February 7-28, 2015
Opening Reception: Saturday February 7, 6-10pm
Artists: Matt Allison, Cathy Ellis, Alexis Granwell,
Ryan Carr Johnson, Patrick Melroy, Trish Tillman
Curated by: Megan Mueller and Sam Scharf
“We are the things that know us.”
Elephant is pleased to present Materialist, a group exhibition featuring the work of six artists at the forefront of exploring the potential of material as subject. Materialist investigates strategies of production that consider site specificity, function, artifact, and redirection. The materials used by each artist create pluralistic interpretations of the objects as they are presented. Resisting traditional classification, the works exist as both ruin and artifact, serious and whimsical, unresolved and rigorous. While maintaining a transformational ambition, the artists create a tangible energy that derives from the investigations and demands placed upon the materials they’ve chosen. From carrying objects on our backs to presenting previously unknown relationships between materials, this exhibition displays a full range of work that embodies the Materialist
Matt Allison investigates the way people make places for themselves, with a particular enthusiasm for acts of intervention and repurposing. He has completed site-specific projects in Florida, New York City, and California. He recently created an installation at University of California, Santa Barbara in response to the disappearing lake system of Keystone Heights, FL and the grassroots activism it has inspired. He received his BA from Ringling College of Art and Design in 2004, and will receive his MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in the spring of 2015.
Cathy Ellis received her BFA from Sonoma State University and her MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2014. She has exhibited nationally, including exhibitions at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, Minan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Cal State Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA, 186 Carpenter, Providence, RI, Sonoma Valley Museum, Sonoma, CA, SFMOMA Artist’s Gallery, Trillium Press, and Southern Exposure, San Francisco. She is currently a Teaching Fellow at the College of Creative Studies, University of California at Santa Barbara, and the 2014 winner of the Howard Fenton Award for Painting.
Ryan Carr Johnson earned his Bachelors of Fine Art in painting from the Corcoran College of Art + Design and his Master of Fine Arts degree from American University in 2013. Ryan currently lives and works in greater DC area. His work has been shown repeatedly in the Strickly Painting exhibitions, both Pulse and Scope Miami, galleries, universities, and museum exhibitions. Most recently his work was included in the Bathesda 10th annual Painting Awards, in addition his first solo exhibition at McLean Center for the Arts entitled “Remember Me as I was.” Materialist will be his first time exhibiting his work on the west coast.
Alexis Granwell has exhibited internationally and nationally, including exhibitions at Europos Parkas Museum, Vilinius, Lithuania, IPCNY, NY, Momenta Art, NY, Hemphill Gallery, Washington DC, University of Richmond Art Museum, VA, Arlington Center for the Arts, VA, The Print Center, PA, Fjord Gallery, PA, Lawndale Art Center, TX and Bryan Miller Gallery, TX. She recently had solo exhibitions at Towson University, MD and Giampietro Gallery, CT Her work has been reviewed in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail and New American Paintings. Granwell received her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania. She teaches at Tyler School of Art and Moore College of Art and Design. She is one of the founding members of Tiger Strikes Asteroid, an artist collective, in Philadelphia.
Patrick Melroy currently maintains a studio practice in the city of Santa Barbara California. Melroy’s practice exists most often as interactive objects and experiences designed to engage an audience. His work has appeared in shows from Belgrade Serbia to Los Angeles California. He was a founding member of the influential Uppur Bunk Collaborative and a charter member of Bottled Lightning Projects in Portland Oregon. Currently Melroy can be heard as the host of the podcast Towned produced by Pullstring Press. He received his MFA from the storied Department of Art at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Trish Tillman received an MFA from School of Visual Arts and a BFA from James Madison University, with additional studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. She is a recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation 2009 MFA Grant and has received grants through the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities as well as the Baltimore Office of Promotions and the Arts. She has most recently exhibited her work with Emerson Dorsch, Miami, FL; Regina Rex, NY; Present Company, NY; Slag Gallery, NY; Nudashank, MD; and Civilian Art Projects, Washington, D.C. Tillman is a Professor of Art and Design and has taught at Monmouth University, George Washington University, Rutgers University and the University of Maryland. She has an upcoming solo exhibition at Asya Geisberg Gallery in New York.
WILL < / > WILL
January 9—31, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, January 9, 7—10 pm
Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays, 1-5 pm and by appointment
Closing reception: Saturday, January 31, 7—10 pm
Contact: Keith Walsh (424) 331-5231; email@example.com
Elephant is pleased to announce WILL < / > WILL an exhibition of new drawings and sculpture by Los Angeles based artist Keith Walsh. This work continues his exploration of American political and cultural history since the 1960’s, how the realms of speech, forms, and images of individuals associated with the challenges of social progress and justice may subjectively resonate today.
The activities of drawing, printing, and sculpting serve as autographic and labor intensive means for his processing of American history and realizing new possibilities. Language, abstract form, and representational images are lexical agents for creating a space for a reader’s interaction and, within a theory of composition itself, serve as metaphors for the multiplicities and tensions intrinsic to the evolution of a society.
Keith Walsh received his MFA from Tufts University. Recent shows include Long Beach Community College, For Your Art, Side Street Projects, Weekend, Dan Graham, The Beacon Arts Building, and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. His work has been reviewed in Artforum, Artweek, The LA Weekly, and The LA Times.
/Users/davidearle/Documents/Projects/Monte Vista/Users/davidearle/Documents/Projects/Monte Vista
Traveling Without Doing Harm
Opening Reception Friday, November 24, 7-10 pm
Exhibition open Nov 22nd, 23rd, 25th, 29th
1-4pm, and by appointment, 213-500-7625
LA based artist Diana Sofia Estrada presents new work at Elephant. In this installation of work, Estrada focuses on traveling without doing harm. The term “ harm” is applied broadly, the idea being that whenever people travel, we leave or do something to the immediate environment or community. Traveling without doing harm is an impossible, but lofty, goal for one who wishes to be as respectful as possible to an area they are visiting… maybe.
Drawing upon Estrada’s experiences in travel, often being mistaken for a local, this body of work comments upon traveling as a source of “inspiration.” Using imagery she took while in Alexandria and Cairo, Egypt during the summer of 2009, she contrasts this with images taken while her parents were living in Alexandria during the January Revolution of 2011, known in the U.S.A. as part of the Arab Spring. Addressing issues of cultural insensitivity and voyeurism, Estrada’s works seek to record immediate reactions and considerations unto themselves, creating an installation of paintings and objects that voyeuristically contemplate beauty and change.
Estrada has also organized a group of artist performances that address the title of the show, “Traveling without doing harm” through the issues of identity/persona, urban planning, immigration, and capitalism. The artists are Joy Harris, Guan Rong, Henry Taylor, and Diana-Sofia Estrada. Performances start at 9pm on the night of the reception.
Artist Performances on Friday, November 24, 9pm
Traveling Without Doing Harm: Blunders and Mishaps
Joy Harris, Guan Rong, Henry Taylor, and Diana-Sofia Estrada
Diana-Sofia Estrada received her BFA cum laude in Painting/Drawing and BA cum laude in Psychology from the University of North Texas. She received her MFA in Art from the California Institute of the Arts in 2008. Estrada’s work encompasses drawings, installations, and video to question every day expectations. Estrada has exhibited her work in FotoFest Houston, participated in DiverseWorks’ artist residency, The Real (Art) World both in Houston; in 2008, Estrada was an artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Center, and in 2009 she received the Arts for All Teaching Fellowship from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. That same year she was a teaching artist in residence at the Bibliotheca Alexandria/ L’Atelier D’Alexandrie in Alexandria, Egypt. Estrada has exhibited her work internationally and nationally including Diaspora Vibe Gallery (Miami), Maniac Gallery (CA), Alice Yard Space (Trinidad), and at Artlab at the Smithsonian Hirschhorn Museum in Washington D.C. www.dianasofiaestrada.com
Jeanette Joy Harris is an artist and writer who lives in Houston, Texas. She has had solo and collaborative works shown in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Houston. Her work will also be shown in December at Miami Photo Salon, an exhibit associated with Miami Art Week. She has published work with TribTalk (editorial section of Texas Tribune), Glasstire, and Illusion. With a background in philosophy and politics, Joy has also presented academic work on the concepts of public space and action. Her blog www.duchampintheoffice.com connects “normal” people with contemporary art. @duchampintheoff
Guan Rong as “Ms. Rachel” has been teaching art classes to children and youth in the San Gabriel Valley area since 2005. She adopted the name “Rachel” right after she graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA. Finding it difficult to be “Ms. Rachel” while teaching art and also attending CalArts, she left CalArts after a year of study in the MFA program. Being “Ms. Rachel” while teaching is her main source of income that supports her art making as Guan Rong. Guan Rong has exhibited and performed at the Armory Center for the Arts, Riverside Art Museum, The Velaslavasay Panorama, KCHUNG Radio, Rowland Contemporary (Chicago), and Blutenweiss (Berlin). Guan Rong makes paintings, films, books, performances, and radio shows with John Burtle. She recently participated with KCHUNG at the Made In LA 2014 at the Hammer museum.
Henry Taylor is a Los Angeles-based painter and sculpture who often makes portraits of his relatives, friends, neighbors, and anyone he feels connected to, if only briefly. His work freezes an intimate moment in time. Henry Taylor received his bachelor of arts from California Institute of the Arts and has had solo exhibitions at MOMA PS1, Santa Monica Museum of Art, and Studio Museum in Harlem. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions, including 2013 Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Blues for Smoke, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Made in LA, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles; Peres Projects, Berlin, Germany; and Body Language, Saatchi Gallery, London, England; Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; 30 Americans, Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL and North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC. Taylor is included the collections of Saatchi Collection, London, UK; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, FL; MoCA, Los Angeles, CA;MoMA PS.1, New York, NY. Taylor is represented by Blum and Poe in Los Angeles and Untitled in NYC.
Opening Reception Saturday, October 4 2014, 7:00pm
Conflating mediums, worlds and systems, Chris Niemi challenges the known order of the world around us. Cross breeding the organic with the synthetic to discuss ideas of preservation, life and decay in her work, she invokes an otherworldly quality lending an alien nature to the organic. What is the experience of an object in the world? Niemi works with the particularities of objects, how an object is being protected, healed, or encouraged to grow. Pushing into the between spaces where nothing and everything is happening, she causes a hiccup that allows for new experiences. The object becomes more real, completely synthetic, unreal and even petrified.
Chris Cleo Niemi
A Guest, A Host, A Ghost
Opening Reception Saturday, September 13, 7-11pm
“A Guest, A Host, A Ghost” is a sculptural installation featuring new work by Los Angeles-based artist Malisa Humphrey. Working with the persistent aesthetics of colonialism present in Orientalist interiors, Humphrey looks at the continuing role of “the other” as established in literature and art. Beginning with an interest in the Jim Thompson House, a tourist destination in Bangkok, Humphrey examines the myth of the expatriate seduced and absorbed by a foreign culture. Jim Thompson, the American founder of the Thai Silk Company, first introduced the aesthetic commonly associated with Thailand to the United States and Europe. While the Jim Thompson House offers multiple theories on Thompson’s mysterious disappearance during a walk in the jungle, they never mention his role as an active CIA agent protecting U.S. interests in South East Asia during the Cold War.
Looking at the construction of “the other” in the works of Jim Thompson, Joseph Conrad, Somerset Maugham, Graham Greene and Rudyard Kipling, as well as these cultural producers’ personal relationships to and involvement in outside military interests and empire, “A Guest, A Host, A Ghost” suggests that their work is not a disguise for military involvement, but a parallel act, two distinct functions of the same operation.
Malisa Humphrey received her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 2005. Her work has screened and exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, the Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, the Hammer Museum, the Armory Center for the Arts and the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Witch Show with Kiki Johnson and Alexa Loftus
Friday, August 29th, 8pm to 12:05pm
Join Kiki Johnson and Alexa Loftus to celebrate the release of their first episode of Witch Show, a podcast hosted by Kiki Johnson and Alexa Loftus that covers local LA witch news and other haunting topics. Where's the best place to take a centaur to brunch? Do witches really like cats? Are aliens even real? Are you an alien?
Witch Juice* and fog will be provided.
William Gass, Sun Duel (Jason Triefenbach & Friends) and Barry Johnston
// closing reception
Firt there was. And then there was.
Saturday July 12, 2014
Sun Duel (Jason Triefenbach and friends)
and closing reception for Tanya Brodsky: First there was. And then there was.
Elephant and Universal Love Upload are pleased to present RELEASE PARTY featuring William Gass, Sun Duel (Jason Triefenbach and friends), and Barry Johnston.
From psycho-theatrical vignettes fueled by primitive techno and urban decay to eloquent and minimal soundscapes, the artists of the Open Container Tour meld punk ethos with sound experimentation and collage sensibility to present open-ended and esoteric structures which rise and collapse in emotive oscillation: Abjection, Pleasure, and the Uncanny. We want to touch you… with colorful textures, fervent poetics, trance and transgression. Diatribes and exercise routines for disco mutants and discerning deviants.
We shall be released!
On the same night, Elephant presents the closing reception for First there was. And then there was, an exhibition of new works by Tanya Brodsky. This installation presents a space full of imminent problems. Things are (maybe) about to slide off, overflow, disintegrate, cause bodily harm if not approached with caution. Objects seem to be missing, with only the impressions made by their mass remaining as a record. The intentionality of the objects that are present is questionable. Things are simultaneously much more and much less stable than they appear to be. Contamination is a real concern. There is a dichotomy between permanence and impermanence, the utilitarian and the obtrusive, the mundane and the sanctified. It might all be a joke with no punchline.
Brodsky uses the acts of listing and categorizing to create the semblance of a disjointed narrative. The title of the show derives from narrative connectors: “first there was, and then there was.” Something happened, then something else, then something else. A appears to have led to B, to C, to D. Here, the indexical system is present as a framing device, something to push against. Logic sets up the possibility of red herrings, for the frustrations of not understanding or not solving. It acts as a foil for sex, madness, shit, humor, the mythical Furies, some kind of force of creation and destruction that is outside of and greater than the system.
Anticipation, excitement, dread, all require vulnerability: emotional, physical, or both. Trust is extended towards another being or eventuality, allowing him/her/it into one’s personal space. There is always a brief moment when it is unclear whether the stranger is leaning in in order to be violent, intimate, or both. Such an invasion elicits a physical response. The body tenses reflexively, bracing for fight or flight. Foreplay comes to mind. The erotic power of uncertainty, of waiting, not touching, not moving. In sexual and religious fetishes, art galleries, high end boutiques, the unavailability of the object gives it its power.
Tanya Brodsky (b. 1982, Kiev, Ukraine) lives and works in Los Angeles and San Diego. She received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005. She is currently working towards an MFA at UC San Diego. Her work has been included in exhibitions in Los Angeles and New York. This summer she will participate in two traveling exhibitions in Monterrey, Mexico, and Bilbao, Spain.