On July 28, with a reception from 6-8PM, Annie Wharton Los Angeles will open “The Golden Ass." This summer show derives its title from Lucius Apuleius’ 2nd century picaresque novel chronicling a series of scandalous and at times hilariously slapstick adventures of an elitist/rogue adventurer fraught with contradiction. Be it romantic dalliances with his family’s slaves or entanglement in a plethora of occult rituals, Apuleius’ main character (also called “Lucius”) was often found throwing caution to the wind…so much so that at one point he was transformed into a donkey, only to be changed back into a human by the goddess Isis near the story’s conclusion. AWLA has compiled an insouciant exhibition that loosely references this iconic story, which incidentally exists as the only Latin novel to have been preserved in its entirety.
"The Golden Ass" recognizes the intangible mélange of hustlers, intellectuals, smooth-talkers, vandals, fashionistas, bitches, aesthetes, and princesses who inhabit California’s Gold Coast, where “ass” is often viewed as a more important currency than intelligence or blood, sweat, and tears. But the works selected for this show are, for the most part, the opposite of ass. "The Golden Ass" concentrates instead on the works of artists who either lithely negotiate the nebulous terrain between gorgeous and abject, or simply make works that exist in a moment where beauty merges subject and form to create a dialogue of sumptuous intrigue.
"The Golden Ass" features works on paper by John Espinosa and Bobbi Woods; paintings by Joshua Aster, Awkward x 2 (Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe & Rebecca Norton), Leon Benn, Kyle Coniglio, Delia Brown, Margarete Hahner, Dennis Hoekstra & Noah Olmsted, Rachel Kessler, Chris Oliveria, Britton Tolliver, Mette Tommerup, and Greta Waller; photography by Francie Bishop Good; sculpture by Timo Fahler and Gregory Kucera; and videos by Sam Anderson, Kate Gilmore, Clynton Lowry, and Julia Sherman.