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Narrative Painting in Los Angeles | Craig Krull Gallery

Stella poolside with an abandoned plate of half-eaten charcuterie, a gap-toothed producer with his wallet falling out of his pocket, who is leaning on a rosy-cheeked, glazed-over-eyed woman with her dress halfway off her shoulder.

And this is only the foreground to a man wearing sunglasses taking a selfie. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Hills are burning behind the Angeleno carousers, but no one is phased. Never have I seen a painting more representative of the superficial soul of LA than Carl Dobsky’s Birds of Paradise.

Craig Krull Gallery caps a gem of an exhibition at the end of August 2019, with Narrative Painting in Los Angeles.

Originally homed in West Hollywood, Craig Krull Gallery was established in 1991 as Turner/Krull Gallery. Shifting away from its originally photo-only based exhibitions, Craig Krull became one of the founding galleries at the new Bergamot Station Art Center in 1994. Hosting both solo and group shows, Craig Krull might have its roots in photography but showcases a brilliant group painting exhibition in Narrative Painting in Los Angeles

Taking its cues from Leon Battista Alberti’s 1435 treatise De Pictura (in which Alberti encourages artists to become familiar with poetry in order to understand constructions of daily life and ‘historia’), Narrative Painting recognizes the human-historical continuum in which artists exist. While some painters in the group exhibition explicitly, and compositionally, mirror the masters, others imbue their own Angeleno experience within their works.

In the narrative behind Narrative Painting in Los Angeles, perhaps most interesting is that the authors who inspired the exhibition (Robet Irwin and Eve Babitz) believe that LA is one of the least restrictive towns in the world because it has “no traditions, or history, or images of itself.” However, our Craig Krull Gallery artists quite disagree.

Ja’Rie Gray’s A Conversation with the Three of Me explores public and individual perception of beauty as it relates to lightness of skin. Meanwhile Shawn Michael Warren shines light on LA’s sordid history: Abbot’s Waterway provides an historical snapshot of the African Americans who toiled in and built the Venice Canals, yet were barred from residing in the area.

Moving us to the present and overarching Human Experience Dan McCleary believes that Los Angeles “has no center or formal rituals, so its inhabitants find their own centers through daily rituals like driving, shopping, eating out, and seeing movies.” These elements of Angeleno living are represented in Trouble, where nothing is actively occurring, but by simply occupying a shared space there is a fundamental human happening.

From LA freeways to earthquakes to transplants to politics, words such as “sinister, transient, and apocalyptic” can be used for the Los Angeles narrative. However, we also find words such as sunshine, dreaming, tenacity for Los Angeles and its residents. Narrative Paintings in Los Angeles bridges both contradictions and congruencies observed by long-term residents and passers-through.

Craig Krull Gallery:
http://www.craigkrullgallery.com/Exhibition/Current.html 

Artists:     

Sandow Birk
Carl Dobsky
James Doolin
Steve Galloway
Lola Gil
Ja’Rie Gray
D.J. Hall
F. Scott Hess
Laura Krifka
Dan McCleary
Milo Reice
John Valadez
Shawn Michael Warren 

Exhibition Dates:
July 20 – August 31, 2019 

Hours:
Tues – Fri
10am-5:30pm 

Price:
Free

Location:
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave, Bldg. B-3
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Raleigh Barrett

Author: 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.

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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