A Stranger in My Grave
Evergreene Studio is pleased to present A Stranger In My Grave, a special exhibition co-curated by Véronique Bacchetta of the Centre d’édition contemporaine Genève, on view at Four Six One Nine, August 12–31, 2016. The exhibition will feature work by Liz Craft, Mathis Gasser, Fabian Marti, Jim Shaw and Jeffrey Vallance. An opening reception will be held at the gallery, 4619 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles on Friday, August 12, 6-9pm.
This exhibition unites five artists to investigate the theme of the dead artist, of his self-representation —or substitute—of the disquieting strangeness of a living artist forecasting himself into death: the artist and his effigy flirting with the idea of his own mythology, from his self-destruction to his resurrection. Here the decorum, the ceremonial, from the funeral bed to the reliquary, could echo the two sides of the City of Angels, glamorous and obscure at the same time. LA, this gigantic factory of hysterical and cinematographic illusions that unveil a morbid temptation and recurrent attraction for apocalyptical and end of the world prophecies that reside under the Hollywood star glitter and the smooth kitsch of an invasive hyper pop imagery. The LA of James Ellroy and of Bret Easton Ellis, cynical and paranoiac, doomed to depression and annihilation. The LA open to all sorts of occult, satanic and conspiracy downfalls that echo the totally devastating experiences of the seventies when Bowie saw LA as the hell where “you drive like a demon from station to station”. Even though the Christian New Age ego trip seems today to be more watered down and insignificant in this falsely true world of stars of Kardashian-like realty shows. The famous La La Land, LA as an immense fabric of illusions where the A-list and the most grotesque gurus exacerbate all sorts of downfalls and fantasies, from the purest esotericism to religious syncretism. The land that is closest to the angels is also that of sacrificial temptations (American Psycho, Ken Park, Bling Ring), of the ultra kitsch Catholic baroque of Chicano culture (Echo Park LA), up to the joyful and liberating Bacchanalias of Paul McCarthy, the darker and more critical visions of Mike Kelley, the more Christ-like and enchanted ones of Jeffrey Vallance or the more pop and dreamlike visions of Jim Shaw.
—Excerpt of curatorial statement by Véronique Bacchetta (download the full text below)
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Liz Craft (b.1970 in Los Angeles) received her BA from Otis Parsons in Los Angeles, and her MFA from the University of California in Los Angeles. She works primarily with ceramic, mixed media sculpture, and wall paintings, often investigating ideas of women and counterculture with a whimsical and consciously naïve aesthetic. Craft has exhibited with Freedman Fitzpatrick in Los Angeles, Jenny’s in Los Angeles, Truth and Consequences in Geneva, Switzerland, Ballroom Marfa in Marfa, Texas, the Migros Museum in Zurich, Switzerland, the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2016 and 2004 in New York and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Liz Craft lives and works in Los Angeles.
Mathis Gasser (b. 1984 in Zurich, Switzerland) received his BA from the Geneva University of Art and Design in Geneva, Switzerland, and M.A. from the Tokyo Institute of Art and Design in Tokyo, Japan. He works primarily with collage, painting and sculpture, and crossed into video with his works “In the Museum [I, II]” presented in this exhibition. Gasser has exhibited with Hester in New York, Ribordy Contemporary in Geneva, Hard Hat in Geneva, at the Swiss Awards in Basel, Switzerland, the Centre d’édition contemporaine, Geneva, at the Swiss Institute in New York, and the Kunsthalle Bern in Bern, Switzerland. Gasser lives and works in London, UK.
Fabian Marti (b. 1979 in Fribourg, Switzerland) and received his BA in the Department of Photography from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Zurich, and attended the Mountain School of Arts Los Angeles in 2008. He examines artistic production and the role of the artist as he explores mechanical processes in making photograms, ceramics, installations and prints. Marti has exhibited extensively in Europe, including Peter Kilchmann in Zurich, Switzerland, Art Bärtschi & Cie in Geneva, Switzerland, the Swiss Institute in Rome/ New York, the Migros Museum in Zurich, and the Venice Biennale 54 in Venice, Italy. Fabian Marti lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland.
Jim Shaw (b. 1952 in Midland, Michigan) received his BFA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Shaw has been widely exhibited internationally, and is part of many important museum collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Centre George Pompidou in Paris, France, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland. Jim Shaw lives and works in Los Angeles.
Jeffrey Vallance (b. 1955 in Redondo Beach, California) received his BA from California State University, Northridge, and MFA from the Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles. Vallance’s work blurs the lines between object making, installation, performance, curating and writing, and he often exhibits in site specific locations: burying a piece of meat (chicken) at a pet cemetery in California; travelling throughout Polynesia in search of the origin myth of Tiki; meeting the presidents of Iceland, for example. Vallance is widely exhibited around the world and is part of many important museum collections including the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles. Jeffrey Vallance lives and works in southern California.