Listening to Artists

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I have to admit that I like to do things my way. So, forget about starting a marathon at 6:30 in the morning on a Sunday. My marathon started at a much more civilized time – at 11am on Saturday, and I ran through the city until 9pm. No one gave me a medal, but, still – I want to pat myself on the shoulder. Here is my score: I saw 7 exhibitions at 5 galleries, attended 2 gallery conversations with the artist, and finished with a dinner honoring an artist.

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Top: Installation shot, Alison Saar: Topsy Turvey, LA Louver.  
Bottom: Alison Saar & Evie Shockley’s Conversation and Poetry
Reading, LA Louver. Photos by Edward Goldman.

First, I went to L.A. Louver gallery, to hear a conversation between well-known Los Angeles artist Alison Saar and American poet Evie Shockley. The conversation between these two friends and the reciting of poems inspired by Saar’s artworks was a rare case of art affecting your mind not only through your eyes, but through your ears as well. Though officially, Saar’s exhibition opens to the public on Wednesday March 28, the installation has been completed and is open for viewing now.

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Left & Right: IPhone and iPad Drawings 2009-2012,
David Hockney, LA Louver. Photos by Edward Goldman.

I also had a chance to peek upstairs at L.A. Louver, to see David Hockney’s iPhone and iPad Drawings 2009-2012, also open for viewing on 28 of March. Installation was not yet complete, but even set on the floor and leaning against the walls, Hockney’s digital drawings delivered his trademark ability to hold your attention with vivid colors and a joyful sense of humor.

Leaving Venice behind, I ran to Culver City, to see a number of exhibitions. But, let me focus on three…

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Top: Robert Colescott, Blum & Poe Los Angeles. Image courtesy Blum & Poe LA.
Bottom:  Robert Colescott, Blum & Poe Los Angeles. Images by Edward Goldman.

Blum & Poe has a mini-retrospective of Robert Colescott (1925-2009), one of the best-known American artists. We, in California, haven’t had a chance to see such an in- depth selection of his provocative paintings and drawings in over 20 years. With amazing courage and artistic irony, Colescott repeatedly dealt with the hot-button subjects of politics and sex, from the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy to interracial relations and the power struggle between men and women. Just a friendly warning – don’t bring your children or grandmother to see this show.

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 L: Nicole Eisenman in conversation with Connie Butler at Susanne Vielmetter
Los Angeles Projects. R: Installation shot, Dark Light by Nicole Eisenman.
Images by Edward Goldman.

Another quarter of a mile and there I was, at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, for the opening of Nicole Eisenman’s exhibition, Dark Light. Eisenman, a New York-based artist and recent recipient of the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant, is known for her monumental paintings with scenes of “helpless outrage and hysterical amusement … [over] the tragedy of our political reality” (SVLAP). The opening was yet another rare chance to hear the artist speak, this time, with the Hammer’s Senior Curator, Connie Butler.

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Top: Antonio Ballester Moreno, installation view,
Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica,
CA, 2018. Image courtesy Christopher Grimes Gallery.
Bottom: Veronika Kellndorfer, installation view,
Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica, CA, 2018.
Image courtesy Veronika Kellndorfer.

On my loop back to the West Side, I reached the finish line at Christopher Grimes Gallery, to see the intriguing juxtaposition of works by German photographer Veronika Kellndorfer & paintings by Spanish artist Antonio Ballester Moreno. Kellndorfer is celebrated for her photographs on large glass panels of the most famous Modernist architectural spaces around the world. Ballester Moreno, Kellndorfer’s counterpart in this exhibition, paints dramatic geometric compositions that echo iconic works by Modernist artists Paul Klee and Joan Miró.

With all the above under my belt, I ended my marathon in the good company of art aficionados, with a glass of wine and a pasta dinner.



Benjamin Gottlieb