Latest Posts

JESSE FLEMING

In 2001, I bought an unmarked black and white police car, two gray uniforms of different shades, and a video camera that I mounted to the interior of the vehicle’s passenger window. I was doing work I called “Neutral Art.” It was an idea of bridging two opposites to create something in a neutral state. I was preparing to cross the United States, and wanted to do so invisible. It occurred to me I could create a conspicuous spectacle that no one could make exact sense of. By exploiting the signifiers of authority, I became criminal and cop at once. Yet without clear identification, I could suspend judgment long enough to move forward freely in time. Few drivers or police would provide confrontation or protest. As I drove behind people they would heed way, and as I passed I could feel them trying to read me. Shielded by confusion and anonymity I moved forward without resistance, unknown until forgotten.

ALEXANDER MAY

THE COMPANY is pleased to announce the launch of a three-part exhibition series with Alexander May beginning November 2009. Verging on a Response (Conversation Everything) is the first installment of this three-year experiment. The impetus for the curatorial exercise came out of dialogue between The Company’s Anat Ebgi, who is a recent alumnus of Bard Center for Curatorial Studies program, and May as he embarked on a 3 year MFA program at Bard’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. The Company saw this as an opportunity to track an artist as he completes each summer of this MFA program, and to closely examine the process of “mastery.”

The Company acts as an extended studio, a stage for thoughtful readjusting and experimenting, as well a platform for discussion. The summer at Bard gets replayed in Los Angeles and becomes a dramatization of studio practice. May states: “there is a connection and disconnection between the two summer months upstate and the redirection, the actual studio time and the dramatization of that time.” A floor installed in the gallery’s main space and annex garage levels this distinction.

The sculptures featured in Verging on a Response (Conversation Everything) include a couch, originally in May’s studio, being held down by a concrete slab. The heaviness of the concrete calcifies this “conversational weight” in an attempt to entomb ideas floating in the air. Additionally, a stack of mirrors, the measurements of which correlate exactly to those of The Company’s ceiling, suggests the interest in demarcating or barricading the intangible. The floor, provided by the artist, unites these abstract ideas. May states: “Notes on a stage, the floor is uniting space, a temporary unity when things can exist together for an amount of time holding ideas together and keeping the conversation going…” The Company becomes a holding place for this recurring conversation, a literal bookmark.

Alexander May was born in Maryland in 1983, but spent his first nine years in Spanish-speaking countries. He developed a facility with materials at a young age by rummaging through vast textiles markets. Moving almost every two years, May’s exposure to varied landscapes fueled his acute sensitivity to space. After graduating from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in fiber material studies in 2006, he moved to Los Angeles. Fascinated by the checkered history of design, May pairs his minimalist aesthetic with an acute sensitivity to found objects. Informed by his studio practice as a sculptor, he gravitates towards objects that redirect the purity of an original form. May recently performed See Saw (I consider you, consider me), at LA><Art in Los Angeles. By physically editing the sightline of the audience using a wall that divided the room in two, May balanced on a plank of wood supported by a solid plaster cylinder. The goal of the action was to dislodge a 19” x 19” cube from the gallery wall. He is currently a candidate in the MFA program at Bard College. May divides his time between Los Angeles and New York.

ADAM JANES

The Company is pleased to announce our next exhibitions PREDICTING THE PRESENT by Tacoma based artist Elias Hansen and ALTAR ALTER MINI STORAGE by Los Angeles based artist Adam Janes. Although Hansen and Janes will be showcased as solo presentations, the impetus for the pairing spawned from a shared interest in the alchemic conversions in sculpture. Both artists engage the process of altering solids into liquids and back into solids by their respective glassblowing and candle making. On the surface, glass and wax are ubiquitous, innocuous materials. They become something of value once they are used as conduits for predicting the future or communicating with the spiritual world. These double meanings are amplified within the gallery, a former motel and a location for transient and clandestine activities. The viewer is asked to become a participant to the ways of the occult. But this is Art, so we present it to you with a dose of cheeky irony and skepticism for your comfort.

For ALTAR ALTER MINI STORAGE, Adam Janes retrofits The Company’s garage into a turquoise den filled with brightly hued wax candles molded in random shapes such as gambling die, skulls, diamonds, crystal shaped mountain, the artist’s teeth (with an incisor missing), a Chinese luck coin, and the iconic California brown bear. The cartoonish objects are displayed on wooden crates to form an altar, and a hanging carcass chandelier. The organized chaos is reminiscent of a cluttered new-age shop filled with crystals, trinkets, and tarot cards, each overwhelmed via display but significant in their individual meaning. Like crystals, which can be viewed as abundant glittering gems researched by geologists or as precious conduits for spiritual healing, the candles too can become fetishized depending on the viewer’s inclination.

Janes’ sculptural background, a discipline occupied with formal and structural concerns, loosens up in ALTAR ALTER MINI STORAGE. The balance between the completed product and the ever-changing one disrupts the formal obsessions and leaves everything to chance. Over the course of the exhibition, the burning candles will melt into other shapes, rendering the original forms unrecognizable and completing the cycle of total transformation.

The objects in play are the garage and multiples of handmade wax candles. The project originally started as a mass production candle factory. Found objects were molded and poured with colored wax. As the multiples began to accumulate an organization system was needed. Product displays and ceremonial altars seemed close cousins. Altars provided both a wide range of interpretation and a structural looseness that complimented the coldness of mass production. A hanging carcass of colorful useless candles disguised as a chandelier. The California brown bear rising from a bouquet of used candle shapes. A shelving system is overwhelmed by bits and parts of the candle making process. The cramped space itself provides an intimacy with the process much like sneaking into your neighbor’s garage and seeing something that you shouldn’t. – Adam Janes

ELIAS HANSEN

 

The Company is pleased to announce our next exhibitions PREDICTING THE PRESENT by Tacoma based artist Elias Hansen and ALTAR ALTER MINI STORAGE by Los Angeles based artist Adam Janes. Although Hansen and Janes will be showcased as solo presentations, the impetus for the pairing spawned from a shared interest in the alchemic conversions in sculpture. Both artists engage the process of altering solids into liquids and back into solids by their respective glassblowing and candle making. On the surface, glass and wax are ubiquitous, innocuous materials. They become something of value once they are used as conduits for predicting the future or communicating with the spiritual world. These double meanings are amplified within the gallery, a former motel and a location for transient and clandestine activities. The viewer is asked to become a participant to the ways of the occult. But this is Art, so we present it to you with a dose of cheeky irony and skepticism for your comfort.

For PREDICTING THE PRESENT, Elias Hansen assembled discarded furnishings, such as a side table and door, and inserted hand-blown concave/convex circular glass to transform the objects into makeshift “seeing” stations. Peering through the appended glass, an image of run-down house is revealed. The low resolution photographs were taken by the artist and digitally manipulated to appear worn and aged. The glass insertions into the furniture might gain entry into their essence—what have these discarded objects witnessed? Were they inside these homes before they became detritus? Hansen resuscitates the objects, altering their original function into a metaphysical one.

Seattle Art Museum’s curator Michael Darling states, “His recent sculptures in this exhibition bear out this predilection, strapping beautifully crafted crystal lenses to tin cans with wire so that low-fi photographs can be scrutinized. The objects in the photographs, like the sculptures that house them, are of structures defined by an in-between state, some devoted to itinerant lifestyles like RVs, others downtrodden houses in the process of being reclaimed by nature.”

I made the glass lenses in Tacoma, at the Museum of Glass. I polished them in Ballard. I take pictures in my trips between the two places. I’ve found sheets of glass, epoxy resins, stove pipes and doors to build the lens housings and viewing contraptions at local dump spots. The contraptions, or investigators, form a system of confusing vocabularies between each other. There is no clear direction on how to use them; their physical function sits between the magnifying glass and the microscope. – Elias Hansen

View Elias Hansen Artist Page

ALI PROSCH | Travelers’ Suite

Nothing seemed true; I felt surrounded by cardboard scenery which could quickly be removed, Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea, 1959.

What happens behind the door of a hotel room? Time gets muddy — day and night conflate on the whim of thick curtains. Jumping on beds, taking long baths, moving furniture to simulate home. You greet friends visiting the room, lounging on couches with a cocktail and a cigarette. All the while the fireplace roars. The room belongs to no-one and everyone for this moment, and will forget you as soon as you leave.

For her first solo exhibition at The Company, Prosch will be re-imagining Travelers’ Suite, an ambitious nine-channel video installation depicting the metaphysical essence of a hotel room and the activities of its transient inhabitants. Presented in a gaudy pastiche of periods, Travelers’ Suite is a veritable visual mash-up: caveman meets rococo meets your spinster great-aunt, where oversized velvet couches, gilded chairs, rock wall fireplace, and a mirroring set of Victorian beds more than decorate the room — they become characters.

Abstractions of time and space, coupled with disparate imagery of the suite fading in and out, convey a simultaneous sense of wonder, uncertainty, and terror. Lithe, costumed characters drifting in and out of the frame in temporal vignettes activate the space as props or extensions of the room, their gestures facilitating a delicate tension between stasis and hyperbole. The dreamlike state evoked by this piece is reminiscent of a trippy, non sequitur-laden meeting of the minds between David Lynch and Fluxus artists, or a stylized, surreal, time-based version of a Belle Époque novel.

Ali Prosch was born 1979 in Fairfax, California. She lives and works in Los Angeles. In 2009, Prosch received an MFA from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA. Prosch has had solo projects at the New Jersey City University, Fredric Snitzer Gallery (Miami), Sandroni Rey (LA), and in group exhibits at Georgia State University, REDCAT, MoCA at the Goldman Warehouse (Miami), Locust Projects (Miami), Museum of Contemporary Art (Miami), Tomio Koyama Gallery (Tokyo), White Box (NYC), and The Moore Space (Miami).

View Ali Prosch Artist Page

LISI RASKIN | Mt. Disappointment

The Company is pleased to announce Lisi Raskin’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, titled Mt. Disappointment (1). Raskin will utilize The Company’s main gallery and garage in her staging of an immersive play environment. The show’s narrative begins in the garage where Raskin has installed a large collage to serve as a stand-in for the incoming bomber threat that the Nike/Hercules (2) missile program was designed to thwart. In response to this bomber collage, Raskin constructs a crude replica of a Browning M2 machine gun, a versatile, firearm usually mounted to tanks. However, in this case, Raskin has mounted the machine gun to a sculpture instead. Over the course of the exhibition, the garage space will also be the site for various performances that Raskin will stage.

In the main gallery space, Raskin retrofits an architectural gesture/framing device for various smaller scale collages that both describe the Nike/Hercules sites that she visited on her research trip and use abstraction to loosen the semantic attachment to the nature of the sites, bringing to the foreground ideas of form, composition, color and geometric abstraction.

Over the past ten years, Raskin has explored the nuclear-powered sublime on a first hand basis and used her findings in the field to develop artwork. This interest has provoked excursions to malignant locations like former East German Atomic Bunkers and the Swedish Space Corporation’s Esrange Launch Site in the Arctic Circle.

Raskin received her BFA from Brandeis University, Boston, and her MFA from Columbia University, New York. In 2007, Raskin was invited to be an Artist in Residence at the IASPIS program in Stockholm, Sweden, and in 2008 was invited to be an Artist in Residence at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. Her work has been exhibited at the Blanton Museum, TX; PS1/MoMA, NY; Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; and MoCA, North Miami. Collections include Dia Art Foundation, NY and Hessel Museum, Bard College. Raskin lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

(1) The actual Mount Disappointment is located in the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County and contained a Nike missile site from 1955, and was converted into a military radio relay site in 1965.

(2) There are sixteen decommissioned Nike/Hercules missile sites surrounding Los Angeles. During the early years of the cold war (1950 – 1974), the Nike/Hercules missile sites, in tandem with NORAD early warning sites were the mainstay of the United States Military’s defensive strike strategy. In essence, the Nike/Hercules missiles remained on 24-hour ready alert in order to thwart incoming bomber attacks. Since their decommissioning, the L.A. area Nike/Hercules sites have gone through a multitude of different functions. It is the physical residue of these functions, an interest in obsolete military weaponry, and the way entropy shapes post-use sites that galvanized her decision to use these locations as the backdrop of this project. An example of this predictable yet absurd use-cycle is the area of land now known as the Long Beach Airport. In 1960, the Nike missile site was known as L.A.-40 and today, the exact location of the missile battery is an office park.

View Lisi Raskin Artist Page

PERFORM! NOW!

SISTER MANTOS & SAMUEL VASQUEZ
When: Friday, July 30, 2010
Performance Time: 8:00 p.m

MARC HOROWITZ “TALK SHOW”
When: Saturday, July 31
Performance Time: 4:00 – 7:00PM

Chinatown will play host to the second annual PERFORM! NOW! Festival. Upwards of 40 performances will take place inside and outside an array of Chinatown venues. The programming allows for appropriate focus, time, context and space for uninterrupted engagement with large audiences, and provides the best possible arena for each performance.

Expanding on the premise of the inaugural event, Perform! Now! will seek to further develop and explore the delicate relationship between performer, audience, and environment. Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown neighborhood harbors many unusual and exciting areas with limitless performance potential, that when paired with the wealth of talent included in this year’s roster, promises for an energizing and dynamic experience.


With support from participating organization LA><ART. Special Thanks to Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE).
Organized by François Ghebaly, Marcus Civin, Dino Dinco and Danielle Firoozi.

PERFORM! NOW! Daily Schedule (JULY 29 – AUGUST 1, 2010)

Thursday

7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, Perform! Now! Fundraiser, $20 suggested donation. Julie Tolentino and Stosh Fila, Marcus Civin, Warren Neidich, Emily Lacy

Friday

7:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Free all day. Douglas Green, Paul Pescador, Alexis Disselkoen, Nancy Popp, Team Zatara, Math Bass, Skip Arnold, Emily Mast and Jerome Bel, Alex Staiger and Superman, Morissa Maltz, Marcus Civin, Elena Bajo, Corey Fogel and Liz Glynn, ing, Warren Neidich, Tiffany Trenda, Matt Greene, Sister Mantos & Samuel Vasquez, Megan Daalder

Saturday

12:00 PM – 12:00 AM, Free all day. Vlatka Horvat, Douglas Green, Monica Duncan, Marcus Civin, Dorian Wood and Joseph Tepperman, Dorit Cypis, Morrisa Maltz, Math Bass, Paul Pescador, Emily Mast and Jerome Bel, Micol Hebron, Material Press, Alexis Disselkoen, Nancy Popp, Margie Schnibbe, Team Zatara, Mariel Carranza, Brian Getnick and Kristian van der Heyden, Zackary Drucker, Skip Arnold, Steve Roden, Megan Daalder, Andrew Printer, Flora Wegman, Mark Verbioff, Jason Wallace Triefenbach, Matt Greene, Yong Soon Min, Lucas Murgida, Warren Neidich, Elena Bajo, Brandon Fowler, Gustavo Herrera, Marc Horowitz, Actual Size Los Angeles hosts Haircuts and Popsicles

Sunday

2:00 PM – 10:30 PM, Free all day. Volume featuring Jen Boyd, Julia Holter, Kadet Kuhne, Marc Manning, Adam Overton, Akira Rabelais, Shuttle358, Mark So, Sublamp, Mark Trayle, Justin Varis, and Sander Roscoe Wolff; Alex Staiger and Superman, Elle Mehrmand and Micha Cardenas, Julie Tolentino, Stosh Fila & Mark So, Fundacion Wanna Winni, Samuel Vasquez, Brian Getnick and Kristian van der Heyden

SHADOW EFFECT

On Saturday July 17, The Company is pleased to present SHADOW EFFECT, a group exhibition that brings together thirteen artists whose works contain shades of black, gray, silver, white – sans color. A selection of videos, photography, collage, sculpture, and painting all pertain to this sparse palate.

Black and white is usually reserved for information, and read as straightforward, eschewing any manipulation that color represents. In artwork, the application of black, white, silver, and gray can be mysterious and poignant. Color instantly seduces or repels, whereas the concoction of black and white unfolds slowly and hypnotizes you secretly. One is struck more by the artworks’ form and gesture than by its cloak of colors.

Lynda Benglis
Deville Cohen
Mike Cooter
Jen DeNike
Jesse Reding Fleming
Gandalf Gavan
Alexa Gerrity
Elias Hansen
Davida Nemeroff
Mary Anna Pomonis
Ali Prosch
Mariah Robertson
Sigrid Sandström

Jen DeNike: The Scrying Trilogy

The Company is pleased to present The Scrying Trilogy, Jen DeNike’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. The Scrying Trilogy incorporates three new works: Another CircleCrystal Forest and Hydromancy, each expanding on the ballet SCRYING , which debuted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York earlier this year.

The Scrying Trilogy is significant to Los Angeles as it completes a cycle that began with the ballet workshop of Scrying in Santa Monica last summer. DeNike, in collaboration with choreographer Melissa Barak realized the three-act ballet in the Balanchine tradition using six Los Angeles Ballet dancers.

Another Circle, a single channel video projection depicts a ballerina in classical tutu and toe shoes rotating in what appears to be an infinite pirouette, evoking the bodily repetition of scrying. During the opening reception at The Company, the original ballerina from the video will perform mirroring and reacting to the hypnotic action in the video.

The physicality of Another Circle is transferred through Crystal Forest, sculptures consisting of crystals mined by the artist near Hot Springs, Arkansas in the summer of 2010. As a form of an archeological dig, DeNike selected specific crystals ranging in size, and then infused each with magick to be used as a conduit for scrying. The crystals are placed on a custom-made steel pedestal as still-lifes.

Water is another element that is used for scrying and is explored by the artist in Hydromancy , which is part performance, and part sculptural installation. Rows of black bowls filled with water are placed in circles, while a performer slowly moves between them conjuring divination through the water. When the performer is not there, a circular mirror is placed in center of the bowls on floor.

JEN DENIKE lives and works in New York City. Her work has been exhibited internationally including: MOMA, Kunst Werke, P.S.1., Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Brooklyn Museum, CCS Hessel Museum, EMPAC, Tensta Konsthall Sweden, Duve Berlin, Smith-Stewart, MOCA Miami, Printed Matter NY, and the Performa Biennial. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Julia Stoschek Collection. Jen received her MFA from Bard College in 2002.

Scrying is a practice of magic or divination that involves seeing visions through physical mediums like water, a mirror, crystals, or reflective surfaces.

Hydromancy is the method of divination by means of water.

Museum of Modern Art, January 12, 2010: http://www.moma.org/poprally/41_scrying

View footage of the ballerina performance from the 9.17 opening:

Alexa Gerrity: The Venus Effect

The Company is pleased to present The Venus Effect, Alexa Gerrity’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles featuring a multi-medium installation of video, paintings, and text. The exhibition will open Oct. 29th and run thru Dec. 11th, 2010.

The Venus effect is a phenomenon in the psychology of perception named after various paintings of Venus gazing into a mirror (Titian’s Venus with a Mirror, Vasari’s Toilet of Venus, Mary Cassatt’s Mother and Child.) The Viewer assumes that Venus is admiring her own reflection, but since the viewer sees her face in the mirror, Venus is actually looking at the reflection of the viewer. This phenomenon is explored by Alexa in relationship to the psychological landscape of Los Angeles through painting, video and installation.

The first mirrors used by people were most likely pools of dark, still water. The myth of Narcissus is directly concerned with an element of human experience, as the word Narcissus indicates—narcosis, numbness or alienation. The single channel video, Marked by Mercury, explores this relationship with the gaze. Narcissus mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This seductive doubling numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image. The orginal soundtrack for Marked by Mercury was a collaboration between Alexa and Icelandic musician Kristín Þóra Haraldsdóttir.

A selection of new paintings, inspired from the pages of OK magazine and US Weekly, reflect common superficial projections and assumptions made about Southern California. From celebrity beach towels to invented Malibu sunsets, multiple ‘styles’ reference a psychological approach while undermining the viewer’s expectations for the artist’s work to be immutable.

For the first time ever an artist will transform The Company’s bathroom into a sanctuary space with a series of personal affirmations in the piece titled True Potential. By repeating the statements into the mirror, the viewer is invited to unlock her true potential through repetition. The use of instructional text to stimulate behavior and promote an awareness of the body and mind harkens to Bruce Nauman’s Body Pressure, 1974.

The single-channel video, Forever Young, is the result of a professional casting call, in which Gerrity searched for Los Angeles actresses that shared the artist’s physical attributes. The audition of these doppelgangers becomes strained, loses touch with reality, and the gaze of the camera/artist and the gaze of the actress become intertwined, feverish and hallucinatory.

ALEXA GERRITY grew up in upstate NY and in Viña del Mar, Chile. A presidential scholar at Stanford University, she received a BA in Art History, and in 2009 received an MFA from CalArts. She has studied art at the International School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture in Italy and at MICA in Baltimore. This is her first solo show at The Company.

View Alexa Gerrity Artist Page