2680 South La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034

JOEL OTTERSON: Needleworks


September 11 – October 31

Maloney Fine Art is pleased to present “Needleworks,” Joel Otterson’s third exhibition with the gallery, which explores two new bodies of work; two-dimensional beaded “paintings” and three-dimensional hand-blown glass “flesh cups” which serve as a homage to the diversity, dexterity and tradition of sewing, stitching and embroidery.

Joel Otterson is a sculptor who for 30+ years has worked his way through the house and remade everything inside it.  His hybrid mash-ups of our domestic environment question our relationship to the home and to each other. His work addresses the gender of objects, their place in culture and what it means to be American. 

Many celebrated antecedents, from Austria’s Wiener Werkstätte applied arts fabrics, Chinese embroidery, haute couture fashion to 18th and 19th century samplers, inspire Otterson. Materials used include wool, cotton and silk fabrics, combined in complex and sophisticated ways; along with cotton, silk, cashmere, and metallic threads. These contemporary samplers of dissonant yet harmonious combinations, incorporate beads, individually crafted ceramic pieces, found jewelry, semiprecious stones, coral, amethyst, bone, plastic, metal and wood, often creatively used as pavé embroidery on Persian rugs, mounted on wood.

With a nod to the painter James McNeil Whistler, Otterson entitles many of the works with musical parallels; Green Sonatina, a symphony in green, Rosa Toccata (from Italian toccare, "to touch"), is like a virtuoso piece of music, emphasizing the dexterity of the artist's fingers.  Otterson’s samplings are his version of a sampler gone atonal.

In addition to his beaded opus, Otterson acknowledges the “needlework” art of tattooing with Flesh Cups, a series of hand-blown glass cups, in the Venetian style. Incorporated into each cup is a narrative rendered in enamel, taken from Russian Criminal Tattoos.  These Flesh Cups mark a return to Otterson’s 1992 work History of Rock ‘n’ Roll Dinnerware, a gobbing of rock and roll logos and imagery onto European Continental 18th Century style dinnerware.

Otterson received his BFA from Parson's School of Design in 1982 and started exhibiting at Nature Morte Gallery in New York's East Village. In 1987 he had a solo exhibition in MoMA's project series.  Otterson was the artist-in-residence at Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, in 1995 and 2015. His work was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial, the Hammer Museum's "Made in L.A." in 2012, and most recently, in "Man-Made: Contemporary Male Quilters," at the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Hammer Museum, The Cincinnati Art Museum, The Jewish Museum, The Israel Museum and many other public and private collections internationally. 

Otterson currently lives and works in Los Angeles.


Knobby Knees

May 23 - July 3

Monica, 2014-15, acrylic on linen, 60" x 38"      

Knobby Knees, Travis Collinson’s second solo exhibition of paintings and drawings at Maloney Fine Art, is a new body of work; a series of portraits using family, friends and colleagues painted with a signature style of simplified form and pure color, providing insight into the intimacy shared between the artist and his subject. Collinson started as an illustrator/cartoonist, creating comic book narratives within the frame. An emphasis on drawing is underscored in his work. Each of his subjects, seemingly devoid of expression and in a state of anomie, are depicted with large heads attached to bodies cut off at the knees—distortions of form and space, compressed as if swaddled within the frame. Through this compression, they become highly expressive, gesticulative figures of personal emotions and spiritual truths. 

Conceived as a series, these artworks are a continuation of Collinson's investigation of the work of other artists, primarily those whose portraits are recognized as their legacy, like Jean Auguste DominIque Ingres, Édouard Vuillard, and contemporary artists such as Alice Neel, Alex Katz and Marlene Dumas. His interest also lies in the personas that an artist takes on; in this series he focused primarily on the persona of Andy Warhol, known for his opaque, non-persona often likened to that of a zombie. The title of the series, Knobby Knees points not only to where his depictions of people end within the frame, but also draws reference to the Nabis group of artists: Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Sérusier. Pronounced nah-BEE and derived from a Hebrew word meaning prophet, the Nabis artists each took on a different persona within the group. Collinson imagines himself as the Nabi of the Empathetic Portrait, looking to interior spaces and to artists' internal thoughts and experiences as refuges from the modern world.   

Travis Collinson has been featured in group exhibition throughout the country most recently in Look at me: Portraiture from Manet to Present at Leila Heller Gallery in New York and a solo exhibition at Dominican University titled Narcolepsy in Pink. He was also featured in the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive exhibition Hauntology and is included in their permanent collections. He currently resides in San Francisco, California.

FORD BECKMAN: The Last Pop Targets

1952 - 2014

APRIL 11 – MAY 16

This marks the second exhibition of Ford Beckman's work at Maloney Fine Art and will serve as a memorial to the artist, who died unexpectedly from a heart attack this past November.

For the past three decades Ford Beckman approached art making with a duality of purpose, creating minimal "Black Wall Paintings" and explosive "Pop Paintings" simultaneously.

Whether the artist was paying homage to artist-heroes, such as Malevich, Pollock, Johns or Warhol, Ford distilled each reference to its essence and invigorated the subject with his facile use of color and industrial materials.  "Pop Targets" was an ongoing investigation of the hybridization of minimal and pop aesthetics.  

Simultaneously mechanical and gestural, explosive and contemplative, Ford's Neo-Suprematist-Spiritual-Pop paintings expanded and continued a modernist discourse.
Whether it was the reinterpretation of the square, the ultimate modernist pursuit, or the reinvention of the target, the need to re-think and rework that which is iconic was a never ending pursuit for Ford Beckman.

"Beckman's painting is a response to the spiritual crisis of modernity.
With Beckman, painting renews its spiritual intention, becomes a spiritual sanctuary, achieves, once again, a spiritual aura, if in a very different, indeed worsening
spiritual climate." 
                                                                   Donald Kuspit

Beckman's work has been exhibited internationally and is included in such notable public collections as Panza Collection, Italy; Saatchi Collection, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Israeli Museum, Jerusalem; Essl Collection, Vienna; the Denver Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.