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Current Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Doug Simay’s Best Picks
Christina Quarles at Regen Projects (Hollywood through May 9).
Christina Quarles first made an impression on me at the last Made in LA 2018 exhibition at the Hammer.  I
like figuration in painting and Quarles’ work bounces back and forth between figuration and abstraction.   
She uses thin, washy paint to render paintings that reflect her creative instincts as a queer, mixed race
woman.  It is strange for me to write “queer” as I am an old-timer.  But in today’s sexually ambivalent
environment – queer art is in ascendancy.
Vanessa German at Gavlak (Hollywood through May 18).
Vanessa German is self-trained.  Her art practice is about empowering black women and girls. She is
active in her community and her art comes second to and in service of neighborhood communities.  
Quoting the artist: “As a strange, dirty, round, nappy black girl in Los Angeles…I was always inventing
things that I deeply, profoundly believed had power.”  Much art that is produced is about seeking power
for the artist.  German’s art seeks power for the viewer and her community.
Jarvis Boyland at Michael Kohn (Hollywood through May 23).        
Chicago-based Boyland paints beautifully.  He composes his interior-scapes from photographs.  His
subjects are relaxed and comfortable queers. Some reviewers liken his work with David Hockney and
Barkley Hendricks.  Quoting from Artillery Magazine about the painting above: “Coy yet cocky, pretty and
promiscuous, commanding yet chaste…”  It is a terrific body of work by a rising young talent.
Gabby Rosenberg at Steve Turner (Hollywood through May 4).
Los Angeles-based and CalArts (MFA 2018) trained Ms. Rosenberg shows well in this, her first
commercial gallery exhibition.  Her ambiguous figures play off abstraction.  What captures my
attention is the cross-over with the mid 20th century CoBrA artists – particularly Karel Appel.
George Condo at Spruth Magers (mid Wilshire through June 1).
There are few artists who are as idiosyncratic as George Condo.  He melds the figure with abstraction
using brave painterly actions.  The press release states: “seamlessly between controlled precision and
unabashed exuberance. …mania and disorder…”, Condo’s engagement leaps off the painting’s
surface.  This exhibition is the number one reason to visit LA now.  Only on occasion can one stand in
awe of a master painter.
George Condo
George Condo
Cecilia Miguez at Louis Stern (West Hollywood through April 20).
How many years have I followed Cecilia Miguez’ work?  She uses materials and the human form to
create enchanting, other-worldly sculptures.  She must be considered alongside Robert Graham and
John Frame when one thinks of figurative sculpture in Los Angeles.
Takashi Murakami at Gagosian (Beverly Hills closing).
Murakami needs no explanation or contextualization.  This exhibition displayed what one expects to see
-- except for the very long painting that is mural-like and seems straight-forward without cartoon (a part
as seen in above photograph).  This long, Oriental-themed, undersea-scape is beautiful and far from
Low-Brow.
David McDonald at DENK (DTLA through May 11).
The gallery features two solo exhibitions in the front two galleries.  In the rear-most gallery are
collection of sculptures (including work by Jeff Colson and Tim Hawkinson).  Most intriguing is this
piece by David McDonald – whose sculpture I have not seen in some time.
Gary Lang at Wilding Cran (DTLA through May 19).
The exuberance with which Gary Lang paints gets splattered on the clothes he wears into the studio.  
Over the last four decades, he has taken 6x6 inch pieces of his painter’s garb and further embellished
them with glitter and more paint.  As “notes” on his process, there are 120 square pieces framed and on
the wall for this exhibition.   While these are “evidence” for his interests, they are not formal paintings.  
They cannot be used as final examples of his output as a painter.  They are what they seem, evidence
of process and passion.
Arlene Shechet at Susanne Vielmetter (DTLA through June 8).
The second reason to visit LA now is to see this terrific sculpture exhibition.  The artist sculpts using clay,
wood, concrete, bronze – virtually every sort of material.  Her works connote her fascination with materials
that she can use to make form.  With nods to other sculptural icons, she confidently works her own unique
magic.  Shechet demonstrates the unique vitality that sculptural mastery commands.
Arlene Shechet
Arlene Shechet
David Korty at Night Gallery (DTLA through April 20).        
David Korty earned his MFA at UCLA in 1998.  I have seen his work in LA at Night Gallery, China Art
Objects, and Michael Kohn (in London at Sadie Coles HQ).  I don’t know why he has been so well
received by the gallerists.  They must see something I don’t.
Peter Zokosky at Koplin Del Rio Gallery Pop Up (Little Ethiopia closed).
I first entered Marti and Allen Koplin’s gallery on Santa Monica Blvd. in 1984 (they had moved from
Chicago and opened their gallery next door to Nick Wilder).  Eleana Del Rio joined Marti Koplin some
years later (in 1989) and the gallery evolved to be Koplin Del Rio with Eleana as the principal.  Koplin
Del Rio moved to Seattle in 2016 where the gallery continues to represent many of the same artists they
did while in LA.  In celebration of her 30 years with the gallery, Eleana executed a one week long Pop-up
exhibition with some of her long time gallery artists in a space in Little Ethiopia.  It was a warm
“homecoming” for the many fans that the gallery formed over its tenure in LA.  Peter Zokosky (work
pictured above) has shown with Koplin Del Rio in addition to Joni Gordon at Newspace and with Lora
Schlesinger.  After 40 years of making my almost monthly art rounds in LA – attending exhibits such as
this remind me of many decades of art pleasure and - how old I have become.
Peter Zokosky, “Flayed Portrait – P.Z.” 2000  Collection of Doug Simay
Ken Price at Kayne Corcoran Griffin (lower La Brea through May 4).
The world has been demonstrating its love for the work of Ken Price (1935-2012) (think of the LACMA
50-year retrospective posthumously given to him in 2012).  This exhibition presents works on paper
from 1967 – 1995.  It is a beautiful show and the work seems fresh and contemporary.
              Ken Price
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Offered for Sale (from the Doug Simay Collection):
James Doolin
“Twenty Mule Team Canyon”  1981
Oil on canvas
15 x 21 inches
                 $8,000

Inquiries to:  doug@simayspace.com

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Get out, look at art; have fun.
Doug Simay            April 2019
Art for Sale