Michael Brown, “Books (cardboard box)”, 2010. Books, adhesive tape. 22 X 19 X 7 in.
You gotta love a good line. One of the great pleasures of dating in Los Angeles is listening to the solipsistic creative overtures of the hip and famous. “A Harmonious Mix of Objects,” the show at Mihai Nicodim Gallery in Culver City has all of the verve of a great pick-up line; it is somehow aesthetic and cliché at the same time. The show’s organizer Luana Hildebrandt is brave enough to wear her heart on her sleeve and try a new approach to curating. Well, it’s not really “new.” Women have been doing it for a long time. It’s called “fake it ‘til you make it.”
The gallery says: “Lets step back and try something else. The organizing principle here isn’t a fake idea transferred to an agglomeration of things, but, as the title says, ‘a harmonious mix of objects’.”
Neal Rock, “Lethe”, 2009. Pigmented silicone and mixed media. 37 X 29 X 12 in.
So, in the spirit of the Tee-Gee in Atwater Village, the Little Joy in Echo Park and Mountain Bar in Chinatown, I have decided to go home with this group show press release and break it down. The curatorial statement here asserts that it is “a bolder statement to put things together that flow and change and shift in imperceptible-even graceful-ways; things that are together because they belong together.” Frankly, it is hard to see how ceramicist Shio Kusaka’s tableaux of formal vessels Untitled, green grid 5-13 belong in the same room with Neal Rock’s gorgeous squirming and blushing sculpture Lethe that dominates the North Wall of the gallery. There is a rather fascinating relationship evident between Michael Brown’s reductive sculpture Books (cardboard box - title image) and the massive stairway by Chris Lipomi entitled Platform.
Chris Lipomi, “Platform”, 2010. Wood. 4 x 2.5 x 4 ft.
Platform is cleverly constructed of salvaged railroad ties stacked and set at angles to the adjacent corner. Lipomi sees the piece as performative and spent the opening encouraging guests to step on his sculpture. This simple activity changes the viewer’s perspective of the entire show, bringing the rather ordinary box by Brown into focus. When suddenly peering down, the subtle manipulation material (book cores) latent in Brown’s form becomes evident. Lipomi’s sculpture, like Brown’s box, gets better upon closer inspection. The creosote soaked and scarred edges of the ties create sensual, textural details that delight. Random and completely unrelated to the rest of the show is a decadent sculpture by Tia Pulitzer, Vampiresquirrelcat. Pulitzer’s gilded Chupacabra-like cat sits upon an ebony pedestal plinth that makes it feel as though it would be comfortable in the Museum of Egyptology in Berlin posited near the bust of Nefertiti.
Tia Pulitzer, “Vampiresquirrelcat”, 2010. Fired clay with glaze and 22K, gold luster. 14″ X 18″ X 6″.
Which brings this Jet Setter back to a personal favorite tryst location and the sensate memories of caresses in the dark recesses of an art museum. Yet again, I digress. Kissing off for now, I am out again…looking for love – or at the very least – a harmonious object to mix with[.]
This post was contributed by Mary Anna Pomonis.