Posts Tagged ‘Regen Projects

22
Mar
13

Exhibition: ‘Catherine Opie’ at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 23rd February – 29th March 2013

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In a nutshell: good presentation, good idea – just needs really good pictures. In fact the presentation is too good for the pictures, so in the end it feels a bit ridiculous.

There IS something here (the relationship between young and old, wisdom and penitence, love and abuse, tondo and ethereal landscape), but it seems a bit of a muddle. For me, too many easy decisions have been made – obvious opposites, too much reliance on “black”, sometimes caricature rather than real observation… but then again there is occassionally something inside that caricature.

This feeling of muddling through is not helped by an abysmal press release. Along with zen and ironic (both of which seem to have any meaning a writer wants today), we now have sublime joining the pack. Maybe if anything is out of focus (such as these forgettable landscapes) it is sublime. As I go through each sentence I get shivers from either how generic or incorrect or meaningless or (especially) SELF-SERVING they are (…and now the new photographs make a trajectory… and now Opie draws on documentary photography AND the history of photography… and seduction, and formalism, and painting, and high aesthetic, and abstraction, and conceptualisation, a(n)d nauseum…)

I have seen “the Unphotographable” … and it is not as good as one hoped!

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Dr Marcus Bunyan for the Art Blart blog

PS. When you walk across a room, you can remark about your chiaroscuro.

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Many thank to Regen Projects for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles © Catherine Opie

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Installation view Regen Projects, Los Angeles February 23 - March 29, 2013  Photography by Brian Forrest

Installation view Regen Projects, Los Angeles February 23 - March 29, 2013  Photography by Brian Forrest

Installation view Regen Projects, Los Angeles February 23 - March 29, 2013  Photography by Brian Forrest

Installation view Regen Projects, Los Angeles February 23 - March 29, 2013  Photography by Brian Forrest

Installation view Regen Projects, Los Angeles February 23 - March 29, 2013  Photography by Brian Forrest

Installation view Regen Projects, Los Angeles February 23 - March 29, 2013  Photography by Brian Forrest

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Installation views
Regen Projects, Los Angeles
February 23 – March 29, 2013
Photography by Brian Forrest

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Catherine Opie. 'Untitled #4' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Untitled #4
2012
Pigment print
40 x 60 inches (101.6 x 152.4 cm)
Edition 1/5, +2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Jonathan' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Jonathan
2012
Pigment print
50 x 38.4 inches (127 x 97.5 cm) Oval
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Idexa' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Idexa
2012
Pigment print
50 x 38.4 inches (127 x 97.5 cm) Oval
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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“Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new portraits and landscapes by Catherine Opie. These photographs mark both a progression and a departure for the artist. Opie’s work has always investigated the figure in relation to the landscape, disregarding the polarities typically found within these approaches. This new body of work draws upon Opie’s beginnings in documentary photography, the traditions of painting, and the history of photography.

Opie’s new portraits evoke the sublime and the inner psychological space of both the viewer and subject. Utilizing techniques of chiaroscuro, color, and formal composition found in classical 17th century portraiture, Opie arranges her subjects in allegorical poses that suggest an emotional state. Evoking formal classicism, these beautifully elegant and technically masterful compositions immerse and seduce the eye. Opie’s subjects have always been part of her personal community, and the range of individuals in these new works illustrates how this community has shifted and expanded.

Catherine Opie’s work is deeply rooted in the history of photography. The new landscapes draw upon this trajectory – both contemporary and historical. In addition to utilizing motifs that informed the California Pictorialists, these works reference the painterly tradition. Images of iconic landscapes float in abstraction and are reduced to elementary blurred light drawings. The viewer no longer relies on traditional markers of recognition of place, but instead on the visceral reaction to the sensate images Opie captures. These painterly, poetic, and lyrical visions resonate with oblivion, the sublime, and the unknown.

Catherine Opie’s complex and diverse body of work is political, personal, and high aesthetic – the formal, conceptual, and documentary are always at play. Her work consistently engages in formal issues and maintains a formal rigor and technical mastery that underscores an aestheticized oeuvre. Visual pleasure can always be found in her arresting and seductive images.

Opie very knowingly engages art-historical conventions of representation like this in order to seduce her viewers: “I have to be interested in art history since so much of my work is related to painting and photography history. It gives me the ability to use a very familiar language that people understand when looking at my work and seduce the viewer into considering work that they might not normally want to look at. It is very classical and formal in so many ways…. In a way, it is elegant in the seduction I was talking about earlier, that this device really can draw the viewer in through the perfection of the image. It is like wearing armor for a battle in a way, the battle for people to look into themselves for the prejudices that keep them from having an open mind.”

(Jennifer Blessing. “Catherine Opie: American Photographer” in Catherine Opie: American Photographer, published by The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2008, p. 14).”

Press release from the Regen Projects website

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Catherine Opie. 'Diana' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Diana
2012
Pigment print
33 x 25 inches (83.8 x 63.5 cm)
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Mary' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Mary
2012
Pigment print
33 x 25 inches (83.8 x 63.5 cm)
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Untitled #5' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Untitled #5
2012
Pigment print
40 x 60 inches (101.6 x 152.4 cm)
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Oliver & Mrs. Nibbles' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Oliver & Mrs. Nibbles
2012
Pigment print
33 x 25 inches (83.8 x 63.5 cm)
Edition 2/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Kate & Laura' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Kate & Laura
2012
Pigment print
77 x 58 inches (195.6 x 147.3 cm)
Edition 2/5, 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Guinevere' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Guinevere
2012
Pigment print
33 x 25 inches (83.8 x 63.5 cm)
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Untitled #2' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Untitled #2
2012
Pigment print
40 x 60 inches (101.6 x 152.4 cm)
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Friends' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Friends
2012
Pigment print
24 x 18 inches (61 x 45.7 cm)
Edition 1/5, + 2 APs

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Catherine Opie. 'Untitled #1' 2012

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Catherine Opie
Untitled #1
2012
Pigment print
40 x 60 inches (101.6 x 152.4 cm)
Edition 1/5, +2 APs

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Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038, United States
T: +1 310-276-5424

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6pm

Regen Project website

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04
Oct
09

Exhibition: ‘Doug Aitken’ at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 12th September – 17th October

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Doug Aitken. 'The handle comes up, the hammer comes down' 2009

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Doug Aitken
‘The handle comes up, the hammer comes down’
LED lit lightbox
2009

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Doug Aitken, 'Free' 2009

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Doug Aitken
‘Free’
LED lit lightbox
2009

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Doug Aitken. 'Start Swimming' 2006

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Doug Aitken
‘Start Swimming’
LED lit lightbox
2006

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Installation view of Doug Aitken at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

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Installation view of Doug Aitken at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

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“Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new works by Los Angeles artist Doug Aitken. This exhibition will present a series of new text-based light boxes and will feature the west coast debut of the film migration. Aitken explores the themes of temporality, space, memory, movement, and landscape in his work. History and themes of both the past and present are interwoven and reconfigured. His work deconstructs the connection between idea and iconography allowing each to reinvent itself.

Doug Aitken’s new light boxes combine image and text in a collision that creates a rupture in which alternate connections are presented. The work frontier depicts a destroyed property on the water’s edge, redefining expectations of what a frontier may hold. The images within some of the light boxes are a photographic collage that references Aitken’s photographic oeuvre and aesthetic. Experimenting with font, borrowed images, and his own photographs, the light boxes will be presented in the darkened gallery, glowing and playing off of one another. The disjunction of word, image, and light in these works also moves toward a cinematic whole, creating panoramic landscapes through text.

Presented alongside the light boxes will be Aitken’s first large scale public installation in Los Angeles, migration. The film, the first installment in a three-part trilogy entitled empire, debuted at the 2008 Carnegie International. This hallucinatory epic depicts the movements of migratory animals as they pass through vacant and deserted hotel and motel rooms, delineating a nomadic passage across America from east to west. Fittingly making its first appearance on the west coast, this large-scale cinematic installation will be presented to the public on Santa Monica Boulevard projected onto the courtyard of Regen Projects II; visible only at night from sunset to sunrise. In addition to the nighttime public presentation, migration will also be exhibited at the 633 North Almont Drive space on an indoor billboard accompanied by its original score.

Settlers who met the untamed wilderness to forge new ways of life defined westward expansion. Aitken’s migratory landscape in migration is the opposite; it is a landscape completely devoid of human presence. His non-linear narrative presents a series of different sequences in which the animals and their actions are unique while the rooms and their components are indistinguishable. Hotels such as these offer a sense of both security and isolation and while some animals adapt to these surroundings, others seem conspicuously strange. Rarely do we get to examine these creatures so closely. Their movements and presence make the viewer acutely aware of scale, calling into question various relationships; the most apparent of which is the relationship of the natural and the man-made. In this encounter between the urban and the indigenous the viewer gets a sense of both displacement and habituation. As one critic describes:

“One by one, at different hotels, the animals behave as they behave, sniffing the air, twitching their noses to orient themselves in the desolate human habitat. Imbued with Aitken’s usual intimations of planetary solitude, his sense of spatial dislocation, and gorgeous formalized perception, these images … have the quality not so much of a nonlinear narrative as of a mirage.”

(Kim Levin, Artnews, January 2009, p. 110.)

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Aitken’s work has been exhibited extensively at museums and galleries worldwide, including his 2007 exhibition “sleepwalkers,” a large-scale outdoor installation at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. He has had numerous solo exhibitions including shows at the Serpentine Gallery, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsberg, the Kunsthaus Bregenz and the Kunsthalle Zurich. Aitken was awarded the international prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and was included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial.”

Text from the Regen Projects website

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migration 2008 b

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migration-2008

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migration 2008 c

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Doug Aitken. Still from 'Migration', single video projection with billboard (steel and PVC projection screen), 2008.

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Doug Aitken
Stills from ‘Migration’
single video projection with billboard (steel and PVC projection screen)
2008

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Regen Projects and Regen Projects II
633 North Almont Drive and 9016 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 276-5424 Fax. (310) 276-7430

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 6 pm

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19
Jun
09

Exhibition: Scott McFarland photographs at Regen Projects, Los Angeles

Exhibition dates: 23rd May – 3rd July, 2009

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Scott McFarland. 'Fallen Oak Tree' 2008

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Scott McFarland
‘Fallen Oak Tree’
2008

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Scott McFarland. 'The Admiral's House as seen from the Upper Garden at Fenton House' 2006

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Scott McFarland
‘The Admiral’s House as seen from the Upper Garden at Fenton House’
2006

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“Regen Projects is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Canadian artist Scott McFarland. This exhibition will feature new photographs including 3 large panorama works, smaller works from the “Hampstead” series, and introduce the new “Niagara” series.

Scott McFarland’s photography reconsiders the traditional concept of a photograph as the depiction of a single captured moment in time. Through digital means he is able to manipulate composition, color, light, space, shape, and form. McFarland’s photographs combine multiple negatives to represent simultaneous temporalities and interweave selected elements into a cohesive whole. Several different moments are packed into what appears to be one densely constructed instant. The photographs are meticulously crafted illusions created within the formal language of documentary photography.

McFarland’s consideration of photography and the built picture was brought about by the artist’s own understanding of the artificial “nature” found in built environments such as gardens and zoos. Taking the relationship of the constructed space/constructed image one step further, McFarland has photographed a modernist architectural landmark: the Berthold Lubetkin designed penguin pool at the London zoo. Through two very distinct works, McFarland investigates the elliptical structure of the famous penguin pool vis-à-vis the elliptical/arcing motion of his camera rotating on a tripod. One photograph is an objective color rendering where the camera has been left level while rotating; the other is a larger black and white version where the camera arcs along a non-level plane distorting and altering the curve of the structure from right to left.

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Scott McFarland. 'Gorse and Broom, West Heath, Hampstead' 2006

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Scott McFarland
‘Gorse and Broom, West Heath, Hampstead’
2006

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Scott McFarland. 'Inspecting, Allan O'connor Searches for Botrytis cinerea' 2003

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Scott McFarland
‘Inspecting, Allan O’connor Searches for Botrytis cinerea’
2003

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Scott McFarland. 'Boathouse with Moonlight' 2002

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Scott McFarland
‘Boathouse with Moonlight’
2002

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The new square format photographs from McFarland’s “Niagara” series have a rough unfinished quality unlike any photographs he has taken to date. These softer focus images with odd shifts in light and glare are location studies for the large panorama ‘A Horse Drawn Hearse, Queens Royal Tours, 174 Anne, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario’ (2009). This work depicts an old carriage business and its surroundings during the dead of Canadian winter. In this visually captivating work, a black funeral carriage contrasts against the white snow. The acreage, surrounded by newer suburban homes, evokes the question of how long can this structure resist the modern urban pressures it faces. These straight photographs presented alongside his precise digitally mastered compositions illustrate how the photographic process and the history of art and photography have always informed McFarland’s work.

“Over the last decade, Scott McFarland has produced bodies of work that engage with different aspects of photography … McFarland’s approach is both descriptive and metaphoric … The images, rich in cultural significance, express the complementary workings of conceptual and aesthetic factors all the while holding various characteristics of art and photography in ambiguous relation.”

Andrea Kunard. Scott McFarland: A Cultivated View, published by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2009, p. 12.

Text from the Regen Projects press release

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Scott McFarland. 'Empire' 2005

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Scott McFarland
‘Empire’
2005

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Scott McFarland. 'The Granite Bowl in the Berlin Lust Garden' 2006

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Scott McFarland
‘The Granite Bowl in the Berlin Lust Garden’
2006

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Scott McFarland. 'View of Vale of Health, looking towards Hampstead' 2007

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Scott McFarland
‘View of Vale of Health, looking towards Hampstead’
2007

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Regen Projects
633 North Almont Drive, Los Angeles

Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 6pm

Regen Project website

Scott McFarland website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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