Black Over White review in Artillery Magazine

Max King Cap reviews Maria Lynch: Black Over White for Artillery

Maria Lynch, Bonecas (2017), video screenshot. Courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran.

Maria Lynch, Bonecas (2017), video screenshot. Courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran.


by Max King Cap ·

January 30, 2018

A simple reconfiguring of space at Wilding Cran has yielded a tiny, jewelbox of a gallery for small yet impactful exhibitions. Black Over White by Brazilian artist Maria Lynch is part of Pacific Standard Time LA/LA, the vast project supported by the Getty Foundation to produce exhibitions and education events related to Latin American and Latino art, in numerous venues across Southern California.

Maria Lynch, Untitled 1 (2017), courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran.

Maria Lynch, Untitled 1 (2017), courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran.

The six drawings in her show comprise a suite of investigations, essentially automatic drawings of ideas in process. All horizontal and varying negligibly in size, these works follow the description announced by the show’s title. They are graphite doodles on untreated paper, although Untitled 1 (2017) (they are all similarly titled, 1 through 6) has some white painting in small areas.

Maria Lynch, Untitled 2 (2017), courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran

Maria Lynch, Untitled 2 (2017), courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran

In numerical order the drawings feature battling robots and cricket balls, Jules Verne airships and conifer forests, a spiral staircase and daisy-chained flowerpots, stacked boxes and magic carpets, a vocal trio and rainbow clouds, conjoined olives and DNA strands. Though these sketchy works amuse they remain musings and give little insight as to what projects, if any, may spring from them.

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Parallel Worlds, Pools and The Psyche 

Marty Schnapf: Fissures in the Fold
At Wilding Cran Gallery Los Angeles (Through March 10, 2018)
Reviewed by Emily Nimptsch

Multi-layered in both the composition and psychology, Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Marty Schnapf’s latest historically inspired yet wildly inventive oil and charcoal paintings, currently on view at LA’s Wilding Cran Gallery, dive into themes of the subconscious while boasting extensive allusions to parallel realities, Abstract Expressionism, as well as Pablo Picasso’s celebrated cubist period.

Titled Fissures in the Fold, this series heavily features contorted nude figures. With the twisted, angular poses and ubiquitous stray arms and legs seen here, the human body is deconstructed and the viewer is often left unsure about which limbs belong to which figure. Upon first glance, this ambiguity echoes Picasso in the way he famously captured multiple points of view on the same canvas. While he and other cubists were greatly influenced by the rapid scientific and technological advancements of the age in this aesthetic, Schnapf’s fragmented reality is actually an homage to the most advanced scientific thinking of our age. The artist explains, “…contemporary theories of the multiverse, holography, and simulation theory play into my paintings…In my works, the figures are not just painted from different perspectives, but in different potentialities of the same instant.” So, instead of seeing many different views of the same subject, Schnapf is attempting to capture many different possibilities for these characters, all based on what they decide to do. Hanging in the air like spectres or apparitions, these alternate universes offer a fascinating look at what could be. Never noticed by the subjects themselves, these overlapping possibilities point out the fragility of our perceived reality. Perhaps the show’s title is a reference to this fracturing of our current worldview.

Will-o’-the-wisp, 2017, oil and charcoal on canvas 62 x 56 in.

Will-o’-the-wisp, 2017, oil and charcoal on canvas 62 x 56 in.

Interestingly, the influence of cubist Picasso shows up again in this collection through the symbol of the mask. Schnapf reveals that while the iconic Spanish artist’s use of this African art object is meant to refer to the “fear of the unknown, and, ultimately, their fear of death…I’m more interested in the internality of the mask, the mask as portal. The wearer of a ritual mask does not disguise herself. She opens herself. She becomes a vessel for the arrival of an otherwise non-physical entity and she offers herself as conduit for that being’s movement and message.” Although the majority of the paintings here feature subjects with stiff, geometric faces, we can see this mask-like face clearly in one of Fissure’s highlights, Will-o’-the-wisp (2017). Like Édouard Manet’s Olympia, here we see a nude woman stare down the viewer with haunting intensity as she completely owns her sexuality. Although her face is rigid and mask-like, she is not hiding, she is completely open and exposed with her body and connection to the subconscious on full display. Further solidifying this sense of eternity and boundlessness, even the woman’s genitalia, breasts, and sunglasses are rendered in the shape of the infinity sign.

At the Midnight Hour, 2017, oil and charcoal on canvas 36 x 48 in.

At the Midnight Hour, 2017, oil and charcoal on canvas 36 x 48 in.

Building on this reference to elevated consciousness, water is another fascinating spiritual motif in this exhibition. Several of the paintings featured here, including Tedium of Exceptional Events (2017), At the Midnight Hour (2017), Heroes and Villains (2017), What the Wind Carries (2017), and Two Hands Walking (2017) take place in swimming pools or other bodies of water. In Tedium, we again see these familiar overlapping forms. Glimpses of the pool, a nude female figure, perhaps an alternate version of her on a boat, and colorful explosions of Jackson Pollock-esque abstract drips all fight for our attention here.

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Karon Davis at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Starless Midnight: Barby Asante, Louis Cameron, Season Butler, Karon Davis, Charles Gaines, Micol Hebron, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Ashley Holmes and Cauleen Smith. Curated by Edgar Arceneaux & Laurence Sillars

In the impromptu acceptance speech Dr Martin Luther King gave for his honorary degree from Newcastle University he spoke of three urgent problems throughout the world: ‘the problem of racism, the problem of poverty and the problem of war.’ Despite the advancements of civil rights since this speech, his words still ring true today and are set against a backdrop of political populism, post-truth and so-called ‘fake news’.

This major group exhibition, presented within BALTIC’s Level 3 gallery, brings together leading international artists whose work, in very different ways, each sheds light upon this contemporary condition within a framework of the important legacies of Dr. King. Some new work has also been commissioned especially for the exhibition.

Co-curated by leading artist Edgar Arceneaux, whose installation Until, Until Until…2016 is simultaneously presented on Level 2, the exhibition will include painting, drawing, video, sculpture and installation. Participating artists include Barby Asante, Louis Cameron, Season Butler, Karon Davis, Charles Gaines, Micol Hebron, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Ashley Holmes and Cauleen Smith.

Part of Freedom City 2017 | Freedom City 2017 is a city-wide programme celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King being awarded an honorary degree by Newcastle University. Dr Martin Luther King was one of the world’s greatest civil rights leaders, using the power of words and acts of non-violent protest to achieve seemingly impossible goals. His campaigns against racial inequality, poverty and war are renowned and his accomplishments studied worldwide.

Nicotine , 2015

Nicotine, 2015

Detail , Nicotine,  2015

Detail, Nicotine, 2015

Installation, Starless Midnight 

Installation, Starless Midnight 

Mary , 2016

Mary, 2016

Detail,  Mary , 2016

Detail, Mary, 2016

Waiting Room , 2017

Waiting Room, 2017

Waiting Room , 2017

Waiting Room, 2017

ARTFORUM Critics' Pick by Natasha Young

Critics' Pick! Ariana Papademetropoulos: The man who saved a dog from an imaginary fire

‘spirit of Elvis be my sugar daddy,’ 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 60"

‘spirit of Elvis be my sugar daddy,’ 2017, oil on canvas, 60 x 60"

Los Angeles

Ariana Papademetropoulos
939 South Santa Fe Avenue, Unit A
September 16–October 26

Los Angeles–based artist Ariana Papademetropoulos recasts the cult of domesticity as hallucinatory fantasy: Watermarks tear Lynchian portals into her oil-on-canvas re-creations of photos depicting retro-kitsch interiors. A bedroom suffocated with royal-purple floral fabric appears in psychedelic relief in Best thing about not dating a scientologist is that I can do acid again (all works 2017). A bile-green aperture is superimposed over a bathroom with gaudy wallpaper, golden drapery, and a porcelain throne—rather unlike the one Presley died in—for ‘spirit of Elvis be my sugar daddy.’ In this lineup, Holy Water is a breath of fresh air: The watermark disintegrates the walls of a grand venue, opening it up to a misty mountainscape; chandeliers hang from the blue gauze sky; the empty theater seats are turned away from the natural splendor.

On a platform upholstered in plush magenta, Women Running Away From Houses displays an array of gothic romance novels whose covers portray women escaping from mansions, villas, and castles. A shrunken doorway in the gallery leads into a space reminiscent of a bedroom (Secret of Pale Lover), evoking the illusions of growth and shrinkage endemic to any acid trip. Here is a giant tennis racquet, a leveled bed with swan-shaped posts and mussed satin sheets, and a tiny chair. A ladder leads not to a window or an exit but to a vanity mirror, and a vintage exercise bike is poised near a TV encased in mossy plastic stone—a nod to Pippa Garner’s absurdist installation Thoughtspace, 1984. The tube plays a film of the artist exploring a mansion in a giant hamster ball. As Richard Lovelace wrote: “Stone walls do not a prison make / Nor iron bars a cage.”

John Will at Jarvis Hall Gallery in Calgary

JOHN WILL: Suspicious Minds. June 9 - July 6, 2017
opening reception / friday june 9 / 5-8 pm

John Will / Running on Empty / 2016 / acrylic, ink & spray paint on paper/ 22 x 30 in.

John Will / Running on Empty / 2016 / acrylic, ink & spray paint on paper/ 22 x 30 in.

Jarvis Hall Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition with legendary Calgary artist, John Will. We hope you will join us on Friday, June 9th between 5-8 PM for the opening reception. This exhibition will feature a number of new (tounge-in-cheek) paintings that John has been working on over the past couple of years. Never to miss a good party, the artist will be in attendance.

These works are a selection from a body of work spanning the past two to three years. For better or worse, the ideas behind many of them seemed to come out of nowhere. I do sense that the content often times relates to my own life and to my own reaction to the world around me and also that the form (and forms) are sometimes a result of accident, chance, or frustration occurring when making the work.
I don't expect viewers not to read or possibly reflect on the texts contained in the work. At the same time, I hope that, because they are pictures, the viewer will look at them before deciding if they are any good or absolute rubbish.
If you are uncertain, take solace in Nietzche's conviction that madness is the result of certainty or the old Chinese proverb, that to be certain is to be ridiculous.  - John Will

John Will is an established artist currently living and working in Calgary, Alberta.  His work can be found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery, Museum of New Mexico, Art Institute of Chicago, Alberta Foundation For The Arts,  the Glenbow Museum as well as many others.

For more information or questions, please contact: gallery:

Jason McLean at The National Gallery of Canada & KaviarFactory in Norway

Canadian and Indigenous Art: 1968 to Present

 May 3rd 2017 - April 30th 2018

Lower and Upper Contemporary Galleries
B101 to B109 and B201 to B205 

Discover the many themes and movements that have shaped Canada’s visual arts landscape since 1968. Continuing the storylines from the new Canadian and Indigenous Galleries, this special exhibition invites visitors to experience more than 150 works in all media, including sculpture, painting, video art, installation, drawing and photography. From the feminist art movement of the 1970s to present-day Inuit art, the richness of the national Canadian and Indigenous contemporary art collections is on full display. Highlights include Shary Boyle’s work on paper Untitled (the Porcelain Fantasy series), Joyce Wieland’s O Canada, and Brian Jungen’s impressive sculptures inspired by whale skeletons: Shapeshifter and Vienna.


Should you find yourself in the Arctic Circle fishing village of Henningsvær in Norway’s remote Lofoten archipelago, perhaps you will be surprised to stumble across the minimalist seafront contemporary art space, KaviarFactory. Opened to the public in 2013 by Oslo-based collectors Venke and Rolf Hoff, the building was, as its name suggests, a caviar factory—and a source of much local pride—for over 40 years before the Hoffs bought it in 2006 to keep it from being demolished. Since then, the site has played host to one exhibition per year largely comprised of works from the owners’ private collection, including a solo show of Bjarne Melgaard’s work in 2015 and, the year after, a group show of 38 female artists including Marina Abramović, Nicole Eisenman, Ceal Floyer, and Cindy Sherman.

For their 2017 exhibition, KaviarFactory probes the potential of contemporary painting practices in “Painting | or | Not,” which opens to the public May 1. It showcases the work of roughly 40 artists, who range from sculptor Angela de la Cruz and Iranian modernist Reza Bangiz, to millennial digital artists like Ryan Trecartin, Lizzie Fitch, and Paul Kneale. Additionally, the Queen of Norway  will oversee an official opening ceremony for the show on July 15. Venke Hoff chatted with ARTINFO about KaviarFactory’s history, what it means to be a painter today, and the Queen’s impending visit.

Interview on Curator with Graeme Mitchell

Graeme Mitchell interview by Anne Marie Taylor

Interview by Anne Marie Taylor

I met Graeme Mitchell at the opening of his first exhibition at Wilding Cran, in 2014. After speaking about his work, LA, and life in general, it was obvious he had a critical mind and articulate manner, in some part from schooling in literature at Oregon State University and living in New York for several years.  Well known as an editorial photographer of portraits for The New Yorker, The New York Times and WSJ Magazine, Mitchell has only recently--considering the span of his career--included fine arts in his practice.  In anticipation of his next solo exhibition at Wilding Cran (opening Saturday, April 8 in Los Angeles), I met with him at his studio on Slauson and Normandie, to catch up and see where this new body of work has taken him. 

The studio, fairly large, is set up with new paintings, along with older paintings I’d seen before, small "installational" sculptures of chicken wire and photographs, tables of paint, and stacks and stacks of printed images.  We sit in tall chairs by the recorder and delve right into the bigger questions. 

Anne Marie Taylor:  Would you describe your move from editorial and commercial photography toward fine art as a switch?  Transition?  Deviation?  How do you find that they inform each other?  Or are you working with a different set of concerns for each?

Graeme Mitchell:  I think about it as more of an evolution, because to me an evolution is something that happens both naturally and out of necessity, and that's how I felt when I added painting to my photo practice.  I think it’s important to explain my history in photography.  It's all I've ever done, the only job I've ever had, and it was largely based on commercialism.  Once I began to work within an art practice, I started to use drawing and video alongside photography.  Still, I kept finding that photography was putting me in these cul de sacs.  I thought maybe it was because I’d done it since I was so young and I had all this information, all these things I had learned--I couldn't take a photograph without allusions and automatisms.  Or maybe the difficulty was that it was always based upon a commercial career.  But then I started to play with paint and I started to look at photography through painting, and something clicked.  It was a way of stripping away everything I knew about making pictures, and starting with something very, very basic.

This conversation about using painting now is difficult for me though, because generally I feel like I’m offered these narrow definitions of things; like you were this, now you're that.  And it makes it feel like there's a sense of leaving something... I don't really feel that.  You said this really interesting thing about how nobody talks about what happens when you get to a place, or when you realize you never actually do get to that place.  It makes sense, but sometimes it can be silly.  And it’s come up a lot lately, but it often is more about how to define or understand something than what is actually happening. 

I’ve come to understand one of the primary concerns of my work is pictures, and I wanted to try something, try to go deeper with this new medium, go further along this path that I've been walking.  And there’s nothing strange in that to me. 

AMT:  I feel that you're also an editor in almost every aspect; you even edit your speech.  You make so many versions of these paintings, apart from studies, that there's room for mistakes and for failure.  And that's basically how you learn, right?

GM:  It's also often the most interesting part of the work.  That's one of the reasons I really grasped onto painting--there were so many more opportunities for failure within it. When you're trying to understand pictures, almost on a philosophical level, like what they mean to you, every opportunity for failure is an opportunity for discovery.  

This is also what makes painting so frustrating, because there are no road marks at any point in this process.  With each mark you have no indicators of why something works or doesn't work, except your gut.  Seeing what is good, or what is there, is the most difficult part.  With painting, you're contending with that aspect of virtuosity--either trying to attain it, or to try to create friction against the idea of it.  Virtuosity isn’t really something you think about in photography.

But yes, that’s how I learn, through practice, trying and seeing.  The best advice I got when I first really started to get knocked around by painting was from a good friend, who said painting is pretty much about getting to work on it.

AMT:  Do you place yourself in the work, or is it more like you're a vessel of some kind, or a translator for the image which is a separate thing from you?  Your hand is in it, obviously, because you're making it, but are you personally involved in it, other than on a conceptual level?

GM:  There are two sides to that for me.  I often look more to literature, because when I hear writers talk about the process, it makes a lot of sense to me.  My bodies of work begin with a premise of cataloging what’s around me, a kind of journaling.  In that sense, it’s personal.  It's things around me that I start recording, and making piles and making pictures, and then only after I’m maybe halfway into a body of work am I able to step back and it begins to outline its edges.  It’s a very natural process.  I like for it to be wide open, something that can take on a life of its own.

In the actual making of the painting, I don't want any sense of me in it.  Even my hand, as you put it, is something I’m trying to distance myself from.  I like it to be ambiguous.  My presence isn’t useful in what I want the picture to achieve either in my making it or in my audience’s viewing it.  This goal of being apart from the work is fundamentally contradictory to a hand-painted picture, but that dualism is maybe the meaningful part to me.  With it, a sense of longing or searching can be manifested in the picture--it is art as a means to witnessing faith.  There’s just no ego in it.

Cage and Richter were extremely influential in that regard.  I didn't come from art, so I assumed for a long time that art had to have a level of expressionism in it, but they taught me that expression could be an operation of chance.  That chance is often how my hand happens to move when I stop thinking about it.

AMT:  It's also that sort of Cageian idea of putting a frame around something, like the ordinary or slightly askew situation. Because of its semi regal history, as soon as you make a painting of something, it becomes important.  Doing that with these images you find on the Internet is a strange juxtaposition.  It adds something to it, I think.

GM:  Someone could also see that as a gimmick, but I say that maybe because I don't see paintings as regal.  Or maybe I do, but not in the sense that it’s innate in their history.  Any art can be regal, and I think the tremendous thing about art is it can be so many things at once.  Some of these works have this bizarre sort of amateurism to them, but at the same time are not functioning at all as an amateur easel painting might.   I think art that I enjoy most when I'm seeing it--you just can't place it fast.  It creates this complication of being two things at once, or three things at once.  And it won’t tell you what it is, but it’s quiet and allows you to discover for yourself.

Artillery Magazine Pick Of The Week

Sharon Engelstein // Ever To Find. Pick Of The Week by Ezrha Jean Black

Sharon Engelstein – Ever to Find
It is for some of us (the more fortunate among us) the first fear or horror we know – our first encounter with something at first glimpse familiar that upon extended gaze or lingering examination reveals itself as utterly transmogrified, and suddenly, quite unexpectedly, entirely alien. What follows, though, is usually more thoughtful and inquiring, even analytic. (Horror can be fascinating.) We’re picking ourselves apart even as we’re picking apart the object of horror or fascination (to see if we want more – we usually do). Alternatively, the object is transformed into its own raison d’être – an idée fixe that seems the end-product of a perfectly logical evolution. Sharon Engelstein is not the first artist to explore this psychological dimension in ceramic sculpture, but she is entirely original and expansive in a direction that is rarely seen in the contemporary landscape. Unlike say, Ken Price, her glazes are relatively neutral; but Engelstein introduces other materials (e.g., wax, copper, gold leaf and other metallic elements), extrusions and the occasional shock of color into the composition. This has a counterpart in her drawings, too – similarly both abstract and biomorphic, but frequently dissolved into a kind of rationalized mapping or modeling (e.g., a Sushi Eye whorling into a black hole of netting; mitotically Split Eggs; morphing cranial forms further wreathed in a swirl of polygons) – where an azure-auraed sapphire star explodes in a quasi-botanical mapping. The permeable divide between skin or envelope and structures, both invasive and extrusive, becomes the locus for analytic dissection, invention and wholesale transformation. (Why wouldn’t a bowl unravel in shards and take wing?) Ambiguity rarely presents in such crystalline fashion. Free Wall presents folly as dissertation – on the notions of barrier, containment, sequestration (also penetration, infiltration, corruption, exposure). There’s paradox for you: each of these compact sculptures contain entire worlds yet split them right open again – a moment of potential horror rendered ecstatic.

Contemporary Art Review LA reviews Sharon Engelstein // Ever To Find

Sharon Engelstein
at Wilding Cran Gallery

Sharon Engelstein, Ever to Find (Installation View). Image courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran Gallery.

Sharon Engelstein, Ever to Find (Installation View). Image courtesy of the artist and Wilding Cran Gallery.

February 15, 2017
Text by Jessica Simmons

If the vessel is traditionally ceramic’s primary form, Sharon Engelstein’s solo exhibition at Wilding Cran dislocates the material from its expected physical manifestation. Elevated and staggered on an imposing horizontal plinth, her glazed ceramic sculptures mimic the bone-white, pristine finish of porcelain, yet also possess a quiet heft that subtly reveals the dexterously hewn, hand-wrought process of their making. Bulbous, angular, and intimately-scaled, these paradoxically static yet undulating objects fold into puddles of matter, and ultimately shed categorization as vessels by functioning as solidified, amorphous containers for their own formal logic.

As sculptures, they propose an archeology of the absurd, which offers beguiling visual riddles, as if Engelstein has anointed the viewer a sleuth tasked to decipher all plausible permutations of an unknown organism. These petrified, formless amoebas resemble corporeal orifices, deep-sea membranes, and, in the case of First Find (2016), a prostrate and partially melted Venus of Willendorf, buttressed by slabs of broken concrete. Oftentimes, the sterility of the sculptures’ white finish is punctured by translucent glazes of bright color: in Leg Foot (2017), a subtle drip recalls the prismatic glint of an oil slick; in Accidental Medicine (2016), a wound of pink recalls the flesh of the interior body.

While bodily references viscerally permeate all of these sculptures, Engelstein nonetheless manages a deception of scale that upends the human body as a reference point. Just as the plinth-based sculptures—elevated to the height of the viewer’s torso—appear organ-like, they nonetheless read as shrunken cartographies for other monumental, unknown structures. By transmuting these myriad references into mercurial spectrums of scale and matter, Engelstein folds the futuristic into the archeological, and the microscopic into the monumental—a fluid addendum to ceramic’s indexical, seemingly fixed material history.

Sharon Engelstein: Ever to Find runs January 25-March 19, 2017 at Wilding Cran (939 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90021).

Karon Davis: Pain Management reviewed in Art & Cake

Karon Davis’ “Pain Management” at Wilding Cran

Gabriel and Cry Baby, Karon Davis, Pain Management at Wilding Cran. Photo Courtesy Wilding Cran

Gabriel and Cry Baby, Karon Davis, Pain Management at Wilding Cran. Photo Courtesy Wilding Cran

by Genie Davis

There’s nothing painful about Karon Davis’ Pain Management, a beautiful solo exhibition that creates a world filled with weary-angel caregivers, supplicating patients, and a way to move beyond pain, and reach an inner sense of peace.

Physical and emotional pain is the theme in the artist’s recreation of a world inhabited by seven sculptures, shaped from plaster casts and shredded medical bills. The somewhat biographical works include three nurse figures attired in patterned scrubs, the exhausted angel, “Morphine”; “Ifosfamide” a frightening scarecrow; and “Nicotine,” a stoic, smoking nurse. These figures have the substantial quality of fully formed sculpture, made with paint, plaster, cloth, synthetic hair, and objects grounded in reality such as a coffee cup and shredded bills. The pieces include color in their depictions, the color of the caregivers’ skin, their attire, their hair.

Four other pieces depict children, or as Davis calls them, “Children of the Moon.” Representing a preservation of the spirit, health, and memories, and the fragility and perhaps fleeting nature of these ideals, they are ghostly and enigmatic, emblems of peace, purity, and an afterlife free of pain. As such, they are devoid of color, white and drifting, mute butterflies.

The artist is interested in the idea of mummification, and as such, these sculptures take on that role, of a being bound or contained, pinned; prepared perhaps for burial or reincarnation. Crafted of plaster, wire, plastic pipe, paper, and glass eyes, their shapes are incomplete, delicate, and seem to float. The openings in these casts present the idea that the spirits these children contain have already broken free of the bodies that bind them, or that bind older incarnations of the self. Each child has a name: “Oya” holds a scarab beetle, “Mary” catches the moon, “Mawu” holds a basket.

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Karon Davis in LA Weekly. Interview by Matt Stromberg.

Karon Davis Mourned the Loss of Her Husband, Artist Noah Davis, By Turning Grief Into Art

Karon Davis says she would have made the piece  Cry, Baby  even larger to reflect the depths of grief.

Karon Davis says she would have made the piece Cry, Baby even larger to reflect the depths of grief.


“If I could have made it 50 stories high to explain how painful this has been, I would have done that,” artist Karon Davis says. “It's like no tissue box is big enough to dry my tears, our tears.”

She’s referring to Cry, Baby, a nine-foot-tall plaster-and-wood sculpture of a Kleenex box that is included in her solo show, "Pain Management," currently on view at Wilding Cran Gallery. Dealing with themes of grief, mourning and resilience, the exhibition is an elegiac response to the loss of Davis’ husband, the artist Noah Davis, who succumbed to a rare form of cancer last summer.

The Davises are also known for founding the Underground Museum, a non-profit arts space in the central-L.A. neighborhood of Arlington Heights, just north of the 10 freeway. Through various collaborations — including a multi-year partnership with MOCA  — the space became the nexus of activity for many in the African American creative community, providing a space to display works and even address recent racial turmoil by offering a forum for Black Lives Matter. Noah also shared the space with his brother, Kahlil Joseph, a filmmaker who created works for artists like Flying Lotus, and who was recently nominated for an Emmy for directing a part of Beyonce's visual-album,  "Lemonade."

Alongside the oversized tissue box, Davis has created an array of life-size sculptural figures that relate to the years spent dealing with her husband’s illness. Made by wrapping strips of plaster-dipped cloth around live models, they are uncannily life-like, despite their bone-white color. Three nurse figures in scrubs, each personifying a different drug, stand in for all the individuals who helped them over the years.

“The first piece I created was Nicotine Nurse, and actually Noah worked on that with me,” Davis says. “We had talked about this series of nurses, and I promised him I'd finish it.” 

The veteran nurse rests on bench, taking a break between shifts with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. A scarecrow nurse named for the chemo drug Ifosfamide stands watch over rows of tissues that sprout up from a plot of earth like crops of sadness. Near the gallery’s entrance an Angel nurse representing Morphine kneels. Her flowing wings are made from shredded medical bills, a physical manifestation of the financial burden so many sick Americans struggle with.

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Jeremy Everett at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London

No Not Never None, Jeremy Everett and Fabio Lattanzi Antinori at Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery in London

Sometimes things are not as they seem, and other times things seem to be as they are not. But very often we simply do not know how things are; we just rely on our senses and our assumptions to guide us through this uncertain world. In No Not Never None, Jeremy Everett and Fabio Lattanzi Antinori investigate this disconnect between how things are and how they seem. Through a mixture of painting, sculpture, photography and installation, they reveal a world which is full of negation loops, where a thing is both not something and not nothing.
The world, for Jeremy Everett, is filled with mystery. His work explores the infinitely nuanced contours of experience, taking the way we see the world as a starting point without assuming there is one particular way of seeing and rejecting the notion that what is seen is the whole story. He is interested in the object’s relation to space and its environment, the perennial question of what lies behind what we see, and the notion of an unfinished landscape in which the perceiver furnishes the final component. Fabio Lattanzi Antinori takes this notion of the unseen to its tangible extreme by analysing the silent, and yet fully palpable, motions of financial markets. His work focuses on how the languages of corporate systems inform the way we shape our communities and the actions we take towards our survival. At the root of this is the observation that financial data, although abstract and essentially ethereal, controls our resources and ultimately binds us together. Both artists are thus concerned with the precarious balance of hidden structures, unveiling a substructure of volatility and vulnerability which is – for better or worse – the very basis of a fragile human existence.
The title of the exhibition, No Not Never None, captures the sense in which we are always caught in a state of apparent contradiction; the sense in which our lives always and forever seem to be something and nothing at the same time. The gallery becomes a site of profound uncertainty in which norms and conventions are destabilised, while also offering a penetrating insight into the fundamental forces of finance and perception that govern how we live.
Fabio Lattanzi Antinori presents a brand new sculpture which creates an immersive, multi-sensory experience exploring the financial practice of ‘front-running’ – trading on advance information provided by brokers. Whilst the work visually references the microwave towers used for the high-speed transmission of financial data, Lattanzi Antinori has collaborated with perfume designer Sergey Dziniruk to develop a range of fragrances that will be omitted by the sculpture. Lattanzi Antinori also presents ones of his interactive screenprints which, when touched by the viewer, translates financial data into song, giving musical expression to the otherwise stark and inhuman data that constitutes so-called ‘dark pools’ markets.
Jeremy Everett destabilises the architecture of the gallery with an installation of his ‘shims’: these immaculately folded white dress shirts are placed under the gallery’s central column, causing the structure to lean to one side. In this work, Everett explores associations of daily work and the precarious structures that underpin it. He also presents a series of photographs which explore the theme of decay, where a partially obscured image is achieved by burying the print in the earth for a number of days. In a further concern with process-driven work, Everett’s paintings use a fine dusting of colour in a process that uses air and pigment in the same way a photocopier uses light to reveal the canvas stretcher as the geometric content of the painting. Here he explores the notion of that which lies beneath or behind the world we previewed as the hidden structure of experience.
In both Everett and Lattanzi Antinori, there is a simmering sense of dystopia, as they uncover the chaos and peril that lies only just behind the apparent order and control of our world. But as the title No Not Never None suggests, things are not quite as they seem, since just as that negation falls into a loop, the idea of dystopia inverts itself on closer inspection. After all, the existential uncertainty bubbling under the surface of our experience is just the substructure that supports it; as such, what appears to be a fantastical dystopia might just be the true nature of the world according to these two artists.