3 Solo Exhibitions at Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825 Provide Powerful Observations of Our World
The Council Gathers in Time by Laura and Dean Larson
Bosch Redux by Lori Pond
Boom! by Lynne McDaniel
Artist talk October 10th at 7pm
On view through October 12th
By Genie Davis
Each unique and exciting, the three solo shows at Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825 (LAAA) through October 12th give viewers a lot to take in both visually and emotionally. The exhibitions are all intense, powerful, meticulously created, and seem nestled in a state that is part dream, part vision, and part bracing observation. In addition to the solo shows, the group exhibition The Non-Objective Moment, an all-media exploration of abstraction juried by Lonnie Lardner, makes a stop at the gallery a must before these exhibitions close.
The Council Gathers in Time by Laura and Dean Larson is literally and figuratively a weighty exhibition. The pair have shaped sculptures that appear witty, yet grave: perfectly realized and resonant human/animal figures cast in bronze are the main subjects of this work. Each is slightly surreal, yet substantial both in medium and aspect. Completing the exhibition is a large scale archival pigment print on canvas that represents the journey of the titular council members from their home planet to earth. Within this print, the figures are placed in rich landscapes that represent a variety of locations indoors and out, in countries that span the globe.
The sculptures and their images in the canvas works reference the 14th and 15th century alabaster sculptures of The Mourners. The figures here are clad in clerics’ robes and hooded cloaks. The story viewers are being told is one of discovery and loss: the nineteen figures represent animals that are endangered species, from elephants to lions. Their visualized journey is designed to help the group uncover their own extinction story. The photographic work provides a rich tableaux for the creatures to traverse; the beings themselves are haunting, elegiac, and yet charming, as if emerging from the pages of a fairy tale to explain environmental tragedies that are all too real.
The work of photographer Lori Pond also references both the past and the future, as she reshapes the work of Hieronymus Bosch. His surrealism has long inspired Pond, who in these lush and mysterious works restage many of Bosch’s images, and in doing so, provides a modern spin on the rich contexts of good and evil, saint and sinner, that Bosch employs. In her Bosch Redux exhibition, Pond brings riveting details of Bosch works to the forefront in photographs that are both an homage and entirely fresh and fascinating. Intricately realized and vibrantly colored, her works include costumes and props that she’s used to create them. She often focuses on individual elements plucked from Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights.” Her recreations put a fresh spin on his narrative, highlighting arresting individual images such as an angel-like figure holding a red ball aloft, on which a bird balances; or a seemingly Satanic angel perched on a rock before a vast sea and distant cityscape. With each of these beautiful but often somewhat ominous works, the result is an entirely new visual fable, inspired by the past but infused with a contemporary sense of wonder and providing a thoughtful portent of both joy and doom.
There are more than portents in Lynne McDaniel’s Boom!, the third of the solo exhibitions at the gallery. Here, working in a primarily monochromatic palette, McDaniel offers stunningly lovely work in charcoal and oil, whose delicate, dream-like composition depicts ecological disasters. Black noxious clouds rise from burnt sienna fires simmering on slate grey water in the title piece; her “Oil on Stonehenge” gives us small fires rising-up along a sweep of road. The artist often pulls images from the news to create her works, which offer an ethereal, poetic end of the world scenario that serves both as a warning and as a cautionary tale.
It would be hard to imagine three arresting, resonant, lovely exhibitions with such dark and thoughtful undercurrents. These exhibitions are to be savored – and solemnly absorbed.
Los Angeles Art Association/Gallery 825
825 N. La Cienega Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90069
Gallery Hours:Tuesday-Saturday 10-5pm