Heart_Land, (Collaboration with Peggy Ahwesh), JOAN Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2020
Velour and aluminum hardware.
Peggy Ahwesh and Linda Norden asked me to design a curtain arrangement for Peggy’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. As the exhibition consisted of video projections and monitors, a sensitive treatment of the space, lighting and sound was required. Taking all into consideration and working closely with Linda, I designed three arcs of paneled curtains that would give a sense of the videos’ respective spaces as well as connect different areas of the exhibition. The colors and the material of the curtains were inspired by Peggy’s work. I saw my role as similar to a musical accompanist for Peggy’s solo exhibition at JOAN.
Up Close in Distance (bars, flags, pools), Hammer Projects, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA 2019
Printed floor vinyl and paint.
The lobby of the Hammer Museum is an exhibition space that connects the lower street-level entrance of the museum to the upper-level gallery and courtyard space with a U-shaped staircase. I was interested in the literal function of an exhibition space through which bodies must move. Throughout the history of exhibitions for this space, the three large walls surrounding the stairs have become the “art” walls. I used the floor as the primary plane for the artwork so the viewer’s gaze would be directed down. One would have to step on and be “in” the work – albeit momentarily and fleetingly – to get to the other parts of the museum. Walking across the floor, the viewer’s body relates literally and directly to the artwork.
For the imagery, I made paintings that were scaled at 1% of the floor plan. In my studio, I poured and dripped all the colors of Ronan’s Aquacote line of enamel sign paint onto glass. As a substrate for painting, glass is both transparent and reflective. Color appears more liquified on one side, heightening the effect of reflectivity. In that space of reflectivity, things are momentarily disordered. In curing, some colors hold their own while others merge into neighboring areas.
Once finished, I had the work photographed at a high enough resolution to be enlarged one hundred times. This retained subtle information such as the reflection of studio lights on the surface. The imagery was then printed onto 3M vinyl flooring material and installed on site.
The colors together created a wild effect as the painted forms do not conform to the lines of architecture, blurring the boundaries of the space (for example, confusing the order of riser and tread on the staircase).
I painted the three large “art” walls a very light pink. This barely perceptible gesture rendered a sense of volume in the space and marked what had formerly been the primary site of artwork.
Red Carpet in C, (Collaboration with Peter Tolkin), Culver Center for the Arts, Riverside, CA 2018
Canvas, cardboard tubes, colored paper, glue, metal hardware, cables for hanging.
Approx 20 x 150 x 16 ft.
A collaborative site-project made with architect Peter Tolkin for the UCRArts Culver Center, Riverside, CA. The installation responds to the existing architectural order of symmetry and the neo-classical style of the columns. Inspired by classical music composition, three large, undulating forms (constructed from dyed canvas and cardboard tubes wrapped in colored paper) engender a sense of rhythm, and suspended movement in time.
Shades for Night, Window installation, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 2013
Acrylic paint on windows.
In 2013, Night Gallery moved from Lincoln Heights to a large bow-truss building in the industrial manufacturing section of downtown Los Angeles. With a row of windows facing the street, the main concern was privacy (the area just inside the windows is mostly storage and workspace). I sprayed the five windows with bright, saturated colors, similar to Crayola crayons. The intensity and opacity fades to 20-30% towards the top, eventually to clear glass, letting in natural light. The sky is visible when looking out. Bright colored windows framed by white brick make a distinct aesthetic marker for the gallery in the neighborhood.
For Instance, Lindbrook Terrace, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA 2012 (ongoing)
This work originated in 2008 as a site-project for the Amie and Toni James Gallery at the City University of New York Graduate Center. In 2012, the piece was permanently re-sited to the Hammer Museum’s Lindbrook Terrace. The new space required several modifications. The track system mirrors the shape and scale of the dramatic eyebrow (arched) window on the north side. A number of curtain panels were added, indexed to the measurements of the architectural details of the site. All panels are made with velour, double-sided with a different color on each side. Chains attached to the top of the curtains extended their length to accommodate the high ceiling.
The indoor-outdoor terrace is a transitional area within the museum, allowing circulation to galleries, outdoor spaces and restrooms. The work is exposed to the elements – the curtains flutter when the air moves, from both weather conditions and the flow of passing bodies. Several possible arrangements of the moveable curtains allow for flexibility, based on museum programming.
Continuum: Structure #003, LA>< ART Exhibtions, Los Angeles, CA 2009
Wood, building materials, lighting fixtures, colored glass.
"Continuum: Structure #003" is a site-specific sculptural installation proposing new geometries to the existing architecture of the LA>< Art Gallery space. I utilized various ready-made systems such as aluminum extrusions for building facades and materials (glass windows, fluorescent lamps, etc.). This exploration of structure, ornament and modularity resulted in a facade and fenestration-like sculpture.
The width of the room, the slope of the ceiling and the height of the walls determine the dimensions, embedding various points of reference in the work. The piece is placed obliquely to the orthogonal plan and orientation of the room. One’s initial view of the installation is at an odd angle and position. The walls are painted in the warm gray color close to the floor, in order to involve all architectural planes and to blur the transition between floor and wall. As one moves about, around and through the sculpture, the lines, planes, and openings distort architectural perspectives and disrupt a sense of grounding through symmetry or repetition.
The extended channels of the sculpture contain lights, as specified for LA>< gallery use. As a result, the sculpture self-illuminates, while generating surplus light for the room. As an appendage having to access electrical power for proper function, the piece becomes an architectural fixture.
For Instance, Amie and Toni James Gallery, Graduate Center, City University of New York, NY 2008
Custom fabricated two-sided velour curtains, hanging tracks and hardware.
“For Instance”, is a site-project for the Amie and Toni James Gallery at the City University of New York Graduate Center. The street-level gallery space is housed in a former “B. Altman'' department store on the corner of 35th Street and Fifth Avenue. Wraparound windows render the space transparent, connecting the corner gallery and the street in a potential dynamic of active viewing. The street seemed as much a gallery framed by the windows as the gallery is, as a stage of display. In considering the conventions of performance and theatricality of “stage”, I decided to make theatrical drapes (signifying a stage), as the artwork itself. Following the geometry of the gallery floor plan, drapes were fabricated and hung on an enclosed two-row track system. Each of the nine drapes is indexed to a planar surface of wall/window interfacing with the street. The panels are double-sided, using two different colors of velour. They are arranged with frequent openings, allowing for passage and sightlines.
Roundabout, Windows on Wilshire, LACMA, Los Angeles, CA 1998
Housepaint on windows.
As part of LACMA’s “Windows on Wilshire” Program (which ran from 1997-2006), curator Howard Fox invited me to make a window installation. LACMA had acquired the May Company building (now LACMA West) in 1994. The building, on the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax Avenue, is an Art Deco architectural landmark, designed in the 1930’s as a department store. The prominent gold cylindrical ornamental relief, conceived as a representation of a perfume bottle, is an iconic sign of this building.
I love the rounded plan of the gracefully curving windows. I wanted to emphasize this shape by rendering the transparent glass opaque. I painted a composition of vertical bands of color on the interior of the glass, exposing the exterior. This method produces a reflective surface of pure color without the materiality of paint’s presence. Reflections of the neighborhood were always embedded in the piece – a busy corner with bus stops and a diner across the street, moving cars, buses, and pedestrians.
Agent Orange, Elevator installation, POST, Los Angeles CA 1997
Housepaint on walls.
POST was an artist-run gallery space in downtown Los Angeles founded by HK Zamani (Habib Keradyar). The gallery was in a two-story industrial building. I was invited to make a site-project in the freight elevator, which was manually operated by visitors. I was intrigued by the vertical movement of the semi-open elevator. It felt like watching a film (strip) moving up-and-down. The aged material/surface and the mechanical operation harkened back to another time.
I painted the walls of the shaft in six horizontal bands of color that change as one moves between the floors. I had recently learned of colors that are internationally coded for safety. These colors are used for legibility in a variety of applications – from tools to machines. I painted the interior of the elevator “Safety Orange”. Thinking about the function of the elevator as an “agent”, as well as the chemical weapon used during the Vietnam war, I titled the piece “Agent Orange”.
One foot in front of the other, OR Gallery, Vancouver, BC 1997
Housepaint on windows and walls.
OR gallery is a non-profit exhibition space on Hastings Street in Vancouver, British Columbia – a main commercial street that has seen better days. The gallery façade consists of three irregularly-shaped glass vitrines. The vitrines comprised a storefront originally, and most likely were meant to entice potential customers into the building. In addition to their distinct shapes, the vitrines were notable for their bases, about two feet off the supporting foundation.
I planned to: 1) Give solidity to the transparent space of the window vitrines by painting the inside of the glass. This method produces a vinyl-like surface of color. 2) Continue the color composition to the gallery interior – replicating the dimensions and spacing of the three vitrines. The colors were chosen to blend-in with, and stand-out from, the neighborhood.
Freeze W139, Amsterdam, Netherlands 1997
Housepaint on wall.
This was a group exhibition of Los Angeles artists organized by Carl Berg and Theo Tegelaers. A former theater, the gallery space was cavernous and raw. I proposed to make a site-installation along the high, narrow wall above the alcove where the theater’s curtain hung. Curtain hooks, a historical remnant, still ran its length. The color composition ran from one end of the gallery to the other. The title, “Freeze”, references the architectural idiom and the frigid climate at the time.
Over The Top, Los Angeles, CA 1997
Housepaint on studio wall and ceiling.
This is an example of a studio piece. At the time, I was working in a one-bedroom apartment in Koreatown. I was interested in the double function of the wall, as architecture and as a surface for painting. The particular style of the interior details and the domestic scale is embedded and at times frames the work itself. Wrapping from wall to ceiling, the painting points to the ceiling as an architectural plane.
Between the sheets, The Full Moon Gallery, Foundation for Art Resources, Los Angeles, CA 1996
Housepaint on windows.
The non-profit arts organization FAR (Foundation for Art Resources) had a temporary exhibition space on the corner of 5th and Hill Streets in downtown Los Angeles. The exhibition space comprised four display windows; the building was vacant and inaccessible to the public. I was asked to make an installation.
Since the work could only be viewed from the street and there were more vehicles than pedestrians, I decided to make the window itself a surface -- easily seen from a moving vehicle. Simultaneously, I wanted the piece to relate to the architecture of the building. Traditionally, a window draws boundaries while simultaneously granting visibility. I made a five-color composition, referencing the five existing vertical bars in the window. The paint was rolled onto the glass from the inside of the display. An unpainted sliver of glass, made the building interior visible if one stood close to the work.