Gronk - Ruins, New Paintings and Works on Paper
September 6 – October 18, 2014
“People call me a painter but there’s a lot more to it than that. There are other aspects of what I do perhaps that lead to the paintings. That’s what I enjoy the most, the assembling of things, putting bits and pieces together, although I also enjoy taking things apart.”
Lora Schlesinger is pleased to announce Ruins, Gronk’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. This show features new abstract paintings and works on paper by the artist. The exhibition is on view Saturday, September 6 – October 18, 2014. The opening reception will be held Saturday, September 13 from 5 – 7 pm.
Gronk’s Ruins are a union of abstract concepts conceived in preparation for and in response to, his experience painting the sets for Peter Sellars’ adaptation of Henry Purcell’s Opera The Indian Queen. Reminiscent of Mayan codices and modern day graffiti, Gronk’s mark-making conveys the energy of a lost civilization in an ever changing world. Layers of information hover in harmony on each panel. Some elements float in the foreground, while others are negated with dabs of paint recalling the way street paintings are whitewashed on urban walls. With each shape, line, scribble or scratch Gronk is inventing a unique visual language resembling hieroglyphics, calligraphy and pictographs. Red, black, white and rust-colored hues, contrasted with obscure forms create an interplay between a vernacular historically found on walls of caves, and a contemporary visual language that is a record of the artist’s life.
Gronk is an award-winning set designer, muralist, performance artist, painter and printmaker, living in Downtown Los Angeles. His paintings are a collection of his observations that actively reflect the noise and movement of a growing city. The whirling shapes and gestural marks echo his affinity for German Expressionism. His work has consistently incorporated elements of film, music and performance art. Given the performance aspect of much of his work, there is a sense of impermanence in his oeuvre that mirrors a moving film. He documents memories and transitory cultures in an invented alphabet scribbled with paint.
Gronk was a founding member of ASCO, a multi-media arts collective in the 1970s. He has designed sets for organizations such as the Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Theatro Real in Madrid Spain and Perm Opera House & Ballet Theatre in Perm, Russia. He has exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2011 Los Angeles County Museum of Art held an ASCO retrospective that traveled to Williams College Museum of Art in Massachusetts and to Mexico City. He had a solo exhibition at LACMA in 1994, and has been included in exhibitions at The Fowler Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, Museo Universitario de Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City, The Smithsonian Museum of Art in D. C., and The Pompidou in Paris France.
GALLERY HOURS: Tuesday – Friday, 10 –5:30 pm, Saturdays 11 – 5:30 pm
OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, September 13, 2014, 5-7PM
ARTIST TALK: Saturday, September 13, 2014, 4:30 PM
CONTACT: Lora Schlesinger or Stephanie Mercado