''Hey! Where Are You Taking Me?"
July 2 - August 13, 2016
Augusto Sandroni "Lost in Space" 2016, Oil on canvas, 16 X 12 inches
Recalling an all day hike he undertook with a friend several years back, Augusto stepped into a new body of work for his second exhibition with Maloney Fine Art. The new paintings are a continuation of the artist’s eternal inquisitiveness into historical and contemporary abstraction and a reflection of his love for adventure and play when working in his studio.
In 'Hey! Where Are You Taking Me,' Augusto continues to be inspired by readings of Eastern Philosophy such as Buddhism and Daoism, conditioning him to react to the present instead of working in a prescribed, outlined fashion.
After spending several hours climbing a steep trail, and subsequently a rock face, using their bare hands (no harnesses or climbing gear), Augusto and a friend found themselves several miles away from the trail head; Augusto continued to press on, towards the other side of the mountain hoping to find a way back other than the route they had taken so far. The trail had long disappeared (ended?) and his friend began to ask for them to turn around as they had no GPS, compass or water. Treading ahead became more difficult as the vegetation became more dense and thorny, and the terrain more technical and rocky, and they were running out of daylight. At one point Augusto looked back and his friend had stopped following him: “This ain’t no trail” his friend yelled, “besides we don’t know what’s down there by the gully, let’s go back since it’s getting dark and it will be lots harder to get back down”.
Much like the hike, Augusto’s new paintings favor uncharted territory. In “Hey Where are you Taking Me?”, he asks his own studio practice the same question his friend asked him when they became lost on their hike. As Augusto makes each painting, he expects a new adventure and he prefers to embrace the journey trusting his intuition no matter how uncertain the outcome can be. Like the Arte Povera artists before him, Sandroni attempts to break down the ‘dichotomy between art and life’ (Celant: Flash Art, 1967), mainly through the creation of paintings and works on paper, made from everyday materials. These apparently simple, abstract compositions are instantaneous, yet come out of a practice of extreme observation, using spatial construction and wonky, slightly off-kilter geometry as optic devices of stimuli.
The artist, who was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil in the 1960s, came of age when the Utopianism of tropical Modernism was at its peak, and that, along with the largest carnival in the world, played a creative role in later forming his artistic vision. Seeing himself as a visionary artist who operates as if self-taught, Sandroni intuitively works with mundane, non-traditional processes and materials, such as industrial tape, aluminum foil, cardboard, burlap, found objects, and fabric paints. Not striving to make something too perfect, he makes non-symmetrical forms out of cut pieces of tape that act as a “place holder” for paint impasto, playing with the coincidence or absurdity that something can be made from these materials.
Augusto Sandroni was born in 1964 in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Cum Laude in Painting-Printmaking, at San Diego State University (2011) and received his Master of Fine Arts from Claremont Graduate University (2014).
Hey! Where Are You Taking Me? is the artist’s second solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
Augusto Sandroni lives and works in Los Angeles, California.
Maloney Fine Art is pleased to present “Germs on Sheets,” an exhibition of new paintings on linen, mixed media on paper as well as new porcelain “Flower” sculptures by Los Angeles artist Yassi Mazandi. This marks the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery. While Yassi’s inspiration has always principally come from nature, with its often symmetrical and replicating qualities, this exhibition is evidence of her similar fascination with the more organic forms which nature has to offer. The result is a body of work that, while rooted in nature’s order and symmetry, reflects many of the dynamic, vibrant, occasionally unexpected twists and turns that are inherent in biological matter.
The inspiration for this series came from a “hygiene horror stay” at a motel and led to a temporary engrossment, perhaps even obsession, with germs and their biological forms. Applying the principle of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” most of the materials to which she has applied her mixed media techniques and imagery are indeed recycled: vintage French linen bed sheets, vintage French linen pillowcases as well as Italian Army surplus linen “fart-sacks” (a military term for the mattress cover which envelops an army bed). The works on paper, executed with inks, dyes, watercolor and correction fluid, illustrate the artist’s fascination with amoebic structure.
The gallery will also present several signature hand carved porcelain sculptures, which the artist calls “Flowers.” These biologically inspired works seem simultaneously ancient and futuristic, mechanical and natural, masculine and feminine – with references to sacred geometry. Labyrinthine and seemingly engineered, these one-of-a-kind sculptures are created by applying manual cuts and bends to two-sided ceramic sculptures, handmade on a potter’s wheel. The process is entirely subtractive. Nothing is added. While these elemental and complex “Flower” forms are seemingly based on mathematical principles, they are not simply systematic, as the artist’s hand always intervenes, pulling, carving, finishing and layering.
Yassi Mazandi was born in Tehran, Iran, raised in Great Britain and lives and works in Los Angeles. She studied advanced photography and art in Oxford, England and sculpture and ceramics at Greenwich House Pottery, New York City. In 2012 she was an Artist in Residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and other public and private collections here and abroad.
Maloney Fine Art is pleased to present Shadow Work, the gallery’s first exhibition of sculpture by Anthony James. The gallery will show selections of recent work: a highly polished aluminum totem ‘Untitled (Five Solid Circles),’ two polished steel “Shotgun Paintings” and ‘Birch 2012:24x48x12,’ a wall-mounted, double-mirrored sculpture.
Recently, Anthony James has focused his attention on a series of totemic aluminum sculptures, polished to a reflective luminosity, that play with the metaphysical polarities of presence and absence, being and nonbeing. ‘Untitled (Five Solid Circles)’ draws the viewer in with mirror-like surfaces that reflect or distort the viewer and the surroundings, suggesting the notion of continuous space and light.
Two reflective sculptures from the ‘Shotgun Painting’ series are a different form of transformation altogether, derived from assault with high-powered firearms, fired into steel, transforming the immaterial into the material. The finished works have a restrained, terrifying beauty, belying the violet nature of their creation.
The Celtics believed that in the birch groves, long associated with birth and rebirth, you could hear whispers of transformation and growth within the soul. For ‘Birch 2012, 24x48x12’ the artist cut birch tree branches and placed them in a polished steel and double-mirrored vitrine, lit by LED lights, transforming them into an infinite grove of birch trees, the symbol of new beginnings, purification and healing.
Anthony James, (b.1974) is a sculptor, painter, and performance artist. Perhaps best known for his work KΘ (2008), short for kalos thanatos (Greek for beautiful death), a double-mirrored vitrine containing a Ferrari F355 Spider that had been set on fire, James destroyed the external form to capture and magnify the terrifying beauty of its destruction. This was done as a performance in upstate New York to replicate the ancient Greek sacrificial offerings to Venus in a birch forest—birch being symbolic of new beginnings, purification and healing. “We destroy things of value so the gods will not destroy us.”
James studied at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design in London (1994-98) and has lived in New York, Munich and currently in Los Angeles. James has had solo exhibitions at Walter Storms Galerie, Munich; Brand New Gallery, Milan; Patrick Painter, Los Angeles; Gavlak, West Palm Beach; Kantor/Feuer, New York; and Apex Art, New York.
A monograph; Anthony James: Morphic Fields was published by Hatje Cantz on the occasion of his 2014 exhibition at walter storms galerie, Munich
For the past ten years Jeff Colson has been working on a series of sculptures, paintings and watercolors that focus on the ephemeral quality of paper, as a subject and a material. Each work depicts a peripheral accumulation of paper, once symbolic of the day-to-day frenzy of one’s life. As a single sheet it is barely there, but when accumulated, it becomes physical and symbolically loaded as information and the systematization of our daily existence. Colson recognizes that in an attempt to control chaos we are sometimes caught in a manic and desperate spiral to prevent the inevitable, the absurdity of this “Catch-22” is evidenced by the accumulation of almost everything that we desire, regardless of need. Ironically, now with the digital age, paper is on the brink of extinction. This existential view has been the underpinnings of most of his work, coupled with a desire to make objects from memory with all its distortion—a personal validation of acquisition.
Using his own handcrafted techniques, the elements of the work are carved, cut, sawn, sanded, painted, welded, and molded to replicate an object that is recognized at once for its intent and as absurd as an art object. Stacks (2014-2015) is an amalgam of three happenstance load-bearing objects: desk, drop leaf table and a milk crate supporting an ever increasing and ominous mountain of paper stacked like performance bar graphs. These comically wobbly towers of paper, the residue of well-intentioned ambitions seem touching in their sincerity, and the act of attempting insurmountable odds, a universal experience.
Jeff Colson grew up near the oil fields just north of Bakersfield, California. His father was a social worker whose do-it-yourself aesthetic, making everything from toys to homemade life jackets, informed Colson’s own identity as a “crackpot tinkerer.” In his sculpture, Colson refers to both that quirky, by-the-seat-of-your-pants decision-making process and Modernism’s purist grid. The sculptures are fabricated from both personal and cultural memory, often without referencing specific objects or images. The resulting forms are familiar, but aren’t real. Colson’s sculptures are physical documents of remembered reality. The sense of history is also literal as each piece can take months, even years to make.
Jeff Colson graduated from California State College, Bakersfield. His work is in the Collection of Count Giuseppe Panza di Buomo at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; the Sammlung Rosenkranz Foundation in Wuppertal, Germany; the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California; Colección Júmex, Mexico City and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s permanent collection.
Jeff Colson was awarded a 2012 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a 2015 City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Fellowship.
The artist lives and works in Pasadena, California
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.