Archive for June 2013
On May 18th, I hosted an artists’ conversation between Larry Bell and Peter Shelton at the gallery. It was one of our most well-attended events, with well over 50 people packing in to hear Larry and Peter discuss Larry’s exhibition. Larry Bell: Recent Work ran from May 4th – June 8th, and featured a series of mixed media collages as well as examples of Light Knots.
Larry and Peter’s discussion covered a lot of ground, but ultimately focused on how these new works are an extension of Larry’s life-long interest in perceptual phenomena. Larry emphasized the spontaneity and improvisational nature of the pieces on display, and how those qualities are of increasing interest to him.
If you weren’t able to come to the gallery and hear these artists in person, don’t worry! Larry’s son Oliver Bell filmed and edited two videos of the event. I’m posting one here, and they are both available on the Frank Lloyd Gallery Vimeo channel, along with other gallery-produced videos.
In the New York Times this morning, I found some unprecedented news. The above-the-fold story by Holland Cotter, “The East Coast of California,” included his phrase “…an unheard-of convergence here of major California shows.” Below the fold, Mr. Cotter reviewed the Ken Price retrospective at the Metropolitan, while Roberta Smith addressed James Turrell at the Guggenheim, and Ken Johnson wrote about the Llyn Foulkes show at the New Museum.
Unprecedented, indeed—and also amazing that the curatorial work of LACMA’s Stephanie Barron and the Hammer’s Ali Subotnick are again recognized. Not just the artists from the West Coast, but the curatorial vision. Mr. Cotter’s leading line was, “The project [Pacific Standard Time] was a big success and continues to generate energy.”
How vindicated do the PST folks at the Getty Research Institute feel? Pretty strongly justified, if you look at Project Specialist Glenn Phillips’ Facebook post. The Yale-trained art historian noted “Many people claimed that Pacific Standard Time would never have more than local impact, particularly in relation to New York,” and goes on to cite the three exhibits of Price, Turrell, and Foulkes as well as the current “State of Mind” show at PS1, the Paul McCarthy installation at the Armory, and the upcoming full-floor installation by Robert Irwin at the Whitney. (Let’s not forget about Jay DeFeo, the San Francisco painter whose Whitney retrospective just closed earlier this month.)
I don’t want this post to seem like a laundry list, but it’s also a matter of record that “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980” appeared at MoMA’s PS1 last year, and that “Asco: Elite of the Obscure, a Retrospective, 1972-1987” had a run at Williams College (alma mater of many U.S. museum curators and directors). “California Design, 1930-1965: ‘Living in a Modern Way,” continues its worldwide tour, and Wendy Kaplan’s publication is now in its 4th printing. PST is having a lasting effect.
Back in October 13, 2011, the Wall Street Journal’s critic Peter Plagens (who is a former Angeleno) questioned, “isn’t PST preaching to the choir?” It’s obvious that’s just not true.
The gallery already has a strong web presence, and our website gets an average of 17,000 unique visitors each month—from all around the world. That’s been a great way to get images of artworks and information about the artists to a broad audience.
But over the past couple of years, we’ve really developed our digital catalogues and now make one for every show. All are posted on a webpage, and are available for free. Our 18 catalogues cover a range of artists, including Craig Kauffman, Larry Bell, Adrian Saxe and Gustavo Pérez—as well as group shows.
I’m amazed that anyone on the planet with an internet connection can see our publications. I grew up with lots of art books, and I’ve always had a preference for the tactility, design and portability of books. But I have to admit that I also love the chance to design, publish and distribute books via the internet. Here’s a link to the main page for our digital catalogues: http://issuu.com/franklloydgallery.
Our exhibition of new work by Cheryl Ann Thomas opened today, and so far the response has been very enthusiastic. Her recent works are elegant and softly dramatic, in a new and subtle color palette. Visitors are often mystified by Thomas’s artwork, mistaking the coils of porcelain clay for fabric. We’ve been playing this video profile, created by Jürgen Gottschalk of MediaM8, to help people understand her process.
This video goes beyond simply informing the viewer about how these works are built – it really captures how Cheryl Ann Thomas conceives of her artwork. Her openness to chance and the possibility of loss are intrinsic to these pieces, and demonstrate her commitment to process rather than outcome.
The blog reached an important milestone this week – it has now been viewed over 100,000 times since I began writing it in 2008! I started this blog with the intention to write about art, architecture, and the people that I know. In the five years I’ve been writing, it has served as a platform for me to share my thoughts on contemporary art.
I like to use the blog to provide behind-the scenes access to the gallery, as well as talk about my relationships with artists, critics and other gallerists. My gallery has a substantial collection of archival images – including historical photographs of artists, installations, and other art ephemera – which many art enthusiasts don’t have access to. It’s fun to share these images with the public, who might not have a chance to see them otherwise. The picture you see at left is of Richard Shaw and Robert Hudson in their Stinson Beach studio, which they shared during the early 1970s.
Part of the mission of my gallery is to provide free arts programming and educational resources to visitors, and I see this blog as an important part of that. It’s not always possible for everyone to come to our gallery walk-throughs, artist conversations, and classes in person, so it’s important to me that I do my best to make this content available online. I hope that this blog serves as another link to the larger arts community in Los Angeles. After all, my passion for the world of art is what got me started in this business, and I want to share that passion with others.
The conversation between Adrian Saxe and Richard Shaw drew a record audience to the gallery. On February 9, over 70 people came to hear the two artists talk about their work. Now we have documentation of the event to share with you.
I’ve been working on the gallery’s education program for 17 years now. Artist talks, walk-throughs and conversations are part of that mission. The topics of the conversations have ranged, as the diverse resources of the gallery—from artists to writers to critics—are brought together to discuss the issues of contemporary art.
In the past, the gallery offered a class on art collecting that comprised of a series of talks, titled “The First Class, Parts One and Two”. Speakers came from the museum world, such as the late Henry Hopkins, former Director of the UCLA Hammer Museum, and Charlotte Eyerman, former curator at the Getty Museum. Highly recognized journalists, including Suzanne Muchnic, staff art writer at the Los Angeles Times for 3 decades, and Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, author of biographies on Georgia O’Keefe and Craig Kauffman, gave lectures.
This service (yes, all of our programs are open to the public and free of charge) has been intended to provide a forum for discussion and a resource for the art community of Los Angeles. For the last two years, I’ve worked to make these available to the audience through new media. Our digital publications are available online through Issuu, and more Frank Lloyd Gallery videos can be found on our Vimeo channel.