One quarter mile was the exact distance between Robert Rauschenberg’s house on Captiva Island and his artist studio. As a distance, it is neither long nor short; more like a healthy buffer or decompression zone to move between personal and professional spaces without bringing the frustrations of one into the other. But I have to wonder, does this concept really work for Rauschenberg, an artist who famously declared acting in the “gap” between art and life?
Not only are Mark Bradford’s typical works monumental in vertical and horizontal scale, they are also layered, built-up thick, oozing a palpable density. These layers can be pages from old comic books, newspaper prints, all glued down and up with shellac. Mark Bradford then works on taking his paper strata from collage to decollage.
This is the exhibition David Hockney came to visit the very day before I was scheduled to go. Jonas Wood at David Kordansky Gallery. A must see in Los Angeles, through December 16, 2017. It is fresh and inspired, much like David Hockney’s own work to which Jonas Wood’s self-assured brushstrokes pay a vibrant homage. Both artists seem to share a similar vision of life, where colors sing and textural patterns resonate quietly, albeit confidently. Yet in Jonas Wood’s paintings perhaps the time immemorial rhythmic quality of aboriginal motifs is more apparent. I find his palette is also tighter than Hockney’s: many of Jonas Wood’s landscapes play tone on tone, never straying far from keys of earthy brown or forest green. Even white on white manages to be colorful! He builds space with patterns which add vibrancy and energy, without necessarily resorting to vivid contrasts expediently. Case in point: how can Jonas Wood make Las Vegas so recognizable and yet so devoid of the contrasts we readily associate with Vegas? His paintings transported me into a universe flooded with light, much like the vivid quality of an illuminated stage as the theater lights go dark – except Jonas Wood uses […]
If you’ve never heard of Zach Harris, it’s OK: I hadn’t either until I stepped into Galerie Perrotin in Paris this summer. And I hate to say it but I was primarily going to write about another show, Civilization Iteration by Xu Zhen for the blog. So why am I writing about Zach Harris three months later? Because that day, I got to glimpse into many phantasmagoric worlds, crafted out of a very clever brain with talented hands. Just as the complexity of Zach Harris’ works started unravelling as I walked to them, past them and then back for a longer look, I knew time, distance and a sprinkling from my early learnings in Indian Art would shed more light and appreciation for the long run. It’s definitely the kind of art that deserves a museum bench or a meditation cushion. The kind of art to look at intently to start travelling without moving. But first, what was it in Zach Harris’ works that immediately reminded me of India?
No two ways about Paul McCarthy’s exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles: it is heavy! Up to 18 tons heavy! In Paul McCarthy’s monumental black walnut sculptures, it’s impossible not to recognize Snow White as we know it from the 1937 Disney adaptation of a German folk story called Schneewittchen by the Grimm Brothers. Yet even back then, there were an animated cartoon and a fairy tale, two versions of the same character. And here, Paul McCarthy is definitely taking Snow White in the dark dark woods of his mind and our society to unravel many of her personalities. So is the simple question “Mirror, mirror, who is the fairest?”.