William Conger and Michael Blasi at Happy

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Criss-Cross 16, 2009 Gouache 5½"X3½" © William Conger
William Conger and Michael Blasi at Happy

4675 hollywood blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
February 5th, 2010 - March 28th, 2010
Opening: February 5th, 2010 6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Sunday-Friday 12-6, Saturday 11-7, closed Tuesdays


Criss-Cross: New Gouache Paintings by William Conger

Psychedelic Suiseki: Sculpture by Michael Blasi

Friday February 5 - Sunday March 28, 2010

Opening Reception: Friday, February 5, 6-10pm

HAPPY is pleased to present the renowned Chicago artist William Conger in his first-ever Los Angeles solo exhibition.  The esteemed artist will offer intimate gouache works that further investigate his trademark abstract style.  In a career that spans over 50 years, Conger continues to incorporate an eclectic vocabulary that is both hard-edged and biomorphic, static and yet sensual.  Electric snapshots that upon initial inspection are quite abstract slowly morph into dense landscapes gone slightly awry.  These bravura works seem at home in Los Angeles speaking to our traffic-ridden and stress-polluted lives; yet Conger quietly reminds us how to cope.  We are treated to his vision and to a technique that conveys how the most rich and delicious imagery can be profoundly touching. Conger’s career confirms a life of serious investigation based on the pure act of creating.  William Conger lives and works in Chicago, is professor emeritus at Northwestern University, and is a recipient of both the Illinois Arts Council Grant (2008) and a Pollock-Krasner Grant (2008-09).  Recent one person exhibitions include a 1958-2008 retrospective at the Chicago Cultural Center and Roy Boyd Gallery, Chicago in 2009.  His works are in major collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois State Museum, Smart Museum at the University of Chicago, Reader’s Digest Collection, NY, Portland Museum, Portland, OR, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, KS, IBM Corporation, Atlanta, GA and numerous other public and private collections.  Upcoming projects include a solo exhibition at the Union League Club of Chicago and group exhibitions at the DePaul University Art Museum, Chicago, IL, Printworks Gallery, Chicago, IL and the Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN.  He is represented in Chicago by Roy Boyd

 In our project room we feature recent sculpture by Michael Blasi.  Blasi’s bulbous sculptures, based on scholar’s rocks or “suiseki”, start from the artist’s 2 dimensional doodles and grow into hyper-active meditation objects.  Blasi’s generous use of color envelopes his delicately hand-crafted objects that hang freely or sit, firmly planted.  They are tenderly stoic, romantic laments that gently celebrate life and love while confronting and comforting the viewer in their sublime eccentricity.  Blasi received his BFA from Purchase College, State University of New York and participated in the Glasgow School of Art Student Exchange Program. He was born and raised in Los Angeles and currently teaches art for the LAUSD.