David Lynch’s 11 works at Kayne Griffin Corcoran give intimate form to the insecurities of adolescence, especially as they echo in the memories of adults who may not have outgrown them.
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.
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.
On the windowsill of his painting studio in the Hollywood Hills, David Lynch has enlisted a colony of ants to help create some art. He’s molded a tiny human head out of mortician’s wax and filled it with cheese, chicken and sugar. Two nights earlier, Lynch filmed the ants in a feral march of disintegration.
Disturbing yet mesmerizing depictions of death, decay, and deformity bestrew beloved neo-noir director David Lynch’s latest collection of multimedia paintings, watercolors, and drawings currently on display at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. This series of dark, violent, and surreal meditations on childhood and adolescence offers a rare and tantalizing peek into the celebrated film legend’s perplexing psyche.
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.
David Lynch, a painting student in 1967 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philidelphia, was working on an all-black painting of a night garden when he senses that a wind, mysteriously generated from whin the canvas, stirred the leaves he ha just rencered. 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.”
Turrell is a master at his craft, which — since the 1960s — has been light. A key figure in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s, Turrell has established a very successful career since then. He has enjoyed solo shows at the Whitney, the Stedelijk and MASS MOCA, won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974 and received the MacArthur Foundation’s “genius grant” in 1984. In 2013, Turrell, who is 75 and based in Flagstaff, Arizona, had a highlight year. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York all organized sizable retrospectives of his work.
The magic of Shire’s work—and the magic of the city—attests that no matter the angles and planes, drab hues and bland shades imposed on life by industrialization and its aftermath, humans are still playful, funny, and stylish, refusing common shapes and finding ways to bend and shimmy: to express the loose and quirky joy that makes us human. Anyone who knows LA understands that for every cinder-block wall, there’s a brilliant fuchsia bougainvillea, thorny and beautiful, softly wrapping those hard angles with its lush color.
Peter Shire, long time resident of Echo Park and one of its more prominent citizens, is an artist who has long used ceramics as a medium for commentary. The only American to be included in Memphis, the Italian post-modern design group, Shire is best known for his form over function teapots. Since the 1970s, he has used their shape as the basis of extreme experimentation. Shire’s visual wit and passion for color evolved over the decades into ever more outrageous small ceramic sculptures that only nod in the direction of a utilitarian origin.
On the occasion of the exhibition Peter Shire: Drawings, Impossible Teapots, Furniture & Sculpture at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Shire talks to AnOther about kitsch, Modernist architecture and formative memories.
“I’ve been a fan of the Memphis Group for a long time and so was delighted to meet one of the founding members, Peter Shire, during my visit to Los Angeles. I bumped into Peter in my shop on Melrose Avenue and he invited me to visit his exhibition in the amazing Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery for a personal tour. It’s such a bright and optimistic show!”
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.
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
Liza Ryan, “Antarctica,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Ryan has explored Antarctica on foot and by kayak. And in this new series of works, she attempts to convey the continent’s subtleties and its vastness in photographs onto which she traces elements of the landscape with charcoal, ink and graphite — pictures that are taken as much as they are drawn.
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.
It is a wonder to step inside Mary Corse’s Cold Room, 1968/2017, an installation that took the artist nearly fifty years to realize. Once you’re past the sliding door and within the small, freestanding space, a distinct feeling of solitude descends. Immediately, skin responds: every exposed inch enlivened by the temperature-controlled room...
In 1967, Mary Corse first came up with the idea to build a cold room to house one of her ascetically minimal, neon-lit light boxes. She imagined giving visitors coats before they entered the chamber. She didn’t get a chance to build the piece at the time...
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.