On the occasion of Hauser & Wirth’s 5-year anniversary in the Arts District, In Focus: LA Artists highlights the lasting contributions of the artists and foregrounds their influential practices, which have been instrumental in making Los Angeles an international capital of artistic innovation and arts education.
Hauser & Wirth spotlights its Los Angeles artists with a multimedia group presentation of nearly 30 artworks. ‘In Focus: LA Artists’ showcases the groundbreaking techniques, diverse viewpoints, and intergenerational relationships of the gallery artists who call one of the world’s most creative cities home: Larry Bell, Mark Bradford, Charles Gaines, Richard Jackson, Paul McCarthy, Christina Quarles, Gary Simmons, Henry Taylor, Diana Thater, and the late artists Luchita Hurtado, Mike Kelley, and Jason Rhoades.
Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades, Richard Jackson and Iwan Wirth at the locomotive shed in St. Gallen, December 1998
Highlights will include the West Coast debut of Mark Bradford’s ‘Untitled’ (2020), recently exhibited in the powerful group exhibition ‘Grief and Grievance’ at the New Museum in New York, as well as Bradford’s video work ‘Dancing in the Street’ (2019), which was included in the artist’s solo exhibition ‘End Papers’ at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Other highlights will include Mike Kelley’s multimedia sculpture ‘Party Girl’ (1998), Jason Rhoades’ irreverent sculptures from the ‘90s, a visually opulent video work by Diana Thater, a recent Numbers and Trees gridwork by Charles Gaines, and paintings by Luchita Hurtado, Paul McCarthy, and Henry Taylor.
Mark Bradford, Untitled (detail), 2020
The presentation will also shine a light on the intergenerational, mentor-mentee relationships between the gallery’s LA artists, most of whom have studied and taught at the city’s esteemed art schools. Both Paul McCarthy and Richard Jackson taught Jason Rhoades at UCLA. Charles Gaines, among CalArts’ most influential educators for over 30 years, taught Mark Bradford, Henry Taylor, and Gary Simmons, who was also mentored by Mike Kelley at CalArts in the 1990s. While at ArtCenter, Kelley also was a teacher for Diana Thater, who has in turn taught legions of up-and-coming artists at the revered Pasadena-based school.
Rachel Khedoori, Jason Rhoades and Richard Jackson in Venice, 1999
Selections from the group presentation will be featured in the gallery’s digital offering as part of the Frieze Viewing Room, online from 27 July – 1 August 2021. ‘In Focus: LA Artists’ will also be on view during the inaugural Gallery Weekend Los Angeles, a weekend organized by Gallery Association Los Angeles to encourage visitors to return to physical gallery spaces throughout the city in the new post-pandemic summer 2021 season.
Jason Rhoades with The Future is Filled with Opportunities (Ridable Steer) behind the artist's studio in Inglewood California 1995
Hauser & Wirth opened its first Los Angeles location in March 2016 in the heart of the burgeoning Downtown Los Angeles Arts District at 901 East 3rd Street. Occupying the former Globe Mills flour mill complex comprised of late 19th and early 20th century buildings, Hauser & Wirth Arts District is a vibrant communal space that links art and architecture with a dynamic events program.
Globe Grain and Milling Company
The Globe Mills site was restored by Los Angeles real estate company Creative Space LA in consultation with Annabelle Selldorf, Principal of Selldorf Architects. In 2018, Hauser & Wirth Arts District was awarded the Chair’s Award, Los Angeles Conservancy’s highest honor recognizing the importance of preserving historic landmarks that make the city unique. The complex features Manuela, the onsite restaurant offering seasonal, locally-sourced produce, and an open-air courtyard and garden, a gallery shop, and ARTBOOK’s first store in Los Angeles.
Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2019
‘In Focus: LA Artists’ is now open at limited capacity Tuesday through Sunday, 11 am – 6 pm. Free entry. No booking necessary.
Please join us on Saturday, July 31 for a day of food, music, books, and exclusive offers as part of the inaugural festivities celebrating Gallery Weekend Los Angeles.
Images: Paul McCarthy, Jason Rhoades, Richard Jackson and Iwan Wirth at the locomotive shed in St. Gallen, December 1998; Mark Bradford, Untitled (detail), 2020, Installation view, ‘Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America,’ New Museum, New York NY, 2021 © Mark Bradford. Courtesy the artist and New Museum. Photo: Dario Lasagni; Rachel Khedoori, Jason Rhoades and Richard Jackson in Venice, 1999; Jason Rhoades with The Future is Filled with Opportunities (Ridable Steer) behind the artist's studio in Inglewood California 1995; Globe Grain and Milling Company; Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, 2019. Photo: Elon Schoenholz; Hauser & Wirth Los Angelos Exterior, 2016. Photo: Joshua Targownik / targophoto.com
Larry Bell is one of the most renowned and influential artists to emerge from the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s, alongside contemporaries Ed Ruscha and Robert Irwin, and had garnered international repute by the age of 30. Known foremost for his refined surface treatment of glass and explorations of light, reflection and shadow through the material, Bell’s significant oeuvre extends from painting and works on paper to glass sculptures and furniture design.Bell’s understanding of the potential of glass and light allows him to expand visual and physical fields of perception, and his sculptures to surpass traditional bounds of the medium. He has said: ‘Although we tend to think of glass as a window, it is a solid liquid that has at once three distinctive qualities: it reflects light, it absorbs light, and it transmits light all at the same time.’
Mark Bradford (b. 1961 in Los Angeles; lives and works in Los Angeles) is a contemporary artist best known for his large-scale abstract paintings created out of paper. Characterized by its layered formal, material, and conceptual complexity, Bradford’s work explores social and political structures that objectify marginalized communities and the bodies of vulnerable populations. Just as essential to Bradford’s work is a social engagement practice through which he reframes objectifying societal structures by bringing contemporary art and ideas into communities with limited access to museums and cultural institutions.
A pivotal figure in the field of Conceptual Art, Charles Gaines’ body of work engages formulas and systems that interrogate relationships between the objective and the subjective realms. Using a generative approach to create series of works in a variety of mediums, he has built a bridge between the early conceptual artists of the 1960s and 1970s and subsequent generations of artists pushing the limits of conceptualism today.
Born in Maiquetía, Venezuela, in 1920, Luchita Hurtado dedicated over eighty years of her extensive oeuvre to the investigation of universality and transcendence. Developing her artistic vocabulary through a coalescence of abstraction, mysticism, corporality and landscape, the breadth of her experimentation with unconventional techniques, materials and styles speak to the multicultural and experiential contexts that shaped her life and career. Hurtado emigrated to the United States in 1928, settling in New York where she attended classes at the Art Students League. She relocated to Mexico City in the late 1940s and then moved to San Francisco Bay in the following decade. Eventually, Hurtado settled in Santa Monica, California and frequently visited her second home in Taos, New Mexico.
A pre-eminent figure in American contemporary art since the 1970s, Richard Jackson is influenced by both Abstract Expressionism and action painting, exploring a performative painting process which seeks to extend the potential of painting by upending its technical conventions. Born in Sacramento, California in 1939, Jackson first came to international attention with a major presentation of his installation works at the Menil Collection, Houston, in 1988, followed by the 1992 exhibition, ‘Helter Skelter,’ at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.Jackson’s work is process-oriented, and the structural aspect of his installations involves a high level of craftsmanship and engineering. However, the final application of paint is generated through an automated process which Jackson calls ‘activation.’ He equips his ‘painting machines’ with a network of pipes and hoses which, when deployed, cause violent eruptions of paint that immerse the work and surrounding area. The finished installations remain in the aftermath of this extreme and unpredictable performative action.
Mike Kelley is widely considered one of the most influential artists of our time. Originally from a suburb outside of Detroit, Kelley attended the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, before moving to Southern California in 1976 to study at California Institute of the Arts from which he received an MFA in 1978. The city of Los Angeles became his adopted home and the site of his prolific art practice. In much of his work, Kelley drew from a wide spectrum of high and low culture, and was known to scour flea markets for America’s cast-offs and leftovers. Mining the banal objects of everyday life, Kelley elevated these materials to question and dismantle Western conceptions of contemporary art and culture.
Paul McCarthy is widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking contemporary American artists. Born in 1945, and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, he first established a multi-faceted artistic practice, which sought to break the limitations of painting by using unorthodox materials such as bodily fluids and food. He has since become known for visceral, often hauntingly humorous work in a variety of mediums—from performance, photography, film and video, to sculpture, drawing and painting.
Christina Quarles (b. 1985) is a Los Angeles-based artist, whose practice works to dismantle and question assumptions and ingrained beliefs surrounding identity and the human figure. Born in Chicago and raised by her mother in Los Angeles, Quarles took art classes from an early age. She developed a solid foundation for a lifelong drawing practice through after-school programs and figure drawing classes at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
Jason Rhoades (1965 – 2006) is known for monumental, room-filling installations. These idiosyncratic sculptures incorporate a wide range of objects including products of mass culture combined with hand-made items and biographical references. Drawing on the history of assemblage, Rhoades imbues his materials with powerful formal, narrative and allegorical links, encouraging viewers to connect and interpret the associative chains. Rhoades often drew inspiration from the city of Los Angeles where he lived and worked as well as The Great American West, informed by his rural upbringing in Northern California. His work has been exhibited internationally since the early 1990s.
One of the foremost artists of a generation which emerged during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gary Simmons has achieved wide acclaim over the past three decades for his work which explores the politics of race, class and social stereotypes through painting, sculpture, sound and architectural environments. Simmons uses imagery drawn from popular culture to create works that address personal and collective memories.
In Focus: LA Artists
The gallery will expand its Los Angeles presence with a second location opening fall 2022 in West Hollywood. The new venue will occupy the site of a vintage automobile sales showroom at 8980 Santa Monica Boulevard and will complement the Arts District venue.
‘In Focus: LA Artists’ is on view now through 22 August 2021 at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles.