Vanessa German and her partner, Janae Brown, present an intimate exchange between Black women, a perspective absent in mainstream depictions of African-American femininity.
“Growing up I did not fit in. I never knew the Slang of the day. I was always ‘other’ & ‘outside of’, even in my own community I was strange. This changed for me when I had no other choice but to listen to my soul, to trust it. The parts of myself that only quake from the inside of the inside of the inside.” ~Vanessa German
Vanessa German is a Los Angeles-raised, now Pittsburgh-based artist, poet and community activist. Though self-taught, her work is extremely savvy with just the right blend of artistic and political considerations. Her visually engaging and thought provoking installation $lang: Short Language in Soul consists of five large-scale figurative assemblages that German refers to as “Power Figures” or “Tar Babies” and fifteen mixed media portraits made from vintage tennis rackets. They are presented on walls decorated with pink, black and white geometric graphics.
As noted in 1001 Things Everyone Should Know about African American History (1996) by Jeffrey Stewart, Althea Gibson received her first tennis racket in 1940, being barely a teenager. She was not only the first African American to win a women’s singles at Wimbledon; but also in 1957 and 1958, she achieved status of being ranked as number one female tennis player in the world! Moonwalking forward more than six decades later, Vanessa German uses the creative tool as a weapon of agency at Gavlak Los Angeles in her exhibition, “$LANG: Short Language in Soul.” Through found tennis rackets and figurative sculpture, German honors Black femininity while simultaneously assaulting circus-mirror distorting perceptions of beauty.
Artist Betty Tompkins, whose work frequently explores physical intimacy through a feminist lens, told ARTnews that she has been kicked off Instagram for sharing an image of her Fuck Painting #1 (1969), which is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The work is the first in a series of photorealistic paintings she made of sex, many of which feature genitalia.
Rollicking technicolor fauvism, intricate cut paper interiors, performance-derived photographs and flirty sculpture mix things up in the current exhibition at Hollywood’s Show Gallery. Les Amoureuses, or The Lovers, takes its title from the female form of the noun, a nod to the casual collective of female artists who have produced the installation. Works by Olivia Fougeirol, Francesca Gabbiani, Marie Peter-Toltz and Joséphine Wister Faure express ideas about love, landscape, the body, and above all, Los Angeles across mediums and styles that differ in form, but share a singular disruptive passion.
“Lore Re-Imagined: Shadows of Our Ancestors” focused on the preservation of cultural and personal memory. Organized by independent curator Chieko Phillips, who has a decade-long history of working both curatorially and administratively at cultural institutions in Seattle, the exhibition featured artworks by three Seattle-based artists of Asian descent: Alex Anderson, Satpreet Kahlon, and Megumi Shauna Arai.
Vanessa German saved her own life by making art — and breathed new life into her neighborhood by inviting local kids to make it, too.
If you’ve seen “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983,” the electrifying show at the Broad museum, you may sense a vibrant, relevant thread reaching toward Gavlak gallery, where the sculptures of Vanessa German in her first L.A. show are holding forth with commanding presence.
Artist Willie Cole uses everyday objects like ironing boards to ‘reveal the spirit’ within.
Contemporary sculptor, printer, and visual artist Willie Cole’s haunting works blend the familiar with the unexpected. Now that striking creative tension is on view at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in “Willie Cole: Beauties.”
“Send in the clowns… Don’t bother, they’re here.” Nodding to Sondheim, clowns abound in Marnie Weber’s art, most recently in her exhibition as artist-in-residence at Pasadena City College. Clowns are mostly appealing and Weber uses that appeal in complex, absurd and emotionally-involving sculpture and painted collages.
Inspired by her husband’s porn stash, the artist’s explicit work horrified galleries and customs officials. Now the world can’t get enough.
If you can’t judge a book by its cover, what can you learn about people from the books on their shelves? Quite a lot, Lisa Anne Auerbach’s calmly enthralling exhibition suggests. More important, the L.A. artist’s second solo show at Gavlak gallery asks: What do we learn about ourselves when we discover what other people are reading?
Pools of shimmering silver, flies alighted on walls, golden snakes slithering through museum cases: Rob Wynne’s ethereal work makes a point of being impossible to pin down. His exhibition, Float, is placed as a critical counterpoint to objects on permanent display in the Brooklyn Museum’s fifth floor American galleries. Wynne’s pieces interact well with their surroundings but would resonate on their own, thus making this a strong exhibition on many levels. The intellectual agility of the poured glass wall installations offers at times biting critique of the stodgy portraits and history paintings of the new American republic with their traditional European aspirations, but Wynne’s glass intrusions can by turns be tender and empathetic as well.
by Janelle Zara
As with an answer on Jeopardy!, a tarot reading must be phrased in the form of a question. At Frieze Los Angeles, the fair’s resident medium, Alpine Moon, asked me: “Are your actions in your best and highest interest?”
As Frieze LA takes over Paramount Studios in February, Conceptual Artist, Lisa Anne AUerbach Presents "Psychic Art Advisor", an interactive performance offering visitors guidance, both creative and commercial. Executive Director of Frieze LA, Bettina Korek checks in with Auerbach in advance of the persentation.
Please join us at Gavlak Los Angeles (1034 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038) on Saturday, January 12, at 5:00pm for a conversation between Maynard Monrow & William J. Simmons regarding Monrow's solo exhibition on view.
William J. Simmons is Provost Fellow in the Humanities in the art history PhD program of the University of Southern California. He received his BA from Harvard University and taught art history for three years at the City College of New York. His research and writing have appeared in numerous international books, journals, monographs, and magazines.
THE CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM of American Art announced the 2018 Don Tyson Prize has been awarded to visual and performance artist Vanessa L. German. The $200,000 biannual prize recognizes an individual artist or organization for exceptional achievement in American art. German was selected for “pushing boundaries and taking risks in the field of American art, as well as positively impacting her community through art experiences.”
December 11, 2018—Anonymous Was a Woman today announced the ten recipients of its 2018 awards, which recognize women artists over 40 years of age who have made significant contributions in their fields to date, while continuing to create new work. Each recipient receives an unrestricted grant of $25,000.
See a 360-degree video of the Israeli, New York-based artist Nir Hod at work as part of artnet's "In the Studio" series.
While Art Basel makes a splash in Miami, gallery owner Sarah Gavlak is shining a light on Palm Beach's thriving arts scene
Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles
December 1-2, 2018
In his intriguing, often provocative, interpolated show at the Brooklyn Museum, Rob Wynne builds, reflects, and—more literally—reflects on connections in American art. In doing so he manages to intervene in the course of art history itself. He pulls at the museum's paintings and sculptures and activates them through light and language, transmuting the collection by means of his signature hand-poured, mirrored glass.
Witty Watercolors by Konstantin Kakanias
In 2012, Deborah Needleman, then the editor of T magazine, approached the artist Konstantin Kakanias for a special commission to illustrate the standout heels of the season, from the likes of Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani and Christian Dior. The sketch he delivered, called “The Cat’s Meow” — in which a black cat delicately paws past a lineup of black stiletto pumps, gazing at them with bemusement — perfectly embodied Kakanias’s playful view of the fashion world.
by Leah Ollman
Alex Anderson has tremendous material wisdom in his hands and a penchant for barbed beauty. The ceramic sculptures in his intriguing show "Wonderland" at the L.A. gallery Gavlak slip in and out of familiar categories, settling uneasily in memory and enduring as strong, ambivalent impressions.
Entering the Luce Center for American Art on the Brooklyn Museum's fifth floor, one immediately encounters Rob Wynne’s ethereal glass works that activate the adjacent nineteenth-century neoclassical marble statues of Pandora, Nydia, The Lost Pleiad, and Bacchante. Rob Wynne’s work re-contextualize viewer perceptions of the historic sculptures perched atop black granite pedestals, enveloping them in a swirling timelessness of hand-poured mirrored-glass wall reliefs. On view through January 6, 2019, Wynne's 16 ephemeral glass works force a reexamination of historic American artworks and are presented in an exhibition entitled “Rob Wynne: FLOAT” curated by Brooklyn Museum chief curator Jennifer Y. Chi and assistant curator Margarita Karasoulas.
By Sarah Cascone
An in-your-face reminder of the women’s movement and its newfound ability to topple men in positions of power has risen in Los Angeles. Zoe Buckman’s Champ, a glowing neon pair of ovaries clad in boxing gloves, stands 43 feet tall outside of the Standard, Hollywood, overlooking Sunset Boulevard.
Organized by Art Production Fund, the British artist’s first public sculpture will debut today, just ahead of the Academy Awards, and will remain on view for a year.
By Lara Salmon
Zoë Buckman’s show “Let Her Rave” opened at Gavlak on March 3 to an excited crowd of Angelino feminists. The show is characteristic of Buckman’s familiar tropes: emboldened female empowerment, a battle cry against the patriarchy and celebration of femme aesthetics.
Hanging from the ceiling of the gallery are clusters of white boxing gloves, stitched over with fragments of wedding dresses. These sculptures combine two gendered archetypes, recalling the woman on her wedding day and a male-dominated sport based on punching.
Gavlak is proud to present Lonely Planet, a major exhibition of new work by Andrew Brischler that will take place simultaneously at both the Los Angeles and Palm Beach galleries. This is the artist’s fourth solo presentation with the gallery.
Andrew Brischler creates bold, energetic works on paper and panel using almost exclusively colored pencil. Richly colored and laboriously hand drawn, Brischler’s work investigates the intersection of graphic design and abstraction through his devotion to drawing.
Thanks to a quirk of the calendar, the Palm Beach Art Weekend will debut Friday through Sunday in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach.
The concept has been on Palm Beach gallery owner Sarah Gavlak’s to-do list for some time. Gavlak, who also operates a gallery in Los Angeles, has attended similar art weekends in Berlin and Brussels as well as ArtCrush, a multi-day fundraiser for the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado.
He’s disarmingly genteel, light, an effortless conversationalist, and endearingly candid. Like if Katy Perry and Prince Eric (from The Little Mermaid) had a lovechild. It’s official. Andrew Brischler is the closest thing you get to saccharine with a pulse. Yet, with razor-sharp execution, his paintings and color-pencil drawings are raw, undulating, boldly unflinching glimpses into the visual modalities with which we process words and shapes: loud colors, geometric tessellations, and surreal motion.
Gavlak is hosting Andrew Brischler’s exhibition titled “Lonely Planet” at its Los Angeles venue.
This major exhibition of new works by Brischler will take place simultaneously at both the Los Angeles and Palm Beach, Florida, galleries. This is the artist’s fourth solo presentation with the gallery. For this series, Andrew Brischler creates bold, energetic works on paper and panel using almost exclusively colored pencils.
by Andy Campbell
The duo made confounding, earworm pop at a moment when executives in the record industry were seemingly wringing their hands (but secretly filling their pockets) over the “crossover” successes of Latin American singers such as Ricky Martin and Shakira.
by David Pagel
If you’ve even been to a dinner party with great food and even better conversation, you’ll know what it’s like to visit “Flaming June VII: Flaming Creatures” at Gavlak in Los Angeles. The exhibition of 34 pieces by 27 artists mixes art of all shapes and stripes to form a freewheeling feast. Lively back-and-forths take on lives of their own as they inspire, challenge and satisfy — often deeply and dramatically.
The sixth floor of the Beverly Center shopping mall in LA might seem like a weird spot for smart art with an activist edge, but artist Lisa Anne Auerbach is used to making powerful statements in unexpected places. She's known for knitting protest sweaters with slogans like "Keep Abortion Legal" and "My favorite thing about the war on terror is the language of the war on terror—exaggeration, obfuscation, hyperbole, sound byte, doublespeak, nonsense, bad grammar."
There are no pictures in “Under the Influence,” Maynard Monrow’s exhibition at Gavlak Gallery.
Monrow works exclusively with words.
His pithy sayings are displayed in standardized white letters on black, grey or pink cafe boards. (Cafe boards are those black signs with white letters that communicate information such as “wait to be seated” at restaurants or room schedules at convention centers.)
Stitched into the Macy’s wing of the Beverly Center — now an eyesore of construction scaffolding and detour signage due to a massive renovation — is recently installed art by Lisa Anne Auerbach to temper the clutter. The temporary, site-specific work, “Strik Strikke, 2017,” is a mural more than 1,000 feet long depicting intricate knitting patterns rendered in candy-colored hues and a pixelated effect.
I wanted to try it so they suited me up and I held a ladle and scooped some molten glass that was really heavy and promptly flipped it over and dropped it on the floor. They were all explaining to me what I had done wrong but I was mesmerized by the piece I dropped as it started to cool and form and had this nice dimpling texture to it. I saved this, and it became my first piece.”
"Try it again without the death metal voice, Doug!" I'm inside a bulky latex ram-horned devil mask, wearing a swaky maroon dinner jacket and cravat, tending bar for a coven of witches in a ruinous hut in a crumbling bohemian campground in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, and Lee Lynch is getting sarcastic. Five hours earlier I'd cought a ride with my bandmate, the sculptor Daniel Hawkins, up the winding precipitous incline to Zorthian Ranch, a definitively unfurnished art environment dating from the antebellum heyday of West Coast Assemblage. Daniel was multitasking various production duties on artist Marnie Weber's first full-length feature film, which I'd been recruited to do a cameo.
Friday, October 14
7 - 9 pm
Feminist Friday is a casual but directed conversation about contemporary issues related to feminism. This intersectional conversation is open to any and all community members. The purpose of Feminist Friday is to create a safe environment in which people can share questions, concerns, resources, and experiences pertaining to feminism. The ‘unofficial’ motto of Feminist Friday is “Cocktails, Conversation, and Consciousness-raising”.
It's a bit of a struggle to analyze the meaning behind the work of Marnie Weber. But then, that might be the point - there is no concrete explanation. Her work is full of dazzlingly profound imagery, teetering on the brink of reality and fantasy. She has created her won world in which the viewers are invited into that void, where at times, they can lose themselves in the mystery of the subconscious.
Entering through a white picket fence that surrounded a lush spirited garden, Ms. Weber’s studio and home are clearly an extension of her work.
We began the interview by talking about her music background and how it has influenced her work.
Two thick brown, purple, and green globs of oil paint are dolloped onto the top half of a small white canvas—the word “erotic” is outlined in red below. Next to it are similarly sized paintings emblazoned with the words “seiki” (“genitals” in Japanese), “weich” (“soft” in German) and “fanny flange” (British slang for “clitoris”), each painted with a different treatment.
Since the 1970s, New York artist Betty Tompkins has created frank, unvarnished paintings and drawings of female genitalia and explicit sex acts. These, on view at Gavlak Gallery with paintings of words used to describe women, form a potent examination of our culture’s attitudes toward women and sex.
There’s plenty of porn in Betty Tompkins’ solo exhibition, which is newly open at Gavlak’s Los Angeles gallery. But that’s the least provocative part of it.
Artist Dean Sameshima worked in MOCA’s bookstore in 1992, when he was arrested for lewd conduct. A cop had “caught” him in a public restroom, during a sting operation (some LAPD officers had heard certain restrooms were playgrounds for pleasure seekers). For his show at Gavlak Gallery, Sameshima, who now lives in Berlin, hand painted the pages of his arrest report across five canvases
Indeed, the paintings are all about their process, they’re overflowing with it: the layering, the configuring, the re-configuring. The residual components of her paint sprayings and splatterings take center stage, and this fusion of the residual and the primary into the same field appears to provide her with a process that’s eternally rewarding, though certainly not easy to execute.
Lily Stockman’s strikingly simple geometric abstractions at Gavlak gallery possess a mysterious confidence. Her softly curved lozenges, U-shapes and circles, rendered in a mostly muted palette of grays, yellows and pinks, refer to 1970s feminist abstraction, but also feel strangely unique.
Lily Stockman speaks about the work in her show "Pollinator" and how her home in Joshua Tree inspires her practice
"I made this series of work over the past six months while working on my desert garden, so the botanical and structural shapes – cactus pads, rock perimeters of garden beds, etc.– come through subconsciously, not because I set out to paint plants but because that’s the shape language I’ve immersed myself in."
Listen to the podcast: https://soundcloud.com/curate-joshua-tree/sets/curatejoshuatree
Christopher Jobson reviews Bovey Lee's new show Divertical
Review of Bovey Lee's new exhibition Divertical
Jan Sjostrom reviews Judith Eisler's solo exhbition