Posts tagged Los Angeles
Scanning the Landscape: An Interview with Aurora Tang by Kate Wolf
Aurora Tang is a curator and researcher working at the intersections of Land Art’s legacy and site-specific installation, architectural criticism, history, photography, and the imperative of ground-truthing. (The term, borrowed from geography, means simply knowing places through firsthand experience of them.) Since 2009, she has worked for The Center for Land Use Interpretation, an organization that exemplifies all of the above, and is nearing its third decade of operation. Here, Tang discusses the multivalence of her work in land use phenomenology and education, the freedom of research, the significance of rephotography, and approaching landscape as readymade.
Artists at Work: Shirley Tse by Vanessa Holyoak
Hong Kong-born, California-based artist Shirley Tse has developed a multivalent installation practice exploring sculptural processes as “models of multi-dimensional thinking and negotiation.” Her current work is informed by her recent move to the Central Coast town of Lompoc, in rural Santa Barbara County, and converges natural and human-made materials to reveal the unsustainable, anthropogenic footprints left on ecosystems we imagine as pristine. This conversation evolved into a discussion of environmental and economic sustainability, transformation and plasticity, and human and non-human cohabitation in an era marked by ecological and social crises.
Artists at Work: Pippa Garner “Back to Zero Again” by David Matorin
Pippa Garner is an artist of many in-betweens. Since studying automotive design at ArtCenter in the 1960s and serving in the U.S. Army as a combat illustrator during the Vietnam War, Garner has built a decades-long career that bridges the chasms dividing art from design, publishing, media, and lived experience. Always with an edge of sardonic wit, her absurdist yet accessible drawings, sculptures, and characters cast a satirist’s trenchant eye toward the systems of authority and myth that shaped the Boomer Generation’s American experience. Embarking, in the late ‘80s, on her self-described project of “gender hacking” caused an estrangement from L.A.’s art world at the time, as well as a recent resurgence of interest in her status as a pioneering trans artist.
Still: Amy Adler by Jordan Karney Chaim
Since the 1990s Amy Adler has used film stills and photographs (her own as well as found) as the basis for her work, methodically drawing the existing images, most often in pastel. In the careful construction of her compositions, she stages scenes that buzz with a dynamic charge, even when depicting only a single figure. Jordan Karney Chaim examines Adler’s career, and its evolving relationship with images over decades.
There Used to Be Vacant Lots by Fiona Bryson
The explosive growth of Skid Row in the late 1970s and 1980s, simultaneous with the dismantling of the welfare state under Reagan, was preceded by the erasure of downtown's Bunker Hill neighborhood. The ensuing commercial redevelopment moved affordable housing away from the city’s center, further increasing the racial and economic segregation already prevalent in L.A.'s DNA. In "There Used to Be Vacant Lots," Fiona Bryson charts the legacy of downtown artists who lived and worked alongside Skid Row's unhoused throughout the 1980s, observing, activating, and creating community within L.A.'s forgotten spaces.
People At Parties by Gracie Hadland
Photographer Reynaldo Rivera’s documentation of the Los Angeles party scene in the 1990s serves as artifact and aspiration—conditions writer Grace Hadland desires in her essay, “People At Parties.” Through Rivera's lens emerged atmospheric images of queer and Latinx subcultures that unfolded behind the stages of drag bars like Silverlake Lounge and Mugy’s, inspiring a yearning for the past amidst today’s lackluster digital landscape.
Artists at Work: Sara Issakharian by Sóla Saar Agustsson
Sara Issakharian is a mixed-media painter based between Los Angeles and Berlin. Born and raised in Tehran, her work takes up themes such as the grief of emigration, women’s oppression, and state violence. Her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, ‘There’s a whole life in that, in knowing that the sun is there,’ which opened at Tanya Leighton Gallery in August 2021, explores the duality of light and darkness. Her work will be included in an upcoming group exhibition, “Abstract Now,” at SITE131 in Dallas, Texas.
Dance of the Wild Men: Felix Art Fair 2021 by Claudia Ross
Emulating its script, the fair itself unfolded as a site-specific theatre in which guests, gallerists, and artists promenaded between the works on view. The ensuing performance was equal parts decadent and mannered, aware of its own elaborate display. Cocktails went for $15 and Felix-themed beach balls filled the Roosevelt’s Hockney lagoon. A small camera crew tailed Jerry Saltz. Eric Andre and Hunter Biden were in attendance. And the party! The pool! The margaritas! If glamour—and all its painful self-consciousness—were a genre, this would be it.