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Blum & Poe

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Backstage in Kahlil Joseph’s Wizard of the Upper Amazon

by Julie Weitz
After a Bob Marley concert in 1979 at the Santa Barbara County Bowl, the artist Henry Taylor found himself backstage, seated next to the legend himself. Eyes closed, Marley sat silent in meditation for twenty minutes before engaging Taylor in what felt like an hour-long conversation. What was exchanged between them is unknown, but the memory stayed with Taylor forever. Kahlil Joseph’s new film and installation Wizard of the Upper Amazon (WOTUA), which accompanies Taylor’s three-room exhibition on class, race, and painting at Blum & Poe, is a dreamlike impression of Taylor’s... [more]
Posted by Julie Weitz on 10/5
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Watchlist Artist: Gavin Kenyon

Blum & Poe is pleased to announce New York artist Gavin Kenyon’s first solo-presentation in Los Angeles, featuring a selection of new sculptures that address size and scale. Two large sculptures – an arch and a column – are comprised of multiple forms stacked from floor to ceiling. Their architectural proportions contrast with several mid-sized sculptures whose humanistic scale alludes to bodies loosely arranged in groups. Kenyon’s anthropomorphic works are seemingly approachable figurative forms, yet they elicit a sense of deviance upon further investigation. Drawing... [more]
Posted by Abhilasha Singh on 1/27/14
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To Name Your Fear is to Conquer It

by Christina Catherine Martinez
Eight large, sooty, splotchy paintings strike curious poses upstairs these days—rhombuses and pentagons slide into corners, balance on point, reach the floors and ceilings of the gallery at odd angles. An equilateral triangle painting functions as a “key” to the others. The dimensions are arbitrary, perhaps, but not haphazard. Constructed as echoes and responses to the architecture of the artist's studio, they are elegantly at home in any space; the mental associations and concrete circumstances that lead their construction are in one sense totally unimportant. A Tide comme... [more]
Posted by Christina Catherine Martinez on 8/5/13
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She's so...

by Jared Baxter
Fall in Los Angeles is something of a paradox. The heat breaks, sure, though wearingly late in the year, returning for second and third encores even as the first rains of the season turn the scorched hills to a striking emerald, far removed from the auburn palette elsewhere familiar. In the art world, it's a time when the often meandering group shows of summer give way to solo show-stoppers, a sense of renewed focus going hand-in-hand with a rekindled drive to impress. It's in this climate that Dave Muller's new show at Blum & Poe, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, comes off as particularly vexing, given work... [more]
Posted by Jared Baxter on 10/30/12
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A Fine Example: Part 1

by Aaron Wrinkle
Comparing the language of the press release to the reality of experiencing Julian Hoeber's current exhibition “The Execution Changes,” leaves one feeling a little confused. According to the PR, Hoeber is cited for using a fixed set of operations like Sol Lewitt (specifically the late artist’s wall works) to build his compositions and an oppositional use of color and texture to reveal irrationality in a rational system. We shouldn’t focus extensively on press releases, largely written by beleagured gallerists, but the above comparison is pretty problematic as color and texture aren't enough to brea... [more]
Posted by Aaron Wrinkle on 2/21/11
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A Fine Example: Part 2

by Aaron Wrinkle
 This doesn't mean they (Hoeber's) are bad paintings because they are not. His furniture is reminiscent of Lewitt's sculptural aesthetics; whether machine made or handmade, craft, materials and aesthetics have always been blatantly obvious in so-called Conceptual Art and or Minimalism and I've never bought the idea of discarded worth of materiality and object-hood. The statement, "it is just plain beautiful," speaks more towards the works context than anything with the exhibition reading like a collection:  the upstairs gallery evokes a private viewing room supported by the conservative open face fram... [more]
Posted by Aaron Wrinkle on 2/21/11
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Endless Picture Industry

by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
Review also includes “Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That).” Organized by Walead Beshty at Regen Projects. Both of these artist-curated, large group shows gather an impressive all-my-cool-friends and heavy-hitters list of players and both claim, in their statements, to be in large part organized in response to an ambivalent experience or conflicted impression of Los Angeles as a formative urban, cultural context. Both shows are full of really good individual works. Couched in terms of Adorno’s notion of decaying “late style,” Walead  Beshty’s Los Angeles is described through familiar dy... [more]
Posted by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer on 8/23/10
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Blunk, Blunker, Blunkest

by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
            Blum & Poe’s exhibition of eleven large sculptures by J.B. Blunk (1926-2002) comes as a discovery not only because I had never heard of Blunk prior to this encounter but because the works themselves have a strange and powerful presence at once monumental and intimate, ancient and alien, brute and subtle. Blunk, though largely obscure to contemporary audiences, was a distinguished woodworker and esteemed regional sculptor, craftsmen, and furniture maker working in Northern California for forty years before his death. Organized by Gerard O’Brien (whose Reform Gallery has shown Blunk... [more]
Posted by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer on 3/22/10
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Sharon Lockhart in Culver City

by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
In “Lunch Break,” Sharon Lockhart’s recent body of work that is the first solo show in Blum and Poe’s enormous and enormously monied new space, the artist presents two new films and twenty-seven photographs related to her investigation of industrial working life at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.  Departing from the fixed camera composition of her past films, a long sustained tracking shot moves the frame slowly and steadily over its eighty minute duration down a tremendous narrow hallway that seems to span the entire length of the shipyard where Lunch Break (Assembly Hall, Bath Iron Wor... [more]
Posted by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer on 12/20/09
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Chris Vasell at Blum & Poe

by Michael Shaw
In his third show at Blum and Poe, Chris Vasell’s latest body of heroically-scaled paintings are alternately lush, psychedelic and disorienting, continuing a welcome trajectory of resolved experimentation. By way of a series of complex and sophisticated staining techniques (as is often the case with high process painters these days, when it comes to exactly how, he ain’t sayin’), the paintings in Vasell’s  series To the People That Know This is Nowhere (all works 2009, unless noted), initially appear as giant watercolors, except that there’s something unmistakable in the vibrancy of the acrylic pigm... [more]
Posted by Michael Shaw on 7/13/09
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Iamthewalrus at Blum & Poe

by Jeff Baird
  Regardless of whether Muller sits well on your prefrontal palate, Timothy Blum and Jeff Poe have created an ideal setting to display his work. A small haven for art nestled in a less-than-idyllic locale just south of the 10 freeway at La Cienega, the gallery itself is a macrocosm of the aesthetic it contains, with its plainness and position giving just the right nudge to focus on the art while it compliments a dichotomy present in many of Muller’s pieces. The first piece presented sets the pace: Oh Death. Whoops! This is a 62 ½ x 122 ½ acrylic on paper which, like each canvas in this room,... [more]
Posted by Jeff Baird on 3/28/09
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Friedrich Kunath at Blum & Poe

by Vera Neykov
Friedrich Kunath’s current exhibition at Blum&Poe centers on the theme of home and moving from one place to another. However, in this case, the move is filled with melancholy and longing. The exhibition creates a feeling of uneasiness and sadness, but the cheery style and imagery save it from being depressing. Upon entering the first room, large, bright-colored canvases with various scenes silk-screened on them (a monkey, a couple embracing, quotes from a Bartlett’s) express a romantic feeling of moving to a new place. While sugar coated and delightful, an air of mockery is prevalent and em... [more]
Posted by Vera Neykov on 11/10/08
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Murakami in Moderation

by Catherine Wagley
Takashi Murakami's tasteful new exhibition makes a persuasive argument for the importance of the gallery space. Murakami's retrospective at The Geffen Contemporary last winter-the same show is now on display at the Brooklyn Museum-was a sea of sex complexes, porno, bathroom humor, smiley faces and commercial glamour. The scale of the museum space made the retrospective's exorbitance seem decadent rather than alluring and the Geffen's galleries felt like a cul-de-sac of undirected audacity. But Davy Jones' Tear, Murakami's current exhibition at Blum and Poe Gallery, doesn't have any of the bra... [more]
Posted by Catherine Wagley on 6/1/08
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A Look at Slater Bradley

by Nico Machida
In itself, the defining conceptual thread behind Slater Bradley’s oeuvre—an interest in the fashioning and refashioning of selfhood through imagery-driven layers—is not news. One can readily invoke a number of art historical precedents, from Warhol to Cindy Sherman, and in the process trace the emergence of a stylized, at times obsessive self-reflexivity that has become one essential tenet of art after modernism. But what is notable about Bradley is his ability to manifest this interest so diffusively, through such a variety of media, and in varyingly abstruse ways. The photographs, drawn-... [more]
Posted by Nico Machida on 12/9/07