"This year, Vielmetter Los Angeles celebrates its 20th anniversary. We are pleased to acknowledge this milestone with a two-part exhibition, the first iteration of which opens July 18, 2020. It is with the greatest sense of gratitude that we look at the past two decades to see how the gallery has developed and grown. This transformation has happened against all expectations and despite the founding tenets of the gallery, which remain as central to the gallery’s work today as they were 20 years ago. These tenets rest on a deep commitment to challenge the parameters that define which art is shown and to question the value systems we apply to art and to many other areas of cultural production.
This first iteration of the exhibition includes works by artists currently represented and those who have shown with the gallery in the past. Because of the gallery’s focus on a diverse range of voices, it is impossible to bring the works in this exhibition together under a comprehensive thematic umbrella. While many of the works presented here are reflections on this current moment of crisis, others offer relief and escape from it. What unites the artists in this exhibition is their critical contribution to the vision and the personality of the gallery.
Included in the exhibition are works by Laura Aguilar, Nick Aguayo, Edgar Arceneaux, Math Bass, Whitney Bedford, Andrea Bowers, Sarah Cain, Patty Chang, Kim Dingle, Sean Duffy, Genevieve Gaignard, Liz Glynn, Karl Haendel, Stanya Kahn, Hayv Kahraman, Raffi Kalenderian, Mary Kelly, Dave McKenzie, Rodney McMillian, Shana Lutker, Wangechi Mutu, Ruben Ochoa, Pope.L, Deborah Roberts, Steve Roden, Arlene Shechet, John Sonsini, Amy Sillman, Stephanie Schneider, Monique Van Genderen, Tam Van Tran, Esther Pearl Watson, Patrick Wilson. Integrated into the exhibition as a “hidden” space is an immersive installation by Sean Duffy, entitled “Alone Now”.
Raffi Kalenderian’s first solo show with the gallery Currents, Undercurrents, and Maneuvers opened in 2012. Kalenderian is primarily a portrait painter with an emphasis on the psychological state of his sitters, usually friends and family. For this exhibition Kalenderian has included three new works in pastel on paper which continue his interest in using color and patterning to accentuate the psychological charge of his subjects and their environments.
John Sonsini’s first exhibition with the gallery Cowboy Stories & New Paintings opened in early 2020. His work for this exhibition is a portrait of his longtime partner Gabriel whom he has done previous extensive portrait series of in the past.
Monique Van Genderen’s new painting for this exhibition is emblematic of her practice. Van Genderen creates self-consciously aesthetic abstractions that constantly oscillate between painted and printed, spontaneous and pre-fabricated gestures. Including large faux brushstrokes, exaggerated drips and loosely arranged roller marks, she challenges the historical importance of the lyrical brushstroke. Van Genderen’s first exhibition with the gallery opened in 2011.
For this exhibition, Tam Van Tran has included a new ceramic vessel, Divination Jar I, 2020. Substantially larger than most of his previous ceramic works, it displays masterfully applied glazes and aquatic shapes that form are circular narrative on the body of the vessel. Tam Van Tran’s first exhibition with the gallery Beetle Manifesto opened in 2002.
Patrick Wilson is an abstract painter and perceptualist, whose idiosyncratic work hails from past California movements such as Hard Edge and Light and Space, while constantly considering the ever-changing contemporary landscape. Wilson’s paintings, often caught in a zone between extreme physical precision and optical ambiguity, emote a feeling of playful curiosity combined with a slow sense of movement. Disrupted Grid (Red) is from a small group of paintings where the artist considers the illusion of stability, whether architectural, economic, socio-political, or health-related, and if the illusion of stability is perhaps a necessary element for daily functionality. Wilson’s first exhibition with the gallery was in 2001.