Los Angeles has an abundance of everything.
An abundance of industry, people, thoughts, ideas, eateries, speakeasies, nightclubs, music, and niche locales (which become more niche by the day in order to stand out). Los Angeles also has an abundance of art-world related buildings, workspaces, galleries, masters, protégés, and hopefuls. However, it’s rare that an art gallery is established, stable, yet caters to the hopefuls of Los Angeles. The Ben Maltz Gallery seeks to connect established and emerging artists with art students, something rarely actualized.
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design was the vision of Millard Sheets, Director of the Otis Art Institute, appointed in 1954.
Originally Ben Maltz Gallery was built and stood in MacArthur Park in DTLA, however it has since been relocated and rehoused as Otis itself traveled across Los Angeles. Located currently in Westchester, the Ben Matlz Gallery is tucked away inside the Otis College of Art in Design, and has no plans to relocate any time soon.
Looking to connect established artists to the Otis community, Ben Maltz Gallery showcases regional and international artists with the LA art community.
With a wide range of sponsors and past exhibitions, Ben Maltz Gallery has a mission to act as a real-world, real-time educational resource for students, faculty, staff, and the community at large.
Ben Maltz Gallery is celebrating its one hundredth year with a group exhibition of selected works by notable alumni from the 1920s – the 2010s. Centennial: 100 Years of Otis College Alumni offers us swatches of history as experienced and imagined by Otis alumni. Focusing in freezing historical moments, the varied historical snapshots are as diverse as both the artists and their media.
Without specific instruction insofar as media or theme goes, Centennial artists were given free rein to select historical moments and fantastical offshoots of collective American memory.
One of the most grandiose works is by Masami Teraoka (1968). Hideous Ugliest Orange Toad’s Last Bolero/Viagra Falls is not a shy piece of oil on panel. Standing probably 6 feet tall and 8 feet wide, this trifold beast mimics 1300s gold-leaf Christian art in style and theme only.
Kohshin Finley’s (2012) stunning Raisin in the Sun portrait of oil and mixed media on canvas features a young black man as the subject.
This man has white paint smears across his face, alongside a subtly jarring yet honest sentence: ‘How to survive in America.’
Tucked away in the back of the gallery is Daveion Thompson’s (2017) Inter-Liminal. 4:50 minutes in length, a well-edited performance piece between a man and a chair is captured on film.
Thompson’s Inter-Liminal cured me of my belief that filmed performance pieces cannot be entertaining or enrapturing.
Just as Ben Maltz seeks to link past with present, master with protégé, another 100 years of Otis promises varied and diverse successes, both big and small, and recognized and underrated.
Ben Maltz Gallery: https://www.otis.edu/ben-maltz-gallery/about-gallery
Bas Jan Ader
Mary Sue Ader Andersen
Billy Al Bengston
Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia
The Perez Bros
September 7 – December 7, 2019
Free! Street parking as well as parking in the structure
(to park in the structure, pre-print parking pass here, and park on the ground level, Visitor’s Parking).
Tues – Fri: 10am-5:00pm
Otis College of Art and Design
[Gallery located on ground floor of Bronya and Andy Galef Fine Arts Center]
9045 Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045