A Door Too Low
October 24 – November 21, 2015
Hildebrandt Studio is pleased to present ‘A Door Too Low’, a two-person exhibition featuring the first collaborative installation by Los Angeles based artists Shoshi Kanokohata and Taidgh O’Neill. The show will open on Saturday, October 24, 2015, with a reception from 6 pm to 8 pm at 5880 Blackwelder Street in Culver City, and will be on view through November 21, 2015.
The title of the show references a tale about the famous tea master Sen no Rikyu, an avid promoter of the wabi-sabi aesthetic in sixteenth century Japan. Embracing the ideals of beauty in things imperfect and incomplete, Rikyu created a new form of tea ceremony using very simple instruments. He constructed a modest teahouse with its door built deliberately too low, so that all who visited, including the emperor, had to bow in order to enter. By doing this, he taught a lesson about finding wisdom in shifting perspective, and reminded everyone of the importance of humility before tradition, mystery and spirit.
Both artists in the exhibition share the same sensibilities outlined in the tale above, even though they work in distinctly different ways - Shoshi Kanokohata in ceramics and Taidgh O’Neill in wood. Centered around a dialogue between their two practices, the show ‘A Door Too Low’ at Hildebrandt Studio brings together a selection of the artists’ works, reconfigured into fresh sculptural iterations through a performative gesture. The collaborative installation, fueled by the appreciation of each other’s practice while working in adjoining studios, presents itself as an alternative theoretical stance to today’s mass-produced, fast-paced world, and represents a new step in Kanokohata and O’Neill’s oeuvre, which they approach as a continuous process of shifting between the functional and sculptural identity of the objects.
Shoshi Kanokohata embraces the ceramic medium as an existential meditation, in the lineage of the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic. A recent graduate from UCLA, Kanokohata journeys into ceramics through an investigative process of the vessel form and its various expressions. His ceremonial lidded vessels, elegant and mysterious, with subtle hues and rough textures are part of his recent series of works called “In Memory”, which illustrate his regard for both the glory and the melancholy found in the marks of time. Kanokohata leaves it up to the viewer to discover the hidden signs of flawed beauty formed in the exterior glaze of the vessels after firing, outlining his contemplation of the unpredictable, a concept that resonates with much of his work. Kanokohata’s ceramic wall pieces, “The Stringent” series, serve either as single stroke drawings or larger choreographed compositions constructed from the trimmings shaved from the exterior contour of the vessels. The “Delicacy” series, displayed in the exhibition ‘A Door Too Low’ at Hildebrandt Studio, represent various gestural renderings of deconstructed lines that bear the mark of the artist’s playfulness in their imperfections.
Taidgh O’Neill takes cues from predecessors like Donald Judd and welcomes the connections between art, design and craft in his practice. Drawing inspiration from the city’s fractured architecture, O’Neill shifts the familiar perspective on the domestic object and creates sculptural wooden structures, which he often titles after Los Angeles neighborhoods. The Echo Park console and the Boyle Heights shelves in the exhibition 'A Door Too Low', informed by his training in fine arts, mirror the geometries and intersecting planes of abstract painting and sculpture. “I am interested in making things look broken and stable in that brokenness”, explains O’Neill about his process of working with natural materials and minimally assembled configurations. By combining techniques of reductionism and framing, O’Neill reduces the diversity of ornamentation and makes a sharp focus on the natural imperfections of the specifically selected wood species. His works emerge through improvisation in design, and through a series of calculated responses to errors in the construction process, generating fragmented objects charged with an unexpected potential of expanding the language of his practice.
Shoshi Kanokohata was born in Tokyo, Japan in 1986. He received an MFA from UCLA in 2014. His work was featured in several group exhibitions, including: 'Keramik', Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles (2010), 'Los Angeles Museum of Ceramic Art', ACME Gallery, Los Angeles (2011), 'The Planter Show', ForYourArt, Los Angeles (2012), 'Mas Attack', Torance Art Museum, CA (2014), 'Zombo Italiano', Arturo Bandini, Los Angeles (2015) and 'New Babylon", Roberts and Tilton, Los Angeles (2015). Kanokohata lives and works in Los Angeles.
Taidgh O’Neill was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1980. He received a BA in Fine Arts from UCLA in 2008. After graduating, he became interested in furniture design and the articulation of space. His designs range from shelves to chairs to objects, all handcrafted in his studio in Los Angeles. O'Neill has exhibited throughout the US, most prominently at design fairs, including: ICFF, New York (2012), FOG Design + Art, San Francisco (2014), Parachute Market, Los Angeles (2015), and as a professional partner at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, Los Angeles (2015). Taidgh O'Neill lives and works in Los Angeles.
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A Number of Lamps
July 17 - August 15, 2015
Hildebrandt Studio is pleased to announce “A Number of Lamps”, the first exhibition of functional art objects by Los Angeles artist Torbjörn Vejvi. The exhibition will open on Friday, July 17, 2015, with a reception from 6 – 8 pm, at 5880 Blackwelder Street, Culver City, 90232, and will be on view through August 15, 2015.
Torbjörn Vejvi began making functional objects in 2011, alongside his regular studio practice. The narrative of his objects derives from his art making and is partly informed by his upbringing in the Swedish countryside surrounded by craftsmen and folklore.
For his exhibition “A Number of Lamps” at Hildebrandt Studio, Torbjörn Vejvi brings together a series of unique objects that explore personal memories of spatial moods, and that reference historical movements in art and design. Aiming to make the common object precious, by melding principles from art and craft, Vejvi creates seductive three-dimensional abstractions of various colors, sizes and shapes that assume the role of elegant and playful sculptures, while keeping their functional identity as lamps, totems and candleholders. The artist returns to craft by hand-turning the solid wood structure on a lathe and painting it in exuberant hues with color blocks and glossy geometric lines, making each piece unique in both form and color. As the artist explains his process, “woodturning it's all very material obsessive and technical as in rare wood-grains and intense glue-ups of various wood types in intricate patterns. What I do is sort of the opposite, as in taking pretty mundane materials and turning them into something unique by adding color. For me woodturning is just a medium to reach a place far more important than how and what it's made of.” Torbjörn Vejvi’s lamps have the uncanny ability to contain and exude a mysterious atmosphere through their immaculate construction and their painterly qualities. By playing with their identity as sculptures and functional objects, Vejvi brings them closer to the artistic genre.
Torbjörn Vejvi (b. 1972 Sweden) graduated with an MFA at Malmö Art Academy, Sweden, in 2001, including a two-year term at UCLA, Los Angeles. After graduating Vejvi moved permanently to Los Angeles. He has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe since the late 1990's, most prominently with Galleria Raucci Santamaria in Naples, Italy. In 2011, Vejvi began making functional objects alongside his regular studio practice. Torbjörn Vejvi currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
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David Cressey - Landscaping California
May 9 - June 12, 2015
Hildebrandt Studio is pleased to announce “David Cressey – Landscaping California”, the first exhibition of ceramics and paintings by Los Angeles artist David Cressey. The exhibition will open on Saturday, May 9, 2015, with a reception from 6 – 8 pm, at 5880 Blackwelder Street, Culver City, 90232, and will be on view through June 12, 2015.
David Cressey (1916 – 2013) is widely recognized as an influential multi-disciplinary artist who, over the course of a six-decade career as a sculptor, potter and painter, developed a distinctive aesthetic that rendered the character and ideology of post-war California. The exhibition at Hildebrandt Studio, planned in collaboration with the Estate of David Cressey, brings together a selection of ceramics and mixed media abstract paintings. Exhibited together, these symbiotic works offer an unprecedented opportunity to explore the complexity of David Cressey's practice, on both a physical and procedural level.
Beautifully made and formally resolved, David Cressey’s ceramics exist as contemplative sculptural forms engaging the viewer through their tactile plasticity. In 1961, after becoming the first artist in residence at Architectural Pottery in Los Angeles, and continuing through the mid 70s, Cressey's Pro/Artisan Collection of ceramic vessels reflected the expressiveness of his studio practice on an architectural scale. Drawing from his fine art training, Cressey re-thought the usual approach on the designed object and changed its functional fate by rendering his own sensibility, thus creating a new lexicon for ceramic design and giving shape to the 20th century Californian indoor-outdoor ceramic planter. Classic or organic forms, wheel thrown or casted in his uniquely compounded stoneware formula, the vessels on view at Hildebrandt Studio are finished with an array of individually poured velvety smooth glazes. Lyrical textures or organically structured grids emerge from the bold marks of his tools. Over-pours of the same glaze, allowing the flow to follow the contour of the shape, materialize in painterly surfaces, resembling the appearance of curvaceous brushstrokes. Variations in color produced by the hand pouring of two glazes enhance the appearance of the natural earth tones of the stoneware form. Celebrating his beliefs in the role of design as intellectual and emotional framework of an era, Cressey's ceramics are a true testimony of the way his practice shaped the visual and material identity of modern California.
Known throughout his career for exploring new materials and techniques, Cressey expanded his sculptural oeuvre to a different medium and began making a series of mixed media abstractions on wood, in the late 1980s. As a continuation of his clay-based practice, painting became prominent later in his career and demonstrated his astounding vocabulary of color and texture and his continuous dedication towards materiality and process. Using a variety of media available in his studio, by adding layers, delineating the texture of certain details and marking dense patterns with his gestural approach, Cressey constructed abstract universes evocative of Californian topography. The paintings on view at Hildebrandt Studio are rhythmic compositions, rich and gritty surfaces that capture the viewer through their balance of exuberant color and dynamic movement, creating a direct physical and sensory experience. There is a playful desire to explore, discover and celebrate nature in these visceral metaphors of terra firma. Although their plasticity offer an immediate reaction, these expressive abstractions trigger narratives filled with a range of evocative possibilities. By choosing to title the series "Innerscapes", Cressey alluded to his psychological explorations as a premise for his foray into lyrical abstraction.
David Cressey was born in Los Angeles, California in 1916. He trained at USC under Vivika Heino and at UCLA under Laura Andreson. In 1956 he received an MFA from UCLA. He taught at University of California Los Angeles, California State College in Long Beach, Utah State University and served as the Chairman of the Art Department at Mount Saint Mary College in Los Angeles. Cressey’s work was featured in “California Design 1930 – 1965: Living in a Modern Way” at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2011, and was included in several museum exhibitions at Pasadena Art Museum in 1967, Everson Museum of Art, NY in 1961, Oakland Art Museum in 1961.
Hildebrandt Studio is pleased to represent the Estate of David Cressey.
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In Search of Modern
July — August, 2014
Hildebrandt Studio is pleased to present In Search of Modern, a collective exhibition reflecting on the notion of form and function in American and European design during the 20th century.
The title of the exhibition stems from Marcel Proust’s novel “A la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time)”, a prominent literary work of the 20th century. Certain affinities with the novel can be found at the core of this exhibition, in the sense that the focus of the novel, much like the focus of this exhibition, is not necessarily on the development of a coherent evolution, but rather on a multiplicity of perspectives, and on the formation of experience.
In this exhibition, Hildebrandt Studio presents examples of seminal work by modernist designers, architects, furniture makers and ceramicists and it engages the contemporary viewer in a discourse on design during the modern industrial boom, a socially progressive era and a trend of thought that affirmed the power of human beings to create, improve and reshape their environment with the aid of practical experimentation, scientific knowledge and technology.
The rise of modern design to public prominence indicates that the distance in perspective between modernism and contemporary is less than often assumed. This exhibition contributes to the ongoing process of absorbing one of the most influential and inventive times in design and architecture.
The exhibition features the work of: Gae Aulenti, Eileen Gray, Greta Grossman, Charles and Ray Eames, Charles Pollock, George Nelson, Paul McCobb, Milo Baughman, Ben Seibel, Hans Wegner, Torbjorn Afdal, Robert Maxwell, David Cressey, John Follis, Malcom Leland and La Gardo Tackett.
Hildebrandt Studio is located at 5880 Blackwelder Street, Los Angeles, CA 90232. Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 12 - 7 pm, by appointment. For additional information or to make an appointment please call 323-401-5880 or email email@example.com.