1 Apr — 6 May 2017 at the Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, United States
Fifteen years ago, I wrote a job-wanted sign and hung it outside of a bathroom near Seattle's Fisherman's Terminal. It read: "Experienced deckhand looking for work on a commercial crab or halibut fishing boat in Alaska - hard worker - does not get seasick." I was 24-years old, energetic and ambitious, with a few years of salmon fishing experience (but naive to the world of high seas fish-work). After a few shifty respondents, I was hired by a seasoned Norwegian fisherman and flew on a small prop plane, past the icy volcanoes and windswept passes of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, eventually slamming down onto the short runway in Dutch Harbor. The experience would forever change the direction of my life and shape my identity as both a fisherman and photographer.
Isolated from the mainland by some of the world's roughest waters, Dutch Harbor is a thriving, working-class commercial fishing port surrounded by steep mountains and lonely windswept valleys. It's a place where industry and nature collide in strange and beautiful ways, a place where people harvest seafood on a massive scale, and share their meals and their refuse with local wildlife --- from rapacious bald eagles to curious foxes.
That first year I worked jigging for Codfish in the Bering Sea and continued to return for work as a crabber for the next seven seasons. What lured me back, though, wasn't only the money but the curious and often masochistic realization of the American dream happening in the Aleutian Islands. Those who come here often possess a desire to escape the safety of home to work in an environment filled with risk and visual grandeur that is far from ordinary. In recent trips, I joined fisherman at sea aboard crabbers and trawlers, and on land, documenting the surreal landscape of fishing culture that once captured my imagination as a young greenhorn. Aleutian Dreams is a collection of images from my journey through this wild and unforgiving frontier of Western Alaska.
Jan 29, 2017
Richard Heller Gallery is pleased to announce the representation of Christian Rex van Minnen
Interview with Joakim Ojanen in The Hundreds
Jan 8, 2017
The Secret Life of Joakim Ojanen's Art
Like most artists, Stockholm-based painter and ceramicist Joakim Ojanen aims to make work that is timeless. But Joakim's approach to timelessness is unconventional: His woozy characters are intended to be both 8 and 30 years old at the same time. "I'm fascinated about the fact that we are aging and all the time changing a little bit," Joakim explains. "And all the time we still have the memories and experiences from all our previous years. I try to use that in my work."
What results are oil paintings and stoneware sculptures that appear both childlike and innocent, mature and melancholy. For example, at a recent exhibition at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles—the artist's first solo show in the United States—a downcast duckbilled character strummed a guitar, and a boy with an aquamarine Pinocchio nose fiddled with a soccer ball. The figures were a combination of both playfulness and profundity. "I definitely think they look the way they do because of my illustration background," Joakim explains in the following interview with The Hundreds. "The expression of the characters is really important to me—that's how you make them feel alive."
Andrew Chuani Ho Review in Hi-Fructose
Nov 5, 2016
Andrew Chuani Ho's Absorbing Colored Pencil Drawings
by Andy SmithPosted on
Andrew Chuani Ho, a Los Angeles native, creates vibrant scenes with colored pencil on paper, with works that are both surreal and autobiographical. In his first solo show at Richard Heller Gallery, titled Days and Days, the artist brings his trademark insanity and blending components in a new set of works. The artist cites influences like Matisse, Marquez, and even Henry Darger. From the gallery: "Having a deeply spiritual upbringing, Ho's work exhibits the use of patterns, colors and symbols to reinterpret myths and fables of yore into meditatively drawn colored pencil drawings."
Andrew Chuani Ho just opened his first solo show at Richard Heller Gallery and from the looks of these images, it certainly won't be his last. From the gallery: "In his inaugural solo show,Days and Days,Ho stages the inception of his narrative with a set of drawings that draw from a diverse range of influences, including the likes of Henry Darger, Henri Matisse and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Having a deeply spiritual upbringing, Ho's work exhibits the use of patterns, colors and symbols to reinterpret myths and fables of yore into meditatively drawn colored pencil drawings."
Amy Bennett channels Thomas Cole and other Hudson River School painters in her latest exhibition, a series of oil paintings on canvas depicting the gradual transformation of pristine New England-style wilderness into farmland and townships — changes she herself inflicted over a four-year period on the 8-foot square 3D miniature model she built in her studio. Out of handmade mountains, verdant forests and sparkling rivers, she cleared crops, roads, and pastures. Over the years, she eventually fabricated and arranged over 450 wooden buildings in 1/500 scale — barns, churches, houses, industrial buildings, storefronts, silos, and schools. Her daily pausing to document the progress of this analog game of The Sims comes to resemble a kind of time-lapse of this self-generating fantasy as it was unfolding.
"Are those model buildings or a painting? For artist Amy Bennett, the answer is both."
by Leah Ollman
Amy Bennett makes paintings that call little attention to the elaborate process of their creation, but what may seem like conventional landscapes come with a back story that gives us far more to absorb and ponder than what's visible on the wall.
For "Small Changes Every Day," her recent series at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, Bennett started with an 8-by-8-foot hunk of plastic foam and built a model of an undisturbed patch of verdant terrain. She painted a portrait of the land as seen from above, a handsome Eden dotted with ponds and etched with streams.
Modern Painters: 500 Best Galleries Worldwide
Aug 23, 2016 From Dallas to Dubai, Sydney to Shanghai, the global art market continues to swell its ranks. It can be a Sisyphean chore to keep track of this international scene — which is why Modern Painters has done some of the legwork for you, charting the most exciting and noteworthy galleries around the world. In its August issue, the magazine created a helpful guide that presents a snapshot of the ever-growing, globalized hunger for art. The issue also includes in-depth conversations with a dozen dealers, who talk about their passions, early days, and future ambitions. In the upcoming days, ARTINFO will publish Modern Painters' guide to the 500 Best Galleries Worldwide. Here, we present the magazine's selection of the top galleries in the Americas.
Richard Heller Gallery Santa Monica Leadership: Richard Heller Artists: Amy Bennett, Michelle Grabner, Sasha Pierce, Devin Troy Strother, Dustin Yellin Established: 1997 Contact: richardhellergallery.com email@example.com +1 310 453 9191
Swedish artist Joakim Ojanen creates paintings and ceramic sculptures that are quirky and compassionate. His part-human / part-animal creatures have distinct personalities and are full of feeling and emotion. Though the overall sentiment is a kind of melancholy, Ojanen's exhibition is remarkably refreshing and uplifting. The figures' frowns elicit smiles from the viewer.
Ojanen's ten paintings are strategically placed on the gallery walls, complementing the sculptures. Each is a 3/4 portrait of a doll-like figure against a light monochrome background. One, Untitled Portrait 07 (2015), appears to be an altered version of a figure in Picnic (2016) as both wear a baseball cap with the number 85.
The larger ceramics—both busts and full figures—sit in solitude on pedestals whereas many of the smaller works are presented in clusters. Ojanen also presents two tableaux with numerous ceramic items. Picnic and Friends from the Past (2016) are quasi-narratives where Ojanen's cartoony figures are seen together but not interacting, isolated from each other— reading a comic, holding a ball or staring longingly out into space.
Viewing the exhibition is akin to stepping into a world dominated by children, specifically boys in short-pants smoking, reading, drawing or playing. Many of the heads have long noses and floppy ears that often function like arms holding pieces of fruit atop their heads or wiping away tears. Amidst these sad boys are a few happy dogs. That the animals are the only creatures to smile says a lot about Ojanen's world view, or at least speaks to the difficulties of growing up. This is reinforced through Ojanen's titles. Indecisive (2016) is a double nosed, three eyed and three legged ceramic boy. The painting I Hate Mondays (2016) features a slumped-over baseball capped figure who refuses to move.
Ojanen's painted and ceramic figures are minimal and not rendered in exacting detail. Their large eyes, long noses, shorts, striped or logoed t-shirts and drooping cigarettes delineate an attitude of insecurity and defiance, yet rather than elicit stoicism they are empathetic, yearning and delightfully whimsical.
Joakim Ojanen, "What a Time to be Alive :(", June 25 – July 30 at Richard Heller Gallery, 2525 Michigan Avenue, #B-5A, Santa Monica, CA, www.richardhellergallery.com
Joakim Ojanen's playfully enigmatic ceramic sculptures are strangely endearing. Throughout the exhibition, the artist has set up a series of intimate vignettes using small-scale ceramic figures of people with bald heads and duckbill faces engaged in the various and often mundane activities of living. More importantly though, Ojanen's figures appear alienated and lovelorn, part of a larger community, yet unable to fit in completely. This theme is certainly pertinent given all the tragedy that is happening in the world today. One wonders if these forlorn and confused little sculptures might know more about us than they let on.
Richard Heller Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave. #B-5A
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Show runs thru July 30, 2016
LA Times Review: Joakim Ojanen
June 25, 2016 - July 30, 2016
Review Joakim Ojanen: Innocence and melancholy, sculpted into old souls and teary dogs
By David C. Pagel
JULY 5, 2016, 6:00 AM
The figures in Joakim Ojanen's "What a Time to Be Alive :(" look like they might be the same guy: a sensitive soul who has suffered plenty of indignities growing up in a cruel world yet still brings an open heart to
every experience that comes his way.
Innocence and persistence come together in the Swedish artist's U.S. solo debut. By turns comic and tragic, his exhibition at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica features 31 standalone sculptures, 10 oils on canvas and a pair of tableaux, each of which includes boys wise beyond their years and soccer balls, soda cans, beer bottles
The pitfalls and benefits of vulnerability are Ojanen's great subject. It takes shape in all his works, which suggest that the capacity for forgiveness is the source of real strength. Toughness, on the contrary, comes across as dimwitted insensitivity. In the eyes of the 31-year-old, the cost of growing up is too high a price to pay for what it
takes away from us.
Ojanen's paintings are whimsical. The seven largest are portraits of creatures that seem to have been modeled on dolls made from scraps of fabric by an eccentric aunt. Their creamy pastels and obsessive-compulsive paint handling give them terrific tactility.
But Ojanen's ceramic sculptures steal the show. Their expressions are far more complex — more wounded, befuddled, earnest, excited and surprised. Also more melancholic, mischievous, levelheaded and wise. All seem to be old souls trapped inside kids.
Many are simply heads that rest on tabletops. The smallest are no bigger than saltand- pepper shakers. Packing loaded emotions into a few cubic inches, they show Ojanen at his best.
Others, about the size of a child's head, similarly surprise in their capacity to elicit empathy. It's hard to tell if some of Ojanen's heads are human or canine. His dogs often use their long floppy ears to wipe away tears, to tug at their lowers lips (as if deep in thought) and to cover their eyes (as if they've seen enough). Four freestanding mutts are among the happiest — and most well adjusted — of Ojanen's creatures.
His full-body figures stand about 2ó feet tall. They have the presence of ventriloquist dummies that have run away and are now on their own. Most know they are in over their heads. But the responsibilities of adulthood have not extinguished their passion or joy. They make room for those moments when innocence and wisdom commingle.
Richard Heller Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica.
Through July 30. Closed Sundays and Mondays. (310) 453-9191,
Follow The Times arts team @culturemonster.
Interview: Devin Troy Strother - Elephant Magazine
Jun 1, 2016
Interview with Devin Troy Strother in Issue 27 of Elephant, The Art Culture Magazine (Summer 2016).
Matt Mignanelli / Brian Rochefort / Russell Tyler – Richard Heller Gallery – Santa Monica CA
Born in 1983 in Providence, Rhode Island. Mignanelli lives and works in New York City and is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.
In his works, Mignanelli's approach to painting has evolved from subtle monochromes to a stark black / white, deep blue / white, and deep blue / black palette. While continuing to explore relationships between structure and nature, which are relayed through the use of harsh light and shadow against architectural elements, Mignanelli has been reexamining the evolving interactions amongst light and surface in these works.
The hard edge is applied over gestural strokes and drips of the background. Mignanelli allows for the hand to come through again on his surface through the use of handpainted shapes and the imperfections the human hand creates amongst them. Chance enters into these paintings through the mode of execution; the works are all painted flat on a table. As Mignanelli moves around the work, painting in sections, the viscous enamel splashes and drips into the negative spaces. This spontaneity that emerges makes the paintings feel alive, and have allowed the works to become much more about painting itself.
The subtle variation of shapes in each painting creates areas of "disruption" within these environments. The visual breaks within the repetition of shape create a movement that forces the eye to dance.
The return to color in Mignanelli's works has been marked by another significant change in his life, the birth of his daughter last summer. The many sleepless nights that followed changed his work. The midnight blues of the night sky, and the early morning light inspired the deep blue palette for these new works. There is a certain serenity in the palette, representing those peaceful moments when the world is still asleep.
Mignanelli's paintings have been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and internationally with solo exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, LUCE Gallery, Torino, and Dubner Moderne, Lausanne. He recently had a twoperson exhibition at Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City (2015). His works will be included in Face to Face: Selections from the Ernesto Esposito Collection at Palazzo Fruscione, Salerno (forthcoming), and have been exhibited in Linear Abstraction at the SCAD Museum of Art, Savanna (2015), Ameringer, McEnery, and Yohe (2015), Dickinson Roundell (2015), Contemporary Istanbul (2015), EXPO Chicago with Richard Heller Gallery (2015), Regina
Rex (2014), Bleeker Street Arts Club (2013), GRAHAM (2013), Guerrero Gallery (2013), Art Copenhagen with Marianne Friis Gallery (2012), GossMichael Foundation (2012), and Quint Contemporary (2012).
*** Brian Rochefort
Born and raised in Rhode Island. Lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Rochefort received his BFA in Ceramics at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. He was awarded the Lillian Fellowship from the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana 2007/2009.
Rochefort is a mixed media sculptor working in ceramics, glaze (on vessels) and automotive paint (on sculpture).
Rochefort's vessels, ceramic "paintings" and sculptures flaunt the anxious and risky mindset of disorder and chaos in the face of the viewer, reminding us that the Horror Vacui exists. His works are homages to both AbEx and contemporary painting, he builds layers slowly and uses multiple firings in his quest for texture.
The seductive messes and goo that spread out in our lives, regardless of our attempts to contain them, are the insistent presence at the forefront of the work. Freezing untidy, mucky moments, the works scream at us to pay attention to their nauseous ornament, throwing up our most base funhouse selves, celebrating the pleasure, beauty and horror of the entirety of what is worldly and human.
Rochefort has had recent exhibitions at Sorry We're Closed, Brussels, Retrospective Gallery, Hudson, New York, and Vault Exhibition, American Museum of Ceramic Art, AMOCA, Pomona, California.
*** Russell Tyler
Born 1981 in Summertown, Tennessee. Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Tyler received his MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and BFA from Concordia University in Montreal.
Tyler's practice consists of two complementary qualities: the gestural and the hard edge, or geometric.
The geometric paintings are redolent of both the history of abstract painting as well as the contemporary image space of the computer screen. While sensuous and tactile, with expressively applied oil paint and rich impasto, the work is also highly structured and unfolds with deliberate shifts in color schemes and forms. The work invites a playful dialogue with several dueling movements from the history of abstraction, including Minimalism, Concrete Art, and Expressionism. While Tyler's work shows the strong influence of artists from these movements such as Josef Albers, the work is also distinctly of its time, related to digital technologies both outmoded and new. The unfolding blocks of color refer to the computer's organization of virtual dimensional space on a flat surface.
The gestural paintings push the boundaries of confined space by allowing a certain cosmic wildness in which colors collide. Clearly influenced by Philip Guston and Cy Twombly, the work allows for drips, splotches, and textures which are meaningfully applied or randomly allowed to come through on the surface.
Tyler has had solo exhibitions at Denny Gallery in New York, B15 Gallery in Copenhagen and EbersMoore Gallery in Chicago.
To see all images included in this article please go to:
Familiarity, warmth, and exuberance take center stage in Hope Gangloff's latest exhibit, a series of acrylic-based portraits currently on view at the LA-based Richard Heller gallery. The figurative works stem from tender encounters with close individuals, mostly friends from Gangloff's inner circle, who are presented in a succession of engaging and intimate moments. Gangloff continues in depicting creative life in Brooklyn through vivid, expressive, and highly textured canvases bursting with fluorescent waves. Artist peers such as Yuri Masnyj (former classmate from Cooper Union) and Benjamin Degen (Gangloff's husband), as well as rising actor Christopher Abbott (of 'Girls' fame) have all served as characters in her work, beautifully captured in a variety of vulnerable, pensive, and introspective states. Executing her paintings in a large-scale format coupled with a striking color palette, mundane aspects of everyday life - laying in bed, playing chess, waiting at the airport, getting dressed - become sublime and compelling scenes. In these casual snapshots, as seen through the artist's bright and vibrant lens, Gangloff presents contemporary American urban life and challenges us to cherish the ordinary in our daily lives.
Hope Gangloff was born in Amityville, Long Island and is a graduate of Cooper Union. Gangloff is represented by Susan Inglett in New York and by Art Dept for her illustration work. The artist lives and works in upstate New York. Hope Gangloff: New Paintings will be on view through April 30at Richard Heller in Santa Monica, CA.
To see all images included in this review please go to: http://gallerygurls.net
DEVIN TROY STROTHER: IN CONVERSATION WITH LINDSAY PRESTON ZAPPAS
Devin Troy Strother knows how his work can be perceived and he's not afraid to talk about it. I joined Strother in his LA studio, where we discussed the unique references in his work, and how he situates himself within the art world, the art market, and the black community.
Devin Troy Strother: Both of my parents worked all day so I was basically raised by television. They would just leave me at home with the television on so I watched a shit ton of TV and a lot of movies all the time.
Lindsay Preston Zappas: That's kind of a suburban condition, right, to be a latchkey kid? Do you watch TV a lot in the studio?
No, at home after I leave the studio. I have this publishing company called Coloured Publishing that my girlfriend Yuri and I started and work on at home. Basically, I watch TV whenever I'm at home, working on a book. I'm kind of hard of hearing so I play shit really loud, which my girlfriend hates. I used to go to a lot of shows when I was younger so I fucked up my ears. I listen to music really loud in the car. I play everything really loud. We started living together and it's usually just me drawing until 4 in the morning, blaring the TV (usually comedy specials) or podcasts hosted by comedians like Marc Maron, Joe Rogan, and Doug Benson, to name a few. I think a lot of my work comes out of that. A lot of the titles have an aspect of me trying to be a comedic storyteller—almost like the title is a one-two punch line to the visual element. The piece is the set up and the title is the punch line.
ENTERTAINMENT / ARTS & CULTURE / CAROLINA A. MIRANDA
Datebook: Abandoned buildings, new paintings
and a show that tackles race and violence
By Carolina A. Miranda
MARCH 25, 2016, 2:24 PM
A trio of painters. Photography that records ruin in intelligent ways. And abstracted bits of landscape rendered as mosaic. Plus, the Underground Museum unveils a timely new exhibition.
Here are four shows to see this week:
Hope Gangloff, Benjamin Degen and Yuri Masnyj at Richard Heller Gallery. Heller's gallery is featuring a series of solo exhibitions by a trio of New York-based painters. These include Gangloff's moody portraits, Degen's glitteringly surreal landscapes and the diagrammatic paintings by Masnyj, which function as strange inventories of objects and things. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through April 30.
Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Ste. B5, Santa Monica, richardhellergallery.com.
Recently, I saw your work in an exhibition at The Hole and was intrigued to learn more. You've stated previously 'A lot of my works are based on industrial facades and architectural elements.' How does working from your studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn influence your art?
The entire city has been a source of great inspiration, but the industrial landscape that Bushwick is comprised of has critically influenced the works as they have developed over the years. The roll down gates, corrugated metal walls, sidewalk hatches, diamond plate steel, surfaces in the subway that have been repainted hundreds of times all fascinate me. These industrial surfaces and the utilitarian applications of paint feel so pure to me, and something I strive to bring into my own works.
I am immediately drawn to the meditative quality of your paintings. Please discuss your process and the importance of repetition.
When analyzing the construction of surface, repetition is at the core of all we construct. It readily appears in the natural world; such as blades of grass that repeat to create a lawn, and has been copied by man to create surface as well, such as in the bricks we build structures with or the brush stoke that endlessly repeats to coat a wall. Repetition presents itself again in the form of time, and our daily routines.
Within this line of thinking, repetition feels so natural to me. Within my works, the choice to focus on repetition creates immersive environments.
The works are begun with gestural brush strokes using large house painting brushes to lay down a base coat. The painting is measured out with a pencil and ruler, and then painted entirely free-hand in enamel. The work is painted flat on a table. As I move quickly through the shapes, the viscous enamel splashes onto the surface.
Currently you have an exhibition at the Richard Heller Gallery; can you talk about the work you have included?
The new works being exhibited at Richard Heller mark the first exhibition where I have departed from the subtle black on black and white on white works, and returned to color after more than 4 years, moving into bolder black/white, blue/white, and blue/black works.
I have been thinking about these new works as "Disruptions," as the different shapes disrupt these repetitious fields and create a sense of movement within the picture.
Many of your works explore harsh light and structure. Would you ever consider an artist residency in the desert?
The desert does interest me quite a bit, the desert light enhances such a unique landscape. I would certainly consider working there, I have a couple of friends who have recently decamped to Joshua Tree and absolutely love it. I have been inspired by the structure and light in Mexico. The painted stucco in the harsh sun creates such beautiful shadows.
I can't wait to see more of your paintings! What's next?
I'm going to continue to explore the works focusing on disruption, and the reintroduction of limited color.
Hope Gangloff - Modern Painters, March 2016
Mar 1, 2016
PAINTING FROM LIFE
A social network, on canvas
"THERE IS A KIND of mania that I court when working," says Hope Gangloff. "I'll work on way too many pieces, ruining most and finding clarity in others. Decisions get made fast. I like when the brush is falling through space as fast as gravity." Gangloffs paintings-many hyper-contemporary, moody portraits of her friends, set against vibrant patterned interior& are imbued with this sense of motion.
As of press time, the artist wasn't certain which pieces would be among the new paintings on view in her upcoming show at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, opening March 26. (The artist also shows with Susan Inglett Gallery in New York.) But a likely candidate is Study for Wigmore, in which the lighting sculptor John Wigmore reclines on his side on a picnic blanket, button-down rumpled and Corona in hand. His form is accented by decorative patterns: crosshatch grass, blankets in checkered red and wavy blue-details typical of the artist's intimate canvases. Gangloff pulls in such textural elements from, she says, "the things that I surround myself with. I hold on to old sun catchers and books and ladders from my youth; I make quilts, sew dresses in particular patterns, make decorations, and buy plants, just so I can paint them." -THEA BALLARD
Interview with Ryan Schneider
Feb 16, 2016
Curate Joshua Tree
February 16, 2016
Right off of Old Woman Springs Rd. in Flamingo Heights, perched on top of a hill over looking this incredible landscape sits Ryan Schneider's cabin and painting studio.It's a gorgeous day, and exceptionally windy on this hill, we caught Ryan for a studio visit and interview as he is just about to ship off all this work for an upcoming show in March at Gerhard Hofland Gallery in Amsterdam (GerhardHofland.com)
Before we met, I sent a few questions to Ryan, below is what he had to say to those. Listen to podcast to hear the entire studio visit, Ryan talks about his shift from NYC to the Mojave, his spiritual act of painting and his new found patience in his work.
Tell us about where you are from and how you ended up here in Flamingo Heights area?
I grew up outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. Sort of a rural/suburban area but mostly rural where my family and I were. Just acres of woods, a creek, and up the road is just an endless sea of corn fields. I went to school at the Maryland Institute College of Art, so I lived in Baltimore for 4 years- those years are a little fuzzy. Then in 2002 I moved to New York, and never imagined I would live any where else because I loved it so much. Last year my wife Dana and I came out to Joshua Tree for what was supposed to be just a three-month retreat in the desert. We rented a house a few miles down a dirt road, near the back entrance of the park. I was painting outside, she was working and we were just enjoying the silence and nothingness of the desert, hiking, breathing, and sort of recovering from 13 years of intense living in the city. I think it was in March that we started to realize we weren't going back to New York. It was a shocking but titillating idea, and we didn't really tell anyone about it, until our friends offered us the house they were about to move out of in Flamingo Heights. We came to look at the place and as soon as I saw the green studio on the property, I knew we were not going back to New York. We were just seduced by the strangeness and openness out here, and ready for a radical change in our lives. I still love New York and consider it home as well. But now I can love it from a distance and get to work out here with my wife and two orange cats wandering around.
ARTE FUSE Interview With: Sasha Pierce
Feb 14, 2016
Laura Mylott Manning
February 14, 2016
LM: Recently, I had the pleasure of viewing your paintings at the Richard Heller Gallery booth during the Untitled Miami Art Fair. I am very impressed by the meticulous detail of your work. Can you talk about your process and how you arrived at it?
SP: Thank you. During my Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, I wanted to create a terry cloth texture on a section of a canvas. I wasn't satisfied with a painted illusionistic texture and so I carefully extruded thin thread-like lines of oil paint out of a little plastic bag to re-create the three-dimensional terry cloth texture that I desired.
I have continued to experiment with this technique, which has evolved to the work that you saw at Untitled Miami Art Fair. My current work has a multi-colored woven-like surface, and as I lay each thin line of it down it goes from a thicker to a thinner stream of paint and ultimately to a vanishing point. In my paintings you'll find a paradox of space between the textured surface and the illusionistic space created by a vanishing point.
LM:In a review of your paintings, it's been written that 'A connecting thread between the artworks of Sasha Pierce is literally thread… (and) reference textiles, even though they are not textiles in themselves.' In which ways has fiber arts influenced your work?
SP: Surprisingly it is not fiber arts but textile itself, which inspires my paintings and silkscreen collages. When I was a young child I remember sitting on the floor and enjoying the sensation of drawing temporary lines and patterns in the carpet. I was seduced by the soft, malleable and tactile qualities of the carpet. Now, as an artist, I am interested in visually representing the sensations of textile with oil painting and collage.
There is also a historical thread that connects me to my ancestors. My great grandmothers were quilters and knitters, and my maternal grandfather's occupation was fixing and selling sewing machines. For my ancestors working with textiles was not considered an art but a part of daily life.
That being said, just last week I had the opportunity to tour the textile storage facility at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto. I had no idea that looking at historical textiles and fiber arts from around the world would make me so happy. I am drawn to earthy hand-dyed colors and I enjoy the meticulous yet imperfect labor found in hand-woven textiles. This visit to the ROM was deeply inspiring and I look forward to continuing my research into historical textiles and allowing them to influence my work.
LM: Your compositions are very dynamic. What sparked your interest in using geometrical forms as a starting off point?
SP: I have an interest in math and I am fascinated by the possibility of representing 3D space on a 2D surface. The simpler shapes in my previous paintings have become more complex over time and my compositions have become more dynamic with the use of tessellations and vanishing points. A few years ago I came upon an amazing mathematical website called Tilings Encyclopedia which was created with support by the University of Bielefeld, Germany. This encyclopedia includes examples of substitution tilings, which are listed in lexicographical order. I love the colors of the diagrams and the names given to the each tiling. Currently I am using a substitution tessellation called Birds and Bees, which will be the name of the painting when it is complete. I often use tessellations as a starting point and then I sort of camouflage the geometry with my own processes.
LM: Ancient geometric art comes to mind because of your use of labor and patterns. Are there any specific time periods that you look to for inspiration?
There is no one specific time period influencing my work at the moment, however with the historical research that I'm doing now, that could change with my next paintings.
If, however, I were to pick a time period that I am generally interested in I would have to say the 9th century Islamic Golden Age of mathematics. I love the complexity of Islamic geometric patterns and Muqarnas, which is a form of architectural ornamented vaulting.
LM: I'm looking forward to seeing your paintings again. Any upcoming exhibitions?
SP: Yes, I am very happy to be working closely with Richard Heller Gallery – with the amazing Richard Heller as well as his awesome team: Associate Director Barry Belkin and Registrar Kaye Heller. Richard Heller Gallery is located in the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica and the gallery represents a talented group of artists. I am currently creating new work for a European art fair in June, and I am working toward a solo exhibition at Richard Heller Gallery early 2017.
In addition, I was just awarded an Ontario Arts Council Chalmers Research Fellowship to research the art practices and writings of Anni and Josef Albers. In order to conduct this research I will be travelling to Milan, Italy; Dusseldorf and Bottrop, Germany; Bethany, Connecticut, US; and New York, New York, US. I will also be participating in an upcoming 2016 residency at the Digital Painting Atelier at OCAD University in Toronto. I am excited to see what impact these experiences will have on my work.
After Fashion Week, it's easy to feel that fashion has become depressingly monolithic. Dark and muted colourways in styles that look like you're prepping for the dawn of Ragnarok have been everywhere recently.
Thankfully, a few brands are infusing joy back into their collections, none more so than Soulland. For SS16, the brand has teamed up with Norwegian-based, American artist Charlie Roberts to create a unique and colourful collection that blurs the line between fashion and art.
Soulland and Charlie Roberts' partnership follows a successful collab during Soulland's LCM 2015 presentation in July. For this show, Roberts created a enormous spray paint piece, working as a complementary background for the models stood in front of it.
For the Soulland SS16 collection 'Iron Wheel Club', Roberts created unique, wearable art pieces. Different elements from his original artwork are embedded in the clothes, from jacquard woven patterns to cordelia embroidery and needle punch.
Roberts is known for his use of a wide range of materials, abstract patterns and flowing colours, in pieces that are often inspired by pop culture and hip-hop. It's no wonder then that Soulland felt such a kinship towards him, considering its focus on Scandinavian craftsmanship, mixing classic and simple designs with playful contemporary elements influenced by urban subcultures and skateboarding. We're calling it a masterpiece.
The Soulland x Charlie Roberts collection is available now in store at goodhoodstore.com.
For fashion images included in this article please go to: http://www.fashionbeans.com/2016/soulland-charlie-roberts/
REVIEW: Ryan Foster - Art Scene, February 2016
January 9, 2016 - February 13, 2016
Art Scene, Vol. 35, No. 5, February, 2016 Continuing and Recommended
By: Jody Zellen
There is something disconcerting about Ryan Foster's paintings. Upon careful viewing, what is seen in the foreground of one painting appears in the mid-ground of the next - a bit out of focus and in the background of the next even further distorted. Foster is a skilled representational painter. What makes the images compelling is his ability to paint in myriad styles in a single painting. The Alabama based artist has perfected the illusion of painting one work that folds into another over and over again. The works allude to the passage of time as well as the dissolution of the object. Foster's subjects are surreal landscapes filled with homeless and disabled characters who pay no attention to that which unfolds around them. In these works the harder one looks, the more one sees. Also on view are small scale intimate gouaches by Oslo based artist Charlie Roberts.
CHARLIE ROBERTS | BEAUTIFUL SAVAGE REVIEW
January 9, 2016 - February 13, 2016
"HALCYON DAZE" BY CHARLIE ROBERTS AT RICHARD HELLER GALLERY
by Chad Saville / January 10, 2016
"Charlie Roberts opened a solo show in Los Angeles this past Friday. And it's gorgeous."
Charlie Roberts' lives and works somewhere in the forests outside of Oslo, Norway and made a name for himself a few years back by creating mesmerizing, sexually charged and sometimes violent images featuring hundreds of tiny characters and severed heads arranged together in something akin to Byzantine complexity. In 2012, Vice writer Milene Larsson said Roberts' work "looks like the mindstream of a comics-obsessed tween with a Ritalin prescription."
Roberts' latest series Halcyon Daze, which opened last Friday at Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, the artist's Fifth solo show, is a strong departure from his past work. The images are astonishing, peaceful even. I'm particularly drawn to the image "Wet Lite," a figurative work featuring two characters lounging in a bathroom and framed by hypnotic black and white tile. I'm not one for artspeak, but the image is rad.
Born in 1984 in Hutchinson, Kansas, Roberts attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Canada, and has exhibited internationally at Galerie Magnus Karlsson in Stockholm, David Risley Gallery in Copenhagen, and Vous Etes Ici in Amsterdam.
"Charlie Roberts' work takes us into the mind-stream of a manic, obsessive and eclectic collector of contemporary pop culture and art history," according to Richard Heller Gallery. "Everything is sampled and laid out without hierarchical order and judgements. Roberts uses a wide range of materials and masters a furious force as well as a sensitive subtleness. Abstract patterns, flowing colors and a primitive brutality alongside tender lines, seductive realism and psychedelic poetry."
Richard Heller Gallery opened Halcyon Daze, a series of gouache on paper works by Charlie Roberts on January 9. It will be on view through February 13 at their Santa Monica location.
Los Angeles-based artist Devin Troy Strother wields humor with an acerbity not often seen in the prestigious exhibition spaces his work frequent.
With titles like "Gurrrl I'm just talking about that composition", "Gurrrrl what'chu know about that post modernism", Strother grounds his references and his art in the language and drollery of the ghetto. He refers to these titles as "the punchlines of the paintings".
As for the paintings themselves, Strother's style is characterized by the collaging and painting over of paper cutouts. The figurines of his paintings, which he fondly refer to as "little black people," are rearranged in various fictive narratives or abstract spaces, oftentimes in blatant, even satirical reference to the works of other artists. His 2012 painting, "A Black Marina Abramovic in "I'm gonna fuckin' shoot you with this arrow" ", for instance, references the 1980 performance piece, "Rest Energy", by artists Marina Abramovic and Ulay.
Strother's sculptures are magnified and monumentalized versions of his painted figurines, featuring his characteristic long-winded and humorous titles, such as "Look at my guuurl Shariece over there getting her shie on".
Strother has frequently expressed his ambivalence towards the framing of his art as black art and of himself as a black artist. The majority of his work indubitably feature themes of black identity; however, the double standard stands that a white artist painting white subjects would not receive such scrutiny about racial identity. In a cultural context where white identity remains the default, Strother's works are a poignant and accessible antithesis to intersectional elitism in the art world and society at large.
Matt Mignanelli, born in Rhode Island in 1983, lives and works in New York City and is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. His paintings have been widely exhibited throughout the United States and internationally with exhibitions at Richard Heller Gallery, Los Angeles, LUCE Gallery, Torino, SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas, Quint Contemporary, San Diego, among others. His works will also be included in Face to Face: Selections from the Ernesto Esposito Collection at Palazzo Fruscione, Salerno.
His studio is located in Bushwick, a really industrial section of Brooklyn. This landscape consists of cinder block, diamond plate steel, roll down gates and corrugated metal buildings painted in basic colors: black, white, chrome, brick red and grey. There is vibrancy and work ethic in the neighborhood. Since architecture and environment play such a huge role in informing his work, Matt loves the utilitarian nature of it all. New York is a constant source of inspiration and there is the right energy around his studio for him to feed off. Check the pictures below and how they capture such a unique space.
LOS ANGELES TIMES | DEVIN TROY STROTHER
Nov 22, 2015
LOS ANGELES TIMES
Devin Troy Strother To an oeuvre that includes paintings, sculptures and collages, Strother adds custom-made carpeting, custom wallpaper, neon signs and three new bodies of work. The double-barreled extravaganza is a throbbing, rollicking party that, like all great art, you have to experience for yourself (D.P.). Richard Heller Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; ends Dec. 19.
PROFILE: CHARLIE ROBERTS
Exhibition "Halcyon Daze" begins January 9, 2016 - February 13, 2016
The Fine Print Magazine
PATRICK LABA, November 16, 2015
Find a physical comfort. Look at your fingers, your toes. Count them; order them in any kind of obscure way possible. Now, sprawl out on a mattress; loosen your limbs. Try; if possible, to feel your extremities stretch and curl around you like the smoke of a cigarette. Perhaps most people associate such body-bending images with the effects psychoactive drugs can produce, but artist Charlie Roberts offers a similar visual world through the pieces he dreamily creates. Originally from the United States, Charlie Roberts studied in Canada and currently resides in Norway, and has been unleashing his unique blend of pop-culture, day-in-the-live-of-an-angsty-adolescent work to the world of art and social media (you can follow him on Instagram at @colonelcatfish) throughout the years surrounding his relocations. Roberts' earlier work presents meticulous rows of animals, human heads, tombstones, sneakers, needles and everything in between. These early paintings present a dizzying attention to an obscure detail that Roberts seems to have perfected. Following this artistic phase, Charlie Roberts began to create scenes of contorted bodies, lying loosely and oftentimes intertwined with one another. These pieces explore themes such as lazily smoking joints, drinking beers, the absent-mindedness that accompanies our technological age and the seemingly elastic sensation of love when you're young, high and care free. Venturing through Charlie Roberts' repertoire is quite a jarring experience, but one that is remarkably exhilarating in the duality of his work. More recently, Roberts has expanded his talents to the art of creating sculptures. His work can be viewed at various exhibits, including the Kravets Wehby Gallery in New York, the Richard Heller Gallery in California and the David Risley Gallery in Denmark. A collaboration with Danish menswear brand Soulland is also due to be released in Spring of 2016. Although his work presents a comforting looseness, one can expect nothing short of total artistic tightness to come from Charlie Roberts in the future.
Ever wonder what the inside of an artist's mind looks like? Devin Troy Strother isn't afraid to show us his.
Based in LA, Strother studied at the Art Center College of Design, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. Strother's works are in permanent collections at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. He has also been featured in solo exhibitions at the Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, the Marlborough Chelsea in New York, and the Bendixen Contemporary Art in Copenhagen.
In his new show at the Richard Heller Gallery, Strother explores the paradigm of an African American who pursues "the stereotypical route of becoming a rapper, an athlete, or some type of entertainer" and becoming successful; subsequently, making a lot of money and not knowing "how to spend their money wisely or invest it properly." It's unapologetically named "They Should've Never Given You N*ggas Money,"after a Dave Chappelle comedy sketch about Rick James (you know, that "f*ck your couch, n*gga" sketch).
Strother focuses on furthering the conversation, adding a touch of humor as he does with all his work, with aluminum sculptures painted with acrylic, exploring with neon, wallpaper, and carpet. He masterfully transports his audience into another world as the visual aesthetics of his show are wonderfully correlated to the trope he attempts to bring to light.
Welcome to the Next Dimension: A Tour Through Strother's "They Should've Never Given You N*ggas Money"
After taking the first couple steps into the gallery, your mind goes into a psychedelic mind trip by everything that's going on. Think listening to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" while being stoned out of your mind.
To the left of the entrance is a matte, Barbie-pink wall with neon piece of a woman lounging in front the ocean and a palm tree; to the right is a multi-tasking aluminum wall highlighting mixed media pieces and wavy faces on a neon sign. All the while reflecting the full color spectrum from the neon pieces from the other wall and the lights from the roof which reminiscent of Newton's color spectrum experiment– but this time it's splattered on a wall instead of through a prism.
After orbiting through a handful of 10-foot-long sculptures of faces stacked on top of each other expressing every feeling imaginable, you find yourself gazing at the Picasso-esqe neon piece at the end of the wall.
Bright and harsh on the eyes, with salmons, whites, reds, blues, yellows all jumbled together in straight lines, squiggly lines, parallel lines, and half smiles and faces; all while being stared at an angry afro rocking dude to the top left corner.
Next to our afroman friend, you'll notice the end of the progression piece, "N*ggas on a 'nana," where several bodies are riding on bananas through rainbows and marshmallow clouds. Sitting below the progression piece: "Too many n*ggas & 'nanas to count (you count 'em up n*gga)" and "A bunch of n*ggas & 'nanas falling thru space (n*gga where's the rocket ship).
WEST GALLERY: Enter "What if Yayoi Kusama had Jungle Fever?"
Greeted by Strother's "Lazy B*tch," a blue neon piece depicting a woman positioned on her hands and knees, you'll experience a sort of head change, as if you are transitioning from our universe and into the matrix en route into the next dimension.
A blood-red wallpaper and carpet filled in with wavy faces, sausage-shaped smiles, Nike swooshes, and cartoon-esque expressional faces. Revisited by the smiley abstract sculptures, another Picasso-looking piece, and a bi-polar neon face that seems to not be able to make up its mind.
In the middle of the gallery, we are greeting once again by our sculpture friends, this time, each beaming a friendly glare, trying to express their unique personality like lonely rescue center pups showing themselves off to a potential owner.
"Oval shaped n*gga" expressing his curiosity for the world with with his head tilted and "single n*gga on a plate" sobbing away the crushing pain of solitude while his alter ego looks at your woman's behind with a smutty grin.
As you make your way out of the gallery, Strother reminds you of the travels ahead with his satirical piece brought back from his previous shows which says, "BABY, I HAD TO SWERVE THRU MORE F*CKING TRAFFIC YESTERDAY." Possibly a self-fulfilling prophecy, but most likely if Waze navigates you back home through the 10-FWY.
Devin Troy Strother runs through December 19th at Richard Heller Gallery 2525 Michigan Ave, B-5A Santa Monica, 90404
REVIEW: DEVIN TROY STROTHER | LOS ANGELES TIMES
Nov 3, 2015
Critic's ChoiceArtist Devin Troy Strother's raucous, rollicking extravaganza in Santa Monica
By David Pagel
NOVEMBER 3, 2015
Devin Troy Strother wowed Los Angeles five years ago with a solo debut that linked pleasure and African American imagery.
That was groundbreaking because of the no-holds-barred nuttiness with which Strother approached fun, and also because pleasure had not played a big part in the discourse that had grown up, since the early 1990s, around art made by African Americans.
In 2012, Strother's second exhibition showed him to be a formidable storyteller, a master at broaching such loaded subjects as blood, money and sex — or race, class and gender— without getting heavy-handed or glossing over the tough stuff. In 2013, he upped the scale and intensified the impact of his art, making laser-cut silhouettes that amplified the sidesplitting hijinks.
All three shows pale in comparison to "They Should've Never Given You ... Money," Strother's fourth solo show in Los Angeles and his best yet. (The title includes a variation on the N-word.) At Richard Heller Gallery, the 29-year-old artist cranks up the volume, filling two rooms with enough art for six or seven exhibitions.
Artist Dustin Yellin has been in the spotlight in the past few years—a cameo in rapper Jay-Z's 2013 video for "Picasso Baby"; being labeled the art world's It boy by Vanity Fair this past September—all the while creating works of art that sell for millions (one of his installations went for $1.7 million in a private sale in 2014). Now, the Brooklyn-based artist has left his mark on his hometown of Los Angeles.
To read the complete article and see images please go to the following link: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/dustin-yellin-los-angeles-psychogeographies-outdoor-art-installation-sunset-boulevard
Michelle Graber - VICE SPORTS
Oct 21, 2015
B. David Zarley
ART BY THE BALLS
In the end, it was the laziness—not the venom—that most disappointed Michelle Grabner.
As an artist, Grabner explores the vernacular and familiar through formalism, the application of shapes and patterns as art in and of themselves. These somewhat abstracted works can then reference a multitude of themes, including repetition, domesticity, and suburbia. A professor at the highly regarded School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Grabner's work has been exhibited around the world; she was one of three curators chosen for the 2014 edition of the Whitney Biennial, among the most important contemporary art exhibitions in the country.
Her eponymous exhibition at James Cohan Gallery last fall spawned a tempest when New York Times art critic Kevin Johnson appeared to write off the show with strokes broad and base enough to hazard accusations of sexism.
New world: artist Dustin Yellin unveils his first outdoor installation in LA
ART / 19 OCT 2015 / BY MICHAEL SLENSKE
Information Photography: Sarah Lawrence
NeueHouse 6121 Sunset Boulevard Hollywood, Los Angeles
About a year and a half ago, the Kilroy Realty Corporation approached Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin about permanently installing six of his increasingly popular Psychogeographies in Columbia Square, the plaza outside the 1938 CBS Headquarters, which will re-open this month as the Los Angeles outpost of NeueHouse. Over this period, these monumental glass collage works — created by Yellin and a small army of assistants with small paint gestures and thousands of print images clipped from magazines — have anchored a TED Talk, an installation at Lincoln Center for the New York City Ballet, and a comprehensive Vanity Fair feature. This project, however, was Yellin's first al fresco installation; providing many new challenges, such as finding the right UV-protected laminated glass, stainless steel frames and concrete plinths to secure the work. He also had to consider his source of inspiration.
'It was the first movie studio and I got a bunch of historic shit from them, some I copied and some I destroyed,' says Yellin during a tour of the site, noting that Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Orson Welles ('cats that I dig') all worked in the building over the years. 'There's the Lone Ranger, some movie tickets,' he says, pointing to hidden micro-clippings of CBS ephemera. 'For me, these pieces are supposed to be like if you put a piece of glass on one side of your body, and another on the other side and just started cranking yourself until your skull exploded into a thousand pieces, but instead of blood and guts you'd see your memories, your experiences.'
By trapping the collective consciousness of the Hollywood landmark — or 'DNA in images', as Yellin calls it — he hopes to project the city back onto itself. 'I think when you die you realise this layer was just one existence and you'll become aware of many worlds,' says Yellin, now 40, who first got the inspiration for this mode of thinking at 18 after going through a series of Altered States-like 'consciousness experiments' (think intramuscular ketamine injections) administered by Adam Trombly, a physicist in Aspen who once worked with Buckminster Fuller and tried to launch a Tesla-like free energy initiative. 'I think a lot of my work came from those days. I was on all these drugs making art and I had no culture, and I thought if I became the most famous artist in the world I could convince the billionaires and movie stars to give money to the scientists to make free energy.'
Though he hasn't fulfilled the latter promise, he has connected the monied classes and artists with various Nobel laureates ('my brain trust') at his Pioneer Works art centre in Red Hook, Brooklyn. 'It's mixing all these weird fucking people all the time,' he says. Having completed this installation, the artist-activist hopes to do more public projects should the opportunity arise. He's also busy making new works, be it his new 'ant farm' series (made from detritus paper stuffed between glass panels with a stick) or the 32-ft landscape inspired by the epic 12-ton triptych he showed at the SCAD Museum of Art, which all began simply as a 'series of accidents'.
'With the glass I can go backwards, change my mind, add perspective, build a city, put a horse in the city, cut the city in half or add an explosion. Then I saw the Terracotta Warriors and realised I don't want to make figurative art, I want to make an army,' says Yellin, who hopes to create 120 Psychogeographies for a huge retrospective, whenever or wherever that might happen. 'I don't believe in the art world, I just believe in the world. I just make shit that I would want to live with and shit that in 500 years would be artifacts I care about because I'm obsessed with artifacts. I don't think about anything else.'
Dustin Yellin is an artist who comes in many guises.
In Vanity Fair last month, Yellin, posing naked but for mismatched socks and eyeglasses at his Brooklyn studio, was presented as the art world's "it boy."
Other images in the media collage that is his public history: Yellin break-dancing in Jay Z's 2013 performance art video, "Picasso Baby"; the sky-high dollar amounts that his elaborate sculptures command (one installation went for $1.7 million in a private sale at Sotheby's last year); Yellin's romance with actress Michelle Williams; the time in the late '90s when he was accidentally stabbed in the leg by model-actress Bijou Phillips; and the artist's 1999 mental breakdown, which landed him in a psych ward — but not before he recorded the entire episode, ultimately turning it into a performance art video called "The Crack-Up."
Dustin Yellin's stupendous, life-sized glass-pane humanoids made from NatGeo clippings
Earlier this month, I attended a two-day meeting at Pioneer Works, an art and innovation center in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The center is both physically beautiful and filled with interesting people from many disciplines doing work in open workshops. It was founded by sculptor Dustin Yellin, and the lobby has one of his remarkable, life-sized three-dimensional humaniform sculptures, composed of thousands of collaged magazine clippings pressed between many sheets of glass.
Michelle Grabner on Soccer Balls & Art in the American Interior
By Sehba Mohammad on September 22, 2015
Founding the Midwest's most avant garde art spaces (The Suburban and Poor Farm), co-curating last year's Whitney Biennial, enriching young minds at the Art Institute of Chicago, and a robust studio practice, couldn't save Michelle Grabner from Ken Johnson's lackadaisical New York Timesreview last year.
For twenty years Grabner explored dynamics of domesticity through thoughtful paper weaves, hypnotic needlepoint canvases, and ironic documentary videos, but in his critique Johnson boils her down to a "middle-class tenured professor and soccer mom."
Instead of lamenting, Grabner — with the help of object-based publication The Thing Quarterly — turned the classicist critique into a cheeky and creative rebuttal. The Grabner-designed issue is an actual soccer ball patterned with the artist's iconic gingham.
Flavorpill caught up with the artist to discuss The Thing Quarterly issue, art in the Midwest, and of course balls. Below, our discussion via email.
What was your first reaction after reading Johnson's New York Times review?
I was in D.C. at the time doing a visiting artist gig at American University. I remember that I could not contain outbursts of laughter as I read it to my husband over the phone. Honestly I was most disappointed in Johnson's opinion being culled from a distorted narrative of me, instead of it being based on the activity of scrutinizing and assessing the artwork in the exhibition. His review was built solely on the ironic, didactic video made by the artist David Robbins that functioned as a 'send-up' of 'identity narratives' rampant in the contemporary art world.
Why a soccer ball and not a more weave-oriented goal net or soccer gloves?
The soccer ball is much more iconic, and a more perfect geometry.
What do you plan to do with your soccer ball?
It will go on the shelf in the garage with the rest of our sports equipment.
You've used the gingham pattern for two decades. It takes various incarnations, the most recent of which is The Thing Quarterly issue. What draws you to this pattern?
Gingham is a simple weave. It is color and geometry that functions as a spectacular social cliché. Included in a forthcoming artist book published by Rocket Gallery in London are two essays by scholars Lottie Hoare and Laura Perry who examine the textile's history, first as an industrially produced material developed in the Dutch colonies of Indonesia, and today as an American brand of nostalgia.
Your work contains references to domesticity, suburbia, and boredom, which Johnson distorts in his review. How do you explore these themes in your art?
Your response to Johnson's article (on the surface) appears dually masculine and feminine. Is this intentional? Does the ball have feminist undertones?
The ball is a result of a fictional "identity narrative" that certainly foregrounds woman's work. But I would go further to say that the greater feminist position is based in the freedom to call out Johnson's lazy criticism with an iconic object and a sense of humor.
You're one of the pillars of the Midwestern art community. What is unique about the art scene in the area, and how is it changing?
The vertical shadows cast by cultural centers don't reach the American interior. Plus, do you know how much studio space you can get in Milwaukee for $300? The Midwest offers an abundance of space, time, and resources ideal for dedicated work. Even though, to be perfectly honest, it is often more difficult to be an artist living in the Midwest because it is up to individual artist to develop and nurture the criteria for how work succeeds. Yet there is great vision and ingenuity here that can only evolve from a perennial lack of commercial and institutional distraction.
. . . Another Art Center graduate who came to his dealer's attention through the artist grapevine is David Jien, who joined after his best friend Devin Troy Strother told Richard Heller that he was someone he needed to snap up. As a test, he brought in two of Jien's larger drawings; they sold three days later. Looking at his work, you can see why. A former graffiti artist who decided to change course after doing a little jail time for his art, Jien uses a magnifying glass and colored pencils to make incredibly intricate drawings that seem to combine comics with Persian miniatures and Medieval illuminations, and which all together build a broad master narrative about a world of creatures locked in a battle of good versus evil. (If you look closely, you might see that he occasionally works his old tag, Lyfer, into the compositions.) At the fair, Heller featured several drawings including this small rendering of the artist in his studio (priced at $4,500) that seems especially suited for hours of close looking.
All Night Wizards, 2015 / Color pencil and graphite on paper / 8.5 x 11 inches / Sold
Corey Arnold works as a photographer and seasonal commercial fisherman in Alaska. Since 2002, he has been exploring and documenting the world's fisheries, an ongoing project entitled "Fish-Work." His photographs have been published in National Geographic, Harpers, Outside, The New Yorker, The New York Times LENS, Time and The Paris Review, among others. Arnold has published two books of photography, Fish-Work: The Bering Sea and Fishing with My Dad.
Corey discusses his experience working as a commercial fisherman in Alaska while simultaneously documenting his life at sea.
Somewhere in an underworld, the Who riders battle the Lizard overlords, and David Jien is the grand puppeteer pulling the strings. Articulating consciousness and ruminations through visual imagery is the foundation of his storytelling language. Asking an artist to describe their craft can be a difficult quest, as the message is rooted not in words but in their creations. Regardless, I held a dagger to David Jien's throat and made him talk, threatening him with lizard attacks and snake chokeholds. This unstoppable lizard man from another dimension just hugged and kissed the reptiles, but managed to divulge a few secrets to avoid my wrath. —Kristin Farr
"Model motorised boats crammed with migrants, paparazzi photographing a dead Cinderella, and a pocket money loans kiosk offering cash to kids at an interest rate of 5,000% – these are just some of the installations in Banksy's new art show, Dismaland bemusement park, which opens on Weston-super-Mare seafront on Thursday."
Pomet's next solo show will be at the Richard Heller Gallery in early 2016. Please contact the gallery for available works and to be put on the mailing list for next year's opening.
CHARLIE ROBERTS | IT'S NICE THAT
January 9, 2016 - February 13, 2016
IT'S NICE THAT
A dreamy love letter to young adulthood by painter Charlie Roberts
Artist Charlie Roberts is based in Oslo, but the energy and dynamism of his work belies the tranquility that I can't help but associate with Norway's serene landscapes. His past work dealt almost obsessively with collecting remnants of pop culture and laying them out in orderly lines to be documented, but more recently Charlie has shifted towards cool canvases depicting adolescents lazing about, smoking joints on car bonnets, wrapping their long arms around their friends and watching the world go by. It's a relaxed portrait of young adulthood – all seductive almond eyes, tangled limbs, Nike sportswear and ripped jeans, and it feels like a sweet love letter to this universal but transitory time.
Devin Troy Strother on Why Michael Jordan and Gerhard Richter Belong in the Same Conversation
By Noelle Bodick July 18, 2014
What does the song "Hey Soul Sister," Matisse, NBA players, National Geographic spreads, disco, baby daddies, and the candy piles of Felix Gonzales-Torres have in common? They are all flotsam from the cultural tides that Devin Troy Strother, a self-described product of the 1990s TV generation, nets in his intricate and often provocative collaged paintings. Into this already potent—and downright hilarious—satirical farrago, the 28‑year-old California-born and Brooklyn-based artist also adds his signature characters—impish, jet-black figures with the exaggerated facial expressions of minstrelsy.
Strother talked with Artspace about injecting humor into the buttoned-up art world, and why he thinks Michael Jordan and Gerhard Richter belong in the same conversation.
VIDEO: The World Through the lens of Corey Arnold
Jul 13, 2015
July 13, 2015
Photographer and commercial fisherman Corey Arnold has made it his life's work to document fishing culture. From his years crabbing on the Bering Sea to life at an abandoned cannery in Graveyard Point in Bristol Bay, Arnold focuses on the playful and the often surreal and extreme scenarios commercial fishermen find themselves in.
Giant waves, predatory birds, mounds of rope and bloody fish make for pictures Arnold thinks of as "curiosities."
"You don't always know what going on, or there's something a little off, strange or something mysterious," says Arnold. "I think that's my goal when I'm taking photos... to create something that the viewer wants to know more about what's going on. The whole story's not totally there."
KVICHAK BAY -- Last summer, after all the other fishermen had gone home at the end of the Bristol Bay salmon season, Corey Arnold stuck around Graveyard Point. A photographer and commercial fisherman, Arnold described the scene at the old cannery as eerie and empty. When the people left, grizzly bears showed up, a sure sign that it was time for Arnold to leave.
As an artist (in this case, David Jien) what do you do when you've created a body of work (in this case Exodus) so brilliantly executed and far flung in its mythical references and bizarre abstractions that you don't really know what to make next?
For LA-based artist David the answer lies in a series of funny sculptures, which push character design off the page and into the 3D realm. Some of them resemble mosaic eggs with faces on, sobbing angry white tears onto a downturned mouth. Others look more like a pale butternut squash might do after one too returning to its desk after many shandies of a Friday lunchtime. Beautifully crafted from ceramics and mirrored tiles, the series looks exactly like what we'd imagined David's sorcerers and dog-people might do given a life of their own outside of this fantastical drawings.
Artillery Magazine Pick of the Week: Joakim Ojanen
Jul 7, 2015 ARTILLERY MAGAZINE - PICK OF THE WEEK:
Richard Heller Gallery
by Eve Wood ·
July 7, 2016
Joakim Ojanen’s playfully enigmatic ceramic sculptures are strangely endearing. Throughout the exhibition, the artist has set up a series of intimate vignettes using small-scale ceramic figures of people with bald heads and duckbill faces engaged in the various and often mundane activities of living. More importantly though, Ojanen’s figures appear alienated and lovelorn, part of a larger community, yet unable to fit in completely. This theme is certainly pertinent given all the tragedy that is happening in the world today. One wonders if these forlorn and confused little sculptures might know more about us than they let on.
Richard Heller Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave. #B-5A
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Show runs thru July 30, 2016
INTERVIEW: Brendan Monroe | Long Beach Post
Jun 25, 2015
celebration of all things POW!
WOW! Long Beach, from the outdoor muralists—who began transforming
blank walls throughout the city earlier this week—to the artists currently
installing their work inside the Long Beach Museum of Art's (LBMA) upcoming
and Verve: Transforming the Urban Landscape, the Post reached
out to several of these world-class creatives who have been working to change
and inspire the landscape of Long Beach's art scene as a whole, indoors and
out. Today we
feature Brendan Monroe, a Southern California-raised contemporary artist who
now resides in Oakland. His work is incredibly visceral and his anonymous
characters often seem to hold an introverted silence riddled with a deeper
meaning the viewer must find for himself.
completed his installation at the LBMA, as of last week. Visitors can see the
artist's self-described "little walk-in closet" at the museum
beginning this Friday, a room of wavering lines that seem to wrap themselves
around you, to make up a dreamlike, illusory enclosure surely each visitor will
REVIEW: DAVID JIEN | LOS ANGELES TIMES
Apr 19, 2015
Art review: David Jien serves notice with 'Exodus' at Richard Heller Gallery
Ancient mythology and contemporary gaming culture commingle in David Jien's colored pencil drawings and tabletop sculptures at Richard Heller Gallery. Titled "Exodus," like the nearly 8-foot-long drawing that took Jien two years to finish and anchors his second solo show, the two-gallery exhibition is a double-barrel blast.
It confirms that the young L.A. artist is a force to be reckoned with. It also reveals that his talents as a draftsman, which are dazzling, are the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the brilliance of Jien's virtuosity with a pencil lies a world suffused with goofy humor, head-scratching nuttiness, unexpected empathy and, strangest of all, serenity.
There's plenty to see before you get to such old-fashioned experiences, and Jien does not begrudge any pleasure any visitor may take from his impeccably rendered pictures, many of which depict action-packed dramas that put comic book movies to shame.
Most of Jien's works are not much bigger than illuminated manuscripts drawn by monks and holy men all over the globe, before the printing press was invented. Persian miniatures also come to mind.
The cast of characters that climbs mountains, vanquishes foes and embarks on Odysseus-style quests includes artists, aristocrats, backpackers, samurai, magicians, demons, robots, Humpty Dumpty-style eggheads, cobra-hooded acolytes, cat-headed pharaohs, wide-eyed innocents, gigantic mallards, reptilian monsters, hermit crabs and birds astride horses, which are fantastic renditions of the real thing.
The delicacy of Jien's lines and the elegance of his compositions make his phantasmagorical pictures seem sensible — not totally believable but certainly not freakish, exotic or out of touch with reality. The way he collages bits of holographic film and patches of glitter into his images makes them all the more magical. That's where the wisdom — and serenity — come in.
The innocence of children's book illustrations is even more boldly embraced in Jien's sculptures, each of which is about the size of a cookie jar. His 10 handcrafted icons — or supersized chess pieces — are 3-D mosaics whose DNA seems to shares strands with Hello Kitty, Pac-Man and B-movie versions of the monumental heads on Eastern Island.
The bright colors, pixel-style compositions and general silliness of Jien's sculptures do not detract from their sense of composure. In fact, their cuteness adds to the uncanny calm they exude. It's a welcome respite from the free-floating anger of adolescence, which seems to have made its way into every corner of modern life.
Richard Heller Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 453-9191, through May 2. Closed Sundays and Mondays.www.richardhellergallery.com
"The serpent no longer slumbers! He is awoken! Who shall deliver us from this affliction? Deep corruption has befallen our lands. Lo, Formosa has fallen, Shakran and his black words have immersed deep within our peoples. We have forgotten our ways and are divided, father against son, mother against daughter. The reptilian plague promises pleasure and power. We have lost many kin to its deception, they now fill the ranks of Shakran's saurian swarm. Those fortunate enough to elude the intoxicating clutch have found refuge under a different regime. Pilgrims have flocked together from all corners of the land in search of a new Formosa, Exodus dawns."
This is the preamble to David Jien's latest show, Exodus, that's currently running at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, California; the latest addition to David's ongoing mystic saga that attempts to make sense of the real world through bizarre, beautiful fantasies.
His pencil-drawn narratives are primitive in their origins, focussing on battles between good and evil, darkness and light and the fallout from an ideological war. But his protagonists are lizard-men and purple eggs, giant ducks and badgers in hats, navigating their way through an anachronistic world. Go and see them!
Are African-American fine artists today free from pressures to perform in specifically (but "acceptably") "black" ways, as determined by a mostly white audience? According to the critique implicit in Devin Troy Strother's impressive exhibition of new paintings and sculptures (all 2014), the answer is no. The work isn't Strother's most rigorous, but it is his boldest: "I'll give you your performance," it seems to shout, "but it won't be comfortable."
Titled "Space Jam," the exhibition partly took its name from the 1996 film starring Michael Jordan in which the basketball legend and an animated Looney Tunes cast compete to avoid enslavement by an alien race. Miniature, cartoonlike painted cutouts of Jordan appear on many of the paintings' surfaces, usually stuck to a colorful, straight-from-the-tube smear that trails him like he's a slam-dunking comet. For other paintings, Strother enlarges images of Jordan from what were probably basketball cards or fanboy posters and uses them as backgrounds for his Jordan cutouts and acrylics.
The young Los Angeles-based artist's new paintings are larger, brighter and filledwith more art historical references than his previous works. I got a Joan Miro all over my brand new holograms offers Miró-like shapes atop a panel of holographic mylar, the latter a nod to the hologram basketball cards that were popular in the '90s. Devin Troy Strother x Rob Pruitt x Cory Arcangel x Walead Beshty x A Sad Face x 3 Michael Jordans is a color gradient slathered with impasto acrylic that crudely resembles eyes and a frowning mouth, bedecked with three Jordan cutouts.
Strother's work usually deals with themes of stereotyping and cultural coding—specifically regardingthe language and imagery of African-American culture. Despite the obvious affection Strother has for '90s basketball aesthetics, his critique outstrips any nostalgic underpinnings: it's no small ironythat Jordan, one of the most famous men on earth, was performing for his freedom in Space Jam, and Strother's work has always underscored the art world's oppressive demand that black artists, like athletes, perform in specifically "black" ways to earn legitimacy. By co-opting such caricatures and throwing them back at his audience, Strother forces viewers to acknowledge their complicity.
But "Space Jam" isn't just a referential conceit; it's also a description. As press material explains, the title puns on Strother's need to jam (or work quickly) to fill Marlborough Chelsea's cavernous gallery space with new work.
Perhaps out of haste, Strother sometimes jams too many references into his work too haphazardly. Five 9-foot-tall, glossy black monoliths stood around one room whose floor was painted like a basketball court. Press material mentions that these pieces reference both basketball players and the film 2001: A Space Odyssey. They were also intended as pedestals; upon them rested cast-bronze sculptures, including several of deflated basketballs. But so many metaphors get muddled. (Do we put our heroes on pedestals, or are they the pedestals? The reference to 2001, an otherwise unrelated space movie, clouds things further.) On their own, the basketballs are perfect. How many children have had the air let out of their golden, inflated hoop dreams?
Much of the writing about Strother's work seems fixated on his titles, which is as avoidable as it is unfortunate; such criticism easily becomes an act of merely taking inventory. (He cites Richter, but where's Tony Smith?) That's largely Strother's own fault: they're his titles, and all that name-checking, however humorous, invites that kind of lazy scrutiny. But the art objects offer plenty of rich material for deeper aesthetic and sociocultural analysis. Criticism will almost always take the easy route if you point the way.
VIDEO | Dustin Yellin at VOLTA NY 2015
Apr 3, 2015
GalleryLOG's video interview with artist Dustin Yellin.
Dustin Yellin is represented by Richard Heller Gallery (Los Angeles, booth B1) at VOLTA NY 2015.
Dustin Yellin - The Huffington Post
Jan 23, 2015 Brooklyn-Based Artist Dustin Yellin Takes Over The New York City Ballet The Huffington Post | By Katherine Brooks
What better way to really dig into the post-holidays spirit than a trip to the ballet? This time of year, there are less sugar plum fairies and mouse kings hanging around New York City's Lincoln Center, and more multi-dimensional human forms encapsulated in suspended animation.
To be fair, the "Psychogeographies" -- the 3,000-pound sculptures that indeed resemble human forms suspended in glass encasements -- are only on view until March 1, 2015. They are the work of Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin, the founder of Red Hook's Pioneer Works, who specializes in human-size, three-dimensional collages depicting fantastical and sometimes sinister scenes. For the NYCB, he's crafted 15 of his large-scale pieces depicting figures that seem to be dancing throughout the David H. Koch Theater, confined of course by translucent material on all sides.
The sculptures are part of the NYCB's Art Series, which aims to produce annual collaborations between contemporary visual artists and the ballet. Before Yellin, street artists FAILE and JR debuted their own projects in Lincoln Center. And like years past, Yellin's residency of sorts involves three special ballet performances, which will take place on Thursday, February 12 (All Balanchine -- Serenade, Agon, and Symphony in C); Thursday, February 19 (Peter Martins' Hallelujah Junction, Christopher Wheeldon's A Place for Us, and Jerome Robbins' Interplay and Glass Pieces); and Friday, February 27 (Alexei Ratmansky's Pictures at an Exhibition, a new work by NYCB resident choreographer Justin Peck, and Christopher Wheeldon's Mercurial Manoeuvres).
Tickets for these performances are just $29, and audience members each receive a special limited-edition takeaway created by Yellin.
Managing Editor at Complex Media covering art and style
January 15, 2015
Devin Troy Strother laughs excitedly as he rushes over to a rolled up carpet in the middle of the prestigious Marlborough Chelsea gallery. "I've been WAITING for this!" he exclaims with a smile, ripping off the tape and rolling out a purple floor covered with stars and planets. After a quick tour, where Strother's so ecstatic that he can barely catch his breath, it's clear that he's made the gallery his universe in more ways than one. Juxtaposing outer space with his childhood hero, Michael Jordan, Devin Troy Strother has expanded his art practice by visualizing Jordan's legacy as beyond human—as a brand. Enter "Space Jam," his new exhibition.
Artist Devin Troy Strother is on his way to becoming an art world MVP, though his own expectations are even higher: Michael Jordan status. "He's what I'm trying to reach with my work," Strother told me over a 12-pack of Miller High Life while we sat amidst pre-installed work for his new solo show,Space Jam, exhibiting at Marlborough Gallery's Chelsea location through February 14. "Jordan has surpassed identity and blackness. He's not 'the best black athlete,' he's the best athlete—this supreme entity."
While the 28-year-old Strother has achieved a level of success most artists never reach—multiple solo shows, critical acclaim, and even purchase inquiries from Kanye West—the over-the-top titles of his work and the suggestion from critics that he's in the lineage of black artists like Kara Walker often become the focal points of his creative output, and his own ideas get marginalized.
To be fair, Strother often uses black cut-outs with a minstrel-ish vibe like Walker, and past works include long, double-take-inducing names like "'My Momma's House Is So Contemporary, So Abstract That Shit Look Like a Morandi Tho,' said Keniecia to Shaniecia. 'This is my Momma's House When It Was Black.'" But he doesn't want to be known as a "black artist," and he sometimes wonders if certain buyers are swooping up his paintings just for the titles, even when they won't say their names out loud, as many of them include the word "nigga."
With his new exhibition, though, he's confronting these issues full-on by being as blatant as possible about identity issues and artistic comparisons. The floor of the gallery has been converted into a basketball court peppered with several giant, black marble monoliths. The monoliths are the most salient objects in the room, and could be viewed as black players on a court, but also black men and their changing status within the art world. Status issues also come into play with holographic canvases that resemble sought-after basketball cards and caps with iridescent stickers, as well as images of Jordan himself, trailed by streaks of color as if he's bursting through the light spectrum, or has the untouchable "on-fire" power from basketball video games like NBA Jam. As for the art-world comparisons, Space Jam includes titles like "Devin Troy Strother x Rob Pruitt x Cory Arcangel x Walead Beshty x A Sad Face x 0 Michael Jordans" (2014). The "Sad Face" may as well be a winking emoji.
Over the course of a night, Strother spoke with me about how racial identity is inherent in his work even when he doesn't want it to be, his biting (and hilarious) artwork titles, and why even KKK members love Michael Jordan.
At first glance, a sprawling art exhibition themed around the Michael Jordan-starring 1996 film "Space Jam" might sound like a joke, or worse. But Strother's spin on the source material is a comically charged, high-impact slam dunk (that concludes the basketball-related puns in this blurb), with canvases that willfully reference his contemporaries (Rob Pruitt, Cory Arcangel) and feature dozens of mini-Jordan figures, lovingly cut from paper, scattered across fields of color and thick gobs of paint. There are abstract works made from plastic sports-pennant flags; tall black monochromatic sculptures festooned with bronze sculptures of Styrofoam cups and deflated basketballs; and enlarged print-on-canvas images culled from Jordan collector cards. The entire back gallery's floor has been replaced with a faux b-ball court. The catch? Strother turns out to be not much of a sports fan himself, so "Space Jam" is less jock-worship than an excuse to riff on the iconography and gestural energy of the game.
NYCB Art Series Presents: Dustin Yellin
Jan 12, 2015 Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin brings a collection of his glass sculptures from the ongoing Psychogeographies series to New York City Ballet for the third presentation of Art Series, which welcomes contemporary artists to our Lincoln Center home.
Artforum - Devin Troy Strother
January 10, 2015 - Feb 14, 2015
ARTFORUM Devin Troy Strother MARLBOROROUGH | CHELSEA 545 West 25th Street January 10, 2015-February 14, 2015
Given the current acme of self-referencing Buzzfeed culture—the phrase 90s nostalgia is a nearly ubiquitous descriptor for the millennials' tics—Devin Troy Strother's new works are a timely celebration of the cannibalizing nature of this generation's zeitgeist. Here, Strother gives the 1990s Warner Bros. flick Space Jam top billing as an aesthetic jumping-off point for his lively installations, paving two of three rooms with basketball-court-inspired flooring and the third with loopy, space-themed carpet. Though three life-size cartoon-cutout Knicks introduce the show, Michael Jordan is center stage. Small cutouts of cartoon Jordan animate Strother's lush paintings, which cheekily direct visual (and titular) references to Lynda Benglis, Cory Arcangel, and Rob Pruitt, among others. Five massive, shellacked black boxes stand Stonehenge-like around a basketball court hung with marble-and-bronze baskets; individually named for iconic b-ball stars (Who's that big nigga in the room over there [TERRANCE];Who's that big nigga in the room over there [SHAQUILLE], both 2014), each structure is a McCracken-like homage to Kubrick's monolith in that other space-themed movie.
Strother's titles—a bronzed deflated basketball is called "fly like an eagle" (LeBronze), 2014; tactile paintings composed of pennants have names such as "we won nigga we won" (nigga, we never even scored), 2014—act as self-aware punch lines for each work, commenting not only on art history but basketball culture and its place in racial identity in America. With imagery that layers his stylistic and intellectual tribute to artists such as Kara Walker and Kerry James Marshall over the glossy hologram aesthetic of the NBA, Strother boldly merges the inquisitive exploration of fine art with the bright-lights appeal of popular culture, flattening a hierarchy of cultural stigma.
Devin Troy Strother Interview, The Huffington Post
Jan 9, 2015
'Space Jam' -- The Art Exhibition -- Is A '90s Sports Fan's Dream Come True
Note: The following interview contains explicit language that some readers might find offensive.
If you're not a big sports fan, or consider art more your speed, you've likely been in the position of having to watch a game -- be it on television or at the local high school -- without really caring which team takes home the trophy. You may have, however, become oddly fixated on the aesthetics of it all, the way the court, when seen from afar, feels like a colorful, geometric plane of slowly shifting parts.
That's sort of what happened with artist Devin Strother. "I've been a second, third party fan of basketball for a while," he explained to The Huffington Post. "My dad and my brother were very avid fans and my best friends were really into it. I've grown up around it and had to go to people's houses and watch games. I've always watched the game from this other point of view. I wasn't really watching the game I was more watching all the things that go around basketball, more so than the game. And the courts, they're all so different, from college to high school to the pros. To me, they're like a piece in themselves."
Devin Troy Strother - New York Times Magazine
Jan 8, 2015
The Artist Devin Troy Strother Turns to Michael Jordan — and Joan Miró
When the gallery Marlborough Chelsea called the Los Angeles-based artist Devin Troy Strother in September to ask whether he'd like to do a show with them this winter, he initially misunderstood the request: he thought they were asking him to have new work ready by December 2015. When he called back, he learned he had only a few months to conceive of an entire exhibition. For inspiration, he turned to the movie that was still queued up on his computer: the 1996 Michael Jordan vehicle "Space Jam." The play on words proved too good to resist. "My initial thought was the idea of 'Space Jam' — I had to fill this huge space in a short amount of time and work very quickly," Strother says.
It so happened that the movie's subject dovetailed with a longstanding artistic interest of Strother's: the role of sports culture, and particularly of the NBA, in American life. "The work is talking about identity and talking about artists' practices, but I'm facilitating all of that through basketball and the movie 'Space Jam,'" he says. The show finds Strother bridging basketball iconography — images of Jordan and others; a deflated basketball and Styrofoam stadium cups cast in bronze; reflective material Strother says is intended to evoke the holographic tags on NBA-affiliated clothing and caps — with witty twists on the signature methods of other artists. In the painting "I got a Joan Miro all over my brand new holograms," Strother applies spare, Miró-esque swoops of primary color to a holographic background. The practices of Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, Barnett Newman and Lydia Benglis get the same treatment; their titles nod to the preciousness with which sneakerheads treat their treasures.
DEVIN TROY STROTHER WILL TRANSFORM MARLBOROUGH CHELSEA INTO A BASKETBALL COURT THIS SATURDAY
On Saturday Marlborough Chelsea will open "Space Jam," a show of new work by Devin Troy Strother that includes painting, sculpture, and a pretty ambitious basketball court installation.
"I'm not really a big basketball fan at all," Strother said over the phone. "I'm not someone who goes to Knicks games or Lakers games or anything like that. It's more about the weird aesthetics they appropriate to present graphics to you, and the way the courts look. In aerial views they look like geometric pantings."
The show's title references a few things—the 1996 Michael Jordan movie, which Strother watched recently with one of his nephews, but also to the idea of jamming together various influences (one painting's title: Devin Troy Strother x Rob Pruitt x Cory Arcangel x Walead Beshty x A Sad Face x 9 Michael Jordans). Outer space is a theme of the show, too, since a 2001: A Space Odyssey-esque monolith dominates his basketball court. (Stanley Kubrick's dimensions for the monolith, Strother noted, were 9 feet by 4 feet by 1 foot, not so far from a basketball player's.)
Afros, Abstraction, and Photographic Experimentation at Untitled
BY SCOTT INDRISEK | DECEMBER 03, 2014
MIAMI BEACH — Untitled pitches its tent on the South Beach sand from December 3 through 7, bringing a roster of galleries that, while admittedly a bit heavy on New York representation, also includes venues from Helsinki, Mexico City, Bogota, and beyond. Despite lacking the flash and big-dollar bluster of Art Basel Miami Beach — one of Untitled's advertising partners during Tuesday morning's preview hours was Sabra hummus, which is adorable — sales seemed to be fairly brisk following the opening night vernissage on December 2. (Johannes Vogt Gallery, for instance, sold out a solo booth of playfully refined oilstick-on-satin paintings by Larissa Lockshin.)
The expanded field of photography is especially prevalent at this year's fair. That includes one of the standout booths: Kansas's solo presentation of sculptural-photographic works by Ethan Greenbaum capturing the common markings and surfaces of the urban environment. (They're direct-to-substrate prints on vacuum-formed PETG, if you want to get technical about it.) Over at the booth of Chicago's Threewalls, Windy City artist (and 2014 Whitney Biennial participant) Carol Jackson has a series of sculptures that incorporate degraded surveillance images in assemblages of paper mache and epoxy. They jut out from the wall like lumpy, bodily appendages, their surfaces ornately inscribed, using leatherworking tools, with imagery drawn from 19th-century sheet music, among other sources. Dittrich & Schlechtriem of Berlin have also brought slightly skewed photography to the fair, from Asger Carlsen's grotesque, anatomical Photoshop monstrosities to Julian Charriere's "Future Fossil Spaces," 2014, an arrangement of abstract photos whose framing and hanging is as important as its content.
London's Ronchini Gallery has one of Untitled's most poised, cohesive presentations: a series of quasi-paintings by Rebecca Ward, many of which treat canvas like a textile meant to be plucked apart and deconstructed. Some of the delicate, tactile works are as flimsy and transparent as gauze, while others lay thick lines of paint into a bed of white wool; a minimalist wood sculpture jutting from one of the booth's walls adds a dissonant note while reflecting on the basic geometries of the paintings.
Other highlights include Denny Gallery, with crumpled graphite-on-paper and graphite-on-Mylar works by Lauren Seiden that trick the eye into thinking they might be rock or tortured metal. Chicago's Andrew Rafacz Gallery has a delightful series of bite-sized Wendy Whites — square paintings bordered with gold-mirrored MDF — paired nicely with acrylic-on-handwoven-textile works by Samantha Bittman, their lines lovably imperfect and slightly askew. East Hampton gallery Halsey McKay has texturally complex abstract paintings by Steven Cox (one of the Artists to Watch in this month's issue of Modern Painters), as well as a massive painting (made using sunlight on fabric) at the fair's entrance by Chris Duncan, which recalls both the nature-based process of Sam Falls and the self-consciously hippy-dippy tie-dye vibe of Piotr Uklanski. And Los Angeles's Richard Heller Gallery has one of Untitled's most unexpected juxtapositions: works by Michelle Grabner paired with a large sculpture of an Afro-sporting woman in a glitter-dress by Devin Troy Strother, as well as two Strother paintings featuring hundreds of tiny faces floating in space. The circular bulk of the Strotherian Afro mirrors Grabner's tondos, and both artists are playing with notions of labor and hyper-repetitive markmaking.
Soaring 1776 feet and 104 stories into the Manhattan sky, One World Trade Center is finally completed and ready for business. It took thirteen long years and $3.9 Billion to make it here, but the point is that it's done. With the opening of One World Trade Centerjust last week, Examiner takes a look at the art that is housed in its lobby.
The Durst Organization, the building's developer, worked with the Port Authority and Edelman Arts Gallery to find the large pieces that are now hung in the entrance and throughout the building. The result is a collection of abstract art from some of the nation's coolest contemporary artists.
The entrance features a 90-foot-long mural of splashes and whisks of color created by Brooklynite José Parlá. Parlá's creation is titled "ONE: Union of the Senses" – in interviews, he's said he hopes viewers will connect his work with life and diversity.
In the front lobby hangs two medium (by comparison)-sized works by Rome Prize Winner Doug Argue. The titles of these pieces are "Randomly Placed Exact Percentages" and "Isotropic." Each is over 13 feet long.
Amy Bennett featured in Disturbing Innocence
October 25, 2014 - Jan 31, 2015
The FLAG Art Foundation is pleased to present Disturbing Innocence, a group exhibition curated by artist Eric Fischl, on view on FLAG's 9th floor from October 25, 2014 – January 31, 2015.
Disturbing Innocence features over 50 historical and contemporary artists whose use of dolls, toys, mannequins, robots, and other surrogates forms a deep and powerfully expressive genre. The exhibition poses profound questions surrounding social constructs of youth, beauty, transformation, violence, sexuality, gender, identity, and loneliness. Inspired by Fischl's own childhood in suburban Long Island, NY, and his early career as an artist working in New York City in the 1980's, Disturbing Innocence presents a subversive and escapist world at odds with the values and pretensions of polite society.
Firelei Báez featured in Prospect New Orleans
October 25, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans is an International Arts Biennial event that will take place from October 25, 2014 through January 25, 2015. "Prospect.3: Notes for Now" will present the work of more than 50 artists selected by Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans, in more than 15 locations, including museums, community centers and independent sites throughout neighborhoods across New Orleans.
When The Atlantic ran an essay a few years ago posing the old question anew — Can women really have it all? —many in Milwaukee's art community thought immediately of Wisconsin native Michelle Grabner.
That instinct has just been confirmed in a fairly official way. Grabner was just named by Artnet to be one of the 100 most important women in the art world, along with performance art superstar Marina Abramovic and power house art dealer Barbara Gladstone.
Grabner, a Wisconsin native, is the ultimate art-world insider and outsider, too. She runs an internationally respected gallery the size of a one-car garage next to her home in Oak Park, Ill. called The Suburban, and an avant-garde art space in rural Waupaca County called The Great Poor Farm Experiment near her vacation home. She writes beautiful criticsm, has been the chair of the painting and drawing department at one of the nation's more important art schools, the Art Institute of Chicago, and this year she was one of three curators for the most important survey of contemporary art in the U.S., the Whitney Biennial. As an artist, which Grabner considers her core professional activity, she enjoyed a major career survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland last year and currently has an important show of new work up at the James Cohan Gallery in New York.
One of the defining characteristics of Grabner's practice is that she has created her work around the things that matter most to her — motherhood, family, friendships and time to think and read. I asked her recently how she seemed to have it all. One of her secrets, she said: Waking early. The last time I talked to Grabner, she was shopping for a home in Milwaukee, a place she considers an artistic home base. It is where she finds her tribe, people such as Nicholas Frank, David Robbins and Paul Druecke, among others.
The Artnet rundown includes many women of color and women from across the age spectrum. One telling bit: There aren't as many artists as one might hope on the list (something to parse and consider another day).
VIDEO | Dustin Yellin - TED Talk
Oct 1, 2014
Dustin Yellin makes mesmerizing artwork that tells complex, myth-inspired stories. How did he develop his style? In this disarming talk, he shares the journey of an artist — starting from age 8 — and his idiosyncratic way of thinking and seeing. Follow the path that leads him up to his latest major work (or two).
Devin Troy Strother interview in Artspace
Jul 18, 2014 Devin Troy Strother talks about his aesthetic influences, how the 1990's shaped his artistic practice, and what he is working on for the future in an interview by Noelle Bodick in Artspace. Click here for a link to the full interview.
Marlborough Broome Street is pleased to present a special exhibition of works by an international group of artists celebrating the bicycle: a visual expression of the urban cycling movement. Joyride, has been organized by Ed Spurr and Brendt Barbur, and is presented in celebration of the 14th edition of the Bicycle Film Festival. Joyride runs from June 25 through August 3, 2014
Artists in the exhibition:
Ai Weiwei / Rita Ackermann / Tim Barber / Frank Benson / Lizzi Bougatsos / Julia Chiang / Francesco Clemente / Peter Coffin / Dan Colen / Thomas Eggerer / Urs Fischer / Leo Fitzpatrick / Rainer Ganahl / Andrew Guenther / Marc Hundley / Alex Katz / KAWS / Graham Macbeth / Ari Marcopoulos / Jonathan Monk / Jason Nocito / Laura Owens / Eli Ping / Richard Prince / Tom Sachs / Aurel Schmidt / Kiki Smith / Devin Troy Strother / Spencer Sweeney / John Tremblay / B. Wurtz
Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, From April 18 – August 17, 2014
This is the final weekend of Caribbean: Crossroads to the World at PAMM (Perez Art Museum Miami). The exhibition showcased two centuries of rarities in a variety of mediums ranging from traditional drawing and painting to contemporary installation and digital media. The exhibition, which was curated thematically, consisted of artwork made by artists who live and work in the Caribbean and artists who found themselves influenced by the Caribbean. I have visited the exhibition a handful of times and, had it not be for all the madness that the summer brings, would have honestly seen it a couple more times before it closed. Even though the exhibition had an immense amount of work, I found myself drawn to the same artwork each time.
Can I Pass? Introducing the Paper Bag to the Fan Test for the Month of December by Firelei Báez was one of the works that I could not walk away from. The mixed-media paintings combined gouache, ink, and graphite on paper and depicted silhouettes of the artist. The 30 self-portraits illustrated the daily changes made to the artists' hair through natural elements and was set up in a calendar grid. Báez, who primarily works in painting and drawing, often brings to light issues of race and gender while also referencing traditions of the Dominican Republic. In the title of the piece Báez is referring to the fan test, which declares that if a woman's hair does not flow back "naturally" when fanned, she is considered black. Báez mentions in her statement that hair is considered to be "a natural barometer" for race. Although the silhouettes differ from portrait to portrait, the gaze remains equally intense. Báez purposefully allows the eyes to be the focal point of the work. Báez powerfully stares you down while you inquisitively stare right back.
Perez Art Museum Miami 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132. Tuesday – Sunday: 10AM – 6PM Thursday: 10AM – 9PM
Devin Troy Strother "Recent Shit"
April 4, 2014 - May 10, 2014
Recent Shit:, the title of the exhibition, reflects and comments on the variety of styles and disciplines used in naming art works. The body of work doesn’t focus on any specific trends or modes of thinking, but on the relationship between a piece and its given name.
March 15, 2014 - Mar 30, 2014
Yuko Someya's work to be included in the VOCA Show at The Ueno Royal Museum where she received the excellent work award.
February 7, 2014 - June 8, 2014
SCAD Museum of Art
Dustin Yellin: The Triptych
"The Triptych" making its museum premiere, is Yellin's largest and most complex work, a massive 12 ton, three-paneled epic, embodying his vision of the world and consciousness. For Yellin, "the universe and the mind are shadowy places seething with dark magic, seas of boundless depth and possibility, overflowing with joy and disaster." In this composition of clippings, acrylic and glass, Yellin presents a surreal spectacle.
Devin Troy Strother Review in New York Times
Dec 5, 2013
Devin Troy Strother: ‘I Just Landed in Rome’
By Ken Johnson
Marlborough Broome Street
In Devin Troy Strother's infectiously exuberant show are three nearly identical cartoon figures of dancing black women in glittery dresses, each cut out from an 8-foot tall, 1 ½-inch thick panel and leaning against a gallery wall. One is called "look at my guuurl! Sha'riece over there getting her shine on (with that John McCracken lean)." The other two titles have the name Sha'riece changed to Sha'niece and Sha'triece. John McCracken refers to the sculptor whose Minimalist planks similarly lean against gallery walls. Mr. Strother thus connects high art, kitschy cartooning and street talk.
Michelle Grabner in I Work From Home at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
I Work From Home Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland November 1, 2013 - February 16, 2014
In Michelle Grabner's first comprehensive solo museum exhibition, her studio work will be presented as part of a varied practice that also encompasses artistic collaborations, critical writing, teaching, and curating. It will feature a range of Grabner's paintings, prints, video works, and sculptures, which investigate concepts of work, labor, and the social dynamics of domestic life.
Devin Troy Strother Review in Los Angeles Times
Oct 3, 2013
By David Pagel
October 3, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
In two solo shows over the last four years, Devin Troy Strother has shown himself to be a wickedly funny master of cut-and-paste collage as well as a sly spinner of side-splitting stories about such loaded subjects as blood, money and sex — otherwise known as race, class and gender.
Charlie Roberts may be a native of Kansas who studied in Vancouver and lives in Oslo, but his work makes me think more of Leipzig than of anywhere else. Maybe that's just to say that his art thrives not on his heritage, education, or context but on inherently unpredictable factors of imagination and energy.
Devin Troy Strother Interview in Bullett
Sept 6, 2013
In Devin Troy Strother's paintings, delicate paper figures—often black and naked—participate in lurid activities, including wild house parties, drunken fights, and rides on the backs of leopards. The paint colors are loud, and so are the titles: "Aye Guuuurl You Know You Got a White Guuuurl on Yo Back Tho" and "Shiiiiiet, Man There's One Too Many Niggas at This Party Tho." But Strother's paintings, while certainly lavish, are also insightful narratives and interpretations of the American experience. There are subtle references to pop culture and homages to artists like Joseph Beuys and Yves Klein. "I'm trying to combine different aspects of our culture and make them work together," says Strother, who splits his time between New York and LA. The artist's third solo exhibition at Richard Heller Gallery opens on September 7, and we spoke to him about art, race, the American experience, and Gucci Mane and Goosebumps, of course.
Devin Troy Strother Interview, The Huffington Post
Apr 3, 2013
Editor's Note: The following interview contains explicit language that some readers might find offensive.
"Sometimes I'll have dinner with the collector and well talk about the work," Devin Troy Strother says in a phone interview with The Huffington Post. "If there is 'nigga please' or 'bitch' in the title they get a little hesitant to say the titles out loud."
Picturing the straight-laced, uppity tiers of the art crowd asking for the price on "Yassmine Guuuurl Stop Staring at Yourself All Day, You Such A Vain Bitch" is a beautiful image, but there's more to the artist than his titles.
March 5, 2013 - Mar 25, 2013
Yuko Someya opens at Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo. The Exhibition will feature new works including two large paintings of 150 X 360 cm. and 23 works on paper.
Corey Arnold in Dark Blue:The Water as Protagonist
January 16, 2013 - May 19, 2013
Haggerty Museum of Art @ Marquette University
Dark Blue: The Water as Protagonist
January 16 - May 19, 2013
Corey Arnold's work, The North Sea is featured in Dark Blue: The Water as Protagonist.
The photographers included in the exhibition Dark Blue utilize water as an active element, making pictures that are, at their core, psychological engagements. Water is often perceived as a restorative element, an essential means to health and happiness. Yet, at the same time, it is a force formidable for its potential to threaten life.
This exhibition is comprised of works from the museum's permanent collection and select loans, and includes photographs by Kael Alford, Diane Arbus, Corey Arnold, Tina Barney, Virginia Beahan and Laura McPhee, Damion Berger, Harry Callahan, Michael Childers, Gregory Crewdson, Zoe Crosher, Joe Deal, John Divola, Doug Dubois, James Fee, Francine Fleischer, Judith Fox, Adam Fuss, LeRoy Grannis, Jill Greenberg, Tim Hetherington, Nadav Kander, Tomasz Lazar, Jocelyn Lee, Joshua Lutz, Mary Ellen Mark, Richard Misrach, Andrew Moore, Joel Meyerowitz, Asako Narahashi, Martin Parr, Irina Rozovsky, Carrie Schneider, Joel Sternfeld, Juergen Teller, Guy Tillim, Carlo Van de Roer, and Bennett Wine and Nir Nadler.
November 11, 2012 - Mar 10, 2013
Firelei Báez in Fore a group exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem
Fore presents twenty-nine emerging artists of African descent who live and work across the United States. Born between 1971 and 1987, the artists in Fore work in diverse media, often blending artistic practices in new and innovative ways. While some artists create large-scale oil paintings, others draw on top of photographs, or combine sculpture and two-dimensional work. More than half of the works in Fore have never been exhibited publicly; some are site-specific and react directly to the Harlem neighborhood and its social landscape.
Amy Bennett @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art
February 7, 2012 - Apr 15, 2012
XS - Extra Small Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Installation Location: Lila Acheson Wallace Wing, North Mezzanine Gallery
More than 50 works of art of diminutive size by 30 American and European artists working in a variety of media and techniques comprise the installation XS at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. With a title borrowed from the XS size label (for 'extra small') found in women's garments, the installation includes rarely displayed works from the Museum's collection that are usually kept in storage due to their tiny size. The installation, which challenges the adage "bigger is better," is on view in the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing through April 15, 2012.
Featured in XS are works that span the years 1890 to 2010. While many of the artists represented usually worked in a larger format, they also created versions of their landscapes, portraits, interiors, nudes and abstractions on a significantly smaller scale. The installation opens with three miniature works in watercolor by Paul Klee (1914-1917), progressing to a river landscape by Piet Mondrian in black chalk, to Marguerite (1916), an oil on wood portrait by Henri Matisse. Additional highlights of the installation include a drawing of Man Walking (1951) by Alberto Giacometti and two portraits by Pablo Picasso—one a self-portrait entitled Yo (1900), and the other a very detailed ink and wax crayon sketch, Seated Figure (1902). The installation moves into illustrated notes, including a hand-drawn dinner invitation by David Hockney, Menu for Dinner in Honor of Henry Geldzahler (1978). The small format challenges the depth of detail an artist can achieve, a challenge met by Amy Bennett with two paintings, Diagnosis (2010) and Hypochondriac(2010). To demonstrate fully the contrast in size, a small-scale version of Mao (1973) by Andy Warhol is hung just a few steps from the artist's larger-than-life version of the same subject in the adjacent gallery.
This installation was organized by Sabine Rewald, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art.
Farber Dumontier's Constructive Abandonment review
Aug 1, 2011 National Post wowed by the absurdity of CONSTRUCTIVE ABANDONMENT
Updated August 1, 2011
Every Wednesday evening, Michael Dumontier heads over to the home of his friend Neil Farber, takes a seat at the kitchen table, and spends the night painting with his fellow artist. Canvases are traded back and forth, each adding details to the work until it is complete, a process that often requires multiple sessions. Farber estimates they've collaborated on "thousands" of paintings over the years, 61 of which are collected in a recently released survey of their recent work, Constructive Abandonment.
The work featured in the book, which is published by Drawn & Quarterly, is at once horrific and hilarious: A man dubbed the "manicorn" sits contemplating the horn growing out of his forehead; an "African Fellatiating House Frog" suckles a table leg; an alligator and monkey re-enact an episode of Dragnet; a pirate sentenced to walk the plank is reassured that "nympho mermaids" await him below the surface; a suicidal dog imagines running away from his owner and leaping off a nearby bridge; and, just when things couldn't get anymore bizarre, a sword-wielding raccoon comes to the aid of a man fighting a green dinosaur.
"The beginning of the process is very loose," Dumontier says of the pair's artistic methods. "We add things to the paintings rather indiscriminately at first. But there's a point where we have to slow down and talk. If a painting is created by combining random elements, we'll talk about how to tie those elements together. We can do this by adding more, or by writing a text that gives the image context - often both."
If you are versed in the strange aesthetic of these two Winnipeggers, the paintings found in Constructive Abandonment should come as no surprise; Dumontier and Farber are two of the founding members of the Royal Art Lodge (may it rest in peace), the legendary collective that has introduced the art world to the likes of Marcel Dzama. Although the Lodge officially dissolved in 2008, Dumontier and Farber have continued to work together - an alliance that has existed for roughly 15 years.
"It's really comfortable at this point," says Farber, on the phone from his home in Winnipeg, while Dumontier chalks up the duo's success to "a lot of hours of trial and error. We've developed a way of working together, which has little to do with the way we each work on our own. For me, it's a nice break from the time I spend working by myself in the studio."
Although their work is often visually stunning, the punchlines, for lack of a better word, frequently come from text, not images. A man with a sock puppet becomes even more tragic when you read his intentions: "He would win back the children." A shadowy figure tossing a garbage bag off a boat becomes even more sinister thanks to a caption describing the bag's contents as "decapitated head, bowling ball." The image of a wizard looking down at a giant toad gains new meaning thanks to the addition of the word "irrevocable." And the painting of a man with a frog-like creature perched on his shoulder could be the start of a short story when you learn "they arrived in Europe to find that audiences were no more receptive than the ones at home."
Dumontier agrees that the captions, which come last, have become the most important part of their work.