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Current Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Doug Simay’s Best Picks
Chrissy Angliker at Craig Krull (Bergamot through July 13).
Ms. Angliker’s painted subjects are all friends.  The thickly impastoed paintings become highly abstract
while retaining a sense of intimacy.  The layers of applied pigment create a physical apparition of water.  I
am reminded of the paintings of Candace Gawne.
Rachel Rosenthal at Craig Krull (Bergamot through July 13).        
I remember Rachel Rosenthal (1926-2015) as an influential performance artist in LA.  I was not aware of
her pedigree and the other significant artists with whom she shared time and ideas.  This exhibition of
early works on paper has helped to expand my insights about her.  The print shown below speaks to her
interaction with Wilfredo Lam.
Alexandra Averbach at Skidmore (Bergamot through July 20).
It is tough to paint a floral still life that seems fresh and unaffected.  Alexandra Averbach’s work is beautiful
and classically rendered.  Her realism recalls Golden Age Dutch painting with composition that recalls
Giorgio Morandi. It is a tough subject arena that Averbach successfully maneuvers.
            Dan McCleary
Figurative Group Show at Lora Schlesinger (Bergamot through July 20).
There are few as qualified to curate a figurative exhibition as Lora Schlesinger.  This terrific survey with
20 artists is timely; reflecting the rise of figuration in the contemporary art arena.  
I have not seen a John Nava painting in a very long time.  He seems most lately seen in large jacquard
tapestries such as those at the Los Angeles Catholic Cathedral.
John Nava
Simon Norfolk at galleryluisotti (Bergamot closing).
Presented as large format images, the blue-hued, chiaroscuro photographs document efforts to save the
Rhone Glacier in Switzerland.  Developed as a tourist venue, the loss of the glacier is threatened due to
climate warming.  Attempting to forestall catastrophic melting, the surface of the glacier has been covered
with a thermal blanket.  The images are dramatic and the story behind them is profound.  
Kellyann Burns at Louis Stern (West Hollywood closing).
Paintings and collages are dominantly on view in this first LA solo exhibition.  I like her sculptures, the
totality of that offering is seen in the above image.  Burns uses manufactured items to reconstruct
fantasy small-scale architecture.  Her sculpture is refreshing and aesthetically appealing.
Rubi Neri at David Kordansky (lower La Brea closing).
Neri’s heroic clay vessels are marvels of construction, firing, and glazing.  The fact that the vessel’s
characters are so self-confidently strong is an Amazonian take on feminism.  The viewer (audience)
walks amongst Neri’s cast of cast characters in a “play” that has many elements of good theater.
Zach Harris at David Kordansky (lower La Brea closing).
Zach Harris’ work melds painting, sculpture and architecture.  Parts of his works are painted.  Parts are
carved or inlaid with wood.  At times the treatments which might be considered as part of a frame are at
the physical center of the artwork.  This mixing of styles and materials can be confounding.  It is this
constantly shifting enigma of “what am I seeing?” that gives the work its substance.
Aimee Goguen at Roberts Projects (Culver City closing).
Aimee Goguen is one of four artists in a show called “The Weight of Matter”.  Her sculpture of wood,
gouache, and glue is at the same time vulnerable and solid.  Based on web research, Aimee Goguen
seems more known for her film and video work than objects.  My curiosity is piqued.
June Edmonds at Luis De Jesus (Culver City closing).
June Edmonds paintings stand in for flags – the American flag.  They are thickly painted in the skin colors
of the people who constitute America.  Her work is metaphorically and politically derived.  I like looking at
the rich, thick, consciously luscious application of paint.  Makes me think of frosting.  These paintings revel
in joyously and precisely applied pigment.
June Edmonds detail
Raffi Kalenderian at Suzanne Vielmetter (Culver City through June 29).
Kalenderian’s paintings are warm images of people who quietly live out their time in riotously colored
domesticity.  Color explodes as plants; floorboards become ornamental.  His characters are surrounded
by swirling psychedelic environments.
Raffi Kalenderian
Lynn Aldrich at DENK  (DTLA through July 6).
Lynn Aldrich makes something out of everything.  She is one of those remarkable artists who can use
any material creatively.  Rather than finding a material to execute her vision, her vision comes from
imagining a material as something else.  Seen in the above image, is the view looking up skyward whilst
standing in nested sonotubes.  The experience borrows from James Turrell.  Every piece in her current
exhibition is smart and perceptive.  Each piece is uniquely conceived while being synergistic within the
exhibition whole.
Lynn Aldrich
David Hammons at Hauser & Wirth (DTLA through August 11).
Not having seen David Hammon’s work for some years, I had forgotten how powerful his art is.  He
transforms commonplace materials into allegories for the African-American experience.  His work is
genius and this exhibition showcases proof for that statement.  Another “don’t miss” Hauser & Wirth
David Hammons
Nathaniel Mellors and Erkka Nissinen at The Box (DTLA through July 20).
The collaboration of Mellors and Nissinen makes for an absorbing gallery engagement.  Melding sculpture
and video via animatronic sculptures this whimsical world is funny until its resonance with our
contemporary world makes it sinister.  Quoting the press release: “(a world) where autocracy and
corruption has led to a world of dysfunction and absurd invention.”  I would call this installation “epic” in its
Elliott Hundley at Regen Projects (Hollywood through June 22).
The press release for this exhibition suggests several views for why Hundley’s work is erudite in
conception and construct.  I have been and continue to be impressed with the amount of labor that goes
into making these dense kaleidoscopes of color and form. The surfaces swirl with non-decipherable
images that float over abstract gestures.  The multiple physical layers results from pinning objects above
the background.
Elliott Hundley surface detail
Jose Alvarez at Gavlak (Hollywood through August 17).
In 2012 Alvarez was detained for two months at the Krome Detention Center in Florida.  He executed
ballpoint pen drawings of 28 men presented in this exhibition.  He presents their portraits alongside
the sitter’s shared stories.  It is a poignant reckoning of men who are not terrorists or criminals.  They
want to be in America.  They are in ICE’s America and will likely be deported.  The exhibition is a
powerful telling of the reasons why the US border is under siege.
Maria Berrio at Michael Kohn (Hollywood through end of August).
Born in Colombia and currently living and working in Brooklyn, Maria Berrio constructs large
paper-collaged and painted wall-works.  These paintings are beautiful.  The characters in the paintings
are mostly women.  They are portrayed as strong and empowered.  There is also an air of mysticism to
the works.
Maria Berrio
Urs Fischer at Jeffrey Deitch (Hollywood closing).        
If you didn’t see this exhibition, too bad. Each chair has a different bright color fabric.  Each desk chair is
its own robot.  It can sense and respond to the environment as well as coordinate with other chairs to, at
times, be choreographic.  The huge open gallery space is a flat concrete floor across which the chairs
zip and zag and as if a pack of dogs. Standing amidst these “beings” one rapidly learns that one can
interact with a chair.  Turn, advance, retreat – the chair responds.  Soon it becomes apparent that the
chair can control the human as the human attempts to learn the “language of gestures” that the chair
most responds to.  Is it art or the sociology of robotics?  Phenomenal.
Ginny Casey at Nino Mier (Hollywood through June 22).
Nino Mier tends to show very abstract painters or realist painters that use some sort of cartooning.  
Ginny Casey is an example of the latter.  Casey has objects float and change scale - all of which creates
mystery and oddity.
Charles Ray at Matthew Marks (West Hollywood through June 22).
Works by Charles Ray always seem heroic in conception and execution.  This horse is carved from a
single piece of granite. The Virginia granite slab is 10 by 14 feet and weighs 6 tons.
Greg Craola Simkins at KP Projects (La Brea closing).
I wonder if the current popularity of neo-surreal, pop culture realism co-evolves with the general
return to figuration.  There is no doubt that Simkins is a wizard.  The dearth of “meaning” is well
compensated for with wit and technical virtuosity.
Seen in San Diego:
Han Nguyen at Joseph Bellows (La Jolla closed).
Han Nguyen quietly pursues his artistic excellence.  He is one of San Diego’s gifted artists.  Being an
artist photographer is tough.  Venues for showing their work are limited.  It is a real shame when the
opportunity to see the output of Han Nguyen is so infrequent.  In this exhibition called “Nude
Compositions”, Han revisits Man Ray in work that recalls Cubism and Surrealism.
John Rogers and Richard Allen Morris at R.B. Stevenson (La Jolla through July 20).
It is heart-warming and historically important to see John Rogers and Richard Allen Morris showing
together.  These men, as artists, have left an indelible mark on the evolution of contemporary art in
San Diego.  It is a terrific exhibition of senior artistic statesmen.
Roland Reiss at Oceanside Museum of Art (Oceanside through Sept. 8).
On a much larger stage than San Diego County, Roland Reiss is a Southern California artist
statesman.  His creativity and ever-expanding exploration of what painting can be defines a true
innovator.  This exhibition is an opportunity to see this master in our own backyard.
Offered for Sale (from the Doug Simay Collection)
Joe Clower
untitled,  1982
Acrylic on appropriated double magazine photograph
11 x 16.5  inches                     $1,100

Inquiries to:
Get out, look at art; have fun.
Doug Simay          
     June 2019
Art for Sale