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Rashid Johnson at David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles

8 Oct 2014

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Plateaus, 2014, (alternate view). Courtesy: David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles. Photos: Martin Parsek.

Rashid Johnson’s two-part exhibition Islands is still on display at David Gordansky Gallery in Los Angeles until October 29th. In his third solo-show at the gallery, the Ballroom Marfa alum features new wall- and floor-based sculptures including a “hollow fifteen-foot high pyramid, shaped vitrine-like tables, and erratically contoured shelf-works.”

From David Kordansky:

Broadly taking a cue from Richard Wright’s novel Native Son, and its antiheroic characterization of the African-American male, the sculptures embody an extreme unbound energy. In structure, material, and process, they express a tension unprecedented in Johnson’s practice. regularly reimagines popular narratives that shape contemporary African-American identity, remixing them with his own personal history, and his growing lexicon of formal signifiers.

Justin Waugh at Gagosian Beverly Hills

5 Sep 2013

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Justin Waugh’s Untitled (Shape Painting #4), Oil and graphite on paper mounted to dibond, 38 x 28 inches, 2012.

If you’re in Los Angeles tomorrow (Friday September 6th) be sure to stop by Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. Not only will you be treated to work by Cecily Brown and Roe Ethridge, but friend of the Ballroom (and incoming Comic Future installer), Justin Waugh’s work will also be displayed in the very lovely and spacious restrooms of the gallery. Restrooms, though a necessity are rarely a destination, let’s change that, shall we?

image Justin Waugh’s Untitled (Shape Painting #6), Oil and graphite on paper mounted to dibond, 40 x 28 inches, 2012.

032c on Thomas Houseago

13 May 2013

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More coverage of Ballroom alumnus Thomas Houseago’s epic exhibition at Storm King from 032c. The excellent “Coming into Form” interview by Cornelius Tittel covers lots of ground, including Houseago’s youth spent brawling in pubs and listening to Joy Division and this excerpt about his landing in Los Angeles …

You say L.A. saved you.

Yes, to arrive in Los Angeles with nothing but a few friends – it either works or it doesn’t. And it worked. I mean it was tough. I was doing construction work and we had our daughter on Medi-Cal – all that American immigrant stuff!

What is that?

If you arrive in California and your wife is pregnant and you don’t have health insurance, they will help you have your baby, but the process is hyper-brutal. You are given a counselor, because normally if you have just arrived in America and don’t have insurance, you are an immigrant from El Salvador or wherever. I remember in our case they checked us for guns before we could meet our counselor. They told us, “We wanna make sure your baby doesn’t die and your wife doesn’t die, et cetera, et cetera.” You are humiliated and at the same time liberated in an absurd way. But, you know, as soon as we arrived it all started to make sense. I met other artists I could relate to. There was no dogma, you’re never gonna hear John Baldessari saying that one kind of art is better than another, or that a certain artist should not be shown. Like Paul McCarthy, I met him really early and he was always like: “Go for it!” Mike Kelly and Paul really set up a very free, strange, dynamic, exciting atmosphere for younger artists to enter. L.A. is a frontier town with a fantastic wealth of energy and that’s what really saved me.”

Keep reading at 032c.

The Marfa-Milan-Los Angeles Connection

5 Feb 2013

Works from Ballroom alumni — Kathryn Andrews, Aaron Curry, and Raymond Pettibon — will be on display as part of Set Pieces, an exhibition of Los Angeles artists at Milan’s Cardi Black Box gallery. Their works will be exhibited alongside four “sets” by Sarah Cain (another Marfa artist!), Liz Glynn, Samara Golden, and Mateo Tannatt. As curators Andrew Berardini and Lauren Mackler explain:

“Visually, the different “sets,” so to speak, will be autonomous islands of light within an otherwise darkened space, to simulate a cinematic effect and the sense of being on a movie set. In many ways, we are inspired by the work of William Leavitt, who recently had a retrospective at MOCA here in Los Angeles, and whose work often uses plays and their stages to beautifully reveal the mundane theatricality of the city. He told us once that his plays were really elaborate frames for his paintings.”

Set Pieces runs from February 8 through April 15, 2013, with an opening on Thursday, February 7 from 6-9pm.

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