02/22/2011 11:21 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Sadness Just Below the Surface: This Artweek.LA (February 21-27)

Oscar Wilde held that, "All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors."
The works highlighted in This Artweek.LA are "at once surface and symbol." Larry Mantello's new works "... create imaginary places where fantasies can commingle with feelings of loss and disappointment." Frohawk Two-Feathers, through a slight of hand and bristle of the brush retells and reshapes historical roles of race, class and gender. While Horacio Cadzco's "destruction" of a tailored suit is the result of "an intimate exploration on self-esteem, detachment and acceptance."

While each work of art is on the surface quite beautiful, when we read the symbols and risk our own peril they, as Ernst Fischer would have said, "... show the world as changeable. And help to change it."

For a complete calendar of art openings and exhibitions throughout Los Angeles go to Artweek.LA.

Opening this Week


Larry Mantello: Together Again | Mantello's current work is redolent with a pop-culture critique, which he packages with a reminiscence of childhood, a temptation with the body, and his interest in "the value pleasure." Throughout these works he suggests a subtle sense of sadness just below the surface, which is as important to the works as exuberance and celebration.
His most recent series of work, entitled Rejiggers, incorporates an image transfer technique that he combines with postcards, greeting cards and balloons. Assembled with an assortment of packing tapes and shipping labels, which the artist has also reinvented, their playfully layered surfaces are both seductive and provocative. Larry Mantello hopes that these new works "... create imaginary places where fantasies can commingle with feelings of loss and disappointment. Moments from my past that are difficult to escape."
Opens February 26 at CB1


José Alberto Marchi: La Escuela del Escándalo | Inspired by the 19th Century photographs of Thomas Eakins, Marchi transforms Eakins figure studies from photographs in to luminous painted diptychs: each combining Eakins original image with its negative. The resulting paintings evoke both the history of photography and painting. The scandal to which the exhibition's title refers, took place in 1886 at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Eakins, one day to be regarded as America's greatest realist painter, was expelled from his teaching position and socially disgraced for insisting that his students, including women, work directly from the nude male model.
Opens February 26 at Latin American Masters

Ongoing Exhibitions


Horacio Cadzco: The Destruction Of A Suit | For an entire year (2005-2006 Mexico City), Horacio Cadzco wore a tailored suit every single day without cleaning it, and without bathing, cutting his hair or nails. Questioning the limits of his own identity, and as an intimate exploration on self-esteem, detachment and acceptance, Cadzco makes a poetic enunciation about what the artist considers "the catastrophe of civilization." To this end, Cadzco had forged a temporal pact between his body and his work. Both his private and public life became a canvas where he would deposit his physical and psychological "humors". His body itself became a metaphor for the idea of the body itself, affecting others during the living process: a body/suit that patiently bore daily wounds and pleasures, culminating in the symbolic death of the artist, and the destruction of not only an object, but identity itself.
Through March 6 at Jaus


Image courtesy of the artist, Honor Fraser and Pierogi Gallery

William Lamson: A Line Describing the Sun | A Line Describing the Sun is the latest work by the Brooklyn-based artist William Lamson. Shot mostly in the Mojave Desert, the 2-channel video documents a daylong performance in which Lamson follows the path of the sun with a Fresnel lens mounted on a rolling apparatus. As the lens focuses the sun's energy into a 1,600 degree point of light, the lake bed floor melts, leaving a black glassy substance in his wake. By the end of the performance, Lamson had imprinted a 366-foot arc across the barren landscape.
The title of the piece references Anthony McCall's classic installation, A Line Describing a Cone, where a line of solid light becomes a tangible shape when projected through a smoky, or misted room.
Through March 26 at Honor Fraser


Frohawk Two Feathers: Crocodile Company Part I. The War of The Dancing Machetes | Frohawk Two Feathers continues to demonstrate his skill as a master storyteller, spinning tales of colonialism, imperialism and conquest with his wholly unique iconography. Blending his obsession with the history of conflict and pop culture influences from video games, films and TV shows, the artist tells a wartime narrative starring an imagined cast of fascinating characters. Using two classic traditions of both painting and map making, Two Feathers communicates a tragic, yet often humorous story that, through a slight of hand and bristle of the brush retell and reshape historical roles of race, class and gender. As with his previous bodies of work, each series functions as a chapter in a never-ending tome. Set in 1789 in the Caribbean, "The War of the Dancing Machetes" is a story of assassination, slavery and the fight for power.
Through March 26 at Taylor De Cordoba