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1700 South Santa Fe Avenue, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90021
213 623 3280
Artists Represented:
Nick Aguayo
Edgar Arceneaux
My Barbarian 
Math Bass
Whitney Bedford
Sadie Benning
Ellen Berkenblit
Andrea Bowers
Sarah Cain 
Kim Dingle
Sean Duffy
Nicole Eisenman
Louise Fishman
Genevieve Gaignard
Karl Haendel
Stanya Kahn
Raffi Kalenderian
Mary Kelly
Samuel Levi Jones
Hugo McCloud 
Dave McKenzie
Rodney McMillian
Yunhee Min
Wangechi Mutu
Elizabeth Neel
My Barbarian
Ruben Ochoa
Angel Otero
Pope.L
Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley
Deborah Roberts
Steve Roden
Paul Mpagi Sepuya
Dasha Shishkin
Amy Sillman
John Sonsini
Mickalene Thomas
Nicola Tyson
Monique van Genderen
Tam Van Tran
Esther Pearl Watson
Patrick Wilson

 
Current Exhibition

Lavaughan Jenkins

Love Liberates



July 13, 2024 - August 23, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Love Liberates, Lavaughan Jenkins’s second exhibition with the gallery, on view July 13 to August 24, 2024. An intrinsic understanding of the palpable materiality of paint and its manipulation underlies Jenkins’s approach to painting. Through exuberant impasto, an ingenious sense of color, and abstracted figuration, Jenkins creates a lush foundation of marks and brushstrokes by adding, scraping, and repeating luxuriant quantities of paint using brushes, palette knives, and his hands—working and reworking the surfaces while remaining open to fortuitous drips and spills. Forms and figures emerge, and frequently tumble over the edges of the canvas, and, in some cases, expand to occupy the space around the painting. Love Liberates features Jenkins’s signature images of women, figurative three-dimensional paintings, and a selection of recent “Love Portal” paintings. The three series of interrelated paintings explore identity, memory, and the dualities that exist between our public personae and our private interior lives. Jenkins articulates the complex relationships between the visceral pleasures of paint application and the disquieting layers of personal memories buried in our psyche. By weaving together figurative and abstract works that in totality examine the self and related recollections, he addresses collective generational trauma, especially the violences experienced by Black women. Poet Maya Angelou’s writing about love, connection, and trauma resonates for Jenkins, particularly in how we are all “only a mother apart” and how women have the power to change the world. As Angelou said in 2019: “Love liberates. It doesn't bind. Love says, I love you. I love you if you're in China. I love you if you're across town. I love you if you're in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I'd like to have your arms around me. I'd like to hear your voice in my ear. But that's not possible now, so I love you. Go.” Jenkins has also been influenced by Francisco Goya’s and Philip Guston’s impactful use of paint to convey authenticity, emotion, moral outrage, and social injustices. In particular, Jenkins admires how Goya astutely observes the inner states of women in portraits that capture each character’s essence. Working in the figurative tradition of Kerry James Marshall—whose silhouetted black figures portray and honor both historical and contemporary people—and Mickalene Thomas—whose work embodies Black womanhood in maximalist portraits composed of thickly painted passages embellished with rhinestones—Jenkins focuses on the history of painting and artwork that addresses social justice to emphatically claim the fullness of our humanity. To achieve this, Jenkins has created a distinctive iconography. In the paintings featuring women, most frequently Black women, he highlights them as icons of resilience and beauty and complements them with lushly textured backgrounds of gridded ivory or other chromatic arrangements. For him, they are more than muses, they serve as powerful presentations of women usually absent from history. Depicted anonymously with gentle sweeps of paint effacing individual features, the women convey charisma, poise, and power through their stance and their apparel. Referencing specific people in Jenkins’s life or celebrity icons, the “Love liberates. It doesn't bind. Love says, I love you. I love you if you're in China. I love you if you're across town. I love you if you're in Harlem. I love you. I would like to be near you. I'd like to have your arms around me. I'd like to hear your voice in my ear. But that's not possible now, so I love you. Go.” women—dressed in attire that showcases the influence of Black culture on fashion—are often accompanied by Jenkins’s talismanic figures of protection which sit in the lower corners of the canvas. These “protectors” or “watchers,” as Jenkins refers to them, guard the memories that each canvas holds. Existing as sculptures, the three-dimensional watchers Jenkins calls “Nigel” stand and witness the women and portals. Comprised of multiple layers of thick swirls and sweeps, appearing like the twirls of cake frosting or billows of whipped cream, where instead of sugary vanilla tones, the shades range from midnight-black, red-black, rusty umber with bright splotches of yellow or pink, cohering into a humanoid figure with both feet firmly planted and arms hanging at rest. The emotionality of the figures suggests how the watchers facilitate the recall of memories from our subconscious. Like Jenkins’s female figure paintings and the watchers, the “Love Portals” act as a record of moments and reminders of lost loves and past relationships. Vividly abstract, the shifting color spectrums and radiating vortexes within each work are carefully calibrated in resonance with each of the painting's specific memories, which the titles then allude to. These abstracted memory portals represent a more interior, intimate side of one’s identity. Jenkins considers these paintings a physical manifestation towards awe, the sublime, and the grotesque, in contrast to a digitally saturated world. A meditation on memory and personal history, solitude and tenderness, introspection and expectation, the portals suggest joy and intimacy, but also despair and fear all at once. Jenkins’s intention to convey the fullness of human experience is echoed in the richness of the materials. The teeming, gorgeously abundant materiality of paint and color convey joy and love, and the intense physicality of the works impresses with the fervor of feeling as we consider watching and being watched, connecting with others to share or turning inward to our own most joyful and tragic memories, embracing the fullness of human experience in a deeply painful moment in history. Lavaughan Jenkins was born in 1976 in Pensacola, Florida, and lives and works in Boston. He received a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2005. In 2022, Jenkins was the Edward E. Elson Artist-in-Residence at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, MA. In 2019, Jenkins was awarded the James and Audrey Foster Prize by the Institute of Contemporary Art / Boston. In 2016, he was named Emerging Artist of the year at Kingston Gallery in Boston, MA, Jenkins is a recipient of the 2015 Blanche E. Colman Award and in 2002 received the Rob Moore Grant in Painting. He has exhibited his work most recently at venues such as the University of Alabama Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama), Abigail Ogilvy Gallery (Boston), The Painting Center (NY), Suffolk University Gallery (Boston), and Oasis Gallery (Beijing). His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

 
Upcoming Exhibitions

Nick Aguayo

Erasing A Flower



July 20, 2024 - August 24, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Erasing A Flower, Nick Aguayo’s newest exhibition with the gallery, on view from July 20 to September 7, 2024.

Steve Roden

floating over the silent world



July 20, 2024 - August 23, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles presents floating over the silent world, a tribute exhibition of Steve Roden’s lesser- known paintings, drawings, and sculptures from 1990 to 2019. The exhibition marks his passing in September 2023 and showcases the artist’s visionary aesthetic. On Saturday, September 7 at 2 pm, Michael Ned Holte and Alison O’Daniel will remember their mutual friend and collaborator Steve Roden with a program of words, images, sounds, and a conversation. At times beautiful, cryptic, and elusive, Roden’s body of work—which included film and sound in addition to painting and sculpture—manifests as a conceptually-based and idiosyncratic visual language that utilizes systems and structures of translation. His process constructed meaning by interweaving visual translations of music and language with the act of listening. Roden transformed these visualizations into compellingly heartfelt and distinctively intellectual experiences, often resulting in work that appears informal and hand- made, with textured, organic forms and layers of chromatic variation, from somber shades to bright tones. The exhibition floating over the silent world touches on moments throughout the artist’s career where Roden developed and expanded his conceptual practice. Comprising a selection of works from over three decades, it includes the surface of the moon (2001)—a key early sculptural installation which debuted in the Hammer Museum’s first Snapshot exhibition in 2001—and works on paper and paintings from the transformative series “the silent world” and “water music.” Roden intuitively translated forms of notation into scores or maps, which were used to influence the process of constructing a painting, drawing, sculpture, or composition. This map making became the rules and systems for generating visual actions such as color choices, number of elements, amounts of time, and form building. A true polymath, Roden was also revered internationally in the field of experimental music, where he pioneered the lowercase style of music. In his obituary, Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight called Roden a “quintessential artist’s artist”1 widely admired by his peers, including Doug Aitken, Dan Goodsell, John O’Brien, and Stas Orlovski, along with his instructors at Otis College of Art and Design and at ArtCenter College of Design, Roy Dowell, Mike Kelley, Stephen Prina, Gary Panter, and Emerson Woelffer. Roden admired and was influenced by artists as varied as his own practice—John Cage, Arthur Dove, Simone Forti, Frederick Hammersley, Alfred Jensen, Allan Kaprow, and Paul Klee—who also merged systems with intuition. The threads of his signature practice emerged in the early 1990s, as evidenced in the two earliest works on view in the exhibition—a small untitled 1990 painting and guardian angels from 1993. Loosely rendered on a handmade wood panel, the 1990 painting layers a loose blue-green grid and elongated ovals that burst in a star-like pattern on the painting’s top half. The irregular brushstrokes and facile color-work serve as a precursor to his later abstractions. Roden also used language and letters regularly in his practice. In 1Knight, Christopher. “Steve Roden, a vivaciously inventive and quintessential ‘artist’s artist,’ dies at 59”. Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2023 https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2023-09-08/steve-roden- obituary-artist-los-angeles guardian angels, white letters march drunkenly across the limpid greenish-brown surface, oscillating between doodling and poetry. The surface of the moon, a major sculptural installation that reflects the increasing maturation of Roden’s translation systems from specific sources, consists of 490 small hand-carved objects—the same number of land formations in an astronomy book called Celestial Objects for Common Telescopes. Inspired by the list of craters, mountains, and other objects from this turn-of-the-century map of the moon, Roden set out to create a system to fabricate the objects: “each object’s height and materials were determined by the vowels in a name. the number of vowels determined the height of an object, while each different vowel in a name determined the materials that were added to the wooden object (wood acting as the consonant). The system I set up was: a = wax; e = wire; I = tin foil; o = gesso; u = pencil” Once these parameters were determined, Roden carved the form with a chop saw and belt sander. The surface of the moon was one of the first works to be defined by predetermined formal variables and that allowed text to determine the outcome of the work’s physical presence. By precisely using the text as a score, this work led to a breakthrough in his practice. This resolution is evident in the Roden’s multi-year series “the silent world” and seen here in two paintings from 2005, human scale (my body floating over the silent world, where bells sound like rainbows) and the silent world. This body of work articulates how Roden combined both conceptual and intuitive frameworks to translate obscure systems of literary reference into visual designs. In 2003, Roden explained how he was conceiving this series: “the silent world paintings were created using a system of visual translation that began with a simple letter-to-measured line equivalence: a = 1 inch line, b = 2 inch line, etc. each painting contains a visual translation of the title of jacques cousteau’s first book The Silent World [1953]. over the past year, the systems have become more elaborate, and each painting is built from the intuitive collisions of several different translation methods and rules.” In later work, Roden continued to build his imagery through improvisation and accumulation. For example, in 2015’s the sky crying is Roden incorporated an issue of the Italian architecture magazine, Domus, published April 1964 (the month and year of his birth). The collage features triangular cutouts that loosely reveal architectural images behind a surface of hand-painted colorful stripes. In the paintings from 33 to 45, Roden responded to his favorite music albums. The paintings are based on translating sounds into a colorful set of marks and gestures, creating vibrant oval forms that echo the history of record albums. The synchronic dialogues created through various sources and inspirations connect to each other and create moments of generosity, harmony, and discord, inviting contemplation and multiple interpretations, or perhaps as Roden said in 2007, “a powerful vibrational moment.” Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present our exhibition concurrently with both the launch of the Steve Roden Endowed Scholarship at the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, where the artist attended graduate school, and the refabrication of Roden’s 2004 major sculptural and multisensory installation ear(th) by Fulcrum Arts on the occasion of their Energy Fields: Vibrations of the Pacific exhibition. Part of the Getty initiative PST ART: Art & Science Collide, the exhibition will open on September 15, 2024, at, and co- presented with, Chapman University. Energy Fields is an exhibition, publication, and public program co- curated by Robert Takahashi Novak and Lawrence English. Roden’s music is also being featured this year by Aurora Central Records in Mexico. They are releasing a new remastered album called forms of paper, an influential experimental musical work originally released in 2001 to wide acclaim. Steve Roden was born in 1964 in Los Angeles and lived there until his death in September 2023. He attended Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design where he received his BA in 1986, and Art Center College of Design where he received his MA in 1989. Since 1986, Roden consistently exhibited and performed his work across the United States and internationally. His first exhibition at Vielmetter Los Angeles was in 2003, followed by eight other solo exhibitions. This is his ninth exhibition at the gallery. His artwork has been exhibited at venues including: LAX Airport, Terminal 5, Los Angeles; La Kunsthalle Mulhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Mulhouse, France; Mercosur Biennial, Porto Alegre Brazil; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; Singuhr-Horgalerie, Berlin; Stadtgalerie, Saarbrücken, Germany; Center for Book Arts, New York; The Kitchen, New York; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; and Studio la Citta, Verona, Italy; among others. Roden performed his soundworks at various arts spaces and experimental music festivals worldwide including: Serpentine Gallery, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Dca Dundee, Scotland; Redcat, Los Angeles; and Crawford Gallery, Cork, Ireland. He created numerous site-specific sound works for spaces such as MOCA at the Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; the Mak Center For Art And Architecture/Schindler House, Los Angeles; Chinati, Marfa, Texas; City University Of Hong Kong; Girard College, Philadelphia; and the city of West Hollywood, CA. His artwork is held in many public and private collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece; the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA; the Blanton Museum of Art, University Of Texas, Austin; the Palm Springs Museum, Palm Springs, CA; and Benton Museum Of Art at Pomona College, Claremont, CA. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Maya Kabat

Always Already Anew



July 20, 2024 - August 31, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Always Already Anew, Maya Kabat’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, featuring new paintings that explore abstraction and embodiment. Kabat investigates a kinetic and visceral physicality—both in the paintings themselves and in our relationship and response to the work. Each painting is composed of richly patterned and luminously colored rectilinear forms; the paint surfaces vibrate with slabs, ridges, and peaks. Working with thick applications of oil paint mixed directly on the canvas, Kabat uses drywall tools of different sizes to create these various angular forms; the accretions of color are built up layer by layer as she pushes the tools across the canvas. Linear elements build up alongside the rectangles, suggesting the motion of her arm and body as she pulls the tool across the surface. Her intense physical process balances structure and improvisation in an intuitive manner that is at once tectonic and organic. Kabat explores the relationships between color, geometry, and materiality through referencing the body and rural and urban landscapes. By calibrating color and form in space, she conveys depth of field, scale, and perspective all at once. Each canvas embodies the form and shape of the finished work, the colors linking the greens and grays of the landscape with the purples, reds, and rusts of the body. The structure of each canvas is built around a vivid central radiating core, which also serves as an offering to the viewer as a contemplative, meditative moment. Driven by the exploration of the haptic and sensual, Kabat creates works that speak to our sense of touch and proprioception to bring us closer to our bodies and the physical world. She highlights the materiality of each canvas to push against the constant digital flow that disconnects us from an embodied experience in the world. Her practice connects back to the feeling and texture of having a body with an endlessly beating heart and a constant, pulsing breath. She engages her own internal kinetic and corporeal reality, and that tangible physical quality is manifested in each work. The exhibition unfolds in the “Greenhouse” gallery at Vielmetter Los Angeles, as the building itself becomes a metaphor for the cultivation of an interior physical awareness. Kabat’s work suggests that this nonverbal understanding invites a deeper connection to the rich experience of the material world around us. The movement of the forms across the surface mirror the movements of our bodies—our breath, the curve of our spines, and the puzzle of interlocking inner organs—and suggest resonances or physical vibrations from the paintings through our bodies. For example, the interlocking and stacked components in the diptych Always Already Again (Resonance) (2023) speak to each other and respond to the echoes from the adjacent panel. The exhibition title, Always Already Anew, references Kabat’s sense of deep time or deep knowing and the idea of eternal spring renewal. Kabat cites Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) as an influential text that frames her practice through the philosophical examination of conditions without a specific beginning or end point. For her, materials, objects, and touch all provide an ongoing engagement with time, knowledge, and rebirth, thus renewing a connection with our bodies and souls. Maya Kabat (b. 1971, Portland, Oregon) is based in Oakland, California. She received a BA from Oberlin College in 1993 in Anthropology and Art History and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, Davis, in 2000. She was a founding member of the artist-run gallery, Mercury Twenty, in Oakland, California, and served as president on the Oakland Art Murmur Board of Directors in 2011-2013. In 2016 she attended The London Intensive, a residency sponsored by the Camden Arts Centre in London, England, which culminated in an exhibition at the museum. In 2018 she attended the Sam and Adele Golden Foundation Artist Residency in New Berlin, New York. In 2022 she attended the Gambrell Gallery Artist Residency in Ashland, Oregon, which culminated in an exhibition at the gallery. Her studio is located in Oakland, California, at The Dome—workspaces established in 1976 by the artists Anne and Peter Voulkos. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

 
Past Exhibitions

Tâm Văn Trần

Primordial Sounds of the Avatar



July 6, 2024 - July 6, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Primordial Sounds of the Avatar, Tâm Văn Trần’s newest exhibition with the gallery, featuring artworks that explore a unique alignment of cosmological revelations through paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and works on paper. Trần creates intricately colored and textured works that fuse primordial-futuristic mythologies with botanical and oceanic content. These complex references orbit through his practice and are reinforced by his material explorations and cartoon and science fiction overtones. For this exhibition, Trần presents paintings on canvas that function as stitched zines with paper pages; and sculptures including masks, large ceramic vessels and smaller vases with upside-down handles on glazed ready-made bricks. With this new work, Trần continues his exploration of painting and its sculptural possibilities by evoking painting’s history of using thick swathes of oil to evoke energy and emotive possibilities. With drips, pours, and scumbling effects, he uses ceramic glazes of scroll-like imagery on vases, sculptures, and on his paintings on canvas. Trần employs both painting’s improvisational techniques to manipulate the thickness of glazes and ceramic’s vitrification process to achieve drips and wet-on-wet effects. Sited in an expansive and lush indoor-outdoor studio, Trần’s large collection of cactuses and California native plants provides inspiration in colors, forms, and materials. The white powdery coating on such native succulents as the Dudleya Brittonii resonates with the pastel tones of the pre-fire dry glazes. Trần also uses the ephemeral processes of weathering, fading, fermentation, and oxidization to allow nature’s processes to contribute to the completion of his works, particularly on the clay paintings and drawings on canvas. He carefully considers the cycles of the ceramic process—from the wet terra-cotta clay, to the dry glazed vessels before being fired, and the final vitrification through high heat. In the painting diptychs, Trần uses raw red clay on both paper and canvas to generate evocative, iron oxide “cave” drawings that traverse past, present, and future. Using rolled thin slabs of clay, he cuts images of sea creatures directly on the paintings. The resulting incision creates outline shadows which, when fired, are shattered, then reattached to the canvases with silver acrylic paint. These clay figures reference the practice of deity generation in Indian Tantric practices and they evoke regenerative possibilities of immigrants transforming into avatars with limitless powers. By incorporating zippers into the large stitched-zine paintings, Trần’s terra-cotta abstractions, with egg-shaped ocean-ready coracles, or vessels, link past technological inventions with those of the future. Three large ceramic Divination Jars, each embellished with two individual I Ching hexagrams, represent the I Ching’s “answers” to Trần’s “question” for each vase. Hand-built from slabs of clay, the glazed colored free-standing mask and elegant smaller vases suggest small family groupings afloat on glazed bricks, “vehicles for travel,” as the artist calls them. The mask forms contain protective masculine energy, while the vases with long sinuous limbs exude protective feminine energy, evoking both traveling stages and slow-moving ships. Reveries about vulnerability and isolation meander through Trần’s abstracted imagery—a four-fingered hand caught in the sharply pointed teeth of long-snouted marine creatures, a group of minute vessels huddle together on a boat like-glazed brick sculpture while guarded over by a protective alien entity, and apparitions of protective spirits transform into glowing glazed-encrusted two-handled vases. The speckled profusion of colors mirrors the reflections of light bouncing off turbulent waves of the moving ocean. The enigmatic scenes evoke a state of selfless vulnerability in the face of one’s desire to concretely understand a sublime experience, such as the unfathomable depth and vastness of the sea. Trần’s own oceanic emigration voyage from Vietnam as a young child, alone with his siblings, and later, his encounters with deep sea swimming in Santa Monica during the Covid pandemic, connect fundamentally to vulnerabilities of our precarious human bodies. Ultimately, Trần contemplates multiple dualities of existence and the regenerative powers of avatar reveries—the simultaneous pulse of past and present, fear and desire, order and chaos—rippling and floating through his ceramic universe. Tâm Văn Trần was born in Kon Tum, Vietnam, and lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated from the Pratt Institute in New York and studied Animation at the Graduate School of Film and Animation at the University of California Los Angeles. He received the Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant for Painting and the Pollock Krasner Fellowship in 2001. His work has been featured in solo museum exhibitions at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, TX, and the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN. His work has been included in group Museum, Lansing, MI; east EX east, Brand New Gallery, Milan, Italy; the 2004 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Paul Clay, Salon 94, New York; Museum of Fine Art Houston, Houston, TX; the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA; the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA; International Paper, UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and in the Drawing Biennial at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, The University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the ICA Boston, Boston, MA; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; among others. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Medrie MacPhee

Qualia: I Feel You



June 1, 2024 - July 6, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Qualia: I Feel You, New York-based painter Medrie MacPhee’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, and her first in Los Angeles. In her newest work, MacPhee creates potently physical paintings composed of ordinary garments, deconstructed, then pulled flat and collaged into a distinct matrix of overlapping organic and rectangular shapes. After decades as a painter of architecturally-inspired Surrealistic landscape paintings, MacPhee shifted her focus to works that play with color and texture in a synthesis of formal improvisation and industrial design. She cuts up found and cast-off garments, then affixes them to large panels, carefully aligning seams, zippers, buttons, or belt-loops to create a new scaffolding. Over this puzzle-like infrastructure, MacPhee reorients the outlines of the garments by painting the entire canvas white. She then paints a new, overlapping—related, but not quite aligned—chromatic grid, often outlining new shapes or existing garments with slim strands of tinted piping. The implied presence of the body—through elements that articulate legs, necks, arms—creates a simultaneously humorous and poignant humanistic pull that echoes tangibly in our subconscious. The resulting compositions read as tactile presences that might reference a contemporary take on Gee’s Bend quilts in the irregular formal patchwork, Cubistic assemblages that play with edgy contours, and landscapes of gridded agricultural fields seen from above. MacPhee’s working philosophy and practice resonate with artists such as Anni Albers and her focus on innovative textile designs, Harmony Hammond’s materiality and ethos bound to her monochromatic abstractions, and the female Russian Constructivists’ (Lyubov Popova, Varvara Stepanova, and Natalia Goncharova) revolutionary structural approaches to painting. MacPhee considers each work an arena of play where the real coexists and complements an imagined verbal/visual language. As the artist says, “the pauses and gaps, the symbiotic relationship between the present and absent, the subterranean level of feeling and instinct that lies under words, and the force of their undertow” are reflected in the new paintings in the exhibition. She describes below the meaning of the evocative title, Qualia: I Feel You. Qualia is the term philosophers coined to describe an entirely subjective experience associated with the state of consciousness. It is the shadow presence that takes us beyond rational, scientific explanation and, in doing so, is the co-pilot who interprets all sensate experience with simultaneity. Color, shape, musicality, texture, tonality, line, dimensionality come into play immediately and the associations that arise are processed over time. There is something comedic about a neurologist holding a brain and showing with a pointer where in this gelatinous mass our emotions and sensations are located. In a surrounding culture that is a constant barrage of information processing, we are a species that is using outdated hardware (our bodies) to comprehend the virtual world we have created. These paintings draw their inspiration through a Beckettian operation of sourcing secondhand clothing and items from the bins of 99 cent stores and charity shops, elevating them into a grander realm. Each painting possesses something of the shapes of the people who wore them but enriched with new possibility. Although not three-dimensional, all the accumulations of seams, textures, colors, notions present both figure and ground “pressed into service.” As Susan Sontag remarked “Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art, much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there. Our task is to cut back content so that we can see the thing at all.” Medrie MacPhee was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and has resided in New York City since 1976. She received a B.F.A. from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax in 1977. Her work has been exhibited in over thirty solo and seventy group exhibitions, in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. MacPhee is represented in various private and public collections, including: the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, Hartford, CT; the National Academy of Design, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta; the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, B.C.; and the Asheville Art Museum, NC. MacPhee is a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a Pollock-Krasner Award, an Anonymous Was a Woman grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts Grants, American Academy of Arts and Letters Purchase Prize Awards, the Elizabeth Greenshields Award, and Canada Council Established-Artist Grants. She has been a resident at the Bogliasco Foundation in Italy, the Bau Institute of the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, the MacDowell Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, the American Academy in Rome, and Flying Horse Editions, Orlando, Florida, which produced a limited edition of her prints. She received a public art commission from Cadillac Fairview to execute a major painting for the Main Tower of the Mies van der Rohe Toronto Dominion Center in Toronto for 2015. MacPhee is Emeritus Professor of Studio Arts, Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. She is represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery in NYC and Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

John Sonsini

Still Life Stories



May 18, 2024 - June 29, 2024
“I don’t think it happened all at once, but over a very short time, it occurred to me that the unfamiliarity I noticed when I returned to painting from life after the pandemic was that the absence of my sitters still hung in the air and I wanted to try to convey that.” –John Sonsini Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to present Still Life Stories, John Sonsini’s third solo exhibition with the gallery on view from May 18th through June 29th. For the last 30 years, Sonsini has developed a practice that focuses on painting from life. He is most known for richly layered and nuanced portraits of day laborers whom he’d paint in his studio, many of whom became recurring subjects. During the pandemic, as Sonsini was unable to work with live sitters, this “social practice” (as the artist refers to it) was replaced by working in the studio in solitude. As a result, his work shifted and he began to focus on the objects in his studio creating still lives of his working table; the brushes, the cans of paint, and the objects left behind by his sitters. These mundane objects, offering themselves as readily available subjects, became a representation of the absence Sonsini felt while not being able to work with the sitters. Painted briskly in beautifully toned colors and confident brush marks, these objects have now metamorphized into portraits of a more subtle nature that hint at a human presence. In every mark, stroke, color, touch of light, wallet or belt, a presence is insinuated and the memory of a movement is expressed. However, rather than depicting the sitter and trying to translate nuances of their personality and mood into paint, Sonsini is now transferring this process to the objects left behind in the studio, bringing the work into a conversation with both the tradition of still life painting and with the formal investigations that the post-impressionists conveyed. The particular arrangement of objects, the play of light and shadow on their surfaces, and the increasingly abstracted marks of paint reflect the more ephemeral aspects of life. The formal aspect of still lives and the practical reasons why Sonsini began focusing his attention on them also apply to his recent watercolors in the exhibition. The watercolors similarly convey a sense of temporality and immediacy in their aesthetics. In 2023 Sonsini presented a new body of watercolors which were studies after his oil paintings. These new watercolors done from life are expeditious representations of sitters Sonsini has worked with for decades. Together these new works portray an artist whose confidence in his painterly mark-making has enabled him to create extraordinary beauty and lightness from the studio’s quiet moments. John Sonsini was born in Rome, NY in 1950 and received his BA from California State University Northridge in 1975. His work will be the subject of a book written by David Pagel and published by Radius Books forthcoming in 2024. Recent solo exhibitions include “A Day’s Labor: Portraits by John Sonsini,” Art Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA; and “Daywork: Portraits,” Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY; Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D. C. and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. His work is in the public collections of the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA; AD&A Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA; Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Academy, Andover, MA; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; The Frances Young Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; The Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, KS; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County College, Overland Park, KS; Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, NC; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

April Bey

I Know All About What You Want to Know All About



April 6, 2024 - May 18, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to present I Know All About What You Want to Know All About, April Bey’s first exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition centers on the library and librarians of “Atlantica”, the artist’s imagined alternate universe where glitter is the currency and where visitors travel via portals of flora and fauna. Bey’s work is deeply rooted in her rigorous reading practice, her love of books and her obsession with Sci-Fi. She incorporates colorful faux fur, glitter, vinyl and woven textiles such as brocade and velvet–materials rich in queerness–to craft icons around the images of real-life figures from her community. Her work, which spans across multiple media such as printed textiles, synthography, weaving and elaborate stitching, reflects her background in printmaking and design and results in richly layered works rooted in the intersections of post-colonialism, Speculative Futurism, internet culture, and feminism. A bona fide bibliophile and self-described “Blerd”, Bey draws inspiration from a myriad of different sources, many of them books in the fantasy, sci-fi, and futuristic realm including comics and graphic novels. These various wells of inspiration come together to form her world, Atlantica. The origin of Atlantica comes from a formative conversation with her father who used the language of sci-fi to describe the experience of otherness and racial oppression, positioning the artist as an alien on a mission to observe and report on the conditions of Earth. In Bey’s imagined library, visitors can find archived copies of old Atlantican Magazines from the future in the reference section along with ads for Atlantica’s luxury brand Colonial Swag. They may also encounter Pineapple Afrovenuses, deities that can cut down travel time and aid in transportation at a rapid speed, leaving the traveler with pineapple scented hair and skin. Populating the library are Calathea Crotalus Cerastes, a hybrid plant which fruits the hands of Black femmes with freshly manicured nails–they too act as transportation devices that grow naturally on Atlantica. On Atlantica, librarians are the custodians of the history of the world, their job is of the utmost import and crucial to the fundamental operations of Atlantica. As depicted in the tapestry I Know All About What You Want To Know All About (2024), they don’t look like your typical librarian and neither does their setting. Playing multifaceted roles, they are caretakers of all archives and printed matter as well as custodians of plant medicine. Roles and responsibilities on Atlantica are less binary than they are on Earth. Though, as Bey reminds us, librarians in our world do function as much more than people who maintain collections of books, they are social workers and community organizers. Atlantican librarians can morph, as can the physical space of the library, underscoring the space of Atlantica as a decolonized place where anyone can be anything they want at any time–where the rigidity and oppression of societal organization falter and room is created to exercise new ideas of being. Join the artist for a public walkthrough of this exhibition on April 20th at 2pm.

Aly Helyer

Everything Is Borrowed



April 6, 2024 - May 18, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Everything Is Borrowed, London-based artist Aly Helyer’s first solo exhibition with the gallery on view from April 6th through May 18th, 2024. Blending elements of classical painting with nontraditional portraiture, Helyer’s distinct visual language speaks to the complexities of the human experience and the diverse depths of our personalities. The exhibition features a range of recent dreamlike enigmatic portraits, each offering a glimpse into the artist’s meticulous craftsmanship and evocative imagination. Helyer’s works begin as drawings often composed of fragments from fashion magazines, memory, and imagination. The paintings are both materially and instinctually driven, derived by the intimacy of how paint is laid down. Layer upon layer a psychological narrative slowly unfolds, as instinct and form intermingle to suggest mystery, tenderness, as well as times of solitude and or togetherness. Referencing such sentiments as love and loss Helyer creates tightly cropped compositions inhabited by youthful figures that lean toward androgynous. The characters in her paintings don’t exist in the real world, they are constructs both familiar and surreal. Throughout the artist’s interiors elements curiously appear such as birds, feathers, hands, snakes, cigarettes, and shadows — as well as romantic, pastoral Toile patterns and luxurious designs delicately find their way onto the curtains, clothing, and walls. The artist’s steadfast use of vibrant, yet uncanny colors unearth an undeniable resonance presenting the viewer with a paradoxical point of view; embracing the fleeting nature of our existence while embracing the deep-rooted connections that bind us together. Alluding to the well-known Picasso quote “Good artists borrow, great artists steal” — the exhibition’s title is inspired by the song “Everything Is Borrowed” by The Streets (Mike Skinner). In it the chorus goes: “I came to this world with nothing / And I leave with nothing but love / Everything else is just borrowed / Memories are times we borrow / For spending tomorrow….” For Helyer, the title also points to an overarching spiritual and philosophical perspective that amidst the cycle of life nothing really belongs to anyone. Aly Helyer lives and works in London.

Sadie Benning

The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation



March 23, 2024 - May 4, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to present The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation, an exhibition of sixteen new paintings by Sadie Benning. The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation ruminates on a triad of interrelating conceits: the desire for connection, the need for safety and the want for an expansive change in how we experience and communicate love. Referencing evolutionary biology, the word saltation signifies sudden and large scale mutations from one generation to the next—though the term is invoked here more poetically with regard to transformation, imparting questions around what is required to sustain lasting and profound advancements in the way we care for and honor one another while on earth—and also after death. Through an experimental process which Benning has developed over the past two decades, these wall-mounted works transgress the singular categories of painting, drawing and sculpture. The manipulation of materials occurs through stages of translation: going from a digital image to a projected transparency to an outline drawn by hand on wood, to the final, three-dimensional result, which is cut out with a jigsaw, coated with aqua resin, sanded, painted, buffed and fit back together. Benning imbues each work with their touch and thought processes—an embodied, ever sentient, quality emanating from each finished painting. The Touch, the Amulet and the Saltation is comprised of brightly colored abstract works which center on points of contact, and white figurative works, some of which are imbedded with jewelry and other talismans—as if to suggest how we assign poetry to objects in order to communicate desires for protection and remembrance. The figurative works also endeavor to imagine how people uncannily infuse matter with their personal energies, and how these energies persist, ghostlike. At turns playful and deeply serious, Benning explores the transformative function of grief—who we are compelled to remember when they are gone—that is, when they are no longer seeable or touchable and must be accessed internally—and how intimacy with loss expands our capacity for love. The power of these works cumulatively is such that transformation itself becomes an amulet—a form of protection grounded in metamorphosis through true reverence and tenderness. About the artist Over the last three decades, Sadie Benning’s (b. 1973 Madison, WI) work has taken the form of experimental video, performance, and most recently mixed-media wall-mounted works that trouble the distinctions between painting, drawing, sculpture, and photo collage. Benning’s pluralistic relationship to medium speaks to an ongoing desire to forge complex relations between form and content. Benning’s work is in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Solo exhibitions include “Pain Thing” Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; “Shared Eye” Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland; and “Play Pause” at the Dia Foundation for the Arts, New York, the Power Plant, Toronto, Ontario, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Their work Shared Eye was installed in Surrounds: 11 Installations at the Museum of Modern Art New York when it re-opened in 2019. Benning’s work has also been included in Trigger: Gender as a Tool and a Weapon, New Museum, New York; Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, Germany; and the 2013 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. They are one of the founding members of the iconic band Le Tigre.

Patrick Wilson

Field Sketch



February 10, 2024 - March 23, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Field Sketch, an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Patrick Wilson. The exhibition marks Wilson’s tenth solo presentation with the gallery and will be on view from February 10 – March 23, 2024. Comprising works executed from 2022 to 2024, the exhibition presents an array of hard-edged works on canvas that emerge from the artist’s practice as a perceptualist painter. Known for his meticulously painted and improvised compositions, Wilson’s canvases are controlled explosions of seductive, radiant hues emerging from a multiplicity of logic, pleasure, and whim. Throughout the exhibition, and within each painting on view, color and structure remain of primary importance. The exhibition’s title Field Sketch references the traditional artist activity outside of the studio, as well as a process commonly used in various fields of science, where deeply looking, investigating, and then carefully sketching a subject, leads to a heightened level of observation. While the paintings themselves are not resultant of a traditional field sketch, the perceptual motivations behind the activity are what Wilson prioritizes in his work; slowing down, taking in, and being enveloped by what one is viewing. Over the last couple of years Wilson has expanded his practice beyond the confines of the singular rectangle shape — choosing to abut and align two canvases on top of or next to one another in various iterations. These shaped diptychs complicate his exploration of composition and form, in the artist’s words, “there is a pronounced emphasis on the object quality in these paintings; almost a sculptural presence.” The exhibition features four shaped diptychs, each individually rooted in the possibilities of red, yellow, green, and blue. The dynamism of these paintings is astounding, such as in the piece entitled Dangerous Curves, where the color red in its irreverent beauty, takes on multiple meanings and apparitions — from imperial nobility to quick carnage to erotic silk. In the painting El Dorado — a mostly yellow composition of vertically stacked canvases — a cascading sense of balance and alignment is subtly questioned when disrupted by various contrasting forms and unexpected tinctures. Also on view are two larger-scale works, Green Dragon and Jacaranda Season, both of which elicit a profound viewing experience in terms of their seemingly simplified layering structure, allowing figure and ground to more clearly establish themselves. Invoking the exhibition’s title, the artist presents a six panel, spectrum painting, entitled Field Sketch; a dancing continuum of spectral radiance moving from red through violet. The paintings Extra Sauce and Long Weekend, fan the flames of Wilson’s ability to create multiple paintings within singular works — paintings in which slowly shifting picture planes composed of glowing blocks, held together by an atmospheric tenor, unveil themselves in their own rhythm. Carefully finessed surfaces of fastidious layers of acrylic paint executed with an underlying trove of sensations, tones, and strategies, Wilson’s abstract paintings maintain that everything is in transition and that change is constant, especially the act of seeing. Wilson is an immaculate painter of sincere conviction in painting’s ability to provide a respite in a world built on speed, quick glances, diminished attention spans, and unconsidered existence. While acknowledging the complexities of daily life and the way the world is currently taken in, Wilson’s seemingly flawless but decidedly handcrafted paintings provide a place for quietude in which the beholder can once again engage in the pleasures of perception in analog form. Patrick Wilson (b. 1970 in Redding, CA) received his Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA, and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis, CA. Wilson has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach, Long Beach, CA; Miles McEnery Gallery, New York, NY; Marx & Zavaterro, San Francisco, CA; and Curator’s Office, Washington, D.C. His work has been exhibited in numerous institutions including The Ahmanson Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA; and the San José Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, among others. His work may be found in the collections of the Achenbach Collection, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Minnesota Museum of American Art, Saint Paul, MN; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; San José Museum of Art, San Jose, CA, and elsewhere. Wilson lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson

Songs About War



February 10, 2024 - March 23, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson’s first solo exhibition at the gallery entitled Songs About War. Featuring a suite of richly layered paintings, Olisaemeka takes the viewer on a fantastical journey into his world–an imagined past of war, strife and mayhem. Rife with imagined characters, plots, and wildly inventive scenes, the paintings in the exhibition build a narrative tapestry in which allegorical tableaus string together to suggest a collective history. Olisaemeka’s cropped and dark compositions, dramatic lighting and staged arrangement of his subjects evoke the theater–akin to a Shakespearean play taking place on a dramatically lit stage in which the artist’s universe plays out. From the Journals of Field General Wali Wallace: I am a man of war! The pungent smell of gunpowder and napalm fill my nostrils. These are the spices that pepper my mornings and invigorate my senses! My weapon is an extension of my hand and it will execute my will! A profound sense of calm has flooded my neural pathways! Divine tranquility! That is because every cog and screw of my being was hand crafted by the creator for the purpose of war! I giggle as I watch the eyes of my enemy fill with terror! I enjoy a rush of dopamine when I am faced with dangerous and terrible situations! I am nearly impossible to kill under the rules of international humanitarian law on account of my hyper awareness and ferocity. My lapel is decorated with golden pins and colorful patches which signify my courage. I wave the flag of my nation triumphantly in victory and in defeat! My men were chosen to seize and hold the ant hill! And we shall! Trembling with horror are the hands of the opposition! Racing and skipping are their hearts! When my mission is over I will return home to the arms of my lover! The sun will shine in my backyard again! ••• Oh, fate! Oh, death! I am utterly under siege! I’m where I should not be! Soldier ants are nibbling at my extremities. The cold wind gnaws at my soul! I was never meant to fight! I was meant to write poems and sing songs by the fire! Now I am extinguished. Oh defeat! Why must you show your ugly face? Why must I die here, Lying in a muddy ditch? I was supposed to be in a plane, heading home to my love! She awaits me with a tender smile, I can see it now. Who will tell her of my misfortune? Who will wipe her crying eyes? Who will kiss her ruby lips? Who will feed my cat and rub her warm belly? My comrades are gone and I’m lost behind enemy lines. The tattered flag wrapped around my shoulders keeps me from freezing to death. How vain and ridiculous! Lord take me now so that I may not waste any more good air on my final breaths! When I reach your pearly gates we can laugh and sing songs about war! Until then I remain your humble servant, Field General Wali Wallace Joseph Olisaemeka Wilson (b. 1999, Los Angeles, CA) lives and works in New York, NY. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Derek Eller Gallery in New York, Tiwani Contemporary in London, and at Fergus McCaffrey in St. Barth. Recent group shows including his work have been held at Palo Gallery, New York, Fergus McCaffrey, Tokyo, and Spazio Amanita Gallery, New York. He studied at NYU Gallatin and held a residency in 2020 at Silver Art Projects Residency at 4 World Trade Center in New York City.

Celia Paul

Life Painting



January 13, 2024 - March 9, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Life Painting, Celia Paul’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, featuring the artist’s portraits, landscapes, and floral still-lifes. London-based painter Paul is best known for her emotionally charged portrait paintings of intimate subjects. As windows into complex inner worlds, Paul’s work captures a sense of quiet contemplation and offers a vision of interiority through a visceral rawness and immediacy. Fundamentally, Paul’s works are about the acts of being seen and seeing, being looked at and looking. Her paintings resonate with distinctive application of color, texture, and brushstrokes that explore the complexities and nuances of human connections. Her restrained color palette focuses on the subtle variations and tonalities of light, color, and shadows to convey mood and emotion. Nature is often the backdrop, but in the newer work is foregrounded to add symbolic layers to her emotional narratives. Fiercely devoted to her painting practice, Paul has worked in the same studio for decades where she has “lived a life in art.” Situated high above the trees, her studio looks down on the courtyard of the British Museum. She paints in the same interior spaces where she sleeps—her view from her bed is in direct sightline with the museum. Due to both its proximity and contested history, the British Museum plays a suggestive role for Paul as she considers the generalized misogyny of the artworld and culture at large. Author and poet Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own also figures prominently in her vision of herself as a creative individual working toward self-realization as a woman artist. In British Museum at Night (2022-2023), Paul captures the formidable façade of the museum standing starkly behind the glowing lights of the central courtyard, all rendered in subtle washes of muted browns, tans, and oranges with pops of white for the lights and stars above. Another influential concept in Paul’s career is depicted in My Father’s House (2020), a sun-bathed image with a lush garden in the foreground that almost obscures the pale gray outline of a house in the mid- ground. Delicate renderings of four young apple trees symbolize her four sisters and suggest the important role her family continues to play in her life. Portraits in the exhibition also represent key figures that have played a significant role in Paul’s career. Waiting Muse (After Gwen John) and Model both demonstrate the connection that Paul feels toward John, a Welsh artist (1876-1939) whose life paralleled Paul’s. Paul’s recent book Letters to Gwen John (2022) imagines a correspondence between the two artists and intimately records Paul’s reflections on a life devoted to painting. Both paintings render the subject’s body in confident and introspective repose—splayed as a cruciform in Model and gently motion-blurred in Waiting Muse—reflecting the solitary passion of an artist liberated by their creativity. Of Paul’s numerous self-portraits, two works on view in the exhibition present different ways of engaging the world, and the public. Interior/Exterior depicts Paul on a green lounge chair, gazing frankly at the viewer, essentially cocooned in an enclosed interior space, while the heavily impastoed and textured surface of Paul’s paint-splattered studio dress alludes to the extraordinary effort of presenting one’s intimate self to the exterior world. In contrast, Painter Seated in her Studio presents Paul in her preferred seated portrait posture, with an expression that implies both inner reflection and quiet fortitude. The green bed the artist sits on perhaps echoes a landscape, thus transforming the scale of the artist into a colossus towering over her world. This dramatic portrait signifies the artist as full of power and self-possession in her artistic wisdom and command. Paul’s three floral still-lifes also have deep symbolic meaning for Paul. White Rose, with its frontal pose and luminous representation evokes both strength in waiting and the beauty of renewal. Roses in the Studio also suggests the beauty of nature in the vibrant yellows and whites against the muted floorboards. Finally, the Vase of Dried Flowers evokes the beauty of permanence. Paul grew up near the north Devon shore, and has included several images from that area, most prominently seascapes. For the artist, paintings of the ocean reflect emotional states of grief and sadness, or “inner weather.” Here the three seascapes present different times of the day from the quiet and melancholy of the early morning to the last burst of reds and oranges before the sun sets. Celia Paul was born in 1959 in Trivandrum, India. She lives and works in London. Major solo exhibitions include Celia Paul: Myself Among Others, Victoria Miro Gallery, Venice, Italy (2023); Celia Paul: Memory and Desire, Victoria Miro, London, UK (2022); Celia Paul, curated by Hilton Als, at Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut (2018) touring to The Huntington, San Marino, California (2019); Desdemona for Celia by Hilton, Gallery Met, New York (2015–16); Gwen John and Celia Paul: Painters in Parallel, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, UK (2012–13); The Grave’s Art Gallery, Sheffield, UK (2005) and Abbot Hall, Kendal, UK (2004). She is represented by Victoria Miro in London. The artist’s work has been featured in group exhibitions including Real Families: Stories of Change at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK (2023–2024); Joan Didion: What She Means, curated by Hilton Als, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2022–2023); Pictus Porrectus; Reconsidering the Full-Length Portrait, Bell House, Newport, Rhode Island (2022); Me, Myself, I – Artists’ Self-Portraits, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, UK (2022); Works on Paper, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen, Denmark (2019); All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life, Tate Britain, London (2018); La Diablesse, Tramps, London (2016); NO MAN’S LAND: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida (2015–2016); Forces in Nature curated by Hilton Als at Victoria Miro, London (2015); Recent acquisitions: Arcimboldo to Kitaj, British Museum, London (2013); Self-Consciousness, curated by Peter Doig and Hilton Als, VeneKlasen/Werner gallery, Berlin, Germany (2010); and The School of London: Bacon to Bevan, Musée Maillol, Paris, France (1998). Her work is in collections including British Museum, London; Carlsberg Foundation, Copenhagen, Denmark; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK; Frissiras Museum, Athens, Greece; Herzog Ulrich Gallery, Brunswick, Germany; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Morgan Library and Museum, New York; National Portrait Gallery, London; New Hall Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, UK; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida; Ruth Borchard Collection, London; Saatchi Collection, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Amy Myers

The HandHeld Universe



November 18, 2023 - January 27, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce The HandHeld Universe, Amy Myers’s solo exhibition with the gallery, featuring the artist’s recent monumental drawings and paintings that reference biology, mathematics, particle physics, philosophy, and altered states of consciousness.

Todd Gray

Rome Work



November 18, 2023 - January 27, 2024
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Todd Gray’s solo exhibition Rome Work, featuring Gray’s photographic works based on his recent six-month residency as a 2022-23 Rome Prize Fellow. Best known for photography, performance, and sculpture that address race, class, and power, Gray explores the legacies of colonialism in Africa and strives to dismantle the visual conditions that pervade art and culture today. Gray’s three-dimensional photocollages contest anti-Black narratives through the artist’s deconstruction of images from his archive. Compiled over the past fifty years and including pictures of individuals, historic sites, rural scenes, and slave fortresses and trails in West Africa and Ghana (where he has a studio); formal gardens of imperial Europe; stars and galaxies; images of musicians (taken by Gray as a professional photographer for album covers and international magazines), his work aims to rupture the traditions of photography. In Rome Work, Gray has furthered his research to examine the Catholic Church’s mission in West Africa and how that enriched both the Church and powerful imperial elites. He merges images of himself with photographs of churches and villas in Rome and Sicily that expand on his archive of photographs to create a new visual dialogue. Gray combines these photographs, frames them, and reconfigures them, stacked on top of one another, in sculptural constructions that both illuminate and obscure their subjects. For example, in Stairway to Heaven’s Hell (St. Anthony Slave Castle / Santa Maria Basilica) (2023), the circular frame encapsulating the stairway entrance to Saint Anthony Fortress in Ghana echoes the central oculus in the dome of Rome’s Basilica Santa Maria, creating a visual puzzle that suggests a transcendent portal to heaven. Likewise, in When we opened our eyes we had the Bible and they had the land, #2 (2023) Gray places a 2005 self-portrait from his Shaman / Conjur Man series in the center of a detail of the ceiling of the Church of the Gesù in Palermo; the baroque sweeps of shaving cream on the artist’s face contrasting the painterly and sculptural embellishments of the ornate frescoes. The florid trimmings obscure the reality to which the title refers—a Desmond Tutu quote regarding missionaries that invaded South Africa. The visually seductive artworks function as both a conceptual critique of art and mass media and a powerful social and political commentary. Gray’s visual language serves to build and rebuild identity while highlighting a multiplicity of perspectives as seen in the stratified images. His photographs shift between different conceptual iterations, defying historical specificity or literal translation and refusing erasure as the racialized and gendered critiques remain open-ended. The frames in his work also multiply, building upon the surfaces of those preceding. Through the work, he hopes to question “normative models of representation, binary thinking, and either/or solutions.” Ultimately, Gray urges the viewer to be more aware of how we are active partners in constructing meaning—the complex layering of images provides multiple lenses through which one can explore and create such new perspectives. Todd Gray received both his B.F.A and M.F.A from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, in 1979 and 1989, respectively. Solo exhibitions of his work have been organized at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI (2021); Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT (2021); David Lewis, New York (2021); Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (2019-20); Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA (2018); Meliksetian | Briggs, Los Angeles (2018); Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco (2017); Gallery Momo, Johannesburg, South Africa (2017); Lightwork, Syracuse, NY (2016); Samson Projects, Boston, MA (2015); California State University, Los Angeles (2004); Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA (2003); and Cal Poly Pomona, State University, Pomona, CA (2002). Select group exhibitions of his work include NGV Triennial, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2023); Inheritance, Whitney Museum, New York (2023); Afro-Atlantic Histories, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles (2022); Claiming the Narrative, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, NJ (2022); Black American Portraits, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles (2021); Photo Flux: Unshuttering LA, The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, Los Angeles (2021); TELL ME YOUR STORY: Storytelling in African American Art, From the Harlem Renaissance to the Present, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, the Netherlands (2020); Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2019); Mapping Black Identities, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN (2019); A Brilliant Spectrum: Recent Gifts of Color Photography, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA (2019); Michael Jackson: On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery, London; Paris, France; Bonn, Germany; and Espoo, Finland (2018); a, the, though, only, Made in LA 2016, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016); Go Tell It on the Mountain, California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2013); The Bearden Project, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2011); Black Is Black Ain’t, Detroit Museum of Art, Detroit, MI (2009); Oz, New Offerings From Los Angeles, Instituto Cultural Cabaña, Guadalajara, Mexico (2009); Black Is Black Ain’t, Renaissance Society, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2008); Framing the Triangle, Goethe Institute, Accra, Ghana (2005); and Committed to the Image, Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, NY (2001). Gray’s work is held in numerous public and private collections, including the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, Claremont, CA; California Community Foundation, Los Angeles; Getty Center, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI; Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles; Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; University of Connecticut, Hartford, CT; University of Parma, Parma, Italy; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He is the recipient of several awards and fellowships, including the Rome Prize Fellowship, Visual Arts, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy (2022-23); John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts (2018); Bellagio Creative Arts Fellowship, The Rockefeller Foundation (2016); and the Hermitage Artist Retreat Fellowship, Englewood, FL (2015). In 2018 LA Metro commissioned Gray to create artwork for the Wilshire/La Cienega station and in 2007, Gray was commissioned to create a public artwork for the Los Angeles International Airport.

Elizabeth Neel

The Ghosts of My Friends



October 28, 2023 - December 23, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Elizabeth Neel’s solo exhibition “The Ghosts of My Friends” on view from October 28 through December 23, 2023. Constituting the New York based artist’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery, Neel’s new suite of paintings ruminates on mark making as a trigger for memory, a reminder of loss and a proof of life in a cultural moment increasingly defined by the speed of communication and the depersonalization of experience. Neel’s distinctive visual language of abstraction translates her observations and felt experiences into dynamic compositions rife with choreographed sweeping gestures and potent juxtapositions of color. Titled after the guestbook “The Ghosts of My Friends” published in 1908 by Cecil Henland, Neel’s exhibition probes painting’s capacity to act as an index for cherished people, places, events and rituals. Henland’s collectible autograph book was a keepsake in which visitors would fold their ink signatures horizontally, thereby creating bilateral, biomorphic images open to interpretation. Similarly, Neel’s employment of folding and mono printing techniques alongside dripping, sweeping, and geometric forms creates phantoms of touch that imply alchemic references within the compositions. Both a record of an event and an entertainment, Henland’s novelty item became popular in a cultural era defined in part by a fascination with spiritualism in response to pandemic and war. Contemporaneous with the publication of Henland’s book, the employment of psychics and various forms of séance to contact the dead were common. Like the collections of ghostly signatures, Neel’s paintings seek to suggest meaning beyond their literal forms, to capture a handhold and find a grip in the slippage of time. Elizabeth Neel (b. 1975, Stowe, Vermont) lives and works in New York. She graduated from Columbia University with an MFA in 2007 and received a BA from Brown University in 1997. Recent solo exhibitions include Limb after Limb, Pilar Corrias, Savile Row, London, UK; Arms Now Legs, Salon 94, New York, NY; In The Belly of the Whale, Various Small Fires, Seoul, Korea; Elizabeth Neel: Nightjars and Allies, Pilar Corrias, London, UK; Tangled on the Serpent Chair, Mary Boone, New York, NY; Claw Hammer, Vielmetter Los Angeles; Vulture and Chicks, Pilar Corrias, London, UK; Lobster with Shell Game, Vielmetter Los Angeles; The People, the Park, the Ornament, Pilar Corrias, London, UK; 3 and 4 before 2 and 5, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, NY; Routes and Pressures, Vielmetter Los Angeles; Sphinx Ditch, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London, UK; Leopard Complex, Sikkema Jenkins & Co., NY; Stick Season, The Sculpture Center, New York, NY. Recent group exhibitions include Structures of Feeling, Galerie Maria Bernheim, Zurich, Switzerland; Paintings, Mary Boone, New York, NY; Surface Work, Victoria Miro, London, UK; August and Everything After, Plymouth Rock, Zurich, Switzerland; Speaking Through Paint, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York, NY; Modern Talking, curated by Nicola Trezzi, Cluj Museum, Romania; Four Rooms, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; Painting Overall, Prague Biennial 5, Prague, Czech Republic; Going Where the Weather Suits My Clothes, A Fall of Light of Fabric, Mothers Tank Station, Dublin, Ireland; Living with Art: Collecting Contemporary in Metro New York, The Neuberger Museum, Purchase College, Purchase, NY; Abstract America, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK. Her works are in the following public collections: Albright-Knox, Buffalo, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Herbert F Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Kambui Olujimi

All I Got To Give



October 28, 2023 - December 23, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to announce Kambui Olujimi’s exhibition, All I Got to Give, on view from October 28th through December 23rd, 2023. Born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Olujimi works conceptually across mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, and video among others. This exhibition is Olujimi’s first solo show with the gallery and in Los Angeles. Culminating the multidisciplinary artist’s decade long project of mining the history of dance marathons in the United States of the ‘20s and ‘30s, Olujimi’s latest series of watercolor paintings reinterpret the phenomenon of these endurance challenges and extrapolate on the poetic qualities of pushing the physicallimits of the body. Olujimi’s works depict intimate moments between dancing couples, meditating on the impact of touch, embrace, and leaning on another as sources of strength and willpower to overcome obstacles and as acts of resilience. The spectacle of dance marathons, popularized in the 20s as a form of entertainment, continued through the Great Depression, taking on a different meaning as an act of survival. Contestants traveled far and wide to compete in several month-long contests of endurance, seeking shelter, food and monetary rewards. The voyeuristic spectacle of the marathons became both fascinating and morbid in the wake of economic depression and social upheaval. For Olujimi, this phenomenon represents a form that is deeply American–watching peoples’ struggles as entertainment. In the watercolors, Olujimi creates a mythic space, ruminating on the complexities of this phenomenon’s history and transmuting the blurred lines between theater and reality into dreamlike spaces where couples meld into each other and float in space. In embracing each other, Olujimi’s figures lean with their full weight onto the other, underscoring the balance between the bodies as necessity; needing each other to continue, relying on each other to survive. The physicality of the figures reflects the essential quality of companionship and interdependence–in the dance marathons the contestants relied on one another in order to sleep while continuing to dance. The dance marathons were vehemently segregated. As such these acts of resilience carry profound symbolic meaning beyond their supposed function. Olujimi’s figures come to symbolize the will of the human spirit to defy and live beyond the constraints of societal oppression – while this particularly grotesque and wondrous history speaks both to the construction and the cruelty of the mythic landscape America. Kambui Olujimi was born and raised in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He received his MFA from Columbia University and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. His work challenges established modes of thinking that commonly function as "inevitabilities." This pursuit takes shape through interdisciplinary bodies of work spanning sculpture, installation, photography, writing, video and performance. His works have premiered nationally and internationally at Sundance Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art, LACMA, Sharjah Biennial 15, 14th Dak’Art Biennale, and Kunsthal Rotterdam, among others. Olujimi has been awarded grants, fellowships and residencies from The Andrew Mellon Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Black Rock Senegal, MacDowell, and Yaddo. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Karl Haendel

Daily Act of Sustained Empathy



September 23, 2023 - November 4, 2023

Liz Glynn

The Futility of Conquest



September 23, 2023 - November 4, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce The Futility of Conquest, Liz Glynn’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The first episode of an ambitious long-term research project, The Futility of Conquest investigates the contested history of the ancient Parthenon sculptures (often referred to as the Elgin marbles) from the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, in what the artist calls a “monument of collective return.” The Futility of Conquest is the latest endeavor in Glynn’s long trajectory of material exploration and conceptual mining of epic historical narratives, monumental architecture, and restitution/repatriation debates through large-scale installations, sculptural objects, and participatory performances. In the exhibition, Glynn has created new works referencing the Parthenon’s sculptures and the history of their removal. By reinterpreting the Parthenon marbles through her intensive hand-crafted process of additive materiality, Glynn’s project addresses the complex histories of cultural property disputes, legacies of “copying,” and cycles of creation and destruction, empire and ruin. Bringing attention to the value of lost, looted, or destroyed cultural artifacts and economies, she critiques the ongoing colonializations of ancient and modern cultures. Glynn’s work often operates within the long legacy of sculptural copying or the reinterpretation of iconic archetypes. For example, in this context, cultures such as the Roman Empire developed a taste for classical Greek antiquities and then created copies of the original Greek sculptures to place in their temples. By creating her own sculptural objects or “copies,” Glynn highlights the tricky distinctions between collective cultural work and “individual genius” and points to the complications of the life cycle of objects: What is considered art? What is considered trash, and when? What is use value vs. aesthetic value? What is looting vs. borrowing vs. appropriating? To expand on these questions, Glynn herself takes ancient forms and transforms them with new materials—such as ceramics, jesmonite, paper mache, resin—and processes—hand-sculpting, digital rendering, painting, etc. One wall of the gallery features re-interpretations of the Parthenon’s frieze. The original low-relief Parthenon frieze panels depicted the Pan-Athenic festival procession held in honor of the goddess Athena, the city’s patron. The coarse materiality of Glynn’s panels—with individual faces frequently obliterated and other details degraded—recall the historical damage to the objects through their extraction and purported “conservation.” (Smoking was once allowed in the British Museum, and the panels were once cleaned with bleach, irreparably damaging the marble surface.) Missing sections are depicted in flat, sanded silhouette. Glynn has reconstructed the frieze in paper-crete while altering the imagery to depict fragments of the original being carried back in a hypothetical return to their site of origin. For example, Walk Back/Give Back (A Proposal for South Frieze Block XLI) (2023), depicts four figures clad in draped attire carrying a copy of the original Frieze panel. The exhibition is punctuated by Glynn’s two new major sculptural installations on view—Toppled Zeus and Cavalcade (The Futility of Conquest). She depicts Zeus, the leader of the gods, as a fallen and dismembered figure, sprawled over the gallery floor. Glynn transforms the Greek sculptural tropes and inverts the notion of patriarchy and matriarchy with Zeus as the leader and Athena as the goddess of wisdom. The torso is rendered in ceramic at a monumental scale, while Zeus’s robes are sprawled across the chair and about the floor recalling the gestural expressionism of Hellenistic sculpture. The Zeus sculpture (which originally adorned the center of the lost Parthenon pediment) is the first object in what she envisions as a lengthy processional with sculptures of gods carrying back the stolen Parthenon marbles. Cavalcade takes its form from the many figures of horses found in the Parthenon marbles. Here Glynn materializes cycles of empire and ruin with a circular collision of horse legs referencing the lengthy—and circular—procession of horses around the Parthenon’s interior façade. Rather than processing toward victory, the horses collapse into themselves, underscoring the futility of colonialist expansion and incursions into foreign territory. Glynn’s two Metope sculptural panels—Untitled (Apollo and Eros) and Untitled (Athena and Nike)—are high relief. These works were constructed based on the speculative conjectural drawings that experts in the field have used for centuries to record the original images on the metopes. Archeologists drew copies of the Parthenon sculptures to serve as records and models for recreations of the temple’s art. She used a similar technique as with the friezes to render the backgrounds of the two panels but has individually hand-modeled each of the fully formed figures that sit on the panel in a degraded color palette evocative of an urban landscape. Glynn was initially drawn to the physicality and eroticism of the forms of the metopes. The battles played out on each panel become an allegory for the desires, nationalism, and will to power driving cultural property disputes today. The final section of the exhibition contains a series of small studies and fragmentary works that serve as additional moments of exploration for the artist. Included here are earlier studies for the metope panels, ceramic pieces that served as early trial works for the two large sculptures, and several other objects that reference Glynn’s early experiments for this new project. Background on the Parthenon Marbles Consisting of white marble frieze panels, metopes, and pediments carved and then subsequently painted and adorned, the Acropolis’s Parthenon temple’s rich sculptural decoration used the language of Greek myth to symbolize the role of Athens as ancient Greece’s leading city. The removal of these sculptures occurred in the early 1800s by the British aristocrat Lord Elgin, ostensibly with the permission of the rulers of Greece at that time, the Ottomans. The debate—ongoing for decades and recently more urgent as talks between the British Museum and Greece continue while the global consensus around repatriation has shifted—lies between the Greeks who view the marbles as looted treasure that is their national heritage and the British government and Museum who consider the “Elgin Marbles” legally acquired and safest in their care. This has become one of the most controversial cultural patrimony disputes and Glynn’s project addresses this complex history and explores what it means to engage with issues of repatriation, collectivity, and monumentality. The artist would like to thank Andy Badillo, Jason Burns, Luis Moreno, Liz Stringer, and Devin Wilson for their assistance in the production of these works. Liz Glynn (b. 1981) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received an MFA from CalArts in 2008 and a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University in 2003. Her major permanent installation, Terra Techne, opened to the public in 2019 in the newly remodeled Harvey Milk Terminal at the San Francisco International Airport. Glynn’s recent solo exhibitions include The Archaeology of Another Possible Future, Mass MOCA, North Adams, MA (2017); Open House, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, The Public Art Fund, New York (2017) (travel; led to Boston in 2018); The Myth of Singularity, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2015); and RANSOM ROOM, SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY (2014); among many other installations and performances nationally. Recent group exhibitions include Ecstatic: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2023); Working Thought, the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, PA (2022); The American Scene, National Museum of Ceramics, Sevres, France (2019); Fiction, Bold Tendencies, London (2019); Sculpture Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI (2018); Manifesto: A moderate proposal, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Claremont, CA (2018); Objects Like Us, the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2018); and many others. Her work is in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Foundation Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy; the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Rodney McMillian

Landscape in Red



September 2, 2023 - October 21, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian’s solo exhibition Landscape in Red. The exhibition presents McMillian’s newest landscape paintings—a body of work the artist has explored for over two decades. The exhibition is on view from September 2 through October 21, 2023. Landscape in Red is McMillian’s first exhibition in Los Angeles comprised solely of painting. Throughout his wide-ranging practice, McMillian has formally anchored his work through the use of color by navigating between conceptual and formal explorations of black, white, and red. These three colors have a fundamental and long-standing importance in his work. Highlighting the color red and the multiple complex associations it evokes, these new paintings reference natural phenomena, the body (blood, viscera), and the political and social urgencies of the last few years. Several of the artist’s new works suggest the anguish of this transformation of the natural and social landscapes through the use of torrents of red paint leaching onto domestic bedding—calling out the existential crises affecting all of us every day, in our homes, beds, and couches where we reside as we watch the world ignite. In the landscape paintings, the bedding also becomes a conceptual placeholder for absent bodies. As such, McMillian reviews the history of landscape painting and suggests a direct relationship between the landscape and the body—a relationship ripe with historical and political dimensions of brutality. Throughout the artist’s career the color red has featured prominently in installations such as the 2008 solo presentation and performance Untitled (a church) at Artpace, San Antonio, and the Kitchen, New York; and in his major sculpture From Asterisks in Dockery (2012) included in Blues for Smoke, at MOCA Los Angeles in 2012 and in the traveling exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Impulse first presented at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2021 and later at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, Texas, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, Colorado. Rodney McMillian (b. 1969) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2002. McMillian was included in the 2022 Whitney Biennale, Quiet as It’s Kept, curated by David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards; the 2021 Prospect.5 New Orleans: Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, curated by Naima Keith and Diana Nawi; and he was included in the 2008 Whitney Biennale. In 2020, the artist had a solo exhibition, Historically Hostile at the Blaffer Museum in Houston, Texas. In 2019, McMillian had solo exhibitions at the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, Brown: Videos from The Black Show and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, New Work: Rodney McMillian. He received the Contemporary Austin’s first Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize in 2016, and the resulting solo exhibition Against a Civic Death was on view in 2018. In 2016, McMillian had solo exhibitions at the ICA Philadelphia, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and MoMA PS.1. Each of these exhibitions highlighted a particular set of material and conceptual concerns in McMillian’s multivalent practice. The MoMA PS.1 exhibition, Landscape Paintings originated at the Aspen Art Museum, Colorado in 2015 and was curated by Heidi Zuckerman. McMillian’s work was featured in the 2015 Sharjah Biennial, curated by Eungie Joo. His work has also been included in group exhibitions at The National Portrait Gallery, London, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; the CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, CA; the Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo, Norway; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Contemporary Art Museum Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among many others. His work is included in the collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Stadtisches Museum Abteiberg, Monchengladbach, Germany; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Group Show

Perpetual Portrait



July 8, 2023 - August 18, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to present Perpetual Portrait, a group exhibition featuring the work of thirty artists drawn both from and outside the gallery’s program who engage in notions of portraiture. Focusing on artists who have made the portrait a central part of their practice, the exhibition will span all three galleries and will be on view from July 8 to August 18. It brings together a multitude of approaches and perspectives by artists from different generations and cultural perspectives to situate our understanding of the genre into a new and complex framework. While cross references abound, several themes resonate throughout the exhibition and show how the portrait is used: as self-reflection, as a symbol, as a trigger, and as a tool to address larger societal and historical issues. Participating artists include Laura Aguilar, Andrea Bowers, Ever Baldwin, Ellen Berkenblit, Sadie Benning, Sara Berman, Kwesi Botchway, Brian Calvin, Kim Dingle, Nicole Eisenman, Luis Flores, Nash Glynn, Genevieve Gaignard, Roger-Edgar Gillet, Salomon Huerta, Lavaughan Jenkins, Karl Haendel, Raffi Kalenderian, Nate Lewis, Helina Metaferia, Celia Paul, Pope.L, Tatiana Preciado, Robert Pruitt, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Amy Sillman, John Sonsini, Nicola Tyson, Hannah van Bart, Monique Van Genderen, and Esther Pearl Watson. Nicole Eisenman’s monumental sculpture entitled Perpetual Motion Machine inspired the exhibition’s focus. First featured in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, the bronze depicts the artist as a larger-than-life figure perpetually moving a paint stick from which tuna fish cans jangle, a gesture that both expresses the perpetual labor of an artist or, on a more fundamental level, the ever repetitive struggle of every-day life. Situating themselves into a European male dominated history, Eisenman condenses notions of labor and futility, struggle and pleasure, tediousness and hope into a powerful figure that is both rooted in the past and leads to the future. Luis Flores is recognized for his ongoing series of hand-crocheted, life-sized sculptures of himself theatrically staged in various poses and dressed in blue jeans rolled at the cuff, a navy blue crew neck t-shirt, and blue Vans. In the exhibition, his “soft” self-portrait in an impossibly still and permanent one handed “push-up” pose offers a poetic juxtaposition to the hardness and solidity of Eisenman’s bronze and the perpetual motion of their arm. Tackling constructs of masculinity, Nash Glynn presents nude self-portraits and imagines the architectural space created within the expanse of the canvas as a space her body can rightfully inhabit. In the painting entitled Night, she has removed architectural boundaries all together, letting the glowing pink tones of her body radiate against the darker hues of the evening sky. By photographing her nude body in nature–in the wild, expansive and undisturbed landscapes of the desert– Laura Aguilar highlighted her identity as a large-bodied, working-class queer Chicana woman and initiated conversations about the body, equity, and representation long before these themes became central to our current moment. Nicola Tyson portrays the often-abstracted embodiment of the female form—frequently herself—in bold applications of primary colors that suggest the vulnerability and strangeness of the physical body. Her forceful and dramatic figures often cross the boundaries into the natural world as she fuses human, plant, and animal features into mythic hybrid beings of great expression, humor, and strength. Tatiana Preciado’s self-portrait is inspired by biblical narratives, particularly the stories of saints who mirror the dynamics of sado-masochistic relationships. Her work reflects her grappling with conflicting emotions revolving around her identity as a queer Mexican American woman who was raised Catholic. In what she calls “imaginary portraits,” Hannah Van Bart explores atmospheric effects of light and color through figurative imagery to reproduce a specific sensation of felt experience. The various characters she invents feel like members of a large family related to the artist and display a nuanced lexicon of beautifully rendered emotions through light and paint. Celia Paul, who spent the formative years of her life posing for a well-known artist many years her senior, has created an expansive body of repetitive and unflinching self-portraits in which her frank and uncompromising gaze back at the viewer is surrounded by a sea of glorious light and color. In the exhibition she presents herself seated in a bare room on her bed as if floating on a green sea of shimmering water. A beautifully rendered expanse of turquoise and green ripples of water fills the large canvas of Ghanaian artist Kwesi Botchway’s new painting in the exhibition. Entitled Swimming Lesson, the work depicts two people engaged in a moment of joy and support, expressing the artist’s intent to evoke positive, self-affirming images of the black body. In this portrayal of leisure and relaxation, the artist not only offers a counter image to the idea of the laboring and suffering artist but encourages participation in pleasures historically denied to the black body. Known for visually dense and highly patterned portraits imbued with a potent psychological charge, Raffi Kalenderian’s new painting Chris Odili-Obi (Before the Moon Falls) depicts his friend in an elaborate living room surrounded by sumptuous details, thickly laid paint, and vivid color. Here, the figure triggers a joyful exploration of paint which is thickly lathered, spackled, brushed, and sculpted onto the canvas to create a powerful aura round the depicted subject. Brian Calvin’s portraits similarly revel in the joyfulness of color, but its application is strictly two dimensional and the expression of his subjects emerges from the exuberant exaggerations of their features into a much more abstracted territory. Taking this approach into a different direction are the portraits of the late Roger-Edgar Gillett, whose brilliant earth-toned brushstrokes have turned images of faces into abstracted apparitions akin to uncanny masks or ghosts. Throughout the exhibition the artists suggest numerous perspectives on the potential for portraiture to convey larger cultural issues. Andrea Bowers’ intensely detailed pencil drawing taken from an image of a 2015 worker’s rights march for the right to a minimum wage is a heart-breaking document to the perpetual struggle to grant workers a living wage and dignified working conditions. Genevieve Gaignard’s work often retools found imagery from the 19th and 20th centuries that have perpetuated racist stereotypes as a way to relinquish and redefine their symbolic meaning. Gaignard’s collage, And Still We Bloom: Fields of Joy, is part of the artist's “And Still We Bloom” series that transforms imagery of the mammy figure into a potent symbol of cultural strength. The ubiquitous image of the mammy is no longer a household object but instead a vessel that blossoms with an arrangement of flowers and adorned with an array of Black and Brown faces–the collages embodying the enduring spirit of Black women as vessels of growth and unshackling. In labor-intensive, photorealistic pencil drawings, Karl Haendel uses drawing to discover connections and affinities between seemingly disparate nodes of cultural data, drawing attention to the overlaps between the social, political, and personal. In his recent portraits of Barbara Streisand and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Haendel pays homage to two iconic cultural figures underscoring the wealth of meaning their images convey. In her work, Kim Dingle has infiltrated all manners of scenes and depictions of the American West with the figures of misbehaving little girls who wreak havoc on myths and truths held dear in the mainstream. For the exhibition, she created a new painting featuring the portraits of 350 psychiatrists and mental health professionals who deemed Trump unfit to serve in office and warned the public about it before the 2016 election. Painted on a nursery wallpaper sprinkled with images of innocent lambs and hearts, Dingle employs deft humor and painterly skill to effectively communicate her message. The jokester/trickster harlequin motif underlying Sara Berman’s paintings is obscured as the artist works additional layers of paint onto the surface—scraping and wiping—and in the process suggesting the distortions from which we, the audience, view the female body. Honoring the roles that specific women have played in his life along with the unfairly outsized role that Black women play in bending the arc of history towards justice, Lavaughan Jenkins paints expressionistic images of women as icons of resilience and beauty with thick layers of paint applied with his fingers or a palette knife. As an Ethiopian-American, Helina Metaferia’s collage Headdress 59 features a portrait of Black Lives Matter co-founder Ayo Tometi, whom the artist photographed in Los Angeles. Her head adorned by a crown composed of archival images from Black Panther Newspapers, the figure draws upon traditional African sensibilities, where visual art and ritual fuse to create layers of meaning. Robert Pruitt’s monumental portraits weave past, present and future into intergalactic visions for a Black joyous future through transcendent imagery and mythological references. In his new work Standing Woman with Quantum Headdress, a woman with thickly braided hair wearing an intricately filigreed headdress seems like a royal ambassador visiting us from a future, more evolved society. Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s work probes portrait photography through ambiguous images of sitters and his studio, creating a visual puzzle of surface, screen, and reflection. In Model Study (0X5A9487) a triple portrait occurs as the camera, out of view, captures the mirror reflection of the artist and his friend. Riffing on an European idea and history of the bohemian artist studio, Sepuya creates a new space for himself and his friends–a space of friendship and pleasure where the gaze abounds in many directions and where approval by an audience is neither requested nor required. For over forty years, John Sonsini has created nuanced and richly painted portraits of men, mostly day laborers he has befriended over many years. Painted directly from life, his paintings are a poetic and contemplative homage to each of his subjects, acknowledging and dignifying the hardship they have experienced. In the exhibition he presents a portrait of his partner, capturing his physical and psychological presence through masterfully and seemingly effortlessly applied strokes of thick oil paint. Salomon Huerta pays homage in a different way: in a series of still life paintings of fruit and guns he is remembering his father who always kept his gun nearby to keep his family safe in his east LA neighborhood. In his work, Pope.L sets language, performance, image making, and duration into a slippery relationship where language is seen as image and image as language, and where meaning often emerges only once the viewer reads the text featured in his paintings aloud. Presented here is a large scale painting referencing his well-known Skin Set works in which the absurdities of human classifications are exposed in powerful and poetic ways. Another theme present in the exhibition is the use of portraiture as a way to convey meaning, ranging from the personal to the spiritual. Here, for example, Ever Baldwin balances both the exploration of inner and outer worlds through a mystical evocation of abstracted bodily configurations contained within elaborate handmade charred wooden frames. Sadie Benning’s work M consists of a 16-panel grid that arranges found photographs into a sequence suggestive of a narrative. Benning fractures the portrait of an unknown character and, through the application of a highly glossy resin surface suggesting the surface of a digital screen, foregrounds an additional layer of distance and ambiguity. Known for her distinctive paintings featuring a narrow lexicon of mysterious characters, from pointy-nosed or screaming women, to lightbulbs, peacocks and horses, Ellen Berkenblit invokes a sense of a narrative into which the viewer is only permitted intermittent glimpses. The suggestion of a larger context for her figures teeters on the edge of abstraction and figuration, signaling a dreamlike, yet powerful moodiness that hovers over the strange and ritualistic interactions between her characters. Monique Van Genderen, who is known for her abstract paintings, presents a large canvas of dripping reds dedicated to the Austrian performance artist Herman Nitsch who is equally known for his boundary breaking bloody performances as he is for his machismo attitude as an artist. Riffing on the theme of dripping red paint, Monique has created a series of smaller abstractions that are attached to and lean against her large canvas in an attempt to both digest this historical lineage and to make it her own. Esther Pearl Watson presents two portraits of “guardian angels” executed in silver foil, characters that her father invented to navigate the challenges of every- day life and that help her sift through the traumas of her own childhood. Nate Lewis’s figures seem to float through a beautiful and vast universe and have a similarly angelic composure as they gracefully float through time and space. The three works presented by Amy Sillman outline her interest in the human figure that is at the very heart of her practice. The tender portraits of her friends, in which elbows, knees and other human features abound, have slowly merged over time into beautifully complex abstractions that have never strayed away from the awkwardness and the hilariousness of the human form and the discomfiture of its physical presence.

Karla Klarin

Big Pink



May 20, 2023 - July 8, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present “Big Pink”, a solo exhibition of paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Karla Klarin which will be on view from May 20 through July 8, 2023. Across ten canvases dating from 2015 to 2021, a dusty pale pink formally centralizes these architectural landscape paintings and connects them to Klarin’s memory of a neighbor’s house. Riffing on the particular powdery pink color, Klarin is propelled by her desire to pinpoint the ever changing transformation of the Los Angeles cityscape and has developed a vision that is both deeply personal and universal. Klarin’s memory of her neighbor Natalie’s pink house is intertwined with a memory of the city. The home which stuck out due to its distinct aesthetic against the otherwise earth-toned hues, set itself apart as a specifically Southern California modernist aesthetic, and one that was unabashedly female. Like Natalie’s house, Klarin’s works revel in their use of pink, integrating the color into the harsh geometry of the angular landscape and sprawling metropolis–together they tell a decentralized story of Klarin’s own biography as a female artist in Los Angeles. Since the 1980’s Klarin has taken up the built environment of Los Angeles as her primary subject matter, painting iterations of the gridded landscape of the city that teeter between abstraction and representation. Klarin’s paintings utilize color to exude the brilliance of the California sky, visualizing the sunlight beaming off the concrete and amplifying saturated hues. Karla’s paintings emphasize the theatricality of the Los Angeles skyline and underscore the drama and anxiousness of the city’s concrete grid grating against the natural landscape. In her carefully calibrated paintings she suggests a sense of the sublime laying at the root of the city grid itself. Karla Klarin (b. 1953) received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1974 and her MFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 1978. She recently published a book of essays “L.A. Painter” with Angel City Press. She most recently had a retrospective of her work at Cal State Northridge in 2016. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally. Her work is in the public collections of the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Fisher Art Museum, USC, Los Angeles, CA, among others. This is her first exhibition with the gallery.

My Barbarian

Maskworkers



May 13, 2023 - June 24, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to announce our second solo exhibition with the artist collective, My Barbarian. Working together across live performance, performance for the camera, and object making, Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade have been working collaboratively for more than twenty years. Using strategies pulled from global and historical avant-garde theater as well as institutional critique and conceptual art, the trio makes work that explores the affective realities, ingrained mythologies, and imagined pasts and futures of capitalism. In an era of face filters on social media and "personal protective equipment," who among us is not, at this time, a maskworker? Drawing from radical, queer, feminist and of-color performance lineages, critically adapting classical forms such as Commedia Dell’Arte and Noh, and playfully mixing in references to Sci-Fi and Horror movies, My Barbarian has worked with masks throughout their long collaboration. In Maskworkers, My Barbarian presents new porcelain masks, cut paper collages, and body-scale standelabra sculptures and video projections. These performing objects are inspired by alter egos drawn from the fictive worlds in My Barbarian’s performance repertoire. Masks become uncanny synecdoches when removed from their context on the body and mounted to the wall of the gallery. The body that should animate the mask is absent while the character that the mask creates is clearly present. Relics that connect theater and ritual, masks transform the wearer into a character, spirit, personification, revealing this imagined other as they obscure the face, identity, self. Maskwork refers to the techniques of the body that animate the mask through performance. The presence and absence of the performing body is toyed with throughout the exhibition from the porcelain masks, to the sculptural standelabras that stand in for entire previous performance works as well as the bodies of the performers, to a large-scale projection of the trio demonstrating movements related to masked performance and documentation of Broke People's Baroque Peoples' Theater. Elegant, colorful cut paper collages depict the fables, mythologies, and rituals related to the other objects in the exhibition. Inspired in part by surrealist drawing games, and artists such as Leonora Carrington, Nicki de Sainte-Phalle, and Nicolas Moufarrege, these collaborative artworks are made by Jade Gordon, who creates free-form abstract watercolors, and Alexandro Segade, whose drawings provide templates for the watercolors to be cut into and painstakingly re-assembled, resulting in a collaborative collage. Founded in 2000, My Barbarian is an artist collective whose practice brings social issues and their representations in mass media and historical texts into theatrical interpretation via performance, video, music, and interdisciplinary venues. Most recently, a twenty-year survey of their collaborative work was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the ICALA. They have been included in Performance Biennials such as the Whitney Biennial, two California Biennials, the Montreal Biennial, and the Baltic Triennial. Their work has been presented at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; ICA Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Kitchen, New York; The New Museum, New York, internationally at Museo El Eco, Mexico City; De Appel, Amsterdam; Townhouse Gallery, Cairo; The Power Plant, Toronto; El Matadero, Madrid, and many more. Their work is in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Princeton University Art Museum. Following their exhibition at Vielmetter, My Barbarian will present new work at the Nottingham Contemporary and the Whitney Museum in 2023 and 2024 respectively. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Kwesi Botchway

There's More Than What the Eye Witnesses



May 13, 2023 - June 17, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition by Ghanaian painter Kwesi Botchway, "There's More Than What the Eye Witnesses." On view from May 13 through June 24, 2023, the solo exhibition marks the artist’s first in the United States. "It is a Black gaze that shifts the optics of 'looking at' to a politics of 'looking with, through, and alongside another.” – Tina Campt, “A Black Gaze: Artist Changing How We See” Kwesi Botchway's solo exhibition "There's More Than What the Eye Witnesses" is an exploration of a Black gaze. His first presentation with Vielmetter Los Angeles, the exhibition consists of eighteen oil and acrylic paintings and an installation of orange wooden framed mirrors sourced from Accra, Ghana. In Botchway’s compositions, the act of seeing becomes a material, geographic, and refracted meditation wherein both figure and audience are bound and a series of echoes, nearing infinity, create a serializing effect of vantage. Each work centers on a domestic scene and a figure, (or figures), whose back frames the canvas and whom we, the audience, encounter as they look into a mirror. This relationship between plane and proximity, audience and figure, and the matter of sight permeates the works on view in the exhibition. Of particular interest are Botchway’s figures themselves and the notion of what Tina Campt names as "a Black gaze….a mode of spectatorial mediation that demands particularly active modes of watching, listening, and witnessing”. Botchway's figures are painted with his signature use of deep black undertones and winding purple brushstrokes which rest atop the skin akin to tattoos, and poppy sclera, appearing in various states of dress, attending to the pleasure of looking upon oneself. In “The Night Is Young, Can't Take My Eyes Off Myself”, “Obsessed With Yellow Gold”, and “Self Gaze 1”, pleasure is imbued in a pursed smile and crinkle contractions at the edge of eyes and raised curves in the corners of mouths. Figures are adorned with cascading scarlet hair and shimmering gowns; gold teeth and gold watches residing in rooms with vanities skewed with makeup and the ubiquitous, orange-painted wood framed mirrors from markets in Ghana. Botchway's scenes are still glimpses into a kinetic moment, confirmation of presence before the instant shifts—to dressing, leaving, laughing, etc.—again. What Botchway’s refracted portraits capture and what his figures attend to is the potential within a Black gaze. A looking that affirms Black being and presence in excess of dominance, a gaze that resides in the multiplicity and complexity of Black life, a gaze that asserts possibility. Botchway's figures do not merely look back onto the viewer or take an oppositional glance; rather, their domestic scenes and their eyes are positioned via an internal process in which the viewer is acknowledged through the direct gaze framed by a mirror. The structure of each portrait shows the mirror askew or in partial view allowing the canvas to hold a glimpse of an otherwise larger scene and thus a perceived peak rather than an objectifying presentation of someone's world. In the paintings “We Are In This Together” and “A Fine Night In A Blue Room”, the figure's stare and scene composition hold the prospect of the viewer as an agent in seeing, shifting the notion of the Black subject as an object instead of asserting that these Black people see you too. The engagement here is a haptic one where touch and sensation are imbued in each work and by the particulars of the viewing audience, creating a productive tension—within seeing. Also on view in the exhibition are mirror-based installations; the same mirrors referenced throughout the paintings. Omnipresent in West Africa but particularly drawn from Botchway’s home country, Ghana, they are presented here as the tactile touchpoint. The stretching of dimensions (Botchway takes us from 2D to 3D) and a rooting—through material, color, and sourcing (Botchway made a trip back to Accra to source these mirrors) —within the Black diasporic site. The works included in "There's More Than What the Eye Witnesses" act as a site for active witnessing—an engagement between figure and viewer as a strategy to hold a critical fabulation of Black life. Text by Essence Harden, curator and writer based in Los Angeles Kwesi Botchway was born in 1994, in Accra, Ghana — where he continues to live and work. He is the founder of WorldFaze in Accra, a studio and residency space that focuses on supporting young local artists. Kwesi studied art at the Ghanatta College of Art and Design in Accra before enrolling at the Academy of Visual Arts in Frankfurt, Germany. Botchway was nominated for the GUBA Awards USA as an Influential Artist in 2019, and has been featured in the NY Times, Financial Times, Flash Art, The Art Newspaper, ArtNews, and Frieze. His paintings are included in such public collections as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, the Vanhaerents Foundation, Belgium, the High Fashion Foundation, New York, the Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. A full-color catalog including a conversation between Kwesi Botchway, and curator Larry Ossei-Mensah will be published on the occasion of the exhibition. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Dave McKenzie

And sometimes y



March 25, 2023 - May 6, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our fourth solo exhibition with New York-based artist Dave McKenzie, And sometimes y. McKenzie’s new work builds on his recent projects at the Whitney Museum of American Art; both his 2021 commission Disturbing the View, which centered on a performance in which the artist washed the windows of the museum, and his contribution to the 2022 Biennial, a two-channel video titled Listed Under Accessories and two sculptural works Drawing in Black II and III. McKenzie’s exhibition at Vielmetter Los Angeles will include four new video works and a series of objects that share a similar language – one based in the slipperiness of transposition and the weight and possibility of minor play and small gestures. At the Whitney in 2021, McKenzie washed the windows of the museum’s building in the meatpacking district during open hours, inserting the labor and care that goes into maintaining the pristine and usually uninterrupted view of the city through the windows of the Renzo Piano designed building. Despite his presence, complete with bucket and sponge, being clearly billed as a commissioned performance, McKenzie was often mistaken for a member of the museum’s security or maintenance staff, so in addition to the exhaustion of physical labor and the pressures of being on view, he also carried a deep responsibility to these members of the Whitney’s staff. This slippage between his role as an artist and those performing these mundane yet essential jobs within the institution created another, unintended disruption of visitors’ experience of the museum and it’s amenities. This transposition of artist into worker meant that McKenzie would, ironically, sometimes find himself most visible at that moment where the performance had ended, but he had not yet transformed back into the version of himself who can exist with relative anonymity in such spaces. Performing in public often has these unintended vectors of experience, such that even the most well-planned work will come to generate many unanticipated experiences for performer and witness alike. Like sketching or spontaneous “spewing” first drafts, the multitude of generative possibilities can both energize and enervate, leaving many potential paths down which to chase interpretation and meaning. The sculptures in And sometimes y operate under a logic akin to this type of writing and sketching. The kind of stream of consciousness, associative, and open writing of the first draft or morning pages; unfettered by a strict originating plan or plot. These new works begin with materials, forms, and gestures that were ready to hand: A sawhorse, pencils, a pair of gloves, a sheet of glass, plastic, or vinyl, the foam lining the crate of another artwork. Often transposed (switched for another thing or moved into a new context) or transformed (literally made anew or transposed to the point of unrecognizability) by the artist’s touch, these materials and the unseen actions that bring them into new shapes have a contingent, intimate, and sometimes ceremonial quality. The relationships between their parts, which lean, drape, and balance, are determined by the specific qualities of each material and are seemingly also subject to easy rearranging within and between the sculptures. Editing, erasure, and change are inherent in their forms. This unseen interaction and suggestion of ongoing re-writes also suggests a sort of intimacy between the artist and the objects, the elements of the objects with each other, us, the viewers, and the objects, and us, the viewers, and the unseen presence of the artist. Compositional gestures, like a pair of gloves propped up like a high-five hanging in the air, or a pair of unsharpened pencils laying next to each other on a sheet of black vinyl, began as a way to make a line or to introduce written language; they end up suggesting a sort of story about a couple or an intimate relationship, further alluded to in the sculptures’ titles Once Anon, He Traveled All the Way from Africa, 1+1=2-1, Starter Home. Similarly, in four new video works, McKenzie is seen, from four different and sometimes rather oblique angles, performing in the studio with a sheet of glass, building movement and relationship between body and object and space up to and beyond the point of physical exhaustion. As he lifts the glass, moves it around his body, re-adjusts his grip and balance, McKenzie oscillates between supporting and perhaps being supported by the piece of glass. Like his performance, Disturbing the View, there is a literal and metaphorical heaviness to this interaction. The glass itself is heavy. As he exerts himself manipulating the glass, the artist begins to sweat, making the glass slippery, requiring greater effort to maintain his grip; the relationship between the artist and the glass becomes more complicated and fraught the more he holds tight. Each view of these private performances offers an opportunity to witness this interaction from another vantage point, encouraging a similarly sustained effort on the part of the viewer to continue co-creating new understandings of the work. Dave McKenzie (b. 1977, Kingston, Jamaica) creates videos, performances, installations, and objects that examine the inner workings of contemporary culture and attempt to understand how it structures our desires and beliefs. McKenzie describes his work as an attempt to produce new situations that may become models for himself or for others. This is often achieved by creating work with familiar forms and images and using this familiarity to create a tension between the experience of the work and the expected experience of the familiar thing. McKenzie’s works have been exhibited widely including in solo exhibitions at Whitney Museum of American Art; the University Art Museum, University at Albany SUNY; the Aspen Art Museum; and the ICA Boston. His work has also been exhibited in several prestigious group exhibitions including the 2022 Whitney Biennial; Prospect.5 New Orleans; “Soft Power,” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; “Radical Presence: Black Performance In Contemporary Art," originated a the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, TX; and “Blues for Smoke,” originated at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. McKenzie’s work is in the collections of the Studio Museum in Harlem; the Whitney Museum of American Art; and the Walker Art Center among others. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Jared McGriff

On Being a Wild Dream



March 25, 2023 - May 6, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Miami-based artist Jared McGriff’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, “On Being a Wild Dream,” on view in the gallery’s Greenhouse space. McGriff’s expressionistic paintings conjure mundane moments and render them in ethereal brush strokes, transforming scenes of the every day into luminous and philosophical ruminations. McGriff’s paintings have previously focused on recounting his family history and are in this exhibition moving toward a broader narrative of the natural and structural environments that bodies navigate. McGriff’s interest in landscape painting and the figure extend to a metaphorical approach where his characters navigate between the laws of nature and the laws of man and the compromises we make between them. McGriff describes his paintings as fiction about reality. Paintings such as “Measure My Diameter in Light Years” (2023) depict figures in landscapes that feel simultaneously specific and detached from a literal time and place. A woman carrying a vessel in a sunlit desert landscape becomes perhaps a metaphor for a caretaker of the future, and like the plant she carries, she is resilient in navigating a sparse environment. In another work entitled “Brother, This Garden Is For You” (2023) a smiling figure occupies a gloriously wooded area ripe with greenery–a scenery that suggests freedom from society's strictures in its borderless and untamed wildness. While McGriff’s depictions of nature are joyful reclamations of it, other scenes refer to harsher realities of societal structures. In “A Constant Compromise, Fractional and Exponential” (2023) three judges are huddled together clutching their robes and dwarfed by the grandiose architectural space they occupy. Their amorphous forms look out at us with strange expressions evoking a sense of dread. Though united, as if in a defensive position, the figures appear both vulnerable and intimidating. In “Keeping My Brother on Ground Made Sacred the Hard Way” (2023) two figures in black puffer jackets walk side by side, the brush strokes of their puffer jackets interlacing them together, a visual aid to symbolize their connectedness. McGriff’s figures appear stoic and steadfast, firmly grounded in their earthly reality while claiming celestial realms, dreamily and stubbornly finding their way through their natural and built environments. Jared McGriff (b. 1977 Los Angeles lives and works in Miami, FL) received his BA in architecture from the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley and his MBA from New York University. McGriff's works have been exhibited nationally, most recently he had solo exhibition at NSU Art Museum, Fort Lauderdale and Spinello Projects, Miami, FL. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions at the Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, FL; ICA Miami, Miami, FL; The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture, Charlotte, NC; Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, Washington, DC; among others. His work can be found in the collections of NSU Art Museum, Rubell Museum, and ICA Miami, among others. McGriff was a winner of the 2021 South Florida Cultural Consortium Fellowship and the recipient of the 2022 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com

Esther Pearl Watson

A Very Luminous Vision



March 11, 2023 - April 22, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to present our third solo exhibition with Los Angeles based artist Esther Pearl Watson, “A Luminous Vision”, which will be on view in Gallery 3 from March 11 through April 22, 2023. Watson, known for her intimately detailed diaristic paintings, culls from her own memories and an archive of emails from family members transmuting her personal history of caregiving for her loved ones who struggle with their mental health into fantastical landscapes. Dappled with starry night skies, cascading comets, and sparkling UFOs, Watson’s memory paintings incorporate curious snippets of emails from her family members, contextualizing her compositions with an eccentric narrator. Of these works Watson describes her attempt to process the feeling of being grounded in reality whilst dealing with her family members’ mental states which can feel otherworldly. The exhibition shares a title with an immersive installation inspired by her father’s descriptions of his angelic companions’ tour through an interstellar landscape. Text by art historian and author of Queer Formalism: The Return William J. Simmons: Beauty makes me hopeless. I don’t care why / anymore I just want to get away. -Anne Carson, “On Hedonism” Esther Pearl Watson’s medium is what is, and her medium is that which could be. It’s biblical in that way. She asks a question, lurking among statements of fact and fantasy: “Is the creation of earth a joke?” They say that if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. One might also ask: Do you lie awake at night, thinking of the twinkling sky? Imagine that your dreams, the very wildest of them, have come true. You have all the money in the world, and you no longer have to buy Great Value brand products, with their chintzy whiteness that never sparkles, is never opalescent. The world is as it ought to be, as is your place within that world. Your feet are planted firmly on the ground, and your autobiography is no longer considered hysterical or self-indulgent or tragic. Do you no longer wish to get away? Do you look straight ahead, instead of upward? Is life, a normative life, enough for you, or does a dream come true still resemble a nightmare? Yet Watson is never this maudlin. Her penchant for narrative can be both devastating and tongue-in-cheek. She reminds me of the Pre-Raphaelites, who also wanted to hop on a spaceship destined for elsewhere (Heaven). The pathos of, say, John Everett Millais’s painting Ophelia (1851-1852) lies not in the power of the Shakespearean story it references but in its cringey investment in allegory and its feminized seriousness. Ophelia floats away, perhaps about to be probed, and we weep self-consciously and bathetically. Indeed, we probe ourselves, swiping tears away, from side to side, like the lone, horizontal cyclist in Watson’s We need to Build underground shelters on the Moon (2023). Moreover, 19th century painting was often influenced by literature, and we could say that the Pre-Raphaelites, so invested in painterly retellings of poetry and myth, could be categorized as conceptual artists using art and text. The same could be said for Watson, whose interest in semiotics is frequently minimized as a mere reference to a folk vernacular. Writing what you mean without the opacity lent by criticality or the pretentiousness of memoir is difficult and necessary. It is a solitary venture. Painting and writing for God’s enjoyment, as the Pre-Raphaelites did, or for the enjoyment of little green men, is an act of faith that your shouts in the wilderness are received by somebody, somewhere, miraculously, like a letter to a lover whose only address you know is one you shared many, many years ago. You might only know the city and state, planet and galaxy, the antecedent but not the referent. There is so much space between images, words, and bodies, and they are crossed out from time to time, as with Watson’s earnest scrawls. Perhaps the solitary figure in We need to Build underground shelters on the Moon has crossed himself out, absented himself from society in favor of the dreams offered by distant worlds. He will go up in smoke, like the cyclopes of a Philip Guston painting, and he longs to disintegrate into pigment, because it is easier than being flesh. This world might just be too hard for delicate people, a truth we find empathetically reinforced in Watson’s work. Esther Pearl Watson (b. 1973) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her MFA from California Institute of the Arts. Her paintings have been exhibited at McEvoy Family Collection, SF, CA; Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Kalamazoo, MI; Andrew Edlin Gallery, NY, NY; Concord Center for the Visual Arts, Concord, MA; Contemporary Art Museum of Plainview, Plainview, TX; University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Parkside, WI; Maureen Paley Gallery in London, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, USA, amongst others. In 2013 she was Artist-in-Residence at Grafikiens Hus, Mariefred, Sweden. Her award-winning comic “Unlovable” was published in Bust Magazine and with Fantagraphics. She has published Blood Lady Commandos on Vice online and Welcome to Crapland on Adult Swim online. She has taught at Oxbow Artist Residency, the Lexicon of Sexicana at Columbia College in Chicago, and is currently teaching at ArtCenter College of Design, Pasadena, California. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Robert Pruitt

Goodnight Prometheus



March 11, 2023 - April 22, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is proud to introduce “Goodnight Prometheus,” our first solo exhibition with Robert Pruitt, comprising of fourteen new come and charcoal drawings. A recipient of the Studio Museum of Harlem’s 2022 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize, the Houston-born, Harlem-based artist is known for life-sized portraits that weave past, present, and future into transcontinental, intergalactic, and intergenerational tapestries. The exhibition title is drawn from an act in the 1961 film adaption of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” which the artist watched repeatedly during the completion of this body of work. In the scene, a drunken, imbittered Walter Lee Younger chides George Murchison for his collegiate dress and his search for assimilation. George silently pays him no mind until it is time to leave. Exiting the scene, he snips, “Goodnight, Prometheus,” invoking the Titan who – in defiance of Zeus – provided fire to man, making civilization’s progress possible. Like Prometheus, Walter is punished for his desire to aid the meek. Impaled to the ground floor of society, and ignored as black in a white world, Walter macerates his liver daily with the devil’s brew. In “Goodnight Prometheus,” Pruitt continues conversations from more recent bodies of work – “To Control the Universe” (2021) and “A Song for Travelers” (2022). As in previous installations, black women are central in this constellation of drawings. One may read the artist’s representation of women, as in “Dyson Sphere”, as the centrifugal might by which the unequal forces of this world are separated and reformed. What may seem less apparent is the role of the figural black man. In “Sagittarius A Star” and “We knew from the start that things fall apart,” black men appear to spawn into being, their bodies fully formed as their ori (i.e., head-consciousness) remains a nebulous compendium of gases yet to solidify. In “This my new dance move, I just don’t know what to call it,” the man’s head is draped in a blue dress as his corpus provides a scaffold for his partner’s militaristic arabesque. Rather than a matter of indecision, these figures may represent new masculinities in the making, on the page and in the life of the artist himself, as the black matrifocal becomes the way forward. Filial themes are furthered in “Couple in a Vacant Lot,” a neighborhood garden of Eden, complete with a serpent drained of all ill repute. Depicted in a floral array are “all the bad parts” of a community, each living together in an agreeable, though shaky, existence. At the rear of this natal scene lies a specter of racial banishment represented as a “We Buy Houses” sign. Lives – not to mention lovers – lay in the balance. This piece is Prometheus’ prudence at work, illustrating the more-than-human worlds existent within a disinvested community. Whereas in past installations Pruitt may have sought to control the universe, here he labors to create it anew. This series promises to captivate, provoke, and pencil-in possibilities for being together otherwise, not in some faraway galaxy but on the daily. Goodnight, Prometheus. Diligent work has earned you some rest. But, tarry not too long. For there are as many stories to be told as there are worlds to be built. Text written by writer and professor Dr. Willie Wright. Robert Pruitt (b. 1975, Houston, TX) received his BFA from Texas Southern University (2000) and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin (2003). His work is currently included in the traveling exhibition A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration, which began at South at the Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, and traveled to the North at the Baltimore Museum of Art (MD), and is currently on view at The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY. He has had numerous solo exhibitions including Guest Minister at Oxbow, Seattle (WA) in 2020; The Banner Project: Robert Pruitt at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA) in 2019; Devotion at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles in 2018; and Women at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (NY) in 2013, among many others. Recent group exhibitions include Men of Steel, Women of Wonder at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville (AR) in 2019; and Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem, which traveled to the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco (CA) in 2019; the Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston (SC) in 2019; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (MI) in 2019; Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton (MA) in 2020; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City in 2021; and the Frye Art Museum, Seattle (WA) in 2021. Pruitt’s work was also featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. His work is included in many public collections including the Dallas Museum of Art (TX); the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (MA); the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (NY); the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (TX); the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham (NC); the Portland Museum of Art (ME); the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (NY); the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (TX); and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond (VA), among others. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

John Sonsini

Watercolors



January 28, 2023 - March 11, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present “John Sonsini: Watercolors”, the artist's first exhibition of watercolor paintings and his second solo exhibition with the gallery, running from January 28 to March 11, 2023. Sonsini has established himself as one of the foremost contemporary portrait painters working today. Alternating between studios in Southern California and Mexico he is most known for his expressive and politically charged portraits of Los Angeles Day Workers. During the height of the pandemic, Sonsini found himself sans live sitters and began an entirely new body of work, the process of which diverged from his practice spanning over four decades. Taking on the medium of watercolor, Sonsini has created a new series of insightfully detailed intimate paintings on a smaller scale from his oil portraits. Interview with John Sonsini January 5, 2023: JS: I'm very surprised to be doing a show of watercolors. Equally surprising to me is how a medium that I was not previously attracted to would suddenly become the focus of my attention. VLA: When did you start using watercolors? I started making the watercolors early on in the pandemic. Faced with a lengthy period of not being able to work with live sitters, and dissatisfied with painting from sketches, I looked to my paintings in public collections as a resource for my watercolor studies. But, in time, and as my fascination with the medium grew, it was less the imagery and far more the watercolor itself that pulled me in. So, you hadn’t used watercolors before? It was a medium I had not spent much time looking at or considering. Back in 2019, when I was working on a multi-figured painting, I wanted to work out some color problems and I had watercolors at hand so I thought it would be an expedient way to deal with some color questions. I had some canvas boards lying around the studio, so I began using them for the watercolor and discovered that the watercolor and pencil performed marvelously together on this canvas surface which was entirely an accident and really pulled me into these mediums. Fast-forward to a year or so later, I was unable to have live sitters as I usually do and I wanted a project to get involved in so I picked up the watercolors with no intention of making a body of work at all and over that period of about a year I found myself using watercolor regularly and I noticed that the works were taking on a certain kind of presence for me that I was not expecting. They began as 'studies after' but were now completed works in their own right. Watercolors are known to be a quick and temporal medium, different from oil paint which you usually use, what did you find to be the biggest differences in using watercolors? I started tentatively I had thought it to be a very subtle medium. But that was an opinion not based upon using it but based upon seeing how certain other artists had used it. It always seemed to be about transparency and opacity, but almost immediately it struck me as a medium that was full of all sorts of visceral possibilities that I'm familiar with in oil painting. Of course, once I felt that, then I was entirely engaged. This series also complicates the idea of what is a completed work, what is a study 'from' and a study 'after', and the meaning of the value of the medium. Being that I was never a painter that did studies 'for' my paintings, here I was in essence doing studies 'after' my oil paintings, working from completed paintings. That is certainly a shift in concept that has many interesting implications. The most significant, for me, being that I have always made my central work, my major work the oil paintings, which are (in addition to many things) a painted record of a social experience, the sitter, and the artist. Whereas the watercolors were the outcome of a solitary experience, me working off of my own painting. So that solitary thing already sets up a very unfamiliar and very new zone for me as an artist. It surprised me that I grew comfortable with all that time working alone. That's really not my comfort zone at all. I think with playing with the value of watercolor and painting, in reality, is conceptually interesting as a ploy to probe the value between the two mediums, you are sort of flipping that on its head. It's a mysterious zone when you do a study based on a finished painting. The reversal is not very customary for painters like me who paint from life. That final original product is given such a place of honor. It was interesting to place a solid year on this body of work in a new medium. Earlier in the pandemic, and with no live sitters, I had been painting from sketches and I was very dissatisfied with that way of working. It felt kind of pointless. So, I guess it’s little wonder, that a new medium that I'd had no prior connection with would have such an impact on me. It says something about the constraints that might propel one into exploring a new medium. I don't think I'd ever have gotten so far into this new body of work without the experience of not being able to have live sitters. Painting from life, as I do with all my oil paintings, there are always numerous issues that are all about the sitter's presence. It's that presence, that immediacy of the relationship. The hand, of course, is there. The narrative, of course, that too is there. But, with the solitary activity of making the watercolors the primary issues were the narrative (because of scale) and the hand (because of the medium). They combined, in such a surprising way, to engage me in an unfamiliar way with my own paintings. For a painter, finding a new medium is like finding a new hand. John Sonsini was born in Rome, NY in 1950 and received his BA from California State University Northridge in 1975. His work will be the subject of a book written by David Pagel and published by Radius Books forthcoming in 2024. Recent solo exhibitions include “A Day’s Labor: Portraits by John Sonsini,” Art Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA; and “Daywork: Portraits,” Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA. His work has been featured in group exhibitions at the Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY; Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D. C. and at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. His work is in the public collections of the Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles, CA; AD&A Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA; Addison Gallery of American Art, Philips Academy, Andover, MA; Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL; The Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA; Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, NY; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; The Frances Young Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle, WA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hessel Museum of Art, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY; McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN; The Mulvane Art Museum, Washburn University, Topeka, KS; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Johnson County College, Overland Park, KS; Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah State University, Logan, UT; Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; The Weatherspoon Museum, Greensboro, NC; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Forrest Kirk

The Owl of Minerva Flies at Dusk



January 28, 2023 - March 11, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to announce “The Owl of Minerva Flies at Dusk” an exhibition of new paintings by LA-based artist Forrest Kirk. The exhibition will be on view in Gallery II from January 28 through March 11, 2023. Inspired by the writings of German philosopher G.W.F. Hegel, Forrest Kirk’s most recent series of paintings depict an atmosphere of resounding orange sunsets amidst sci-fi landscapes filled with magical figures, buildings, and other imaginative forms of motion, depth, and color. Implicit in the paintings is a sense of otherworldliness, a subtle narrative of epoch. Recurring visual tropes, such as the owl, feathers, bombs, tigers, and biomorphic shapes appear and reappear throughout the paintings representing time, pressure, change, and reminders of the wildness that exists in all of us. The title of the exhibition riffs off a line from Hegel’s prototypical essay Preface to the Philosophy of Right, in which Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, and her pet owl, a symbol of not only knowledge but also of cultural discernment are invoked to encapsulate the philosophical thought that historical and individual development tends to happen in hindsight; simply put that life’s lessons are typically learned through making mistakes. The title of the exhibition also gives a proverbial nod to a desire for keeping a place for philosophy amidst our contemporary lives -- or in the artist's words "philosophy takes over at night when scientists are off work." It has been said of Forrest Kirk’s paintings that the form(s) and the content within his compositions inseparably contain multitudes. The artist has always explored his own evolving spiritual and artistic mindscape through a lively, shapeshifting practice of painting, all the while reflecting on humanity’s struggles with its existence, its aggressions, and its limitations. Forrest’s signature medium of choice, aside from the deliberate array of acrylic paints and poetic moments of assemblage, is Gorilla Glue, which he uses as a means of establishing dimensionality within his work. The layers of paint and glue are built up and scraped away, creating valleys of texture, and often revealing what came before. There is an esthetic roughness juxtaposed with visual allure, amongst Forrest’s visceral canvases. It is not just the artist’s intentionally radical style that extends his paintings beyond convention, but also the artist’s ability to visually and intellectually address this complex web of cause and effect called life in a way that depends less on the emotional demands of the world, and more so in line with such precepts of compassion and inspiration. Forrest Kirk (b. 1975) lives and works in Los Angeles. Forrest studied at California State University, Los Angeles, and spent time studying classical painting in Paris, France. Notable solo shows include presentations with Rebecca Camacho Presents, San Francisco, CA (2023), Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2022), Marianne Boesky Gallery, Aspen, CO (2021), Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL (2021), Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, Los Angeles (2020) and Chimento Contemporary, Los Angeles (2018). Forrest’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Richmond, VA. The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available in the south parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment. For further information and press inquiries, please contact Olivia Gauthier at Olivia@vielmetter.com.

Whitney Bedford

Vedute



January 14, 2023 - February 25, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce Whitney Bedford: Vedute, the Los Angeles-based artist’s seventh solo exhibition with the gallery. Continuing her exploration of the affective possibilities of historical landscapes, Vedute finds Bedford using scale and repetition to mine the experiential possibilities of painting the land in the twenty-first century. Two monumental paintings by Bonnard via Bedford are repeated four times each. Each repetition refers to a season or a time: Spring, Autumn; mid-morning, evening. The passage of time is reflected in a shifting palette, the compositions and confrontations between present and past in each work changed only in their color. From a thicket of frenzied lines and a maelstrom of day-glo hues–as if she mixed her paints with irradiated waste, Bedford conjures haunting, post-pastoral landscapes. From this Chernobyl palette and these skittered marks emerges a lamentation on the loss of our earth, but also a calling out of the ancient pastoral tradition for perpetuating what was always a myth: that we, humans, have ever lived in anything like a balance or concordance with our surrounding world. It is only now, in the age of the Anthropocene, that this fallacy of balance is entirely shattered. Bedford’s newest works wreak havoc on these historical contradictions. Bedford is an acid-rain romantic, only her landscapes are less odes than omens. The works remain romantic not because they idealize the earth but because they provoke the sublime--what matters is not each wasteland’s beauty but its ability to terrify. Spiritual upheaval becomes ecological dread. Bedford paints the madness of the Age of humans, and madness is what she seeks to inspire. With her helter-skelter Constables and gonzo Bonnards, Bedford critiques the greater landscape tradition while weaponizing it against our own impoverished reality. Each high-concept hallucination memorializes the parched and invalid land of our time. After all, what better way to satirize or own destruction than to grant it so much false nobility? Whitney Bedford and Jori Finkel will be in conversation about Bedford’s recent works at the gallery on Saturday, February 18, 2023. Bedford received her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2003. She was the winner of the 2001 UCLA Hammer Museum Drawing Biennale and received a Fulbright Graduate Fellowship from Hochschule der Kuenste, Berlin in 1999. She has had solo exhibitions at Art:Concept, Paris, France; Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago, IL; D’Amelio Terras Gallery, New York; and Starkwhite, Auckland, New Zealand. She has been included in group exhibitions at the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; the Jewish Museum, New York; Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. Bedford’s work is included in the Jumex Collection, Mexico City, Mexico; the De La Cruz Collection, Miami, Florida, USA; The Saatchi Collection, London, England; the Francois Pinault Collection, Paris, France; the Eric Decelle Collection, Brussels, Belgium; and the Collection Ginette Moulin/Guillaume Houze, Paris, France. Bedford is a painting instructor at both Chapman University and the University of California, Riverside.

Kwame Brathwaite, Kwesi Botchway, Genevieve Gaignard, Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya

It's Time



January 14, 2023 - February 25, 2023
"Several years ago my father said 'The world needs to acknowledge the tremendous, artistic legacy of the people of Africa and its Diaspora. The unique and varied sense of freedom, design, color, detailed or abstracted, has given the world a new way of seeing and relating to life itself.' “It’s Time” is a thoughtfully curated, artistically masterful intergenerational expression of this proclamation." - Kwame S. Brathwaite The Kwame Brathwaite Archive Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present “It’s Time,” an exhibition of works by Kwesi Botchway, Genevieve Gaignard, Rodney McMillan, Wangechi Mutu, and Paul Mpagi Sepuya in conversation with works by legendary New York-based photographer Kwame Brathwaite (b. 1938, Brooklyn NY). Anchored by Brathwaite’s influential images, the exhibition creates a cross-generational dialogue that posits an exploration of the photographer's influence and the continuing investigation of portraiture and representation of the Black body by artists today. The exhibition title, "It’s Time,” refers to the landmark 1962 album released by drummer Max Roach, featuring singer Abbey Lincoln. Composed of six songs in six meters, the album “It’s Time” is in some sense a metaphorical parallel to the construction of the exhibition itself, with each artist finding their own “meter.” “It’s Time” also refers to the Civil Rights Movement, in which friends and peers from the Black Arts Movement Brathwaite, Roach, and Lincoln were all actively involved. Just as artist and media theorist Brathwaite worked tirelessly in his six-plus decades of art and practice to promote “Black is Beautiful”, one of the most important American ideas of the 20th and 21st centuries, the artists included in the exhibition, in their respective practices, work to craft images that ask us to think about who we are today, what we want our society to be, and affirm that change now is possible. Working within the tradition of portraiture, Ghanaian artist Kwesi Botchway reworks the storied legacy of portrait painting within Western art by centering the long-absent and ignored Black figure. Blending styles of French Impressionism and African Realism, Botchway transforms his portraits into studies, not of a fixed identity, but of becoming and possibility. Genevieve Gaignard’s multidisciplinary practice employs a language of nostalgia by reinterpreting thoughtfully sourced vintage materials. In these two new works, Gaignard celebrates Kwame Brathwaite’s jazz-like spirit of improvisation through varied techniques and glamorous composition. Gaignard highlights the essence of Black expression, which informs and shapes popular culture. Each piece demands a requisite reverence of Black beauty for its intuit self-expression. Rodney McMillian's 2006 work Untitled (Unknown) is a series of unique photographic prints of a plaster bust of an unknown man that the artist purchased in an antique store. Shot using a tripod, the number of prints is limited only by the number of exposures made by the artist. The work is a conceptual portrait that troubles the categories of identity, value, and image as they relate to the art market and individual people. Alongside these unknown portraits, we are exhibiting three works from McMillian's 2016 series from the installation, pod: frequencies to a manifestationing, 2016. Composed of wooden shelves with a selection of black glass vases arranged on each shelf, these sculptures suggest the presence of a receptive, listening audience. In both works, McMillian's approach to the portrait could be described as metaphorical and oblique, expanding our definition of the genre. Wangechi Mutu’s collage “Chinrest with Cut-eye” was culled from a body of work in which the artist explored her experience of the Diaspora before she relocated from New York to her home in Kenya. Trying to create a space for an alternate experience outside of any place, Mutu’s collages are imaginary tales of female characters – hybrid beings fused together from elements of Western and African cultures and molded from body and machine parts, ancient sculptures, jewelry and animal limbs - and thus subverting traditional notions of a singular place of origin. Her characters, always powerful and aware of the role they are playing in generating desire, are part of a larger and horrific narrative in which conflicting cultural and historical projections are played out on the female body. Paul Mpagi Sepuya is known for his studio-based photography. In his portraits, Sepuya explores the positions that queer, racialized bodies occupy within the intimate dynamics staged by studio spaces where friends oscillate between subjects of portraiture and stylized model studies. By drawing out these associations and modes of relation, Sepuya entangles the pleasure of exhibitionism and leisure with histories of labor and objectification that can be glimpsed within the archive. The two works on view in It's Time reflect the artist's re-assesment of his own recent work in the context of Brathwaite's legacy. For example, Daylight Studio Model Study (0X5A2297), 2021 was an outtake from a collaboration between Sepuya and the British fashion designer, Grace Wales Bonner. This work, which features garments from Wales Bonner's 2022 collection, calls to mind Brathwaite's iconic "Black is Beautiful" portraits and Wales Bonner's own research- based collections call to mind the archive of Brathwaite's work drawn upon for this exhibition.

Ulrike Müller

On Edge



November 19, 2022 - January 7, 2023
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to announce “On Edge” New York-based artist Ulrike Müller’s first solo show in Los Angeles. The exhibition will be on view in Gallery II from November 19, 2022 through January 7, 2023. Comprised of vitreous enamel paintings on steel, textiles, paper collages, monotypes, and painted walls, Müller extends the pictorial space of the exhibition beyond the gallery into communal areas and onto the outside walls of the building—presenting an ambitious array of recent work where the intimate becomes customary, and the pedestrian becomes sensual. Through a multi-faceted artistic practice spanning curating, publishing, and public murals, the Austrian-born artist’s image-making takes apart the symbolic signage of our collective histories—slicing, cutting, zooming, edging, remixing, coloring, and abutting in unforeseeable ways, infusing amusement and tenderness at each turn and producing a manifold of visual reform.

Group Show: Etel Adnan, CAConrad, Moyra Davey, Demian Dinéyazhi', Shannon Ebner, John Giorno, Otis Houston Jr., Jibade-Khalil Huffman, Félix González-Torres, The Song Cave, and Cecilia Vicuña

;



November 19, 2022 - January 7, 2023
From Mark McKnight To the viewer: In her collected lectures, Madness, Rack, and Honey, poet Mary Ruefle suggests that we might think of a life as one long sentence, separated by an infinite number of semicolons. She asks us to be grateful for the unsung punctuation’s conjunctive power: “it allows us to keep connecting speech that for all apparent purposes are unrelated.” Going further, she adds: “you might say a poem is a semicolon... keeping together that whose nature is to fly apart.” Ruefle in mind, we might also think of the poet themselves (or for our purposes: the poetically minded artist and/or: the collected works on view) on such terms – connective tissue between seemingly unrelated experiences that give life substance. Apropos of my elusive subject, I offer no official thesis or instruction – only enthusiasm for these artists and gratitude for the gift that is poetry in its myriad forms. ; is an exhibition that includes artists who work with, towards, and through poems, poets or “the poetic.” I selected this diverse array of makers because of their relationship to poetry either in spirit, or in the literal sense, and because I desired to see their work in constellation under poetry’s umbrella. It is a celebration of these artists, their work, and their significance to me as an individual, while also as an attempt to complicate the rigid semantic distinctions placed upon arranged language or objects as either “poems” or “artworks.” This exhibition is an invitation to think poetically, or as the great Hannah Arendt suggests: “without a banister.” ­­ Respectfully yours, Mark McKnight

Hugo McCloud

tiempo



November 5, 2022 - December 23, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is honored to present our third solo exhibition with Hugo McCloud, "Tiempo", opening on November 5, 2022. "How do we memorialize an event that is still ongoing?" -Christina Sharpe, In the Wake on Blackness and Being On May 5th, 2022, Netic Rebel was killed in a home invasion in the Yucatan region of Mexico. Hugo McCloud, Netic's friend, his brother, whose own home occupied that same land, who was there and, by chance by luck, was able to escape, gathered himself, his mother, and a life built in fifteen minutes. The chaos and horror of this moment is in excess of these two sentences and remains the thing that words can only attend to and never fully capture. Tiempo, McCloud's solo exhibition presented at Vielmetter, starts and ends here.

Lavaughan Jenkins

Weight of Things



September 17, 2022 - November 5, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our first exhibition with Boston-based artist Lavaughan Jenkins, "Weight of Things", opening in the Greenhouse on September 17, 2022.

Nash Glynn

Interiors



September 17, 2022 - November 5, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to present our second exhibition with New York-based artist Nash Glynn, "Interiors", opening in Gallery II on September 17, 2022.

Mary Kelly

Corpus



September 3, 2022 - October 5, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce Mary Kelly: Corpus, an exhibition of Kelly’s ambitious 1984-85 installation, originally made as the first part of a larger project titled Interim. This will be the first complete installation of Corpus, including all thirty panels, in the United States since 1990 when the entire Interim project was exhibited at the New Museum to broad critical acclaim. Kelly is one of the most influential feminists and conceptual artists working today, and our exhibition marks a rare occasion to view her iconic work of the 1980s in its entirety. Interim marked a progressive step in Kelly’s conceptual, feminist practice. A project in four parts (Corpus, Pecunia, Potestas, and Historia), the exhibition explored the space between the social construction of women and how they experience themselves in relationship to ideas about femininity found in fashion, medicine, fantasy/fiction, the family, and media. The work engages a humorous approach to this conceptual material and to the femme experience itself. It allows the viewer to laugh at her anxieties about aging, her desire for power in a society that will only grant her power under very specific conditions, and the tension between constructing herself and how she is constructed and construed by others.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Daylight Studio/Dark Room Studio



September 3, 2022 - October 22, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to present our second solo exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Daylight Studio / Dark Room Studio. Using natural light or red “safelights” and props, Sepuya creates playful references to European and North American 19th century daylight studios and to the dark room – here referenced with a double-entendre as both the space where film is processed and printed and those dark rooms in which other forms of exposure and revelation occur.

Group Show: Edgar Arceneaux, Felipe Baeza, Math Bass, Darcy Bartoletti, Whitney Bedford, Sadie Benning, Ellen Berkenblit, Andrea Bowers, Alika Cooper, Amy Cutler, Kim Dingle, Genevieve Gaignard, Nash Glynn, David Horvitz, Raffi Kalenderian, Jenny Kendler, Joan Linder, Cassandra Marketos, Hugo McCloud, Rodney McMillian, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Sam Shoemaker, Jessica Stoller, Nicola Tyson, Tam Van Tran, Ariane Vielmetter, Shanna Waddell, Esther Pearl Watson & Mark Todd, Patrick Wilson, and Bari Ziperstein

Plants Now!



July 16, 2022 - August 26, 2022
“You sometimes have to paint flowers for your mental health, that’s why you’re doing the flower show right?” Kim Dingle, July 2022 Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present “Plants Now!”, a group exhibition that celebrates plants and explores their far-reaching potential to mitigate a wide range of human-made problems. Running from July 16th through August 26th the exhibition takes place across two galleries, including the gallery’s greenhouse space. The exhibition reaches beyond the traditional exhibition format to include works, wares, and information presented by community activists, compost makers, flower arrangers, bee experts, and food growers. Throughout the exhibition, several programs will take place with local specialists across the fields of mycology, urban gardening, native plants, and pollination. Artists in the exhibition include Edgar Arceneaux, Felipe Baeza, Math Bass, Darcy Bartoletti, Whitney Bedford, Sadie Benning, Ellen Berkenblit, Andrea Bowers, Alika Cooper, Amy Cutler, Kim Dingle, Genevieve Gaignard, Nash Glynn, David Horvitz, Raffi Kalenderian, Jenny Kendler, Joan Linder, Cassandra Marketos, Hugo McCloud, Rodney McMillian, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Sam Shoemaker, Jessica Stoller, Nicola Tyson, Tam Van Tran, Ariane Vielmetter, Shanna Waddell, Esther Pearl Watson & Mark Todd, Patrick Wilson, and Bari Ziperstein.

Stanya Kahn

Forest for the Trees



June 3, 2022 - July 23, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our fifth solo exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist, Stanya Kahn. Forest for the Trees is a multi-disciplinary exhibition teeming with paintings, ceramic works, bronzes, animations and found materials from the natural world. Best known for her films and video works, which have been presented at MoMA PS1, the New Museum, and the Wexner Center among many other institutions, Kahn made Forest for the Trees during the first two years of the pandemic. Solo animals gaze out from vibrant landscapes painted in oil on linen and canvas. Portraits of the endangered ivory-billed woodpecker, the tragically slain silver-back gorilla, Harambe, and a coyote who took up residence in Kahn’s yard join uncanny, imagined beings in fantastic landscapes, all of them seeming to inhabit spaces that are both literally and figuratively unreachable by people. Many of the paintings are framed with planks of old-growth redwood the artist pulled from the walls of her studio—a row of garages built in 1909. Kahn planed and sanded the wood herself and collaborated with the gallery’s framer to design custom deep-profile frames akin to window boxes. The upcycled frames also hold ceramic snakes, skulls, and other organisms, creating dioramic mise en scènes. Other ceramic and bronze figures rest on logs, including sections of a century-old incense cedar that died from drought in the artist’s yard. In addition to the figures, there are wheel-thrown forms and vessels also made of porcelain and other high-fire clay bodies, their shapes and carved surfaces inspired by both ancient pottery from around the world as well as that of the American Midwest in the early 20th century. As markers of history and human intervention, many of the vessels here are glazed to resemble artifacts, others are closed entirely, without utility. Two new digital animations made from photographs of the artist’s paintings depict mutated animals in inhospitable environments. Forest for the Trees offers respite from society, while implicating it and us. Working in proximity to personal and collective traumas, Kahn created alternate worlds in isolation, desperate for an elsewhere and inspired by the possibilities offered by fiery mass uprisings for freedom. With this show, Kahn draws out the long threads of distress and resilience present throughout her oeuvre, albeit in entirely new physical and material explorations. This new body of work flows from the trajectory of Kahn’s most recent film, No Go Backs (2020), a visceral and visually lush film shot on 16mm in the Eastern Sierras, in which teens escape unnamed manmade catastrophe, barely prepared, riding out of the city and into the wild. In both No Go Backs and Forest for the Trees, Kahn explores the natural world as a site of critical reflection; narrative and language are de-emphasized; a deepening of one’s relationship to the land and a retreat from humanity as we know it invite both disorientation and vision.

Pope.L

The Ritual Is For All of us



June 3, 2022 - August 6, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our second solo exhibition with Pope.L, The Ritual Is for All of us. Following his trio of critically acclaimed exhibitions, Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Public Art Fund in 2019, this exhibition offers another look at Pope.L’s durational practice in video, projection, objects, and paintings. The show builds a focus on Pope.L’s practice with four video works and a projection/sculpture titled I Machine, 2014 - 2020. Most of the works have been ongoing from 1995 to 2022. Duration, both in terms of time process and time embodied is key to this presentation. In an interview for the monograph, member: Pope.L, published by The Museum of Modern Art in 2019, the artist notes that “the link between language and performance is duration; both exist only via the crucible of time and are continually remade in time.”[1] In the exhibition, The Ritual Is For All of us, the link between language, performance, making and duration is set into slippery relation between works that unfold in time (video), works that address the passage and future of time (a set of recent Calendar paintings on paper), and the linkage between time, meaning, materiality, and entropy in a set of canned food objects fromThe Black Factory project, 2004 – ongoing.

Gregory Michael Hernandez

Akedah Altar



May 21, 2022 - July 2, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Akedah Altar, a solo exhibition of new works by Gregory Michael Hernandez on view from May 21 through July 2 in the Greenhouse Gallery.

Hannah Van Bart

New Paintings



May 21, 2022 - July 2, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Hannah Van Bart: New Paintings, a group of new works by the Amsterdam-based artist and her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. Comprising of portraits and landscapes, Van Bart’s paintings are focused on emulating a particular mood or emotional landscape in lieu of representing real people or places. When painting, Van Bart relies on mark-making and her painterly dexterity to create compositions with an aim to portray a particular light and psychological space. Throughout Van Bart’s works, there is an element of familiarity, the portraits and landscape are classically informed yet steer from the stereotypical context of such painting traditions. Van Bart paints her subjects without a preconceived notion of what they will reveal, instead, she is more interested in exploring paint and mark making as a process to explore expressions of longing and loss. Self-described as “imaginary portraits,” her paintings hinge on the landscape of imagination to conjure a sense of discovery and exploration. For Van Bart, the process of painting is about experimenting with subtle shifts in light, tone, and color to exude a felt experience. She says, “In a landscape, the collars and buttons would be pools of water or edges of a house or tree. It is a way of looking for space and light. I see the faces, figures, and landscapes all as places where I want to be. Painting as to answer the question: "how to get there?"’.

Arlene Shechet

Best Picture



March 26, 2022 - May 14, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our second solo exhibition of new work by Arlene Shechet. Shechet’s approach to sculpture is both rigorous and playful, rooted in transformations of experience and material. In Best Picture, the artist continues to explore the evocative potential of objects; bringing together a winning cast of characters rendered in ceramic, metal, and wood. Best Picture is an ironic name for a show of sculptures; it directs the viewer to consider Shechet’s painterly approach to sculpture. Her work revels in interactions between color and shape, balance and the askew, rendering sculptural objects that are at once convincingly unified shapes and obviously composed in “real-time.” The artist composes her work in a series of intuitive moves building one upon the other, without referring to sketches or maquettes. Color, in the form of glaze and paint comes last, always applied with a great deal of attention to finish and texture, compliment and contrast. This results in sculptures that defy viewers’ anticipations; “real time” discovery is part of the viewing experience too. With each turn, a new detail or element reveals itself, inviting prolonged examination and conversation between viewer and sculpture, building intimacy between their body and the work.

Genevieve Gaignard

Strange Fruit



March 19, 2022 - May 7, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Strange Fruit, the gallery's second solo exhibition with Genevieve Gaignard, opening Saturday, March 19 and running through May 7, 2022. With Strange Fruit, Genevieve Gaignard opens a door to haunting nostalgia of America's relationship to racial violence. This exhibition marks her most extensive and provocative body of work to date, focusing on historical and modern-day acts of lynching. The title, borrowed from Billie Holiday's iconic song, interfaces a range of unapologetic commentary on the American psyche, simulating its inseparable tie to the horrors visited upon black people. This work emerges against history's recent spate of calls for racial justice and draws attention to this country's racial progress—or lack thereof. Strange Fruit asks: Do you only want to see what you believe? One seminal work in the exhibition, The American Dream is a Pyramid Scheme, is marching for justice, personified. A mountain of headless salt and pepper shaker mammy figurines opens the cupboard to expose materials of America's past. At all once, Gaignard ushers caricature into confrontation, conjuring the march of millions, "SAY HER NAME," the terracotta soldiers, and a history of resistance that relies on collective voice and body. These vessels patrol every direction, in some sense steering viewers, as the exhibition is meant to do, into an experience of imagining others' realities and challenging how we assign value to objects and people. In Strange Fruit, Gaignard returns to figurines as her primary element. In the past, she has removed and discarded the heads of Royal Doulton figurines and replaced them with the heads of mammy housewares. Now, she brings us The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree, a display of life-sized Royal Doulton heads, tenderly placed upon plinths, symbolizing two different things: rediscovery in her practice, and simultaneously what goes unnoticed in our society. With these heads, figures of idealized white beauty evolve into a presentation of implied violence, or trophies. In the work titled Strange Fruit on the Juke Samantha Farrell, Gaignard’s childhood friend, sings a rendition of Strange Fruit that plays from a refurbished vintage jukebox, outfitted to fit within Gaignard's slippery landscape. Pulling on American sentimentality while reinforcing the place of song and protest in this work, this piece is a connector for Gaignard's preoccupations in the show. Gaignard's choices—the wallpaper, the ever-present bric-a-brac, re-tooled gumball machines, and neon—transport us into childhood and by-gone eras, but more importantly, they serve as cues to see the visual rhymes and dissonance in the work and systems of our world. In a series of sumptuous new photographs, Off With Their Heads, Gaignard embodies Royal Doulton figurines, posing amongst florals and fruit, against the background of a stately yet profoundly dilapidated mansion. Evoking the Southern Gothic tradition, Gaignard undermines a host of social hierarchies, standards of beauty, superiority, and race, leading us to a dreamlike place where these narratives might appear absurd and fragile. Gaignard inserts herself into the work, mining her own experiences to encourage reflection of the past and provoke a change in thinking. Strange Fruit entices you to images of seeming beauty—intricate portraits, layered installations, and sophisticated collage and assemblage—that serve as props to expand a narrative that still requires a major revision.

Ellen Berkenblit

Other Shapes At Night



March 12, 2022 - May 7, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our third solo exhibition with New York-based painter, Ellen Berkenblit, Other Shapes at Night. Berkenblit makes pictures that are neither narrative nor representational nor truly abstract. While she uses motifs that include people, animals, plants, and objects to construct her compositions–suggesting the possibility of narrative or representational content–it is the tension between the suggestion of this content and its absence that produces an electrifying aesthetic arousal in response to the artist’s paintings. Composed intuitively, shape and color responding to and covering over what came before, Berkenblit’s paintings evoke pictures of the subconscious; snapshots of visions and ideas that arise spontaneously and are as richly felt as they are fleeting. Throughout her career, Berkenblit has had an inexhaustible appetite for exploring the possibilities of paint. Her work is defined as much by her idiosyncratic polychromy, an always evolving palette that develops from her expertise in mixing and layering color, as it is by her unique graphic style, anchored in a calligraphic language of shapes emerging from rich and dynamic painted black grounds. In many of her new works, all painted over the last year, the palette has shifted and warmed, her usual bright colors now wrapped in a diffused, warm light, not dissimilar to the potent interaction of incandescent streetlights and high levels of humidity. The resulting body of work is dreamlike and surreal, heightening the suggestive nature of the artist’s compositions, drawing the viewer into an evocative interior space.

Bari Ziperstein

Patterns for Models



February 5, 2022 - March 19, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Patterns for Models, an exhibition of new large-scale ceramic sculptures by Los Angeles-based artist Bari Ziperstein. The exhibition will open on February 5, 2022 in the Greenhouse Gallery. Over the past 20 years, Bari Ziperstein (b. 1978; Chicago, IL, USA) has developed a mastery of ceramics that allows her to push the limits of scale, experiment with color and finish, and use the shapes and surfaces of her sculptures to tell stories and convey ideas. Her work is materially experimental but conceptual and research-based at its core. She approaches her work from an intersectional feminist position, asking questions about how women and women’s work are positioned within societal frameworks, and her work reflects her interest in the ways that art and other visual and spatial materials convey meaning. Ziperstein’s process often starts with archival materials to explore the ways that visual culture and the built environment signal repressive social and political ideologies.

Edgar Arceneaux

Skinning the Mirror



January 29, 2022 - March 12, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Skinning the Mirror, the gallery’s eleventh solo presentation by Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux, featuring a cohesive installation of multi-media paintings and sculpture. On this recent series of material-based abstractions, art historian Julian Myers-Szupinska writes: The matter of mirrors is central to Edgar Arceneaux’s new body of work. This is figuratively true—they are about mirrors and the self-relations they enable—and factually the case, as each artwork is derived from a found mirror. Through a strenuous process that is both chemical and physical, Arceneaux has decoupled the mirror’s reflective metal backing from its rigid glass substrate and imposed it onto loose canvas. That this is not a smooth or simple process is evident in the objects that result from it. The transfer is often rocky and incomplete—sometimes the transfer doesn’t take completely. And one witnesses across the ongoing series evidence of rippling, concussion-like impacts, where glass substrate broken along the way has impressed its fragmentation onto the distressed visual field. One sees, too, the layering of colors, black, rust, and toxic verdigris, that parse as gestural—even abstract.

Raffi Kalenderian

Before the Moon Falls



January 22, 2022 - March 5, 2022
“I must create a new regime Or live by another man's Before the moon falls I must create a new scheme And get out of others' hands Before the moon falls” Vielmetter Los Angeles presents “Before the Moon Falls”, an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Raffi Kalenderian. Titled after The Fall’s 1979 post-punk song “Before the Moon Falls”, Kalenderian’s newest works hinge on the angst and bliss of creative output. Known for his visually dense and highly patterned portraits that fuse subjects with their environments and imbue them with a potent psychological charge, Kalenderian delights in the pleasure of looking closely and treating people and their environments with equal weight through sumptuous details, thickly laid paint, and vivid color.

Ross Bleckner

Sehnsucht



January 15, 2022 - February 26, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Sehnsucht, the gallery’s first exhibition with New York-based painter Ross Bleckner. This exhibition of recent paintings also marks the artist’s first solo show in Los Angeles in over 25 years. On view is a selection of paintings comprised of an array of symbolic imagery, such as flowers, ghostly figures, anatomical moments, and abstract landscapes. Ethereal and hallucinatory, the compositions blend abstraction with realism, as Bleckner’s visual iconography shifts in and out of focus, offering radiant passageways of hope within an ethos of transformation. Bright colors rendered with a blurred, glowing sense of light fade into the artist’s signature depths of impossible darkness — the masterfully executed paintings express a multitude of emotions and conditions such as anxiety and loss, while also proposing a quest for more; that which may be beyond suffering. The title of the exhibition — Sehnsucht — a German compound word, originating from an ardent longing (das Sehnen) and addiction (die Sucht) is used here to describe that yearning for an ideal. Over the last fifty years, Bleckner has chronicled his own continual search for truth and beauty through an ever-suggestive language of variety and vision — as if painting his contemplative awareness of time, our collective societal transitions, and the fragilities of existence. Bleckner’s paintings can often be seen as depictions of consciousness itself mutating, as a means of exploring the terrain(s) between the body, perception, and transcendence. Employing a wide range of expressiveness and painterly tropes Bleckner's immersive paintings seamlessly marry the metaphysical with the world of appearances, the inside with the outside, and the somber with the sensual.

Hugo McCloud

translated memories



November 20, 2021 - January 8, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to present Hugo McCloud’s second exhibition with the gallery, “translated memories”, featuring a suite of new flower paintings made of single-use plastic bags with artist-made frames. Over the last year, McCloud began a series of flower paintings as a strategy to maintain calm and focus during the pandemic – some bouquets in vases and others cropped close-ups of singular flowers. Continuing his exploration of plastic bags as raw materials, McCloud’s new paintings exhibit skillful expertise in manipulating the plastic to transform it into texturally rich swaths of color, creating complex and visually stunning forms.

Nicole Eisenman

Man at the Center of Men



November 6, 2021 - February 20, 2022
Vielmetter Los Angeles is honored to present Nicole Eisenman's 2019 sculpture Man at the Center of Men. Sculpted from plaster, foam, fiberglass, and epoxy resin, Man at the Center of Men is exemplary of Eisenman's radically indeterminate and open approach to making narratives, metaphors, and allegories of the human experience. Man at the Center of Men was a central element of the artist's 2019 Whitney Biennial installation, shown on the Whitney Museum of American Art's 6th-floor terrace, as part of a massive installation of walking figures entitled Procession, 2019. There, the sculpture was together with its fellows through wind, rain, and sun; and has since been exhibited at The Contemporary Austin and the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo.

Kim Dingle

Pudgey Pomona Presents



October 30, 2021 - December 18, 2021
What do marbles, vintage erasers, maps painted by Las Vegas teenagers, and an atlas of animals have in common? Not much–but they are all subjects of interest to Pudgey Pomona, reference librarian, who has curated a collection of curiosities and collectibles, some by the hand of Los Angeles-based artist, Kim Dingle. Plus, Miss Pomona has also curated an exhibition of works by the artist Francesca Lalanne who is not a party to nepotism.

Monique Van Genderen

Afterimages



October 9, 2021 - November 20, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present “Afterimages,” Monique van Genderen’s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery. Continuing her explorations in the field of abstraction and painting’s relation to spatial contexts, van Genderen’s latest project takes up the task of monumentally scaled horizontal paintings. The two thirty-five-foot-long paintings, entitled “A side” and “B side, are inherently related, yet slightly different, speaking to concepts of origination and genesis, one painting describing the other. Hanging on walls opposite each other they create a visual dialogue between abstract fields that are reflective in their compositions. Working simultaneously on the two large surfaces, van Genderen directed the painting through replication and repetition, references and shapes confirming each other into existence and culminating in a composition that is at once underwater and on the street.

Nash Glynn

Interior



October 2, 2021 - November 13, 2021
Text by John Belknap Plot (a) A small piece of ground, generally used for a specific purpose. (b) Or, a measured area of land; lot. She sits upright on her stool. She pushes her twilight hair over her left eye leaving her right eye free to observe. A rippled collarbone supports her charm-pink neck and face. Below her collarbone are two incongruent breasts separated by a stroke of cerulean blue. She grips her left wrist with ambivalence. Two fingers silently tap the underside of her stool. She has purple legs. Her right foot arches as it balances on the bottom rung of her stool. Her left leg extends out and onto the negative space of the canvas so that her left foot finds support on deserted ground. The carmine blush on her foot gives weight to the abandoned terrain that surrounds her. She calls this land her own.

Deborah Roberts

O' Say Can't You See



September 4, 2021 - October 16, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce “O’ Say Can’t You See,” Deborah Roberts' second solo exhibition at the gallery. Roberts' work is on view from September 4, 2021, until October 16, 2021. Roberts’ new collages on canvas and paper portray the humanity and grace of Black children as they face the harsh and relentless reality of a society that seeks to see and treat them as adults. Over the last decade, Roberts has primarily focused on imaging young girls, originally beginning with self-portraits of herself as a child, and she has in the last few years begun to incorporate young boys. Working in collage with sourced imagery and increasingly incorporating hand-drawn and painted elements, Roberts portrays the vulnerability, strength, and beauty of these children. The exhibition's title, “O’ Say Can’t You See,” repurposes text from the national anthem and posits the question to the viewer: can’t you see these children as children, deserving of the same care and dignity afforded to their peers?

Andrea Bowers

Energy with Intention



August 21, 2021 - October 30, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce Los Angeles based artist and activist Andrea Bowers’ fifth solo exhibition with the gallery, Energy with Intention. Her new exhibition centers on a group of larger-than-life original drawings of women practitioners of different forms of martial arts and self-defense. For years I’ve been determined to make representations of empowered women. In this exhibition I am continuing an ongoing series of larger-than-life drawings of femme identity. I’ve returned to the subject of women performing martial arts and self-defense techniques. The works are drawn and painted on large, collaged, cardboard grounds, a process that has been evolving for years, since attending Occupy Wall Street when I fell in love with the sublime collection of cardboard placards at the actions. I think about these collaged cardboard works as monumental protest signs. The grounds are made entirely of recycled materials while simultaneously providing interesting content with the cardboard browns and tans. I wanted to show the beauty of the collaged cardboard, so I kept these drawings minimal in their use of color and line. In my twenties I was reading about and studying minimalism as well as the Judson Dance Theater’s celebration of democratic movement, and I began to see the overlap between the two genres where minimal human scale objects become props for feminist dance. In these new works the gestures like the hammer strike, groin strike, open fist punch, etc. when stilled and framed as a drawing begin to feel like choreography. An ongoing theme in my work has been the linkage between civil disobedience and dance. The source material for these works are my own photos of women in the LA area who are practitioners of different forms of martial arts and self-defense. I asked them to wear street clothes and dresses. The dresses along with the line quality, scale and transparency, unexpectedly confound traditional notions of femininity, emotionality and power. This is the first time I have used my own drawings for these large cardboard works. In the past I appropriated and recontextualized historical images. Using my own drawings has allowed me to use formal elements in a very personal way; I’m trying to complicate empowered femme identity with vulnerability, physical agility, fragility, monumentality and strength. These works are a celebration of the triple goddess, the maiden the mother and the crone. The women I photographed are of various generations, while two are actually mother and daughter, and of course the artist is the proud crone. Patriarchy continues to normalize sexism, racism, economic inequality and rape culture. The battle continues. --Andrea Bowers, August 2021

Edgar Arceneaux

Skinning the Mirror



July 24, 2021 - September 11, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present, Skinning the Mirror, a new body of work by Los Angeles-based artist Edgar Arceneaux on view in our Greenhouse Gallery July 24 - August 21, 2021. Over the past two decades, Arceneaux has engaged in an expansive multi-media practice where linear logic is typically abandoned in favor of experimentation, association, and where seemingly disparate elements find synchronicity and new possibilities in the artist’s hands.

Yunhee Min

Yunhee Min: Vitreous Opacities



July 3, 2021 - August 21, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to present Vitreous Opacities, an exhibition of new works by Yunhee Min, on view from July 3 - August 14, 2021. The exhibition consists of new paintings on glass alongside standing works that explore Min's interest in the interaction of poured paint on glass. Vibrant hues of acrylic paint mixed with enamel spill out onto the glass surfaces, the clash of colors and mix of opaque and translucent pigments create energetic compositions that capture the liquid nature of paint. Fixed onto the glass, the paint's impression of wetness is heightened to engender a sense of suspension, akin to the surface tension of liquid materials trapped in a glass slide.

Nick Aguayo, Edgar Arceneaux, Sadie Benning, Ellen Berkenblit, Andrea Bowers, Kim Dingle, Sean Duffy, Nicole Eisenman, Louise Fishman, Charles Gaines, Karl Haendel, Samuel Levi Jones, My Barbarian, Hugo McCloud, Dave McKenzie, Rodney McMillian. Yunhee Min, Mary Reid Kelley, Elizabeth Neel, Ruben Ochoa, Paul Mpagi Sepuya and Nicola Tyson

20 Years Anniversary Exhibition Part 2



June 26, 2021 - August 7, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present a second iteration of the gallery’s 20th anniversary exhibition on view from June 26th through August 7th, 2021. As Los Angeles re-opens, we are thrilled to continue celebrating this important milestone with our artists, clients, staff, and guests. The gallery’s program was built with the belief that contemporary art has relevance for all audiences. For this reason, equity of representation has always been a guiding principle in our program. It is with great gratitude that we look back on a richly faceted exhibition history resulting from this approach.

Sarah Cain



June 19, 2021 - July 10, 2021

Steve Roden

impressions



May 27, 2021 - June 25, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present a new body of collages by Los Angeles-based artist Steve Roden. Over the past 30 years, Roden has developed a highly idiosyncratic aesthetic language and a complex practice across multiple media distilling personal meaning into abstract forms often relating to text and sound. Rooted in an interest in the relationship between sound and language, Roden’s new collages continue his particular visual lexicon of abstraction coupled with found imagery from his collection of album covers, bringing together his interest in abstract forms and experimental music onto intimately scaled visual planes. Taking the impetus from the collaged imagery Roden then improvises with acrylic paint creating dynamic and layered compositions.

Esther Pearl Watson

Esther Pearl Watson (online)



May 5, 2021 - June 11, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present a new group of paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Esther Pearl Watson for Frieze New York 2021. The works will also be on view in the Greenhouse space at the gallery through May 29. Continuing her series of diaristic narrative paintings documenting the Covid-19 pandemic as it unfolds, Watson's works give a personal perspective filtering the timeline and reality of living through the pandemic through her own life in Los Angeles.

Ruben Ochoa



April 17, 2021 - April 24, 2021

Louise Fishman

We’ll Meet Again



March 27, 2021 - May 15, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present a solo exhibition by New York-based artist Louise Fishman. The exhibition, entitled We’ll Meet Again will be on view from March 27- May 15, 2021. We’ll Meet Again presents a unique perspective on Fishman’s signature approach to working with the material possibilities of paint – pairing new paintings created in her studio in upstate New York over the past year (2020) of quarantine with a selection of older works made between 1974 - 1985 from the artist's personal archive. Also on view are a selection of recent watercolors on paper and board, intimate in scale, consisting of an array of color and texture. Though painted forty plus years apart from one another, the connections between the paintings in We’ll Meet Again are abundant; from the methodology and physicality of the artist’s application of paint to her preoccupation with an intuitive painterly knowledge to the striking surfaces of each artwork made evident through inventiveness, tactility, and rigor.

Patrick Wilson

Keeping Time



March 13, 2021 - June 5, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Patrick Wilson. The exhibition marks Wilson’s ninth solo presentation with the gallery and will be on view from March 13 - April 24, 2021. Patrick Wilson is an abstract painter and perceptualist, whose idiosyncratic work is imbued with such California movements as 'Hard Edge' and 'Light and Space,' and a keen discipline of observing and considering the ever-changing contemporary landscape.

Hayv Kahraman

The touch of Otherness



March 6, 2021 - April 17, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce The touch of Otherness, Hayv Kahraman’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. Kahraman’s new paintings reflect her recent interrogation of the intersecting vocabularies of war and of immunology and epidemiology—Doctors envisioned as generals helping the patient fight the effects of external invaders, invisible terrorists, who multiply inside the body, weakening it and making it vulnerable to further contamination. In our current reality, it is impossible to ignore the parallels between the language used to describe viruses and cancers and the language used to describe migrant people. The language of war is nearly as destructive as war itself – it breaks social ties, undermines the possibility of existing in community, in solidarity, with those who are different, and renders longstanding damage to the potential of peaceful, equitable coexistence in the future. With a poetic visual language that oscillates between confrontation, humor, and tenderness, Kahraman’s recent work demands that we consider the long-term effects of militaristic metaphors in the discourse of health.

Ellen Berkenblit

Jello and Petit Fours (online)



February 6, 2021 - March 13, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to present Jello and Petit Fours – 4 exuberant gouache paintings on paper by Ellen Berkenblit. Last summer, Berkenblit placed an online order for 30” x 22” sheets of paper. By accident, 30” x 44” sheets arrived. The vast sheets of paper barely fit on her drawing table. Approaching with pencil or brush, standing to engage the full span of her arm, even with this richness of space, her compositions could not be contained.

Math Bass

Desert Veins



January 22, 2021 - March 6, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition with Los Angeles based artist Math Bass. Titled Desert Veins, the exhibition will be on view from January 23rd to March 6th, 2021. Marking the artist’s first body of work composed of oil paint — the exhibition introduces a significant shift in medium, technique, mannerism, and possibility. Continuing to utilize their signature visual lexicon of symbols and shapes, Bass challenges and softens the notably graphic composition(s) found throughout the artist’s previous bodies of work. Along with the appearance of hand-painted gestures and an enhanced sensuality amongst the artist’s personal semiotics, Bass allows for a wider range of symbolism, as well as an intentionally spiritual angle to come through their already ambitious and cosmological practice. Within these additional levels of engagement, Bass creates a visceral sense of forgiveness towards the rigor of maintaining a hard-edge universe, conveying a more 'irreplaceable moment’ within their expressive powers.

Sadie Benning

This is Real



January 9, 2021 - February 20, 2021
This Is Real explores the directness and immediacy of small scale drawings, ultimately expanding the original size and formations into larger scale constructions which reflect on themes of identity and transformation. Hovering between representation and abstraction, the fragmented surfaces emote the presence of the hand—a physical body and its imprints—while the shapes, colors and content suggest the space of the mind, complicating the interplay between internal and external realities. Benning ruminates: asking us to further question how reality is constructed, manipulated and controlled—and how binary structures are used to do so.

Monique Van Genderen

Each of these Paintings Can Be Named After a Famous Painter (online)



January 7, 2021 - January 20, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce an online presentation of new paintings by Monique van Genderen on both Gallery Platform Los Angeles and on the Vielmetter Los Angeles webpage. Titled “Each of These Paintings Can Be Named After a Famous Painter,” the group of works represent the artists foray into a new mode of painting focused on the mechanisms of drawing at an intimate scale. These material departures create a collection of bijou compositions that display van Genderen’s adeptness with abstraction. A selection of exquisite compositions will be featured on each platform to create a conversation between both groups of works.

Care Package



November 21, 2020 - February 6, 2021

Esther Pearl Watson

Safer at Home: Pandemic Paintings



November 21, 2020 - February 6, 2021
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present an ambitious series of new paintings by Esther Pearl Watson. “Safer at Home: Pandemic Paintings,” was begun in March at the onset of the shelter in place orders in Los Angeles and spans the timeline of the Covid-19 Pandemic through a diaristic narrative. In a continuous series of over 100 paintings Watson chronicles her and her family’s experience of the pandemic and subsequent events that have unfolded over the last several months offering an opportunity to reflect upon this year of upheaval and change.

Edgar Arceneaux

Until, Until, Until... The Presidential Bookend Series (2015-2020) (online)



October 24, 2020 - December 12, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present an exhibition of new photographs by Edgar Arceneaux, entitled Until, Until, Until...The Presidential Bookend Series (2015-2020). Marking Arceneaux’s eighth solo presentation with the gallery, the online exhibition features eight key photographic compositions archived from the performances of Until, Until, Until… — Arceneaux's first live work, investigating the infamous 1981 performance ( and its aftermath) of Broadway legend Ben Vereen, televised nationally - but not in full, as part of Ronald Reagan's inaugural celebration. This suite of photos represents a graceful distillation of the arc and breath of this tragic story.

Kennedy Yanko

Salient Queens



October 10, 2020 - December 12, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of Kennedy Yanko’s work, “Salient Queens.” Opening on October 10, 2020, the exhibition features a series of sculptures that both combine and juxtapose found metal with supple colored paint skins. The resulting conversations between these fundamentally opposite materials create striking forcefields within each sculpture where the impact of pressure applied to the metal contrasts sharply with the smoothly draped painterly skins that spill forth from cracks and openings in the powerfully bent metal.

Rodney McMillian

Body Politic



September 26, 2020 - December 5, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Los Angeles-based artist Rodney McMillian's sixth solo exhibition with the gallery. In addition to his exhibition at our gallery, McMillian’s work will be on view in several museums this fall. His 2010 work in black vinyl, titled Succulent is currently prominently installed in the Agnes Gund Garden Lobby at The Museum of Modern Art, NY for re-opening following the COVID-19 lockdown. A selection of McMillian’s video works that address the political histories of the United States is on view in the solo exhibition Historically Hostile at the Blaffer Art Museum until September 20. Also in Houston, Untitled (The Supreme Court Painting), 2004 – 2006 and Untitled (Flag IV), 2012 are on view in States of Mind: Art and American Democracy at the Moody Center for the Arts at Rice University. Taken together with the new works on view at Vielmetter, these presentations mark McMillian’s more than two-decade exposition of histories, ideologies, and structures that have shaped the United States.

Sarah Cain

The possibility of overcoming negative thought



September 19, 2020 - October 31, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first exhibition with Los Angeles based artist, Sarah Cain. Cain, who joined the gallery in 2019, paints exuberant abstractions that often extend beyond the canvas into installations, site- specific painting, stained glass and furniture that play with and meld references from throughout visual art, music, and our culture at large. Titled The possibility of overcoming negative thought, the work in this exhibition radiates an urgent and necessary optimism in a moment where we seem to be collectively teetering between infinite possibility and absolute despair. In this exhibition, which includes paintings, a new edition work in stained glass, and a large on-site painting in the gallery’s Lanai (viewable from the North parking lot at 1700 S Santa Fe,) Cain is weaving bits of her life into color, abstraction, and spatial intervention.

Genevieve Gaignard

A Long Way From Home (online)



August 27, 2020 - December 7, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Genevieve Gaignard's solo exhibition "A Long Way From Home," in conjunction with MCLA Berkshire Cultural Center's Gallery 51. Gaignard's exhibition, the result of her residency at MCLA, features new collage works that address the historical and political turbulence of race in America and the reemergence of Black Lives Matter protests in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

April Street

Circling the Drain Works on Paper (online)



July 25, 2020 - August 14, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present an online exhibition of works on paper by April Street. Entitled “Circling the Drain” it features 12 watercolors which are related to her recent exhibition at the gallery and translate the artist’s relief-style painting onto a flattened plane. Lines of braids and plump shapes mimic meandering vines and overripe fruit - root vegetables and flowers in vibrant utopian settings appear cracked or bitten. These still-lifes and fanged landscape portals are infused with equal parts dark humor and aesthetic joy. Created over the past several months while in quarantine, this body of work juxtaposes Street’s painterly practice which is influenced by specific art historical contexts with the uncertainty and turbulence of this pandemic.

Sean Duffy

Alone Now



July 16, 2020 - November 21, 2020
Sean Duffy’s Alone Now is an immersive installation which is both an experimental self-portrait and a commentary on the symbolic nature of the garage as a site of masculine creativity. The labyrinth-like installation is divided by steel frame structures and made up of a helter-skelter arrangement of finished and abandoned projects ranging from light fixtures made out of sports helmets to screen printed tapestries and magazine collages. The tight and cluttered space is tinged with an unsettling feeling of an abandoned room, a safe space of sorts that seems to have been left to collect dust for unknown reasons.

20 Year Anniversary Exhibition



July 11, 2020 - August 25, 2020

Whitney Bedford

Nevertheless…(online)



July 11, 2020 - August 1, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present Nevertheless..., an online exhibition of new drawings by artist Whitney Bedford.

Esther Pearl Watson

Words of Encouragement (online)



June 30, 2020 - July 4, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present our second online exhibition during this unprecedented and challenging time. “Words of Encouragement” is a series of new works by Esther Pearl Watson painted while in quarantine.

Brad Eberhard

New Neural Pathways (online)



June 20, 2020 - July 11, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present New Neural Pathways, an exhibition of new works by Brad Eberhard. Marking Eberhard’s second solo presentation with the gallery, the online exhibition includes a series of 12 paintings on canvas and 17 works on paper — showcasing the artist’s humorous and cosmic discourse with abstraction.

Kim Dingle

GALLERYPLATFORM.LA: Kim Dingle Home Depot Coloring Books Anyone Can Do It (online)



May 14, 2020 - May 21, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce a presentation of Kim Dingle’s “Home Depot Coloring Book” paintings on Gallery Platform LA.Dingle began making this series of paintings in 2017, utilizing OSB board, a utilitarian equivalent to compressed plywood. Recognizing the creative potential within the board’s patterns Dingle colors in the ready-made strands, creating inherent and endless compositions — of which the artist insists; anyone can do.

Louise Fishman

An Hour is a Sea (online)



April 18, 2020 - May 8, 2020
As the world has come to a moment of forced quietness, Vielmetter Los Angeles presents to you a series of online exhibitions during this unprecedented and challenging time. Our first online exhibition —“An Hour is a Sea” by New York artist Louise Fishman — features a suite of exquisitely tiny paintings (each measuring approximately 2 to 4 inches), alongside a serenely calm and meditative Untitled work from 1971, and a lustrous painting from 2016, entitled Jasper.

Elizabeth Neel

A Life in Halves



March 14, 2020 - April 25, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition with New York-based painter Elizabeth Neel. Life in Halves presents a new suite of large scale paintings on canvas and a group of works on paper that extend her interest in the externalization of physical and psychological experience via abstraction. Using a diverse vocabulary of mark-making tools, including fingers, rags, brushes, mono-printing techniques and rollers, Neel’s paintings are ripe with emotive lyricism suggestive of the correlative and repetitious cycles of daily life.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya

A conversation (about) around pictures



March 14, 2020 - April 25, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce our first solo exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist Paul Mpagi Sepuya, A conversation (about) around pictures. These new works, made in Sepuya’s Los Angeles studio between 2017 and early 2020 represent a subtle evolution of the artist’s thoughts about how pictures are made, seen, and circulated. In several of the works on view, multiple images of alternate points of view appear in the on screens of sitters' and collaborators' iPhones, reflected in the mirror that is the technical focus of all of Sepuya’s photographs. In others, the focus is on the space of the studio itself, rendered strange and indeterminate by multiple reflections and a proliferation of images in the form of test prints adhered to the wall, arranged on tables, or otherwise visible in the space of the image. Following his participation in the 2019 Whitney Biennial, where Sepuya included not only images made by his camera in his studio, but also images made by other artists in their cameras in his studio, several potential conversations around pictures emerge in this body of work.

Karl Haendel

Double Dominant



January 25, 2020 - March 7, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is excited to announce Double Dominant, an exhibition of new drawings by Karl Haendel. This suite of 24 monumental drawings will be presented in two parts. Part one, made up the first twelve drawings, will open January 25 with a reception from 4- 7pm; part two, a re-hang of the show with twelve new drawings, will open on February 15, 2020. A volume reproducing the complete set of works, published by Triangle Books with an essay by Natilee Harren, will accompany the exhibition.

John Sonsini

Cowboy Stories & New Paintings



January 11, 2020 - February 22, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present the gallery’s first exhibition with Los Angeles based portrait painter John Sonsini. Comprised of full-length figures, bust portraits, and still lifes, the exhibition, Cowboy Stories & New Paintings, centers on the theme of cowboys living in Mid City Los Angeles. Emblematic of Sonsini's 50 yearlong practice, his all-male portraits oscillate between the intimacy of depicting a specific person's likeness and more generally addressing broad issues of gender mythology. In “Francisco”, we see the sitter exchanging his street clothes for the western clothing he's unpacked from a suitcase, thus witnessing the transition from the everyday to the performative.

Whitney Bedford

Reflections on the Anthropocene



January 11, 2020 - February 22, 2020
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce Reflections on the Anthropocene, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Whitney Bedford. Reflecting upon how humans have chosen to record images of the natural world, Bedford's new landscapes draw upon an archive of historical landscape paintings to illustrate how images from the past underscore the dire reality of climate change and shifting ecosystems in the present.

Shana Lutker

An Analphabet



September 20, 2019 - November 2, 2019
Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce the opening of An Analphabet, an exhibition of new works by Shana Lutker opening on September 20, 2019. Lutker creates a precarious, shifting installation of sculptural forms. Highly polished reflective steel is cut into recognizable shapes—a lasso, a perforated A-frame, an eye—which are also suggestive of letters or sounds. Culled from her studio archives of materials, surrealist ephemera, and found objects, Lutker presents a body of work that yearns to be more. An Analphabet insinuates the possibility of a world, and all the shapes and objects in it, as a text to be read.

Louise Fishman

The Tumult in the Heart



September 20, 2019 - November 2, 2019

The Light Touch



September 7, 2019 - October 19, 2019
"The light touch is often the strongest gesture of all" - Helen Frankenthaler, 1962 Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present The Light Touch, an exhibition featuring a selection of artists working across numerous modes of abstract painting. The exhibition uses Frankenthaler’s quote as an organizing principle–the artists, though varied in their approaches, share an interest in the play of light and spirit of pleasure through color and gesture.

Nick Aguayo

Wake the Town and Tell the People



September 7, 2019 - October 19, 2019
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present our second solo exhibition with Los Angeles based painter Nick Aguayo, Wake the Town and Tell the People. In this new body of work, Aguayo presents a series of paintings whose style is evidently rooted in the process of collage – thick impasto surfaces and textural areas of built up and removed paint reveal layers of the compositions which appear both highly orchestrated and invigoratingly improvised.

Genevieve Gaignard

I'm Sorry I Never Told You That You're Beautiful



June 29, 2019 - August 24, 2019
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition of new works by Los Angeles based artist Genevieve Gaignard, I’m Sorry I Never Told You That You’re Beautiful. Known for her exploration of Americana via racial formation, interiority and portraiture, Gaignard disrupts symbols and images, which attempt to assure supremacy and erase merging identities and notions of belonging. This exhibition explores affinity of place, desires of flight/departure, and an empathic turn through installation, collage, sculpture, and photography.

Samuel Levi Jones

No More Tokens



June 29, 2019 - August 17, 2019
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce Samuel Levi Jones’ second solo exhibition with the gallery, No More Tokens. In this new body of work, Jones continues his process of deconstructing academic reference books by stripping them of their covers and repurposing the materials to compose abstract paintings. The works in this exhibition are comprised specifically of fabric book jackets from art historical publications published in the last 50 years. Jones’ culls the book jackets from used and discarded art books in order to engage with authoritative narratives which perpetuate inequities in the art world, particularly the exclusion of artists of color, female artists, and other marginalized populations from such sources of knowledge.

Sculpture



June 1, 2019 - August 24, 2019
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to present an exhibition of sculptural works by Edgar Arceneaux, Nicole Eisenman, Liz Glynn, Mary Kelly, Hugo McCloud, Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, and Ruben Ochoa in our new exhibition space in Downtown.

Deborah Roberts

Native Sons: Many Thousands Gone



April 13, 2019 - June 8, 2019
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition by Deborah Roberts in our Downtown gallery entitled Native Sons: Many thousands gone.

Arlene Shechet

Sculpture



April 6, 2019 - June 8, 2019
Vielmetter Los Angeles is pleased to announce our first solo exhibition by New York-based sculptor, Arlene Shechet. Sculpture will also be the first solo exhibition in our new gallery located at 1700 S Santa Fe Ave in Los Angeles. Shechet’s work in ceramic, porcelain, wood, concrete, bronze, and other materials teases out longstanding tensions in sculpture between object and base, interior and exterior, figure and space. Building on the insights of artists like Marisol [Escobar], Sophie Tauber Arp, and Constantin Brancusi, (who’s Endless Column is nodded to in this exhibition with The Queen (2019), a cast-concrete sculpture topped with a bronze crenellation, that like the column takes a shape evocative of a pedestal as the final form of the sculpture) Shechet has forged a singular path as an artist. Her works combine “universal” formal concerns with the intensely personal, deeply felt, and politically opinionated. Her consistent attention to the decorative (i.e. feminine) and her commitment to ceramic (i.e. craft, women’s labor) and the ways in which she has monumentalized both in her sculptural projects represent a radical undermining of the historical imperatives of objects in three-dimensions. Shechet’s work does not kowtow to the ideal body or form, pay homage to great men, or memorialize violent histories. Instead, she has made the process of producing delicate porcelain teacups into monuments in her current installation in the Madison Square Garden Conservancy and toys with the over-serious modern project of utopia-construction in a group of table-top works in her exhibition at the gallery.

Inaugural Exhibition



February 16, 2019 - March 23, 2019
Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is pleased to announce the opening of our new exhibition space in downtown Los Angeles. Spanning the entire length of 1700 South Santa Fe Avenue, the 11,000 sf warehouse will host the gallery’s most ambitiously scaled exhibitions and provides additional space for both a screening and reading room. It will be used as a second exhibition space in addition to our Culver City gallery. The gallery design was developed in collaboration with TOLO Architecture and Anderson Studio. The gallery will open during Frieze LA with a preview on Friday, February 15, 2019, and will open to the public on Saturday, February 16. The inaugural exhibition will feature new and historic works by artists from the gallery’s roster:Edgar Arceneaux, Sadie Benning, Andrea Bowers, Kim Dingle, Sean Duffy, Nicole Eisenman, Charles Gaines, Karl Haendel, Stanya Kahn, Mary Kelly, Rodney McMillian, Wangechi Mutu, Ruben Ochoa, Pope.L, Amy Sillman, and Nicola Tyson. The inaugural exhibition will be followed by solo exhibitions of new work by Arlene Shechet, Deborah Roberts, Sam Levi Jones, Genevieve Gaignard, Andrea Bowers, Shana Lutker, and Liz Glynn. The downtown gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, just south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the north parking lot adjacent to the building.