April 25, 2015

Ed Moses @ LACMA, Los Angeles

Ed Moses: Drawings from the 1960s and 70s
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

May 10 - August 2, 2015

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Ed Moses: Drawings from the 1960s and 70s, the first museum presentation of the artist’s drawings in nearly 40 years. Ed Moses has been a significant figure in the development and history of art in Los Angeles since his first monographic exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in 1958. His unconventional materials and techniques led him to a unique mode of expression grounded in graphic experimentation, which included large floral graphite drawings from the 1960s to his signature diagonal grids of the 1970s. Moses has continued to draw throughout his career; however, the drawings of the ’60s and ’70s represent a period of intense experimentation and innovation that has sustained his work, in all media, for years after.

Ed Moses comprises over 90 works, more than 40 of which have been promised as gifts to LACMA by the artist. Additional works on view come from the museum’s permanent collection and local lenders. The exhibition is arranged in chronological order beginning with a few examples of the artist’s drawings from the 1950s, then it focuses on works from the ’60s through the mid -’70s.

“Ed Moses has been central to the history of art made in Los Angeles for more than half a century,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “To fully appreciate his large and diverse body of work, one must look at the pivotal period of the 1960s and ’70s, when Moses was intensely focused on drawing.”

“Moses’s commitment to drawing suggests an assertion of the handmade in the face of pervasive technological growth and development,” said Leslie Jones, curator of Prints and Drawings at LACMA. “He proclaimed drawing’s viability as a medium of exploration and innovation, even at the most unlikely time and place, helping to establish drawing as a medium with a future as well as a past.”

Exhibition Overview

Moses’s work from the late 1950s and early 1960s illustrates his interest in gestural abstraction. Beginning in 1961, he looked even farther back to the origins of abstraction and the work of Piet Mondrian in particular. Chrysanthemum Diptych from 1961 is a direct reference to Mondrian’s drawings and paintings of chrysanthemums and is one of Moses’s first works centered on a floral motif. The artist’s roses, chrysanthemums, and lilies convey ornamentality, and when these drawings are mounted like Japanese screens, as in Rose Screen (1963), connections are drawn to non-Western cultures wherein the decorative arts are highly esteemed and appreciated. Moses’s selection of the flower as a pattern, however, was less about its connotations than its inherent potential for repetition, which provided a template for his mark making.

Beginning in the mid-1960s, Moses preferred grids to floral patterns as a structure for mark making. In comparison to the minimal forms that characterized art of the period, Moses employed the grid as much for its own pattern as for its associations with logic and order. As with the artist’s earlier rose drawings, the grid drawings are filled with tight, obsessive, repetitive scribbles in graphite. Moses’s drawings seem to be perpetually in progress. This unfinished quality also characterizes his approach to displaying artwork. In the 1971 exhibition of Moses’s work at Pomona College, drawings were hung at varying heights, some merely push pinned to the wall, with others leaning, a strategy that created a less formal viewing situation not unlike the changeable environment of an artist’s studio. The LACMA presentation features a selection of grid drawings displayed in a manner reminiscent of the Pomona installation.

Ed Moses’s interest in the geometry of the grid may also relate to his exploration of architecture, which led to the construction of buildings in the mid-1960s, as well as the “deconstruction” of Mizuno Gallery in 1969. In that pioneering installation piece, Moses removed part of the wall and gallery roof, exposing the wood slats so light could make diagonal patterns on the floor and walls. It is represented in the exhibition through projections of rarely seen documentary images.

In the late 1960s, artist Tony Berlant introduced Moses to Navajo blankets. Moses saw a visual connection between the linear patterns of the blankets and Piet Mondrian’s late grid paintings, and he adapted Navajo designs for his drawings of the early 1970s. By associating the modernist Mondrian with the Navajo and incorporating Native American patterns into his own work, Moses blurred distinctions between “high” and “low” and “art” and “craft.” At the same time, Moses began to incorporate new and more diverse materials into his practice, including watercolor, tissue, vellum, powdered pigments, and resin. Completing his first works on canvas in more than 10 years, he chose not to mount them on stretchers; instead, the resin works hang like tapestries or animal hides, creating a hybrid art form in which drawing became more integrated into the body of the work, regardless of medium.

Diagonal grids, signaled in earlier drawings, dominate in Moses’s work beginning in the mid-1970s. The grids, whether ink on paper or acrylic on canvas, were executed with the same tools and methods of chance and repetition that characterized his drawings of the ’60s. Since then, Moses has constantly altered his aesthetic, experimenting with assemblage, installation, and printmaking, and exploring new techniques and materials.

About the artist
ED MOSES was born in Long Beach, California, in 1926. He enlisted in the Navy at 17 and served as a surgical technician during World War II. After the war, Moses studied at Long Beach City College before transferring to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to train under the expressionist painter Rico Lebrun. In 1958, Moses had his first exhibition of abstract paintings at the Ferus Gallery. The artist currently works and resides in Venice, California.

Catalogue
Ed Moses: Drawings from the 1960s and 70s will be accompanied by a 56-page catalogue with an essay by curator Leslie Jones.

LACMA
www.lacma.org

April 10, 2015

artgenève amène son concept de salon d’art à Monaco

artgenève amène son concept de salon d’art à Monaco

artgenève, le salon d’art contemporain et moderne, propriété et organisé depuis quatre ans par Palexpo SA sous la direction de Thomas Hug, affirme aujourd’hui une maturité artistique reconnue par les visiteurs et les professionnels de l’art. Dans le but de procurer à cette manifestation et donc aux artistes et galeries exposés une visibilité à l’échelle internationale, Palexpo SA a décidé d’organiser un second salon d’art à Monaco. artmonte-carlo s’inscrit parfaitement dans la stratégie fixée par le Conseil d’Administration de développer des manifestations à l’international pour répondre à la mission de Palexpo. La première édition d’artmonte-carlo aura lieu au Grimaldi Forum de Monaco du 30 avril au 2 mai 2016.

L’intérêt témoigné par les galeristes et les collectionneurs d’art ayant fait l’expérience d’artgenève ainsi que les liens étroits entre Genève et Monaco ont motivé Palexpo SA dans l’entreprise de la création d’une seconde exposition d’art contemporain, d’art moderne et de design contemporain. La première édition d’artmonte-carlo aura lieu au Grimaldi Forum de Monaco du 30 avril au 2 mai 2016.

« La tendance dans le monde de l’exposition est en effet d’exporter des manifestations à haut potentiel afin de fidéliser leurs exposants, d’augmenter leur notoriété internationale et de renforcer le salon initial. En agissant ainsi, Palexpo fait rayonner Genève. Par ailleurs, les deux salons, l’un inaugurant le calendrier annuel européen des foires d’art contemporain en pleine saison hivernale genevoise et l’autre entamant la belle saison monégasque, fédèrent deux axes européens importants, riches en espaces d’art et lieux de résidence de nombreux amateurs et collectionneurs d’art », explique Robert Hensler, Président du Conseil d’Administration.

artgenève se distingue par une sélection pointue et bien restreinte de galeries internationales de premier plan dévoilées dans une scénographie très soignée et largement enrichie d’un programme d’expositions non commerciales du meilleur niveau.

artgenève accueille ainsi chaque année environ 70 galeries et son programme non commercial inclut quant à lui une vingtaine d’expositions, proposant au public la découverte de collections privées et institutionnelles, de musées et centres d’art, ainsi que d’artistes et de commissaires d’exposition invités à intervenir de manière originale. Un programme qui confère à l’exposition une allure de mini-biennale.

Cet esprit de salon à taille humaine avec une offre diversifiée sera décliné à Monaco d’une manière encore plus concentrée en accueillant une cinquantaine de galeries et une dizaine d’expositions non commerciales. Certains partenaires d'artgenève ont déjà annoncé leur soutien au projet monégasque, à l'instar de la marque horlogère genevoise F.P. Journe.

Thomas Hug, directeur d’artgenève en charge d’organiser artmonte-carlo précise : « Nous souhaitons que ces deux salons s’enrichissent mutuellement et permettent de faire rayonner à l’échelle internationale l’idée du salon d’art qui se différencie des formats et concepts des grandes foires d’art que nous connaissons. »

« Ce n’est pas la première fois que nous sortons de nos murs. Dans le cadre de notre stratégie d’internationalisation, nous avons notamment été mandatés pour l’organisation du contenu du Pavillon Suisse au Salon du Livre de Moscou. De plus, du 1er mai au 31 octobre 2015, l’équipe des restaurants de Palexpo assurera, en collaboration avec AgroMarketing Suisse, la restauration du Pavillon Suisse de l’exposition universelle à Milan », conclut Claude Membrez, directeur général de Palexpo SA.

Palexpo SA 
www.palexpo.ch

April 5, 2015

Barbara Kasten: Set Motion, Bortolami Gallery, New York

Barbara Kasten: Set Motion
Bortolami Gallery, New York
2 April – 2 May 2015

Bortolami presents SET MOTION, the first solo exhibition with Barbara Kasten at the gallery. This show coincides with a survey exhibition — covering five decades of Barbara Kasten’s career — which is currently on view at the Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.

A restlessly inventive and experimental artist, Barbara Kasten began making art in the 1970s, engaging with Bauhaus pedagogy, Constructivism, the California Light and Space Movement, and Postmodern architecture and design. Her work sits at the intersection between photography, sculpture and installation, and this exhibition at Bortolami brings together two important bodies of photographic works — a series of Amalgams from the 1970s and a new series of large Transpositions — as well as a new video installation, Sideways.

The Amalgams are a particularly significant group of works within Kasten’s oeuvre. Made in the late 1970s, between her Photogenic Paintings (cyanotypes) and Polaroid Constructs, the Amalgams are unique silver gelatin prints created in the darkroom, with a novel combination of camera-less image-making (objects placed directly on photographic paper) and the traditional tools of photography (light sensitive paper, an enlarger, and a negative.) In some cases, Kasten then drew or painted on top of the resulting images. “At its core,” Alex Klein writes, the Amalgams are “a consistent and rigorous investigation of materiality and perception.”

Recalling an experience she had in the 1960s at Le Corbusier’s Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France, Barbara Kasten’s new Transpositions mark the return of color into her work. In each image sheets of Plexiglas, which adopt the building’s distinctive color scheme, both reflect light and cast dramatic shadows, seeming to float in a disorienting environment that skews scale and perspective. Produced in her studio, these works extend the investigations that Kasten began in her Constructs, photographs of sculptural, setlike constructions that dissolve space into geometric forms, planes of color, light, and shadow. Sideways, Barbara Kasten’s newest moving image work, engages directly with the architecture of Bortolami; projected across the back wall of the gallery, this black-and-white video makes the space itself appear distended, in constant motion.

Coinciding with her retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art, a new monograph on Barbara Kasten’s work will be published in late April by JRP Ringier, with essays by Alex Kitnick, Jenni Sorkin, and Alex Klein, as well as a conversation between the artist and Liz Deschenes. Barbara Kasten: Stages, curated by Klein, will remain on view at the ICA through August 16, 2015.

The work of Barbara Kasten (b. 1936 Chicago) has been exhibited extensively since the late 1970s. Most recently, in the exhibitions A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio, at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Will to Architecture, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Material Image, curated by Debra Singer at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York; and Section IV: Lens Drawings, curated by Jens Hoffmann, at Marian Goodman Gallery, Paris. Her work is included in numerous museum collections, including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; SF MoMA, San Francisco; The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Tate Modern, London. Kasten has been awarded several grants, the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, the Fulbright Hays Fellowship, among others. She lives and works in Chicago. 

BORTOLAMI GALLERY
520 West 20th Street, New York, NY 10011
www.bortolamigallery.com