Wasteland — New Art from Los Angeles


Collage, drawing, installation, painting...

New Art from Los Angeles

Past: March 13 → July 17, 2016


The exhibition Wasteland. New Art from Los Angeles will take place in two parallel venues in Paris, the Mona Bismarck American Center and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac Paris Pantin, from 12 March to 17 July 2016. The curator, Shamim M. Momin, Director and Curator of LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) has brought together the work of fourteen artists.

On the occasion of this unprecedented collaboration between LAND, the Mona Bismarck American Center, and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, two exhibitions will be presented simultaneously, including some of the most interesting artists working in Los Angeles today. New works have been commissioned to the fourteen artists in order to create an engaging dialogue between the two exhibition venues.

Ana 1001 300dpi medium
Analia Saban, Draped Marble (Fior di Pesco Apuano), 2015 Marble slab on steel, on wooden sawhorse — 39 × 70 × 36 in Courtesy of the artist & Sprüth Magers — © Analia Saban

Drawing on T.S. Eliot’s seminal modernist poem, The Waste Land, as the thematic thread between the 14 artists — all based in or strongly influenced by Los Angeles — the exhibition presents a reflexive, complex, multi-dimensional conversation about the poetics of despair, the search for true connection, the tenuous state of morality, and the uncertainty, yet necessity, of the future. The original text was published in 1922, written at a moment of disturbing parallel to the present, one of great disillusionment with the state of the world politically (post WWI) and culturally (the modern urban landscape) and individually (the increasing loss of true communication, connection, and faith).

Beyond the literary referent, the title also evokes other definitions and connotations — whether the old chestnut (long disproven but still present) of Los Angeles as a “cultural wasteland,” or a more literal reading of the word applied to the physical geography of both the city and the natural landscape of Southern California. It additionally calls to mind resonant images of the post-apocalyptic, the post-human, the potential future, largely created through the image magic of Los Angeles’ greatest export, Hollywood.

Bry 1002 300dpi medium
Brenna Youngblood, Diamond Lane, 2013 Mixed media on canvas — 60.5 × 72 × 2.5 in Courtesy of the Artist, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Bruxelles and Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Forrest

Diverse in nature and practice, the artists in Wasteland, who are all connected to Los Angeles, work in many different media and modes of presentation — a kind of “expanded practice” in which all aspects of their oeuvre are considered equally important; a performance as much as a sculpture, an interactive installation as much as a painting, a music group as much as a photograph. In keeping with this approach, this exhibition is an opportunity to additionally consider site — both the specific venues, as well as the city of Paris itself — as part of the work presented. In every case, the artist will create a newly commissioned work or recombine works to create a conversation with and between the two venues, as well as the two cities.

Fay ray medium
Fay Ray, Image, Idol, Double: 01, 2015 Archival ink jet print, archival fiber based adhesive on aluminum panel — 95.98 × 60 × 2.01 in Courtesy of the artist — Photo © Jeff McLane

A catalogue will be published on the occasion of the exhibition, with an overall thematic text by Shamim M. Momin. Los Angeles-based writers, art historians, editors, and curators have been selected to contribute one essay specific to each of the fourteen artists on view. The writers include Andrew Berardini, Carol Cheh, Trinie Dalton, Cesar Garcia, Suzanne Hudson, Laura Hyatt, Jamillah James, Kristina Kite, Sharon Mizota, Julian Myers, Claire Rifelj, and Kate Wolf.

Committed to following and supporting the American art scene since its inception, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac hosted in 2013 in its Pantin venue an exhibition of art in New York, curated by Norman Rosenthal and Alex Gartenfeld. Empire State met with such a success that we are delighted to repeat this experience thanks to Shamim Momin.

Jonathan pylypchuk medium
Jonathan Pylypchuk, The Pack (I Will Always Love You), 2010 Spray foam, exterior house paint, denim, metal, spray paint, resin, wood and light bulbs — 60 × 60 × 24 in Courtesy of the Artist and Petzel Gallery. Photo: Joshua White
  • Opening Sunday, March 13, 2016 2 PM → 6 PM
This event takes place in 2 venues
93 Seine-St-Denis
16 Trocadéro

The artists

  • Edgar Arceneaux
  • Analia Saban
  • Ry Rocklen
  • Erika Vogt
  • Sam Falls
  • Amanda Ross Ho
  • Lisa Anne Auerbach
  • Math Bass
  • Mark Bradford
  • Daniel Joseph Martinez
And 4 others…