ARTLURKER

A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

Jet Set Saturdays: In Bed Together at Royal T Café

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Richard David Sigmund, “Untitled #1″ from the Simplicity Series (selected by Jane Glassman), 2009. Photo by Allison Stewart.

Culver City is the Santa Monica of the Millennium – chic, earthy, and replete with trendy shops and restaurants – and it’s quickly becoming a destination for the glitterati. The Royal T Café is one of those odd little insider places that operate just below the radar, slightly off the beaten path. The exhibition In Bed Together opened at the Royal T to huge crowds in December, its “velvet rope” line simultaneously resembling a LACMA trustee meeting and a raucous house party. The show is hardly your average group show fare with 50 artists selected by 50 curators/collectors. Organized by Jane Glassman, director of private art consulting group ArtTeamLA, the list of participants is a Rolodex that leaves this Jet Setter salivating.

Gallery says: “The point of the exhibition being that each specific role in the art world is critically dependent upon and supportive of the other. Presented together with personal texts, the selections will tell a compelling story of the contemporary art world
today…

Upon first impression, the massive and meandering show makes it almost impossible to choose ‘stand out’ contributors. Most works lend themselves to being viewed through the quirky glass wall spaces that house them. The walls themselves project a deliciously Japanese feeling, almost as if one is looking at art through a vending machine façade.

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Kendell Carter, “Effigy for a Persisten Wrestling Match with Form and Content”, 2009. 14 carat gold-plated boxing shoes & electrical wire. Dimensions variable. Coutesty private collection, Beverly Hills.

Further investigation reveals that show highlights can be found near the back of the building, one of which is the work of ghetto-fabulous wünderkind Kendell Carter. Carter’s installation is a dangling pair of gold boxing shoes, cleverly hung from a line installed high in the gallery space. The hanging shoes remind one of the ubiquitous hallmarks of every major US city and apparently, in Carter’s heart, every gallery as well.

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Installation Shot. Foreground: Richard David Sigmund. Background: Kendell Carter, “Effigy for a Persistent Wrestling Match with Form and Content” (selected by Helen Lewis), 2009. Photo by Allison Stewart.

Diagonal to Carter’s work is a sculpture by Richard “David” Sigmund. Selected by Glassman herself, Sigmund’s sculpture seems at home in its glass case, removed and distant from its obviously painstaking process. The flawless beauty of the form, hand-shaped by Sigmund through hours of repetitive sanding, creates a Zen-like moment in all of the group show chaos. To the right of Sigmund’s piece one finds a jarring but hypnotic video entitled “play” by R. Luke DuBois selected by the collector Kai Loebach. The video features faces taken from covers of Playboy magazine, superimposed and flashing in sequence. The models seem to share a similar stony gaze that remains transfixed on an automated imaginary lover.

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Pae White, “Booth Family Sampler” (selected by Suzanne Deal Booth). Photo by Allison Stewart.

Finally, this critic was impressed by the Pae White sculpture in the store’s front window. White’s “Booth Family Sampler” selected by Suzanne Deal Booth dominates the front of the show with its angelic nimbus-like form made out of twisted plastic coated metal wires.  Clearly made to hover in the front shop window, White’s work becomes a lens that focuses in on and reiterates the show’s premise, a direct connection between the artist and the collector. In Bed Together is an expose of sorts — that pulls back the sheets on the creative connections between artists and their muses — making us all
feel the love inside and out.

This post was contributed by Mary Anna Pomonis.

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Jet Set Saturdays: In Bed Together at Royal T Café