dayoutlast is a record of my direct engagement with mostly contemporary art, mostly Los Angelean.

As this blog has evolved since its 2010 inception, so has my perspective. What I once perceived as central within the investigation was what was central, literally, within the photographic frame that I shared here. While still an important consideration, such thinking has also given way to more peripheral considerations, ones also accompanied occasionally by text (written manifestation of thought) and the oscillations between them. What's missing here are larger unknowns surrounding issues of presentation and representation; the amount of time and space it actually takes to accomplish such first-hand observations; and the quandaries between documentation and interpretation.

Despite my attempt to communicate here with image and text what is essential in some respect about the artwork, neither representation should ever be considered a substitution for the primary viewing experience. Of course, occasionally there are exceptions.

Most of the time, these posts are merely remnants---residual fragments---from my last day out.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Ha Chong-Hyun @ Blum & Poe

Conjunction 15-132, 2015
Oil on hemp
71 x 47 1/2 inches

Conjunction 16-104, 2016
Oil on hemp
47 3/8 x 71 inches

Conjunction 15-131, 2015
Oil on hemp
71 x 47 1/2 inches

Conjunction 16-152, 2016
Oil on hemp
48 1/8 x 96 1/4 inches

Conjunction 14-119, 2014
Oil on hemp
51 1/2 x 64 inches

Conjuction 15-135, 2015
Oil on hemp
51 1/2 x 64 inches

These paintings are very nice to look at in person.  They do no reproduce well in terms of light and scale.  That said, you can get a visual taste of what they are like, the subtlety and surface nuance between ground and painted mark, a seemingly painstaking process-driven  task.  The surface quality reminds me of Evan Nesbit paintings which can be seen from time to time at Roberts & Tilton, just around the corner from Blum & Poe.  See here and here. Whereas Nesbit revels in mostly brighter colors, Chong-Hyun maintains a very minimal, monastic palette.

The detail photos in this post reveal the complications of scale in such paintings. Whether they be full size or detail, abstract images all, it's difficult to get a handle on their relative size to a human viewing situation.  I suppose this variability and complication is what I like best as the mechanical belies any emotional suggestion, thought it is best when both are palpable and present.

Overall, these paintings seem to be more about ritual than anything, and this is good enough for me.

David Ostrowski and Michail Pirgelis "Nothing Happened" @ Sprueth Magers

David Ostrowski
F (Love), 2016
Acrylic and paper on canvas, wood
108 1/4 x 86 5/8 inches

Michael Pirgelis
Never ending story I, 2014
Aluminum, titan, lacquer
107 x 83 x 2 inches

Michael Pergelis

High Roller, 2016
Fibreglass (sic), aluminum, and lacquer
128 1/8 x 76 3/8 x 8 inches

Beer or Wine, 2014
Fibreglass (sic), aluminum, and lacquer
6 x 430 1/4 x 159 7/8 inches 

Found fragments (assisted readymades). 


Tabula non-rasa. 
Aircraft floors onto a wall; classic flatbed move (Rauschenberg and Pollock,  not to mention sand paintings--- all things ephemeral in their time, vanishing from ground to wall to beyond). 

Michael Pergelis
Honey Depression, 2016
Aluminum, fiberglass, tape
109 x 138 5/8 x 6 1/4

Marks and remnants of time. 

Upon initial viewing of this exhibition of flippant, abstract paintings (faint, whites, grays, and yellows) and modified airplane parts (mostly cargo floors), I was ready to dismiss easily as either being too familiar and too crowded as an installation. That said, something became compelling as it pertains to sign of times, reclaimed obsolescence, and formal flattening, let's call it.  Which is to say, these are all things that artists I like seem ready to embrace, namely a complication between formal distinctions dimensionally and perceiving time by such means as factors above human and non-human intervention.  Reorganizing scattered and broken elements into this exhibition, I believe, also speaks to some kind of thought of unity or lack thereof which becomes political rather than merely formal. Of course, they are, ultimately, inseparable notions.  The question is how direct, spelled out or obvious.

Returning to the airplane parts, whereas Duchamp somehow holds sacred, something here in these assisted readymades is not quite whole, perhaps also because we've seen this before with artists using the sides of trailer as an idea about painting. I'm blanking about where I saw those, but then maybe that's part of my point as well.  The memorable can often be its own reward.  So, to fetishize without transformation rather than simple displacements leaves something to be desired (which doesn't seem to be the point with any of these works). Moving objects from junk yards into galleries certainly has its history.  Moving objects between floor and wall as well (Curious too that Beer or Wine is listed as wall work on the checklist but appears on the floor in the viewing).  Granted, they are strong decisions. I'm just not sure what it adds up to rather than large-scale assemblage rehash that contemplates the passage of time through detritus of the moment, in this case vessels for human travel. Come to think of it, the passage of the mark-makers (Cf. the surfaces of paintings and parts) seems to be the point, the point about a post-human condition.  Now, that is something to think about. And maybe this isn't the first time we've had to consider this kind of situation.  

And near blankness may be an interesingt place to consider the painted paintings in this show.  Spare and abstract, they seem to hold keys for how to look at the found objects as much as how to navigate the exhibition at large. So, painting and found object are held in a kind of reflection/parallel where patina holds its key.  Air traffic has been grounded and blown apart seems to be a nod to a post-9/11 world as well as nod to how things traffic in general, which could be the best explanation for why to have so many objects in one congested spaces. Not a notion of immersion I am sure (like gazing into a Barnett Newman at close range).  So, rather than crowd the spaces as is (an assertion of concept over viewing), why not have simply one object of each kind.  Such notion of emptiness and formal complicity would then have room to work within the viewer. For, again, the exhibition as a whole does seem to be about absence and how a ship has sailed and interchangeability seems key. Indeed, nothing happened.

Jan Albers "flOtatiOn" @ 1301PE

cAmpAricAmp, 2016
spraypaint on Styrodur and wood
54.72 x 38.98 x 6.69 inches

dOOmeddOOr, 2016
metal, wood, spray paint
25.98 x 20.87 x 9.06 inches

 rUby, 2016
metal, wood, spray paint
24.8 x 21.65 x 9.06 inches

 gEEngrindEr, 2016
spraypaint on Styrodur and wood
51.57 x 38.98 x 9.84 inches

Jay DeFeo "Paintings on Paper 1986-1987" @ Marc Selwyn

Untitled (Samurai Series), 1986
Acrylic on paper
49 7/8 x 38 1/8 inches

Samurai No. 8, 1987
Tempera, pastel and charcoal on rag board
42 x 64 inches

Untitled (Samurai series), 1986
Acrylic, oil pastel and oil with collage on paper

As can often be the case with art-viewing, it's interesting to go from one show to the next and think about how they are linked together. In this instance, I had just seen Michael Heizer at Gagosian (see here).  Obviously, DeFeo's expressionistic brushwork aligns formerly with the Heizer paintings, though they take shape, literally, in slightly different ways.  Heizer's shaped canvases literalize a sculptural tendency while the DeFeo's work within the more traditional rectangle of painting.   Known to lay it on thick, it's interesting for these De Feo's to be much thinner. I suppose it's due partly to the fact that they are on paper and not another stronger support, perhaps the way a multi-ton Heizer stone would be propped by the architecture.  Both are weighty. (The DeFeo painting below titled The Jewel (1959) from the LACMA collection, incidentally was the first painting I ever hurt my back on as an art handler many years ago).

Indeed, both artists seemed to have lightened up over the years. One can't help but think in the DeFeo about internal light sources with the contrasting black and white producing such an illusion, and the tinted palettes in some of the Heizer's seems to work similarly.  

Faceting and angles persist in both bodies of work, one in varying degrees by natural stone, shaped canvases and simplified, hard-edged presentation, the other in the painted slashes like those of a Samurai action.  So, nature process, body, and metaphor go hand in hand with both of these exhibitions.  That said, one seems content with a kind of contained, pictorial concern; the other with how the pictorial is an immersive experience on account of its interaction and contingency with the architecture, the site, within which it is contained.  Perhaps a larger question could be about the persistence of such art-making strategies or at least the current display of such artifacts, ones that speak to the lifting forces of nature over long periods of time.