Exquisite Pittoresco at Keystone Gallery
June 10-June 19, 2017
Curated by Heather Lowe
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 10, 5-7 pm
338 South Avenue 16, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Collaborations between artists are tricky things. Not unlike the relationships between artists and their clients, patrons or dealers, the process of collaborating can be fraught with problems: clashing egos, different artistic visions and temperaments, miscommunications, grudges and yes, failures. I think of the fireworks that ensued when Robert Irwin and Richard Meier clashed at The Getty while planning the gardens; each lobbying for their concept and jockeying for power. Artists as well as architects can be passionate and protective about their vision. Alternatively, collaborations can be challenging and inspiring with results that are greater than the sum of their parts. The artist enters into a covenant with a lot of trepidation because, after all, the creative practice is a private and sacred zone for most.
Heather Lowe’s curatorial effort at the Keystone Gallery, Exquisite Pittoresco, celebrates the better nature of artistic collaboration through the convention of the exquisite corpse known to art students everywhere and made famous by the Surrealists. The original premise of an exquisite corpse was that one artist began a drawing followed by a second artist who continued drawing on the same paper, usually without seeing the initial effort. The mash-up of images appealed to artists like André Breton, Miró, Yves Tanguy and Man Ray, whose love of happenstance informed their work. They found beauty and meaning in random imagery, influencing modernists for generations. Lowe, in her infinite wisdom, has allowed her artists more leeway by suggesting invited artists to collaborate with another person in a four-part process with only a few guidelines. Indeed, artists were expected to break the rules and many did. The 17 sets of artists in Exquisite Pittoresco each approached the challenge differently and it is as fascinating to consider their process as much as it is to see their efforts.
In this show as in other collaborations, artists may create together side by side or work sequentially, responding to work by taking turns. Artists might envision the finished artwork as a single piece or as several independent, modular works that relate to each other through a linear narrative or through formal attributes. Artists could agree to work on just their own contributions or decide to work into their partner’s work too. There are endless possibilities. Come see some of them at Exquisite Pittoresco. Opening reception is Saturday, June 10 , 5-7 PM.
Artists participating in the show are: JonMarc Edwards/ Ando Pndlian, Dwora Fried/ Bibi Davidson, Jeffrey Vallance, Paulette Nichols, and Victoria Reynolds, S. Lee Robinson/ Kat Genikov, Matt MacFarland/Jesse Lucas, Sarajo Frieden/Lorraine Heitzman, Ichiro Irie/ Aska Irie, Sarah Stone/Patrick McGilligan, Lena Moross/Steve Seleska, Ted Meyer/Heather Lowe, Julia Schwartz/Jared Valesquez (Vasco), Krista Machovina/Kerry, Maria Bjorkdahl/Kristine Augustyn, Robert Costanza/Glenn Waggner, Janet Stafford/Michelle Hill, Julia Schwartz/Kio Griffith, Kailey Fry/Rachel Deehan