LA><ART is pleased to present a new installation entitled Warp Engines by Los Angeles-based artist William Leavitt. Having investigated narrative structure through installation, theater, sound, and painting since the early 1970s, Leavitt will debut Warp Engines, a recent tableau with sound that revisits the domestic language and artifice of theatrical staging. Organized around a recent musical composition, the accompanying sculptural setting will attempt to spatially situate the dense layers of sound. The central components of the installation suggest an ambiguous narrative set in an unfamiliar domestic space. Warp Engines extends Leavitt’s practice of deconstructing the tropes and viewing relationships particular to traditional theater.
Having first emerged from the traditions of Minimalism and California assemblage, Leavitt’s extended engagement with theater for over four decades has developed into one of the most thorough studies of the relationships between sculptural form and narrative. Warp Engines furthers this trajectory, dealing with the pervasiveness of metaphors related to the theatrical stage that continue to permeate the discourses of painting, sculpture, performance, installation, video/film, and photography. The sculptural components that make up this tableau emphasize the stage-like quality that defines both aesthetic and theatrical experience, creating a viewing scenario that bears the signs of a narrative arc and that lacks the entertainment value of drama.
William Leavitt received his MFA from Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California in 1967, and has since continued to live and work in Los Angeles as an artist, musician, playwright and educator. His work has been included in exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad since the early 1970s. Recent projects have taken place at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (2002) and Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles (2009/2007). In 2008, Leavitt was included in the exhibition “Painting Now and Forever Part II” at Greene Naftali Gallery in New York and the California Biennial (CB08) at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach. In November 2010, MOCA will mount Leavitt’s first solo museum exhibition and retrospective.