05/14/2014 02:23 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Art's New Centurion: This Artweek.LA (May 12, 2014)


Rose Cabat: 100 Years | Rose Cabat (b. 1914) is one of the United States' most reclusive ceramists, and certainly one of the oldest of the few well-known mid-20th century ceramists still alive and producing today. Cabat has spent the better part of the past fifty-four years perfecting the forms of the "feelies" imbuing them with a Zen perfection. Like Gertrud Natzler, who when asked why she continued throwing bowls replied she was after perfection, Rose Cabat set her sights on the same ideal. It is one reason why Rose has always preferred to work alone, even today while confined to a wheel chair limiting her mobility and ability to raise herself up to make the larger works she was able to throw when she had use of her legs. She prefers the solitude allowing her precise focus eschewing the slightest interference of another's presence. It is this consistency in her work that has generated a burgeoning interest on the part of curators and collectors alike.

Celebrating her 100th birthday Rose Cabat: 100 Years opens May 17 at Couturier Gallery


Greg 'Craola' Simkins: Good Knight | In this latest series of paintings Simkins revisits the fears and curiosities of childhood, dragging them from dreamland into reality. These works prove that an active imagination is a double-edged sword -- the doors you can open with it can lead you to very strange and beautiful places, indeed.

The origins of this exhibition lie in the age-old ritual of parents putting their children to sleep. Simkins explains: "As a child, each evening my parents would utter the common refrain of 'Good night', just as any decent mom or dad should do. 'Good night' would echo through my ears as my eyes shut and I slipped through the tunnel into dreamland -- leaving me with one question: who's that? What is this crazy world, who are all the creatures that live here and who is this Good Knight?"

Simkins uses the character of the 'Good Knight' as a point of departure into a world worthy of Lewis Carroll, shaped by years watching Saturday-morning cartoons and countless hours lost in story-books.

Greg 'Craola' Simkins: Good Knight opens May 17 at Merry Karnowsky Gallery

Lovely was this witch who drew her orange eggs, 4 or 6, each a DNA she threw in relieving herself an awkward humanity, 2013, acrylic, ink on Birch panel

Rina Banerjee: Disgust | For her inaugural show at L.A. Louver and West Coast gallery debut, Banerjee will present a new body of work -- drawings on paper, paintings on wood panel, and a selection of assemblage sculptures.

Banerjee borrows heavily from the aesthetic and cultural inheritance of her South Asian heritage, but her expression is fiercely individualistic, urbane and empathetic to the conundrums of 21st century life. Taking a sumptuous and obsessive approach to abstraction and ornamentation, Banerjee creates new, hybridized worlds that oscillate between the real and imagined -- spinning her own narratives that touch on gender, migration and cultural identity. Her long, lyrical titles spill forth as poetic evocations, imbuing the works with mystery and beguilement.

Rina Banerjee: Disgust is on view through June 28 at L.A. Louver, Venice


Surface to Air | This exhibition devotes itself to artists working in Los Angeles in the 1960s who shared certain commonalities in their use of materials and fabrication techniques that, for the most part, were specific to the environs of Southern California. Artists include Peter Alexander, Hobie Alter, Kenneth Anger, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Judy Chicago, Ron Cooper, Ron Davis, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, Ken Price, Ed Roth and Ed Ruscha.

The '60s Los Angeles culture of surf, sun and space brought with it the influence of new technologies, grasped by these artists as fresh resources to approach questions of process, form, and finish. In the late '60s John Coplans applied the moniker "finish fetish" to these particular artists and in some ways it is an appropriate appellation -- if we limit ourselves to discussions of this use of materials and techniques as a means to an end. However, this term is just as misleading as it is helpful, and like most terms applied to groups of artists by critics eager to discover new trends, the artists themselves have generally abhorred it. Still, all painting is surface, so Coplans may have a point when considering these surfaces of nonillusory condition. We are considering for the most part artists who had created objects that exist primarily as objects -- and some crafting objects that have a sense of nonmateriality.

Surface to Air: 12 Los Angeles Artists of the '60s and the Materials opens May 17 at Kayne Griffin Corcoran


Christian Tedeschi: 5244 Baltimore | Los Angeles sculptor Christian Tedeschi is an MFA graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art, 2001 and co-founder of the infamous Detroit art collective, Object Orange. Titled, 5244 Baltimore (the address of his residence) the artist has built a facsimile of his front porch along with other sculptures, establishing uncanny narratives and experiences. 5244 Baltimore is a doppelgänger roofed structure as portrait, mirror, stage set; a kind of hermetic history tableau. His new veranda exists as evidence of the artist's process and his direct relationship with materials. More, the work explores space as metaphor:

"I am interested in the shape of a horse's saddle, a hyperbolic paraboloid. A complex form which exhibits an interior and exterior space simultaneously. When I think of this form I see an abstract representation of the human condition; to exist inside and outside of this material body. It is self reflection, self awareness and the impossibility of containing these forces."

Christian Tedeschi: 5244 Baltimore runs through June 7 at Western Project

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