Closing this Saturday: Awesome Abstract Works at Durden and Ray; Wild Imagination in Mixed Media at KP Projects

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Above from Antipodal at Durden and Ray, work by Fran O’Neill

Two terrific shows are closing this weekend, at Durden and Ray in DTLA, and at KP Projects both in their mid-city gallery location and Chinatown pop-up space.

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Above, work by curator Max Presneill at Durden and Ray

At Durden and Ray, a vibrant array of abstract art bridges the many miles between Los Angeles and Australia, with Antipodal. The exhibition features works from both parts of the world Curated by Max Presneill and Chris Trueman, the show features work by artists Marcus Boelen, Jonni Cheatwood, Abby Goldstein, Elizabeth Gilfilen, Carlson Hatton, Max Manning, Fran O’Neill, Max Presneill, Bryan Ricci, Kimberly Rowe, Tom Savage, Emily Silver, Paul Weiner.

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Above, American artist Kimberly Rowe with her work “Pick Me Up,” a deliciously layered work.

The show provides a global take on abstraction; viewers can judge for themselves whether the art form transcends all boundaries or if the works differ by continent. The artists have in common that they are all represented by TWFINEART in Brisbane, Australia.  The title may say it all: antipodal can be defined as “relating to or situated on the opposite side of the earth.”

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Works bring the viewer to images that evoke both land and sea. Rich, dense, and vivid, the exhibition literally and figuratively fills the exhibit space with light and color.

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Above, Elizabeth Gilfilen at Durden and Ray.

From the abstract to the surreal…

At KP Projects, both the Chinatown pop up location near the now-defunct Hop Louie restaurant, and the La Brea Gallery feature works by Victor Castillo and Scott Hove.

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Hove’s installation gives viewers their cake but they can’t eat it, although the visually voracious can take a big bite of the artist’s cake-themed installations. In Chinatown, an immersive “Pentagon Cake Infinity Chamber,” above, brings viewers inside a mirrored cake; while his multi-media works at the La Brea main gallery include a bed, a gun, a chandelier – none of which, if you were not familiar with Hove’s work – you will have seen in this form.

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Above, gallerists at work; below performance as part of the opening art

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In many cases, you will be less inclined to want to take a bite of these sculptural confections than you will be a bit edgy that the works will come alive and take a bite out of you. The Chinatown pop-up, Last Ticket for the Beauty Train has as its centerpiece a pentagon shaped infinity chamber,  with tiered cake sculptures and disco ball; and an altar of bones and flowers. Oh how soon the beauty is devoured. The center piece of the larger exhibition on La Brea is a bed, which on opening night had lithesome ladies dressing around it and at a vanity. This is where you fall asleep, perchance to dream a confectionary seductive nightmare. Hove never ceases to engage, enthrall, and seduce with his work  – work which seems entwined in Los Angeles culture.

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Victor Castillo’s Broken Hearts is likewise compelling, the Chilean pop-surrealist offers cartoon fairytale images with an exposed dark underbelly.

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Alas, poor Mickey.

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Both shows close this weekend – so hurry up and go!

KP Projects is at 170 S. La Brea in mid-city; the pop-up exhibition is in Chinatown, on the plaza.

Durden and Ray is located at 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave. in DTLA.

  • Genie Davis; photos: Genie Davis and courtesy of KP Projects.

The Supernatural and the Superwoman: Travis Louie and Sally Deng at KP Projects

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In a super exhibit at KP Projects, artists Travis Louie and Sally Deng respectively present one exhibition that deals with the supernatural, Louie’s
“Views from a Netherworld,” and one that deals with the super strength of the female of the species, “Women Work.”

Travis Louie’s “Views from a Netherworld” presents a haunting exhibition inspired by collected 19th Century photography, German expressionist films, and noir, according to the artist.

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“When I make these paintings, I am creating a world,” Louie explains. “We absorb information all our lives and it goes through filters and then comes out again. You can look at any of my work and see what it is that comes out there. I create characters based on what I have assimilated, and I try to imagine their lives. I love the idea of myth and the ideas of haunting things from a netherworld.”

The artist grew up watching a great deal of film noir. The cinema style affected him both in terms of it’s visual look and its inherent darkness.

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The artist paints beautifully detailed monochromatic works highlighted by the slightest of color around the eyes of many subjects. Above is the artist’s “Miss Christina and Crow,” the idea for which came from the viewing of a 50s era film titled “Burn Witch Burn.”

His delicate, supernatural-tinged work has the glow of moonlight in a cemetery, an unnatural yet spiritual vibration emanates from his work along with its highly cinematic quality. 

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The link between Louie and Sally Deng’s “Women Work” may well be the fact that both artists create stories in their work. Deng’s are far different than Louie, drawings that are close to naive in style, highly detailed, and folkloric. Like illustrations from a wonderful picture book, Deng draws the mythic tales of women working to create a busy and beautiful world.

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Her figures, like Louie’s, but in a completely different fashion, create narratives that draw the viewer into their own memories, their own stories, their own visions.

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Closing November 5th, view the diverse stories of these two artists at KP Projects located at 170 S. La Brea.

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While there, be sure to also check out the vibrant abstracts on exhibit upstairs at LAUNCH.

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Jack Burke

Trio of Delights at KP Projects

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What is one gallery with an incredible fan following, one worth braving the crowds on opening night to view stunning exhibitions? That would be KP Projects, and as an extra incentive, upstairs is the smaller and equally well curated Launch.

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Above, Edward Walton Wilcox creates spooky, light drenched abstracts that resemble chandeliers or crowns lit with candles. Melting, thrumming with color, and with a dimensional aspect that makes the work seem to leap off the wall, Wilcox creates a memorable signature look in this exhibition, Haunted.

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The Rube-Goldberg contraptions and fascinating visual play of Wendy Marvel & Mark Rosen’s Momentoscope led viewers into a miniature wonderland of animated magic. Combining marvels of engineering and steam punk design with a richly voluptuous landscape of images is no mean feat.

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Hope Kroll’s delicate, disembodied visuals in her Looks Good on Paper created the perfect contrast, with images as layered and connected, as ritualistic and divine as they are surreal homages to life itself.

We are offering up this review a tad late, post closing, but just in time for a new opening at the gallery, on Saturday October 8th. Surely you’ll want to join us in exploring these works:

TRAVIS LOUIE – VIEWS FROM A NETHERWORLD (MAIN GALLERY)

SALLY DENG – WOMEN WORK (SQUARE GALLERY)

and don’t forget to check out the always innovative and exciting works one floor above, at Launch. Both galleries are located mid-city at 170 S. La Brea Ave.

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Jack Burke

 

KP Projects Dazzles

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With another show about to open, don’t miss the closing of KP Projects dynamic duo of Todd Carpenter and Vonn Sumner.

Each artist’s solo show was exceptional – unique, compelling, and yes, dazzling.

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Carpenter primarily works in the palette used in this show: black and white. Like the film noir his LA images invoke, there is depth, mystery, and passion in his portrayal. His “Sky Without Angels or Stars” is a magical, rich depiction of our city, or a dreamscape of it.

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“Initially I did black and white photography that captured the emotional aspect of the light. I looked at objects in the world of black and white and how they carried the idea about depth. Where the sun is, there’s a part of the brain that deals with that,  and part that deals with color and detail of objects.”

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Carpenter’s background in neuro science interested him in the scientific basis of  what goes into realism in art.

“The three dimensional effect of black and white painting comes from shading and shadow. I just wrote a paper on it,” he relates.

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“You could do a painting – you could do two circles and a triangle – and you could look at it and think it’s a face, based on the geometry. On the other hand, you could look at a painting with shadows and see it as a photograph.  They aren’t very realistic photographically, but I look at lighting and shadow in my work. It’s the light I focus on that creates the realistic view.”

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Working in oils on both board and canvas, Carpenter uses photos as a reference but creates “loose interpretations not literal ones” with his paintings. “What I look at is the sky, the light, the dark, and I use those values.”

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Vonn Sumner’s work in “To Be Seen,” makes an interesting contrast to Carpenters’. In full color, his thematic concealed-faces create a fascinating series., full of mystery and wonder.

“This body of work is basically the culmination of something I’ve been doing for ten years, a certain set of figures, characters with heads covered,” the artist relates.

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“I was working with covering people’s heads and costuming, and I saw this little cotton head covering, designed for workers who are spraying a ceiling, something like that. I bought a bunch, and I knew immediately and intuitively I would work with them.”

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Working in oils on large scale works, Sumner says he couldn’t put the thematic idea away for a long time.

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“I like to work large. It was really fun but it becomes a challenge for storing or shipping,” he laughs. “It’s so fun to go big.”

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Asked what the stocking cap covered characters mean to him, Sumner leaves it open. “I have to be careful, it’s important to me that the viewer gets to decide for themselves what it represents. For me it evolved over time, they eventually came to represent a kind of parallel world, or sometimes I think of them as an acting troop, a nomadic traveling vaudevillian comedia del arts association,” he explains.

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Sumner says his costuming of his characters makes them “both more and less specific figures. Bring to them your own perspective.”

Both of these highly original, uniquely metaphorical artists, and KP Projects itself, are well worth seeking out – note that KP Projects will be hosting a new opening Saturday, September 10th.

KP Projects is located at 170 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles