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.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Frank Stella/Frank Gehry @ Gemini GEL



























This is the perfect example of the problematics with art-viewing when and where the viewing conditions overshadow the art work.  Having just seen Frank Stella's retrospective at the De Young Musem this past February (see here) and become more interested in his prints, this show here seemed a worthwhile opportunity. What I wasn't prepared for was the Frank Gehry annex at Gemini that housed the exhibition.  His use of space and light, and the forms both positive and negative that these two elements took was a complete distraction from the Stella prints on display.

Between natural light from Gehrys' typical, angled skylights and the dull incandescence of the gallery lighting system, these prints by Stella didn't stand a chance. That said, it is worth thinking about how the pictorial structure of these prints inflect the structural experience of this viewing space in certain respects AND how such works may have influenced Gehry, an architect who for many years has held relationships with visual artists going well back to some of the earliest well-documented, artistic investigations between space, light and bodily experience in southern California. I'm thinking, in particular, of the The First National Symposium on Habitability, 72 Market Street, Venice, CA, 12 May 1970.  Frank Gehry was present.  

Also, at that time, Gehry's stacking of cardboard sheets into usable furniture forms somehow connects for me with the formal repetitions of Stella during that same time-period.  So, this relationship between art and architecture can be thought about from the point of view of perspective itself, more poignantly a quality of scale, and various formal elements and principles.



If you look at the grouping of four prints shown above as an aerial perspective (or plan view) of space itself, then the asymmetric compositions with respect to the whole picture and the repetition of shape and color falls in line with the articulation of space generally and possibly with Gehry in this context. Obviously, there is no clear intent between artist and architect here to assign such relations but sometimes the intersection between them is worth pondering, especially when  in such instances the light, the structure, and the spatial conditions seem to call for as much.  

If you were to visit this show at night or under overcast conditions, for example, it would read completely differently. Such that it was the day I visited, it involved what you see in the the images that I share here, which I, frankly, consider a fortunate opportunity to combine many of the elements and subjects of my own primary interest and thinking regarding such things.