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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tim Youd "Coney Island of the Mind"

Coagula Curatorial
977 Chung King Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90012
April 21-June 3, 2012

The Mount Rushmore of Cunt

Tim Youd's artwork is part of the maiden voyage of Mat Gleason's new gallery-Coagula Curatorial.  His crudely designed contraptions express post-pubescent memories enhanced by the writings of Henry Miller and Philip Roth.  Both of these writers are successful for their candid interpretations of sexuality and their devotion to the "c" word.  "Cunt" is boldy written on Youd's mixed-media scupltures and non-verbally exhibited in his 8' "cunt" drawings. The drawings and the sculptures are abstractions and transmissions of Youd's primal instinct.  He perpetuates the cultivation of his "id" with every stroke of the pencil.

The marks on the drawings appear to be streams of consciousness directing the artist back and forth in time. One thing is for sure-we've all experienced at least one vagina.  Returning to our mother's womb is the desire to experience paradise and safety once again.  Youd's creative impluses are equal to experiencing a return to our intrauterine homeland.

"I have found God, but he is insufficient." (Henry Miller-Tropic of Cancer)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

From Lebrun to Paul McCarthy

January 21-May 20, 2012
Pasadena Museum of California Art

There is an overwhelming solidarity by the forty-one artists exhibiting at the LA RAW exhibition.  Many of the artists have long-standing relationships with eachother.  The major focus of Abject Expressionism begins in the entry of the exhibition with Jack Zajac's monumental sculpture entitled, Descent from the Cross (1955).  The viewers are reminded of the torture and humiliation that Christ on the cross symbolizes.  The larger than life Christ sculpture exemplifies punishment and agonizing pain in his sinuous appendages.  He also resembles the emaciated Holocaust survivors seen in news reels of World War II.

To the left of the main room Rico Lebrun's Magdaline (1950) and John Paul Jones' Ronk's Woman (1964), co-exist on opposite sides of the room.  Magdaline an "abject woman" by reputation and rumor is also known as a devoted disciple of Jesus.  She was a witness to the crucifixion, the burial, and the resurrection of Jesus.  As a patron saint of repentant sinners, Lebrun's image represents a stalwart woman facing her critics directly and profoundly visceral.  Additionally, women found near battlefields, are often prostitutes who help ease the soldiers' pain during their furloughs.  Jones' Ronk's Woman (1964) can represent a wife, mother, lady of the evening, and the illusions men experience in battle.  The scale of the work is a concentrated effort of heartache. The atmospheric quality centered on a solitary woman, waiting on the edge of the bed, stresses how women are expected to virtuously "wait" until their men return from war.  Jones' painting is the "mastaba" of the exhibition-"a bench of mud", basic, solid and grounded.  Also this female image is a subtle and acute feminist statement that eminates throughout the exhibition. 

Judy Chicago's Red Flag (1971) displays an aggressive symbol of the differences between men and women.  The graphic imagery of menstral blood is loud and clear for womens' rights. But what remains the same between the sexes is the blood soaked flags that are raised during wartime.  Bloodshed is inevitable during an siege.

Hans Burkhardt's My Lai (1968)  is a vestige of the horrors of war.  Cobblestones of skulls narrate the atrocities of the Vietnam War.  The images on Burkhardt's painting are replays that were brought into our homes on the nightly news.  It has been written many times that the exposure of war on television has diminished the shock value for the general public.  This over-exposure does not immunize us but instead infiltrates the television viewers with the trauma. It becomes "post-tramatic stress disorder" by association.

The exhibition is entitled from Lebrun to Paul McCarthy.  McCarthy's work focuses on using the human body as an art medium.  Like Jackson Pollack's action paintings McCarthy's performance piece, where he whips the gallery windows and walls with paint soaked rags, marks time and movement.  With every "whip" he created super-imposed "Rorshasch" images that continually stimulate our visual senses.  He's the "Abject Sisyphus"" painting his way uphill.  Michael Duncan stated that he coined the phrase "Abject Expressionism".  Paul McCarthy embodies the term with permanent and empheral marks.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Karla Klarin "Oceanscapes"

Schomburg Gallery
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave #E3A
Santa Monica, CA 90404

February 25-March 21, 2012

by Sandra Vista

Chris Chop (oil on canvas) 40"x72"

Ocean Study #3 (oil on canvas) 12"x20" (sold)

Ocean Study #1 (oil on canvas) 22"x24"

Karla Klarin's recent exhibition at Schomburg Gallery encompasses forty years of her practice.  Klarin's previous work at Schomburg focused on the architecture of the Ocean Park neighborhoods of Santa Monica.  These paintings are looking even further  westward to the Pacific Ocean.  Klarin paints her familiar surroundings by using what she calls her "eccentric code".  Klarin breaksdown the surface of the canvas into fissures of color that modulate the light and form of her oceanscapes. 

There is an obvious connection with "Cubism" in Klarin's paintings as seen in the intersecting angles and the multitude of viewpoints that intensify the subject matter.  Klarin has spent years studying the ocean waves of Santa Monica.  Her paintings demonstrate her knowledge of how the exchange of energy between the water molecules creates an ocean of crisscrossed waves traveling in various directions.  Each painting is fractured and fragmented  into various intersecting wavelengths.  The crests of the waves are elevated in some areas forming sharp edges.  In addition, the troughs are delineated as deep space with a series of overlapping shapes and revealing layers of color.  And also quite prevalent are drips throughout the paintings which exude Klarin's command of her painting techniques and her courageous use of color.

Klarin spoke of her influences of Aztec and Mayan ruins.  She stated that in l970 she made a journey to see the ruins and was motivated to create paintings based on her familial neighborhoods of the San Fernando Valley.  Her signature techniques continued throughout the l980's when she moved to downtown Los Angeles and focused on the "ruins" of the city skyline.  Currently,  the reminiscing shadows that are cast and integrated into the Aztec and Mayan ruins continue to inhabit Klarin's paintings.  The Pacific Ocean provides the visual clay for Klarin to interpret the various fragmented forms of the waves and imprint her inspirational journey.