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Distinct of a Decade and Definitive of an Era: This Artweek.LA (June 27-July 3)

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Post 9-11 | Post 9-11 characterizes the mood and complexities of the past decade. The work of the nine artists represented (Dan Colen, Terence Koh, Hanna Liden, Nate Lowman, Adam McEwen, Ryan McGinley, Agathe Snow, Dash Snow, and Aaron Young) defies categorization in a particular movement or style, yet poignantly references a collective history through works of painting, photography, sculpture, and installation.

Practicing in the new millennium, these New York based-artists, friends and collaborators, are brought together by a sense of community and shared history. Their relationships with each other cemented fully over the last ten years - a decade spent sharing ideas, studios, apartments, and themselves. This intimate connection not only informed their respective practices, it also influenced their creative progressions. The loose society of downtown New York provides affirmation that the bond created making art together proved a powerful factor in the voice and vision of these artists.
Post 9-11 opens June 30 at OHWOW

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Van Saro: Coming of Age | His fine art - oil on panel and canvas interpretations of his spray can roots lifts Saro head and shoulders above the majority of this generation's graffiti writers. His work is polished, but his point of view is raw, illuminating a biographical connection to two very distinct art forms with a fresh voice in both. "From the time that I had crayons in my hand I loved to draw, so I guess it seemed natural for me to become an artist. However, the path from crayons to today has been a rough ride. I am proudest of the fact that despite everything that has happened, I never gave up on my life's ambition. I have spent many years obsessively perfecting my skills as a painter and storyteller."
Featured with Van Saro in this multi-artist show are Simon Sotelo, Andy Steele, and Hui Tan. Opens July 1 at La Luz de Jesus.

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Dragana B. Stevanovic: Excess | Known by her expressive, colorful palette, Stevanovic paints the motions and events she is currently preoccupied with. This is why her paintings do not show any central motif - sometimes, drawing is predominant, or dark hues, gender themes; sometimes everything seems to be in disorder and disharmony. The result of such principle is the representation of "excess", that is, a combination of figures, portraits or skulls with formal aspects of canvas attacked by fireworks of colors. Placing the letters and words in the composition, Dragana defines the canvas as flat surface, the place at which her ideas combine in various ways. This interweaving of personages, their ambiences, words, letters, contrasts and colors on two-dimensional canvas is the basic characteristic of Stevanovic's new paintings.
Dragana B. Stevanovic: Excess opens July 2 at L2kontemporary

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Matthew Steinke: Octant | Steam, bellows, and clockwork would seem to be appropriate tools for the ghostly powers directing this orchestra of homemade acoustic automata. Brooklyn-based songwriter and tinkerer Matthew Steinke created these devices to accompany himself in a musical menagerie he has dubbed Octant. Menacing clouds of reverberating discord give way to toy piano chimes synchronized with chirping melodica, booming bass drum, and mournfully wheezing harmonium, all oddly juxtaposed with Steinke's warm guitar melodies. The songs lurch like a haunted Model T from childlike singsong to dense mechanized arrangements, from triumphal player-piano chaos to spare, melancholy chamber pop. Fractured and familiar, as full of nostalgic yearning and doomed hope as a Ouija-board encounter with a beloved departed grandparent, these unresolved gems suggest the sweet suffocation of an abandoned pawn shop crammed with all the relics that make up our shared musical imagination.
Matthew Steinke performs Octant July 2 at Machine Projects

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TOPO/GRAPHY | An exhibition that investigates the mapping of the relief, stratigraphy and history of land. In this presentation, nine contemporary artists explore the land as muse, becoming explorers, excavators, and surveyors through abstraction, line and process. A multi-media presentation of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and drawings, TOPO/GRAPHY ultimately considers how human beings position themselves within an evolving and increasingly complex world.

Constructed of sheets of raw steel and heavily burnished automotive paints, Michael Whiting creates a landscape within the gallery interpreted though the pixilated vocabulary of early computer gaming. Simplifying the elements of nature to their most reductive forms, Whiting extracts a connection between the language of early Minimalist sculpture and the advent of developing computer technologies. It is an understanding begat through the experiences unique to his generation, and is a reminder of the circuitous route of the development of an ever-changing worldview.
TOPO/GRAPHY opens July 9 at Edward Cella Art + Architecture

For a complete calendar of art events throughout Los Angeles go to Artweek.LA.