The Offing: “Antigone 3000″

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The Offing magazine features:

“Antigone 3000” — Introduction by Kate Durbin

http://theoffingmag.com/enumerate/antigone-3000/

The character of Antigone, an enduring  symbol of uprising and resistance to the state and society, has shape-shifted from a tragic mythical figure to a contemporary emblem of the risks and consequences of standing up for what you believe in a hostile world. She has been re-envisioned by Mexican poet Sara Uribe in Antigóna Gonzalez (Les Figues Press, translated by Les John Pluecker) and Jean Anouilh’s Nazi resistance direction of Antigone. Her hold on the collective imagination has not waned.

While the play itself is central to Los Angeles painter Alexandra Grant’s Antigone 3000, this new series of abstract paintings delves beyond the language of Sophocles into the play’s subterranean depths.

Inspired by Rorschach’s psychological tests, which are designed to reveal the viewer’s subconscious beliefs, Grant sees her paintings as “half-Rorschachs,” or stains. The stain is perhaps a perfect representation for Antigone, this figure who never vanishes from a collective history, who keeps reappearing  in different forms, wearing different faces, fighting for different causes.

Antigone is a stain we cannot seem to remove, a stain that appears like all stains, completely inconveniently, serving as a reminder of inconvenient truths  like love. Love, the force that builds worlds, has been centered in Grant’s work before, including in the grantLOVE project, which helped fund the Love House Project in Watts. It was Antigone’s claim to Kreon that she  “was born to love, not to hate” that incited Grant’s Antigone 3000. It is Antigone’s love that demands she honor her dead; it is love that leads, ultimately, to her death.

When a person is shot in a movie, often there is a moment of total stillness, after which a bloom of red appears on their clothing. Their mouth falls open. Trembling, they touch the red. They are amazed. In that moment, I like to imagine that they are realizing two things simultaneously: that they are alive,  oh so alive, more alive than they’ve ever been in their whole dead life. And that, before any of us are able to grasp the significance of that revelation, we die.

What are we born for? Not to hate, but to love.

Kate Durbin

Image: Antigone 3000 (4), 2014, oil on linen, 90” x 80”. Photo by Brian Forrest.

COLA 2015 Individual Artist Fellowships exhibition opens May 17

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C.O.L.A. 2015

INDIVIDUAL ARTIST FELLOWSHIPS EXHIBITION
MAY 17 – JUNE 28, 2015

OPENING RECEPTION SUNDAY, MAY 17, 2:00-5:00 PM

The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and
the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery
Presents the premiere of new works by the following master artists

Miyoshi Barosh
Kelly Barrie
Baumgartner + Uriu (B+U)
Jeff Colson
Marcelyn Gow
Alexandra Grant
Harold Greene
Sherin Guirguis
Elizabeth Leister
Alan Hiroshi Nakagawa
Barbara Strasen

Curator: Scott Canty

 

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery

Barnsdall Park

4800 Hollywood Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

Hours: Thursday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm

http://www.lamag.org/?page_id=112

 

EXHIBITION-RELATED EVENTS

SAT. MAY 17, 2:30 PM
The Invisible Lake Called Telepathy
Performed drawing by Elizabeth Leister with dancer Samantha Mohr

SAT. MAY 30, 2 PM
Conversations with the Artists
With Harold Greene, Alan Nakagawa, Baumgartner + Uriu (B +U)

SAT. JUNE 27, 2 PM
Conversations with the Artists
Marcelyn Gow Alexandra Grant Sherin Guirguis Barbara Strasen

SAT. JUNE 20, 3 PM
Performance by Elizabeth Leister

Art Workshops
No reservations are necessary and art supplies will be provided

SAT. MAY 23, 12-3 PM
Adult Art Workshop

SAT. JUNE 6, I2-3 PM
Family Art and Sound Workshop
FREE ADMISSION TO GALLERY AND ALL EVENTS

We Must Risk Delight: 20 Artists from LA at the Venice Biennale

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We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles

@ la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015

Exhibition Dates: May 9 – November 22, 2015

Magazzino del Sale No.3, Dorsoduro 264, Venezia, Italy

Presented in collaboration with Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia

www.bardola.org/upcoming

We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is an exhibition that presents, for the first time on the international stage, a group of exceptional contemporary Los Angeles artists whose work makes Los Angeles one of the most exciting hubs of creativity in the world today.

We Must Risk Delight is inspired by the poem A Brief for the Defense by a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry finalist, Jack Gilbert. In his viscerally visual poem, Gilbert calls on humanity to recognize every moment of delight even in the most ominous of impressions. By slicing through the somber depictions of the world we live in with sharp and vibrant moments of joy, the poet presents an irrefutable case for our happiness as being our most requisite expression of freedom, not in spite of the cruelty that is a part of our world, but because of it.

A work of art represents the artist’s vision of the world and, when embraced, it can be seen as a way of making a world. The artists presented in We Must Risk Delight will give the audiences of the Biennale Arte 2015 an opportunity to discover the city of Los Angeles through the kaleidoscope of its creative community, while also encouraging us all to risk delight and celebrate the act of creating as humanity’s pathway to joy: both within ourselves and in the collective world around us.

We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is being presented as an official Collateral Event of the 56th manifestation of la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015.

Presented Artists:

Brandy Eve Allen                   Tanya Batura                    Jamison Carter                      Carolyn Castaño
Robbie Conal                          Kenturah Davis                Amir H. Fallah                       Alexandra Grant
Margaret Griffith                   Sherin Guirguis                Ben Jackel                              Mark Licari
Rebecca Niederlander          Stas Orlovski                     Natasa Prosenc Stearns       Tony de los Reyes
Frank Ryan                             Shizu Saldamando           Carole Silverstein                  Alexis Zoto

 

The Offing: “I’ll Be Your Mirror”

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The Offing magazine features:

“I’ll Be Your Mirror” — Collaboration, Reflection, and Rorschach in the Work of Alexandra Grant

http://theoffingmag.com/enumerate/ill-be-your-mirror/

Image: she taking her space (after Michael Joyce’s “he taking the space of”), 2004, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

A Perpetual Slow Circle opens December 31 at Ochi Gallery

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A Perpetual Slow Circle

January 1 – March 1, 2015

Opening December 31, 2014, 6-9pm

Ochi Gallery

Sun Valley, ID

By appointment only, email gallery@ochigallery.com or call (208) 726-8746 for more information.

Ochi Gallery is pleased to present “A Perpetual Slow Circle,” a survey of Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant’s “nimbus” series made from 2004 to 2014. Grant’s “nimbus” works—which vary from kinetic wire sculptures to wallpaper, etchings to paintings—began with the display of her first nimbus sculptures at 16:1 Gallery and Machine Project in Los Angeles in 2004. Inspired by a short text written by the hypertext fiction pioneer Michael Joyce, the form in this series mimics nimbus clouds or whispers made out of silver wire filigree. The second iteration of the sculpture, which forms the center point of the Ochi Gallery show, “nimbus II,” was exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles in 2007 and the Contemporary Museum Baltimore in 2008 alongside Grant’s “Wallpaper (la escalera al cielo).”  “A Perpetual Slow Circle” gathers “nimbus” works together for the first time as a complete body of work, including many that have not been shown before.

In “nimbus II,” each word of Joyce’s text is woven in silver wire, with a bubble around the word suggesting that language is by nature viral. Sentences, as strands of filigree, are then assembled into a larger cloud form. A bright light projects the shadow of the sculpture on the wall or floor, depending on the installation. In the “whisper” works and “susurro II” (whisper in Spanish) Grant has taken the wire strands of language and run them through a printing press, embossing them into the delicate, metallic paper. “Wallpaper (la escalera al cielo)” is a different kind of printing process — as the interconnected strands of words are digitally scanned and printed onto a wallpaper with a pattern that doesn’t repeat, suggesting an infinite landscape of language.

Other works on paper and canvas are translations of Joyce’s “Nimbus” text into drawing, using pencil and eraser to mimic a web of language. Grant’s short film “MOTION” traces the evolution of the work from Joyce’s original hand-woven text into drawing, sculpture, and finally the kinetic movement of “nimbus II” at it spins and casts its shadow.

Grant’s neon sculpture, “¿dónde está la escalera al cielo?” is a phrase that was transmitted into various of the “nimbus” works from another collaboration with Joyce, the “Ladder Quartet.”  Phrases from the poetry of Pablo Neruda and Wislawa Szymborska are also absorbed into many of the “nimbus” drawings and the wallpaper work — showing how by nature language both proliferates and is absorbed, is at once viral and parasitic.

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Images: Top: nimbus II, (after Michael Joyce’s “Nimbus,” 2003), 2007, wire, motor, light, 75″ x 75″ x 75″
Above: Untitled (whisper) 1-3, 2008, embossed Japanese painted paper and thread, 32″ in x 22″

The Avant-Garde Collection opens at OCMA September 7

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The Avant-Garde Collection

Orange County Museum of Art

September 7, 2014 – January 4, 2015

www.ocma.net/exhibition/avant-garde-collection

The Avant-Garde Collection traces the museum’s acquisitions highlights across five decades, with a specific focus on the evolving definition of avant-garde during that period. In the 1960s it was cutting-edge to employ imagery from popular culture, and by the 1970s performance and installation were the bywords of innovation. In the 1980s new media and appropriation appeared on everybody’s radar for the first time, while the 1990s in retrospect were all about identity politics and post-colonialism. Due to the pluralist tendencies of the 21st century that make the notion of avant-garde seem quaint, the challenge for artists to produce work that conceals the influence of generations past is more demanding than ever. Drawn entirely from OCMA’s collection, the selection’s underlying premise is to combine the retroactive gaze that enables us to determine which artists transcended the avant-garde of their time and which did not, with an historical effort to reconsider works that may have been visible in their heyday but have since slipped from view, there awaiting future scholarly reassessment.

Image: conspirar (after Michael Joyce’s “conspire,” 2004), 2005, mixed media on paper, 126″ x 80″. Photo by Brian Forrest.  Collection of the Orange County Museum of Art.