Lynch pares down the outlandish sensationalism of his best-known work in film and television, presenting lone characters and strange creatures in monochromatic landscapes. Still, the scenes are unmistakably Lynchian, tinged with a surrealist, macabre, and often hallucinatory tone.
Floor 3, Susan and John Hess Family Gallery and Theater
This symposium brings together artists, curators, and scholars to discuss Mary Corse’s work and her innovative engagements with the medium of painting. Topics to be considered include: materials and luminosity, contingency and vision, and new perspectives on artistic practices of the 1960s and 70s.
The program is co-organized by the Whitney and Dia Art Foundation and planned in conjunction with the concurrent presentations of Corse's work.
Session 1: Paint and Painting, 1–2:15 pm | Session 2: Considering the 1960s, 2:30–3:45 pm | Session 3: Light and Seeing, 4–5:15 pm | Reception , 5:30 pm
Nina Johnson Gallery is pleased to present Funnel of Love, an exhibition of new and vintage works by legendary artist, potter, and designer Peter Shire. With a rambunctious, irreverent group of objects, Funnel of Love showcases Shire’s unique position in the worlds of art and design—a role of historic importance, and constant exploration. The exhibition will open with a public reception on October 6th from 7pm to 9pm and remain on view until October 24th.
‘MARY CORSE’ at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, N.Y., and ‘MARY CORSE: A SURVEY IN LIGHT’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art (through Nov. 25). Light, and specifically the radiant light of Los Angeles, shaped Ms. Corse’s career. She became interested not just in representing light, but also in making objects that emitted or reflected it. This duo of shows features her light boxes — or “light paintings” — made with argon gas and Tesla coils, as well as her paintings on canvas that include glass microspheres, like those used in the lines that divide highway lanes. Both shows are overdue representations for Ms. Corse, who was an early member of the loosely defined Light and Space movement of the 1960s and ’70s in California.
The brilliant interplay of light, texture, material and technology in the work of the Light and Space artist Mary Corse can only be fully appreciated in person. The Whitney Museum of American Art has given the 72-year-old her first solo museum retrospective, Mary Corse: a Survey in Light (until 25 November). It highlights key moments of experimentation across five decades, such as light boxes, which Corse began to make in 1966. Two years later, the artist was able to make these works free and floating, after she took physics classes and developed a technique to power and ionise the argon gas in neon tubes using Tesla coils. In the 1960s, she also began to experiment with utilitarian glass microspheres, more commonly used on roadways, to harness and refract light on the surface of her paintings, which she still uses today, applied over white paint in wide vertical bands. A painting might look perfectly flat and monochrome from one angle, but from another, the microbeads light up in alternating stripes that show the swooping brushstrokes.
It was in Los Angeles that James Turrell first recognized the kinds of perceptual acuity possible in smoggy, irradiated air. His first light projects—experiments with incandescence filtering through jerry-rigged apertures in his Santa Monica studio in 1966—were harbingers of his subsequent tests of the fugitive, natural environment in increasingly architectural terms. His long-standing embrace by the city is understandable, but his apotheosis will unfold elsewhere: in an extinct volcano in the Painted Desert northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona, for the forty-year project of Roden Crater, a celestial-observatory complex. In his most recent presentation at Kayne Griffin Corcoran (his seventh with the gallery), Turrell was framed not as a conjurer of immaterial experience but as a builder or, at minimum, a designer of structures in support of this ambition. Appropriately set in the sprawling exhibition site capped by a permanent “Skyspace” Turrell installed when the gallery opened its current location in 2013, his eponymous show suggested the import of his built forms, represented in diminutive prototypes and tabletop maquettes alongside wall-bound renderings on Mylar.
Many of his newest paintings, collected in the exhibition “I Was a Teenage Insect,” are now at Kayne Griffin Corcoran through Nov. 3. (A series of his lithographs, “David Lynch: Dreams — A Tribute to Fellini,” are at the Fellini Foundation at the Maison du Diable in Sion, Switzerland, through Dec. 16.) The “Teenage Insect” pieces are large mixed-media works of what he calls “childlike distortion,” filled with mystery, terror and bliss, and occasional words scrawled across the canvas.
Consider the Los Angeles-based light artist Mary Corse, 73, who since the 1960s has worked largely without the acclaim granted her male peers, including Turrell and Dan Flavin (though that recently has changed with her first solo museum survey at the Whitney and a new permanent Dia: Beacon exhibition of several works). The Tet Offensive was barely over and students were storming the Democratic National Convention in Chicago when she began “The Cold Room” (1968-2017), an immersive environment in which a wireless light box hangs in temperatures chilled to near freezing — the better to focus the viewer’s mind on the light itself.
In 1971, the artist Mary Obering moved from Colorado to Soho, at the height of the neighbourhood’s transformation into an artist haven. Nearly 50 years later, the celebrated painter appears in her first solo show at Kayne Griffin Corcoran in Los Angeles, after the gallery began representing her earlier this year.
The work of artist Charles Harlan, a native of Smyrna, GA, now based in Brooklyn, often provokes a quizzical response from viewers. By sculpturally combining industrial materials or reorienting objects to defy their logical function, Harlan poses philosophical riddles through a series of precarious conceptual balancing acts. (In the case of his work Birdbath, on view at Atlanta Contemporary through December 15 in his solo exhibition “Language of the Birds,” this balancing act is also quite literal: a stone birdbath tips a massive, fiberglass baptismal pool to one side, pinning it to the ground.) Despite the potential headiness of such acts of appropriation, the materials’ humble familiarity saves Harlan’s sculptures from being overly cold or self-referential, instead creating a playful opportunity for the viewer to wonder how and why they were made.
My joke is that, in one of my lectures, I should come out in a coffin with my hand over the edge, pop up and go, “I’m baaaaack.” Memphis is one of the most important design movements of the 20th century. It’s not that it’s having a resurgence: It never went anywhere. Everybody involved has been keeping the flame. It’s not only an ongoing history, but it’s an ongoing part of history. Maybe it seems like it’s come back to the people who’ve just found it.
David Lynch, a painting student in 1967 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, was working on an all-black painting of a night garden when he sensed that a wind, mysteriously generated from within the canvas, stirred the leaves he had just rendered. The direction this apprehension would suggest to him is now history: David Lynch the painter became David Lynch the filmmaker.
Lynch had been making paintings, many of them depicting his nightmarish version of American suburbia, for two decades, though he was known then entirely for his films, among them the 1977 cult favorite Eraserheadand the 1986 absurdist murder mystery Blue Velvet. When Castelli gave Lynch a solo show at his SoHo gallery in 1989, the rest of the New York art world took its first look at the by-then-notable filmmaker’s paintings—though with reactions that split. One critic writing for Artforum called the show “eye-opening,” while Roberta Smith, in the New York Times, called the paintings “familiar, unoriginal, and slick.”
Peter Shire, the only American member of the Memphis group in the 1980s, has been working out of his Echo Park atelier for decades, producing huge numbers of colorful artworks that blur the line between domestic objects and abstract sculpture. His work was the centerpiece of the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. Recently, he received well-deserved recognition for his shows at MOCA in 2017 and at Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery this year. We met him in his massive studio on Echo Park Avenue.
A work like Yaghmai's evokes this SoCal artistic past in its use of translucent plastics, washes of colored light, and a commanding and minimal central structure – a large folding screen – that encourages perambulation. But from here, the artist refreshes the tropes of the 1960s “L.A. look.”
Every morning, L.A.-based artist Peter Shire starts his day with a cup of coffee he makes here in his studio, a ritual he regularly extends to his studio staff—and anyone who visits. Any guests lucky enough to partake will find themselves surrounded by canoes strung from the ceiling, stacks of ceramic sculptures, and white open shelves filled with colorful mugs.
Since the 1960s, James Turrell, the 75-year-old American artist who studied perceptual psychology, has been fixated on light and all the ways he can manipulate it with space and color. But the power of Turrell’s work—most often large-scale installations—is that it’s all about you, the viewer. "My work is not so much about my seeing as about your seeing. There is no one between you and your experience,” says the legendary orchestrator of light whose permanent installations you can find in 29 countries. An avid pilot with a lifelong fascination in merging earth and sky, Turrell considers his studio and canvas the sky, his medium pure light. The artist is best known for his Skyspaces, chambers open to the heavens through an aperture in the ceiling. These observatories—much like all of his work—are designed to be places of contemplative thought. So what are you looking at? Turrell throws it back to you: “You are looking at you looking. What is important to me is to create an experience of wordless thought.” So step into the light: From a meditation house deep in Japan’s countryside to a former mattress factory in Pittsburgh, AD uncovers the most unusual places around the world to see James Turrell’s art installations.
As with the summer swelling of Kudzu that blankets much of the roadside landscape of the Southeastern United States, the physical world is layered and writhing with evidence of the passing of time. In the colder months, the plant goes dormant in retreat, allowing a withered view of the hidden mysteries where few people tramp around. And for all the efforts of herbicide manufacturers and users of landscaping equipment, the vine enthusiastically grows back again with warm seasons, stirring controversy along the paved lines of highways and roadways – the flat, human counterpart to the shapely contours of form Kudzu billows into. The Kudzu plant, a legume prolific in its intricate, rhizomatic system of growth, has been banned by some countries for its invasive tendencies, suggesting a very mixed historical relationship between itself and those humans who have variously propagated it for its beneficial qualities - such as its medicinal and culinary use, potential for soil improvement and so forth - and those who have slashed feverishly at its vigorous new shoots of green in attempts to quell the lush sprawl. Identifying it as a vile weed or a miracle vine might be a question of perspective or semantics, but it does seem the plant illustrates a taut and tightly interwoven link between humankind and the surrounding natural world.
For “People of the Book” an act of obedience is of the utmost importance: to wash away or bury an old life of sin. Followers descend one stair case as a sign of admission, of fallibility; in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the believer is immersed in the cleansing water, they then ascend the other side clean, born again. With Birdbath (2018) Charles Harlan portrays two moments of transformational baptisms: the grand: represented by a brilliant blue fiberglass baptism pool, slanted toward the sky; and the traditional: handmade bird bath. Despite its size the synthetic pool feels manageably light, while the density of the stone birdbath acts as an anchor, grounding the would-be flight.
Harlan’s practice is psychical. Mining found and industrial materials, Harlan’s sculptures highlight the grandeur of the everyday. Be it barbed wire or bricks, stones or trees plucked directly from the ground, by scaling up these utilitarian artifacts they command a new reverence. He fuses old and new, abstraction and fragmentation, personal narratives and moments too important, too pure to communicate. The ritual and experience collapse his past with our present, each symbiotic of the other.
This exhibition is sponsored by Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles and Vickery Hardware, Smyrna.
Mary Corse: A Survey in Light at the Whitney Museum is the first sustained look offered by a New York museum at a California painter who, until recently, lacked the consideration warranted by her unique painterly commitment to the Light and Space movement. Corse’s active presence in the movement’s seminal late 1960s exhibitions, and her career-long focus on light as a subject, should have netted her full recognition as a contributor, yet her position in the group grew marginal. As recently as 2011, her exclusion in a 250-page coffee table publication called The Art of Light and Space was briefly addressed by author Jan Butterfield as having to do with her choice to remain a painter, “rather than an artist concerned with room environments.” (That Bruce Nauman’s dabbling in light effects received full attention in Butterfield’s book challenges the wisdom of this logic.)
Artist Mika Tajima—whose reliably alluring work examines the interplay between science, corporate design, financial markets, emotions, tools of control, art history, and quite a few more topics—is now represented by the Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran.
In 1968, while driving in Malibu at night, Corse realized that the reflective glass microspheres used to paint lines on roads held untapped potential, and the tiny beads became the defining material of her career-spanning “White Light” series: big color-field paintings that appear to morph with the slightest shift of vantage point, their brushstrokes emerging and disappearing in satiny expanses that abut crisp panels of matte acrylic paint. These shimmering works are impossible to capture in photographs—a breathtaking antidote to Instagram bait.
I am leaning back against a teak-paneled banquette, watching a cotton ball pelican drift across the sky. Thirty or so strangers, sat around the perimeter of this square-shaped room, all have their eyes fixed on a rectangular hole in the ceiling—like a high-def TV with one strange channel. The mood is hushed, almost ecclesiastical. A computer-programmed cycle of LEDs starts up, bathing the interior in chartreuse (mood-lifting, some say), fuchsia (energizing), and a blue-gray so pale it makes the sky look wan. A tiny plane zips through the lower left corner of the frame, like an errant summer fly. Finally, I think to myself—because there is suddenly so much space to think—I have found my meditation chapel.
Among the largest contemporary art museums in America, MASS MoCA's vast, varied and continually changing collection has long drawn art and culture lovers from the world over to the small Massachusetts town of North Adams. With the site hosting a multitude of festivals and one-off events alongside holding an impressive collection of works from the likes of James Turrell and Jenny Holzer, there is invariably much to see - even if every visit is different.
Rosha Yaghmai began her artistic career making photographs. But experiments in the darkroom soon found her eager to switch gears, incorporating other materials to create multidimensional installations. “The flatness of photography prohibited me from exploring the one-to-one relationship a viewer can have with the three-dimensional object,” she said.
In a previous interview, Corse emphasized that she “never saw art as a career,” and that she “always painted for [her] sanity.” Now, at age 73, the market is coming around to her regardless—and in a big way, as proven in this week’s news that Pace will represent her in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Seoul. Similar to the international arrangement announced between Corse and Lisson Gallery in London last year, Pace will work with her in collaboration with Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran
This program considers Mary Corse's experiments with painting by examining process, materials, and forms. Artist and writer David Reed and Kim Conaty, Steven and Ann Ames Curator of Drawings and Prints and curator of the exhibition Mary Corse: A Survey in Light, discuss Corse's practice in front of the works themselves.
Ticket holders are invited to view the exhibition beginning at 6:30 pm.
Tickets are required ($12 adults; $10 for members, students, and seniors).
Kristine McKenna admits at the outset of Room to Dream that she and David Lynch have come up with an approach to life writing “that some might find strange”. This hybrid form combines memoir and biography: each of McKenna’s chapters is followed by one by Lynch on the same years, “having a conversation with his own biography”. Clearly this highlights the subjectivity of experience and the inadequacy of life writing, but it could also compromise a biographer’s freedom to speak frankly about her subject. Nevertheless, Room to Dream is a memorable portrait of one of cinema’s great auteurs.
The Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden, Germany is currently hosting a major retrospective on prolific American artist, James Turrell. The comprehensive showcase presents several of Turrell’s spatial illusions, light installations, and groundbreaking projections including Sloan Red where “geometric light objects appear to float in space,” said the institution. To celebrate the exhibit, German publisher Hatje Cantz is documenting the artist’s monumental works into one volume book entitled Extraordinary Ideas-Realized.
American artist James Turrell is no stranger to Australia. His light works have been included in many museum shows, most significantly his 2014 retrospective at the National Gallery of Australia, as well as the permanent Skyspace, Within Without (2010) also in Canberra. Turrell's work also features in architectural installations at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart. Now a new commission in Brisbane for the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is garnering international attention.
The long-awaited James Turrell light installation has finally launched at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art. The gallery threw the switch on the Night Life 2018 last night. It will now illuminate the eastern and southern façades of GOMA every evening, with shifting patterns of coloured light from sunset to midnight.
I am standing in Mary Corse’s studio, a large white box with a sloping flat roof that she built two years ago beside her home in Topanga Canyon, just a few minutes north of Santa Monica. She has lived on the same secluded property, first with her two sons and now alone, since 1970. One side of the studio is given over almost entirely to sliding glass doors which frame a stunning view of the Santa Monica mountains, green with chaparral and live oaks, with ochre rocks jutting in between.
While Minimal artists abandoned painting, finding the category too restrictive, Corse believed the medium could be expanded beyond the flat canvas. One of the most fascinating aspects of Corse’s practice is her refusal to confine the medium of painting to a specific material base. She considers all her works paintings, from her shaped canvases, to three-dimensional constructions, to electric light boxes, to clay tiles, defining painting as any work that generates an optical experience of light.
Not so much a city as an unevenly populated, multi-centered megalopolis, and not so much a year as a point in an escalating concatenation of national and global crises, there might seem to be no possible way to get “Made in L.A. 2018” right. Add to that the divisions within LA’s art community that mirror many of the historically entrenched divisions within the city itself—between east and west, north and south, white and non-white, gentrified and gentrifying, young and no longer young, left and far left.
Shire was born in 1947 in Echo Park. His mother was a fourth-generation Californian and his father was a talented illustrator and carpenter. He yearned to be an artist from a young age, and later enrolled in the famed and now-defunct Chouinard Art Institute – although he was initially rejected from art school. ‘I am a maker of things, a hand-skills guy, so ceramics was my romantic vision. I wanted to be a potter wearing funky sandals and an apron,’ he told the Los Angeles Times in 2007.
David Lynch is an artist and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, USA. This autumn, he will present an exhibition of new works at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles. Last year, his television show Twin Peaks: The Return aired on Showtime in the US.
The Art Dealers Association of America, a nonprofit industry group that deals with issues of connoisseurship, ethics, scholarship, and public policy within the art market, has added five new member galleries—Honor Fraser Gallery (from Los Angeles), Kayne Griffin Corcoran (Los Angeles), Jessica Silverman Gallery (San Francisco), Franklin Parrasch Gallery (New York), and Venus Over Manhattan (New York).
It has been 11 art-filled years since Brisbane's Gallery of Modern Art first opened its doors, and the creative riverside hub just keeps going from strength to strength. Over the past year, Yayoi Kusama, Gerhard Richter and Patricia Piccinini exhibitions have all taken on the space, and now GOMA is preparing to unveil its illuminating new permanent work: a brand new light installation by artist James Turrell.
Peter Shire’s splash mugs, scorpion teapots, and Big Sur sofas are at the intersection of craft and industrial design. Their palette is sun-bleached – peachy, pink and lime – an aesthetic drawn equally from Art Deco, Bauhaus and his native Echo Park, LA. He trained as a ceramicist at the Chouinard Institute and then opened his own studio in 1972. It was f ive years later that Ettore Sottsass, founder of the Memphis Group of Design, sought Shire out and invited him to Milan. In the following years, Shire’s Brazil table (1981) and Bel Air chair (1982) were to become iconic Memphis pieces, an aesthetic splice of Space Age architecture, Milanese craftsmanship, and the purest LA kitsch. Shire’s work has been described as post-pottery, postmodern, hypermodern in excess. Memphis was critiqued in its day as the worst kind of garish, and for toying with aesthetic taboos – the very opposite of form follows function. Today, by contrast, it’s become a symbol of high taste, and Shire is sought by collectors around the world.
Stijn Huijts, director of the Bonnefanten, believes that Lynch’s point of view is remarkably consistent across media. “It is always about the idea that there are more realities and dimensions of existence than just one,” Huijts says. “Both in the films and in the other visual art of Lynch, the subconscious is an important well that feeds the creative process. The sphere of darkness and dread that is evoked by the films reoccurs in the art works.”
“What was wrong with people back then?” the artist Joan Jonas said. “Couldn’t anyone see?” The multimedia pioneer was at Dia: Beacon and talking about 1968, the date on a transfixing, white-light sculpture by Mary Corse. How had such a radiant work stayed under the art world radar for so long?
Soft pastel light dances through the darkened space. Small personal objects, some of them incongruous such as hanging fishing lures, cast shadows. Titled Slide Samples (Lures, Myths), it uses photographic slides taken by her father, who immigrated to California from Tehran to study architecture. The piece is not literal but impressionistic about the integration of experience, memory and the past.
Corse’s paintings and sculptures adopt infinite permutations as one stands in front of them. At a particular moment, from a specific position, the viewer sees a unique configuration of brightened and flattened patches. Looking becomes a deeply individual, meditative experience that generates ideas about acceptance, change, and the fleeting nature of all things.
With a recent gallery installation at Dia:Beacon and an upcoming solo show at the Whitney in New York, Mary Corse is having a significant, well-earned moment of recognition. Working as a dedicated artist since the 1960s, she is one of few women connected to California’s west coast Light and Space movement. Directionally, though, her artistic focus contrasted with her Light and Space peers. “I’m not a landscape artist, the literal aspects of the environment don’t influence me,” says Corse. “I’m not influenced by the outside world at all, really. I would paint the same in New York as California. It’s an internal impulse to paint the way that I do.”
What kind of art and music festival has a dedicated space for transcendental meditation? One curated by artist and filmmaker David Lynch, of course. This weekend, the Festival of Disruption arrives in Brooklyn (after a 2016 outing in Los Angeles), with a fulsome lineup of exhibitions, screenings, talks, musical performances, and, from 10am to 8pm on both days of the festival, a comfortable lounge for transcending. Appropriately, proceeds from the entire affair will benefit the David Lynch Foundation, which advocates for the therapeutic and restorative power of transcendental meditation.
“A Survey in Light” is Mary Corse’s first solo museum survey, which arrives at the Whitney Museum of American Art on June 8, 2018. The curious works pay tribute to the artist’s studies in physics but also her enormous talent as an artist. Works from throughout Corse’s career feature in the exhibition that runs until November 25, 2018.
The survey will bring together for the first time Corse’s key bodies of work—including her early shaped canvases, freestanding sculptures, and light encasements that she engineered in the mid-1960s, in her early twenties, as well as her breakthrough White Light paintings, begun in 1968, and the Black Earth series that she initiated after moving in 1970 from downtown Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon, where she lives and works today.
“Mother Drum” is organized into three sections, presented in a continuous loop with no discernible beginning or end. The transitions between sections are sometimes seamless, with overlapping melodies or superimposed footage projected across a long screen. Other interludes are more abrupt, with fields of color or sudden breaks in the soundtrack.
Corse has been fixated with imbuing art with light since she was a student in the 1960s, a quest that has caused her to study quantum physics as well as pioneer new forms and media in art-making. Regardless, she has never been the subject of a major solo show—until now.
It's rare for an artist to receive her first solo museum show 50 years after accepting her BFA. It’s nearly unheard of for such an artist’s first two solo museum shows to open within a month of one another, at two of the most august institutions in New York. But that’s the story with Mary Corse. The first of her long-deserved twin openings happened yesterday at Dia :Beacon , where eight works by Corse are now on long-term view until at least 2021. Although the pieces range from her signature paintings embedded with light-refracting glass microspheres to shimmering clay tiles fired in an enormous kiln designed and built by the artist in the 1970s, the exhibition shows the surprising diversity in Corse’s mission to, in her words, "put the light in the painting"—and welcome viewers into an active conversation with the mysteries of their own perceptions.
A pioneer of light-based art, Mary Corse is one of the few women associated with the Light and Space movement that originated in Southern California in the 1960s. Throughout her career Corse has experimented with different ways to physically imbue her paintings with light. Her techniques have included the use of electric light, ceramic tiles, and glass microspheres, with which she creates simple geometric configurations that give structure to the luminescent internal space of her paintings. This focused presentation of Corse’s painting, examines her treatment of internal compositional space—using geometric form in juxtaposition with gestural brushwork—from the 1960s to the present. These works open themselves up to their environment, reflecting and refracting light, and invite a perceptual encounter that is grounded in both vision and movement.
The Whitney retrospective will highlight Corse’s key moments of experimentation across five decades. “It’s tightly focused on when she comes upon a new material or new structure that helps her play out her ideas of light and how one might find light inside the canvas,” says Kim Conaty, the exhibition’s curator.
Given Mary Corse’s consistent, multi-decade creative output, this museum survey, the artist’s first, is “long overdue”—really a tired euphemism for the consequences of exclusionary gender politics (and a belated apotheosis of art from the Southland, and not just, though especially, for women). The exhibition promises to assemble exemplars from her early shaped canvases, freestanding sculptures, and light encasements made with Tesla-coil-based generators of Corse’s own design, as well as of the nontechnological but still perceptually fugitive White Light paintings, begun in 1968, and the Black Earth works that she started after moving from downtown Los Angeles to Topanga Canyon in 1970. This exhibition will showcase Corse’s experiments with the legacies of modernist painting, but will also foreground her use of decidedly unconventional materials (e.g., metallic flakes and glass microspheres) to open modernism’s often-hermetic surfaces to place, light, time, and possibility.
The best use of large scale: Charles Harlan’s booth, presented by JTT and Kayne Griffin Corcoran, in the Focus section. His “Birdbath” is a bright blue fiberglass baptism pool, tilted downward, as if toward hell, by an old-fashioned, handmade bird bath.
The New York–based painter Mary Obering, whose elegant, sumptuous geometric abstractions imbue the spare language of Minimalism with the techniques of the Renaissance, is now represented by the Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran, which will present a one-person show of her work in September. (Those heading to Frieze New York through Sunday will also find her work on offer at the gallery’s booth.)
Mary Corse is having a big year, with exhibitions this summer at Dia: Beacon and the Whitney Museum that celebrate her unrivaled ability to paint with light. At Frieze, Kaye Griffin Corcoran has a stunner from the “Black Earth” series—huge clay tiles so glossy that from different perspectives the viewer could be looking into a bubbling abyss of tar, the side of a mountain, or into a tumultuous sea. In stark contrast to the impenetrable blackness of Corse’s work are the luminous, almost weightless circular glassworks on view from James Turrell.
Charles Harlan’s solo booth at Frieze New York began with a road trip. One that the New York-based artist was still recovering from when I met him at his Red Hook studio in early April. His haul, a new baptistry from an online church supplier in Roanoke, Alabama, greeted me at the door. Although the plastic tub was originally designed as a cleansing pool for adults and babies alike, its jacuzzi-like shape felt more pagan than protestant. For me, it brought to mind a cartoon of an Aztec temple with its two sets of descending stairs—a resemblance that only grew stronger when the artist tipped it to show me the upright posture it would take at the fair. “It’s going to be anchored by a birdbath,” he explained pointing to another ready-made component, a simple stone bath he picked up at Olde New England Reclamation. “I like this doubling of baptismal images. First us and then the birds.”
As you’re floating through Frieze art fair in New York this May, you may notice what appears to be a baptistery jutting out of a booth. This is thanks to Kayne Griffin Corcoran and JTT, who are jointly presenting Brooklyn-based artist Charles Harlan as a part of Frieze Focus. Provocative in its contextual implications, Harlan’s chapel can be read as a continuation of his explorations into the way architecture holds meaning—as well as space.
About Corse’s career, Turrell, a friend, is blunt in calling out the challenges posed by gender bias, then and now. “It took her a lot longer because she’s a woman,” he says. “But she was the most interesting artist out there.” The possible impact of gender on her career is not a topic Corse likes to address, but then again, she’s not a big talker. Corse is an authentically Western personality, more about action than chat. As she herself said in the 1968 short film White Light, which documents her heyday as a young, groovy woman in a mostly male milieu, “Words are very difficult.”
My friends and family help me to persevere. The CalArts network helped me to find my way through the muck, to be around artists that are my heroes. The access to industrial and specialty materials, because of the movie business, is incredible. I love to learn about various craft processes, and I love the endless fake versions of everything. There are so many worlds in Los Angeles—growing up here, I was able to exist in many of them. That elasticity of experience and perspective is central to all of my work.
Shire’s collapse of the art object with its functional use is a reminder that most pre-modern art objects have their origin in ritual. From chalices used by European religious orders to African figural sculptures, these objects were used in rituals that connect the participant to a larger social and spiritual worldview: a function that is lost when they are brought into the museum. In a sense, Shire alludes to this loss by making art objects that are used in everyday life, challenging a system where art objects are to be viewed and contemplated but never touched.
Hidden between the high-rises, the traffic jams, the signs promoting Miami’s Brickell neighborhood as though it’s a lifestyle — between all this energy-draining commotion — there’s an almost-secret, nourishing, and quiet space. The “Well of Ancient Mysteries” is a small spring in a bed of limestone. You have to kneel on the craggy, coral-encrusted rock to reach it. Scoop the water into your palms and it hits your tongue with a bright, bursting alacrity: cold, mineral-y, fresh. It tastes clean.
Downtown Manhattan was the center of the art world in the early ’80s, but 15 years on, most of the artists and galleries had left. These are the people who stayed.
On the East Coast, art institutions are also recognizing the vast contributions of California-born artists; the Whitney Museum is dedicating a career retrospective to Corse, who is known as a pioneering figure in the West Coast Art and Light movement, while just outside the city Dia:Beacon will also host a selection of Corse’s abstract works, opening in May.
This June, the Whitney Museum of American Art will debut Mary Corse: A Sruvey in Light, the first museum survey devoted to the work of Mary Corse (born 1945, Berkelely, CA; lives and works in Topanga, CA). One of the few women associated with the West Coast Light and Space movement of the 1960's, Corse shared with her contemporary a deep fascination with perception and with the possiblity that light itself could serve as both a subject and material of art.
Kayne Griffin Corcoran presents their spring 2018 programming with Peter Shire: Drawings, Impossible Teapots, Furniture & Sculpture in the Main Gallery.
Peter Shire, noted local sculptor and ceramicist known for his zany post-modern teapots and his connection to the 1980s Memphis design movement, will be showing some new work at Kayne Griffin Corcoran called “Drawings, Impossible Teapots, Furniture & Sculpture.”
Maggie Kayne, the Los Angeles–born art dealer, who also serves as a founding cochair of the Hammer Museum’s Hammer Circle and as a member of LACMA’s Director’s Circle, says she’s proud to provide a platform for female artists to showcase their work and hopes her gallery is seen as a powerful ally to women art professionals globally.
I have travelled to many out-of-the-way places but the Antarctic landscape, or my imagined Antarctica, has been on my mind for as long as I can remember. It was like a mythical place that was rumored to be real. I visited Antarctica two years ago in January and feel like a part of me is still there.
Decorated artist Peter Shire is the subject of an upcoming exhibition in Los Angeles. The unusual exhibition, titled “Drawings, Impossible Teapots, Furniture & Sculpture,” will be presented at the Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery. The mixed-media show opens on April 5, 2018.
Berlin’s Jewish Museum has been given an immersive light work by James Turrell from his “Ganzfeld” series. The US artist’s blue-hued Aural is an iconic walk-in installation that completely submerges the viewer in a light field. It was donated to the institution by the German collectors Dieter and Si Rosenkranz.
Iconic American artist James Turrell is donating one of his immersive light installations to the Jewish Museum in Berlin. Featured in his “Ganzfeld” series, Turrell’s blue-colored Aural installation will allow museum-goers to be completely inundated with sprawling fields of light.
One buyer, Thomas Yamamoto, even hopped a flight from Shanghai to New York early to peep a painting in person that he’d bought after seeing just a photo of it. The work in question is a fetching white monochrome from 2011 by Mary Corse, a foundational figure in the male-dominated Light and Space movement started in 1960s Los Angeles.
Despite coinciding with the London auctions, TEFAF Maastricht, and a snow storm, the 24th edition of The Armory Show still proved a success for many dealers, highlighting the continued importance of American collectors in the art market.
Corse treats light as a subject and material of her paintings, activating them by using refractive glass microspheres that are common in highway paint. The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York will stage Corse’s first solo museum survey in June. The artist’s paintings from the 1960s to the present will be on display starting in May at Dia Art Foundation in Beacon, New York.
Mary Corse’s works with glittering highway paint at Kayne Griffin Corcoran (502), a run-up to shows at Dia:Beacon and at the Whitney Museum of American Art
A sense of heaviness was immediately palpable in Takayama’s show at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Upon entrance into the expansive, light-filled modern gallery, one was confronted by Untitled (2018), one of the exhibition’s two enormous sculptures. The work is among the largest in Takayama’s oeuvre. More than 100 railroad ties were painted black and assembled in the center of the room, commandeering the entire space.
The exquisitely designed Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery is worth a visit for its setting alone, with the exterior walls lushly festooned with ivy. Artists shown here include big-hitters like James Turrell, Beverly Pepper and Mary Corse, along with superstar creatives such as film and television auteur David Lynch. kaynegriffincorcoran.com
“My initial impression was one of suspended belief because I had no point of reference for what I saw. The scene from the ship felt like a backdrop for a movie or theater,” she says. Only on further inspection, when Ryan boarded a kayak and actually entered into the landscape, did the utterly foreign scene begin to make sense. “It’s almost like you have to touch it to believe it’s real,” she says.
The Hammer Museum announced the artist lineup for its “Made in L.A. 2018” on Tuesday, and the key word for the museum’s fourth biennial is “responsive,” curators Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale said.
“Drawn Into Form: Sixty Years of Drawings and Prints by Beverly Pepper” showcases 70 of the over 900 unseen works from Pepper’s collection.
Spanning seven decades of work, this extraordinary gift from Pepper, one of the pioneering Contemporary sculptors, includes hundreds of drawings, prints, works on paper and notebooks – many containing sketches of her major sculptural endeavors. This exhibition runs through April 19, 2018.
Rosha has been using color therapy glasses for years now. I tried on a pair and while they may or may not alter a mood, they certainly transform the view, making common sights seem more apparent and extraordinary.
Flying in the face of contemporary tendencies toward cool cynicism and overproduction, Dara Friedman offers a compact but dense oeuvre that crackles with intensity. Above all, there is an undercurrent of openness and earnestness, a radical sort of emotional availability,” writes René Morales, the curator of Friedman’s first comprehensive retrospective at Pérez Art Museum Miami.
Jutting out into the Derwent, Pharos has something of a secret chamber about it. You enter at the back of Mona’s current exhibition, the Museum of Everything, through a black cloth. And there it is, a corridor and column of light. This is the first of the Turrell works, titled Beside Myself.
Los Angeles was recently crowned as the artist capital of the world—boasting more working artists than even New York!—and it has the gallery scene to match. From your heavy-hitter white cube venues to grungy underground artist-run spaces, the city has it all.
“Mary’s work eschews easy categorization,” says Alexis Lowry, an associate curator at Dia. “As early as 1966, she was making light-based work that was as advanced as anything by more recognizable figures like Doug Wheeler or James Turrell. But she was also radically different, using paint to harness light and make space within her paintings that extends beyond the physical.”
In conjunction with the exhibition Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger, PAMM presents a special screening of Friedman's short film Ishmael and the Well of Ancient Mysteries (2014), which will be shown continuously throughout the day in the museum's auditorium.
For years, artist Liza Ryan has carried a camera with her wherever she goes, taking photographs all over her adopted hometown of Los Angeles. But two years ago, when she travelled by sea to Antarctica to celebrate her 50th birthday, fulfilling a life-long dream, she was stymied, unable to shoot. “I felt almost trapped,” she says, overwhelmed by the monumental gap between her own small figure and the frozen, otherworldly, glacial landscape.
A stone’s throw from the sensory overload of Elvis-themed wedding chapels and mega-shows on the Vegas Strip (not to mention such special pleasures as swim-up blackjack), hides an appointment-only James Turrell installation titled Akhob. Occupying the entire top floor of the Louis Vuitton Maison City Center, this permanent work—something of an ocular spa—holds no more than six people at a time and operates on a 25-minute cycle.
There’s a lovely juxtaposition in the way we view and absorb the 16 videos and films in Dara Friedman’s mid-career retrospective currently at Pérez Art Museum Miami. While much of what is projected on screen are compositions of bodies in motion — free-style dancing, singing, performing — an unmistakable precision and attention to detail become part of the visual experience when moving through the galleries of “Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger.”
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in western Michigan is preparing to open an exhibition of sculptor Beverly Pepper’s print and drawing archives. “Drawn Into Form: Sixty Years of Drawings and Prints by Beverly Pepper ” will be on display for a few months starting Feb. 2 at the Grand Rapids attraction.
Mark Handforth is another Miami-based artist we’ve commissioned, and I’ve known him forever. His outdoor sculpture, a star twisted out of an illuminated street-light pole, will be on long-term view."
The exclusive exhibition is the first public showing of the gift of Pepper’s expansive print and drawing archives that was given to Meijer Gardens in 2016 and 2017. The collection spans seven decades of work and includes hundreds of drawings, prints, works on paper and notebooks – many containing sketches of her major sculptural endeavors.
Dara Friedman’s three-channel video installation Mother Drum(2016) is projected onto a single wall in Gallery 5 in a continuous loop that interweaves footage of individual dancers, groups of drummers, and animals.
The Aspen exhibition follows the opening of "Dara Friedman: Perfect Stranger" last month at the Perez Art Museum Miami, which marked the first career survey of the German-born, Miami-based video artist's career. It drew national attention from the art world and included "Mother Drum" along with works dating back to 1991.
The first solo museum survey of distinguished Californian artist Mary Corse is featuring at the Whitney Museum, as it announces its “New Exhibitions on the Horizon for 2018”. The show opens in New York next year and will explore the expansive and unique works that Corse has created throughout her career.
The German-born, Miami-based artist Dara Friedman, whose first mid-career survey, Perfect Stranger, is on now at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (until 4 March), combines painstaking production methods with the raw heat of emotion in her works.
The Louisiana-born painter Mary Obering still lives and works in the loft on Wooster Street that she's owned since the early 1970s. It's one of those mythic New York stories, where an artist buys an industrial space downtown for so little that it would be maddening to even mention. For decades, Obering has been producing her boldlyhued geometric paintings there, a twist on the minimal tradition to which the artist belongs. "Soho wasn't the shopping mall that it's become," Obering laughs, remembering her mother visiting from Louisiana in the early days, refusing to step foot in her then new neighborhood.
The point of departure of Art and Space is the collaboration between Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida and German philosopher Martin Heidegger in 1969, which resulted in the publication of an artist book whose title inspired that of this exhibition.
Over the past decade, Dara Friedman has asked large casts of participants to respond to simple ideas or thoughts, eliciting, in turn, raw emotion and chance developments within controlled situations. On the occasion of her survey at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, the artist talks about her newest work, Dichter (Poet), 2017, a four-channel video portraying sixteen people reciting their favorite poems.
Next month, an extension to our gallery, called Pharos, will open, housing four new works by James Turrell, as well as works by Jean Tinguely, Charles Ross, Richard Wilson and Randy Polumbo. Read more about Pharos here.
Torn between a powerful cultural heritage and a national discourse on modernization, alternating between phases of openness and withdrawal, the cultural evolution of Japan in the early 1970s was marked by major social, political and natural events. Exhibition curator Yuko Hasegawa looks back on these turbulent decades during which Japan oscillated between globalisation and affirmation of its identity.
There are also a number of significant new commissions in the ICA’s ground floor gallery and surrounding sculpture garden, including a new installation of paintings by Chris Ofili, a large scale sculpture including a defunct crane by Puerto Rico-based duo Allora and Calzadilla and a bent telephone pole-star by local Miami artist Mark Handforth.
A life-size hot tub in luscious shades of gradient orange and purple installed vertically on a gallery wall took center stage at Kayne Griffin Corcoran's two-person show featuring New York-based Mika Tajima and Berlin-based Jean-Pascal Flavien.
Kayne Griffin Corcoran is pleased to announce a two-person exhibition with Jean-Pascal Flavien and Mika Tajima. While making very different work, both artists investigate social relationships to built environments and attempt to expose the constructed nature of these designed systems. The artists postulate in various forms such as architectural interventions or deconstructions of design objects, all in relation to the human subject.
It seems fitting that Los Angeles born Mika Tajima’s first show in her hometown includes one of her candy-colored Jacuzzi paintings. What could be more quintessentially L.A. than a sunset-ombré hot tub, its slick sexy object-ness epitomizing the glamor of Hollywood. Her co-exhibitor Jean-Pascal Flavien likewise embraces the city’s marquee industry with statement house (temporary title) Los Angeles (2016), a diminutive baby pink house—sited in the gallery’s lush courtyard—to be occupied intermittently by two screenwriters over the run of the show.
Artist Mika Tajima’s recent work speaks to the broader history of models of the body and mind being used to regulate laborers and maximize profit, from ergonomic office designs to algorithms that analyze the emotional content of Twitter posts. How can we meaningfully represent—and perhaps disrupt—the opaque processes that turn our most natural gestures and intimate communications into generic bits of data to be harvested?
There is an inherent dialogue in the pairing of Jean-Pascal Flavien and Mika Tajima at Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran, one that explores how our physical environments probe our emotional and social states, and vice versa. It is easy to think of architecture as fixed and permanent, but their works prove that the spaces we inhabit can be flexible and can afford their human participants a surprising amount of agency.
The year is 1954. Thick splashes of paint are poured from a bucket onto a canvas lying on the floor in the center of the atelier. A lone rope hangs from the ceiling. Grasping the rope tightly with two hands for balance, he glides across the canvas, swirling the paint with his feet, pushing off with the weight of his body. Over 60 years later, Kazuo Shiraga (1924–2008), a longstanding member of the Gutai Art Association, is recognized as one of the most important artists of postwar Japan.
Improbably, it was in a 15th-century Venetian palazzo that gallery owner Dominique Lévy first encountered the work of Japanese painter Kazuo Shiraga. During the 2007 Venice Biennale, Belgian designer and antiques dealer Axel Vervoordt mounted the exhibition, “Artempo. Where Time Becomes Art,” in the Gothic Palazzo Fortuny. Lévy, visiting from New York, was bowled over by the dizzying mix of antiques and scientific instruments, ancient and contemporary art and rich furnishings. Yet one painting leaped out from the melee. Near a punctured canvas by Lucio Fontana was a black, red and white painting so forceful, so visceral, says the Swiss-born Lévy, that, “It completely kicked me in the insides.”
LONDON — Kazuo Shiraga is the art world’s rediscovery of the moment. A member of Japan’s Gutai group of avant-garde artists, Shiraga (1924-2008) developed during his six-decade career the singular technique of painting suspended from a rope, using his feet to make violently abstract, thickly impasted canvases. It has only been since the artist’s death, however, that the conceptual originality and visual power of these “foot paintings” have been recognized by Western curators and collectors, particularly in the United States.
Ironically, Kazuo Shiraga's feet were nearly his feet of clay. The breakout star of hte Gutai Art Association, Shiraga became colloquially known as the "foot painter"; the Japanese postwar movement's founder, Jiro Yashihara, even dismissed Shiraga as a "nobody, if he didn't paint with his feet." After his 1955 performance "Challenging Mud," in which the artist wresteled a mixture of cement, gravel, clay, plaster, pebbles and twigs into a "formless form," Shiraga devised an entirely new painting technique.
The visual impact of Obering's work is considerable. The viewer must simultaneously register her anachronistic materials and her use of a grid to frame and structure each image. The hieratic and precious aspect of the gold leaf is lifted from its usual context, and placed in a new one, in which something indefinably different seems to be suggested than was indicated by the use of this material during the Renaissance. There is a hierarchical relationship between the gilded and colored portions of Obering's pieces, but the works also tend to engage the entire exhibition space.
The contrast of matte and glossy textures is attractive enough, but what gives the work interest are Ms. Obering's complicated colors, which actually suggest close-up outtakes from painting: a rose-red veined with blue that might derive from the Virgin's dress, a cream touched with pink from an angel's wing. All of this takes a while to register, and its handling is far too deliberate to be transcendent, but it produces an unexpected emotional pull.