“Taking Lena Home” as part of LAND’s “Frame Rate” June 29

Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND)

“Frame Rate” – Alexandra Grant presents “Taking Lena Home”

www.nomadicdivision.org/exhibition/frame-rate-3-artists-3-evenings/

Thursday, June 29, 7pm

Blue Roof Studios
7329 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90003

Los Angeles Nomadic Division is pleased to present the West Coast Premiere of “Taking Lena Home,” Alexandra Grant’s 2016 documentary about the return of a stolen tombstone to rural Nebraska.

RSVP to: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfaWwPyQPYjRv9K01…/viewform

Flaming June VII (Flaming Creatures) opens at Gavlak Gallery June 8

Flaming June VII (Flaming Creatures)
Gavlak Gallery Los Angeles

www.gavlakgallery.com/exhibitions/flaming-june-vii-flaming-creatures
June 8 – August 5, 2017
Opening June 8, 6-8pm

Gavlak Los Angeles is pleased to present a group exhibition entitled Flaming June VII (Flaming Creatures). This is the seventh iteration of “Flaming June,” a series of exhibitions curated by Sarah Gavlak that began in 1997. The title of the show is attributed to English Pre-Raphaelite artist Sir Frederic Leighton’s famous classist painting Flaming June (1895) which portrays a sleeping woman in a vibrant orange gown. 

Artists featured include Lisa Anne Auerbach, Judie Bamber, Amy Bessone, Andrew Brischler, Zoe Buckman, Willie Cole, Mike Davis, Lecia Dole-Recio, Judith Eisler, Alexandra Grant, Keith Haring, David Haxton, Nir Hod, Timothy Horn, Elisabeth Kley, Kelly Lamb, Bovey Lee, Michael Manning, Maynard Monrow, David Mramor, Yuval Pudik, Dean Sameshima, Tabboo!, Betty Tompkins, Marnie Weber, T.J. Wilcox, and Rob Wynne.

Image: “She said to Creon” (1), from the Antigone 3000 series, 2016. Rubbing, collage, acrylic paint, colored pencil, acrylic and sumi ink on paper, 82″ x 72″.

The Artists’ Prison

The Artists’ Prison is an artist book created by Alexandra Grant and Eve Wood, both artists based in Los Angeles. Known for her collaborations with writers, Grant is a painter who transforms language into large-scale textual landscapes in painting and drawing. Wood is a visual artist, poet and art critic who equally works between visual and textual formats. The Artists’ Prison is Grant’s first collaborative exchange as a writer, where she invited Wood to illustrate her words.

The Artists’ Prison is a brutal Kafka-esque landscape where prisoners are both condemned for their creativity as much as punished with inventive penalties. These penalties are not always in keeping with the crimes committed and it is this ambiguity that drives the narrative forward. In The Artists’ Prison, the act of creating becomes a strangely erotic condemnation and a means to punish and transform those sentenced there. It is this very transformation — sometimes dubious, sometimes oddly sentimental — that becomes suspect.

The Artists’ Prison represents a unique visual and literary intersection wherein Wood’s 44 images do not so much as illustrate Grant’s text, but serve as visual “flourishes” that allow the text to expand out from its original meaning. Similarly, the text does not ground the imagery, but is a point of departure where the visuals continue to spin out and intensify its significance.

The Artists’ Prison was published by X Artists’ Books in 2017.

An exhibition of The Artists’ Prison drawings by Wood opens at Ochi Projects on June 3rd, from 6-9pm. A book signing by Grant and Wood will take place at the gallery, June 10th, from 4-6pm.

Image: Eve Wood, “Prisoner #42: The Broken Plate Artist,” 2015. Mixed media on paper, 7 1/8 x 7″.

“Antigone is you is me” at the Archer School for Girls

Antigone is you is me

Eastern Star Gallery at the Archer School for Girls

January 18 – February 18, 2017

Opening February 2

www.archer.org/page/news-detail?pk=864588

The Eastern Star Gallery is pleased to present Antigone is you is me, a participatory project with artist Alexandra Grant. Antigone is you is me is a text written by Grant and her sister Florence Grant that captures the ancient Greek myth Antigone in a contemporary scene. The part-poetry, part-dialogue, part-literary text imagines Antigone and her sister Ismene as two teenagers in Los Angeles. The exhibition is a community-based project that involves the entire Archer community to participate in illustrating this text. Students, teachers, and faculty will read the text as well as contemplate the Post-it notes containing keywords from the text in order to begin their drawing. A participant’s drawing experience, while limitless, is challenged to work with other artists around them and learn how to have each work flows into the other. Finally, every person who participates in the making of Antigone is you is me will be named alphabetically in the final presentation of the piece on Thursday, February 2. This is a place of hospitality, creativity, and experimentation.

The driving quote for this project is from the original story of Antigone: “I was born to love not to hate.” The final piece, with over 400 participants, captures a particular moment in time from the perspective of teenage girls, from the historic Women’s Marches across the globe to the inauguration of President Donald Trump.The Eastern Star Gallery is a unique art exhibition space located on the campus of The Archer School for Girls, an independent middle and high school in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. On Thursday, February 2, Archer will host a public gallery opening and reception for the artist.

Images by Brian Forrest.Press:

Antigone is you is me: Q&A with artist Alexandra Grant

http://archeroracle.org/29410/arts-entertainment/antigone-is-you-is-me-qa-with-artist-alexandra-grant/

ghost town at the Paiz Bienial of Guatemala

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ghost town is a participatory drawing project that will take place during the 20 Bienal de Arte Paiz in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Curated by Alma Ruiz, the Bienal, called “The Ordinary/Extraordinary: The Democratization of Art or the Will to Change Things” features artists from Guatemala and abroad such as Carlos-Cruz Diez, Magdalena Fernández, Alejandra González Escamilla, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Kimsooja, and Lawrence Weiner.

As part of the 40th year of the Bienal de Arte Paiz, Alexandra Grant’s ghost town will be an invitation to the public to join the artist in illustrating a series of poems by the Guatemalan writer Vania Vargas. For the purposes of this collaboration, Vargas created an anthology titled  “Cartografía de un pueblo fantasma” (“Cartography of a Ghost Town”), that maps out memories, real and fictive, across the urban landscape of Guatemala City. For ghost town Grant will use Vargas’s “Cartografía” as a linguistic plan or guide to create a collaborative drawing over 90 feet in length over a period of 17 days. The main theme of “Cartografía” is love—familial and romantic, lost and found—across a solitary or various subjects’s lifetime. At it’s essence ghost town is a collective memory mapping project, with “ghosts” familiar to those who live in Guatemala City, are fans of Vargas’s poetry, or have experienced heart-ache or break. Both ghost town and the text that informs it are democratic in their invitation to explore and co-create a shared imaginary landscape.

The hospitality and the communal dream of ghost town are informed by Grant’s work with the French philosopher and writer Hélène Cixous. In 2013, Grant collaborated with Cixous to complete a twinned-city drawing project in Los Angeles and Paris called “Forêt Intérieure/Interior Forest” based on Cixous’s book “Philippines.”

If you or your group would like to participate in ghost town, please email: mediacionxxbienalpaiz@gmail.com

Please join our community on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ghosttownpueblofantasma/

Dates for the 20 Bienal de Arte Paiz and ghost town

The 20 Bienal de Arte Paiz will take place from June 2nd to July 3rd in the historical center of Guatemala City. The public will be invited to join Alexandra Grant in illustrating ghost town beginning May 25th, with a separate celebration for all participants on June 10th.

Vania Vargas

About Vania Vargas

Vania Vargas is a Guatemalan writer and poet, born in Quetzaltenango in 1978. After receiving her university degree in literature at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, she worked as a journalist in both Quetzaltenango and Guatemala City. Her published works of poetry include “Cuentos infantiles” (“Children Stories”) y “Quizás ese día tampoco sea hoy”  (“Perhaps today isn’t that day either”) published in 2010 by Catafixia editorial and Editorial Cultura respectively. She also wrote “El futuro empezó ayer: apuesta por las nuevas escrituras de Guatemala” (“The Future Started Yesterday: Betting on New Writings from Guatemala”) with Catafixia editorial and UNESCO in 2012. Her most recent work in poetry “Señas particulares y cicatrices” (Particular signs and scars”) was released by Catafixia editorial in 2015. Her collection “Cartografía de un pueblo fantasma” (“Cartography of a Ghost Town”) is a collection from three of her books of poetry and put together in 2015 for her collaboration with Alexandra Grant in the project ghost town. Vargas published a book of short stories in 2016 called “Después del fin” (After the end) published by Ediciones del Pensativo.

About Alma Ruiz

Alma Ruiz is Senior Fellow in the Center for Management in the Creative Industries, Latin
American Specialist, Sotheby’s Institute of Art and Claremont Graduate University. She holds a
B.A. degree in Art History from the University of Southern California and a M.A. in Italian
Literature and Language at Middlebury College in Vermont and the University of Florence in
Italy. A former Senior Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, Ruiz
has curated numerous exhibitions focusing on the postwar period in the United States, Italy, and
Latin America with artists such as Alighiero Boetti, Mauricio Cattelan, Lygia Clark, Magdalena
Fernández, Carlos Garaicoa, Gego, Kcho, Ernesto Neto, Marco Maggi, Ana Mendieta, Piero
Manzoni, Hélio Oiticica, Gabriel Orozco, Damián Ortega, Rosângela Renno, Mira Schendel, and
Francesco Vezzoli. In addition to having served as a guest curator at La Fundación/Colección
Jumex, Mexico City; the Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv; the Art Museum of the Americas,
Washington, D.C., the Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, and Fundación Telefónica,
Buenos Aires, she has acted as a juror for numerous biennials in Latin America, including the V
Panama Biennial, the Tamayo Biennial in Mexico City, and the Second Exhibition of Central
American Emerging Artists in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ruiz has also been a panelist for The Paul
& Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, Creative Capital Foundation in New York, and the
U.S. Fund for Culture in Mexico City, and is a member of the Advisory Committee for the
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in Miami.

Bienal de Arte Paiz

About the 20th Paiz Bienal — The Ordinary/Extraordinary: The Democratization of Art or the Will to Change Things

The 20 Bienal de Arte Paiz celebrates 40 years of supporting the Guatemalan visual arts by the Fundación Paiz for Art and Culture. The twentieth edition aspires to greater inclusiveness by bringing the public closer to contemporary art, through the promotion of a simple and direct dialogue as a first step for a better understanding of the art of our time. In the historic center of Guatemala City, the Bienal de Arte Paiz will endeavor to close the gap that exists between the public and the work of art through participatory works and other works inspired by the idea of art and life. Created by national and international artists, the works of art included span from the sixties to the present and explore the notion of the everyday through various themes: Object: Deconstructions, Obsessions, and the Exercise of Collecting; Observation of Space and Place; Individual and Social Identity; Politics and Activism; and the Everyday Unconscious.

Shadows opens at ACME. on February 13

Grant_Shadow9_Til death do us part

Image: Shadow (9), after Keanu Reeves’s “Til death do us part,” 2016, acrylic pigment printed on Arches velour paper rough, 40 x 60 inches, printed in Germany by Gerhard Steidl.

Shadows

February 13 – March 12, 2016

ACME.

Reception for the artist: Saturday, February 20, 6 – 8 pm

Book signing with the artist: Saturday, February 27, 3 – 6 pm

http://www.acmelosangeles.com/exhibitions/2016-2-alexandra-grant/?view=images

ACME. is pleased to present Shadows, a solo exhibition of new photographic works by Los Angeles based artist Alexandra Grant. The show is an exciting culmination of Grant’s collaboration with actor and writer Keanu Reeves, The Lapis Press, and Steidl Publishing.

This new collaborative series by Alexandra Grant and Keanu Reeves explores the nature and qualities of the shadow as phenomena, image, and metaphor. Grant photographs Reeves’ shadow in various movements, capturing mysterious silhouettes to haunting traces of light as Reeves and the camera move together. Grant then reverses light for dark and makes the Shadows themselves the source of light, creating an x-ray effect. These intimate black and white images, a record of a private performance, are printed by Steidl on large scale velour paper giving the photographs a velvety matte surface. The exhibition will feature a sequence of Grant’s Shadow images creating an overall cinematic effect or visual language.

Grant’s Shadows project also includes a suite of smaller scale limited edition color prints produced at The Lapis Press, as well as a book published by Steidl, where Grant’s photographs are accompanied by texts written by Reeves. A selection of Grant’s color prints will be on view in the small gallery, and a book signing with Grant and Reeves will be held at the gallery during the exhibition.

A Conversation with Alexandra Grant, Leslie Jones, and Steve Roden at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, September 27

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In Dialogue: A Conversation with Alexandra Grant, Leslie Jones, and Steve Roden

“These Carnations Defy Language” artists Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden discuss their individual sources and processes as well as their collaborative works. Leslie Jones, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings at LACMA, moderates.

http://pmcaonline.org/programs/in-dialogue-these-carnations-defy-language/

NO RSVP REQUIRED.
Free with admission. Free for PMCA members.

Image: Alexandra Grant, I was born to love not to hate (1) [detail], 2014. Mixed media on paper backed with fabric, 126 x 72 inches. Photo credit: Brian Forrest.

LA Times review of “These Carnations Defy Language” at PMCA

1502-178 -¬ Don Milici

Two artists try to portray the indescribable at Pasadena Museum of California Art

Review by Sharon Mizota

www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-alexandra-grant-steve-roden-pasadena-museum-of-california-art-20150824-story.html

“These Carnations Defy Language,” a two-person exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, is a perfect pairing of local artists Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden.

Both have long been inspired by language, often using it to generate colorful, intensely heartfelt abstractions. Side by side in this gently moving show, their drawings and collages have something of a familial resemblance, deploying dense networks of grids, stripes and triangles with vibrant, organic energy.

The exhibition was inspired by both artists’ engagement with the prose poems of French writer Francis Ponge, who described everyday things like flowers, wasps and soap with unbridled jubilation. Still, despite these raptures (or because of them), he found language inadequate: The exhibition’s truculent title comes from him.

Grant’s and Roden’s works might be said to reverse-engineer Ponge: Where he attempted to capture quotidian wonders in words, they transform language into images that blossom.

Roden often uses textual or musical sources as a kind of “score” for generating imagery, and here he uses an issue of the Italian architecture magazine Domus published in the month and year of his birth.

The resulting drawings and collages often incorporate clippings from the magazine and refer obliquely to the sleek contours of modern architecture, although Roden builds his images through accretion and improvisation, which gives them a more relaxed, vernacular feel.

“The sky crying is,” features triangular, peek-a-boo cutouts that reveal spare, architectural imagery behind a surface of drippy, hand-painted, multicolored stripes. The image simultaneously evokes structure and defies it.

Especially intriguing is the video “lines and faces,” in which Roden arranges striped paper triangles over a magazine page depicting three famous writers. As Roden aligns and misaligns the stripes over the portraits, we understand the irreducibility of faces: They are always more than the sum of the lines—whether drawn or written—that describe them.

Grant was inspired by Sophocles’ play “Antigone,” whose female protagonist defies political decrees to honor her dead brother. Five large wall pieces are each titled with a line from the play, “I was born to love not to hate.”

Strong stripes and chevrons provide a structural component that plays against the messiness of Rorschach blots and the words of the title in Grant’s trademark mirrored writing. The blots and the words—both bilaterally symmetrical like a body—flicker between legibility and nonsense.

The juxtaposition of hard, geometric shapes and this more indeterminate imagery is an analog, not only for Antigone’s predicament, but for the way text works. Only hard, black letters on a page, it can evoke, as Ponge knew, so much more.

What Roden and Grant are really getting at is meaning itself: how it is made and transmitted and what becomes of it along the way.

Seeing their works together for the first time, I was surprised by their visionary, almost spiritual quality. Although they appear systematic and structured, there is always a human element that escapes description, defies our attempts to pin it down.

Photo credit: John Millici

These Carnations Defy Language opens at PMCA June 13

grantroden_940x600

Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden: “These Carnations Defy Language”

Opening: Saturday, June 13, 7-9pm

June 14, 2015–November 1, 2015

Pasadena Museum of California Art

http://pmcaonline.org/exhibitions/alexandra-grant-and-steve-roden-these-carnations-defy-language/

Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden: “These Carnations Defy Language” began as a seed, a conversation between the artists regarding an anthology of the French poet Francis Ponge. This exhibition stems from that conversation, which presents new individual and co-created works by Grant and Roden that highlight their use of textual sources and their own conceptual systems to inspire and structure their production.

Grant’s paintings from her new series Antigone 3000 continue her inquiry of literary texts as source material for her imagery. The works in “These Carnations Defy Language” explore and map the Greek myth of Antigone from its original basis in Sophocles’s text to a current exchange on the importance of Antigone to future generations with Pasadena-based poet and artist Kate Durbin. Roden introduces a new body of work titled snowbirds don’t fly. His paintings, drawings, and video respond to various significant childhood images, experiences, and encounters, including Neal Adams’s artistry for issue 85 of DC’s Green Lantern/Green Arrow comic, a group of Domus magazines found in his father’s basement, and a Hebrew prayer book belonging to his great grandfather.

In addition, the exhibition includes a collaborative series of works on paper that explore a text that has inspired both artists: Francis Ponge’s Mute Objects of Expression, a book of poems from which the exhibition’s title is taken. Pushing the artists’ interests in language and systems beyond the gallery walls, “These Carnations Defy Language” will feature a brochure with an essay by Leslie Jones, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings at LACMA.

PROGRAMS:

Antigone 3000: Re-imagining Antigone in Word and Art
Saturday, June 20, 2015 | 2:00pm–4:00pm
Pasadena artist and poet Kate Durbin and “These Carnations Defy Language” artist Alexandra Grant are in an ongoing dialogue about the importance of Sophocles’s Antigone. Join Durbin in creating your own version of Antigone’s story in the form of a poetic text and a large collaborative collage, culminating in a dynamic group reading. Free with admission. Free for PMCA members. Space is limited. Email RSVP[at]pmcaonline[dot]org

http://pmcaonline.org/programs/antigone-3000/

Artists’ Walkthrough | “These Carnations Defy Language”
Sunday, June 28, 2015 | 3:00pm
Artists Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden lead a walkthrough of their exhibition “These Carnations Defy Language.” Free with admission. Free for PMCA members.

http://pmcaonline.org/programs/artists-walkthrough-these-carnations-defy-language/

In Dialogue: A Conversation with Alexandra Grant, Leslie Jones, and Steve Roden
Sunday, September 27, 2015 | 1:00pm
“These Carnations Defy Language” artists Alexandra Grant and Steve Roden discuss their individual sources and processes as well as their collaborative works. Leslie Jones, Ph.D., Curator of Prints and Drawings at LACMA, moderates. Free with admission. Free for PMCA members.

http://pmcaonline.org/programs/in-dialogue-these-carnations-defy-language/

Images: Alexandra Grant, I was born to love not to hate (2) [detail], 2014. Mixed media on paper backed with fabric, 126 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the Artist. Photo credit: Brian Forrest; Steve Roden, the sky crying is [detail], 2015. Acrylic, sumi ink, collage, and magazine images, 65 x 36 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photo: Jeff McLane.

The Offing: “Antigone 3000”

alexandragrant_antigone3000_4

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.