Opening: “Consumptive” group show with Austin Young and David LaChapelle @ Garboushian Gallery Beverly Hills

Austin Young Consumptive Group Show Exhibition Garboushian Gallery Beverly Hills Los Angeles

427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA

Curator’s Statement:
“When it comes to curating group shows, I like to start with an idea, something I can use to tell a story. Sometimes, I carry this idea around with me, looking for a way to get it expressed. Sometimes, it’s the happenstances of time and place that suggest it all. In the case of CONSUMPTIVE, it was both. I’ve been registering visual art that increasingly reflects our culture of extreme consumption, acquisition, appearance, and materialism — not always in a positive light. Then I was presented with the opportunity to curate a show in the heart of Beverly Hills at the onset of the be-glittered holiday shopping-season frenzy — and the story started to write itself on the spot. Together, these eleven artists come with a view of the world predicated on stipulating to the hyper-consumptive character of our society. But after that, each one takes his or her own path, and each draws their own conclusions.

“The group of artists featured constitute a true cross-section of contemporary art in Los Angeles in terms of style and media, with photography, painting, sculpture, video, installation, intervention, and performance represented. They also include a range of conceptual approaches and determinations with regard to the out-of-control appetites of this American cultural moment, from embrace to satire, subversion, celebration, direct manifestation, and polemic. David LaChapelle is one of the world’s most celebrated photographers, whose pop-culture inspired work has become increasingly political, expressing concern as to the environmental and emotional toll taken by rampant materialism. Gina Stepaniuk makes semi-abstract landscape-inspired paintings that recreate the unpredictable conflicts of nature and industry. Casey Lee Wanlass combines abstraction and a surreal flora and fauna figures into lush, unsettling compositions that address culture-clashes within the natural world. Rick Robinson’s sculptural suite explores the evolution of currency as symbol, design object, and talisman.

“Austin Young’s video and photographic prints take a rambunctious approach, striking a tone of shocking satire that reconstructs tropes of Pop Art and pop culture into alarmingly brilliant new icons. Swinda Reichelt will construct a site-specific installation in the gallery’s window, using her trademark sculptural fabric structures to riff off the surrounding neighborhood’s decked halls of precious commerce. Alexandria Lee’s evocative paintings give a poetic, yet profound and shadowy voice to the inner life of a modern, urban human craving the living world. Grant Vetter’s maximalist aesthetic gives rise to kaleidoscopic abstract paintings with impasto so thick it threatens to take the wall on which it hangs crashing down with it. Jennifer Vanderpool’s work in sculpture, installation, video, and photography celebrates and satirizes the exploitation of labor and the proliferation of artificiality in our foods, tastes, appearances, and increasingly, our surroundings in this dystopian candyland. Peter Wu’s sculptures at first resemble a playful assemblage series, but as one studies the imagery and objects involved, it becomes increasingly clear that his work is not really appropriate for children. York Chang’s conceptual practice often involves the quiet subversion of authorities, especially in philosophy and art history, by using their own strategies for reinforcing power structures against them, and questioning what it means for something to be “true” or “real” or even “important,” with specific regard to art-world success.”

CONSUMPTIVE will be on view at GARBOUSHIAN GALLERY from November 11 to December 16, 2011. The opening reception is Friday, November 11, from 7 to 9 pm.