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Dive Bar Architect: On the Work of D.E. May

George Baker

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Including an interview with the artist Tacita Dean.

D.E. May (b. 1952) is an Oregon-based artist active since the early 1970s, whose work emerged in relation to the under-known history of modernist experiment in the Pacific Northwest. Over a forty-year career, May has worked to extend and intensify a range of avant-garde languages, inventing a particular form of abstraction created from the re-use of materials found in the urban environment.

Designed by David Knowles, the book provides a thorough introduction to May’s art--which is less well-known outside of the Pacific Northwest--including voluminous color plates of the work, many published here for the first time. Veering between the forms of the art historical monograph, a diary or travelogue, and a philosophical meditation on the fraught issue of art and labor, Baker’s experimental text follows May’s work through the striking meander of all its various forms: weathered cardboard grids, altered old postcards, tiny architectural models, drawings on the backsides of used envelopes, constructivist abstractions cobbled together from detritus. In emulation of the scribbled lists on dog-eared cardboard of jukebox music that the artist always seemed to carry on his person, the book unwinds in short sections, arranged like songs on an eccentric art historical playlist.

George Baker is an art critic, editor, and art historian based at the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2011, Baker visited Oregon through a program initiated by the Ford Family Foundation, during which he first met D.E. May. This was the starting point for dialog and correspondence that culminated with the exhibition D.E. May: Half Distance, curated by Baker and presented at LAXART, November 8 to December 13, 2014.

6.5 x 4.75 inches
207 pages
Edited by Catherine Taft
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Knight's Heritage

Karl Haendel

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Since its emergence in the 1980s, appropriation has become so widespread in contemporary art as to evade continued examination as a distinct genre of artistic practice. Yet at the same time, intellectual property battles ignited by appropriative gestures continue to threaten the strategy's viability in the present. The work of LA-based artist Karl Haendel, grounded in meticulously rendered pencil drawings of found photographic imagery, exists at the crux of this contradiction. Among the first critical art historical examinations of Haendel's conceptual drawing practice, Karl Haendel: Knight's Heritage narrates four illuminating moments in the artist's career that show how the operations, effects, and reception of appropriation art have changed in recent decades.

Art historian and critic Natilee Harren shows how Haendel's practice responds to the work of Anne Truitt, Mary Kelly, and Robert Longo, as well as to feminism, contemporary photography, postinternet art, and the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Ultimately, Haendel's project-which expands beyond drawing to include sculpture, installation, books, film projection, and sound-makes surprising claims for the transformed stakes of appropriation in the 21st century, as the artist seizes upon its most promising politics of signification.

Natilee Harren is Assistant Professor of Contemporary Art History and Critical Studies at the University of Houston.

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A Little Bit of But

Kim Fisher

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For her solo exhibition A Little Bit of But, on view at LAXART from November 12, 2016 through January 7, 2017, Los Angeles based artist Kim Fisher presented her largest installation work to date. The show comprised both an architectural intervention and a new body of paintings; a large–scale, printed paper installation curtained the main gallery, creating a layered environment of color and shape that was echoed in a series of abstract and text-based canvases. Appearing as torn sheets of paper mounted on velvety black grounds, several of these canvases incorporated text painted in a Time New Roman font. Dislocated from their source material -- lifestyle and fashion magazines from the past fifty-plus years that Fisher avidly collects – the words became poetic and at times melancholy. Many of these fragments were lifted from outdated articles telling women of a certain class how to think, look, or behave, from diet to plastic surgery to suburban living. The works revealed a subtle feminist critique that held the glossy world of women’s magazines in a curious, hazy regard.

The exhibition catalog, designed by Joe Gilmore, features an essay by curator Catherine Taft and presents images of all artworks of the show. Offset printing. Paperback. 44 pages. 10’’x8’’

Kim Fisher received a BFA from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MFA from Otis College of Art and Design. Her work was included in the 2014 Made in L.A. Biennial at the Hammer Museum and she had a solo exhibition at Shane Campbell Gallery in Chicago in December, 2016.

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Sur

Shana Lutker

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Shana Lutker’s SUR contains images and texts related to the artist's ongoing research on the history of the fistfights of the Surrealists. Part monograph and part artist's book, the first publication on the artist includes an essay by Mika Yoshitake, assistant curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, a conversation between the artist and Kris Paulsen, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of History of Art and Film Studies at Ohio State University, and a text written by the artist. SUR came together after Lutker’s exhibition Le “NEW” Monocle, Chapters 1 – 3 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in fall 2015 and before her performance “The Sleeping Poet and the Jongleuse” as part of LAXART’s Occasional, which premiered in Los Angeles in 2016. 

Shana Lutker's work has been exhibited at such institutions as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2015), Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL (2015); LA><ART; Los Angeles (2014); Cleveland Museum of Art, OH (2013); SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY (2013); the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Russia (2012); The Center For Ongoing Research & Projects, Columbus, OH (2012); Mass MOCA, North Adams, MA (2009); Artists Space, New York, NY (2008); and CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco, CA (2007). Lutker was included in the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art,New York (2014); Performa 13, New Visual Art Performance Biennial, New York (2013); and the California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art (2006 and 2008). She received her MFA from UCLA in 2005 and lives and works in Los Angeles.

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Massimo Minimalismo

Antonio Adriano Puleo

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110 page monograph of Antonio Adriano Puleo's exhibition Massimo Minimalismo on view at LAXART July 14 - August 20, 2016.
Antonio Adriano Puleo: Massimo Minimalismo features an essay by David Pagel, a selection of images from works in the exhibition and a conversation between the artist and Jason Edward Hill.

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Texture Parameter

Samantha Thomas

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On display at LAXART July 20 - August 24, 2013 - Samantha Thomas' exhibition "Texture / Parameter" questioned the limits of the traditional canvas through a unique approach that explores the architecture and sculptural form in abstraction.

The exhibition catalogue, designed by Rachel Berks, features images of all arworks in the exhibition, an essay by Catherine Damman and a conversation between Samantha Thomas and Jarrett Gregory.

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This Morbid Round Trip from Subject to Object (a facsimilie)

Isabelle Cornaro

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On display at LA><ART from January 11 – February 22, 2014, Isabelle Cornaro’s exhibition “This Morbid Roundtrip from Subject to Object” explored the experience of perception in a formal language that bridged photography, drawing, film and sculpture.  The exhibition focused on three 16mm shots, each presenting accumulated domestic objects, that distilled the monumental in the miniature and the painterly in the found.   As a counterpart to the films, Cornaro exhibited a sculpture from her ongoing “Homonymes” series of slip cast sculptures, which play on how the baroque sought organic principles in decorative motifs.  Through film, sculpture, drawing and painting, the French artist re-evaluates objects by exploring the tensions between their aesthetic and cultural value and by questioning meaning through formal and conceptual modes of display. 

The exhibition calatogue, designed by Lauren Mackler, features images from the films, alongside image-specific commentary by the author.  Readers will also gain insight into the inspiration and process behind both “Homonymes” and “This Morbid Round Trip from Subject to Object” in an interview with Isabelle Cornaro by Matthew Schum. 
 
4.5 x 6.5 in.

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Rozoj Publication

Jedediah Caesar

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In his exhibit, Rozoj, featured at LAXART from September 7 – October 19, 2013, Jedediah Caesar explored the shifting significations that we apply to organic material and manmade objects.  Caesar’s imprinted resin sculptures were arranged according to attributes and arranged according to attributes and placed into taxonomic containers, as though they were excavated artifacts being readied for preservation.  Though disctinct, each combination of multiples mirrors the other, like a fossil uncovered in a dried seabed. Caesar was inspired by the Insulo de la Rozoj, a micornation built in 1967 on a platform in the Adriatic Sea, which introduced the image of its planned currency on stamps without reaching implementation.  Using this as a point of departure, Caesar, envisions the pelagic currency lost in time and offers prototypes that could be utilized by future micronations. 

 The exhibition catalogue, designed by Richard Massey, includes The Tale of… Isola de Rozoj, an excerpt featuring commentary and questions answered by Giorgio Rosa, the engineer behind Isola de Rozoj, offering the reader a glimpse of the inspiration behind Rozoj.  Additionally, the catalogue includes a critique by Aram Moshayedi of Caesar’s earlier work, Gleaner’s Stone, also produced by LAXART.  With this catalogue, readers will gain insight into not only the Rojoz exhibit itself, but also Caesar’s inspiration and connection to his previous works. 
 
4.5 x 5.5 in.

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Suppose a Pair of Jeans

Anna Sew Hoy

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Suppose and a Pair of Jeans is the first book to consider the work of Los Angeles-based artist Anna Sew Hoy, whose prolific practice originates in sculpture and reaches into craft, performance, and ceramics. Organized into groupings that emphasize the interrelation of form, process, function, and influence, this generously-illustrated volume is punctuated by texts and manifestos; responding to Sew Hoy's work by fellow artists, writers, art historians, curators, and collaborators including Math Bass, Julia Bryan-Wilson, Trinie Dalton, Jennifer Doyle, Eve Fowler, Rita Gonzalez, Alice Konitz, Jenni Sorkin, and A.L. Steiner.

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For The Wild

Kelly Poe

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Edition of 120
Signed By The Artist

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The Great Train Robbery Scene Three Publication

Dashiell Manley

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On view at LAXART from May 4–June 22, 2013, the exhibition The Great Train Robbery (Scene 3 version A) saw Dashiell Manley connect early cinema to contemporary art with a suite of two-sided paintings presented as a sole work of art. Bypassing any notion of the discrete art object, Manley assembles various “takes” on the film “The Great Train Robbery” as large canvases copied by hand. Training his brush to reproduce his own paintings resembles the many takes that make a film scene. Manley's process also resembles the structure of cinema itself, which is always a blend of technical prowess and the somewhat arbitrary application of craft.

The exhibition catalog takes the unique form of an accordion book designed by the artist. Reproductions of the installations include texts by art critic Jan Tumlir and scholar Barry Sanders. Readers interested in this promising young painter will gain new insight into Manley’s work through this intricately crafted limited edition Orihon stylebook.

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