Art Fairs Los Angeles October 2011- Pulse-Part 1
The first incarnation of the Pulse Fair Los Angeles was a well run ship. The expansive tent mounted on the rooftop of a parking structure at LA Live was clean and welcoming. The fair was executed with precision. The clean, well lighted and generous layout gave art viewers no impediment to appreciation. Here then, a few highlights from my rounds.
The Works on Paper by Bo Joseph have increased in scale and ambition. I’ve been fortunate enough to witness Joseph’s development of not only a laborious process but ever more eclectic iconography over more than ten years now. These two examples demonstrate an uncanny ability to use source material for abstraction and patternation. There’s implied depth when one pulls away and stunning details up close. Occasionally a detail reveals itself as something concrete, say a high heel, but vanishes as easily. Kudos go to Sears Peyton Gallery for featuring seven pieces in total from an artist of rigor, inventiveness and skill.
Two Paintings and one sculpture by German Artist and Brooklyn resident Markus Linnenbrink featured at Patricia Sweetow Gallery based in San Fransisco. All three pieces are made from poured resin. The sculpture in the foreground is built from dozens of layers poured in a flexible mold. The paintings allow the color to pool or drip thereby harnessing the innate qualities of this liquid medium where Gravity is a collaborator. Witness the elegant and controlled drips in the detail below.
Reminding everyone that Man Ray was an artist categorically ahead of his time, there’s an excellent wall of photographs and drawings by this inventive and humorous artist at Schroeder, Romero & Shredder. All examples are from a ten-year period that he lived in Los Angeles as an exile from World War 2. The terrific self-portrait that I’ve chosen with half a beard speaks to generations to come who took self investigation as an umbrella aesthetic to their careers.
Marco Breuer is also an artist of seemingly endless inventiveness. Working in the realm of non camera photography, Breuer manages to coax textures, patterns and delicacy from color and B&W photographic paper by erosion, scratching and chemistry. Amounting to a form of alchemy, Breuer continues to make interesting work visually appealing and beautiful work intellectually rigorous. Also at von Lintel Gallery is a wonderful single example of Mark Sheinkman‘s Graphite Painting and Erasure paradigm (photo to follow.) Sheinkman creates an allusion of near photographic depth with a limited range of graphite as his chosen medium.
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky was well represented at several Galleries in Pulse. This particular example, at Nicolas Metivier Gallery was easily the best that I’ve seen in a while. Aerial photography has so many practitioners that it could well be considered its own genre. Here Burtynsky creates a composition that rivals abstract painting with figure/ground inversion, perspectival tension and an all-over patternation that activates off-screen space.
Lastly I’d like to draw your attention (okay the pun just can’t be denied, so I’ll take ownership) to a wonderful print by William Powhida. The piece, “16 new and improved tips of artists who want to sell” is an obvious riff on the John Baldessari painting of the late sixties. Powhida’s text-based editorial art captures one’s attention with the power of humor and the one liner. What’s most pleasurable though is that whatever on ramp the humor affects, insight and wit and honesty carry the message beyond the initial smile into resonance and relevance. He’s not just a monday morning quarterback. He’s a participant. Charlie James Gallery, here in Los Angeles in Chinatown has continued to charm me with his selection and visual predilections. Definitely a source of Truffles.
–Mario M. Muller, Los Angeles, October 1st, 2011