Wednesday, 11 March 2015 08:41

CB1 Gallery: From the Historic Core to the Arts District

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I had the pleasure of catching CB1 Gallery’s inaugural exhibitions at their new warehouse arts district location, DTLA adjacent. While this post will go live after their first rotation of artists, CB1’s new location promises nothing short of savvy and talented artists to come. The opening exhibitions at CB1 Gallery featured the Guest Gallery exhibition In Search of the Dot that Created the Circle: Geometry in Nature, alongside Laura Krifka’s Reap the Whirlwind and Andre Goeritz’s schadenfreude.

CB1 Gallery’s opening accompaniment of artists elicited a promise ahead for even more exhibitions with pervasive social commentary.

The range of their opening contemporary art spanned from the mathematical to the highly technical of talent. Take, for example, In Search of the Dot that Created the Circle: Geometry in Nature. The group exhibition curated by Amina Ahmed and Santiago Navila explores “the transformative nature of geometry used in Islamic art”. Notes of a complex globalization proliferating the East and West shows in the Islamic motif. Though each piece is mathematically complex, there’s a gritty rawness to them. There’s a visible harmony of the forms, between an ancient wisdom and an every-day functionality, when taking their application to mosque architecture. 

CB1 Gallery

Laura Krifka’s technique is impeccable and neoclassical reminiscent. The romantic world her exhibition Reap the Whirldwind pulls you into is eerily familiar, and equally as seductive as the themes of her individual pieces. While some might complain that the subject placement looks staged, I believe that Krifka wanted a contrived symbolism to her characters. The faces of whom are startling, a fact which stands in abrupt contrast to the ethereal neoclassicism in the rest of each work. Moreover, do the (at times) disturbing expressions heighten the sexuality of each piece, and almost transform the sexual tension to be violent instead of natural. The abovementioned excludes the figurine statues punctuating the room, all of which seemed to be physical manifestations of the hanging canvases.

You can’t help but walk away wondering if you’re disturbed by her work, or in on her joke.

Gallery CB1

In its own right, Andre Goeritz’s schadenfreude mirrors the mathematical emphasis of In Search of the Dot…, but highlights linearity and structure separate from geometric musings. Goeritz doesn’t depart from a cultural perspective, but perhaps the cultural relation may have been an unintended consequence of CB1 Gallery juxtaposing the artists it did. Unintentional on Goeritz’s part, but assuredly the intellectual intent of CB1 Gallery. The curvature of the mounted pieces seems to have the work leap off the walls and enrapture you with its simplicity. While a criticism for uniformity could exist, I believe the contrary to be true with Goeritz’s exhibition. There’s a complexity to Goeritz’s work that would be overlooked in similar artist’s seemingly uncomplicated pieces.

CB1 Gallery

The self-proclaimed mission of the gallery is to display intellectually stimulating work and expand inspired dialogue, and that’s exactly what the gallery generates: intrigue and conversation.

The individual exhibitions stood alone as their own, respective show, and CB1 Gallery was very clever in how they curated the talent. Each exhibition stood in stark contrast to the other, but with the cohesion of Contemporary Art as the genre; each show easily punctuated the artist before, which enabled each to present itself without introduction so-to-speak. For all of the genres and interpretations that exist in the art world, CB1 has something for everyone. Even the hyper-cynical would have enjoyed at least one of the exhibitions from their opening on the 24th of January to their new installation rotation come the 28th February, 2015. Whatever personal feeling you leave CB1 Gallery with, I think the greatest common denominator for all would be that the best is still yet to come with CB1 Gallery.

I can’t in good conscience finish this review without commenting on how gorgeous the gallery space is. So here it goes: it’s gorgeous. With its narrow, first corridor, you get the full effect of the sweeping, vaulted ceilings and exposed beams within the clean structure. With plenty of free street parking (so long as you don’t head too far South along the Los Angeles River and pass Washington Blvd., you shouldn’t have any sort of headache), CB1 has not only sniffed out the new hot art area close to Downtown LA, it brings a force majeure to its growth.

Highbrow and thoughtful in its aesthetic niche, undoubtedly CB1 Gallery is a powerhouse in the new art hub of LA.

CB1 Gallery is located at 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90021. The next CB1 Gallery exhibition runs March 7th through April 11th, 2015, and features Enface by Craig Taylor as well as The Enthusiast by Annelie McKenzie. The artist reception for the aforementioned will take place March 14th, 2015.

All photos are courtesy of CB1 Gallery (photographer: Jay Oligny).

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Raleigh Barrett

Raleigh Barrett is a vegan Angeleno transplant who has lived in the NoHo Arts District for five years. She certainly won’t be leaving California in the next four years. Raleigh recently graduated from the University of Chicago with a Master of Arts specializing in Linguistic Anthropology. While in Chicago, she worked as the Gallery Assistant at the Renaissance Society. Raleigh is thrilled to be back and blogging for the NoHo Arts District.

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