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Kristin Calabrese
Seeing Signs
Jun 4 - Jul 9, 2016

Opening reception Saturday, June 4, 6-9pm

Press Release

LAXART is pleased to present an exhibition of new painting, sculpture, and a public intervention by Los Angeles-based artist Kristin Calabrese. Calabrese finds a depth in the small moments of the mundane, where the awkwardness of being human becomes triumphant. Painted outdoors over the course of two years—many during time spent at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire; at artist Kenny Scharf's home; and in Joshua Tree, California—Calabrese's new series of 121 canvases, 11:11, represents 121 holes found in nature, elevating the otherwise overlooked landscape to an epic scale. As the artist describes, “In making these, I was interested in illusionistic space: a hole going in where it can't possibly be going because it's on a wall. I was also interested in each hole having a rich inner life and creating a sort of psychic overload when hung next to each other.” The interchangeable installation of 121 canvases reflects a careful observation of time passing and seasons shifting. 

The exhibition also includes a large-scale sculpture, What Would this Sign Say?, a life-size approximation of a bus shelter made from frame-like bars of wood. This structure houses a painting that is echoed as a poster in the real-life bus shelter located on Santa Monica Boulevard directly in front of LAXART. The graffiti-like text in the poster and painting is an attempt to protest and subvert the conventional purpose of advertising space. Situated in the transitory space where people wait for the bus, the poster questions how public space can truly be public when we are constantly assaulted by sales messages. By inserting art into the public sphere in the place of advertising, Calabrese challenges how one might think critically of the shared visual landscape and who has control of that. The work is a commentary on media, marketing, capital, vandalism, free speech, and social behavior. 

Kristin Calabrese (b. 1968) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her Master of Fine Arts from UCLA in Los Angeles, California in 1998. Previous Solo Exhibitions include Brennan & Griffin, New York; Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills; Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles; Leo Koenig, Inc., New York; Michael Janssen, Cologne, Germany; and The Green Gallery, Milwaukee.  Calabrese is the recipient of the 2013-14 California Community Foundation Mid-Career Artists Fellowship.