of higher culture. For Ybarra, play becomes a strategy for occupying and contesting territories in pursuit of establishing an advantage. He focuses on moments when popular culture becomes more relevant than other cultural products and manifestations, moments when popular culture provides an alternative perspective, provokes change, or allows the masses to have the “last say.” Likewise, he positively acknowledges the way these messages are communicated (visually and materially) and utilizes them to occupy more expansive (art) territory.

Heroes and Villians (notice the word “villain” misspelled to match the Latino pronunciation of the word) also explores how popular culture (toys, movies, souvenirs, crafts, music, comics) is appropriated by the Latino community. Latinos in the United States have the opportunity to navigate, consume, and identify with the popular culture produced in the US as well as that of their cultural heritage. In Ybarra’s case, the result is a cohesive mixture, manifesting in a series of drawings that represent the unlikely friendship of several teenagers in the late 1980s. Ybarra is keen on presenting the hobbies, pastimes and habits of his youth, focusing on cultural specific traits such as the homemade Latino sweets that include “paprika, Kool-aid powder and dipping candy,” or baking a cake with his grandfather (as intergenerational households are typical in Latino families), or hinting at the absence of the father figure (possibly represented by the character in prison depicted on the first page). Other popular culture references such as E.T. and Hawaii 84 T-shirts and Doritos chips provide a context that is at once American and global. Ultimately, Ybarra presents a narrative with a happy ending where respect for the “other” and empathy prevail. The comic format is the controlled framework and terrain Ybarra chooses to play out the struggles, conflicts and contradictions of growing up in his hometown of Wilmington, CA.

Mario Ybarra Jr. (b. 1973) received an MFA from the University of California at Irvine and a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Double Feature at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles; Mario Ybarra Jr.: The Tio Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara; and Take Me Out…No Man Is An Island at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ybarra was included in the recent Made in L.A., organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART, Los Angeles; Invisible Cities at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, Spain; the 2008 Whitney Biennial in New York; The World as a Stage at the Tate Modern in London and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA; and Alien Nation at the Institute of Contemporary Art London. He organized Possible Worlds at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with Karla Diaz and Slanguage Studio.

Kenny Scharf – Pop Renaissance

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Pop Renaissance, an installation of a selection of work from Kenny Scharf’s participation in the Pulcherrimae Strade initiative in 2001. For the project, created to showcase contemporary art in historical spaces, Scharf covered the ceiling of the Palazzo Communale in Pordenone, Italy with four 33 foot canvases stretched between the beams of the coffered ceiling. The images in the work were inspired by the iconography of Giovanni da Pordenone’s altarpieces and function as a reinterpretation of classic Renaissance paintings such as Bellini’s The Seven Deadly Sins.

Scharf discussed Pordenone’s style in the catalogue published in conjunction with Pulcherrimae Strade (Salvaterra and Rosenblum 2002).

First I noticed a lot of the faces and the way he paints, and it becomes almost like a caricature of a person. His lines are very quick and almost gestural, which makes him different from other Renaissance painters; you get an almost immediate caricature of a person, which is very interesting. I noticed he has a very fantastic imagination when it comes to scale, giving different sizes juxtaposed together, giants and miniature people, all occupying the same space. That surely has a lot to do with the importance of each figure. I think he took a lot of liberties that I don’t see too much in other painters of that period, with this kind of fantasy of scale. It’s almost medieval sometimes, the flatness with which he depicts the figure and the faces.

Scharf currently lives and works in New York, Los Angeles, and Brazil. His work can be found in major museums and collections, including the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Eli Broad Foundation, MOCA Los Angeles and the Stedelijik Museum. In 2009, a comprehensive catalog of his work was authored by art historian Richard Marshall and published by Rizzoli. 
Most recently, in 2011, Scharf’s work was featured in the MOCA LA’s Art in the Streets exhibition. Recent solo exhibitions were presented at Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York (2011), and The Hole, New York (2010).

Annie Lapin – Various Peep Shows

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce its second exhibition of new paintings by Annie Lapin.

Lapin’s paintings appear to coalesce from the hazy set of information gathered at the corner of the eye. Her complex, dynamic compositions catalog her interest in the act of seeing and grapple with the process of how a painting comes into being through the viewer’s engagement with it. Whether exploring visual memory or the tension between the inherent properties of paint as material and its ability to depict, her work documents and dramatizes her own sense of flux at the edge of perception. Shapes and landscapes remain on the verge of resolution and legibility in a continual process of emergence, while also rooted to the thingliness of paint.

This exhibition marks a shift for Lapin, whose previous work explored the vocabulary of Romantic and Rococo landscape painting, to a new visual language. Quick, confident brush strokes appear to rest lightly on the surface of the canvas, operating as pure mark making until the slow burn of an image makes its way to the eye. Loose paint-handling and thin washes of color plot out strange architectures through which implausible landscapes peek at the viewer. Layers of imagery, rows of spray painted lettering, and thick areas of paint seem to float at various layers in relation to each other, creating an odd spatiality. While window like vistas allow the eye to escape to deeper horizons, the shallow relief space that parallels the surface of her canvases serves as a stage for a re-enactment the work’s production; choreographed pours, stains, smears and drips act as both deconstructive and constructive moments, as if paint intended to describe the world of the painting were also peeling up from the image, like an unstable element in a temporary collage. The resulting images appear to be simultaneously frozen in the entropic act of falling apart while they emphatically record the constructive painterly impulse. Ultimately, a poetic emerges out of this dynamic, which for Lapin, speaks to what paintings can and should be.

Annie Lapin lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BA from Yale University and her MFA from UCLA. Lapin is the recent recipient of the Falk Visiting Artist Award from the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC, where she was the subject of a solo exhibition in 2013. Other recent solo shows include exhibitions at Josh Lilley Gallery in London, the Santa Barbara Museum of Contemporary Art in Santa Barbara, CA, and Yautepec Gallery in Mexico City. She has also recently participated in the group exhibitions at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, in Overland Park, KS, and the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA.

Meleko Mokgosi – Pax Kaffraria

For his debut solo exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery, Meleko Mokgosi will present the final chapters of his three-year long history painting project Pax Kaffraria. The exhibition will also include a series of charcoal drawings of iconic breeds of southern African dogs and text-based paintings interrogating recent exhibitions of African Art and imagery of Africa.

This culminating exhibition of Mokgosi’s Pax Kaffraria follows exhibitions of the earlier chapters of his project at the Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, the Hammer Museum for Made in L.A. 2012, and most recently Pax Kaffraria: Terra Pericolosa at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, and Pax Kaffraria: The Ruse of Disavowal at the 2013 Biennale de Lyon. The Ruse of Disavowal and new chapters Graase-Mans, Fully Belly, and Lekgowa will be included in the exhibition here.

Pax Kaffraria as a whole articulates the incommensurable aspects of the post-colonial condition through strategic structuring of moments and fragments that exceed traditional structures of authority and representation. These unmoored narrative pulses are local and particular, a counterpoint to the metanarratives of nationalism. Pax Kaffraria: Graase-Mans parses the legacy of the Western European frontiersmen who established new colonial states across southern Africa in the 1830s. Domestic scenes reveal colonial dynamics at their core. In Pax Kaffraria: Fully Belly, we see the coronation of a chief with contemporary and “traditional” elements diachronically combined in the anointment of authority. This work, which explores the economic and political legacies of neopatrimonialism across Africa, touches upon the connections between governmental authority, customary law, localized politics, and the military, and the effects of privatization on all of these institutions.

Mokgosi’s charcoal renderings of distinctly southern African breeds of dogs tease out the political, emotional, and economic aspects of the legacies of colonialism. Appearing throughout the Pax Kaffraria project, these dogs show how domesticated animals occupy an important role within the purview of human history and the struggle of southern African nationalisms in particular. With his text-based paintings, Mokgosi addresses the problematic re-inscription of colonial discourses by using museum labels as source material. He makes critical interventions in the didactics that structure the way the public understands works of art, systematically deconstructing the power dynamics and cultural biases that underpin these presumably neutral, educational texts. Mokgosi’s commentary on these labels is at times personal, emotional, analytical and poetic and inserts an individual voice to counter these institutional constructions of history. Mokgosi interrogates the implications of established histories and the narrative as a concept, playing with notions of time and normative models for the inscription and transmission of history, ultimately disrupting traditional Euroethnic notions of representation. Mokgosi offers different ways of understanding representation—epistemological, ideological, symbolic—undercutting traditional structures to posit alternate modes for the creation of knowledge through language.

Meleko Mokgosi was born in Francistown, Botswana in 1981 and lives in Brooklyn, NY. Mokgosi received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Williams College, Williamstown, MA in 2007; completed the Affiliate Independent Study Program at Slade School of Fine Art, University of London, UK in 2006; attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York, NY in 2007; and received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. One-person exhibitions of Mokgosi’s work have been presented at Maitisong, Gaborone, Botswana (2003); Charles P. Russel Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA (2007); and Williams Club Gallery, New York, NY
(2009). His work has been included in group exhibitions such as Berkshire Biennial, Contemporary Artist Center, North Adams, MA (2005); Four Continents, Botswana National Gallery and Thapong Workshop, Gaborone, Botswana (2008); Pool of Possibilities: Mapping Currents for the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China (2008); Look III, The Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art Museum, Peekskill, NY (2011); Made in L.A., Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA
 (2012); Primary Sources and The Bearden Project, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY (2012); and Migrating Identities, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA (2013). Mokgosi was the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation 
Painters & Sculptors Grant; winner of the 
Mohn Award 
for outstanding work in Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and a participant in the Artist in Residence Program, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY in 2012.

William Lamson: Action for the Delaware

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present a new video installation by William Lamson.

The exhibition will showcase the Los Angeles premiere of Action for the Delaware and Untitled (mylar). Known for his poetic interventions in the natural environment, Lamson explores his interest in how events unfold by setting up precise conditions that are completed by nature. In each case the mundane is transformed into something extraordinary, often with a simple gesture or with minimal means.

Action for the Delaware features the artist ostensibly floating on the surface of the Delaware River. The camera eventually cuts from this serene scene to a closer view, where it is revealed that Lamson is in fact struggling to steady himself on a hidden homemade platform against the river’s current. The two scenes jump back and forth, ultimately subverting the illusion of the individual in control of his environment, while also emphasizing the visceral qualities of a body in relation to the water. Accompanying Action for the Delaware is Untitled (mylar), a single-channel video that also uses elemental forces to shape the work. The artist highlights the expansive landscape of the Mojave Desert in one long tracking shot that follows a mylar emergency blanket as it skims along the ground. Propelled by the wind, the silver sheet transforms into a sculptural object animated with movement as it tumbles and changes shape against the gusts.

William Lamson was born in Arlington, Virginia, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Museum (NYC), the Dallas Museum of Art (TX), the Houston Museum of Fine Arts (TX), and the Progressive Art Collection (Cleveland, OH), among others. His work has been exhibited in the US and internationally, including at P.S. 1 (NYC) and Franklin Art Works (Minneapolis). He completed his MFA at Bard College and is a recent MacDowell Foundation Fellow.

KAWS – MAN’S BEST FRIEND

KAWS returns to Los Angeles for his third solo exhibition at Honor Fraser Gallery. MAN’S BEST FRIEND includes new drawings, paintings, and sculpture. KAWS is a current nominee for the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize.

KAWS’s recent work furthers his ideas about the power of images to communicate beyond their expected realms. Made on canvas stretched over wood panels, each work in KAWS’s new series of shaped paintings takes on the silhouette of a familiar figure from animated cartoons and comic strips. Within the shapes, KAWS has interwoven multiple characters that are frozen in different states of movement. Rendered in bright colors and with acute precision, these works suggest a core sample of pop cultural references that have been manipulated just short of illegibility. Black and white works featuring portions of enlarged Charles M. Schulz drawings are counterpoints to the exhibitions’ works in color, and a large-scale landscape pictures one character chasing another through a dystopian scene of environmental disaster. Underlying all of KAWS’s work is a deep ambivalence around culturally held notions of entertainment and fun and its relationship to advanced art. Through his stylized adaptations of icons of American animation, he accesses a collective consciousness to mirror our ongoing addiction to the culture industry, an addiction that is fueled just as much by our own acceptance of its machinations as by its own intentions.

In his new black and white works, what appear to be non-representational images are variations on small details of Charles M. Schulz’s iconic drawings of characters from his Peanuts series. Original Peanuts comic strips appeared in American and international newspapers every day from 1950 until Schulz’s death in 2000, establishing the characters as significant figures in the American pop cultural vernacular for generations of young people. In this series, KAWS has enlarged tiny instances from the familiar renderings of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Pig-Pen, et al. Remaining faithful to Schulz’s original line drawings, KAWS has executed a grid of fifty works on paper. Though the Peanuts characters are blown so far out of proportion that they are nearly unrecognizable, KAWS leaves just enough information for us to identify his subjects, underscoring the ubiquity of these figures and the power of the repetition of images to enter our cultural memory.

While KAWS’s practice often involves appropriating fictional characters from mainstream popular culture, he has also given form to a small family of characters of his own invention. Figures like Companion and Chum have taken a wide variety of forms, from hand-held editioned figurines to monumental public sculptures. For this exhibition, KAWS has made a Corian sculpture cast in the form of Warm Regards, one of his original characters that has appeared in paintings, editioned figurines, and bas relief tiles. In this new work, a silhouette of Warm Regards is filled in with the gigantic mouth of KAWSBob, KAWS’s version of SpongeBob SquarePants. A pair of enormous white eyeballs marked with KAWS’s signature “X”s is layered over the mouth. Though the figure is posed with arms outstretched in a welcoming stance, its surreal facial configuration confuses any implied conviviality. KAWS’s new work in Corian allows for a unique type of painting in space that brings dimension to line. Exploring new formal territory, this move from two to three dimensions eschews volume in favor of flatness.

KAWS was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1974 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1996. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. One person exhibitions of his work have been presented at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX (2011 and forthcoming in 2016); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Málaga, Spain (2014); Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS (2013); Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA (2013); High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (2011 and 2012); Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2010 and 2011); and MU Art Foundation, Eindhoven, Netherlands (2002). KAWS has been included in thematic exhibitions such as Art in the Streets, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2011); The Reflected Gaze – Self Portraiture Today, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2010); Plastic Culture, Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, UK (2010); and Beautiful Losers, Le Tri Postal, Lille, France; Palazzo dell’Arte, Milan, Italy; USF Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL; Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; and Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH (2004).

Tomoo Gokita – Bésame Mucho

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Bésame Mucho, an exhibition of new paintings by Tomoo Gokita opening April 11, 2015 and running through May 16, 2015.

On view will be new works by Tokyo-based Tomoo Gokita, who is acclaimed for his black and white gouache canvases that incorporate exceptional draftsmanship with surreal imagery. Gokita continues his monochromatic series that explores the traditional portrait format on a range of scales, using source material from vintage postcards, magazines, found photos, and classic film stills. With a celebrated career in illustration and graphic design, Gokita first rose to prominence after creating a series of newsprint books. In 2005, he turned to painting, developing a distinctive greyscale aesthetic that combines deft tonal modeling of figures with a material flatness, both alluding to and obscuring characters appropriated from western popular culture and marginal countercultural sources. Alongside Gokita’s intimate portraits of individuals, this exhibition will feature large-scale group compositions that are an evolution in the artist’s oeuvre.

Gokita places his subjects in ambiguous picture planes that recall the photographic source while also reinforcing the works’ status as painting. Mixing a range of twentieth century art historical references, Gokita distorts his subjects’ bodies and obfuscates their faces, blurring them with gradients and shapes. Hands become aberrant and outsize, and eyes are replaced with tiny dots. Rather than providing information about the sitters’ characteristics or social position as in traditional portraiture, Gokita works to avoid strict narratives and specific likenesses, opting instead to explore their archetypal aspects. With their identities obscured, the figures develop an uncanny, phantom-like quality. Recognizable configurations, such as the wedding party in How to Marry a Millionaire or family portrait in Happy Families, serve to accentuate complicated group dynamics.

Tomoo Gokita (b. 1969) lives and works in Tokyo. Honor Fraser Gallery has presented two exhibitions featuring Gokita’s work to date: Heaven (2009) and Vanity Drunko (2007). In 2014 Gokita was the subject of the large-scale solo exhibition, Tomoo Gokita: The Great Circus at the Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art in Sakura, Japan. His work has also been included in such thematic shows as Wonderful My Art, Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, Japan (2013); The Unseen Relationship: Form and Abstraction, Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art, Sakura (2012); Gateway: Japan, Torrance Art Museum, CA (2011); VOCA 2009: The Vision of Contemporary Art, Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo (2009); New York Minute, Macro Future Museum, Rome (2009); and Collected Visions, Pera Museum, Istanbul (2009).

Kenny Scharf

KAWS – Hold The Line

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Hold The Line, KAWS’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. In a new group of paintings and sculpture, Brooklyn-based artist KAWS delivers stylized adaptations of visual icons in American animation.

Along with the existential emotive and psychotropic narrative avenues KAWS opens up for his altered versions of iconic animated characters, the artist’s works also provide the viewer with a richly rewarding and expansive formal consideration. Non-naturalistic color takes on new meaning in the case where there is no living, breathing, original referent for characters born of cell animation (such as SpongeBob SquarePants). Nevertheless, the unconventional palette in KAWS’s paintings–from high impact contrasts to monochromatic use of fluorescents, primaries, and darker tones–simultaneously defamiliarizes the ubiquitous characters while accentuating the reductive geometric play that abounds in their volumes and surfaces. In recent paintings, figures seem buoyed in the zero-gravity aftermath of a cartoon explosion, entangled in a dynamic composition of unmoored planks, bricks, or tentacles of color. In Hold The Line, a large group of tondo paintings feature extreme close-ups of the face of KAWSBob, a recurring subject in the works on canvas. The circular edges of the picture plane resonate with cartoonish facial features: the scaled-up, concisely-painted, hard-edged curves of eyelids, undulating nose, and blocky, rectangular teeth are zoomed and cropped to an extent that offers the face as a kind of color field.

The artist adopts and upends conventions taken from popular animation. KAWS’s figures have long borne distinctive “x x” marks over their eyes–as if intoxicated, poisoned, or pushing daisies. Most characters, upon entering the KAWS lexicon, find their heads transformed into a puffy skull-and-crossbones. These visual reformulations can be found in what is perhaps KAWS’s signature figure, Companion, a Mickey Mouse-esque character that first appeared in a toy-edition in 1999, but which has since been produced in nearly every medium in which the wide-reaching artist works. At larger-than-human-scale, two new Companion sculptures refer to the artist’s recent work in monumental sculpture. Here, the figures project a vivacity, posture, and presence befitting a “look inside” the flawless toy-like surface of one of the artist’s most iconic characters.

The strong graphic identity fueling his practice enables the artist to extend his cadre of characters–Accomplice, Chum, Companion, KAWSBob, Kimpsons, Kurfs, and others–across boundless cultural platforms, from gallery and museum shows of his paintings and sculpture, to a broad range of collaborative engagements creating graphics and designs for magazines, products, apparel, and recording artists (such as Levi’s, Comme des Garçons, and Kanye West), to independently developing and distributing toy lines and other products in the dedicated KAWS boutique, OriginalFake, in Tokyo.

Born in 1974 in New Jersey, KAWS graduated with a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has recently had solo exhibitions at The Aldrich Museum, Galerie Perrotin in Paris, and Galeria Javier Lopez in Madrid. He has been included in group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Torrrance Art Museum, Orange County Museum of Art, Yerba Buena Arts Center, San Francisco, and the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati. KAWS has upcoming solo exhibitions at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the High Museum in Atlanta. He has had four monographs published about his work, the most recent in 2010 by Skira/Rizzoli.

Mie Olise – Shipsearching

In the Project Space, Honor Fraser and The Danish Arts Council are pleased to present Shipsearching, a new installation by artist Mie Olise. Part of Olise’s ongoing project, A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks, which explores the artist’s own family history and experiences on the Island of Mors in relationship to characters from the fictional writings of Aksel Sandemose, Shipsearching explores the intertwined nature of truth and fiction, history and memory, and the personal and the collective. Manifesting as a large-scale wooden structure installation that viewers will be able to enter, Shipsearching at first appears to be an abandoned edifice waiting to be rediscovered. Upon entry, viewers will encounter a video projection depicting a fluttering sail—speaking to the intimate and poetic experience of being onboard a ship during a journey, or of traveling and moving between places. The nostalgia of a remembered past is fueled by unfulfilled desires as the sail flutters in one location, never really moving. Functioning as a physical space of transit, the installation asks questions about our understanding of time, reminding us of its vanishing quality and of our personal attempts to reconstitute it.

Mie Olise was born on the Island of Mors, Denmark, in 1974. She received an MA in Architecture from the Aarhus School of Architecture, London in 2001 and an MFA from the Central St. Martins School of Art, London in 2007. She has recently had solo exhibitions at Barbara Davis Gallery, Skive New Museum of Contemporary Art, and DUVE Berlin. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Ystad Museum of Art, Whitstable Biennale, Bloomberg Space, and Saatchi Gallery. In addition to completing a residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Olise has received awards from the Danish Art Council, the Rockwool Foundation, and the Niels Wessel Bagge Art Foundation.

Honor Fraser’s Project Space stages collaborations with local, national, and international artists at all stages of their careers in order to stimulate a generative dialogue between the gallery’s program and the broad landscape of contemporary art. Sometimes operating as a complimentary response, and other times as a counterpoint, the Project Space provides an opportunity to explore, investigate, and expand artistic practices through critical exchanges and dynamic exhibitions.

Glenn Kaino – Bring Me the Hands of Piri Reis

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Bring Me The Hands of Piri Reis, an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles-based artist Glenn Kaino. This marks Kaino’s first solo exhibition with the Gallery.

Conceiving his process of working as “conceptual kitbashing,” akin to a model-maker’s method of appropriating parts of commercial model kits in order to construct a unique custom model, Kaino engineers objects, performances, and ephemera using fragments and concepts mobilized in other creative disciplines. Drawing from his undergraduate training in computer science; his involvement in comic books and animation; his engagements in the music industry; his professional experience in digital media technology; and most recently, his rigorous training in magic, Kaino catalyzes formal and conceptual slippages through site and situation-specific works that blur the boundaries between art and other modalities of cultural production. This gives Kaino’s work the ability to forge new relationships between materials and ideas—unveiling new possibilities for the production and circulation of contemporary art.

Extending from his most recent engagements with magic and secrecy, this exhibition takes cartographic systems as a point of departure to interrogate the ways in which map-making functions as a hegemonic paradigm of knowledge recording and organization. Mapping, since the days of early world exploration, emerged as a method to inscribe the unknown, to give rationalization and order to obscure variables and unseen terrains. Accompanied by technological advancement, mapping soon expanded beyond its geographically-based disciplinary confines, setting in place a myriad of discursive tools and symbolic systems to analyze and chart multiple bodies of knowledge. Achieving this level of functional perfection, mapping has emptied the promises of new discovery and creativity—placing at our fingertips a pristine and complete picture of the world. Informed by his training in magic, Kaino intervenes into the systemic realm of map-making by introducing concealed secrets and random variables into a series of works that resist cartographic logic. Mistakes according to Kaino “are subversions into the imagined future of an idealized outcome, and by their very nature, create a heterogeneous circumstance that unlocks an infinite progress.” Through formal and material manipulations, Kaino introduces error and chance into a rigid epistemic system—generating works that redefine the relationship between art and audience while simultaneously reinvigorating our belief in the creative gesture.

Organized as an amorphous and indecipherable landscape, the exhibition is conceptually anchored by a new video work based on the classic magical illusion of the linking rings. Functioning as a navigational tool for the show, the work depicts the linking rings being performed by an invisible agent, drawing our attention to the illusion’s dependency on motion to manipulate perceptual depth, making visible new spatial dimensions. Accompanying this work, a series of pin-drawings and new inkjet prints based on the early maps of Turkish pirate and cartographer Piri Reis dissect the logic and function of map-making.

Gesturing to a practice nearing its collapse, six large-scale pin-drawings depicting different cityscapes are made vulnerable. As delicate pins cast in gold are incongruently juxtaposed to achieve compositional balance, their assemblage and fractured forms remind viewers that even seemingly resolved imagery is not as concrete as it may appear. In conversation with these works, Kaino creates a suite of transfigured drawings that take as source material the maps sketched by Turkish pirate Piri Reis during his early years as a pirate. These seemingly abstract drawings, the recordings of an outlaw, eventually became standardized maps after Reis joined the Ottoman fleet as an admiral, following a death threat by the emperor that left him with no other choice. Through inventive constructions that aim to reconcile gaps with imagination, Kaino prints images of these maps onto film that he then releases on paper using an alcohol-based technique similar to a Polaroid transfer. Physically distressing the images with his hands, fingers, and nails, Kaino layers the original images with new itineraries and locations, creating roadmaps for worlds we have yet to know.

In the gallery’s main space, Kaino furthers his investigation by presenting a new series of sculptural photographic works that propose a new approach to mapping that extends beyond traditional notions of space and time. Kaino photographs a series of locations throughout Los Angeles that at one point or another served as incubators for artist-run spaces or alternative cultural practices. Using a magic illusion called the hypercard, Kaino is able to literally extract these locations from the images, morphing their dimensionality through sculptural protrusions. Collectively these extended flaps highlight moments of creative activity localized in distinct temporalities; generating an imaginary of creativity that extends beyond time and place. Two large-scale paintings bound and covered by hand-made tapestries that illustrate the mechanics of a lock are also included in this gallery, evoking a series of secret relationships that exist between the works but that will remain indefinitely inaccessible to viewers; thus charging the exhibition with imaginative potential.

One last sculptural element completes Kaino’s meditation while creating a temporal bridge within his own artistic trajectory. Suspended from the ceiling, as if on a landing course, Kaino’s 2006 A Plank For Every Pirate makes its way back from a lengthy voyage that had as its main objective the reinvigoration of belief in art and artists. The large-scale wooden ship with fifty planks exploding from its bowels was a sculptural proposition Kaino used to speak about the revolutionaries whose transformative ideas led to their isolation and marginalization in a world of logic and objectivity. Each plank solemnly calls on one of these many figures, reminding us of unfulfilled dreams and expectations. In this new stage of Kaino’s practice, the ship majestically returns after its maiden voyage, bringing back the pair of hands that through ink and compass attempted to rationalize and systematize the world around us. More than a piece of pirate treasure, this return marks a poetic consolidation between Kaino’s previous artistic approach and his more recent conceptual experiments. A return of the hacker, pirate, revolutionary, and bandit, now armed with the imaginative potential to reconsider our collective investment in the production of creative moments.

Glenn Kaino (b. 1972, Los Angeles) received his BFA from the University of California, Irvine, in 1993 and his MFA from the University of California, San Diego, in 1996. His work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including Glenn Kaino: Safe|Vanish, LAXART, Los Angeles (2011); Honor Among Thieves, Performa09, in collaboration with Creative Time, New York (2010); Transformer: The Work of Glenn Kaino, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2008); The Burning Boards, The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York (2007); Laws Were Made For Rogues, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California (2006); and Bounce: Glenn Kaino and Mark Bradford, Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles, (2004) amongst others. Kaino’s work has also been included in group exhibitions at institutions around the world, including Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2011); Role Model— Role Playing, Museum der Moderne Mochsberg, Salzburg, Germany (2011); The Artists’ Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2010); Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous Times, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California (2008); Blackbelt, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2004); and One Planet under a Groove, Bronx Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2001) amongst others. In 2004, his work was included in the California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art and the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition to his studio practice, Kaino has been involved in various projects that established experimental platforms for the production and dissemination of contemporary art. In 1997, Kaino cofounded Deep River, an artist-run gallery in Los Angeles that was active through 2002, staging solo shows with some of Los Angeles’s most important emerging artists. Most recently, he cofounded The Mistake Room, an itinerant platform for exhibitions, publications, and situation-specific artist projects. Kaino currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Rosson Crow – BALLYHOO HULLABALOO HABOOB

Honor Fraser is pleased to present BALLYHOO HULLABALOO HABOOB, Rosson Crow’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Exploring the intimate psychological and emotional dimensions of nationalistic collective memory, Crow creates a series of works that take as a point of departure the exuberance and sobering aspects of past and recent gilded eras. Known for her theatrical and lush paintings that often feature decadent interiors, this new investigation marks a shift in the artist’s artistic process, tensely negotiating representational depictions and mnemonic interplay in painting. Rather than reproducing imagery associated with particular temporal and locational circumstances, the artist taps into mythologizing narratives, personal memories, and familial anecdotes to execute a psychoanalytic excavation of historical periods.

From bleak Dust Bowl towns to celebratory tickertape parades, Crow’s paintings are emblematic of American growth and decline. The exhibition’s title in part implies the pitfalls of such self-congratulatory excitement. In the tickertape canvases, the skewed perspectives and atmospheric maelstroms of staccato brushstrokes push to a near-abstraction. Emptied of figures, these works only obliquely refer to specific historical references, and often contain little narrative coherence in terms of space and structure. In representing the actual event so abstractly, the attention no longer focuses on what is depicted, but rather the feeling of a distinctly American bravado and celebratory energy that teeters on the verge of disorder and chaos. The show’s title also connotes the cyclical nature of American frenzy and loss with “haboob” (Arabic for huge sandstorm), which refers to both the Depression’s Dust Bowl and the recent massive dust-storms of the southwest. Working with a much darker palette, these paintings chart the quiet forlorn mood that accompanies economic obsolescence.

Dallas-born Rosson Crow lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from Yale University, and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Solo museum exhibitions include FOCUS: Rosson Crow at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (2009) and Myth of the American Motorcycle at the Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati (2010). Crow has been included in exhibitions in museums internationally such as the Royal Academy of Arts, London, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburg, PA, Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, and The Macro Future Museum, Rome. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Bowery Boys, Deitch Projects, New York (2010); Paris, Texas at Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris (2009); and Texas Crude, White Cube, London (2009).

William Lamson – A Line Describing the Sun

Honor Fraser, in conjunction with Pierogi Gallery, is pleased to present a continuation of the LAB series VideoRoam curated by Paul Young, with an exhibition of work by William Lamson.

A Line Describing the Sun is the latest work by the Brooklyn-based artist William Lamson. Shot mostly in the Mojave Desert, the 2-channel video documents a daylong performance in which Lamson follows the path of the sun with a Fresnel lens mounted on a rolling apparatus. As the lens focuses the sun’s energy into a 1,600 degree point of light, the lake bed floor melts, leaving a black glassy substance in his wake. By the end of the performance, Lamson had imprinted a 366-foot arc across the barren landscape.

The title of the piece references Anthony McCall’s classic installation, A Line Describing a Cone, where a line of solid light becomes a tangible shape when projected through a smoky, or misted room. Thus Lamson’s piece enlarges on that idea, expanding the notion of drawing to an epic scale, which in turn, not only explores notions of drawing as it relates to the human body, the earth and video itself, but includes a range of additional art historical references—from Light & Space Art to Richard Long’s marks on nature; from the myth of Sisyphus to Cinematic notions of the American West. A Line Describing the Sun stands as a major work by an important emerging artist.

Throughout much of his career, Lamson has explored an interest in the nature of events, much like the Swiss artist Roman Signer, were he sets up precise conditions that are completed by nature. He has, for instance, created drawing machines that are controlled by the wind or the sea, and set balloons afloat through icy or watery landscapes. In each case the mundane is transformed into something extraordinary, often with a simple gesture or minimal of means.

This is Lamson’s first solo show in Los Angeles. His work is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, and numerous private collections. He has also shown at P.S.1 (NYC), Franklin Art Works (Minneapolis) and Kunsthalle Erfurt (Germany). He completed his MFA at Bard College and is a recent MacDowell Foundation Fellow. Currently, he is working on his first museum commission that will open at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in April.

–Paul Young

A Line Describing the Sun was made possible by the support of The Center for Land Use Interpretation, the Experimental Television Center, and Pierogi Gallery.

Tillman Kaiser – Intervention: Tillman Kaiser – The Birth of Christ

In his works, the artist Tillman Kaiser, born in 1972, relies on the medium of collage, altering meanings and their contexts through the rearrangement of form, material, and content. Kaiser reinterprets the formal languages of Cubism and Futurism, creating poetic works that make a fresh and autonomous impression, in spite of citations and references.

For his intervention at the Belvedere, Kaiser has dealt with three medieval sculptures preserved in the museum’s collection. The artist contrasts Hans Klocker’s figures of the Virgin Mary and St Joseph from a Nativity scene with latest technology, having replaced the missing Christ Child with a dropping missile, the symbol of destructive power, which is installed behind the holy couple in the form of a piece of wallpaper. Next to this group and facing away from it appears the figure of St Peter Enthroned as Pope, a masterfully carved work from the Viennese workshop of Jakob Kaschauer. Kaiser repeats the elaborate drapery of the papal garment in the cardboard construction of his newly designed pedestal, which is considerable taller, thus amalgamating the vocabularies of form of the fifteenth and twenty-first centuries. St Peter is juxtaposed to a dark geometric sculpture entitled Shadow. Kaiser’s black lacquered objects have a Futurist touch about them, but simultaneously they seem to be borrowings from the 1920s or the 1970s. After all, the figures are reminiscent of the terrifying characters appearing in the utopian films from those decades.

The motif of the flying missile derives from an old Chinese postcard, an objet trouvé the artist detected on one of his travels and added to his archives. However, Kaiser has turned the picture upside down, so that the rocket does not rise, but drops. It this about the glorification of technology and progress according to some modern religion or the archaic image of a merciless, brutal God? Kaiser leaves it to the spectators to decide for themselves.

Gustavo Godoy – Big Blue

Kenny Scharf – Hodgepodge

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Hodgepodge, Kenny Scharf’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

For this exhibition, Scharf has created several new bodies of work that survey his particular aesthetic approaches and sensibilities. The show features paintings, sculptures, a Cosmic Cavern installation, and a customized Cadillac, as well as an opening night performance by longtime friend and frequent collaborator, Ann Magnuson.

As a child Scharf was fascinated by television and consumer culture. Sitting only inches from the television screen, young Scharf became obsessed with vibrant and surreal imagery of cartoons and low budget sci-fi films. Optimism oozed from these dewy forms of popular culture, reflecting an era when the medium of television was still new and shiny. The outlook towards the future during the 1950s and early 1960s was a lustrous one filled with invention, cutting-edge products, space travel, and an unabashed vision of a better life. Coming on the heels of World War II, the hopefulness of this era was authentic. Various new industries and the jobs they developed were flourishing alongside the comforts of peace and suburbia. There was an aura of progress and prosperity, creating a seemingly realistic expectation of eternal euphoria. This feeling of positivity unhinged is threaded throughout all of the works in Hodgepodge.

While a young artist living in New York in the 1980s, Scharf and other artists of his generation were drawn to works originating from contexts outside gallery spaces. Whether that was graffiti, performances, or parties at the famous Club 57, Scharf sought to incorporate his works within situations that anyone and everyone could relate to and more importantly, experience. Like Warhol before him, Scharf became interested in merging the highbrow with the lowbrow, and began working towards ways of incorporating pop-culture into his paintings. As a way to rebel against the highly academic work that was being shown at the time, Scharf’s work reflected an Eden filled with animated colors and fantastical subjects ranging from the Flintstones and the Jetsons, to imaginary characters that could cast either gloom or euphoria onto the desired canvas.

This characteristically bold, sci-fi, 1950s-inspired iconography layers The New and Improved Ultima Suprema Deluxa (2012), a customized 1959 Cadillac. The car has been painted in a hybrid of sea and powder blue, with a band of space creatures having taken hold, including some oft-appropriated characters from The Jetsons cartoon series. This historic symbol of luxury and progress has been turned into a vehicle in which to ride out the Apocalypse in style as it crashes into another sculpture, Pikaboom (2012), a “picnic table” of sorts with an atomic mushroom cloud cum umbrella exploding from it. Like much of Scharf’s work, these pieces take on notions of creation and destruction, acting out an eternal struggle between the natural and the man-made.

In his numerous hanging Lixo sculptures, Scharf makes use of the washed up trash he collects from the beaches near his studio in Brazil (“lixo” is the Portuguese word for trash). Resurfaced and discolored from overexposure to the sun, sea and sand, these otherwise disregarded objects have long been an integral part of Scharf’s practice. By transforming the “lixo” into ornaments of wonder and nostalgia, they become emblematic of Scharf’s own fascination with the material’s often ignored qualities. Whether it’s household appliances, common detritus, cartoon characters, or automobiles, Kenny finds value in our outdated cultural artifacts, offering them an alternative existence in his psychedelic, Hodgepodge world.

Scharf currently lives and works in New York, Los Angeles, and Brazil. His work can be found in major museums and collections, including the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Eli Broad Foundation, MOCA Los Angeles and the Stedelijik Museum. In 2009, a comprehensive catalog of his work was authored by art historian Richard Marshall and published by Rizzoli. 
Most recently, in 2011, Scharf’s work was featured in the MOCA LA’s Art in the Streets exhibition. Recent exhibitions were presented at Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York (2011), and The Hole, New York (2010).

Jill Magid – Failed States

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce Failed States, Jill Magid’s first solo show in Los Angeles. Magid will launch her new book, also entitled Failed States, in conjunction with the exhibition.

Failed States is an exploration of coincidence and poetics amid the barriers and bureaucracy of governmental power. In January 2010, while on a trip to research the history of snipers in Austin, Texas, Magid witnessed a mysterious shooting on the steps of the State Capitol. After attempting to speak with a state employee a young man named Fausto Cardenas exited the building and —in full view of security- fired six shots from a small caliber gun into the Texas sky. Cardenas has offered no explanation for his actions. Last August, after eighteen months of incarceration, he took a plea bargain, ultimately silencing himself.

In Failed States, Magid acts as eyewitness and dramaturge, drawing connections between Fausto’s futile and tragic act and Goethe’s nineteenth-century epic poem, Faust. Magid portrays Fausto as the tragic hero, guiding the relationship between the lone gunman and the famed literary protagonist to a histrionic effect. Failed States investigates Fausto’s abstract, almost surrealist, act as it is chronicled through an intermingling of personal and public, fact and fiction, words and actions.

Originally written as a “closet drama” – a play to be read rather than performed – Faust is now regularly presented on stage. In the installation of Failed States, the script is slowly unveiled through stage directions, prints, audio, photographs, news reports, and a live feed from the sky above the Capitol steps. The exhibition will feature Failed States — the work from which this exhibition takes its name – Magid’s 1993 Mercedes Benz station wagon. This car was originally purchased as Magid’s family car and has been subsequently armored to withstand gunfire common in war zones. While following Fausto’s case, Magid was training to be an embedded reporter in Afghanistan and learned about the “hard cars” or armored vehicles (usually Mercedes) designed to blend into local traffic. For a previous exhibition, this car was parked on the site where Fausto Cardenas had parked his car before approaching the Capitol in Austin. For her exhibition with Honor Fraser Gallery, Magid brings the car inside the gallery, embedding herself further into the drama.

Jill Magid is an artist and writer who infiltrates structures of authority and power by engaging their human side. Rather than treating these structures as subjects to challenge, she creates opportunities to draw them closer. Through dialogues and manipulations Magid finds her way in through introduction or invitation, often locating or exploiting a loophole in the system.

Jill Magid was born in Bridgeport, CT in 1973. She received her Master of Science in Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge and was an artist-in residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam from 2000-2. Solo exhibitions include those at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Tate Modern, London, UK; Stroom and the AIVD (Dutch Secret Service), The Hague, NL; Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam; Berkeley Museum of Art; and at Arthouse at the Jones Center, Austin; and Yvon Lambert, Paris, France and New York, NY. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Bucharest Biennial; The Singapore Biennial; The New Museum, New York; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; Museum of Contemporary Arts, Taipei; and Tate Museum, Liverpool, among others. Magid has performed at venues including Location One, New York; Museum Tamayo, Mexico City; and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Magid currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

To order Failed States, the book, send an email to: failedstates@publicationstudio.biz or contact the gallery directly.

Gustavo Godoy – Vacant Mounds and Markers

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present Vacant Mounds and Markers, Gustavo Godoy’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Gustavo Godoy employs a more restrained and minimal approach with Vacant Mounds and Markers, bringing together a new body of cast concrete sculptures. In contrast to Godoy’s previous exhibition, Fast-formal Object: Big White, which invited viewers to directly interact with his large-scale wood sculpture; the sculptures in Vacant Mounds and Markers quietly examine spiritual spaces and secular objects. Positioned at ground level, Godoy’s sculptures transform the gallery into a meditative sanctuary, addressing the physicality of space as well as the ritualistic spaces inspired by secular and sacred belief systems. His concrete “mounds and markers” are reminiscent of ancient altars, minimalist sculptures, futuristic architecture, and urban demolition sites. They appear to be part of sanctified rituals, which may provide insights into the sensibilities and culture from which they’ve emerged. Attempting to capture the essence of a culture, Godoy not only alludes to ancient histories, but also references contemporary idols. On entering the space, viewers will encounter an unraveling of history, manifested in objects emblematic of both progress and return.

The mounds reference the pitching mound from Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium, a sacred space for Godoy. In 1981 Fernando Valenzuela, a Mexican pitcher for the Dodgers, quickly became an international phenomenon as he took his team to the World Series Championship and received baseball’s most prestigious award for pitching, the Cy Young. Idolizing the pitcher as a child (and furthermore, the stadium), Godoy witnessed first hand as “Fernandomania” swept the country. For the Mexican population of L.A., the success of Valenzuela was especially meaningful considering the controversial history of Dodger Stadium. The stadium was built in Chavez Ravine, an area previously home to a vibrant Mexican American community. In the 1940s the area was particularly appealing to real estate developers, who saw the potential in the neighborhood’s proximity to Downtown L.A. The residents were forcibly relocated to make room for new housing. Although the development never materialized, the land was sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers, creating a home for the newly christened Los Angeles Dodgers in Chavez Ravine. This recounting of fraught histories is prevalent in Vacant Mounds and Markers, as Godoy pays tribute to disenfranchised communities, the rise and fall of heroes, and the urban L.A. landscape.

Los Angeles is an urban jungle comprised of a stream of traffic and construction set against a landscape of ocean, palm trees and mountains. This juxtaposition of nature vs. industry can be seen in the commonplace materials that Godoy uses to build his sculptures. Maintaining a relationship with the day laborers that build our environments, Godoy’s work pays tribute to the true makers of our city. His embrace of quotidian construction supplies, readily found at any home improvement store, renders the objects familiar, yet the weight and stillness of the heavy material provides a solemn, cerebral experience. These concrete forms suggest permanence; a gesture of hope that the art object can capture and maintain the essence of time and social circumstance. Through an interest in the way belief systems parallel the value placed upon art, Godoy is able to question art’s ability to transcend spirituality and religion.

Gustavo Godoy lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a Master of Fine Arts at Vermont College in Montpelier, VT and a Bachelor of Arts at UC Santa Barbara, and has studied at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design. Solo exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL; L.A. Mart, Los Angeles, CA; the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; and Happy Lion, Los Angeles, CA. Group exhibitions include the SUR: Biennial, Norwalk, CA; Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, TX; OHWOW, Miami, FL; the Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA; Circus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Centre d’art contemporain du Parc Saint Léger, Pougues-les-Eaux, France; Mexico Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico; Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, and Workspace, Brooklyn, NY.

Brenna Youngblood – The Mathematics of Individual Achievement

Extending our program’s long-standing commitment to experimental practices in painting, Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present The Mathematics of Individual Achievement, a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Brenna Youngblood. This marks the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.

Negotiating the tension between representation and abstraction through the language of photography, collage, painting, and more recently, sculpture, Brenna Youngblood’s practice has explored and transformed some of the conceptual and formal strategies associated with American West Coast assemblage. Initially trained in photography, Youngblood began to treat her photographs as source material for large-scale layered collaged compositions that mined the relationship between the autobiographical and the historical. Invested in exploring the multidimensional qualities of materials, Youngblood soon began to expand her formal sensibilities, leading to unconventional treatments and juxtapositions of materials and forms. Photographs, wallpaper, textbook pages, wooden sheets, and paint, amongst other things came together to create Youngblood’s unforeseen palette. Similar to predecessors like Rauschenberg, and perhaps more accurately, Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge, and Betye Saar, Youngblood began introducing found materials to her work, translating the accumulative conditions of the studio into painterly objects with a raw sculptural quality.

While shaped canvases, plywood, and other materials began to serve as backdrops for Youngblood’s painting exercises, more recently, Youngblood has furthered her investigations; the new materials that exist in the studio have called for a different conceptual approach to both painting and sculpture, one that Youngblood communicates through this exhibition. Like in many of her previous projects, Youngblood draws from documents and materials in her personal archive to establish both a point of departure and context for the work, a conceptual gesture that echoes the process through which materials are selected and used in her broader practice. In this particular instance, Youngblood takes her old elementary school math book as a point of departure. Intrigued by the visual composition of each page—her penciled problem solving marks and residue of erasers—Youngblood takes both the visual and material language of the math book to create a series of wall sculptures that take the form of familiar arithmetic symbols and equations. These works create an infrastructure for the exhibition that Youngblood playfully uses to speak about the human attempt to rationalize, solve, and reach concrete solutions—a self-reflexive process that she herself engages in through this show. A selection of paintings that demonstrate her signature approach to the utilization of photographic imagery as painting material are included alongside a new body of sculptural wall paintings of stars, clouds, and domestic icons, juxtaposing her now perfected material techniques with her ongoing interest in the everyday, the subjective, and the politics of personal narrative construction.

As the mathematical signs create a translating mechanism to reveal the relationships between these works, viewers will also be presented with a new sculptural work that marks Youngblood’s most recent experiments with free standing sculpture. Taking on some of the iconography normally used in her paintings, Youngblood converts a symbol from the math book into a large-scale jungle gym sculpture. Youngblood hints at some of her more recent aesthetic investigations, allowing us for the first time to trace a historical trajectory of her creative process and its influences. In creating a seemingly rational system with which to read the work, Youngblood puts forth an interrogation of objectivity, more specifically in relationship to our ongoing debates about the condition of painting, its viability, and its relationship to other mediums. In this environment of sculptural paintings and painterly sculptures, Youngblood extends these debates even further, presenting viewers with aggressive interrogations of both painting and sculpture traditions that simultaneously remind us about the possibility of both mediums’ intimate coexistence.

Brenna Youngblood earned a BA in 2002 from Cal State Long Beach and an MFA in 2006 from UCLA, where she studied with Cathy Opie and James Welling. Recent solo projects include exhibitions at Jack Tilton Gallery, Susanne Vielmetter Berlin Projects, Margo Leavin Gallery, Wignall Museum, and the Hammer Museum. Youngblood has also participated in exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, Harris Lieberman Gallery, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, the 2008 California Biennial, and the California African American Museum.

Sarah Cain – freedom is a prime number

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce freedom is a prime number, Sarah Cain’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Some things about Sarah Cain:

1) Sarah Cain enjoys doing things the wrong way, always starting out with a mistake, an accident, an errant line, an unruly string, an ugly shirt, illegible graffiti, a drunken pattern, a counterfeit pimp’s horde of fake gold chain, etc. Like a radiating galaxy, they spiral a cosmos worth of color and line around that first mistake. It’s not rebellious exactly, or chaotic even, just fuck-ups are always more interesting. Sublimity, according to this and that scholar, is achieved through the destruction of order. Nowhere better to start than a mistake.

2) “freedom is a prime number” is a story best left unexplained. But though numbers are pure order (mathematics often mistaken for a language without ambiguity), prime numbers have no pattern or logic. They are wild and unbroken. Divisible only by one and itself.

3) Important to note: physical space is psychological space.

4) Abstraction may free us from representation, but it doesn’t free us from reality, even a fever dream is just reality boiled over. It’s delusions and phantasms are very real.

5) The hard-edged abstractions of Frank Stella warp and bend, the semiotics of Ree Morton shudder under splashes of iridescence, the popular rhythms and crafty appreciations of Mary Heilman suffuse a broken picture plane, all attempted with the spiritual seriousness of Imi Knoebel and the subtleties of Richard Tuttle. Does Sarah Cain love Cy Twombly? She does.

6) Sometimes Sarah Cain’s canvases stretch into the space, sometimes space penetrates into the canvas. Bones are revealed, colors leak out all over the floor, a prismatic spirit writhes all over the room. It can get messy. Form dissolving into formlessness and back again.

7) These paintings are spirited. Interpret that however you want to.

Sarah Cain lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; the Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; the Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO; and the Imperial Belvedere Palace Museum, Vienna, Austria, among other national and international institutions. Cain’s work was also included in A Tale of Two Cities: Busan-Seoul/Seoul-Busan, Busan Biennale 2006, Busan, Korea; the 2008 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; and Made in LA 2012, the first Los Angeles Biennial organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LAXART, Los Angeles, CA. In 2006, she received the SECA Art Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Sarah Cain, the artist’s first monograph, was recently published by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), July 2012.

David Ratcliff – The Spirits that Lend Strength Are Invisible

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to announce The Spirits that Lend Strength Are Invisible, David Ratcliff’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Ratcliff’s paintings insist on flatness. Although the elements that comprise his works are insistently layered and multiple, the density is visual rather than material; conceptual and ideological rather than bodily. Images, text and painterly accidents are on equal footing in creating an associative narrative. Alluding to a specifically American subcultural underground, the fragments resolve into meaning and dissolve again into form. He culls from the energies of utopic hopes, dystopic nightmares, fantasy and nostalgia to create a new landscape.

In this exhibition, Ratcliff employs a more multichromatic palate than in previous works, playing not only with clouds of color but with stains of oil that penetrate the surface and lend hints of the visceral. The paintings are meticulously composed but come into being as much a result of painterly chance and accident as deliberate decision. The artist’s hand intervenes in these remnants of popular culture and creates a series of fictions to conjure an alternate psychic reality from our societal detritus.

Ratcliff will create his first site-specific installation and expands his painting practice into the space of sculpture. Creating a floor-to-ceiling composition with worn and stained ceiling tiles, Ratcliff takes a fundamentally banal and ubiquitous material and reorients it to call attention to its pictorial possibilities. As he selects and composes the tiles salvaged from businesses throughout his Koreatown neighborhood, he translates the process of editing and composing for his paintings into three dimensions. The ubiquitous but invisible context of our daily lives becomes foregrounded as the overlooked (and overlooking) becomes the subject of contemplation.

The title of this exhibition is taken from the series of monumental works by Sigmar Polke that employs an experimental approach to materials and to painting itself, referencing a Native American saying to evoke the alchemical mysteries of image making. Ratcliff’s work continues in this vein of transformational storytelling and extends new narratives for our contemporary moment.

David Ratcliff lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. He has had solo exhibitions at Team Gallery, New York, NY; Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium; Maureen Paley Gallery, London, UK; and Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. Group exhibitions include Torrance Museum of Art, Torrance, CA; Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; PPOW, New York, NY; and the Museum of Modern Art PS1, New York, NY. Ratcliff’s work is included in the public collections of the Frank Cohen Museum of Contemporary Art, Manchester, UK; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; and the Saatchi Collection, London, UK.

Mario Ybarra Jr. – Double Feature

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Double Feature, a solo exhibition by Wilmington, California based artist Mario Ybarra Jr. This is his first exhibition with the gallery.

Over the past decade, Ybarra has developed a practice centered around storytelling. With an eye and ear for the elements of an engaging narrative, accompanied by healthy doses of wit, Ybarra crafts portraits of people, places and communities that are resonant and universal while rooted in the specific. Using the objects and materials that he finds around him and his subjects, he translates personal stories into resonant and multilayered installations that seamlessly blend the languages of art and life. Often, the installations relate the overlooked or unacknowledged; particularly, the lives and dreams of his family, childhood friends, and colorful personalities that make up his community. He makes connections to these local tales for global audiences far from Wilmington, often by relating these individual stories refracted through lenses such as mass media and popular culture.

Double Feature consists of two projects that cull portraits from iconic Hollywood films, mining this deep repository for our collective fantasies. In Universal Monsters, Ybarra finds inspiration in a series of classic horror/sci-fi films produced by Universal Studios in the 1920s-1960s for a series of self-portraits. Simultaneously playful and disarmingly revealing, these works are a psychologically rich exploration of the persona of the artist. Imagining versions of himself filtered through the lens of the creatures of the Universal stable, Ybarra’s multimedia renderings of id build upon our own relationships with these celluloid nightmares.

Ybarra’s ceramic busts of the artist as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, rendered in fragile porcelain in stark black and white, depict the divided self in literal and comical terms. A portrait of the artist as the Creature from the Black Lagoon depicts him as a primal shamanic character at home in the wilderness. As the Invisible Man, Ybarra appears and disappears, reinhabiting a favorite childhood Halloween costume while expressing kinship as a Latino with Ellison’s landmark novel exploring the social invisibility of African Americans. And in his renderings of Frankenstein, Ybarra playfully draws a physical parallel between his own brow and one of the most famous features of the legendary monster.

In the north gallery, Ybarra screens a video inspired by two of his favorite childhood media moments: Michael Jackson’s Thriller and An American Werewolf in London. Creating a quintessential monster video, the artist quite literally explores the process of transformation while exploring the cinematic possibilities of the peculiar architecture of Los Angeles. The video, shot on a pedestrian bridge above the Harbor Freeway near Wilmington, casts the stream of cars as a torrential river, creating an urban wilderness.

Collectively, the project is a psychological self-portrait of the artist. Ybarra is ultimately fascinated with these fables as ideal vehicles to tell personal stories; the cumulative effect of these paintings, sculptures and video is one in which we connect with the primal universality of these stories of transformation. One can see this series of works in relation to one of his earliest photographic series, Go Tell It, which plays upon activist iconography and politicized self-portraiture; in Universal Monsters, his body makes a reappearance to again explore the political, social and psychological aspects of self-representation and social projection.

In the south gallery, Ybarra reprises the Scarface Museum. This project began in 2005 with a series of performances at Art Basel Miami in which Ybarra staged reenactments and readings from Brian De Palma’s 1983 film Scarface in the neighborhood where the movie took place. Some of the tour attendees referred to the Tony Montana character as “Santo Scarface.” This inspired the Museum, shown as a fully realized installation in 2008 at the Whitney Biennial, which can be seen as a series of Scarface relics and reliquaries playing upon the conventions of collecting, archiving and curating. Cases filled with jackets, lamps, sneakers, videos, statues and countless other objects are carefully displayed according to museological methodology. These projects originally were inspired by Ybarra’s childhood friend, Angel Montes Jr., who was imprisoned for dealing drugs and looked to the Tony Montana character as a hero. He is a devoted collector of the movie’s memorabilia, from which all the Museum’s material is drawn. Here, as in Universal Monsters, cinematic icons and popular culture become a vehicle for personal storytelling that produces unexpected, intimate inroads and relationships between viewers and subjects. One can look at the Monsters and the Museum as wry, engaging, and ultimately politicized lenses on the excesses and uncontainability of cinema and popular culture in general as it circulates through individual lives and accrues unforeseen narrative resonances.

This piece represents the second part of a projected trilogy of portraits of his Wilmington community, which began with an exploration of Reggie the Alligator (a now legendary story of an alligator living in South Bay parks for years eluding capture). This series of projects really addresses the way that legends and fables are constructed and the roles that they play in cementing and communicating a sense of community.

Mario Ybarra Jr. (b. 1972) lives and works in Wilmington, CA. He received an MFA from the University of California at Irvine and a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Double Feature, currently on view at Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles; Mario Ybarra Jr.: The Tio Collection at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum; Wilmington Good at Cardi Black Box in Milan, Italy; Silver and Blacks at Michael Janssen Gallery, Berlin; and Take Me Out…No Man Is An Island at the Art Institute of Chicago. Ybarra was included in the recent Made in L.A., organized by the Hammer Museum and LAXART, Los Angeles; Invisible Cities at the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, Spain; the 2008 Whitney Biennial in New York; The World as a Stage at the Tate Modern in London and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, CA; and Alien Nation at the Institute of Contemporary Art London. Ybarra was one of the founding members of the collective Slanguage, a socially engaged group of artists that comingles art education, community building and the production of interactive exhibition and performance projects. He organized Possible Worlds at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in collaboration with Karla Diaz and Slanguage Studio. Ybarra is the recent recipient of a Levitt fellowship at Williams College in Massachussetts; a residency at Artpace in San Antonio, TX; and, in 2011, was the artist-in-residence at the Arhus Kunstbygning Centre for Contemporary Art in Denmark.

Fay Ray – Vessels, Forms and Remains

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to Vessels, Forms and Remains, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Fay Ray.

Ray’s work explores the social and cultural construction of the female body and the attendant psychologies of image making, consumption, and desire. Expanding her interests in the devotional behaviors and obsessions generated by consumer culture, Ray created a new series of works that explicitly engage the language of painting and sculpture to address a complex set of concerns about femininity as a commodifiable cultural object. Through both formal and visceral experimentation, Ray mines ideas of embodied subjectivity in the traditionally masculine realm of monumental painting; problematizing historical narratives through works that introduce subtly implied figures, intimate gestures, and bodily traces.

The monochromatic palate of Ray’s paintings and sculptures reads as anything but blank; rather, it fixes attention on Ray’s intricate sensibilities for form and texture. The plaster surfaces are disrupted with the evidence of pours and manual manipulation, clearly alluding to the artist’s own physical investment and intervention. Found objects are also incorporated into the works – baskets, bikinis, shells, rope and palm fronds – creating structures and patterns while simultaneously disrupting through amassment and accumulation.

In one sculpture, a frontal tableau with a monochromatic pedestal harkens back to the artist’s earlier work, collaged with images from fashion magazines that make ghostly appearances under layers of plaster. A mobile is a totemic presence that precariously balances organic and inorganic matter while a modular floor-bound work with roots in post-minimalist sculpture struggles to contain its own fleshy excesses. Informed by the delicate boundaries that separate devotion and obsession, desire and disgust, consumption and restraint, Ray arranges the works to resemble a gathering place of worship and adoration; a psychoanalytic landscape where the dreams of who we wish to be and the realities of who we are coalesce through the beautifully grotesque objects we consume and those that will never be ours.

Fay Ray received her BFA from Otis College of Art and Design, and her MFA from Columbia University in 2005. She has exhibited at various institutions and galleries including LAXART, Los Angeles, CA; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA; Luckman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY; and El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY, among others.

Phoebe Unwin – Making An Outside Space Theirs

Honor Fraser is pleased to present London-based artist Phoebe Unwin’s first solo exhibition in the United States.

The British artist makes paintings that do not conform to one particular style, method, medium or scale. Her work displays an unusual curiosity and energy engaged in pushing the possibilities of painting. This results in exciting risk-taking; her paintings thrive on differences, making it possible for her to create and deal with a visual language that ranges from the unsettling to the beautiful; from a large spectacle to something quietly intimate.

Intrinsic to the breadth of her visual vocabulary is an unconventional choice and realization of subject matter. She does not use photographic or direct observational source material. Instead, Unwin begins with thinking of what may be seen as a universally familiar thing, situation or moment. This is combined with an acute awareness of painting’s formal qualities: the chosen colors, marks and scale are an essential part of her subjects. Past paintings have included: sunglasses falling; a phone conversation; a shower; a picnic; an airplane meal. There are also less tangible subjects: a portrait about alertness, thinking or waiting; a person affecting their environment and vice-versa. The common regard for these ideas is communicating what a subject might feel like, rather than its existing appearance.

The work displays a voracious appetite for color surprise: her palette ranges widely from modern fluorescents and flat acids to traditional earthy, rich impasto. This orchestration is achieved through individual paintings made from various materials such as acrylic, oil, graphite, gold and silver leaf. As a result, unexpected and contrasting atmospheres are achieved, creating an exhilarating jump between works.

It is both tempting and fair to see a Californian influence in Unwin’s artistic development. Her formative years were spent in Palo Alto, California. She holds a vivid memory of the brilliant light, jeweled natural landscape and the vibrant palette of Mexican folk art. This is juxtaposed with her later years spent in England where she absorbed the monotone and controlled colors of a European environment.

Born in 1979 in Cambridge, Phoebe Unwin lives and works in London. She studied at Newcastle University, Newcastle (1998-2002) and the Slade School of Fine Art, London (2003-2005). In 2008 she had a solo exhibition titled Feelings and Other Forms, at Wilkinson, London; her second solo show at the gallery. In 2007, she had her first solo museum exhibition at Milton Keynes Gallery, Buckinghamshire, UK. Unwin has participated in group exhibitions in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, London, Los Angeles, Majorca, and Reykjavik. She has recently been commissioned to create a work for a Centre Pompidou publication made in connection with their exhibition Voids – A Retrospective. In October 2009, she will be participating in Newspeak: British Art Now, an exhibition with selections from the Saatchi Collection, to be on view at The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. She has two exhibition catalogs of her work: Feelings and Other Forms, with a text by Jens Hoffmann, published by Wilkinson and A Short Walk From a Shout to a Whisper, with a text by Max Henry, published by Milton Keynes Gallery.

Kenny Scharf – Barberadise

Honor Fraser is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Kenny Scharf.

The exhibition Barberadise showcases new paintings that integrate familiar icons from Scharf’s visual lexicon and implies a utopian world that is at once nostalgically comic and vibrantly cosmic. However, even in this utopia everything is still tinged with the subversive undertone of the disarray that was left behind.

Scharf was born in 1958 in Hollywood, California and grew up as part of the first generation weaned on television. His love affair with the intricacies of popular culture has been evident throughout his artistic career. Scharf cheekily compares his artistic process to watching television. He likes to channel flip but is very loyal to a number of shows. Extending the comparison, some shows may be put on hiatus but they will often reunite and resurface for another episode.

In Barberadise, Scharf combines silkscreen, glitter, oil, spray paint and acrylic paint to invigorate a cast of familiar characters and to flesh out some new ones. He features the Flintstones and the Jetsons careening in the cosmos, exuberant donuts floating in space, fantastical amorphic blobs, and vibrant topographical jungle paintings. He also plays with found newspaper texts that are translated into screened words on canvas. In a number of new works he uses texts from1950s newspapers that were found stuffed in an old sofa. The words evoke a time of nuclear proliferation and political strife. These headlines are eerily current, reflecting similar headlines in today’s papers.

Scharf currently lives and works in New York and Los Angeles. His work can be found in major museums and collections, including the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Eli Broad Foundation, MOCA Los Angeles and the Stedelijik Museum. Earlier this year Scharf was commissioned to create onsite a 100 foot spray-painted mural at the entrance to the 2009 Armory Fair in New York, where he also had a solo exhibition of new work at Paul Kasmin’s booth. He is also participating in Stages09, a traveling global exhibition whose proceeds will benefit the Livestrong Cancer Foundation. Also in 2009, a comprehensive catalog of his work authored by art historian Richard Marshall was published by Rizzoli.

For more information please contact the gallery.

Tomoo Gokita – Heaven

Honor Fraser is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Tomoo Gokita.

In past works Tomoo Gokita has drawn and painted from budget pornography, selectively rendering and partially obscuring – with his signature abstractions – the awkward posture of staged pleasure. While there is nothing awkward or contrived about the paintings, what they do have in common with pornography of any kind is their ability to provoke an intense emotional reaction from the viewer. More often than not the reaction is an invigorating intellectual discomfort derived from the attempt to reconcile the figurative and nonrepresentational forms on the canvas.

Tomoo’s recent paintings are further evidence of, in his words, “the unexplainable sensibility” that results from intentionally fracturing a whole. In this case, what was whole was his black and white gouache on canvas oeuvre and the blue and white acrylics of “Heaven” have successfully cracked it open, revealing a new psychological dimension. “Don’t Tear Down What Took So Long To Build,” the title of one painting featured in “Heaven,” is ironic considering Tomoo’s continued interest in disrupting appropriated and recognizable images with the organic designs of his unique cuneiform. In “Heaven” though these unexpected interjections are logical and are perhaps a means of creating peace in previously unsettled environments; they appear with the grace of a wrestler entering the only place where he is truly comfortable, the ring.

Tomoo Gokita lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. “Heaven” is his second solo exhibition at Honor Fraser. He has also had solo shows in New York, Tokyo, and Kyoto, and is currently part of a group show at the Macro Future Museum in Rome, “New York Minute,” curated by Kathy Grayson. The most recent cover of Flaunt showcased his pig-eared portrait “El Topo,” and publications of his works include “Oh! Tengoku” (2001) and “Lingerie Wrestling” (2000). He was awarded the Gold Prize at the Art Director’s Club 80th Annual Awards in New York.

Gustavo Godoy – Fast-formal Object: Big White

Honor Fraser is pleased to present a solo exhibition of a new work by Los Angeles based artist Gustavo Godoy entitled: Fast-formal Object: Big White.

Godoy’s dynamic, unconventional and participatory sculptures encompass what he calls “an interactive exercise in construction.” Plywood, Plexiglas, vinyl, 2×4 wood scraps and florescent lights create visually arresting large scale sculptural installations. Employing these modest industrial materials, he not only emphasizes a possible utilitarian nature of each work, but also elevates these objects as highly formal compositions. Similar to the De Stijl movement of the early 20th century, Godoy is equally as concerned with aesthetics as he is with functionality. At first glance these sculptures may seem haphazard and arbitrary, however, one soon realizes that they are deliberate, site-responsive forms that rely heavily on an intuitive and organic system of art making.

Fast-formal Object: Big White serves as the culmination in the artist’s series of Fast-formal works. The sculpture reaches nearly 12 feet high and 28 feet long, filling the gallery space. Godoy continues his use of common building materials, but rather than leaving these elements in their natural state, he paints each piece white, unifying the convergent parts. Light elements throughout the work activate and complicate one’s perception of form and space. Folding the white box aesthetic even further into the piece, the artist also covers the gallery floor with white vinyl, creating a sanctuary-like environment. This ode to minimalism – a sort of Donald Judd a la Robert Ryman – reactivates Godoy’s formally constructed installation. Big White’s literal approach is unapologetically formal, yet playful in its proposition of interaction, questioning the boundaries of a traditional gallery experience.

Gustavo Godoy lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree at UC Santa Barbara, a Master of Fine Arts degree at Vermont College in Montpelier, VT and has studied at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design. Fast-formal Object: Big White marks Godoy’s first solo show at Honor Fraser following his last Los Angeles solo exhibition What’s the Big Idea at The Happy Lion in 2007. Godoy has exhibited work both nationally and internationally at venues such as, Le Parc Saint Leger – Centre d’art contemporain in Pougues-les-Eaux, France, Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA, Workspace in Brooklyn, NY and Mexico Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City.

David Ratcliff – Bsckground

Ratcliff manages to give what is otherwise an almost purely abstract field the power to evoke a palpable sense of dread and disorder. – Bob Nickas

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Bsckground, an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles based artist David Ratcliff. This marks Ratcliff’s first exhibition with the gallery as well as the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

Bsckground features works that are reluctant to reveal their beginnings as sketches, doodles, cartoons and drawings. Ratcliff collects images online from “photographs of things people have made,” severs the images from any normalizing and explanatory context, and fragments and layers the images to the point of abstraction. And yet, by juxtaposing these found images of text, scribbles, animal caricatures, civilian self-portraits, and excerpts from billboards, he evokes a very specific and intellectually representative narrative. Through the abrupt and often violent meeting of images in his paintings, Ratcliff exposes and emulates the glut of American consumption and in the delicate balance between positive and negative space, he offers an unforgiving visual narrative of contemporary American social history.

Although Ratcliff’s paintings show little, if any evidence of his hand, they are highly calculated and labor-intensive. Once he assembles and prints a digital collage, he painstakingly cuts out each intricate detail of the final image and creates a mask to adhere to the canvas. While this step in Ratcliff’s process takes weeks, the painting process takes place within a matter of minutes. As Ratcliff paints, he begins to relinquish control – he sprays paint on the delicate mask and the edges curl up, the paint bleeds beneath the paper, and bits and pieces of his meticulously cut collage fall from the canvas. Ratcliff welcomes these “mistakes” as vital aspects of the process and takes further advantage of the distressed remnants in his Second Paintings. In these works, he sprays the stencil a second time, onto a new canvas, and procures a highly abstracted composition that bears little resemblance to its first-born sibling. These works demonstrate Ratcliff’s surrender to the disintegration of his carefully plotted process and ironically, manifest the complete obfuscation of his source imagery.

David Ratcliff lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Ratcliff has shown both nationally and internationally with solo exhibitions at Team Gallery, New York, Tomio Koyama, Tokyo, Rodolphe Janssen,Brussels and Maureen Paley,London. His work is part of the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Saatchi Collection and the Jumex Collection.

Robert Lazzarini – guns, knives, brass knuckles

Robert Lazzarini’s artwork springs from a desire to understand the perceivable limits of the material world. Conceptually and formally rigorous, he pushes ordinary objects to their limits by mining the twined threads of distortion and material veracity…Lazzarini negotiates a place between two and three dimensions that challenges his viewers’ understanding of the physical world and their visual perception.
– Katie Sonnenborn

Honor Fraser is pleased to present guns, knives, brass knuckles, an installation and exhibition of sculpture by New York based artist Robert Lazzarini. This marks Lazzarini’s first exhibition with the gallery as well as the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Show opens on Friday April 9 and Saturday April 10, 2010, 6 – 8pm.

All of Robert Lazzarini’s sculptures of the past decade begin with what the artist calls a ‘normative object’. The works in the current exhibition start with .38 Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver, a set of common kitchen knives (chefs, paring, pruning, cleaver, etc.) and a unembellished pair of brass knuckles. These objects are then subjected to mathematical distortions and fabricated out of the materials that are original to the objects themselves: blued carbon steel and walnut for guns, stainless steel, wood and plastic for knives; and yellow brass for brass knuckles. The combination of these distortions with the lack of any conventionally artistic ‘material translation’ (e.g. a car out of cardboard; flesh out of marble) renders these objects familiar yet strange and difficult, quite literally, to grasp.

In canting the gallery’s walls, Lazzarini extends the dislocation exercised on his objects to the space of their display. This altered environment not only further subjects one’s perceptions to a kind of visual slippage, but also connects Lazzarini to a lineage of artists, from Richard Serra to Alberto Giacometti, distinctly concerned with processes of perception and visual abstraction.

Robert Lazzarini lives and works in New York. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts, New York. Lazzarini has shown both nationally and internationally with solo exhibitions at Deitch, New York, the Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT and group exhibitions at Yautepec, Mexico City, Haunch of Venison, New York, Tsinghua University Museum, Beijing, and FLAG Art Foundation, New York. His work is part of the public collections of The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Mark Licari – The Finishes That Stand The Test

The destructive and regenerative aspects of nature are really compelling to me. There’s an amazing violence in a hurricane or an erupting volcano, and I don’t attribute any sort of morality or lack thereof to that force – it just is. It’s a regenerative process and I think there are positive things in these natural processes, even when they seem disastrous.
– Mark Licari

Honor Fraser is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Mark Licari. This exhibition, entitled The Finishes That Stand The Test, marks the artist’s second solo exhibition with the gallery and will include works on paper, sculpture and an expansive wall drawing.

Licari’s continued interest in the breakdown and disorder of materiality within the harsh natural world is apparent in this most recent body of work. Navigating through the artist’s extraordinary visual narratives of decaying domesticity and dark whimsy, one comes face to face with the battle of nature vs. the man-made. Working in multiple dimensions Licari often goes beyond the borders of sculpture and drawing and expands outside of the picture plane and onto the wall space, creating site-specific wall murals.

Ever apparent in this body of work is the notion of temporality as Licari begs the question: “In the end, what will stand the test of time?” Through this irreverent play of ordered chaos and domestic mayhem Licari pictures a series of man-made objects and environments. These objects – a dilapidated broken down bicycle, a crushed beer can, a tattered men’s suit bursting with sprouted flowers and weeds, decaying office furniture, a refrigerator run amok with putrid rotting food – all serve as signifiers of what is missing in each composition, man himself. In Licari’s work human presence is rare, if it even exists at all, yet the work is occupied by personifying possessions – signifiers of human existence and its neuroses. These uncanny juxtapositions illustrate the eccentric tensions between nature and technology while Licari’s raw energy unravels, exposing his fantastical world of pandemonium.

Mark Licari was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He has lived and worked in Los Angeles since completing his MFA at the University of Southern California in 2000. Licari has had solo exhibitions at The Monterey Museum of Art in Monterey, CA, Baldwin Gallery in Aspen, CO, Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles, CA and his work has been included in a number of group exhibitions and public installations nationally. Mark Licari: Drawing With an Appetite, a 180-page catalogue of work with an introduction and interview by Kristine McKenna was published by Honor Fraser Gallery in 2006.

André Ethier – ACTUALIZED, and it feels so good

Honor Fraser is pleased to present ACTUALIZED, and it feels so good, an exhibition of new paintings by gallery artist André Ethier.

In his second exhibition with the gallery, André Ethier, a Toronto based painter, continues in the vein of his often surrealistic, mystically narrative, and fantastically grotesque paintings. A sort of dark humor is evident in these intensely colored paintings that balance between the natural world and the mystical world of myth and fairytale.

Ethier evades specific narrative and concrete concept, and works from his own subconscious. His hybrid, folk-like fantasy, sci-fi scenes, still lifes and portraits are equally informed by Old Master paintings, Fauvism, Dutch still life, and contemporary culture and psychedelic rock. Among the artist’s lush bouquets of oozy, dripping flowers are ambiguous one-eyed Cyclops creatures, bearded and long-haired men whose bulbous features threaten to melt into obscurity, and troll people who could have escaped from the pages of the older more gruesome fairytales. (Remember, in the original story of Cinderella, the stepsisters cut off their toes to fit their feet in the glass slipper). Interestingly, Ethier considers this most recent body of work a collection of self-portraits of his own adolescent subconscious.

André Ethier lives and works in Toronto, where he was born in 1977. He earned a BFA at Concordia University in Montreal and has exhibited widely, in Canada and around the world. He has had solo exhibitions at Greener Pastures, Toronto and Derek Eller Gallery, New York.

Alexandra Grant – Bodies

Honor Fraser is pleased to announce Alexandra Grant’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, opening September 18 – October 23, 2010. Grant’s exhibition, entitled Bodies will include paintings on canvas and linen and works on paper.

With Bodies Grant presents a new series of paintings using a cycle of poetry by her long-term collaborator Michael Joyce. The poems that Joyce specifically wrote for this series of paintings are in the form of what is called ‘haiga’. These texts serve as a starting point for each composition as Grant maps out the experience of the physical and intellectual body in oil on canvas and linen. Capturing the themes of Joyce’s original texts: romantic love and longing, creation myths, the loss of self in relation to the other, and interrogating the idea of how the feminine body is represented, Grant pushes her conceptual language of text, often in multiple languages. Bodies reveals both maps of the experience of the feminine body – a woman painter painting the physical body – but also of the exchange and relationship of an artist with her muses (poetic language, and in this case, the male writer).

Departing from her previous work of acrylic on paper Bodies is comprised mostly of oil paintings on linen. While these text-based paintings employ the effect of a Rorschach image – mirroring one side of the composition vertically with the other – the works emulate both a psychological and visceral sense of the “body” as layers upon layers of oil paint build upon one another creating a sensation of tactility and three-dimensionality. The imagery itself- words, bubbles, half moons, arches, rainbows – advance and recede simultaneously creating an optical effect of moving imagery and vibrating technicolors. The divided symmetry of these forms reference the physical body itself; words become eyes, ears and other physical features as variations of arches communicate notions of female physicality.

Alexandra Grant was raised in Mexico, Spain, France and the US. She studied art and architecture at Swarthmore College and in the California College of the Arts, before moving to Los Angeles in 2001. She has been the subject of exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, Honor Fraser, Haunch of Venison as has been included in exhibitions in numerous galleries and museums in the US and abroad. Grant will participate in the 2010 California Biennial curated by Sarah Bancroft, opening October 24, 2010 as well as the 2010 Border Art Biennial, curated by Rita Gonzalez and Itala Shmelz. Grant will also be included in the exhibition the Artist’s Museum at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles fall of 2010.

Andy Warhol – Camouflage

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Andy Warhol: Camouflage, an exhibition that includes silkscreens on canvas, unique trial proofs on board, and screenprints.

This marks the first comprehensive west coast exhibition, in over ten years, of Warhol’s late series, the Camouflage works. The exhibition will run from October 30, 2010 – February 5, 2011 and will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue with an essay by Vincent Fremont. Please find excerpts from his essay below.

While Andy Warhol was still alive, I can only remember on one occasion that a Camouflage painting of his was exhibited. It was a 72 x 72-inch fluorescent, hot-pink, and yellow version that was included in a group show in 1986 at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York City.

The Camouflage paintings were not shown publicly until six years after Andy’s death. In September of 1993, with the cooperation of the Andy Warhol Foundation, an exhibition entitled Andy Warhol Abstrakt opened at the Kuntshalle in Basel, Switzerland. For the first time ever, large Camouflage paintings measuring from 50 x 198-inches to 116 x 420-inches were presented in a groundbreaking and intriguing survey of the work resulting from Andy’s interpretation and experimentation with abstract painting.

The Camouflage paintings were a personal vision of Andy’s. No gallery had commissioned him to create these paintings for an exhibition. It all started in 1986 when Andy asked his art assistant, Jay Shriver (who was also an artist) what he was working on. Andy had agreed to let Jay work four days a week as long as Jay created artwork in his own studio on his day off. Jay told Andy that he was making small abstract paintings by pushing paint through the mesh of a piece of military camouflage cloth. Andy immediately realized making paintings of the actual camouflage shapes and patterns would be a great idea. He sent Jay off to the local Army/Navy store on Fifth Avenue near Union Square to buy some camouflage fabric. When Jay returned they photographed the cloth and the project began. Andy had the mesh pattern removed from the pictures of the camouflage cloth so just the shapes remained. Andy had a good experience creating this series of Camouflage paintings; from the very large-scale to the very small-scale versions measuring only 9 x 9-inches. He was so pleased with the results of the paintings he decided to publish his own limited edition of Camouflage prints.

Andy asked Rupert Smith, the printer who had also worked on the paintings, to make trial proofs for the print edition. Rupert made eighty-four 38 x 38-inch trial proofs and Andy selected eight to be printed, with the same colors and imagery, for the regular and artist proof editions. Each of the 84 trial proofs is unique, one of a kind, and that is what makes them extraordinary, especially within the Camouflage series.

This exhibition offers a rare chance and arguably the first chance to see a group of Camouflage paintings paired with a group of Camouflage trial proofs.

Erik Parker – Endless Anytime

Honor Fraser is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by New York based artist Erik Parker entitled Endless Anytime. This exhibition marks the artist’s second with Honor Fraser and will be on view October 30 – December 18, 2010.

Erik Parker is known for his meticulously painted and methodically curated worlds of chaos within brightly colored, highly saturated canvases depicting unique worlds of anthropomorphic figures and psychological portraits. Parker obsessively paints layer upon layer of amorphous shapes, globules and drops, pushes each composition to the optical extreme and suggests madness through bold and fragmented forms while still maintaining a strong sense of premeditated order, space and composition. Parker’s biomorphic subjects have not only referenced the hallucinogenic psychedelia of American culture in the 1960’s, but also have addressed broader historical and contemporary socio-political issues. Informed by a variety of sub cultural themes, including music, graffiti and illustration, his work offers a profound visual experience beyond his intensely layered forms of text and imagery.

Parker’s exhibition Endless Anytime marks a shift in the artist’s subject matter moving away from the amorphous figure and psychological portrait, and towards the long standing art historical tradition of still lifes, nudes and landscapes. Throughout his oeuvre Parker has been influenced by greats like Picasso and Francis Bacon, but here he channels the influence of nearly every great artist as these traditional genres have existed since ancient Greek and Roman eras.

Parker’s recent paintings look to the modernists Georges Braque, Henri Rousseau and Roy Lichtenstein. Just as Lichtenstein paid homage to the still lifes and nudes of Picasso and Matisse, Parker does the same. Pulling from the allegorical iconography of table-scapes and flower arrangements and the symbolism of abundant assemblages of fruit Parker continues in this classical tradition, yet his unmistakable palate, style and compositional psychology is ever present. Here he deconstructs these objects, fragments the forms and shifts geometric grounds and planes. Parker also reintroduces the figure, yet instead of painting his typical fragmented and oftentimes tortured anthropomorphic portraits, here he presents the viewer with a classical nude. Yet, there is still a sense of madness and chaos in these obsessively rendered worlds, a hallucinogenic order juxtaposed with a historically traditional subject matter.

Erik Parker was born in Stuttgart, Germany and studied at the University of Austin, Texas and then at SUNY Purchase. Parker’s work has been widely published and has earned him several awards. He has exhibited in solo shows in Tokyo, Milan, Manchester, Cologne, New York, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Los Angeles, as well as in group shows around the world. Parker will have a solo exhibition at the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas in December of 2010 and currently has work on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Phoenix Art Museum.

Gardar Eide Einarsson – Power Under Construction

Honor Fraser is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Gardar Eide Einarsson. This exhibition, entitled Power Under Construction will mark Einarsson’s second with the gallery.

Einarsson’s approach to art making continues with his inherent conceptual complexities while applying direct appropriation and minimalism that in the end often leave the viewer disarmed. Einarsson typically uses a restrained palette of black and white, which offers a more serial or even deadpan reaction to his oftentimes overtly political, anti-establishment and general sub-contexts of opposition. Like Kasimir Malevich, the suprematist painter known for his socially charged works, Einarsson’s work seems starkly minimalist yet there are undercurrents of a strong voice of opposition. Einarsson’s aesthetically restrained compositions do borrow from a constant series of appropriated media, news headlines, explicit messages, underground subcultures and the criminal world. These subject matters offer a sort of punk viewpoint and suggest insurrection of establishment via lack of sentiment. Looking at advertising and propagandistic technique throughout mass media the artist reappropriates text and word play and recontexualizes meaning and public beliefs and so forms an ambivalent window into skepticism of authority.

Einarsson’s previous exhibition at Honor Fraser, All My Friends Are Dead, included inkjet prints on plywood of reproductions of nine images from a 1960s police instruction manual. The calm and neutral posture of the policeman demonstrating ways of handling a baton contrasts the violence of the implied situation provoking the use of the baton. Other themes Einarsson has explored include a series of works based on images of prison tattoos, a series of ten highly formal paintings each titled after a chapter from Robert Whiting’s book Tokyo Underworld (based on Nick Zapetti’s life in Tokyo as a mafia boss). In Power Under Construction, Einsarsson’s continued themes offer a similar look into his skeptic’s view and all around opposition to the social status quo as he includes a large scale installation that is a recreation, and recontextualization as formalist sculpture, of the makeshift street barricades found in Thailand. A number of found objects, such as car tires are piled up to form a blockade fortified by casts of sharpened bamboo sticks. This work references the installations and happenings of sixties sculpture – most notably Allan Kaprow’s celebrated 1961 happening Yard.

Born in Norway, Gardar Eide Einarsson lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited in solo shows in Oslo, Berlin, Köln, Paris and Copenhagen as well as the United States, and in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. More recently he has exhibited at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas, the Reykjavik Art Museum in Iceland, and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Norway. Einarsson’s work is included in the Rubell Family Collection, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles collection, the Jumex Collection, the Norwegian National Museum of Art collection, and the Museum Moderne Kunst Frankfurt. In Summer 2011 he will curate a group exhibition of punk-themed work at Honor Fraser.

Gustavo Godoy – Fast-formal Object: Act Two

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Fast-formal Object: Act Two, an exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Gustavo Godoy. This marks Godoy’s second exhibition with the gallery.

In an experimental re-interpretation piece, Fast-formal Object: Act Two, Gustavo Godoy transforms his Big White installation into a smokey black shadow of itself. He shifts the palette to challenge what was once light and airy, weightless and fluid, to make a work that is the polar opposite. The piece now retreats into the shadows of the gallery and yet demands that the viewer reckon its invisibility with its undeniable presence. The work moves from Honor Fraser’s carefully designed main space, into the raw, vaulted LAB space, and becomes Act Two, a demonstration of rebellion against the pristine sanctuary of the first abstract construction, and negotiates the new gallery space with a sense of urgency, gravity, and intellectual aggression.

Gustavo Godoy lives and works in Los Angeles. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree at UC Santa Barbara, a Master of Fine Arts degree at Vermont College in Montpelier, VT and has studied at the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design. Fast-formal Object: Big White marked Godoy�s first solo show at Honor Fraser following his last Los Angeles solo exhibition What�s the Big Idea at The Happy Lion in 2007. Godoy has exhibited work both nationally and internationally at venues such as, Le Parc Saint Leger � Centre d�art contemporain in Pougues-les-Eaux, France, Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, CA, Workspace in Brooklyn, NY and Mexico Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City.

Tillman Kaiser – Für Kinder und Kenner

Honor Fraser is pleased to announce Für Kinder und Kenner, Tillman Kaiser’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, opening Saturday April 2, 6 to 8pm, and on view through May 14.

Für Kinder und Kenner, which translates as for children and experts, is about beauty and harmony, and the balance between the two states (Kaiser is quick to define both as neither kitsch or banal, but essential and difficult to achieve). His process, as painter and sculptor, is both a pursuit of that balance and an exploration of combining contradictions (Surrealism and Bauhaus architecture have equal and opposing influence on his work). The influence of Surrealism, Dadaism, Constructivism and more specifically the work of Duchamp, is evident in the ready-mades he incorporates or uses as source material. Past work has been informed by items as disparate as black glass, photos of Thai religious ceremonies, Italian colored pencils, and actors from Nigerian soap operas. This exhibition is rooted in the conceptualization of a childrens Austrian television show, symmetrical religious architecture, Austrian schoolbooks, and found drawings. The forms Kaiser manifests from these notions are unassumingly volatile, inventive, and confident in their purpose.

Für Kinder und Kenner presents new work in 3 different genres; sculpture, painting, and an editioned wallpaper work. The wallpaper creates context and sets the stage for Kaiser’s subjects, the paintings and sculptures in the exhibition. Kaiser has enlarged a found photo of a church organ, abstracting the appropriated image. He then reiterates the abstracted shapes in the sculpture and paintings, marking Für Kinder und Kenner’s narrative with a steady rhythm of formal repetition and variation. The underpinning is his sculpture, and like Kaiser’s early sculptural works, it evolves from an existing building, but pushes fearlessly away from representation. Although rooted in post-modern architecture and minimalist form, Kaiser’s sculptures emanate an aura of the future. Employing a subtracted pallet of only black and white he creates hard, protruding edges and angular lines with less durable material such as cardboard, which in turn emphasizes his interest in form over function. With his use of egg tempera, and pencil on canvas the paintings Kaiser presents could be the crystallized exhalations of the sculpture; hard-edged forms appear soft, delicate yet deliberately defined in silkscreen.

Tillman Kaiser was born in Graz, Austria. He received his education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1998. He has had solo exhibitions at the Belvedere in Vienna, Galerie Emanuel Layr in Vienna, and Neue Galerie Graz in Graz, Wilkinson Gallery in London. Kaiser has been included in exhibitions at institutions such as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, and the Saatchi Gallery in London.

Annie Lapin – The Pure Space Animate

Honor Fraser is pleased to present, The Pure Space Animate, Annie Lapin’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. In a new group of paintings on canvas, Lapin’s luscious, high-energy compositions comingle painterly conventions of representation with an obliterating gestural abstraction.

Lapin refers to ‘specters’ of realism that haunt the abstraction in these richly layered paintings. In The Pure Space Animate, there is less occasion for the multi-figure groups and enigmatic narratives of previous works, with further prominence shifted to the intensive formal activity. The coherent scenic space and figural focal points which remain are yet more densely encircled and perforated by painterly forces that counteract their legibility, leaving the viewing experience characteristically unstable. One seeks and temporarily sees indications of illusionistic space—a horizon line, a column, the shadow of a tree—only to find that it behaves instead the next moment as a collection of sinuous ribbons of paint bound to the surface. And it is this contrasting visual interpretation, this unresolved chord, that Lapin seeks to strike in the interest of a phenomenological experience of works as “constantly emerging” for the viewer.

Essential to the expressiveness in Lapin’s paintings is the articulation of space. The artist has developed a “palette” of elemental forces extracted from a lineage of painting and visual culture of her own devising. These sets of formal relationships—such as a lilting perspective or a characteristic distribution of masses across the picture plane—are isolated from their sources and given new life as structuring forces for Lapin’s paralinguistic figures and spaces. In particular, a number of the works in The Pure Space Animate submit compositional conventions from sensuous Rococo landscapes to the gravitational pull of the pure relations of abstract painting. There are passages where these raw forces interact independently without an object, so that in “The Shiny,” what appears to be the pattern of sunlight dappled on foliage suddenly bursts forth without foliage, or with the semblance of foliage only a specter in the finished painting. And in “The Glory Shapey Thing,” a distinctive low angle perspective, along with a collection of vibrant strokes of color, capture the elemental forces and majesty of an equestrian portrait, though with no horse or rider clearly visible.

Lapin’s practice is fueled by a philosophical inquisitiveness as well as a relationship with works from the history of art on the terms of their core formal expressions. Her investigations of the articulation of space have led to the production of paintings and installations which, while never at rest, are lacking neither in ordering nor chaotic accents. Ultimately these works promote an active viewing experience which rewards engagement and contemplation with painterly sensations resistant to closure; that are constantly emerging.

Annie Lapin received an MFA from UCLA and a BA from Yale University. Her museum exhibitions include the Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, CA; Grand Arts, Kansas City, MO. Her work has been exhibited at Honor Fraser, Angles Gallery, and LA Louver in Los Angeles, Galerie Lelong and Fredericks and Frasier in New York and Barbara Davis in Houston. Lapin will be included in an upcoming group show at the Torrance Art Museum and will have a solo show at Annarumma Gallery in Naples, Italy in the fall.

Modern Painters and Angeleno magazines have recently noted Lapin and her work as vital to the Los Angeles arts community, and she was the Editor’s Pick in New American Paintings, January 2011.

A catalogue will be published in conjunction with The Pure Space Animate.

Rosson Crow – Night at the Palomino

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Night at the Palomino, an exhibition of new paintings by Rosson Crow.

Rosson Crow is celebrated for her exuberant large-scale depictions of nostalgia-laden interiors that blend historical allusion and theatrical illusion. The paintings evoke the good times of yesteryear, with lush interiors that are always deserted, yet speak eloquently—if obliquely—of recent use and inhabitation. The sense of loss is counterbalanced by the richness of textures, patterns, and references—and especially by vibrant, clashing colors, which display an irreverence to the subject-matter akin to the ’80s soundtrack and Converse All-Stars of Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette. The work also stands out for its hallucinogenic spaces, with interiors fracturing and distorting from realistic representation into abstraction and surrealism, and “teetering,” as she puts it, “between claustrophobic and agoraphobic.”

While Crow’s earlier work was often seeped in the decadent atmospheres of the faded aristocracy and absinthe bars of early modern Paris, taking from European styles such as Rococo, the recent work on show here takes as its basis the compressed, but equally rich history of the United States, and especially Los Angeles. The city’s heritage chimes with her interest in the American West, as well as in spectacle and illusion. Country music features in the show’s title piece, and film sets and the Wild West come together in The Widow Garret’s View of Deadwood. Crow also takes on the masculine spectacles and environments of rodeos, saloons, trophy rooms, boxing and the late Jason Rhoades’ Black Pussy soirées. Characteristically, she reimagines the interiors of the now demolished Ambassador Hotel, and flamboyantly embroiders on the truth in such pieces as Koenig House, adding a chandelier and bursts of pink and turquoise to the iconic modernist masterpiece.

Rosson Crow grew up in Texas, and studied at Yale and the School of Visual Arts in New York before serving a one-year residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Her work has been widely published, and exhibited in solo shows in New York (CANADA Gallery) and Paris (Galerie Nathalie Obadia) as well as in a number of group shows.

A new publication of Rosson Crow’s work, Night at the Palomino, published by Honor Fraser, will be available at the opening. It contains an essay by Norman Klein, who describes the work as “massively architectonic, very immersive, … like a Baroque castle inside a theme park, historical paintings inside a half-baked memory system, inside a desire that has been marketed, but never satisfied.”

André Ethier – Vancouver Before Christ

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by André Ethier.

Ethier is known for intensely colored paintings of grotesque, darkly humorous figures set in ambiguous landscapes of color. Almost mystical, and often surrealistic, his paintings recall those of James Ensor for their grotesque qualities and for their non-representational use of colors – which has also won him comparisons to the Fauves. In its mythic, dreamlike qualities, the work also recalls the symbolist works of such artists as Odilon Redon – all while retaining a contemporary tone, with a sense of post-hippy era disillusionment added to its mood of folkloric fantasy.

Vancouver Before Christ presents a series of paintings of fantastical and hallucinogenic scenes. Some represent oblique criticisms – filtered through fantasy – of Western Canadian neglect of history and of native culture, and what he perceives as their supplanting of reality with stoner culture. A hairy, weary-looking man smokes a joint forlornly with an anxious look in his eyes; a fantastical creature with a woman’s body and a birds head lies on a bed of feathers out of which a boney hand reaches; portraits appear to melt drip and distort – in one case into the side of a hill on which lies a naked woman and a skulls head with a tongue coming out of it. A hairy man with a red, bulbous face stands slightly menacingly against a sky, holding a bottle; another, painted in shades of pink, blue and orange, stands naked in front of a luminous cross.

André Ethier lives and works in Toronto, where he was born in 1977. He studied at BFA Concordia University in Montreal and has been exhibited widely, in Canada as well as around the world. He has had solo exhibitions at Greener Pastures, Toronto and Derek Eller Gallery, New York.

For further information please contact the gallery.

Tillman Kaiser – Don’t Worry About The Motion On The Ocean

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Don’t Worry About The Motion On The Ocean, an exhibition of new work by Tillman Kaiser

In Tillman Kaiser’s premiere exhibition in the United States he continues to tackle imagery in the modern landscape. Kaiser bases his compositions, both sculpture and painting, on simple structure and pattern that reflect his interest in perception. His approach to art invokes Surrealism, Futurism, Constuctivism, and Dada. Highly influenced by modern architecture, Kaiser abstracts the familiar so the form of an object becomes more important than the function.

In the tradition of Duchamp’s ready-made Kaiser finds the everyday and turns it into an art object. Familiar items appear ominous in his work. The viewer as a result is set off balance, and Kaiser uses this to his advantage. He wants his art to be like “a very nice drug,” once consumed, the viewer feels amazing yet strange at the same time. This strangeness is seen in Viele Striche, one of five large paintings made for the exhibition, translated “many lines” he uses the images of wooden sculpture from a German artist from the 1960s names Dieter Finke. Black objects precariously balance on triangular shapes echoing the angular lines that make up the composition. Kaiser’s use of silkscreen, egg tempera, and pencil on canvas give his paintings an ethereal feel that looks like the pieces are cut from fabric.

Kaiser’s sculptures serve as the inspiration for the shapes seen in his canvases. Always in black or white, they emphasize his interest in form over function, as seen in What Goes Around, Comes Around. A large, black, cardboard object with eyes appears as a futuristic creature from another planet. In fact these eyes Kaiser purchased during his time in India and are used by the Jains on their holy marble sculptures to give life to the object. Made out of enamel and copper the eyes do appear alive and make the viewer question whether the sculpture is friend or foe.

In the project room a wallpapered image of a Feather Duster Sea Worm is seen. Kaiser likens himself to the sea creature; sorting out the usable and holding on the rest to be used in his art.

Tillman Kaiser was born in Graz, Austria. He received his education at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 1998. He has had solo exhibitions at layr:wuestenhagen contemporary in Vienna, and Neue Galerie Graz in Graz. His second publication, Ready add-ons, published by layrwuestenhagen contemporary will be available in time for the exhibition. Kaiser lives and works in Vienna.

 

Gardar Eide Einarsson – All My Friends Are Dead

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Gardar Eide Einarsson.

Einarsson is known for works whose apparent directness belies a complex and circuitous web of meanings. His paintings are usually black and white, and he employs the visual language and slogans used by rebels and revolutionaries, as well as authoritarian and political institutions, to instantly communicate black and white world views. But the instantly apprehensible messages and the clear visual language of graffiti and political posters are ironically undermined and displaced by their context — provided by, among other factors, his titles and subtitles, as well as the gallery environment and the times we live in.

In All My Friends Are Dead, Einarsson uses an inkjet printing on plywood to reproduce nine images from a 1960s police instruction manual. The calm and neutral posture of the policeman illustrating ways of handling a baton is in contrast to the violent situations evoked. This contrast is accentuated by the fact that the figures are reproduced at 90% of actual scale — a tactic used at Disneyland to make his figures more approachable — providing a further ironic counterpoint to the content of the images. The seeping of the ink onto the rough plywood seems to negate the clear-cut attitude that characterizes both authority and rebellion, while the unusual medium chimes with his frequent use of what he terms ‘transparent’ means of representation — rough photocopies, drips of paint — for their references to their means of production.

Other works in the show reflect Einarsson’s interest in the language of revolt, and in undermining it ironically. Masks — based on images of masks he has seen of rebellions in developing countries — are here fashioned out of sweatpants, symbols of American leisure. A painting refers to the cover of Misfits, the biography of author Frederick Exley, one of various marginal figures in American culture that feature in Einarrson’s work.

The apparently clear visual language in Einarsson’s works present a backdrop for the complexities of interpretation for the view to unravel. While on one level the work seems to be concerned with political themes — mechanisms of social control, the systems, cultures and individuals which run counter to those mechanisms. It can also be argued however that the work is reflexive, taking at its real subject both the making of art, (with references, such as paint drips, to its means of production), and meaning itself — communicated visually and linguistically — and the ways in which art can produce it, play with it, and complicate it.

Born in Norway, Gardar Eide Einarsson lives and works in New York. His work has been exhibited in solo shows in Oslo, Berlin, Köln, Paris and Copenhagen as well as the United States, and in group exhibitions throughout Europe. He will be included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial opening March 6.

Erik Parker – Damage Control

Honor Fraser is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Erik Parker.

Erik Parker is acclaimed for his large brightly coloured paintings which blow the mind with a heady cocktail of celestial fractals and intestinal swirls. Clusters of words nestle like plant cells within the billowing waves of color, while demonic eyes, heads, and bony fingers emerge from what Roberta Smith describes the “druggy abstraction” of the work.

Some paintings appear symmetrical, recalling Rorschachs or cross sections of the human body. Most, however, give a sense of “ordered disorder” in which broad sweeps of flat graphics and multicolored aureoles contrast with tighter, more detailed patterns or cartoon-like doodles. Some works hint at primitive art, with demonic masks and bright talismanic shapes added to the mix. Along with amoeba, tentacles, aureoles and plant filaments, the shapes in Parker’s paintings are above all suggestive — though to varying degrees — of the human body and its functions, with what resemble intestines, glands, fingers, and sexual organs ejaculating or oozing unidentified technicolor matter.

The liquid, hallucinogenic visuals of Parker’s work are informed in part by the music he listens to and could be seen to represent the visual equivalents of the reverb and sitars of psychedelic rock. However, the written content of the paintings adds a decidedly current flavour to the mood of 1960s San Francisco, Fillmore posters and LSD. In what he calls “fragmented samples of our culture,” Erik Parker refers to contemporary topics, musicians or current events in handwritten words and titles such as “Player Hater,” ‘Betty Fords,” and “American Apparel.” But the words allude rather than reveal, and the paintings offer more of a retreat from reality than direct social or political commentary. In its rejection of realism and the rational in favour of visions of dream-like artificial worlds, Parker’s work can be allied to the late 19th century romantic, symbolist and decadent movements.

Based in New York, Erik Parker was born in Stuttgart, Germany and studied at the University of Austin, Texas then at SUNY Purchase. Parker’s work has been widely published and has earned him several awards. He has exhibited in solo shows in Tokyo, Milan, Manchester, Cologne, New York and Los Angeles, as well as in group shows around the world.

Mark Licari – Month to Month

Honor Fraser Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Mark Licari.

Mark Licari is known for his strikingly original vision of worlds in which the ordinary spins playfully out of control, where domestic order unravels, everything decays messily, and boundaries dissolve explosively between inside and outside, nature and technology, growth and putrefaction, and the normal and the uncanny. Both humorous and disturbing, the work itself often breaks out of the picture frame to take over entire rooms, as at shows at the Drawing Center in New York (2005), and in his installations at Hamilton Press (2004) and Equator Books (2005) in Venice, California.

In Month-to-Month — which will present framed works on paper as well as an outdoor installation — Licari continues to explore themes of disorder, temporality, and the destructive side of nature, while exposing the potential of the fantastic to lurk beneath mundane day-to-day, or month-to-month, living. The domestic scenes turned surreal — a bathtub overflows with an octopus, a pigeon nursing a baseball nestles amidst the overflowing contents of a chest of drawers — seem to reside in the unsettled and transient world of month-to-month rentals. Other pieces offer uncanny juxtapositions: An airplane spewing flames sends letters flying through a sky filled with dripping clouds; A lamb beset by slightly aggressive butterflies stands incongruously in a post-apocalyptic landscape; Rorschachs are drawn over to create bugs and bats.

Mark Licari was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He has lived and worked in Los Angeles since completing his MFA at USC in 2000. His work was included in group shows in 2006, which also saw the publication of Mark Licari: Drawing With an Appetite, a 180-page catalogue of work from the last five years, published by Honor Fraser Gallery. With an introduction and interview by Kristine McKenna.

Tomoo Gokita – Vanity Drunko

Honor Fraser is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Tomoo Gokita.

Tomoo Gokita is acclaimed for his mysterious black and white drawings and paintings which reveal a world that floats between the abstract and the real. His unusual use of gouache on paper and canvas creates velvety textures, while allowing for an immediacy of application and referencing popular forms of visual media such as posters and comics. A former DJ, his work mixes a range of references, from lingerie, calligraphy and Western pin-up girls, to professional wrestling, third rate porn and beer. The results are both noirish and surreal, with an atmosphere reminiscent at times of the novels of Murukami.

What is left out of Tomoo Gokita’s paintings are as evocative as what is depicted, and a sense of nostalgia infects much of the work, be it for the American popular culture of the 1950s or the hairstyles of the 1970s. Other works are abstract, and his improvisatory approach to painting could classify him as a contemporary abstract expressionist—although he is also influenced by the work of David Salle. Abstract objects, often jumbled together in a huge heady swirl, appear to have character, while organic objects, such as bodies, fruit, flowers, are stolid and somewhat inert. Some paintings appear recognizable at first glance, then you are not so sure, and the titles do little to clarify the content. Instead they enter into a dialog with the work that enriches, without in any way facilitating, the viewer’s quest for meaning, which feels a little like trying to see clearly when drunk, or seeing patterns in a Rorschach. Other paintings merge the figurative and abstract in a single figure. Women’s heads, or upper bodies, are often replaced by an anonymous pile of matter. It is as if the artist is playing a game of exquisite corpse with himself, or else suddenly drifted off into doodling mid-painting. The doodles have a meticulousness about them, while figurative images have the quality of doodles.

Tomoo Gokita was born in Tokyo, Japan. As well as solo shows in New York, Tokyo and Kyoto, his work has featured in a number of group exhibitions in Japan and the United States. Publications of his works include Oh! Tengoku (2001) and Lingerie Wrestling (2000). He was awarded the Gold Prize at the Art Director’s Club 80th Annual Awards, New York.

Jeremy Blake – Kidnap Yourself

Jeremy Blake is well known for his DVDs, C-prints, paintings and drawings that present visual semi-narratives combining the representational and the abstract. His highly acclaimed artworks blur distinctions between artistic media to present a new kind of art experience for which Blake is recognized as an innovative pioneer.

The hallucinatory transmutations in Blake’s opulent DVDs unfold in seamless and dream-like loops that preclude a beginning or end. Using various graphics programs, photographs and film footage, he laboriously renders and alters his images with countless layers of line and translucent color using techniques inherited from conventional drawing and painting, as well as lighting and editing effects suggestive of film. Blake often employs socially relevant subject matter, as well as art historical references, as a kind of psychological framework to create visual containers for contemporary anxieties and discarded utopian ideals.

Blake’s C-prints are not stills from his DVDs, but rather are independent and original abstract images of fictional settings or “stories” that he might then mythologize in his drawings and paintings or further explore in his time-based DVDs.

Blake’s intimate, realistically rendered and iconic paintings often present both figurative and non-objective imagery of personal references to popular culture. Alone and in sequence the paintings imply a semi-narrative structure similar to his DVDs (or “time-based” paintings) for which he is well known.

Blake has exhibited extensively in museums and galleries worldwide, and his works are in numerous public collections including the Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, Spain; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. In 2002 he was invited by director Paul Thomas Anderson to create abstract sequences of art for the film, Punch-Drunk Love. He also produced a series of album covers and inserts for Beck’s CD, Sea Change.

Alexandra Grant – A.D.D.G. (aux dehors des guillemets)

Honor Fraser is pleased to present new works by Alexandra Grant.

Alexandra Grant is known for large-scale works that explore and blur the boundaries between images and words. Inspired by philosophic, literary and visual sources, Grant’s drawing/paintings, sculpture, and video present large, rhizomesque text-scapes. In her works on paper, words are handwritten in reverse to remove any sense of font or style, resulting in a playful conflation of sign and signifier. By slowing an easy “read” or apprehension of meaning, Grant translates words into images of language itself. Grant’s texts are inter-connected by bubbles and strings, and aggregrate and accrete in the space of her large frames like cities or organisms. They present what she terms “an image of a system” rather than any known system of communication: the literal read of language is frustrated, leaving instead a narrative open-endedness. This raises questions on the arbitrary nature of language and meaning, and how both influence our seeing and perception. Complementing Grant’s conceptual approach is her equal interest in the formal aspects of composition – in color, texture, and space – and in creating images of striking complexity.

Grant’s approach to her work is informed by her interest in translation and in (mis)communication – raised in various multicultural environments, she speaks Spanish, French and English and has worked as a translator. The interconnection she sees between her sources (from writer Michael Joyce to philosopher Hélène Cixous to artists such as R.B. Kitaj and Gego) is echoed formally in the work itself. She sees each work as a trace of her engagement in an ideal conversation. The movement from text to painting was inspired in part by Cixous’s idea, from The Last Painting or The Portrait of God: “I would like to write like a painter. I would like to write like painting” – leading Grant to ask, how does one “paint a writing or write a painting?”

The series of drawing/paintings in A.D.D.G. (aux dehors des guillemets) takes as their point of departure six “Portals,” or sutras – meditations on the five senses and the mind. Written for her purposes by writer and collaborator Michael Joyce, the texts inform Grant’s painting in unpredictable ways. She works through a series using an unusual methodology whereby she creates visual rules about color and motifs and then breaks them, moving seamlessly between reasoned and intuitive decisions.

The six large works on paper on show are complemented by a mobile sculpture and a series of videos. Grant’s videos juxtapose images of her two-dimensional work and sculpture with readings of the texts that inspired them, introducing time and montage to her exploration of language as image. Grant crosses boundaries between disciplines as easily as between theory and practice, embracing equally what is gained as well as lost in the translation. Her approach undermines the idea of clear beginnings and ends: the works on paper can be considered not only finished pieces of art, but subjects for experimental video. The sculpture, “A love that should have lasted,” is based on a phrase within the First Portal (sight) and is linked to the scale of words in the Third Portal (touch). By re-presenting textual themes, Grant links the relationships between seeing and reading, word and objects, and art and theory.

Alexandra Grant was raised in Mexico, Spain, France and the US. She studied art and architecture at Swarthmore College and the California College of the Arts, before moving to Los Angeles in 2001. Her work was recently the subject of a MOCA Focus show.

For further information please contact the gallery.

Alexandra Grant – MoCA Focus

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) continues its MOCA Focus series, a major initiative to showcase the work of emerging artists in Southern California, with three exhibitions featuring Los Angeles–based artists Alexandra Grant, Florian Maier-Aichen, and Matthew Monahan opening this spring and summer 2007. Since its debut in 2005, the MOCA Focus series has featured challenging new works and diverse practices, including sculpture, installation, photography, painting, new media, and experimental video. In addition to being the first solo museum exhibition for the artist, each exhibition will be documented by the artist’s first monographic catalogue, including images of the artist’s works and a major scholarly essay by the exhibition curator. MOCA Focus: Alexandra Grant will be on view at MOCA Grand Avenue April 26–August 13, 2007, MOCA Focus: Florian Maier-Aichen will be on view at MOCA Pacific Design Center June 28–September 30, 2007, and MOCA Focus: Matthew Monahan will be on view at MOCA Grand Avenue July 26–October 28, 2007.

“Since 1983, MOCA has consistently presented solo exhibitions of innovative and intriguing new work by emerging Los Angeles–based artists,” said MOCA Director Jeremy Strick, “Continuing that tradition with these three installments of the MOCA Focus series, the Museum reaffirms its commitment to the city of Los Angeles and its dynamic and talented artistic community.”

ALEXANDRA GRANT
Organized by MOCA Curator Alma Ruiz, MOCA Focus: Alexandra Grant features a selection of the artist’s drawings, paintings, and sculptures, as well as her first site-specific installation. The works are characterized by a visual language in which text, drawing, and painting coalesce into a seamless integration of shapes, colors, and textures. Language plays a pivotal role in all of Grant’s work—manipulated, reversed, and translated to circumvent the viewer’s full understanding of the text.

Grant is influenced, in part, by the writings of French theorist and feminist writer Hélène Cixous, whose ideas regarding identity, language, and painting resonate with Grant’s own intellectual and artistic pursuits. No less important is her fortuitous discovery in 2003 of the work of American writer Michael Joyce, a pioneer and theorist of hypertext and professor of English and Media Studies at Vassar College in New York. Joyce, who has become Grant’s close friend and collaborator, develops texts that the artist integrates into her artwork. Cixous’s writings and Joyce’s collaborations, which are central to Grant’s artistic practice, are evidenced in the artworks included in the exhibition.

The Ladder Quartet (2004–05) is a series of four large-scale drawings based on short texts by Joyce. The works she taking her space (after Michael Joyce’s “he taking the space of,” 2004) (2004) and let’s (after Michael Joyce’s “ladders,” 2004) (2005) primarily incorporate English language, while the text elements in conspirar (after Michael Joyce’s “conspire,” 2004) (2005) and contender (after Michael Joyce’s “contend,” 2004) (2005) were translated into Spanish from the English originals. The groups of encapsulated inscriptions that make up these drawings in the series are layered onto vertical backdrops and interconnected by images of ascending ladders and veiling swathes of color. Adhering to a set of self-imposed parameters, Grant carefully selected a specific palette for each of the drawings to visually and symbolically unite elements of opposition. For instance, in she taking her space Grant made liberal use of pink in an effort to embrace one of her preferred colors, which she feels carries the taboo as being too feminine. In conspirar, her choice of purple, a regal and ecclesiastical color, was used in a work dedicated to Cixous with the intent to honor the esteemed Jewish author.

In 2006, Grant embarked on her most ambitious work to date, a 22-foot-long painting titled babel (after Michael Joyce’s “Was,” 2006) (2006–07). Once again working from a text by Joyce and incorporating her characteristic clusters of encircled words, the horizontal format of babel is a drastic departure from the verticality of her previous works. Making full use of the expanse of her long narrow studio, the painting reveals the spatial influence of the American abstract painter Morris Louis and the 19th-century German landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich. Reminiscent of a sprawling metropolis, the ladders that adorned her previous investigations—as in The Ladder Quartet—have morphed into towers marking a vast horizon of undulating text.

In addition to the aforementioned works, the exhibition will include nimbus II (after Michael Joyce’s “nimbus,” 2003) (2007)—a wire sculpture that extends Grant’s signature word bubbles into three dimensions—and a site specific, wallpaper project, ¿dónde está la escalera al cielo? (Where is the ladder to heaven, 2007)—a piece that evolved from the artist’s experiments with digital printmaking.

About the Artist: Alexandra Grant was born in Fairview Park, Ohio, in 1973 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her master of fine arts degree from California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco in 2000 and her bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, in 1995. She has shown her work at various venues in California, including a solo exhibition in 2004 at Sixteen:One gallery in Santa Monica and group exhibitions at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) and the Torrance Art Museum—where Drawn in: Drawing in Residence Phase III is currently on view through March 10, 2007. Her work was also included in Conceptual Writing at Van Ackeren Gallery, Rockhurst University in Kansas (2005) and is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).

Publication:
Accompanying the exhibition is a 64-page softcover catalogue including more than 35 full-color images and a gatefold. Designed by Michael Worthington, the book features a new essay by Alma Ruiz and a reprinted essay by renowned French writer Hélène Cixous. MOCA Focus: Alexandra Grant is distributed through Distributed Art Publishers (DAP).

Ed Ruscha – Standard Stations

This exhibition brings together works by Ed Ruscha that feature the Standard gasoline station, a leitmotif that runs throughout his work. It presents the Standard station depicted in photography, print, work on paper, book form, painting, as well as a sketch on a post-it note.

The earliest work on show, Standard, Amarillo, Tx (1962) is one of the series of photographs — featured in Ruscha’s Twenty-six Gasoline Stations — taken on late 1950s’ and early 1960s’ road trips between Oklahoma City and Los Angeles. The ordinariness of the subject matter and “snapshot” style of the photographs were symptomatic of Ruscha’s interest in an art form that could be neutral and objective, while the desolate feel of the images spoke of the emptiness of the American West. This neutral recording of the gas stations stood in contrast and opposition to the flamboyant, involved and entirely subjective works of the abstract expressionists, and resonated with Ruscha’s interest in absence: of subject matter, of precedent, of meaning, and of the artist’s hand. The word standard itself – connoting the suppression of individuality and the preservation of objectivity – expanded on those themes, and the Standard gasoline station, alone among the twenty-six others, continued to feature in several of Ruscha’s works.

Ruscha’s Standard stations, as building types, do not change with the development of gas station architecture, but his expression of the subject evolves significantly. He found that the image of the Standard gasoline station lent itself particularly well to print, and in the late 1960s, he introduced composition, color, and atmosphere in iconic images such as Standard Station (1966) and Mocha Standard (1969). The dramatic angles and widescreen landscapes chimed with his interest in Hollywood, while standing in ironic contrast to the commonplace subject matter. Double Standard (1969) illustrates how the subject has lent itself to Ruscha’s interest in wordplay. The print also refers to Dennis Hopper’s photograph of the same name taken in 1961. The Hopper image is also featured in this exhibition, in the form of an invitation to a 1964 show of Ruscha’s work at the Ferus Gallery.

In its utter normalcy, the Standard station has also provided the perfect foil to the surrealism of some of Ruscha’s work, exemplified here in Cheese Mold Standard with Olive (1969), which leaves the viewer wondering how standard a gasoline station can be in the presence of a floating martini olive.

In later works, the building disappears and leaves the word silhouetted dramatically against the Western sky. Then in the 2003 painting Station, the word disappears leaving the building silhouetted against another Southern Californian landscape, just as the letters were. In the end, the image and the word are shown to be on some level interchangeable.

For further information please contact the gallery.

Cathy Akers – Hertopia: An Illustrated History of the New World

Honor Fraser is pleased to present an exhibition of new works by Cathy Akers.

Cathy Akers is known for work that explores the relationship between people and nature. In Hertopia: An Illustrated History of the New World, she focuses on female nature in particular in three meticulously crafted dioramas: Peep Show, The New World, and Evolution. These self-contained worlds present plasticine figures in woodland settings which speculate on how women might behave, and how a female society might develop, in the absence of men and the presence of wild animals, and freed of the rules and taboos of civilization. These utopic scenes challenge 20th century ideas of nature as being benevolent and of women as gentle and passive creatures, as well as early feminist notions of a world without men being a peaceful one. Instead, women are depicted as carnal, power hungry, and predatory, and are stripped of any sense of modesty, self-consciousness or propriety. The plasticine figures fight, kill, piss and fornicate without compunction, and are so “at one with nature” that they repeatedly transgress the boundary between the human and animal worlds: a woman suckles a baby bear, while others engage in sexual acts with coyotes.

The themes of the works tie in with Akers’ interest in fairy tales, as interpreted by authors such as Marina Warner in From the Beast to the Blonde and Angela Carter in The Bloody Chamber, for their explorations of the relationship between unconscious desires and the taboos and constraints of civilization, and for their blurred boundaries between the human and animal worlds. The forest settings of the dioramas relate to those of fairy tales and myths, as well as of more contemporary works such as The Lord of the Flies, representing the wild and frightening aspect of nature while reversing the horror movie trope of the solitary woman being pursued in the woods.

Hertopia: An Illustrated History of the New World also expands on Akers’ earlier explorations of viewing and voyeurism. Each diorama carefully controls the ways in which the scenes are experienced: Peep Show allows the viewer only glimpses of the woodland scenes through monocular lenses with a narrow depth of field. The New World reveals more, while making the viewer more aware of other viewers. Finally, in Evolution – both the most violent and playful of the three – the viewer is able to enter into the imaginary world for a far more direct experience.

Cathy Akers holds an MFA in Photography and Media from CalArts and a BFA from Tufts University, where she focused on photography. Her work has been exhibited widely through the US, as well as in the Czech Republic, Israel and England.

For further information please contact the gallery.

Shiri Mordechay – Pneuma Pleats

Honor Fraser is pleased to present Shiri Mordechay’s first project at the gallery, an installation entitled Pneuma Pleats. Both the title and the work have multiple readings. Pneuma comes from the ancient Greek word for “breath” while pleats references the femininity and subtle layered quality of the work. Together the words conjure the accordion pleats of fireplace bellows or hospital ventilators; both devices used to force air into oxygen hungry cavities. Pneuma Pleats has similarly expansive and invigorating properties.

Mordechay’s mixed media installation encroaches nearly every surface of the project space with delicate paper sculptures suspended in intricate wire structures. The work climbs up walls and ceilings, around corners and down onto the floor space. Her sprawling worlds are heavily informed by her own subconscious, and draw from bizarre compilations of fragmented body parts, animals, and insects to create a sort of sexually chaotic and delusional nightmare. Jerry Saltz wrote, in his review of Mordechay’s 2008 exhibition at Plane Space, New York, “Shiri Mordechay gives us a topsy-turvy world of mundane and mad images…It’s Charles Adams meets Edgar Allen Poe meets Animal Planet. Mordechay never allows us to look at any one thing; chaos and tumult reign.”

Born in Israel and raised in Nigeria, Mordechay now resides in New York. She recently received her B.F.A. in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute. She also studied fine arts at the Avni Institute in Tel Aviv. In addition to a number of group exhibitions in California, Mordechay was included in the “Carpetbag + Cozyspace” exhibition curated by Kristin Calabrese in Brooklyn this past spring.

Tom Wesselmann – Retrospective

Honor Fraser is pleased to present a retrospective of works by Tom Wesselmann.

This exhibition brings together a collection of works that span the career of this Pop Icon. From his brash and bold series of American Nudes to slick and evocative Smokers Studies, the exhibition highlights the career of one of the countries breakthrough voices from the Sixties.

Growing up in suburban Ohio, Wesselmann came to painting late, first starting to cartoon while enlisted in the Korean War. After returning from the army and with the support of the G.I. Bill, he attended the University of Cincinnati and received a degree in psychology and began studying art. Finding his voice in cartooning, he was able to sell his work to magazines and at the urging of an art professor in Ohio, he moved to New York to study at the Cooper Union. There he started to collage and was trained under the electric shadow of Abstract Expressionism. Wrestling with all of these new influences, Wesselmann fought to find his artistic voice, focusing on a new path in a return to a figurative framework. Experimenting with the boundaries of the painted plane, he flattened images and gave his work an immediacy and slick monumental feel no matter what scale he chose to work in.

Anchoring the exhibition is Great American Nude #38, 1962, a spectacular example of Wesselmann’s early work. The formal composition of the painting places a smiling nude amidst a sea of red, white and blue. The work meshes familiar icons, a 50’s pin-up girl, an army poster and a distant view of an exotic vacation locale. Instead of overtly erotic, his portrayal of the female nude is raw and brazenly in your face, a thematic thread he continues through the following decades of his career.

Stemming from his love of collage, Wesselmann dips into the visual imagery of Americana, creating a patchwork of the familiar that creates works of arresting color and form. Still Life #49, 1964, a three-dimensional collage of a Seven-up bottle and orange, is an exemplary piece by the artist and encapsulates this play on commonplace objects. His still-lifes are catalogs of graphic design, advertising logos, and billboards, all evidence of daily life.

Though Wesselmann’s work matured in the same era as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenburg, unlike these artists he chose not to transform his imagery through a filter, favoring a clear expression of the figural and visual form. His work is rooted in the American experience with an iconography reflecting the charged era of pop sensibility coupled with his deliberate honesty.

Olivier Babin – When I Was Young / When You Were Kings

Honor Fraser is pleased to present the first solo exhibition in the United States of work by Olivier Babin.

The exhibition, When I Was Young / When You Were Kings, brings together new painting, sculpture, and graphic work by the Paris-based artist. Babin draws his inspiration from language and conceptual ideology, working to cultivate a whimsical play between text, metaphor and art. He creates works that walk the line between the literal and conceptual; pieces that strike a balance in the multilayered realms that define wit and gravity. The exhibition is divided into two spaces, the main room building a tangible world with a weighty presence and the back room dissolving these tangible certainties into a hazy uncertain atmosphere.

In the series of paintings, Nos Plus Belles Annees, which translates to “Our Most Beautiful Years,” he reworks the concepts of time and nostalgia as seen through a conceptual rearview mirror homage to On Kawara’s series of date paintings. Babin samples art history and in effect distorts and mixes history; ultimately succeeding in creating a reflection of time that evokes a sentiment of melancholy transience. The dates are arbitrary, but in counting time the viewer will unwittingly try to project significance onto these markers of time.

Babin finds inspiration in his environment and searches for the humor in the everyday. The piece, titled Mr. William Randolph Hearst’s Favorite Log, is a bronze sculpture cast from a log acquired during a visit to Hearst Castle. The artist found in his visit that the entire castle, grounds included, are considered part of the museum, and he was required to receive special permission to remove the log from the garden. In a play on the idea of museum quality work, he addresses this conceptual idea in the replication of the log in an anomalous form.

The neon suitcases Little Blue Boys Blues evoke Marcel Duchamp’s “Box en Valise,” the suitcase a metaphor for a sales representative or kit for a wanderer, or it could also remind one of a Dan Flavin light piece. The works are overbearing yet ephemeral; evoking the imagery of a campfire or ocean waves, but the resonance can also be extinguished by closing the case or unplugging the transformer. Again, Babin is playing with the concepts of time and the paradoxical impossibility to constrain the perception of time.

Born in 1975 in Dijon, France, Babin graduated from the Universite de Bourgogne in 1998. He currently is attending the ISCP Residency Program in New York, NY and has a solo exhibition at Seomi & Tuus gallery in Seoul, Korea titled We live (in a time of our own). He also had a recent exhibition titled Tout sur le noir at galerie frank elbaz in Paris, France. He has participated in group exhibitions in such places as Palais de Tokyo and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and will be participating in two group shows in 2009, one titled N’importe quoi, curated by V. Pécoil & O. Vadrot, at the Musée d’Art contemporain in Lyon, France as well as Paper Exhibition, curated by Raimundas Malasauskas at Artists Space in New York, NY.