September 25, 2015, 10:32am

The Cost of War with Emily L. R. Adams

Emily L. R. Adams (NAP #117) uses motor oil to create beautiful and evocative monoprints. Featuring prints from U.S. newspapers that quite physically depict the faces of the casualties of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, she ties in the medium of the motor oil as an underlying commentary on both the human cost of and monetary investment in war.

Emily L. R. Adams | Cost of Oil [US Casualties - Afghanistan and Iraq Wars], motor oil and ink on panel, 40 x 40 inches, 2014.

Her work is familiar in that viewers get the sense that they have seen the images before, though it is hard to put your finger on how and why. The recast newspaper images are at once haunting, tragic, and moving, challenging us to consider our role in the war and how we remember both the war and those we have lost in it. – Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

Listed under: Interview

September 24, 2015, 9:11am

James Sterling Pitt: The Ritual of Remembering

“It drives people absolutely crazy," James Sterling Pitt (NAP #103) tells me with a laugh one hot summer afternoon in Albuquerque’s North Valley. “So many people want to see my work strictly as either sculpture or painting that when I tell them they’re vessels, they just can’t figure it out.” Uniquely occupying both symbolic and utilitarian spaces, Pitt’s work initially grew out of his response to both personal trauma and the subsequent recovery process, but more recently however, these experiences have led to a fundamental shift in the ways in which he views and records his surroundings, interactions and memories. This desire to physically document his daily experiences makes his artistic practice virtually inseparable from his everyday life. - Claude Smith Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor

James Sterling Pitt | Installation view, 2015, courtesy of the artists and Anglim Gilbert Gallery; Photo: Rhiannon Mercer

Listed under: Interview

August 31, 2015, 9:59am

Endless Summer: Prolonged Moments Among SEASON Gallery’s Paintings

A few weeks ago, I was lying out with a friend, beside a massive swimming pool, in the 108-degree heat of Las Vegas. The unrelenting desert sun splayed its dense rays over our skin with more thickness than the sunscreen we had put on in vain. Sweat came without the slightest movement. Our phones had gone black and refused to function. Yet, we stayed there for hours. Sometimes we slept, sometimes we swam, but mostly we just lay there, watching the stillness of the palm trees and of the people standing in the pool, lingering in a prolonged state of thought. I thought of that heat-induced slowness and its heightened state of perception when I was back in Seattle a week later, walking through two shows by SEASON. – Erin Langner, Seattle contributor

Slow Enhancers installation view, including Seth David Friedman, FORTHELIVEDEVIL, 2011, Carrara marble, and Dawn Cerny, Anaheim, 2015, Gouache on Silkscreen. Image courtesy of SEASON.

Listed under: Review

August 21, 2015, 9:36am

Deciphering Bart Exposito’s “Strange Alphabet”

After living in Los Angeles for 14 years, Bart Exposito knew the exact moment returning to life as usual in sunny California was no longer an option. In 2012, after participating in a residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute, his mind was made up and as he put it, “I just decided right then I wasn’t leaving.” He marks his return to L.A. with Strange Alphabet at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, which showcases his latest body of work as a continuation of his interest in design, typography and affinity for line. – Claude Smith Albuquerque/Santa Fe Contributor

Bart Exposito | Untitled, 2015, acrylic on canvas 60" H x 48" W (152.4 cm H x 121.92 cm W) Gallery Inventory #EXP106, Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles ProjectsPhoto: Robert Wedemeyer

Listed under: Interview, Review

August 08, 2015, 2:13pm

Dropping In on the Dropouts

MacArthur Park in the Westlake area of Los Angeles is only about 3 or 4 miles away from the University of Southern California. Driving around the streets of this dense neighborhood, the exclusive academic world of the Trojans seems very, very far away. Los Angeles is not known for being a walking city, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at modern Westlake. The sidewalks during most days are teeming with people, and vendors line the streets in front of frenetic backdrops of small-business signage and big-business advertising. Westlake had the second highest density of any LA neighborhood according to the 2000 census, over 70 percent of it Latino, making a median income of a little over $26,000 a year. Park View gallery is tucked a few blocks away from the concentration of activity around MacArthur Park, in an apartment in an older 2-story residential building. The former 2016 class of USC’s Roski School of Art, referred to as the USC7, have mounted an exhibition of their works in this apartment-gallery entitled Recesses, and it is within the political context of their circumstances that this exhibition takes place. Park View, according to a report by the LA Times’s Carolina Miranda in 2014, is the creation and apartment of Paul Soto, formerly of the staff of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Park View is one of many idiosyncratic alternative and/or artist-run initiatives in the Los Angeles area, and it is easy to guess what the appeal of the venue might be for the USC7. – Jason Ramos, Los Angeles Contributor

All photos courtesy of Park View.

Recesses installation view

Listed under: Review

August 04, 2015, 1:13pm

Nancy Murphy Spicer’s Disrupted Drawings

In Carroll and Sons’ back gallery, we can see all but one piece of Nancy Murphy Spicer's exhibition, Disrupted Drawings, before specific works call for undivided attention. The frames hang in grids on two adjacent walls that face large windows overlooking Harrison Avenue. Visitors first walk through the exhibition by Damien Hoar de Galvan to reach Murphy Spicer's show, and the slouchy, distinctly untrendy colors contrast with the blues, reds, and neons that de Galvan incorporates in his wood sculptures. – Shana Dumont Garr, Boston Contributor 

Installation view, Nancy Murphy Spicer, Disrupted Drawings, Carroll and Sons, Boston, MA, July 3 - August 22, 2015

Listed under: Review

August 01, 2015, 9:14am

Painting Highlights from the Seattle Art Fair and Out of Sight

No one knew what to expect from the Seattle Art Fair. We barely knew to expect it at all. This may have been due, in part, to the absence of any significant art fair in the region since the 1990s. Most us in the Seattle arts community were still holding our collective breath just several months before now, when none of the local galleries that applied for a booth knew of their acceptance status. — Erin Langner, Seattle contributor

Seattle Art Fair entrance, including Negar Farajiani’s “Made-in-China”, presented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

Listed under: Art World

July 30, 2015, 1:02pm

Small Things with Loud Noise: The Fabulously Sardonic World of Alex Gingrow

Alex Gingrow’s (NAP #116) work is some of my favorite I have seen recently. It is intelligent, sarcastic, relevant, humorous, and resonant. I saw it months ago and haven’t stopped thinking about it.

Taking items as mundane as daily desktop calendar pages, museum wall labels, and stickers, Gingrow transforms them all into powerful agents with important social messages. She addresses the passage of time with unexpected juxtapositions of quotes in the “Disposable Day Desk Calendar” (as the series is titled) with her daily notes in the form a completed sentence “Today I ____”. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

Alex Gingrow | Calendar Page: part of the This Disposable Day Desk Calendar series. "01.11.13" graphite, ink, and acrylic on paper, 15 x 15 inches, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.

Listed under: Interview

July 29, 2015, 9:10am

On Monuments and Memories, Flags and Fire: The Art of Tom Pazderka

Tom Pazderka’s (NAP #117) work is quietly disturbing. His mixed media and wood installations have a haunting presence, suggesting isolated cabins in the woods, lone wolves, and ideas or dreams gone astray. They feel threatening, yet on the other hand, they are also somehow unassuming and peaceful. – Ellen Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

Tom Pazderka | The Disquieting Monument to Southern Discomfort, Burned image on recycled wood, painted towel and broom, Dimensions variable, 2014. Courtesy of Artist.

Listed under: Interview

July 17, 2015, 9:41am

Printmaking, Abstraction: “Zero to One on Paper” at Ratio 3

There’s a piece of public art installed in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco that is quintessential Richard Serra. Two 80-ton steel slabs emerge from ground at a slight angle, tilting vertically as they extend 50 feet into the air. Like other works by Serra these are experiential sculptures, un-monuments meant to affect the way we perceive the space around them. That work is titled “Ballast,” referencing the performative heft of the piece as it serves as a kind of anchor in a transitive cityscape. Serra’s etchings at “Zero to One on Paper,” on view at Ratio 3 through August 21, share the same name, though in this case the titles are “Ballast II” and “Ballast III”. Like his  public sculpture at Mission Bay the works at Ratio 3 are monolithic and textural, anchor-like in the expansive gallery space that also has works by a host of painters and other artists making editioned work on paper. - Matt Smith Chavez, San Francisco Contributor

Zero to One on Paper, July 2 – August 21, 2015, Installation view: Ratio 3, San Francisco, Courtesy of the gallery

Listed under: Review