Celebrating DADA through Fauxism

Faux Sho': DADA Centennial Part 2. MuzeuMM. Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker
Faux Sho’: DADA Centennial Part 2. MuzeuMM. Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker

FAUX SHO’ : DADA Centennial Part 2 at MuzeuMM

By genie Davis

On view through December 12th

Dadaism began in Zürich, Switzerland, an artistic reaction to nationalism and the causes of WWI. Now is a terrific time to revisit this European avant garde art movement, given our current, shall we say xenophobic, political climate. And the perfect place for a revisit is Muzeumm, where Kio Griffith has curated a splendid show with a variety of talented artists taking on the work of Dada artists and riffing upon it.

Running through December 17th, “Faux Sho’ Dada 100″ is one of a series of bimonthly shows that presents a different art movement or genre, with each exhibition interpreted by a group of artists performing an intricate balancing act between replication and freestyle interpretation of a work. Griffith has been inviting artists to participate in creating these specific worlds and curating Faux Sho exhibitions for about eighteen months. “I started with ten in the group of artists who participate and now I have 160 people,” he smiles.

“Faux Show may take on different countries or movements, such as Japanese art, Mexican, social realism – it’s basically like an art history lesson for everybody, one that’s accessible,” Griffith explains. “I encourage artists to pick works or artists that may not be well known, and take off from there. It’s like a musicians’ tribute to an artist, not a cover, but a tribute, a compilation.”

Kio Griffith. Faux Sho': DADA Centennial Part 2. MuzeuMM. Photo Credit Genie Davis
Kio Griffith (and Bryan Ida). Faux Sho’: DADA Centennial Part 2. MuzeuMM. Photo Credit Genie Davis

The Dada show is no exception to this approach. “I give the artists examples of the work, and they can do whatever they want. Something that’s their style, or a simple copy. It’s a negotiation, keeping their work real to the piece and letting go of their own ego.” Sometimes, Griffith says, participating in one of these shows has consequences in the artists’ own works. “One of the artists who has participated definitely changed the style of their own work after being influenced by these artists.”

The artworks at Muzeumm are as vital as they are delightful. Participating artists and the artists whose work they’ve paid homage include:

Akira Shikiya – Duchamp
Albert Vitela – Duchamp
Aline Mare – Toyen
Alison Woods – Marcel Duchamp
Bibi Davidson – Max Ernst
Chenhung Chen – Marcel Duchamp
Chiaki Saito – Kurt Schwitters
Cia Foreman – Sophie Taueber-Arp
David Spanbock – Marcel Duchamp
David S. Tanner – Schwitters
Douglas Alvarez – John Cage
Douglas Eisenstark – David Hammons
Dwora Fried – Sophie Täuber – Arp
Faina Kumpan – Max Ernst
Francisco Alvaradoo – Juan Gris
Greg Schenk – Duchamp
Gul Cagin –
Jeanne Dunn – Lee Miller
Jesse Standlea – Duchamp
Jodi Bonassi – Juliette Roche
Jon Measures – Hannah Hoch
Jorge Mujica – Hannah Hoch
Juri Koll – George Grosz
Karrie Ross – Man Ray
Keith Dugas – Jean Arp
Kristine Schomaker – baroness elsa von freytag loringhoven
Leah C. Dixon – Hans Bellmer
Leonard D Greco Jr- Picasso’s costumes for the Ballete Russes’ “Parade
Lena Moross – Dali
Lena Wolek – Hannah Hoch
Loren Philip – Kurt Schwitters
Mike Mollett – Cabaret Voltaire
Nikki Lukas Longfish – Alice Bailly
Rie Takanokura – Man Ray
Ryo Kiyohara – Marcel Duchamp
Sandra Vista – Meret Oppenheim
Satoshi Murakami – Shusaku Arakawa
Satoshi Saegusa – Marcel Duchamp
Tom Dunn –
Tomoaki Shibata – Shusaku Arakawa
Steven Wolkoff – Kurt Schwitters

While too numerous to mention every work, some of the standout pieces include Francisco Alvarado’s taken on Juan Gris, with both two and three dimensional paper and cardboard “Guitar and Music” pieces in the show, both of which use bright primary colors and abstract shapes. Aline Mare’s beautifully detailed and wonderfully vicious – there are sharp teeth in that crotch lining “Toyen Panties;” Lena Wolek’s tactile, textured mixed media wall sculptures “Mama and Nana (Dada Dolls);” Chenhung Chen’s delicate wire tribute to Marcel Duchamp, “Rush #3,” Leonard Greco’s “Homage to Picasso’s Costume for the Ballets Russes ‘Parade;” and David Spanbock’s pink, marvelously fluid “”Nude Descending a Staircase No. 2,” which also tributes Duchamp, are all vital works. And speaking of Duchamp, in contrast to Spanbock, Albert Vitela goes abstract with his take on “Nude Descending a Staircase #2.”

Faux Sho': DADA Centennial Part 2. MuzeuMM. Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker
Faux Sho’: DADA Centennial Part 2. MuzeuMM. Photo Credit Kristine Schomaker

Also riverting: Cia Foreman’s “Sophie Tauber-Arp and You” is a reflective, holographic box that is hard to look away from. Loren Phillip’s large scale, abstract blue and white “Ghost and the Mountains of MERZ” channels Kurt Schwitters in an entirely fresh way, as does Steven Wolkoff’s “Free Verse,” wherein paint-created, moveable words spread out on a white sheet invite viewers to feel free to arrange the word. “It’s like those refrigerator word magnets except without the refrigerator or the magnets, and it’s a painting,” Wolkoff stated.

Curator Griffith included “L.H.O.O.Q.,”a sculpture depicting the head of Duchamp, while Kristine Schomaker’s sculpture features pink hair as a dominant feature in “Portrait of Rrose Selavy,” a tribute to Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.

Dwora Fried presents an untitled, vibrant box diorama paying homage to Stophie Tauber-Arp; Bibi Davidson a tribute to brides, chicks, and her favorite color red as well as Max Ernst in “The Robbing of the Bride,” a mixed media wall sculpture. Karrie Ross has a wire, silver, and gold bust sculptural piece that tributes Man Ray, titled “We Dance?” while Leigh Dixon’s playful mixed media 3D collage “After Bellmer,” includes found art in the form of doll body parts and a section of a laundry detergent bottle.

Alison Woods reflects on Duchamp with her sculptural douche bag of a “Fountain,” while Lena Moross – whose fine art always trumps the terrific feast she offers gallery visitors – offered an ethereal take on Salvador Dali with her watercolor “After Dali.” Jeanne Dunn’s “My Rolleiflex-ion” camera sculpture is a tribute to Lee Miller; Jodi Bonassi presents two beautifully complex figurative pieces aligned with the work of Juliette Roche, “No Peace” and “Flowers and Lace.” Juri Koll’s triptych “Beauty/Cherish” creates vibrant images with pink, yellow and purple that channel George Grosz.

So let the Dada movement move you – as contemporary Faux Sho artists present a transportative take on Dada-era works. MuzeuMM is located at 4817 W. Adams Blvd, Los Angeles.

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