Los Angeles Nomadic Division or LAND, the brainchild of curator Shamim Momin, stages exhibitions or events around town evading the potential restrictions of commercial galleries or museums. Thanks to LAND, Liz Craft’s funky sculptures bristle across the pristine park across from the PDC. And downtown, on 4th and Main, the defunct 1905 Farmers and Merchants Bank has been re-purposed for Painting in Place through July 31.
Some artists have hung their paintings on the walls where one expects to see them-- the always interesting Kevin Appel or the inventive Kim Fisher -- while a great many have used the architecture as a physical context or continuation of their concerns.
Analia Saban: Potato Sack (Still Life with Scissors, Abstract Cityscape Portrait of a Blonde Pink Woman, Osceanscape with Girl and Boy, Portrait of a Man with Green Hat and Blue Fan), 2013
Courtesy of the Artist and Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeeles
Analia Saban painted canvas potato sacks with bucolic and traditional scenes, filled them with fat russets and laid them on the floor or against the wall at various points.
Nate Lowman: Employees Only, 2013 Courtesy of the Artist and Maccarone, NY
Alexandra Grant: Model Self 2 and 5, 2012 Courtesy of the Artist
Alexandra Grant suspended her glittery painted words from the ceiling like a chandelier: "I Like Myself Don't You," with a mirror ball as punctuation. Matias Faldbakken covered the walls of one corner with institutional green tile apart from a white square offered as opportunity, as closure or as the "painting." Allison Miller's goofy eccentric abstraction is hung on a column while the brilliant Julian Hoeber's abstract red diptych is suspended from the ceiling.
Barnaby Furnas makes the biggest and most memorable statement with a ten by twenty foot canvas of giant gestural slashes of red that anchors and elevates the experience of being in the cavernous space. Some of the artists are "farmers," enjoying an organic, intuitive approach to painting while others are "merchants," with a rational, conceptual attitude. In the massive bank building, there is plenty of room and plenty to enjoy even if every piece is not exceptional. For more information, go to www.nomadicdivision.org.
Banner image: Installation view, A LAND Exhibition: Painting in Place, 2013. Farmers and Merchants Bank, Downtown Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of Robert Wedemeyer