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Art Walk Preview for January, 2011

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at 12:20PM
Alexander Kroll's 'Unfolding' Courtesy CB1 Gallery

A work from Alexander Kroll's "Unfoldings"

Downtown Art Walk strolls into 2011 and newcomers can begin at the Art Walk Lounge to pick up a map before attempting to navigate Gallery Row and beyond. Once again the official “Visitor’s Center” for Art Walk is housed at 4th and Main in The Medallion.

For those who frequent Art Walk, you'll find the regulars are still committed to bring art to the once a month crawl. Here are some of the things that caught my eye.

'Unfoldings': CB1 Gallery has Alexander Kroll's Los Angeles solo debut with “Unfoldings,” a collection of abstract paintings that are “simultaneously structural and intuitive; informal and hyper-considered; gestural and geometric.” His work plays with scale, “painting history, intuition, systems, emotions, and painting as a conversational nexus and means of producing an object that can embody and contradict these issues.” Kroll received his MFA from Otis College of Art and Design, a BFA from Yale University, and studied at the Slade School of Art, University College (London). The exhibition will be on view during Art Walk, and an opening reception for the artist will be held Saturday, January 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. CB1 Gallery / 207 W. 5th

'Squares and Triangles': Los Angeles Center for Digital Art hosts Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist turned visual artist Wally Gilbert. In the Geometric Series, “Squares and Triangles,” Gilbert takes basic geometric forms and “enmeshes them in digital halls of mirrors, and systematically unfolds entirely unassuming shapes into elaborate scintillations” writes Peter Frank, art critic for the Huffington Post and Adjunct Senior Curator for the Riverside Art Museum. LACDA / 107 W. 5th

‘A Billion Stories’: New Adobe Illustrator vector works by Chris Leavens incorporate “absurdity, anthropomorphism, and a healthy dose of humor.” Opening during Downtown Art Walk from 5 to 11pm. Through Feb 5 / Dialect / 215 W 6th St (#111)

'Fossils: What We Leave Behind' "Why not cover us?" That was the question asked by an affable Justin Zzyzx. I confessed to him that I never quite knew how to fit mineral displays with Art Walk, even after visiting his gallery a few times. "I don't see minerals, rocks or fossils as a fine art. I see them as objects of art, as fossils and minerals don't just fall out of the ground perfect," replied Justin. "There is a lot of prep work that many people consider art and I do see the connection between nature and art, but minerals and fossils are not art."

Fair enough. I stand corrected. Please . . .don't stone me. Zzyzx Gallery mixes art and minerals, along with organic nature, to make that connection.

Their current exhibit exemplifies that. It compares fossilized animals and plants alongside Christopher Locke's interpretations of artifacts left behind by modern consumerist society. It is the Los Angeles gallery debut of Locke's sculptural dead technology and he will be at the opening reception held during Art Walk from 5 to 10pm. Through Mar 15 / Zzyzx Gallery / 7th Between Main and Spring

Blue Canvas Group Show: This collective formed through a partnership between Scion, Blue Canvas and the Art Center College of Design features the touring Scion Art Car “Unit 001” by Devo co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh. Just as intriguing are the emerging artists scheduled to exhibit work, especially the street art-influenced mixed media by Jonathan Callicutt, figurative realist portraits in oil by Elizabeth McGhee, and story-filled fine art photography by writer-turned-artist Andrea Pun. Open only during Art Walk until midnight. Spring Arts Tower / 453 S. Spring

Fashion Pop-Ups: Designers Tascha Monique Carter, Tina Summers, Jiping Chen, and artist/designer Marco Rached are among those participating in a fashion pop-up on the corner of 6th and Main in the P.E. Lofts, the last show before the space goes under construction. Around the corner, local brand Bohemian Society will be featured at 600 S. Spring, where designer Victor Wilde and his crew will be shooting models live on the street. ADD: I admit, a pop-up fashion show is not on my usual fine art radar, but it sounds interesting.

‘Dream Big’: Art Walk marks the opening reception for Scott and Denise Davis, a.k.a. Davis & Davis, who are having their first solo exhibition at l2kontemporary. Davis & Davis visited Japan in 2010 and shot candid photographs of the most visible of women–workers—those in the food industries and public transportation—to explore the gender gap in the work force. Regular hours are Thursday through Sunday from 1 to 6pm, or by appointment. Through February 5 / l2kontemporary / 990 N. Hill (205)

Erik Jerumani: Norbertellen Gallery features live painting by artist Erik Jerumanis, as well as selections from the DOTMOV 2010 Digital Film Festival. Norbertellen Gallery / 215 W. 6th (#110)

‘Naked Ambition’: Photographer Michael Grecco takes an R-rated look at an X-rated industry with a book, accompanying documentary, and this show. The exhibition on not having inhibitions opens January 15, but you can have a voyeuristic preview of the work, and Edgar Varela’s new gallery location, during Art Walk. Through Feb 25 / Edgar Varela Fine Arts / 727 S. Spring

Solo Shows: “New Paintings and Drawings” by Clive Barker and “New Paintings” by Sandra Yagi are exhibited together and are an entertaining study on two artists who explore their psychological connection to the dark and macabre. There will be an Artist’s Talk with Yagi on Saturday, February 19, at 4 pm. The gallery is open during Art Walk until 6pm. Through Feb 19 / Bert Green Fine Art 102 W. 5th

'Street Degrees of Separation': “While artists prepare for what they will unleash on walls across the planet, they found themselves coming together for this show,” said Crewest about their current exhibition, Street Degrees of Separation, a collection that explores a global connection and the unified motive shared by street artists: reinvention. Artists participating include Chris Clark, Clown and Hidden Moves, with special guest Danny Gonzalez. Runs through January 30 / Crewest / 110 Winston

‘Sunrise’: The Eastern Columbia building is the site for six Armenian-American artists displaying personal works that share old memories through a common heritage. Reception for the artists will be held during the Downtown Art Walk from 7pm to 10pm. Also, the Sunrise exhibition will have live jazz by Danny Young during Art Walk, adds organizer Lisa Ames. (ADD: For the older hipsters in the room, Danny Young's father, Eugene "Snooky" Young, was a member of The Tonight Show band from 1967 to 1992.) 847 S. Broadway

‘Tarot 2’ Show: The Hive’s main gallery will showcase original art from the collective’s second custom Tarot Deck collection. Also featured are artists Yoko D’Holbachie, Dean Fleming, Asia Eng, and Alex Ruiz. The Hive Gallery and Studios / 728 S. Spring

'Zen Garage' Off Gallery Row, but worth noting, is Giant Robot’s Salon Pop series Zen Garage at the Japanese American National Museum.

Like a car stripped down in a bad neighborhood, Zen has been simplified by Western urban culture to mean “pure focus" rather than the collective experience of bringing self-awareness. To illustrate that, this exhibit explores the garage as a place of active meditation, not just a shell where one parks a vehicle. Hence, Zen Garage is the source of inspiration, development and creativity, featuring three vehicles with aesthetics reflecting lifestyles and cultural background.

SUPER FAMICOM CAR is a retro video game-inspired conversion designed by Giant Robot's Eric Nakamura; CUSTOM MONSTER SCION xB is muralist's David Choe’s aerosol street style and larger than life perspective, as once seen at Miami’s Art Basel in 2006. SHINYA KIMURA’S SPIKE is Shinya Kimura’s motorcycle that has the intent to represent an extension of a soul through barbarism, vulnerability, and ephemeral beauty.

Pimp my contemporary enlightenment ride, I say.

Through Feb 13 / Japanese American National Museum / 369 E. First

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