Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects is pleased to present a solo exhibition of sculpture and installation by Olga Koumoundouros. Koumoundouros’ work addresses a fundamental tenet of the American Dream, home ownership, inviting viewers to consider the ties – emotional, financial, and psychological – that bind us to the place we call home. Recently she re-contextualized the focus of her work by taking possession of an abandoned house in her neighborhood, thus becoming both storyteller and protagonist in a narrative that equally chronicles the political and personal fallout of the recent housing market collapse. Entitled A Notorious Possession, she treated the home as a monumental readymade, covering it entirely in gold paint and, by moving in, weaving her own personal narrative and desires into the real and imagined story of the previous owners.
In this exhibition, Koumoundouros presents the gold canvases that covered the rooftop of the occupied home. Here, it has been re-assembled as a full-scale roof which hangs upside down from the ceiling and spans the first two galleries. Koumoundouros invites viewers into a world of displacement and desire in which abandoned couches grow appendages, a refrigerator door holds a cipher of conflated lives, a crematory urn acts as a kind of celestial mailbox, and a Lazy-Boy recliner – like Sisyphus – is allowed no rest. A sprayed rainbow encircles the space, while dyed thrift-store sheets knotted into escape ropes co-mingle with objects both new and retrieved from an amalgam of histories. Extrapolating from the objects left behind, from interviews with neighbors and by drawing from her own imagination, Koumoundouros insinuates her own life into the abandoned home to create a haunting narrative that is emotional, confusing, and generous – defying both easy categorization and a simple solution.
Olga Koumoundouros received her MFA from the California Institute for the Arts in 2001. She has had recent solo exhibitions at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, CA; REDCAT, Los Angeles, CA; and Rogue Wave Projects, LA Louver Skyroom, Venice, CA. Her work has been featured in group exhibitions including “Greater LA” New York, NY; Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, Utah; Project Row Houses, Houston, TX; 18th Street Projects, Santa Monica, CA; the Banff Centre Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, AB, Canada; the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY; LAXART, Los Angeles, CA; the Glassell School of Art, Houston, TX; “Thing,” UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; and the Schindler House, Los Angeles, CA. This summer, her work will be presented in a public engagement project at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA. A site-specific project in collaboration with Andrea Bowers will be featured this year at the Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY and LAND will include her work in an upcoming project in Los Angeles as well. This is Olga Koumoundouros’ third solo exhibition at the gallery.