ROBERT WILLIAMS 'SLANG AESTHETICS'
JUXTAPOZ '20 YEARS UNDER THE INFLUENCE'
WHERE: Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery / Located at Barnsdall Park
4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90027, 323.644.6269
Call Copro Gallery for web-preview and sales info. 310/829-2156
firstname.lastname@example.org Submit full names and get there as close to the opening at 6:00PM to assure entrance since the museum can only admit to capacity.
Copro Gallery Director
WHAT: ROBERT WILLIAMS 'SLANG AESTHETICS' /
JUXTAPOZ '20 YEARS UNDER THE INFLUENCE' Curated by Gary Pressman (Copro Gallery) & Andrew Hosner (Thinkspace Gallery)
ROBERT WILLIAMS PREVIEW
WHEN: Exhibit opens February 21 with a VIP Private Preview Reception RSVP only, 6:00 - 11:30PM
continues until April 19. LAMAG hours are Thursday - Sunday, Noon - 5:00PM 323.644.6269
Contact: Gary Pressman, Gallery Director Copro Gallery
(Los Angeles) - The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and Juxtapoz magazine in association with Andrew Hosner from Thinkspace Gallery and Gary Pressman from Copro Gallery are pleased to present new works by Robert Williams. 'SLANG Aesthetics!' is on view at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery from February 22nd to April 19th, 2015. The exhibition is Robert Williams’ first major body of work to make a debut in Los Angeles for well over a decade, and will feature 25 new oil paintings alongside a suite of drawings, and a series of large-scale sculptures fabricated with the assistance of Gentle Giant Studios.
Robert Williams is widely upheld as the godfather of the low brow and pop surrealist art movements, and with as much frequency denigrated as an irreverent iconoclast among the arbiters of “high” art. As both patriarch and outlaw, Williams’ enduring influence on the New Contemporary movement is undeniable. A true maverick who sought to create vital work that channeled the shifting energies and immediacy of counterculture, from the 60’s onward, Williams’ paintings invoked a return to craftsmanship, figuration and demotic imagery that rejected the elitist tenets of conceptual minimalism. A kid of the 50’s, Williams grew up immersed in California’s hot rod Kustom Kulture, Rock n’ Roll and EC Comics, and was steeped in the populist currents of his era. He recognized the raw visual power of popular culture: its graphics, its counter movements and its undergrounds, a network of palpitations he would continue to tap well into the era of punk rock. He worked commercially and became studio Art Director to Kustom Kulture icon Ed “big daddy” Roth in 1965, and was a founding contributor to the underground ZAP Comix in the late 60’s, all the while creating his own caustic, unapologetic work.
The work that Williams’ created was different, and didn’t fit within the established critical and intellectual paradigms espoused by the East Coast dominated art scene. Creating epic cartoon inspired history paintings charged with sex and ultra-violence, Williams drew from the social power of the American vernacular and its visual slang. He refused the immaterial aspirations of the art object, as it moved further away from representation, and felt no affinity with the contentless legacy of Abstract Expressionism. Instead, Williams sought idiosyncrasy, content, narrative, skillful figuration and popular culture, and created work that captured its visceral and libidinal energies through accessible references. Williams continued to disregard the arbitrary exclusions of the low from “high” culture, and in 1979 coined the term “low brow” as a way to articulate his opposition to an establishment from which he was excluded. For better or worse, “low brow” became the namesake of a young fledgling art movement, which Williams would prove to be instrumental in fostering. In 1994 Williams founded Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine and created a platform for this young and insurgent energy on the West Coast; a publication that was dedicated to the underground and to its cultural mutineers.
Williams, a self described Conceptual Realist, continues to create artworks that elicit a response and offer an opinion. Relying on concrete, and relatable, imagery to invoke ideas and concepts, rather than on the non-comital spasms of abstraction, his work continues to cut, seethe, confront and move. Not for the faint of heart, Williams speaks an unruly truth that captures the dark, the beautiful and the appalling tenor of our modern world.
This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. The LAMAG is located within the beautiful Barnsdall Park at 4800 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. To contact the gallery please call 323.644.6269. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday from Noon to 5PM. For special tours and school groups, please contact Marta Feinstein at email@example.com or to arrange special adult tours, please contact Gabe Cifarelli at Gabriel.firstname.lastname@example.org - visit LAMAG on the web at www.lamag.org
In Conjunction with WIlliams' exhibition The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and Juxtapoz magazine are pleased to present '20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz', a group exhibition to commemorate two decades of the magazine’s influential contribution to contemporary art and culture. On view at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, and curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gallery and Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery, the exhibition features close to one hundred artists who have graced the publication’s pages and website, and showcases the diversity and breadth of the New Contemporary movement Juxtapoz has championed and helped to uphold.
In 1994 in San Francisco, Robert Williams, Craig Stecyk, Greg Escalante, Eric Swenson and Fausto Vitello founded Juxtapoz with the intent of fostering the art and culture of the underground. Providing an alternative voice and narrative as a counterpart to the dominant New York-centric discourse of contemporary art, it featured artists who straddled “high” and “low” culture. Aligning itself with the aesthetics of contemporary street culture, figurative art, California car culture, gig posters, tattoos, graphics, psychedelia and comics, the publication became a conduit and forum for an entirely new generation of artists who were latching on to the visual vernacular of powerfully populist themes. At a time when representational forms of art were widely disparaged by the reigning critical discourse of the art world, a discourse which championed hyper-conceptual and minimalist dogmas, Juxtapoz provided a mouth piece for the New Contemporary movement. Fluid rather than prescriptive, this movement has many monikers but is united by an ethos. The expressive possibilities afforded by figurative or representational work came to the fore, and a democratic sensibility was unleashed.
What once began as an alternative magazine is now the most widely disseminated art publication in the world. Predicated on the rejection of the artificial boundaries that consecrated “high”, Juxtapoz effectively broke down walls to allow young artists a chance at their own history. It is also an ideal that attests to the power of making accessible art about shared cultural experiences, identities and aesthetics.
The artists featured in this exhibition have been chosen based for their impact on the movement, and on how they themselves have been motivated by such an abundance of inspiration. With access to this imagery and community, new and multifaceted generations of artists continue to emerge from the ranks. Avenues made possible by Juxtapoz, through its wide variety of featured media and expressions, have shaped this aesthetic and preserves its trajectory as far as the imagination will allow.
Full lineup of participating artists in 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz:
Brian M. Viveros
Henrik Aa. Uldalen
Mark Dean Veca
Robert S. Connett
Shag (Josh Agle)
Word To Mother