Joyce Pensato presents monumental enamel paintings and large-scale charcoal drawings rendered directly onto SMMoA's gallery walls. Marco Rios: Anatomy of an Absent Artist is inspired by 3 mid-century cinematic portrayals of 'artists' who lead double lives-their public artistic personas at odds with their secret identities. Park Studio - Skaters and Makers: an intersection of art, design, and skateboard culture with two large, modular skate cube sculptures made by students who worked with architect Francois Perrin.
I killed Kenny
Santa Monica Museum of Art presents Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY, the artist's first museum survey and her first exhibition in Los Angeles. The exhibition, on view from June 1 to August 17, 2013 in the Museum's Main Gallery, features monumental enamel paintings and large-scale charcoal drawings rendered directly onto SMMoA's gallery walls. These new, site-specific works are contextualized by a selection of charcoal drawings and key paintings made between 1990 and the present. The exhibition's title, I KILLED KENNY, invokes the vernacular of "South Park," framing Pensato's visual vocabulary within the cartoon's sardonic wit and cultural critique.
Appropriating iconic American cartoon characters as her point of departure, Pensato's gestural paintings and drawings flicker in the liminal space between menacing abstraction and comedic representation: Batman is depicted as a hollow, deliquescent mask, Bart Simpson peers through abraded skin, and Felix the Cat is rendered as a decapitated head. Pensato's paintings reinvigorate the legacy of Abstract Expressionism, imbuing her taxonomy of characters—The Simpsons, South Park, Donald and Daisy Duck, Olive Oil, and Mickey Mouse—with an uninhibited and arresting presence. Through her dynamic application of paint and pop cultural references, Pensato's compositions boldly extend the possibilities of action painting. As curator-at-large Jeffrey Uslip recently noted in Art in America's January 2013 centenary issue, "Pensato wields black, white, and silver industrial enamel paint with intimidating ferocity; her expressive and psychologically charged paintings materialize the disintegration of America's social fabric."
I KILLED KENNY also debuts a series of paint-splattered collages, in which historic images of Abraham Lincoln are overlaid with portraits of iconic Hollywood celebrities, contemporary artists, and legendary American boxers—Robert DeNiro in Raging Bull, Gena Rowlands in Gloria, Christopher Wool in his studio, and publicity stills of Muhammad Ali. Pensato's new Lincoln collages provide further aesthetic context: In these works, Pensato's signature splatters of industrial paint exploit the material's visceral physicality, careening America's fraught social and political past into the forefront of our contemporary consciousness.
SMMoA's executive director Elsa Longhauser says of the exhibition, "The Santa Monica Museum of Art prides itself on presenting work by artists who have made a singular contribution to the art historical canon. Joyce Pensato has devoted herself to creating a lifework that is fearlessly executed and radically innovative; she is an important touchstone for artists of all ages."
The exhibition will travel to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis for display January 24 through April 13, 2014. The accompanying full-color catalog includes an interview with the artist by Ali Subotnick, curator at the Hammer Museum, and an essay by Jeffrey Uslip.
Joyce Pensato was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she continues to live and work. Her work has recently been shown at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; Capitain Petzel Gallery, Berlin; Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris; and Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago. She has also been included in exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Dallas Museum of Art; the St. Louis Art Museum; Speed Art Museum, Louisville; and the Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France.
Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY is organized by Jeffrey Uslip, Curator-at-Large for the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
This exhibition has been made possible by Friedrich Petzel Gallery, the Diane and Dorothy Brooks Foundation, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and SMMoA's Ambassador Circle.
The catalog for Joyce Pensato: I KILLED KENNY was made possible by Friedrich Petzel Gallery, Galerie Anne de Villepoix, and Corbett vs. Dempsey.
Anatomy of an Absent Artist
Marco Rios: Anatomy of an Absent Artist is inspired by three mid-century cinematic portrayals of “artists” who lead double lives—their public artistic personas at odds with their secret identities. With his signature theatricality and penchant for noir, Rios has produced three artworks in three different media: film, sculpture and photography. In this work, Rios enacts the narratives from Roger Corman’s Bucket of Blood (1959), John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (1966), and Perry Mason’s “The Case of the Absent Artist” (1962) and reinterprets the fictional “masterpieces” that propel these three stories.
In Frankenheimer’s Seconds, the title character fakes his own death, and through elaborate reconstructive surgery, assumes a new identity as an artist living in Malibu. Casting himself as the title character, Rios employs devices such as prostheses to allegorize the physical and conceptual process of transformation. Perry Mason’s The Case of the Absent Artist centers on a successful comic strip artist who intends to abandon his commercial life and relocate to Majorca to concentrate on his “real” art, but is brutally murdered the night before his departure. Rios recreates the main character’s painting titled, “A Day’s Catch” as a photographic self-portrait on the shores of Majorca. Finally, the protagonist in Roger Corman’s Bucket of Blood, attempting to create his first celebrated “masterpiece,” accidentally stabs his landlady’s cat. He conceals the carcass in plaster, creating an Arp-like, entombed white modernist form. Rios re-imagines the sculpture as a macabre, yet modernist, taxidermy pierced by a large knife and rendered in sleek silver electroplate. Using these three fictional narratives as source material, Rios reimagines each of the main character’s aesthetic creations and the collapses cinematic, artistic and biographical in fiction and reality.
About the artist:
Marco Rios was born in 1975 and lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his BFA from Otis College of Art and Design and his MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Recent exhibitions include Simon Preston, New York, LA>
About the curator:
Jeffrey Uslip is curator of Marco Rios: Anatomy of an Absent Artist. Uslip was born in 1977 and lives and works in New York City. As curator-at-large for the Santa Monica Museum of Art, he recently organized Michael Queenland: Rudy’s Ramp of Remainders and Agnes Denes: Body Prints, Philosophical Drawings, and Map Projections, 1969 – 1978. Uslip has also organized exhibitions for PS1/MoMA, New York, Artists Space, New York, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, California State University, Los Angeles, and LA>
This exhibition has been made possible by SMMoA’s Ambassador Circle and Christopher Yin and John Yoon. Additional support has been provided by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.
Park Studio: Skaters and Makers
Jun 1–Jul 6, 2013
Park Studio—SMMoA’s annual outreach project—engages local teens in revelatory art experiences over their academic Spring Break.
This exhibition features the intersection of art, design, and skateboard culture with two large, modular skate cube sculptures made by students who worked with architect François Perrin, designer Gil Le Bon Delapointe, and craftsman Dante Cacace. Each skate cube is an assembly of twenty-two hand built skate ramps that can be separated and arranged into an array of functional uses—from skateboarding to lounging—or left together as a minimalist form.
Park Studio: Skaters and Makers is organized by Asuka Hisa, SMMoA Director of Education and Public Programs. Project advisors include renowned skateboarder Salman Agah; Price Latimer Agah, SMMoA Board President; and Pierre André Senizergues of Etnies.
About Park Studio:
Now in its fourteenth year, Park Studio is an innovative interdisciplinary program that brings local students and contemporary artists together to explore themes of art and urban life. High school participant artists are aged 14-19 years old and attend school in the immediate area. SMMoA works to serve the demographically diverse residential area of Santa Monica. Recruitment is conducted at Virginia Avenue Park’s Teen Center, Santa Monica High School, Olympic High School, the Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC), and the Police Activities League (PAL).
About the Artists:
Francois Perrin is an architect based in Los Angeles, California. He has designed several residences in the city and the PAS House in Malibu. He is the author of Air Architecture, and the related exhibition traveled to Los Angeles, New York, and Vienna. His work has been featured in the New York and Los Angeles Times, Sunset, Dwell, and Wallpaper magazines.
Gil Le Bon Delapointe is a designer based in Dana Point, California. He has worked as a designer for Etnies for more than twenty years. His projects for the company include the furniture line Skate Study House and the PAS House, a residence in which every surface can be skated. He was one of the first sponsored skateboarders from France.
Dante Cacace is a master carpenter based in Venice, California.
Perrin, Le Bon Delapointe, and Cacace collaborated on the PAS House concept, a residence in which every surface can be skated.
Student Participants: Brian Arangoa, Breanna Ayala, Juan Castillo, Austin Conrad, Cynthia Cristobal, Esteban Hernandez, Gema Hernandez, Deantre Julian, Mark Marin, Julissa Mayorquin, Amayrani Mendoza, Sergio Puebla, Maurice Reneaux, Sundiata Reneaux, Rebecca Renteria, Jessica Sanchez, Nicolle Sanchez, Emily Singer, Lonnie Smith-Sanchez, Teya Thompson, Fortino Tirado, Jr., Ernesto Trejo, Cooper Weitz, Chloe Wong.
Park Studio: Skaters and Makers is organized by Asuka Hisa, Director of Education and Public Programs at SMMoA. Project advisors include legendary skateboarder Salman Agah; SMMoA Board President, Price Latimer Agah; and Pierre André Senizergues of Etnies. Video fi lmed and edited by Bucky Gonzales of Etnies. Music: Agnes Obel “Louretta” from her Philharmonics album ([PIAS] Recordings).
Support for Park Studio has been generously provided by the Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley, the Eileen Harris Norton Foundation, and the Barnwood Foundation. This program was made possible in part by a grant from the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission.
In-kind support was provided by Dr. Patricia Anawalt and Anawalt Lumber as well as Bergamot Café. Special thanks to Carla Fantozzi, Lewis Alexander, Moira McCormack, Michael Jackson, Janie Gates, Stephanie Miller, Jeffrey Stuppler, Zoé Blue, Larry Rubin, Cody, Eric Herbranson, Don Brown, Jameson DeCrew, Edmar Gonzalez, Patrick Webb, Pizzanista!, Virginia Avenue Park, the VAP Teen Center, the Knowhow Shop, Agnes Obel, Sven Hasenjäger, and the Etnies Skate Team: James Espinoza, Trevor McClung, Mason Silva.
Image: Joyce Pensato
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Opening Reception Friday, May 31
Members’ and Press Preview, 6 to 7 pm
Public Opening, 7 to 9 pm
Santa Monica Museum of Art SMMoA
Bergamot Station Arts Center, G1 2525 Michigan Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90404
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11am–6pm