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Shannon Ebner
Jul 16 - Aug 27, 2011

In July 2011 LA><ART will present an exhibition and a new public project by Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner.


Produced in tandem with a solo show at the Hammer Museum, and as part of LA><ART’s ongoing collaborations with the Hammer, this project will encompass a new body of work that explores the connective elements of language. Accompanying the works in the exhibitions, LA><ART will also produce a site-specific public project in Culver City that will take the form of a free-standing cinder block ampersand. The ampersand is a conjoiner; it signals an incomplete thought and acknowledges that there is more to be said. In the context of photography, the ampersand points to what is not in the image and thus operates as a transporter image. Thinking of photographs as visual grammatical units, Ebner aims to construct a photographic sentence through her solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum and LA><ART, and this public project in Culver City, CA will locate viewers and make them aware that this locale is in fact part of something else—the remaining fragment of the photographic sentence constructed through the works in the exhibitions. This public project conceptually links LA><ART and Culver City to the Hammer Museum, allowing Ebner to further her interrogations of the structure of language through photography, universal forms, and the relationships between materials and landscape.

Shannon Ebner’s practice is characterized by explorations of language that attempt to generate visceral experiences with text.  Treating both words and signs as physical entities, Ebner’s previous work has employed language as material with the potential to both construct and destroy, regenerate and decay. Ebner’s extractions and insertions of specific letters and symbols within large text-based installations drastically alters both the meaning and reception of the work; demonstrating the economizing potential human beings have in the production and transmission of language. Shannon Ebner received her MFA from Yale University and currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been included in the 2010 Berlin Biennial, as well as exhibitions at the Tate Modern, London, UK; The Serpentine Gallery, London, UK; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York amongst others. Solo exhibitions have been staged at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; Wallspace Gallery, New York; and Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

Press Release | download PDF






Shannon Ebner

LA><ART Gallery One and LA><ART Public Art Initiative (Culver City, CA)

July 16- August 27, 2011

Opening Reception: July 16, 2011, 7-9pm  


Public Project

July 14, 2011-October 14, 2011


Meet The Artist: August 27th, 2011, 12:00-1:00pm

Northeast corner of Centinela Ave. and Washington Blvd.


LA><ART is pleased to present an exhibition and public project by Los Angeles-based artist Shannon Ebner. Informed by various modes of writing including poetry, experimental writing, and political speech, Ebner explores the relationship between photography and language through constructed images she creates in the studio and in distinct landscapes. Building letters and phrases out of everyday materials such as cardboard, wood, and cinder blocks, Ebner seeks to draw attention to the ways language and imagery are constructed. For her exhibition at LA><ART, Ebner will present a portion of an ongoing project called “The Electric Comma,” which began as a poem she wrote of the same name about the various conditions of the photographic, such as its alleged static nature and its vocation of describing events in the past. The poem, conceived by Ebner as a “photographic sentence,” aims to activate the image through strategies that ask the photograph to perform outside its usual function of reporting or depicting events, people, places, and things of our time.

In addition to the works presented at LA><ART, and as part of LA><ART’s ongoing programmatic collaboration with the Hammer Museum, Ebner has made portions of this ongoing project into works that will be on display simultaneously at the Hammer Museum, in Culver City, CA, and in Venice, Italy as part of the 54th Venice Biennale. At LA><ART, Ebner will present three photographs titled C*MMA, PAUSE, and DELAY along with a multi-panel large photographic work titled Agitate. These works will be accompanied by a video titled Between Words Pause that directly expands Ebner’s proposition of photographs as visual grammatical units. Through a collaboration with the City of Culver City, the Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission, and the Culver City Redevelopment Agency, LA><ART will also present Shannon Ebner’s first public project in Los Angeles, ‘and, per se and,’,  an 8-foot tall plywood ampersand installed in a vacant lot on the northeast corner of Centinela Ave. and Washington Blvd. in Culver City, CA. For Ebner, this ampersand operates as a conjoiner, signaling an incompleteness of meaning and a process of continual construction.

Shannon Ebner was born in Englewood, New Jersey in 1971 and lives and works in Los Angeles. She earned her BA from Bard College in 1993 and her MFA from Yale University in 2000 and she currently teaches at USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts. Solo exhibitions include kaufmann repetto, Milan (2010); Altman Siegel, San Francisco (2010); Wallspace, New York (2009, 2007, 2005); P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2007). Selected group exhibitions include The Spectacular of Vernacular, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2011); the 6th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2010); Saints and Sinners, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham (2009); The 2008 Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2008); Learn to Read, Tate Modern, London (2007); Uncertain States of America: American Art in the 3rd Millennium, Serpentine Gallery, London (2006); The California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach (2006); The Plain of Heaven, Creative Time, New York (2005); and Monuments for the USA, CCA Wattis Institute, San Francisco. Ebner is also participating in the 2011 Venice Biennale this summer.


Nick Herman: FATLAND

LA><ART Gallery Two 

July 16-August 27, 2011

Opening Reception: July 16, 2011, 7-9pm


Sitting in his filth he began to build his palace, bit by bit. It began as a kind of syncopated song cycle, rolling over the most prominent of memories, sing songing in that unpolished and unencumbered voice that belongs to every lonely kid in the backyard — the secret voice children save for themselves. Lilting, punctuated only by the distractions of the words themselves, so foreign, not their meaning. He lay there in his cocoon chanting...


-Excerpt from Nick Herman’s novella, FATLAND


LA><ART is pleased to present FATLAND, the first Los Angeles solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Nick Herman that will encompass a new body of photographs and sculptures as well as his first novella — a humorous account of a man who has been buried alive.

Herman has a long-standing interest in the way language reflects extreme religious values and a culture’s sublimated fantasies. In his publication FATLAND, Herman exploits his dyspeptic protagonist’s litany of complaints, including impotence, immobility, and memory loss. The work investigates the concepts of evolution and happiness, drawing parallels between subjects as diverse as the Dionysian mysteries, liposuction, and contemporary art. The artist invests these themes with gravitas and absurdity, both in the book and in the gallery, where he will present works that are perversely aesthetic. Evoking Jeff Koons and Marcel Duchamp, his kinetic pump sculpture The Myth of the Sexes measures the shifting levels of desire between two unknown subjects.

In addition, Herman's hand-tied nets and black-and-white photographs of lard create abstract landscapes of surprising beauty. The artist’s interest in “fat” is a play on the Biblical aphorism “ye shall eat of the fat of the land.” It is in the context of this metaphorical admonition to be fruitful and consume that Herman exploits fat’s allegorical connotations. His photos depicting fat as landscape allude to the conflict between decay and nourishment. The artist will also be showing a collection of small plaster sculptures that function as musical instruments that the artist encourages visitors to play. These lumpen flutes actually incorporate the plastic “predator” calls game hunters use to mimic the sounds of animals in heat or distress, thereby filling the gallery with grunts and whimpers.

Herman’s explorations into taboo, instability, and the grotesque operate within a sardonic critique of human progress and what he satirically refers to as the manic quest for a “lost paradise.” By exploiting the heavy handed metaphors of religion, sexual desire, and impotence, the artist skillfully plays with literary clichés and caricatures including "erotic writing,” the “Faust legend," and the trope of being buried alive as a metaphor for madness, depression, and death.

Herman’s novella FATLAND will be available for purchase for $1 in an unnumbered edition of 500.

Nick Herman is an artist and writer based in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited in group shows at Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles, CA and Peter Blum in New York, NY, as well as at SculptureCenter and Socrates Sculpture Park, New York, NY, and Portugal Arte in Lisbon. Herman holds an MFA in sculpture from Yale University and a BA in Religious Studies from Macalester College. Also a designer and publisher since 2003, Herman has produced independent artist books under the imprint ANTEPROJECTS. He is a 2011 artist-in-residence at The Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.



Celebrating its 5th Anniversary in 2010, LA><ART is the leading independent nonprofit contemporary art space in Los Angeles, committed to the production of experimental exhibitions and public art initiatives. Responding to Los Angeles' cultural climate, LA><ART produces and presents new work for all audiences and offers the public access to the next generation of artists and curators. LA><ART supports challenging work, reflecting the diversity of the city and stimulates conversations on contemporary art in Los Angeles, fostering dynamic relationships between art, artists and their audiences. LA><ART has produced and commissioned over 100 projects in five years.

Shannon Ebner’s public project is part of L.A.P.D.—LA Public Domain, LA><ART Public Art Initiatives with support from ForYourArt. L.A.P.D.—LA Public Domain produces and presents artistic and curatorial interventions in experimental contexts. 


LA><ARTs programs are made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Danielson Foundation, the G.L. Waldorf Family Fund, The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs, DEPART Foundation, and Eve Steele and Peter Gelles.

Shannon Ebner’s exhibition is made possible with the generous support of Pasadena Art Alliance, Lonti Ebers, Bettina Korek, Sheridan Brown and David Knaus.

Shannon Ebner’s public project is made possible with the support of the City of Culver City, the Culver City Cultural Affairs Commission, and the Culver City Redevelopment Agency. Special thanks to Christine Byers.

Additional support for Shannon Ebner’s public project provided by Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects. Special thanks to Amy Drezner.



Location/Parking: The Hammer is located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, at Westwood Boulevard. Parking is available under the Museum. Rate is $3  for three hours with Museum validation. Bicycles park free.

Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 11am-7pm; Thursdays, 11am-9pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm; closed Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Admission: $10 for adults; $5 for seniors (65+) and UCLA Alumni Association members; free for Museum members, students with identification, UCLA faculty/staff, military personnel, veterans, and visitors 17 and under. Public programs are free.

Hammer Museum Tours: For group tour reservations and information, call (310) 443-7041.

For current programs and exhibition information call (310) 443-7700 or visit www.hammer.ucla.edu.

Press Coverage | download all Press (.zip file)