Rosanda Sorakaité celebrates the aesthetics of slow life. Using traditional painting methods, her work emphasizes slowness in content, materiality, and technique. Sorakaitė’s haunting, tiny, and large scale compositions communicate the instability of speed and the strength in being present.
For her residency exhibition, Sorakaité created a suite of 5 large paintings executed in oil and acrylic. Within the first days of her first-ever visit to Los Angeles, she discovered immediate inspiration in the historic neighborhood of Angelino Heights (where the gallery is located). The paintings depict the iconic lamps, lights, and skyline of the city, past and present. The larger works in the show are all watched over by a young moon that guards the time, romance and secrets of these moments.
The River Residency is an annual artist residency created to support national and international artists that are based outside of the major international art centers.
The River Residency seeks to: support the international art community by helping emerging artists; to provide a platform for an artist through the public presentation of their work; to give the Artists-In-Residence an opportunity to engage with other artists and events in Los Angeles; and to promote national and international exchanges of ideas and artistic endeavors. Established in 2019, the residency continues the gallery’s overall mission of art advocacy.
The River Artist-In-Residence will receive accommodations, materials and studio space. The gallery will also provide guidance and support through the exhibition-making process. Other support will include but not limited to: studio visits, statement preparation, press and collector outreach, public events, a published interview, exhibition design, installation support and finally, a solo exhibition at the gallery.
River Gallery proudly presents Framing Space, an exhibition of Ira Svobodová’s new hard-edge abstract paintings. Svobodová’s new Framing Space series continues the artists’ celebration of architecture and design. Svobodova’s signature and well developed formal language that articulates the properties of tension, depth, and space is evident in this new body of work. Fresh layers of pastel colors meet in sharp angles to create rhythms of space, light, and time. This depiction of structure in paint straddles both naturalism and abstraction. Svobodová’s playfulness as an artist is revealed – each painting contains both observed and imagined space, light, and color. She creates the space, then alters it at will.
Light pastel pinks and newborn greens are accentuated by metallic lines that emerge from corners and planes. The angles are sharp and the space is decisive. Svobodová’s decoration of real space, her nesting instincts, have have entered the conceptual spaces of her paintings.
Ira Svobodová (b. 1986, Prague, CZ) received her BA and MA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Svobodová participated in a fine arts fellowship at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2009. Svobodová’s work has been exhibited at the Czech National Gallery of Modern Art, the Czech National Bank, the Ministry of Culture in Prague, the Franz Kafka House. Her work has been featured on Artalk, The Jealous Curator, Wallpaper, ArtNet News, Sight Unseen, and in The New Criterion, and was declared an emerging artist to invest in in 2015 by Saatchi chief curator Rebecca Wilson. Svobodová lives and works in Prague, CZ.
Framing Space 16, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
Framing Space 15, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
Framing Space 17, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
Framing Space 14, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
Framing Space 11, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
Framing Space 18, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
Framing Space 13, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
Framing Space 12, 2019, Acrylic on linen, 31 x 23.5 in / 80 x 60 cm
07 June – 14 June, 2019
Pavillon am Milchhof
Sarah Ann Weber
River proudly presents A Secret. A group show produced as a part of the B – LA CONNECT gallery exchange initiative to provide platforms for independent art spaces in the sister cities of Los Angeles and Berlin. The exhibition was inspired by the garden settings of both spaces.
We move too fast. We do not spend enough time in less urban conditions. This group exhibition focuses on intimate moments that can provide comfort, depth, and inspiration. These moments are like secrets for those who capture them. Precious, private messages and objects that are not lost for those who slow down, tune in, and appreciate being present.
The artists in this show employ a variety of mediums to share their secrets. Erik Benjamins uses a hand held scanner to capture fleeting moments in the LA landscape via its iconic flora. Sarah Weber’s pastel pencil drawings evoke landscapes that exist halfway between fantasy and reality. Siri Kaur’s photographic image of a puff of smoke that seems to appear out of nowhere, captures not only the attention but also the imagination of its viewer. The whimsical mixed media work by Elizabeth Huey, provides us with a glimpse into a world that we may just visit via her visions. Painter Brian Robertson shares an object with us that must have sacred origins while sculptor Brody Albert uses a common garden creature in an attempt to have us slow down and question our surroundings and our shelter.
This exhibition is graciously hosted by Pavillon am Milchhof in Berlin. Our deepest thanks to Hartmut and Elizabeth for hosting us and helping with the organization of the show.
We are deeply grateful to the organizers and producers of this event. Special thanks to Carl Baratta, Daniel Weisenfeld, and Hartmut Kurz and Elizabeth from Pavillon Am Milchhof
B-LA CONNECT is a platform to promote the cooperation and interlinking between the two sister cities’ creative communities. Over the next two years a major exhibition and exchange project is scheduled to take place between artist/curator run project spaces and collectives from Berlin and Los Angeles:
In June 2019, 20 art spaces from Los Angeles will exhibit in 22 art spaces from Berlin. The interdisciplinary program includes art exhibitions, film screenings, performances, talks, and more.
The following year, in 2020, the Berlin art spaces will travel to LA for a return visit. In the sense of a positive globality B-LA CONNECT seeks to advance the cultural partnership between Berlin and Los Angeles. B-LA CONNECT wants to celebrate urban diversity, show presence and stand against reactionary forces. Berlin and Los Angeles share the urban self-image of being the world in small, a place of cultural diversity and individual freedom. In light of the rising authoritarian and regressive currents worldwide the two cities stand for a liberal and cosmopolitan openness towards the world. B-LA CONNECT wants to build bridges where others erect walls.
Concept, Direction, Coordination Berlin:
Daniel Wiesenfeld (HilbertRaum)
Co-Direction, Coordination LA: Carl Baratta (Tiger Strikes Asteroid) Max Presneill (Durden and Ray, Torrance Art Museum)
River Gallery proudly presents All Joy And No Fun, an exhibition of Daniel Gerwin’s paintings, which are autobiographical abstractions arising from parenting two young children. These works address his experience viscerally by distilling family dramas and prosaic moments into an encoded language of shape, color, and line. Gerwin delves into the tenderness of taking care of babies and toddlers, as well as the increasing playfulness, humor, and emotional complexity that arises as children get older.
Using a handheld jigsaw as a drawing tool, Gerwin creates raw and eccentric shapes that become core elements in his paintings, embodying his belief that life is best reflected by art that is untidy, and even awkward. Painted passages of trompe l’oeil wood grain echo hardwood flooring, tabletops, and furniture, situating the images in the psychic space of domesticity. The cut wood shapes are painted and assembled within a color field that is itself contained by a box structure Gerwin builds as a stage for the visual events within.
The exhibition’s title quotes an old saying about parenting, one that rings especially true for mothers and fathers when their children are young. Gerwin’s conceptual approach is the opposite of that taken by most major 20th century abstract artists, who viewed abstract paintings as entirely non-referential. For Gerwin, abstraction is not a turning away from the world, but rather its keen embrace. His emphasis on children and home rejects old models of masculinity, particularly the archetype of the egomaniacal male artist who inevitably neglects his family, or the image of artists as shamans who do not change diapers or get their children to bed on time. The paintings in All Joy and No Fun pressure these paradigms while putting forward the intimacy and confusion of family life as a subject worthy of aesthetic investigation and public discourse.
About the Artist:
Daniel Gerwin has had solo and group exhibitions throughout the country, including in New York and Los Angeles, and his work is featured in the forthcoming 2019 Pacific Coast issue of New American Paintings. His work has been reviewed in ArtCritical, Frieze, Hyperallergic, and other publications, and he curated Surface of a Sphere in 2018 at Klowden Mann in Culver City and Time Wounds All Heals opening on May 11, 2019 at Charlie James in Chinatown. He has taught painting, drawing, and theory, and his writing on contemporary art has been published in Artforum, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, ArtCritical, Blog of the LA Review of Books, The Huffington Post, On-Verge (CUE Foundation), and others. He received his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and his BA from Yale University. He has taught at University of California Davis, University of the Arts, University of Iowa, and University of Pennsylvania. In 2004 he was awarded a residency at Blue Mountain Center, and in 2016 he was a Resident Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. Gerwin is based in Los Angeles since 2015.
Proper Snap presents new paintings by West Virginia based painter, Ian Hagarty. Exploring a personal need for repetition and reconciliation, a split sensibility is set in motion within this body of work. An atmosphere inspired by memory, location, and sound establishes the foundation for theme and variation within each work. Hagarty’s paintings result in a decisive structure that is defined by multiple takes, similar to the way music or architecture is constructed in layers. Angles receding along scraping curves are laid out using masking, acrylic and aerosol paint/pigment, a variety of polymer mediums and palette knives. A calm negotiation results from a sensory overload representing a combination of unique and universal influences.
Proper Snap is the artists’ first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
Ian Hagarty grew up in New Jersey, on the Delaware River, across from the City of Philadelphia. He earned degrees in painting from the Maryland Institute, College of Art (BFA), and Indiana University (MFA). Hagarty has shown throughout the USA and Europe in exhibitions and art fairs. His work is represented in Europe by Montoro12 Contemporary of Rome/Brussels. Hagarty currently lives and works in Huntington, WV where he is an Associate Professor at Marshall University.
In a literal way, The New Landscapes imagine Martian terrain, but they also evoke the scorched earth Parker witnessed in the aftermath of recent wildfires that ravaged thousands of California acres. Consisting of adeptly handled applications of aqueous acrylic paint ranging from deep blacks and pristine whites to light gray puddles and streaks, the pictures are a dance between Parker’s control and the willfulness of water, with the results conveying no signs of life except the eye that records these visions. The artist is limned as both the survivor of destructive forces and the explorer of a new world. Though bleak, these paintings do not signify despair. Rather, in the incineration of all that came before lies the possibility of new growth, new life, and a new future. Fire clears dead trees and allows reforestation, Mars is a planet with the potential to host humanity. With the courage and resolve to endure the hardships of starting over comes the potential rewards of renewal.
Kenton Parker’s new landscapes could not be more different from his previous scenic paintings, yet they are entirely contiguous with those earlier works and represent a noteworthy progression in his thinking. In Parker’s 2015 solo show at CES Gallery, he presented a series of cheerfully hued visions in which the desert terrain he loves to hike was rendered in a shorthand of pastel blobs and related marks that, depending on their color, evoked cacti, rocks, and wild blooms. In the context of several installations in that exhibit, including a set of plaster free-weights, a rustic shed, and branches inscribed with distraught and angry phrases, the paintings positioned Parker as a lone ranger in a beautiful wilderness, inhabiting a traditional masculine ideal while simultaneously implying the dark side of isolation and the looming possibility of abjection. This new body of work soberly manifests the desolation that distills out of romantic male heroism, as well the hope that arises from its renunciation.
Text by Daniel Gerwin
The New Landscapes III, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in / 152 x 122 cm
The New Landscapes II, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in / 152 x 122 cm
The New Landscapes VI, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 19 x 24 in / 48 x 61 cm
The New Landscapes VII, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 19 x 24 in / 48 x 61 cm
The New Landscapes V, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 in / 102 x 76 cm
The New Landscapes I, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 in / 183 x 152 cm
The New Landscapes IV, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 48 x 36 in / 122 x 91 cm
Through this decorative collection of text-based paintings, Adam Mars addresses the heated cultural climate with a cooling dose of comedic relief without diminishing the severity of the moment. Pieces like Too Much Moral Fiber and It All Goes to Shit and Same Country Different World strike a timely chord while their alluring floral environments provide pleasant alternatives to social media platforms where such topics become bait for political frenzies. Mars’ knack for poignant wordplay also returns to a more personal level in such paintings as Immaturing with Age and My Favorite Color Is Red Flag. However, their resonance extends beyond the autobiographical, and they function like catchphrases for generations X, Y, and Z as they cope with conventions.
Moving beyond his trademark faux brick surfaces, Mars abandons the tongue-in-cheek street art backdrop for another uncommon surface: cotton textile. These 21st century flower power settings take on a striking uniqueness with the calculated addition of trompe l'oeil cuts and folds. Evocative of Lucio Fontana’s slashed canvases, the paintings are cleverly engaged in digital vernacular rather than physical manipulation. Mars’ interest in Photoshop techniques is also evident throughout the exhibition when he paints colorful accents on the fabric to further challenge viewers’ understanding of where the artist’s hand starts or stops.
Mars received his MFA from OTIS College of Art and Design in 2007. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art and History and the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. He has exhibited the Torrance Art Museum, Laguna Art Museum, and had solo exhibitions at Gusford Gallery in Los Angeles. Mars’ work has also been featured in numerous publications like the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and LA Weekly. He designed large-scale art billboards for LAXART's Public Domain Project, which were displayed on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood and La Cienega Blvd. in Culver City. He has created tour costumes for musicians Post Malone and the Growlers. Recently, he published a collection of edgy coming-of-age stories called Unreal for Real through New Future Books.
Validating Beauty Is Getting Ugly, 2017, Acrylic and spray paint on fabric panel, 30 x 40 in
My Favorite Color is Red Flag, 2018, Acrylic and spray paint on fabric panel, 26.5 x 32 in
Same Country Different World, 2018, Acrylic and spray paint on fabric panel, 21 x 28 in
Too Much Moral Fiber and It All Goes to Shit, 2018, Acrylic and spray paint on fabric panel, 30 x 40 in
Cigarettes Are Gross, Can I Have One, 2018, Acrylic and spray paint on fabric panel, 21 x 28 in
Immaturing with Age, 2018, Acrylic and spray paint on fabric panel, 26.5 x 32 in
Someone Needs to Keep the Edge, 2018, Acrylic and spray paint on fabric panel, 30 x 40 in
Surface Slow Deep presents five new oil paintings by Los Angeles based artist Fabia Panjarian. Movement, flow and pattern are explored in this body of work. Using intense variations of line and color in the paintings’ physical surfaces, the pleasure of seeing is activated. Panjarian takes cues from the organization of melodic structures of counterpoint to create a similar experience visually. Like inside out clothing, one color is the inversion of the other. Placed side by side, colors interrupt patterns, much like when light reflects and refracts, colors are bleached and patterns are diffracted. This changes the velocity within each painting from glitchy to syncopated, then suspended like swaying in a lava lamp. Reminiscent of slow motion, and seductively wallowing.
Surface Slow Deep is the artists’ first solo exhibition in a commercial gallery in Los Angeles.
Fabia Panjarian lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BA from Haigazian University, Lebanon, MA from California State University Northridge and MFA from Art Center College of Design in 2013. Her work has been included in several group exhibitions including the CSU Main Gallery, Den Contemporary, and Orange County Center for Contemporary Art. Panjarian has received the Hans G. Burkhardt Award and the Graduate Residency at Art Center. She is on part-time faculty at California State University Northridge.
“Beautiful Minds,” 2009–2018, discarded cigarette packaging on canvas, is the centerpiece of Robert Larson’s solo exhibition of the same title. It resembles, among other things, with its plethora of printers marks dots and underlying grid of interlocking rectangles and squares, an aerial view of a city—an urban topography.
Larson guides us into atomic age facets that articulate a shape shifting 21st Century techno megalopolis that is both sprawling and dense, incalculably complex, yet filled with order. Everything in its atomized space is in implied motion—bonding, replicating, migrating, and coalescing. A multitude of structural elements seem to slide, shift, and jump—horizontally, vertically, and diagonally—weaving numerous intertwined patterns across its expanse. Beautiful Minds is a symbol for the hyper-abundant and variegated, yet paradoxically atmospheric and serene.
Robert Larson (b. 1968, Santa Cruz, CA) attended Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA and California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. He has participated in group and solo exhibitions at venues including The Carl Cherry Center for the Arts in Carmel, CA; Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, CA; Eyebuzz Fine Art in Tarrytown, NY; Elouise Pickard Smith Gallery at UC Santa Cruz; Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio, CA; SFMOMA Artists Gallery; and the Kala Arts Institute. Larson is the recipient of both the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship and the Tom Allen Painting Scholarship. His work has been featured in Hyperallergic, Arts Observer, Droste Effect, Beautiful Decay, Design Milk, and Wall Street International. Larson is represented by CES Gallery in Los Angeles and Joshua Liner Gallery in New York and he currently lives and works in Santa Cruz, CA.
Beautiful Minds, 2009-2018, Discarded cigarette packaging on canvas, 85 x 82.5 in / 216 x 209.5 cm
“Forgetting the Words”is the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles for Erik Benjamins, the current Fellow of the River Fellowship program. A suite of new work includes contact-scan photographs, a text installation, and the debut of a custom color. Bougainvillea at Magic Hour consists of life-size photographic reproductions of the nomadic plants made with a portable flatbed scanner in the Southern Californian landscape. Forgetting the Words, alist poem of words associated with physical pressure, references both the process in which bougainvillea photographs are made as well as more generally alluding to the body. Finally, the gallery walls have been painted in Cathedral City Grapefruit, a color that has been painstakingly matched to grapefruits from the artist’s late grandfather’s grapefruit tree in Palm Desert.
This exhibition continues Benjamins’ ongoing celebration of place as an instigator for embodied awareness. For several years, the artist has explored the frictions and wonders experienced when moving between the home and away place. Whether with a romanticized botanical symbol of the home, a written list on (body) pressures, or a color made with the intimate associations of family, time, and flavor, the works in Forgetting the Words serve as an intimate response to the artist’s Southern Californian home place.
The works within “Forgetting the Words” are imbued with a sensitivity to the performative and the process-oriented. The contact-scan photographs require a collapsing of distance that, while awkward and humorous, is also an act of physical power. Both the list poem and the use of color serve the creation of a sensory space for the visitor to consider their own relationship to place as it collides into personal desires, grander narratives, and aching bodies.
CES Gallery is pleased to present Exit Strategy, featuring a new sculpture by Brody Albert and collaborative works with Sara Ellen Fowler and Jason Gowans. This will be the gallery’s final exhibition at its 711 Mateo Street location. Exit Strategy consists of three works/gestures all made from a single material, industrially dyed MDF, a cheap fiberboard material commonly found in mass-produced furniture.
“Division Symbol” (2017) is a sculpture of sixteen handmade retractable belt stanchions, carved completely of MDF, including details such as latches and nylon straps. Stanchions, common in theaters, airports, and banks, are used to control crowds. The sculpture reconstructs the power dynamics of these spaces and Albert makes an aesthetic experience of institutional way-finding. “Division Symbol” telegraphs power and control but in actuality is weak and vulnerable to the touch.
The process of carving MDF is messy. It produces heaps of fine dust. Albert has invited two artists (Sara Ellen Fowler and Jason Gowans) to create work with this blue powder. “Stopped Lines” (2017), created with poet Sara Ellen Fowler, is a series of text drawings made from the cast-off sculpture material. Executed with a cinematic format, phrases like Debt and gentle work become subtitles for unseen actions. These pithy lines are meant to be read while standing. Reading in an exhibition context is a public and a private act, which “Stopped Lines” takes into account.
The second gallery features a wall-sized mural made from the same sculpture dust, this time used to create an image of an empty call center. “The Clearest Memory of a Call Center I Worked at in Montréal (November 2005)” (2017) is generated from the image archives of artist Jason Gowans. Absent of figures, this empty office depicts the neoliberal infrastructure of customer service that appears and disappears at the whims of the market.
As CES Gallery prepares to move office and shift its material state, Exit Strategy makes a final archiving gesture of the gallery while suggesting strategies for keener observations of our surroundings. A publication marking the exhibition will be available for free.
Brody Albert is a Los Angeles-based artist working in sculpture and installation. His work addresses the objects that shape, and are shaped by, social interaction. He holds an MFA from University of California, Irvine and a BFA from Art Center College of Design.
Sara Ellen Fowler is an artist and poet who has studied at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and Art Center College of Design. She develops projects in sculpture, writing, and performance that utilize epistolary, ekphrastic, and collaborative modes.
Jason Gowans (born Kelowna, Canada) focuses on the photographic image’s evolution throughout history and technology. He investigates how images continue to shape and define our interactions with the world, both consciously and subconsciously. Gowans holds an MFA from The University of California, Irvine and a BFA from Concordia University in Montréal Canada.
05 May – 28 May 2017
Curated by Brian Robertson
Adam Beris, Ryan Travis Christian, Huey Crowley, José Lerma, Hilary Pecis, Mark Posey, Robbie Simon, Britton Tolliver, Brad Wright
CES Gallery is pleased to present Fake News, a group exhibition featuring recent works by Adam Beris, Ryan Travis Christian, Huey Crowley, José Lerma, Hilary Pecis, Mark Posey, Robbie Simon, Britton Tolliver, and Brad Wright. The deluge of information is always buzzing, blogging, breaking news, push notifying, double tapping to read the alternative version, he said, she said, regurgitated, and Snoped. Welcome to the latest e-version of the objective editorial page(s), a buffet-like feeding trough of pre-determined consumer tastes. Keeping up (this job) was more work than he was used to…thought it would be easier than The Apprentice. Hail to the content providers! Hail to the truth-tellers and the naysayers! To the protest sign painters and the posters and the re- tweeters! The zine makers! The disruptors and spinners and that girl holding the megaphone! The Fake News media is officially out of control. They will do or say anything in order to get attention – never been a time like this!!
There was a time (in the history of Western art) when artists were expected to re-create reality to the best of their abilities, to tell as much of the story as accurately as possible, but luckily the artists in Fake News are all alive and kicking and someone has deleted the history of painting from Wikipedia. The artists in Fake News are incredibly observant (as all good artists should be), but they take what they see and distort it. Distortions are filters to re-frame a fucked up situation, a chance to comment, to make a statement. There are no truths and no such thing as alternative facts, there are only good bad drawings and poorly-drawn paintings. Fake News presents minimalist geometry, humorous caricature, melted institutional space, hand-copied cartoon subversions, tube-squeezed avatars, trompe l’oeil abstraction, the imaginary, the fake, and the faker.
CES Gallery is pleased to present Psychonautics, a group exhibition featuring works by Elana Bowsher, Robert Gutierrez, Elizabeth Huey, Tristram Lansdowne, Kenton Parker, Brian Robertson, Lisa Sanditz, and Sarah Weber. Descriptions of the subjective effects from altered states of consciousness depend on each researcher’s immersion techniques. The mind is a landscape and psychonauts are sailors of the soul. We surf the wave of the transpersonal human condition. We crave a scientistic spirituality. We disassociate to dissect ourselves. With insight and intuition, we observe. The artists in Psychonauticscreate landscapes as a means to realize psychological space, deconstructing politicized environments and terrains.
The complexities of psychonautic exploration, as with most contemporary queries, find their first home in digital discussion board relay chats and subreddits with headers like – When you facilitate consciousness its best to no [sic] your material / Causes for an agitated mind and how to mind-control it / Bowel problems and the second circuit / Implementation and Inception / I’d like to learn math that is condusive [sic] to psychedelic perspectives – which are perhaps a bit like navigating the endless bricked maze of the nauseating Windows 95 screensaver. Leaving states of normalcy behind, the artists in Psychonautics’ journey are rewarded with perspectives to respond.
Sarah Weber paints curvy abstractions of famous gardens inset into themselves, picture in picture, like a psychedelic flashback hovering in a simulated sunset. Elana Bowsher’s twisty dipped ceramic cacti are gum-dropped-acid hallucinations in an imagined desert. The surreal landscapes in Robert Gutierrez’s diptych, History Timing (2017), fade in and out of each other, melting into pooled paint, occupied by organic body-blobs tied down to prevent escape into the ether under all-seeing sky eyes. Cleared Lot (2010), by Lisa Sanditz, depicts a bulldozed and piled up landscape pre-development like the world’s largest stress ball too big to squeeze. The historical figures in Elizabeth Huey’s psychedelic sets are in various states of ecstasy as they navigate the process of healing from personal ailments and systemic oppression. Brian Robertson’s paintings collapse interiors, still-lifes, and dream-like deserts into visual puzzles that convey a sense of introspection and longing. Kenton Parker moves through the landscape, later memorializing it with paintings of symbol-marks, creating an internal safe space for the artist. Tristram Lansdowne’s imagined architectural islands are floating in a gentle sea-sky spectrum of thoughts, uninhabited and still, like ruins of future civilizations for new psychic explorers to discover. Psychonautics can lead us to a deeper knowledge, but not without the danger of losing ourselves.
CES Gallery is pleased to present a devil to pay, the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles by artist duo Ghost of a Dream. Considering desires, Ghost of a Dream collects ephemera discarded in the pursuit of dreams and reassembles this matter into hypnotic visions of cultural identity. Constructing work from materials such as lottery tickets, trophies, travel posters, romance novels, art fair booths, and art shipping crates, Ghost of a Dream transforms these items, supposedly drained of their use-value, into sculpture, video, and two-dimensional meditations on material and symbolic value.
a devil to pay features an installation and a set of collages made from casino playing cards and carpets. Ostentatious and often nauseating patterns pad the palatial interiors of casinos, eliminating the sound of your own footsteps while the cacophonic glissandi of electronic chances disorient and enchant. Somehow you can still hear your heart thumping as each brief game plays itself out, endorphins and confusion, a moment of hope that you have found a shortcut to your dreams. You hold cards touched by a hundred dreamers, eventually decommissioned from the hunt, middle-man companies purchase and distribute to prisons. Incarcerated hands punch holes in Queens of Hearts and all the others, sorting them back into decks to be shipped to casino gift shops – a souvenir of that time we didn’t achieve our dreams. Disorientation every step of the way, Ghost of a Dream reifies these markers of neoliberal mechanisms when they become abstract op-art collages, transforming psychological delusions into optical illusions. a devil to pay simultaneously quells and reawakens the want-satisfying power of goods and services that help to create American identity.
Ghost of a Dream is the collaborative practice of artists Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was. Eckstrom (b. 1974, Twin Cities, MN) received an MFA in Painting in 2005 and Was (b. 1977, Philadelphia, PA) received an MFA in Sculpture in 2004, both from Rhode Island School of Design. In 2007, Ghost of a Dream was formed and is now based in Wassaic, NY where Eckstrom and Was are involved with the artist-run residency, the Wassaic Project. The two have also co-founded their own residency in 2015 at Garda Lake in Italy titled ArtGarda. Ghost of a Dream has had solo exhibitions internationally at Davidson Contemporary in New York, NY; Colorado Springs Fine Art Center Museum; Santa Maria Della Vita in Bologna, IT; Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, NJ; and The Freedman Gallery at Albright College in Reading, PA, and are currently represented by Galerie Paris-Beijing in Beijing, CN and Gallerie Christoffer Egelund in Copenhagen, DK. Ghost of a Dream has received support from organizations including New York Foundation for the Arts, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Joan Mitchell Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Smack Mellon, The Bemis Center, Vierter Stock Projektraum, Oxbow, International Artists Exchange Program of the Basel Region, and in 2009 they received the Young Masters Art Prize in London. They have been featured in The Guardian, New York Times, Blouin ArtInfo, HyperAllergic, ArtFCity, Huffington Post, World of Interiors, Interview Magazine, Vogue, among others.
CES Gallery is pleased to present Bright Resolutions, a group exhibition featuring works by Tanya Brodsky, Jonathan Chapline, and Megan Stroech. Our senses are saturated, near collapse, overloaded. Endless media consumption is more exhausting than liberating, but if you lower your screen brightness your battery can last longer. Resolution is the act of breaking down complexity into constitutive parts, as in infinite Rs, Gs, and Bs, but to have resolve is to be determined and resolving is diplomatic. We like hi-res, which we associate with the professional, the incorporated, authenticity, truth, but we feed on and stream with lower resolutions, the type that clogged digital arteries can handle, fuzzy copies of copies. Through down-rezzed re-production new entities are formed, abstracted from originals; new contexts created, meanings recoded, resolutions shifted.
Megan Stroech’s intuitively assembled reliefs take stock of their own resolutions with each pixel of dollar store or discarded treasure. The cost-effective materials retain commodity status while becoming jocular totems. Hand-brushed faux 3D modeling makes everything in Jonathan Chapline’s paintings a prop or a backdrop. Each scene looks as if its parts have been pixilated and rendered smooth on auto-loop, the remaining shapes melodramatically lit. Tanya Brodsky’s sculptures have been exhumed from remembered public space, singular elements from larger systems used to redirect social interactions. Fences, banisters, railings, blockades, and bars: markers of place, displaced, chunks of concrete anchoring each one to its original context: conflict resolution.
During politically tumultuous times, when aesthetic and linguistic forms are casually reassembled to affect public influence, the value of dissecting these amalgamations and their resolutions increases. 2016 is over now; we have Bright Resolutions for the future.
Jonathan Chapline, Constructed Reality, 2015, Oil on panel, 57 x 48 in / 145 x 122 cm
Megan Stroech, 5-9, 2015, Printed cardstock, shelf paper, latex paint, 45 x 35 in / 114 x 89 cm
Megan Stroech, Double Dipped, 2016, Paper, paracord, ceramic, shower cap, faux succulent, Lexus symbol, nail polish, acrylic paint, 52 x 14 in / 132 x 36 cm
Jonathan Chapline, Viewer and Exterior II, 2016, Acrylic on panel, acrylic on MDF with metal table legs, Dimensions variable
Jonathan Chapline, Fern I, 2016, Acrylic on MDF, 48 x 23 x 4 in / 122 x 58 x 10 cm
Tanya Brodsky, Orange Handrail (too low), 2016, Powder coated steel, concrete, 80 x 30 x 12 in / 203 x 76 x 30.5 cm
Megan Stroech, Hoop Dreams, 2015, Paper, pink foam, contact paper, vinyl placemat, doormat, duct tape, 52 x 45 in / 132 x 144 cm
Jonathan Chapline, Still Life with 2 Statues, 2016, Acrylic on panel, 30 x 23.5 in / 76 x 60 cm
Jonathan Chapline, Virtual Character on a Hyperreal Surface, 2016, Acrylic on panel, 47 x 60 in / 119 x 152 cm
CES Gallery is pleased to present Hollowforms, a two-person exhibition featuring works by Los Angeles-based artists Orr Herz and Brian Robertson. A hollow form is a vessel, an object created to carry something inside of it. It is a constructed space from which material has been removed or moved aside for an other matter. Filling a hollow is an act of containment that might itself contain the filler’s desires or needs: fill a cup because you will be thirsty. Hollow-formed vessels are tools for storage and organizational solutions according to the Container Store Group, Inc., but decorative hollow forms serve functions too. The vessels depicted in Robertson’s paintings are maze-like ceremonial wind instruments; are broken into pieces waiting to be cataloged; are meditating in rooms, reminding us that they can be filled. Herz’s Sleep Handlers are also hollow forms – delicate wheels wrapped in scrolls of pictograms, symbols and ideas hovering around a hollow, vessels to carry thoughts.
Hertz and Robertson are interested in containers and symbols and their movements through space. A dark room, step down into a light room, a hand through the crooked blinds, a shadow from an object outside falls inside, folding screens – all space is accordioned, compressed into itself. Robertson’s dense spaces are meditative; inOff Center of the Wheel, the passage from space to space is suggestive of an inner journey, complete with a hollow form to mark time. The hands depicted on Herz’s sculptures are gestures of movement and measurement, perhaps instructions for complex motion through space or a retelling of an observed action. Two hands point to form the hands of a clock, echoing the shape of Robertson’s tubular vessels; clocks are wheels, but the movements portrayed on Herz’s sculptures are more like grains of sand escaping an hourglass. Hertz’s and Robertson’s complex visual systems propel the viewer around, centripetal forces with hollow forms at the center. Hollowforms is a vessel.
Orr Herz (b. 1980, Tel Aviv, IL) has exhibited in Los Angeles at Night Gallery, 356 Mission, Roberts & Tilton, and Chin’s Push, among other venues. He has exhibited in Israel at Museum of Bat Yam, Braveman Gallery, and Barbur Gallery, among others. Herz received a BA in History from Tel Aviv University, Israel, BFA from Bezalel Academy, Jerusalem, Israel, and MFA from University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His work has recently been reviewed in Artforum. Herz currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Brian Robertson (b. 1978, Albuquerque, NM) has exhibited at BlackBook Gallery in Denver, Pirate Gallery in Denver, White Walls Gallery in San Francisco, and most recently at BBQ L.A. in Los Angeles. His work has been featured in Sixfinch Art & Literary Magazine, D.O.Z.E. Collective, L.A. Canvas, and Chinashop Magazine. Robertson currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Brian Robertson, Two Poles, 2016, Acrylic on panel, walnut artist's frame, 40.75 x 30.75 in / 104 x 78 cm
Orr Herz, Sleep Handlers I, 2015, Digital print, MDF, vinyl paint, 28 x 28 x 22 in / 71 x 71 x 56 cm
Orr Herz, Sleep Handlers II, 2015, Digital print, MDF, vinyl paint, 28 x 28 x 22 in / 71 x 71 x 56 cm
Orr Herz, Sleep Handlers III, 2015, Digital print, MDF, vinyl paint, 28 x 28 x 22 in / 71 x 71 x 56 cm
Brian Robertson, Dual Natured, 2016, Acrylic on panel, walnut artist's frame, 16.75 x 12.75 in / 42 x 32 cm
Brian Robertson, Off Center In The Wheel, 2016, Acrylic on panel, walnut artist's frame, 60.75 x 55.75 in / 154 x 142 cm
Brian Robertson, Off Center In The Wheel, 2016, Acrylic on panel, walnut artist's frame, 60.75 x 55.75 in / 154 x 142 cm
Brian Robertson, Failing In Line, 2016, Acrylic on panel, walnut artist's frame, 16.5 x 12.5 in / 42 x 32 cm
Brian Robertson, Maze Form I, 2016, Acrylic on panel, walnut artist's frame, 14.5 x 14.5 in / 37 x 37 cm
Brian Robertson, Skism, 2016, Acrylic on panel, walnut artist's frame, 54.75 x 60.75 in / 139 x 154 cm
Orr Herz, Sleep Handlers IV, 2015, Digital print, MDF, vinyl paint, 28 x 28 x 22 in / 71 x 71 x 56 cm
Orr Herz, The Race Track Man, 2015, Mounted digital print, 71.5 x 42 in / 182 x 104 cm
CES Gallery is pleased to present Fog A Mirror, a group exhibition featuring works by Vanessa Blaikie, Luke Butler, Adam Feibelman, Matt Gonzalez, Andres Guerrero, Peter Kirkeby, Robert Larson, Joey Piziali, and Leigh Wells. These nine artists are part of the larger Bay Area arts community and advance the legacy of art and exhibition-making that is in danger of rapid erasure via tech development plaguing the city. As we begin our third year, Fog A Mirror is a moment of reflection for the owner and director of CES Gallery, Carl E. Smith. Throughout the last ten years the San Francisco art scene has remained influential in shaping the gallery’s program and these nine artists have played pivotal roles in building and supporting Smith’s vision.
Memory-gazing is metaphor friendly and fog is a state of mental haziness. If you are still alive and not yet a memory, you have the ability to fog a mirror. If you fog a mirror you can no longer see yourself in it, though you can trace a word or two into accumulated water dots that you formed deep within your self and then released. Inhale an introspective mood, exhale, opacity, all colors become translucent, impulse, and a note to self that fades to become your face again. San Francisco is also known for its fog. The marine layer wanders and small particles of oceanic salt and iodine allow water droplets to condense upon them, thickening things, obscuring vision, whiting out distant sites, giving you space for yourself again.
The work in Fog A Mirror is quiet and contemplative. An atmospheric build up of small particles can be seen in both the geometric constellation paintings of Vanessa Blaikie and in the enlarged signature drawing by Andres Guerrero. A condensation of finger print traces maps a space of forensic self-reflection in the work of Peter Kirkeby. White triangles hover like patches of fog over soot-ink paper space in a painting by Joey Piziali. Spaces in the surface of the paper, like rapid exhalations of breath, perforate Adam Feibelman’s cut works and crystalize into Matt Gonzalez’s labyrinthine paper reliefs. Leigh Wells’s collages appear to diagram or choreograph the movements of atmospheres. CES Gallery artist Robert Larson’s monochromatic collages made from discarded cigarette packaging are visual cues to puffs of smoke or a cloud wall blocking the Marlboro red of the Golden Gate. Luke Butler’s memory markers of cinematic finales recall flickers of light and dust across a screen, reminding you of something you’ve seen before, your ability to remember and, of course, to Fog a Mirror. THE END.
– A special thank you to Yuri Psinkais –
Matt Gonzalez, Snow-driven, hallucinations, 2016, Found paper collage, 16 x 12 in
Leigh Wells, 160102, 2015, Mixed media on vintage paper, 9 x 9 in
Adam Feibelman, Thunderhead (Updraft), 2016, Hand-cut paper, frosted acrylic, and frame, 36 x 28 in
Leigh Wells, 11-08-07, 2015, Collage and mixed media on paper, 14.75 x 11 in
Vanessa Blake, Untitled (First Constellation I), 2012, Gouache on paper, 23 x 30.5 in
Robert Larson, Thin Gold Line, 2016, Discarded Marlboro cigarette packing on linen, 42 x 40.5 in
Joey Piziali, Untitled (triangle study), 2016, Acrylic, pencil, tea and acrylic medium, 18 x 14 in
Peter Kirkeby, Untitled, 2016, Ink and tape on paper, 12 x 9 in
Andres Guerrero, The Failed Baseball Player, 2016, Graphite on Paper, Gold leaf on Baseball, 35 x 40 in
Adam Feibelman, Permutation 2 (Deciduous), 2016, Hand-cut paper, frosted acrylic, and frame, 36 x 48 in
Luke Butler, The End 52, 2012, Collage, 9.75 x 14.5 in
CES Gallery is pleased to present the inaugural CES Residency exhibition, The Wailing Sisters, a solo presentation by 2016 Artist-In-Residence Maja Ruznic. CES Residency is a residency program for underrepresented Los Angeles-based artists, a unique initiative conceived to support the evolving LA art community. CES Residency continues the gallery’s overall mission of supporting emerging artists.
Maja Ruznic, a prolific and active artist, is primarily a painter, a storyteller who conjures form and narrative from ground up mineral, smeared oil, and stained canvas. Born in Bosnia and Hercegovina in 1983, Ruznic immigrated to the United States with her family in 1995, settling on the West Coast where she eventually went on to study at the University of California, Berkley, later receiving an MFA from the California College of Arts. Ruznic’s often-quoted biography – a refugee who escaped the Bosnian War – is only the beginning of her journey. Ruznic’s vivid paintings speak for themselves, depicting figures that seem to emerge from the caverns of human history, from within their own supports, and somehow from within the viewer’s own recollections. These paintings breach something intrinsically human and Ruznic guides us deftly with dark humor and complex representations, not dissimilar to Werner Herzog’s wry, but poignant 3-D documentary depicting the oldest painted images in the world. The power of Ruznic’s vision can be evidenced in her myriad accomplishments: she has recently shown her work at Carmen Wiedenhoeft Gallery in Denver, Galeri G-Art in Istanbul, MASS Gallery in Austin, Galerie Ernst Hilger in Vienna, Arc Gallery in San Francisco, and locally at Charlie James Gallery, the Torrance Art Museum, Shulamit Nazarian Gallery, and most recently as part of MAIDEN LA. Ruznic’s work has been written about extensively, most notably in Juxtapoz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, Studio Visit Magazine, and twice in New American Paintings, including the cover as selected by curator Anne Ellegood.
The Wailing Sisters is an outcry to all of us in pain, which as Ruznic knows, is all of us. She stains canvases with deep, earthy colors, pulling figures from the Rorschach puddles and pushing and pulling them into situations and narratives. Ruznic has an athletic arm and her marks are confident; abstract symbols for arms and eyes float in a logic broth. Other bodies are crazy-quilted together melting mythically into the landscape. The Wailing Sisters, an excerpt from Ruznic’s most recent body of work titled Soil as Witness, depicts a group of spiritual beings that emerge from the dirt to observe human drama, transmogrifying and absorbing ethereal material before returning ceremoniously to the earth, an endless inter-dimensional cycle. Ruznic’s paintings feel fresh, as if the viewer glanced in the mud and they suddenly materialized, but their content has existed for centuries – oral history passed down through time in dyed pictograms on ceremonially burned fabrics.
For CES Residency, ten artists were nominated by LA-based curators, writers, gallerists, art advisors, collectors, and artists. CES Gallery would like to congratulate all of our CES Residency Nominated Artists: Tom Dunn, Mandy Lyn Ford, Julie Henson, Kim Kei, Bryan Ricci, Pauline Shaw, Sarah Sturgis, Trina Turturici, and Brody Albert, who was awarded CES Residency’s Honorable Mention.
In addition, CES Gallery would like to thank its 2016 Nomination Committee for its guidance and expertise: Chris Adler, Artist and Co-founder of VACANCY; Lee Biolos and Brody Fox, Art Collectors; Ali Edmark, Artist and Co-founder of VACANCY; Amir Fallah, Artist; Shelley Holcomb, Artist and founder of Curate.LA; Deb Klowden-Mann, Principal at Klowden Mann; Cris McCall, Art Advisor; Max Presneill, Artist and Director/Head Curator at the Torrance Art Museum; Sydney Terrill, Publisher at Artillery Magazine; and John Wolf, Art Advisor.
The Water Fetcher, 2016, Oil on canvas, 15 x 13 in / 38 x 33 cm
Wailing Sisters, 2016, Oil on canvas, 78 x 70 in / 198 x 178 cm
Twitching Eye, 2016, Oil on canvas, 19 x 17 in / 48 x 43 cm
Squeezing Out The Last Drop, 2016, Oil on canvas, 60 x 40 in / 152 x 102 cm
Moon Kisses, 2016, Oil on canvas, 24 x 17 in / 60 x 43 cm
Tickle Torture, 2016, Oil on canvas, 48 x 36 in / 122 x 91 cm
Getting All The Knots Out, 2016, Oil on canvas, 67 x 63 in / 170 x 160 cm
One Last Look, 2016, Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in / 60 x 43 cm
CES Gallery is pleased to present Analog Watch, a group exhibition featuring works by Christian Maychack, Megan Mueller, Manny Prieres, and Anne Vieux. An analog watch is an example of a retronym. It was coined to distinguish analog watches, which previously had been called watches, from the newer digital set. The name refers to the design of the display, regardless of the timekeeping technology used within.
Imagine two hypothetical lovers. The first might prefer to watch the division of a circle as seconds tick away; the second might choose to count ascending numbers as the day expires. If these “Perfect Lovers” loved each other across a long-distance, say one atop Mount Whitney and the other in Death Valley, time dilation would cause one lover to age ever so slightly faster.
The works in Analog Watch toggle between digital and analog visualizations. The artists employ various technological and hand-crafted systems that collide to reveal errors, glitches, hiccups, gaps in information, incomplete tessellations, and optical illusions. These sudden interruptions in the comfort of a recognizable pattern resonate; they are aesthetically appealing and psychologically affecting.
Christian Maychack uses pigmented epoxy clay and wood to simulate a combative balance between digital-feeling marbling and naturally occurring wood graining. Megan Mueller’s hydro-dipped surfaces feel like stock versions of patterns blistering off of and clinging to objects in an Amazon shopping cart. The acrylic gel transfer registration process offered in Manny Prieres’s paintings looks like the scraped digital ruins of magnetic striped credit. Anne Vieux’s paintings depict competing notions of digital imagery with backgrounds of chromed laptops melted, torqued, and printed on microfiber with stray InDesign templates painted on top. Time appears to slow down in Vieux’s paintings like it does for the lover in Death Valley – they visualize cinematic representations of time warping worm-holes while objects from an exploded modernist home fall slowly through the air, psychedelic guitar vibrating in the background. Taking the momentum of Maychack, Mueller, and Preires, Analog Watch propels through a portal into Vieux’s room-sized installation.
Analog Watch invites meditations on mechanism and systems, the space-time continuum, and the digital and analog components of human experience. Analog Watch welcomes interruptions of all these things.
Megan Mueller, Skinned, 2016, Hydroprinted frame and tarp, 24 x 16 x 1.5 in
Christian Maychack, Compound Flat #49, 2016, Epoxy clay, pigment, wood, 20 x 14.5 x 2.5 in / 61 x 51 x 9 cm
Manny Prieres, Humming, 2016, Toner and acrylic on canvas 24 x 24 in / 61 x 61cm
Untitled, 2016, Hydroprinted trophy plaque and mason’s line, 20 x 16 in / 51 x 41 cm
Manny Prieres, RP STUDY No. 02, 2014, Toner and acrylic on canvas, 10 x 8 in / 25 x 20 cm
Christian Maychack, Compound Flat #43, 2014, Epoxy clay, pigment, wood, 24 x 20 x 4 in / 61 x 51 x 9 cm
Manny Prieres, RP STUDY No. 20, 2015, Toner and acrylic on panel 10 x 8 in /25 x 20 cm
Anne Vieux, Repeat XVI, 2016, Acrylic paint, inkjet print and synthetic suede on panel, 37 x 54 in / 94 x 137 cm
Anne Vieux, Repeat XVII, 2016, Acrylic paint, inkjet print and synthetic suede on panel, 37 x 54 in / 94 x 137 cm
Anne Vieux, Repeat XVIII, 2016, Acrylic paint, inkjet print and synthetic suede on panel, 37 x 54 in / 94 x 137 cm
Anne Vieux, Repeat XX, 2016, Acrylic paint, inkjet print and synthetic suede on panel, 94 x 137 cm / 37 x 54 in
CES Gallery is pleased to present Inner Matter, Ira Svobodová’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Svobodová’s paintings reference the visual vernacular of architecture and design. During the last five years, Svobodová has developed a formal language that articulates the properties of construction, tension, depth, and space. Brushy layers of moody colors meet in sharp angles to create rhythms of space, light, and time. In her most recent paintings, she continues ongoing experiments with a common architectural tool: paper models. Constructed during the early and most creative stages of building development, paper models resemble gesture drawings, creating fast and energetic space through the malleability of paper. Paper models capture the intuitive birth of ideas, free from the constraints of material reality. Svobodová’s paper models, originally used as stand-ins for architectural space, have evolved into proper muses. Hand-folded paper gestures with planes and angles that capture light and shadow are transcribed into painted lines, colorful shapes, and optically tricky fades. This depiction of paper in paint straddles both naturalism and abstraction. Svobodová’s playfulness as an artist is revealed – each painting contains both observed and imagined space, light, and color. She creates the paper space, then alters it at will.
Rich pastel pinks and springy greens are accentuated by bold teals and blues, all emerging from black and white paper on paper space. The angles are sharp and the space is decisive, with corners folding up to reveal copper surfaces. Inspired by design and utilitarian metal objects collected by Svobodová for her home, the copper brings a metallic warmth and a new psychological depth to the work. Svobodová’s decoration of real space, her nesting instincts, have have entered the conceptual spaces of her paintings. In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard’s 1958 critical text cum cult classic that applies the phenomenological apparatus to the field of architecture, “nesting” is described as a primal instinct to pleasurably withdraw into an intimate and safe space. The Poetics of Space muses on a lived experience of space, as distinct from an architect’s hypothesis of how space will affect an individual. Space, Bachelard argues, is not a container for three dimensional objects, but rather a vehicle for the expression of human consciousness. Svobodová’s paintings, products of the creativity that “nesting” fosters, could adorn any Bachelard dwelling.
Inner Matter is a tribute to the understanding of spatial relations. Svobodová’s paintings have been compared to the Japanese art form known as origami. The goal of origami is a fully realized sculpture created from one piece of paper using economical and precise methods. In Svobodová’s paintings, folds made during a concentrated period of time build the infrastructure of the final image and create a narrative of space that never stops suggesting something intrinsic about flatness. The result is a room full of painted architectural poems.
Ira Svobodová (b. 1986, Prague, CZ) received her BA and MA from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. Svobodová participated in a fine arts fellowship at the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil in 2009. Svobodová’s work has been exhibited at the Czech National Gallery of Modern Art, the Czech National Bank, the Ministry of Culture in Prague, the Franz Kafka House, and most recently at Zahorian & Van Espen in Bratislava, SK. Her work has been featured on Artalk, The Jealous Curator, Wallpaper, ArtNet News, and in The New Criterion, and was declared an emerging artist to invest in in 2015 by Saatchi chief curator Rebecca Wilson. Svobodová lives and works in Prague, CZ.
Inner Matter 13, Acrylic on linen, 55 x 39 in / 140 x 100 cm
Inner Matter 11, Acrylic on linen, 55 x 47 in / 140 x 120 cm
Inner Matter 6, Acrylic on linen, 39 x 39 in / 100 x 100 cm
Inner Matter 12, Acrylic on linen, 55 x 47 in / 140 x 120 cm
Inner Matter 14, Acrylic on linen, 55 x 39 in / 140 x 100 cm
Inner Matter 10, Acrylic on linen, 59 x 59 in /150 x 150 cm
Inner Matter 2, 2016, Acrylic on linen, 59 x 39 in / 150 x 100 cm
Inner Matter 9, Acrylic on linen, 39 x 31 in / 80 x 100 cm
Inner Matter 8, Acrylic on linen, 39 x 31 in / 80 x 100 cm
Inner Matter 7, Acrylic on linen, 39 x 39 in / 100 x 100 cm
Inner Matter 3, Acrylic on linen, 59 x 39 in / 150 x 100 cm
CES Gallery is pleased to present Supper Club, Scott Anderson’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Anderson’s process-based paintings search for balances between romanticism and skepticism, history and the contemporary, abstraction and figuration, and the recognizable and the subconscious. Anderson’s guttural desire to paint combines with his self-aware gestures and dream-logic narratives to produce work that is color zealous, figuratively ambiguous, and politically surreal – his paintings have appropriately been described by writer David Pagel as “dystopian abstraction.”
Anderson begins with a pre-existing image, sometimes using his own photography as a distancing mechanism to frame a pre-existing situation. The image becomes a drawing, the drawing remade many times. This pre-painting journey is a process of translation that allows Anderson to deftly navigate through image generation. A steady loss of control, of knowledge of the original image ensues as Anderson paints, scrapes, and draws into the surface, developing a collage-esque image by graphically manifesting zones of the final painting. The physical excavation and destruction eventually reach a stasis between the stability of form and composition and the instability of unrecognizable content.
For Supper Club, Anderson broaches the timely topic of food, a subject that has been readily explored from Dutch still life painting and its visualizations of wealth to post-modernist chunky mark-making as a stand-in for visceral desire. Anderson, however, tackles the contemporary concerns of social rituals like dinner parties, food policy discourse, popular culture, and personal memories of a hungry teenager suburban community. Beginning with these meal narrative situations, Anderson’s process captures the Dionysian experience of making a painting – painting and eating are consumption, a shuffling of matter, digestion, alchemical transformation, evacuation, regurgitation, re-eating, pleasure. The paintings refuse to present a recognizable whole story, but rather assemble an alternative, dystopian reality using the leftovers, the table scraps, the ort, and the refuse. The results are a melting pot of modernist painting vernacular that hinge on political satire, or as Anderson aptly declares in an especially luscious and complicated composition, it’s “Farm to Table Dinner Theater.”
Earthy reds, fleshy pinks, bile yellow, bowel brown, charcoal, and evergreen rub elbows and are scraped to reveal off-white canvas tooth, all tied together with drawn lines and graphic textures. Without ever leaning on the droopy side of paint, Anderson’s bold dry marks feel fluid, playful, and confident. There’s an earnestness at the Supper Club, the artist working through conceptual and painterly dilemmas, processing semi-recognizable portions like a bored tween mixing the flavored foams at a trendy, yet politically savvy molecular gastronomy joint.
Scott Anderson (b. 1973, Urbana, IL) received his BFA from Kansas State University, his MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and recently attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Anderson has participated in exhibitions at MCA Chicago, the Parrish Art Museum, The Warhol Museum, the Cranbrook Art Museum, and is in the permanent collection of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. He has exhibited regularly with Kavi Gupta in Chicago. His work has been featured in numerous publications including: The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Art Pulse, New American Paintings, Beautiful Decay, and Daily Serving. Anderson was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and The William and Dorothy Yeck Award. Anderson currently lives and works in La Cienaga, NM and is an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at University of New Mexico College of Fine Arts.
CES Gallery is pleased to present Sometimes I forget myself, Ashkan Honarvar’s first solo exhibition with the gallery featuring new works on paper from two recent bodies of work. The series titled Denial of Deathis inspired by the writings of cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, in particular his Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name. The series titled King of Worms references radical feminist filmmaker Jane Arden’s The Other Side of the Underneath and its exploration of corruption, abuse of power, and gender inequality. Working exclusively in hand-cut collage Honarvar presents a mythic and visceral vision of humanity and its qualitative constructs. Annabel Osberg of the Huffington Post describes Honarvar’s work as presenting “the human body at the center of microcosmic theaters of dichotomy in which irrationality permeates logic, serenity belies violence, and luxury secretes exploitation.”
Honarvar gathers materials from different visual and contextual worlds – slicing up fashion magazines, newspapers, home and garden glossies, art history books, scientific journals, etc. – and aligning them into a single composition. Each cut image shape functions as both part of its former context and also within Honarvar’s constructed narrative. According to Thomas P. Brockelman, art historian and author of The Frame and the Mirror: On Collage and the Postmodern, this double reading of each element creates a synaptic relationship between these two contexts, which “promises a new sense of truth and experience.”
Denial of Death and King of Worms, like all of Honarvar’s works, are intellectually dense meditations on the nature of human existence. Honarvar acts as both a philosopher-poet musing on flawed societal constructs and as a shamanistic mad-scientist surgically binding Frankensteinly bodies to birth new hybrid human futures. These collages become alternative realities of human history like the preference for the ornate margins of an illuminated manuscript over each page’s text. Honarvar zooms in and out, commenting on both the micro- and macrocosmic scales, taking on the clichés of visual semiotics by rebuilding from the wreckage of the history of visual image-making. Hypersexuality, sin, overabundance, evil, objectification, mis-worship – the darkest aspects of humanity are all on Honarvar’s chopping block, reconceived as chapters in a grotesque, but humanistic world of collage.
Ashkan Honarvar (b. 1980, Shiraz, IR) attended School of Visual Arts in Utrecht, the Netherlands and currently lives and works in Norway. He has exhibited work internationally at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York and Paris, Centro De Arte Contemporáneo de Quito in Ecuador, International Collage Center in Texas, Le Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa, and the Katonah Museum of Art in upstate New York. Honarvar’s work has been included in many publications such as The Age of Collage I and II and Cutting Edges both published by Gestalten, Interview Magazine, Italian, German, and French Vogue, Doppelganger, Wallpaper*, Opperclaes Newspaper, and Musee Magazine.
King of worms - The conflict, 2015, hand-cut collage on found image, 10 x 7 in
King of worms - Set 1, 2015, hand-cut collage on found images, 18 x 24 in
King of worms - Set 2, 2015, hand-cut collage on found images, 18 x 24 in
King of worms - Growth 2015, hand-cut collage on found image, 9 x 6 in
King of worms - Set 4, 2015, hand-cut collage on found images, 18 x 24 in
King of worms - Set 3, 2015, hand-cut collage on found images, 18 x 24 in
King of worms - Golden lullaby, 2015, hand-cut collage on found image, 6 x 9 in
King of worms - The Divine 1, 2015, hand-cut collage on found image, 15 x 18 in
King of worms - The Divine 2, 2015, hand-cut collage on found image, 17 x 20 in
The Denial of Death 5 - 3, 2015, hand-cut collage on paper, 40 x 30 in
The denial of death 2 - 1, 2015, hand-cut collage on paper, 40 x 30 in
The denial of death 1 - 1, 2015, hand-cut collage on paper, 40 x 30 in
The denial of death 5 - 2, 2015, hand-cut collage on paper, 40 x 30 in
CES Gallery is pleased to present Deep Superficial Perceptions, a group exhibition featuring Samantha Bittman, Julia Bland, Matias Cuevas, Alex Ebstein, Aaron Farley, Doty Glasco, Erin Morrison, and Loring Taoka. Deep Superficial Perceptions surveys ongoing studio explorations of material experiments in two dimensional formats. The history of image making inevitably begins with painting. This process becomes increasingly complicated as technology evolves, as perception is altered by media, beginning with the invention of photographic methods and now rapidly changing with the flow of the Internet.
Traditional art forms such as photography and painting now regularly commingle, often seamlessly, with plastic, concrete, textile, veneer, rubber, and other household and industrial materials. These complex material decisions express a love of the tactile and a nod towards ever-evolving artist experiments, such as minerals ground into linseed oil or silver salts suspended in gelatin. The artists in the show – Samantha Bittman, Julia Bland, Matias Cuevas, Alex Ebstein, Aaron Farley, Doty Glasco, Erin Morrison, and Loring Taoka – demonstrate a dedication to material formal exploration that reveals a prolonged interest in how material becomes idea.
Taoka meditates on perception through seamless sculptural interventions on industrial materials. Doty Glasco’s photographic silk prints depict the landscape as a symbol of geologic time embedded into an ethereal material that ripples with the viewer’s movements. Farley’s interest in photography as an expression of the unreliability of perception results in the manipulated display of photographs that similarly provokes viewers to question their physical relationship to the object. Using the now ubiquitous texturized rubber of yoga mats, Ebstein creates interlocking collages of faux-modernist abstract compositions that metonymically shift the viewer into a contemplation of contemporary self-reflexivity. Cuevas sets common nylon carpeting on fire, melting it into abstract paintings with paint thinner before actuallypainting onto each surface. Bittman weaves her own textiles to create surfaces for painting, disrupting the hierarchy of two dimensional materials and allowing paint marks and woven patterns to be equally important. Bland, also known for her textile paintings, presents smaller meditations on weaving and painting more akin to geometric drawings or artifacts used in ancient ceremonies. Morrison creates concrete reliefs that are stamped, dyed, and treated, resulting in an object that vacillates between painting and sculpture, image and object. Integrating unusual materials into wall based works requires a playfulness and resourcefulness familiar to all these artists that provides each viewer with space to question their own perception.
Aaron Farley, Sphere, 20, 2015, Monochrome print with treated plexiglass, aluminum frame, 11 x 14 in
Aaron Farley, Vertical Ghost, 2015, Monochrome print with treated plexiglass, aluminum frame, 11 x 14 in
Doty Glasco, The White Place #27, 2015, Archival pigment print on silk, raw walnut artist’s frame, 52 x 38 x 2 in
Erin Morrison, Blue Palm (no.1), 2015, Ink and wax on hydrocal, maple frame, 34 x 36 in
Julia Bland, Untitled 13, 2015, Wool and ink 14 x 14 in
Matias Cuevas, Gestures for a Brand New Sky #13, 2015 Carpet, carpet trim, paint thinners, fire, and acrylic artist's stretcher 26 x 20 in
Loring Taoka, Untitled – bent rectangles, 2015, Plexiglass, 15 x 12 x 3 in
Loring Taoka, Untitled - square mesh, 2015, Plexiglass, 9 x 15 x 2 in
Samantha Bittman, Untitled, 2015, Acrylic on hand-woven textile, 20 x 16 in
Alex Ebstein, Strange Rave, 2015, Hand-Cut PVC Yoga Mats and Twine on Panel, 14 x 11 in
Alex Ebstein, Loudest Whispers, 2015, Hand-Cut PVC Yoga Mats and Twine on Panel, 24 x 20 in
CES Gallery is pleased to present By Any Means Necessary, Kenton Parker’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. Parker’s work addresses issues of self-improvement, beauty, and masculinity, expressing rebellion against societal pressures to be perfect or successful, while exploring the landscape as a metaphor for the body.
Parker’s studio practice is content driven, full of the charisma and charm of the artist’s personality, and able to tackle any media. Drawing from the psychological underbelly of humanity, Parker’s work develops from crude and witty musings incessantly scribbled on thousands of papers and gathered into an archive. These ideas are then translated into sculpture, painting, installation, videos, and murals. The overall result is a multitude of interpretations that tap into the dark humor of lifetime achievements and disappointments.
The pivotal work in the exhibition is a fully equipped shed installed in the gallery. This ubiquitous feeling space resembles an ordinary shed one might encounter in a suburban backyard, but Parker’s structure is filled with tools, mementos, junk, and art. Nearby, a series of handmade plaster weights and dumbbells are strewn across the floor – are they in the process of being made or are they being used to remake and improve our hero? Behind the shed a succulent garden, metaphorically evoking strength and resilience both in nature and in the studio, becomes a shelter, a make-out den, or a childhood fortress. This space displays a video Parker made while driving in LA – a tribute to the private and creative space of the car – the essence of Los Angeles living.
Parker’s life in Los Angeles and his regular hikes through the Hollywood Hills and the Joshua Tree desert inform the paintings in the exhibition. Each painting is a study in spontaneous mark-making, with careful attention to color choice and placement. Symbolic abstract gestures on large surfaces that reference the landscape are granted generous negative space, an allusion to Parker’s individual experience on these solitary walks and his appreciation of the natural environment.
At first glance, sculptural text-based works made from sticks and branches seem gentle and virtuous – souvenirs from the Hills with love texts scratched into their surfaces, innocent birds still clinging to them. A closer look at the texts reveals darkness and perversity, insinuating that life is not a walk in the park, particularly where romance is concerned.
Through careful observation of his surroundings and meticulous sourcing, Parker cultivates a perverse ethos, where viewers can get a glimpse into his crude, yet contemplative persona, whose intellect is matched by sexual deviation, marked by his personal experiences navigating the glorious and troubling Los Angeles landscape.
Kenton Parker (b. 1968, Grass Valley, CA) received his BFA from San Diego State University. He has exhibited work internationally, most recently at the Arts Initiative and the SOHO House. Parker is also represented by Primary Projects in Miami and currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Still from To Infinity, 2015, Single channel video. Click to view. Password: parker
Still from To Infinity, 2015, single-channel video with sound