M+B EMBRACES A NEW CHAPTER IN
THEIR CONTEMPORARY ART PROGRAM
It should come as no surprise that LAC shares a breath of the same artists as M+B. The gallery has remained a steady fixture on our radar, nurturing some of the most enticing new artists right here in our very own backyard. From our past features like Matthew Brandt, Hannah Whitaker, and Mona Kuhn, we’ve been pillaging (or rather, graciously and inspiringly appropriating) the M+B arsenal for a cool minute now. Can you blame us?
We were first introduced to M+B long ago when a collection of Andrew Bush’s “Vector Portraits” surfaced for what became one of our favorite exhibitions yet. Bush’s voyeuristic, large-scale photographs of man and his automobile were beautiful, humorous, and poignant, and fueled our curiosity about M+B as a whole. So when the opportunity arose to get up close and personal with the team behind the magic, we pounced.
M+B sits between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, in what appears to be a quaint and picturesque bungalow home. Beyond the front cottage with charming French doors, in a second (and equally inviting) space, lies the nucleus of the gallery, its traditional white walls and track lighting nestled within the ivy-coated driveway.
We sneak a walk-through of the property before Alexandra Wetzel, M+B’s Assistant Director, greets us. “It’s the perfect example of an indoor/outdoor California space,” she smiles. Indeed, the space is relaxing and comfortable, with a grateful lack of somber stuffiness or pretension. Through a mutual love for photography and general aversion for Pilates Plus (can you slow it down just a little?), Alexandra takes us through the gallery’s inception, its artists, and its evolution.
We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before.
At the helm of the gallery is Benjamin Trigano, who founded M+B in 2008 out of a deep passion for photography. Together with his team, M+B has spent its formidable years cultivating a roster of artistic mastery, not to mention developing a reputation for signing on undiscovered talent. “We bring on new artists when we see something amazing—an idea, perspective, or aesthetic that is unique and relevant to our time. Something we haven’t yet seen before,” Wetzel tells us. “LA is blessed with three of the country’s best MFA programs: USC, UCLA and CalArts. The number of artists moving to LA is greater than it ever has been.”
Recently, the M+B program, which has maintained a long-standing foundation in photography, has broken its own mold, transitioning into a wider understanding of the medium. The gallery announced its two-program split—with M+B, their newer, contemporary focus, and M+B Photo, their existing program that remains true to their photographic roots. “Almost all of the artists that we’ve shown in the past few years are contemporary artists. They don’t see themselves as photographers or particularly tied to that medium,” Wetzel explains. The need for the two programs became an obvious trajectory, with its former approach transcending its own limits of photo-based practices.
“This result was really about the artists and the work,” Wetzel imparts. “By always riding the edge and constantly pushing boundaries, the program reached a point where there were two different focuses and it was time to make that distinction.”
Now, with both M+B and M+B Photo under their belt, the programming is really taking off, shedding their more established ties to the lens in favor of prompting a new dialogue on the consumption of art in the digital age. So what’s on deck for the gallery? Soft Target, an ambitious group show curated by M+B artists Phil Chang and Matthew Porter and featuring a parade of artistic talent will be taking over the gallery until the end of August. Additionally, a stunning new body of work from Jessica Eaton is set to take shape (“It’s her first time working with
carbon printing,” Wetzel declares), and Mariah Robertson, one of the latest additions to the M+B roster, will have her west coast debut solo show in the spring of 2015.
We want to do something different and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.
Evidently, this new chapter is slowly and steadily growing, filling the page with freshly innovative processes of artistic production—one that lies beyond the bounds of a once “traditional” medium. “We want to do something different,” Wetzel affirms, “and create a destination…where you can feel comfortable asking questions.”
Summer’s not just about day drinking and rooftop access. This month, why not branch out and explore your refined right brain a little? From film and illustration to insects and Mexican highways—we’ve got your guide to air-conditioned sophistication, cause no one really cares about your pool selfies.[infobox maintitle=”ALLAN SEKULA | SHIP OF FOOLS” subtitle=”Christopher Grimes Gallery
Opening Reception: July 3rd-September 6th ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.cgrimes.com”]
Allan Sekula’s work spans the mediums of photography, film, and writing, producing incisive documents about labor, nationality, and the history and uses of photography. Deeply skeptical of the mythologies promoted by a society shaped by capitalism, Sekula’s work addresses the concerns of an engaged citizen investigating the networks of political and economic power and their intersection with individual lives and landscapes.
[infobox maintitle=”DAVID HOCKNEY | ARRIVAL OF SPRING” subtitle=”L.A LOUVER
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10th, 6 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.lalouver.com”]
Considered one of the most innovative artists of the postwar era, British-born Hockney adopts various new media in order to investigate the idea of perception throughout his career in los Angeles and England. Embracing cutting-edge technology including Photoshop, Polaroids, iPad, and iPhone drawings, Hockney explores new ways to depict the seasons.[infobox maintitle=”GENEVIEVE CHUA | CICADAS CICADAS” subtitle=”GUSFORD | LOS ANGELES
Opening Reception: Thursday, July 10th, 6- 9 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.gusfordgallery.com”]
In Chua’s first north American solo exhibition, she continues to develop her interest in the relationship between controlled situations and the element of chance and the unknown. Through mixed-media installations depicting insects and their environment, Cicadas Cicadas charts the fearsome terrain of psychological horror from a Southeast Asian point of view.
[infobox maintitle=”PIA CAMIL” subtitle=”BLUM & POE
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 12th, 7 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”https://www.blumandpoe.com”]
Camil’s work engages with the Mexican urban landscape in which she grew up in. Through mixed-media installations that include photographs of halted projects along Mexico’s highways and abandoned, decaying billboards, she explores the idea of urban ruin and the traces of art history that exist within it.[infobox maintitle=”DEEP END | YALE MFA PHOTO 2014″ subtitle=”DIANE ROSENSTEIN FINE ART
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 19th, 6-8 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.dianerosenstein.com”]
Diane Rosenstein fine Art plays host to Yale’s MFA thesis exhibition featuring works from new budding artists Erin Desmond, Awol Erizku, Genevieve Gaignard, Hannah Hummel, Fumi Ishino, Casey Mcgonagle, Tyler Moore, Hannah price, Billie Stultz and Evan Whale.[infobox maintitle=”AUDREY KAWASAKI, TARA MCPHERSON, DEEDEE CHERIEL” subtitle=”MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 2nd 19th, 7 pm ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.mkgallery.com”]
Merry Karnowsky presents the unique styles and mediums of three female artists and their exploration of parallel themes. Through work in paint, illustration, and photography, Kawasaki, Mcpherson, and Cheriel invoke meditative and breathtaking narratives that explore the female form.[infobox maintitle=”LUCY + JORGE ORTA | FOOD-WATER-LIFE” subtitle=”BEN MALTZ GALLERY, OTIS
August 16th – December 6th” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.otis.edu/ben-maltz-gallery”]
Food – Water – Life marks the inaugural premiere of the Orta’s work in the US. The French duo appropriate sculptures, drawings, installations, and video in order to shed light on major concerns such as environmental conditions and climate change that define the 21st century. Their humorous, jerrybuilt contraptions gain power as works of art created to move us to awareness and action.
[infobox maintitle=”VARIATIONS: ABSTRACT PAINTING TODAY” subtitle=”LACMA
August 24th – September 22nd” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.lacma.org”]
In an attention-compromised age when images are instant and prevalent, abstract painting serves as a contradiction, acting as a conduit for the mark of the original, individual artist. Variations: Abstract Painting Today presents 29 artists whose work reflects the language and style of abstraction. The exhibition looks closely at the claim of an abstraction that is timely and comments on a studio practice, paying homage to art history’s past while creating a vision for the present.
Move over Jonathan Goldsmith, cause David Lynch might be claiming your throne. Between the renaissance man’s celebrated film and TV work, his new dabble in music, or his specialty roast of coffee (seriously??), It’s hard to believe Lynch is also an accomplished visual artist. “Naming,” Lynch’s solo exhibition at Kayne Griffin Corcoran features shadowy photos of decaying stores and diners, drawings of flies, and Surrealist, dream-like canvases––everything your Blue-Velvet-meets-Eraserhead-fantasies could dream up.
If Lynch’s hypnagogic installation doesn’t fit your fancy, go for the gallery space itself. Kayne Griffin Corcoran’s new 15,000 square-foot build-out on La Brea Avenue, the vision of L.A. firm Standard and James Turrell, is quite the beauty, complete with a private courtyard patio (There’s even a permanent Skyspace designed by Turell himself).