05/11/2011 04:46 pm ET | Updated Jul 11, 2011

Detritus, Doo-Dahz and other Delights: This Artweek.LA (May 9-15)

Mark Steven Greenfield, Portrait of George Walker, 2010. pen & ink on Duralar, 36" x 24". Courtesy of the artist and Offramp Gallery

Mark Steven Greenfield: Doo-Dahz | Mark Steven Greenfield describes "Doo dahs" as '"placeholders' and, in the context of my work, can best be characterized as a word that describes that mental pause between creative alternatives. (This) work emanates from a desire to reinterpret the African American stereotype by means of free association and a method spontaneous design akin to automatic writing. Through a series of large pen and ink abstract portraits of blackface actors, and drawings inspired by songs from minstrel shows and the anti-bellum south, my thoughts, feelings and emotions are recorded in a form of mental mapping with outcomes that are at times unpredictable, but decidedly consistent with my past work. The interplay between black and white, of positive and negative, both literally and symbolically, attempts to get to the root of the mindset that drove these performers to adopt alternate personas. While the genre of Blackface is loathsome, it nonetheless served as a placeholder until the talents of African Americans could gain recognition."
Mark Steven Greenfield: Doo-Dahz opens May 15 at Offramp Gallery


Lizzy Waronker: Detritus | This new series of found-object sculptures emerges from the junk pile of day-to-day life - broken crockery, yellowed photographs, tattered mink vestments and all. Detritus examines the lasting presence and impact of this 'baggage' upon our lives, both personal and societal, and the potential - with a little reorganization - to form those remnants into new, previously unimagined realities.
Waronker's assemblage art draws inspiration from the passage of time and its effect on nature and materials. Deeply inspired by spiritual art, Waronker strives to infuse her work with the same authenticity and emotion as a medieval altarpiece or religious relic. Finding beauty in decomposition and neglect, Waronker's pieces explore mythologies, often in miniature, as well as postmodern reclaiming and repurposing.
Lizzy Waronker: Detritus runs through May 30 at CB Gallery (Caporale / Bleicher)


Tobias Keene: Pomp And Ceremony | Tobias' paintings continue to explore through the immediacy of color, texture, and form, a quality of lost innocence. By using negative space as part of his composition, he has created a unique exploration of displacement. His use of long shadows signifies the passage of time, while using Russian linen which he often leaves raw.
"In these new works," notes Keene, "I explore the meaning behind tradition and ceremony as something that has been passed through generations and becomes engrained in the collective consciousness. Evoking the familiar through the immediacy of emotions that connect us to these traditions; whether through the grace of children at play, the majesty of animals, or the pomposity of a pope in regal dress."
Tobias Keene: Pomp And Ceremony opens May 13 at Groundfloor Gallery

Roe Ethridge, Tide, 2008, C-Print, 42 x 54 inches. Courtesy Cherry and Martin

The Lifestyle Press | Organized by Gil Blank, The Lifestyle Press features the work of Roe Ethridge, Sam Lewitt, Noah Sheldon, Hannah Whitaker, and Nicolás Guagnini. Blank describes the exhibition in the following way:
"The Lifestyle Press" is pejorative shorthand for a genre of magazines that market the ideal of the good life as a perpetual buy-in. Architectural Digest, Martha Stewart Living, Travel & Leisure, Bon Appétit, Real Simple, and every fashion magazine: regardless of its target demographic or the flavor of its brand, a lifestyle publication internalizes an inherent conflict. Its implicit narrative is a seamless transition between the acquisition of stuff and the weightless ideal of happiness. And more often than not, it seeks to symbolically unify the two - to sublimate the buy - in the guise of art, as a photograph of perfection. There is no substantial difference or friction between hypothetically idealized visual content and its ultimate function of promotion.
The Lifestyle Press opens May 14 at Cherry and Martin

Sean Higgins, Ghost, 2010, archival inkjet print, 14 x 19 in (35.56 x 48.26 cm). Courtesy The Company

ALPTRAUM! | ALPTRAUM! seeks to use the relatively loose but still potent idea of a nightmare as the starting point for over 100 artists from the five locations and growing. Each artist draws on their own personal experience in order to visualize those anxieties, which take them beyond everyday dreams. Cultural differences and similarities become quickly apparent as each artist interprets the concept of Nightmare. It is a model, which utilizes global communication between localized artist hubs and clusters to form an international grouping with the intent of opening a dialogue about this subject across borders and cultures; to delve into the stuff and mind-murk that is collectively shared or completely random.
ALPTRAUM! runs though June 4 at The Company