Jon Pylypchuck at China Art Objects

ArtILikeLA 2015 Yearend Countdown

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In the spring of this year, we started blogging about art we liked in and around Los Angeles. The saying “Location, location, location” definitely held water for us, too. The art we found here was like a thirst-quenching oasis for this drought-striken, endlessly sunny desert city of angels. After nearly 60 entries, covering both staple and up-and-coming gallery spots both west and east of the LA River, we compiled our 10 favorites of 2015 that we hoped to see again in 2016. So don’t pop the cork on that champagne just yet and join us for ArtILikeLA’s 2015 yearend countdown!

10. Colin Glasgow at John Wolf private residence

“If the lush, succulent urban oasis — of what was once essentially a desert — is to be seen as the embodiment of Hollywood’s manufactured illusion in its highest order, then Glasgow’s allure is quintessentially Angeleno — luring unsuspected outsiders with its elusive seduction. Think Paradise series by Thomas Struth meeting floral patterns of Saint Laurent or House of Holland… It is also tempting to parallel Glasgow’s infatuation with enchanting, orchidaceous locales with that of Henri Rousseau…”

9. Scott Anderson at CES

“Ripe for action, the tension and potency demonstrated by Anderson’s figures appear quite fitting considering his subjects, one of which includes Slovenian Marxist Slavoj Žižek —a celebrity philosopher sometimes called the Elvis of cultural theory. Just imagine the type of showmanship one needs to posses to earn such a title for himself; an unorthodox persona perhaps, with bombastic propositions maybe, an esoteric entertainment style probably. All these that make for the spectacle of the cultural theater are splendidly rendered by artificially vibrant colors that are borderline gaudy neons.”

8. Casey Reas at Charlie James

“For the projected Linear Perspective, a namesake for the exhibition, along with two other vertically installed displays, Reas takes above-the-fold photographs from the New York Times website. His codes draw each of these images across the black, blank screen at various diagonal angles by skewing, warping, and stretching the pictures, transforming them into abstract digital paint… Not surprisingly, however, the dramatic distortion and the countless layering processes give rise to something that is cohesive yet unintelligible instead. As the slow moving voluptuous strokes become increasingly abstract, complex, and dense, obliterating the negative void, what remains on the surface is a pure visual sensation that leads to pleasure. After all these years, there is finally a screensaver worth savoring.”

7. Katy Cowan, Takuro Kuwata, William O’Brien, and Adam Silverman at Cherry and Martin 2732

“The excitement of seeing ceramic works by four artists at Cherry and Martin’s project space, 2732, is similar to discovering new species at a botanical garden. Spinning clays from its 30,000 year old tradition, Katy Cowan, Takuro Kuwata, William O’Brien, and Adam Silverman slap together possibilities to suggest new visual vocabularies… In Try Again. Fail Again. Fail Better., each work is a unique specimen speaking a peculiar language — all pleasurable without fail. What has come before does not constrain, it opens up the possibilities.”

6. Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia at Vincent Price Art Museum (originally written for our sister site Better Luck Tomorrow)

“Gleefully refusing to be typecast as one medium or the other, Segovia’s work is benevolently subversive and never overtly confrontational. His painted strips colorfully and playfully question the process and meaning of abstraction. His weaving meticulously and preciously blurs the boundaries between painting and painted objects. His double-sided surfaces cheerfully suggest the sculptural possibility. His Mexican cultural roots positively influence the artist and propose an alternative aesthetic sensibility to be considered seriously as part of artistic conversations.”

5. Kaz Oshiro at Honor Fraser

“Oshiro does not leave abstraction exercise to chance or novelty. Exactness counts; Malcom Gladwell’s The 10,000 Hour Rule even more so. Resulting creases on Oshiro’s canvases are elegantly sexy, more sensual than contemplative stripes by Barnett Newman or voluptuous, fetishistic painted sculptures of Jennifer Boysen, by way of fashion house JW Anderson’s soft cotton candy long coat walking down a runway. The allure is not unlike the rhythmic pleasure gained from Tim Bavington. Kaz still rocks, rolling with or without his Marshall setup.”

4. Annelie McKenzie at CB1

“McKenzie’s figures are soft and loose, but prudent nonetheless. They are fluidly molten and titteringly ambiguous, yet still grounded and very present. These characters are staged within the actual or painted frames that are both large and intimate. The selective prominence of bubblegum pink, grape purple, as well as clover green —coupled with juvenile illustrative and decorative devices of unicorns, rainbows, and rhinestones— is more a tween diary than French Rococo. However, it seems that this is judiciously so by design, and I’m eating it all up.”

3. Austin Irving at Wilding Cran

“The power of Irving’s photographs derives from their nondescript nature, robbing the images of cultural signifiers and social cues. The resulting proposal is a bland vision of a globally universal utopia that looks quite dystopian. We must find an exit and escape, but one is nowhere to be found. Irving has trapped us deep inside her labyrinths.”

2. Neil Raitt at Anat Ebgi

“Decorated with easily recognizable motifs, frightfully dizzying patterns form, packing the canvases. In a several of this young British artist’s paintings, you see snow-capped mountaintops. There are wooden cabins and trees, too. On others, you spot crashing ocean waves with palm trees swaying in the wind. Each work is painted with a gradual shift in colors, creating a spectrum and activating the surrounding negative space with oscillating vibes. Clearly, the representational motifs themselves are gosh-darn kitschy. Harking back to the trademark once championed by infamous Bob Ross, Raitt’s statement of happy paintings further pushes you, through the shabby door, into a virtual thrift store; or perhaps onto a weedy driveway for a yard sale fire sale. The paintings lure you to treat them like a two buck chuck… [Yet] the sum of all the Raitt’s parts are somehow so much more — greater and strangely or wittingly happier”

1. Jon Pylypchuck at China Art Objects

“I must say, these paintings of 🙁 faces were electrically beautiful, something I haven’t seen in a while. Pylypchuck took my breath away. Glossy, lustrous enamel and warm, soft spray paint are masterfully choreographed to draw eyes and mouth on a squarish white flat surface. So simple yet so intricate. They were 🙂 and divinely delicious.”

What do you think? Tell us!