Kathy Leonardo

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LA Art Party Newsletter

LAArtParty is an arts and entertainment website. Established in 2010, it is an online go-to guide for what's happening in and beyond the LA area - this includes dining, travel and more.

Founded by journalist, and "Blues Mama" Kathy Leonardo (a longtime performer), the campy site has an unusual slant which will keep you entertained. Leonardo has been writing for the past 15 years about various subjects for the Huffington Post, THRIVE GLOBAL, LA Weekly, etc.

Each month the LAArtParty staff, led by Kathy Leonardo decides which events will be featured. Posted at noon on the Thursday prior to the last week of the month, LAArtParty.com features the Top Ten Art Parties, plus other fun events each month. VIP subscribers find out ONE week prior to the public and receive discounts and invites to VIP parties throughout the year.

See Contact Page to find out how to become a VIP subscriber so you don't miss any more great ART Parties!! See Contact/Rates Page to find out how submit and promote your own events!

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"Gimme 5!" International Juried Show Open for Entries Now Through August 20, 2017!

The Venice Institute of Contemporary Art (ViCA), in partnership with MuzeuMM, presents "Gimme 5!" an International Juried Show, juried by Juri Koll, Director of ViCA and Mishelle Moross, Director of Muzuemm. 

Entries are $5 for each image submitted, with no restrictions on size or medium. All work must be available for sale. Submission Deadline is August 20,2017, and selections will be announced on August 25, 2017. Gimme 5! will open on Friday, September 15 from 7-10pm and will be on view until October 29. located at 4817 W. Adams Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90016.

As Juri Koll says, "We want to show the best new work by established artists, and we are both very excited to see the work of artists new to us. We wanted to make this juried show easy to participate in as well, as we believe that artists deserve to be supported in every way possible."

Juried by Juri Koll/ViCA and Mishelle Moross/Muzeumm

For further information and submission details and guidelines, please go to:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/255987894901744

Further information: http://www.veniceica.org http://www.muzeumm.com

Review: "L.A. NOIR: A City Reimagined" at Couturier Gallery

"L.A. NOIR: A City Reimagined," featuring the photography of Kenneth Locker, opened at Couturier Gallery on August 5, 2017. Offering a magniloquent overview of Hollywood and its environs, the solo exhibition focuses on the architecture of this modern city which often goes unnoticed in today's world. Millennials, glued to their iPhones, are transfixed to social media deities such as the Kardashians, completely unaware of the history around them.
Kenneth Locker, Los Angeles Theater Broadway

Locker relishes the mystery of our everyday cityscape. He pays tribute to another era, celebrating the grandeur of Hollywood with its bombastic designed buildings and attractions. These Los Angeles sites become stars in their own right. While the architecture plays a central role in the exhibition, Locker's photography adds an elusive, yet sensual dimension...offering multiple layers of an ominous and foreboding essence. Locker is a skilled photographer, and his choice to expose the underbelly of a city while spotlighting its unrequited magnificence at the same time, is stirring.

I had the chance to speak with both the gallery director Darrel Couturier and the photographer Ken Locker. This is Locker's first exhibition with the gallery. The photographer commented that Couturier Gallery is a great space to exhibit. "It is intimate, but doesn't feel small or cramped. I love the very high ceilings...it feels like a New York City loft."Aug2017-Review-Couturier-KenLocker-w-work
Kenneth Locker with work at Couturier Gallery; Photo by Kathy Leonardo

Couturier was impressed with the work. "I very much liked what I saw and thought it a fascinating interpretation of L.A. landmarks merged with the idea of film noir," said the gallerist. "I thought it was visually fascinating, emotional, and timeless in the sense that though the photos were taken recently, Ken's editing and printing process placed these images in another time."

Locker added that Couturier is easy to work with. "He respects artists and has great insights in how to present and promote the work." Having a father that loved photography (with an in-house darkroom) inspired the artist to start taking photos at very young age. "I was probably seven or eight when I took my first 'serious' photograph that I developed and printed myself (under my father's supervision, of course)." Locker explained that he always loved architecture. "In college, I was debating whether to pursue architecture or photography. Photography won out." He was also a fan of Noir literature and cited authors such as Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, and Dashiell Hammet. that have made an impact on him.
Photo by Kathy Leonardo;

I asked Couturier what he looks for in the work of an artist. His response was, "Work that has brilliant craft, challenges the mind and eye, and has an aesthetic independent of its conceptual content." He went on to say that Locker's exhibition challenges the mind and evokes thought. "People who see the work always seem to have an emotional reaction as well as many questions as to where and when."

As a viewer, I can say for sure it had an extraordinary effect on me. I highly recommend this exhibition....so be sure to stop in soon to Couturier Gallery. "L.A. NOIR: A City Reimagined" will remain on view through August 19, 2017.  http://www.couturiergallery.com/

On View Now: The G2 Gallery

The G2 Gallery presents "Cheyne Walls: Miles from Los Angeles," and "New Wilderness" by Jennifer MaHarry. "Miles from Los Angeles" features breathtaking panoramic shots of the western United States, from Washington to Colorado to Hawaii, and also showcases photos from Cheyne's recently published homonymous book. The exhibit celebrates nature and beautifully captures the awe-inspiring vistas unique to the west. Over the past five years, Cheyne traveled in all weather conditions, from pounding rain to fresh snowfall, to shoot these destinations in all their splendor.
From Left to Right:  Elysium, Aspen, CO (918 miles from L.A.) and Illumination, Portland, OR (961 miles from L.A.) by Cheyne Walls

Cheyne was recently awarded the International Memorial Maria Luisa Photography Award, one of the most prestigious photography awards. He received first place in the mountain landscape category for "Yosemite Valley," a black-and-white Ansel Adams-esque photograph that will be on view in this exhibit.

"What stands out about Cheyne's photography is his use of long-exposure," says Curator Monika Basse. "The photos are dynamic and alive, becoming a window into the world Cheyne espied and expertly framed. You can sense his enthusiasm for the outdoors in each image."

"New Wilderness" is the latest photography collection from Jennifer MaHarry. Featuring a bold new take on traditional nature photography, the exhibition showcases eye-catching animal portraits on subtly manipulated backgrounds for a compelling overall effect.

The spirit of the wild is celebrated and illuminated in the photography. Well-known for her clean and unique compositions of wild horses, canids and birds of prey as preferred subjects, MaHarry's new work artfully includes abstracted graphics and textures, alluding to possible dangers that threaten the existence of these animals. The added elements encourage viewers to linger and take a second look, discovering for themselves the hidden message behind each image.
From Left to Right: "LA Night Owl" and "Desert Lobo" by Jennifer MaHarry.

"The G2 Gallery has a long history with Jennifer MaHarry," says Curator Monika Basse. "Having showcased her work since 2010, we are excited for viewers to see subject matter they've come to love presented in a new and dynamic way."

What: Opening reception
Where: The G2 Gallery, 
1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

Phone: 310.452.2842
Website: http://www.theG2gallery.com

Review: "Some Things Never Change" by Delfin Finley, Lora Schlesinger Gallery

I attended the opening of "Some Things Never Change" by Delfin Finley at the Lora Schlesinger Gallery on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
At first look at the work and the crowd, I assumed I was in the wrong gallery. I found myself saying "Is this the Lora Schlesinger Gallery?" The coterie was hip young and from one glance, I could tell they knew each other. A sense of community emanated from these young adults who appeared to be in their early twenties...just like to artist. The work was striking..undeviating portraiture filled with socially charged themes.

A realistic painter, Finley's work is direct, unfiltered with stylized detail. His subjects are placed in uncompromising situations revealing the reality of everyday life. Some Things Never Change" portrays the continued racism that today's black men and women are forced to deal with.
Finley was commissioned by Fucking Awesome (a popular skate board and clothing brand) to paint Dylan Rieder for a board. Reider a renowned skateboarder who died at the age of 28 of complications from leukemia made a huge impact on the skate board community. Other Fucking Amazing subjects used in Finley's work include Tyler, Earl Sweatshirt, and skater Na-Kel Smith.

I met one of the models at the event named Austin Maddox. She was brimming with pride and had wonderful things to say about the artist. The exhibition features a broad range of today's abstract culture infused emotional elements...allowing the viewer to embrace his work both individually as as one installation.
"Some Things Never Change" is on view now from July 22 - August 26, 2017. The Lora Schlesinger Gallery is located at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. #B5b, Santa Monica 90404; http://loraschlesinger.com/

Review: "Peter Lodato: New Paintings" & "Eric Johns: Select Works" at William Turner Gallery!

William Turner Gallery held an opening reception for artists Peter Lodato and Eric Johnson on July 15th, 2017. It was well attended with a consistent local art crowd.
Peter Lodato

The calculated exhibit featured an alternating color theme regimented in form. Keeping within his signature style, the artst has continued to embrace the relationship that he owns with space around him. Often focusing on subtle themes, his bold retangular statements embrace a gentler reductive voice of its own.

Lodato has been creating work since the 1960s while evolving with each new exhibition. "Peter Lodato: New Paintings"  is visually calming yet effectively calls to mind a veracity of purity. Initially begining with drawings, Lodato continues to create a simple yet sometimes brash through his use of light and color.

The art of Peter Lodato is held in many renowned collections both public and private. His work resides in the Brooklyn Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art and the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, etc.

Also on view is work by sculptor Eric Johnson. His wood and resin creations were meticulously thought out with an appropriate amount of resolve. While some were rapped in the smooth surface of resin, one stood out on its own. A delicate flower of what appeared to be raw wood reflecting its own bold statement onto its sculptural brothers.
Eric Johns

"Peter Lodato: New Paintings" and "Eric Johns: Select Works" will remain on view through September 9th, 2017 at William Turner Gallery, located at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., in Santa Monica, CA 90404. (310) 453-0909;  http://www.williamturnergallery.com

Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles is pleased to present three new exhibitions...."Paul McCarthy. WS Spinoffs, Wood Statues, Brown Rothkos," “Takesada Matsutani,” and “Monika Sosnowska.” 
July1-2017-Paul McCarthy-WS-Spinoffs
"Paul McCarthy. WS Spinoffs, Wood Statues, Brown Rothkos" is a comprehensive exhibition of expressive black walnut sculptures from the White Snow series by Paul McCarthy, one of America's most challenging and influential artists. This is the gallery's first exhibition in Los Angeles devoted to the provocative and influential work of acclaimed LA-based artist Paul McCarthy. Never before exhibited in Los Angeles, these exuberant works violate expectations of the beloved German folktale 'Snow White.' McCarthy's distorted abstractions of Dopey, the Prince, even Snow White herself, will inhabit the North A gallery. This show follows McCarthy's Raw Spinoffs Continuations exhibition at Hauser & Wirth New York in 2016.

Coinciding with commissioned works debuting at the Venice Biennale, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles is honored to present the first ever exhibition in Los Angeles devoted to the work of the Osaka-born, Paris-based artist Takesada Matsutani. Over a five-decade career that began with his participation in the Gutai Art Association and evolved to express the tangled complexities of a life lived between France and Japan, Matsutani has developed a unique visual language of form and materials. The exhibition highlights three distinct periods in the artist's oeuvre and includes 1960s Gutai era pieces never before shown outside of Japan, one of the artist's largest installations from 1983, and a new pre-figuration of his Venice Biennale project. Organized with Olivier Renaud- Clément, the exhibition will remain on view at the South gallery from 1 July through 17 September 2017.July1-2017-Hauser-WirthLA-TakesadaMatsutani
Organized with Olivier Renaud-Clément, “Takesada Matsutani,” offers an expansive look at Matsutani's unique visual language of form and materials. His paintings, drawings, and sculptures engage themes of the eternal and echo the endless cycles of life and death, revealing the influence of the ethos of Gutai on the artist's early experimentation and its lasting impact today. The exhibition will also include a site-specific floor work, continuing a long-standing performative aspect of artist's practice. Matsutani will create this piece in the South gallery of Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles.

“Monika Sosnowska,” the first Los Angeles solo exhibition for the noted Polish artist. The exhibition features a new body of work that responds to characteristic elements of existing 1960s Polish architecture in sculptural installations that reflect and riff upon history and personal experience.
Wrought from industrial materials and objects, Sosnowska’s works ‘sample’ various architectural details that she idiosyncratically warps in order to immerse viewers in environments that are both uncannily familiar and disconcertingly surreal.

On view: July 1 - September 17, 2017; Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles is open daily from Wednesday – Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm. 

Where: Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 901 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Website: https://www.hauserwirthlosangeles.com

On View Now: Skidmore Contemporary Art Welcomes Doug Shoemaker & Emile Dillon

Skidmore Contemporary Art is proud to present new exhibitions..."Poolside," by Doug Shoemaker, "Vanishing America," featuring the art of Emile Dillon.

Doug Shoemaker was once told by the East Coast watercolor painter Howard Etter to "draw what [he saw]." And over his decades-long career as a watercolorist and architect, Shoemaker has done just that, creating indelible, precise images of urban and suburban scenes, often with a focus on the elegance of simple city and residential architecture.
July29-2017-skidmoreDougShoemaker-Poolside-IIIDoug Shoemaker, Poolside III, Watercolor on paper, 36" x 36" 2016

While Shoemaker chooses not to depict people in his paintings, he is far from unconcerned with the idea of the human element, representing the people of San Francisco and other locales with their traces in his series Pools and Lounges: ripples in a pool's surface, the just-arranged folds of a towel, the elasticity of a shadow. Says Shoemaker: “By eliminating any figurative element, I am attempting to express a kind of stillness, a quietude, a Zen sense of alone-ness that may offer a respite from the over-hyped, over-expressed, over-shared society we now live in.”

Emile Dillon's work transports viewers to a distinct and particular setting. His work varies from movie theater signs to restaurants or hotels, each defined by an exact moment, like a photograph. Dillon's 2016 acrylic painting Rae's depicts a specific yet accessible scene, Rae's Restaurant on Pico Boulevard and 29th Street in Santa Monica. The piece portrays a common Los Angeles image--a sunny day in fall, indicated by the brown leaves of the tree behind the sign, perhaps mid-afternoon. Dillon transforms an ordinary, possibly mundane moment into art. Recognizable signs and logos become revolutionized. Dillon's bright, eccentric and playful use of color is not only pleasing to the eye, but is also an identifiable trait for Dillon's body of work. Vibrant sky blues emphasize bright red or yellow signs across United States cities.
July29-2017-skidmore-ThunderbirdInnEmile Dillon, Thunderbird Inn, Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”  2017

On view: July 28 - September 2, 2017

Where: Skidmore Contemporary Art, Bergamot Station 2525 Michigan Avenue, B-4 Santa Monica, 90404
Phone: 310-828-5070

July 30, 2017: Upper West Presents the Art of Bobbie Rich

Upper West presents a solo exhibition featuring the art of Bobbie Rich. This will be Rich's 2nd solo show at the restaurant. She said she was excited about exhibiting again, and was creating new works for the show. "Everyone at Upper West has become like family," added Rich. Read my Huffington Post article about this exhibition.
Bobbie Rich, Influence 40x30 inches mixed media

Since the last time the artist was showcased at Upper West, her style of painting and her subjects have changed. She has incorporated animals into her work which evolved out of her own travel photography. Another new addition is her Ocean series - and it happens to be one of her biggest sellers. She explained how she created the work..."Waves are built up first with palette knives and molding paste, then brought to life with layers of acrylic and detailed with oil paint."

The exhibit will feature a mixture of people inspired by travel, fashion, nature and personal relationships. She added, "I still very much enjoy painting unique, whimsical people. Most recently my people are primarily oil paint with other media layered in - acrylic, paper, metal leaf, moon paint, etc. For additional info about the artist, visit her website at http://www.BobbieRich.com

On view through October.

Where: Upper West Restaurant, 3321 Pico Boulevard, LA 90404

Website: http://www.theupperwest.com/