Divide and Conquer, Durden and Ray’s “Round Won”

Round Won. Durden and Ray. Photo Credit Brian Thomas Jones.

Divide and Conquer, Durden and Ray’s Round Won

By Sydney Walters

Through March 26th


Durden and Ray’s opening show, Round Won, introduces an exciting platform inviting private studios and intimate spaces to participate in a broader discussion.  This artist collective aims to take advantage of the melting pot of culture and creativity Los Angeles offers.  Founded in 2010, this collective interviews applicants based on work, merit, and sensitivity to collaborative work. Durden and Ray’s new space, once the sub-gallery of CB1, currently features twelve of the twenty-four artist’s work. Curated by Steven Wolkoff, this lovely combination of sculpture, painting and installation infuse the space with an urgency to be known. To curate more than one artist can be tricky, particularly if there is not a set theme of the exhibit. However, because Round Won highlights extremely talented artists with an impressive backlog of work, the synthesis of their craft is not disappointing.

In Dani Dodge’s installation Ashes, a short wall of glass bricks stand near the entrance of the gallery. In a previous installation, she had participants write their fears on paper. Dodge later took these scraps, burned them and then cast them within these glass bricks. She has created a time capsule of fear and acknowledges it as a vital element of growth. A few feet away, Ben Jackel’s Large headed hydrants (youth, middle age, elder) are meticulously crafted fire hydrants made out of stoneware and beeswax. Rather than cast from a mold, these black hydrants are individually carved. His work is intentionally handmade with machine-like precision. By means of this intentionality, these hydrants become dignified and adopt personas.

On the back wall, Max Presneill’s RD141, measuring 7 feet by 8 feet, hangs as the largest painting in this collection. Presneill, both an accomplished curator and artist, endeavors to make his body of work his legacy. They are storehouses of his memories, hopes and dreams and playful markings of what he calls, “masculine codes.” The result is a collective motherboard of memory sprawled across and pastel purple canvas. On a pedestal in front of the painting is Jesse Standlea’s sculpture, Soft Rock. A clear ode to geographical deposits, Soft Rock is a wire and paper sculpture that bends and twists echoing the curves of windblown rocks. His work regards nature as an inspirational pivot point to transform material into an object that is a familiar and foreign hybrid.  Alison Woods is another artist interested in hybrids. Woods transforms digital information into sensory paintings. Through researching, processing, and scrambling computer codes and algorithms, her canvas becomes a flood of pattern of color which follow their own hidden rules. Tom Dunn, Roni Feldman, Jon Flack, Jenny Hager, David Leapman, Alanna Marcelletti, David Spanbock are the six other talented artists featured in Round Won.

Round Won. Durden and Ray. Photo Credit Brian Thomas Jones.


Though incredibly diverse, these artists are preoccupied with sparking an increased national and international conversation in the arts. Working together to contrive these openings, these artists clearly value mutual alliances and encouragement to forge a noble outpouring of innovative art. Round Won closes Saturday, March 26 and Round Too, featuring the twelve other artists opens Saturday, April 1st.


Durden and Ray is located at 1923 S. Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90021


Gallery Hours:

Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 12-4pm

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