“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/

L.A. Exuberance at LACMA through April 2, 2017

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

BCAM, Level 3

October 30, 2016 – April 2, 2017

www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/la-exuberance-new-gifts-artists

Since LACMA’s establishment, living artists have played an instrumental role in understanding the museum’s encyclopedic collection through a contemporary lens. L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts by Artists features a selection of works given to the museum for its 50th anniversary, as part of an unprecedented campaign led by artist Catherine Opie. Featuring over sixty gifts, the exhibition includes additions to the collection by Edgar Arceneaux, John Baldessari, Uta Barth, Larry Bell, Tacita Dean, Sam Durant, Shannon Ebner, Charles Gaines, Ken Gonzales-Day, Alexandra Grant, Glenn Kaino, Friedrich Kunath, Sterling Ruby, Analia Saban, James Welling, Mario Ybarra Jr., and Brenna Youngblood. This exhibition marks the culmination of LACMA’s 50th anniversary year, one that began with historic gifts to the museum represented in 50 for 50: Gifts on the Occasion of LACMA’s Anniversary.

1502-194 -¬ Don MiliciI was born to love not to hate (5), 2014, mixed media on paper backed with fabric, 116” x 72”. Permanent collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

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

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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

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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”

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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