Explore three of the city’s hottest galleries at this month’s Art Platform—Los Angeles

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LA Confidential, September 2012

Rub shoulders with some of LA’s most serious art collectors this month at Art Platform—Los Angeles, an art fair focusing on modern
and contemporary work (including abstract and figurative art, and high-concept sculpture), which opens its second iteration at its new
digs—The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica—September 27-30. With a mix of nearly 100 local and international galleries, nonprofits, and exhibition spaces showcasing some of the most sought-after work from top-tier emerging, mid-career, and established artists, navigating Art Platform—Los Angeles could get challenging. We talked to some of LA’s hottest young gallerists about the work they will be showcasing at the fair later this month.

Ricky Allman

“Segment Series 14,” by Ricky Allman, from Marine Contemporary

High concept at Marine Contemporary

What started as salon-style group exhibitions in her light-filled pad on Marine Street in Santa Monica back in 2009 has now transformed into a full-fledged gallery. “I was always really interested in the idea of the salon, its history, showing work in the domestic setting, and reinterpreting that idea in the contemporary art world,” says owner and director Claressinka Anderson. Since, she has routed her penchant for the curatorial into other art-related ventures, too, like publishing catalogs and artist books. For the gallery, Anderson keeps a roster of international artists, all with similar practices, though very different aesthetics. “I’m drawn to artists who have a very meticulous way of working and that’s very much manifested in the work and the process,” says the Londoner of her artists’ conceptual-based practices. For Art Platform—Los Angeles, the model-esque gallerist will be exhibiting three of her heady artists, all of whom have a unifying predilection for a muted color palette, though the subject matter differs drastically. Painter Ricky Allman exhibits his draftsmanship skills in large-scale fictitious, even apocalyptic, landscapes; multimedia artist Kelly Barrie creates hybrids between drawing and photography by using his feet and dark room utensils to draw photoluminescent powder onto paper, which he then photographs over time and compiles to make a seamless digital print; and Debra Scacco, whose work focuses on her feelings of placelessness and lack of belonging, combines words from her diary and abstracted maps to create beautiful ink and watercolor drawings on paper. 1733-A Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-399-0294; marinecontemporary.com

Mira Dancy

“Two Irmas,” by Mira Dancy, 2012, courtesy of Night Gallery

Romantic encounters at Night Gallery

Every surface—from floor to ceiling—in Night Gallery, the artist-run spaceturned-commercial gallery started by artist Davida Nemeroff in 2010, is painted black, making it a highly sensorial experience in which to view art. Add to that the gallery’s operating hours, Tuesday through Thursday from 10 pm to 2 am, and you get a unique, midweek head trip of the highly romantic variety. “People come here and they feel sexy. People go to fluorescent-lighted galleries and they might feel powerful and that could translate to being sexy, but for the most part you’re self-conscious,” says Mieke Marple, who partnered with Nemeroff to help transition the gallery into a commercial operation. “Here it’s the right time of the night and you’re having this amazing conversation and you’re falling in love, and that’s not happening at other galleries.” At last year’s Art Platform, Night Gallery painted its exhibition booth pink—expect a comparable statement this year. “It’s probably best for us and the fair that there’s one romantic booth, but not all romantic booths,” says Nemeroff of the gallery’s reputation for creative display. For this year’s fair, the pair is planning an exhibition
of three artists’ work: Paul Heyer, the first artist to have a solo show at the gallery; Mira Dancy, whose evocative figurative paintings are executed in stunning lurid colors like chartreuse and aqua; and recent USC Roski School of Fine Arts grad Sean Townley, who creates decadent and “romantic” sculptures. 204 S. Avenue 19, LA, 650-384-5448; nightgallery.ca

Jay Stuckey

“Fight II,” by Jay Stuckey, 2012, from Anat Ebgi

Human connections at Anat Ebgi

Before settling in LA (she moved here after falling in love with the city’s “rich cultural history” during a summer internship at LACMA), gallerist Anat Ebgi began curating in New York at the age of 21, after which she completed a master’s degree from the prestigious Bard Center for Curatorial Studies. What is now her eponymous gallery started out four years ago as The Company, located centrally along Chinatown’s Chung King Road. With diverse tastes that run the gamut from formal minimalism and figurative oil paintings to abstract video, Ebgi has a program all her own. Though all of Ebgi’s artists produce vastly different types of work—from sculpture inspired by crystal meth labs to collages exploring the failure of modernism and Cold War strategies—she finds herself attracted to artists who, as she describes it, “have knowledge and understanding for art history but seek to find their own voice and experience.” “I also really like work that is not necessarily high tech,” says Ebgi. “That’s what I really look for—a human connection.” For Art Platform, Ebgi will exhibit a solo show of work by painter Jay Stuckey, whose vigorous brushstrokes and chaotic
canvases reference historical motifs and “the unconscious drives that occur between dreams and daily life,” even while still having cartoon-like characters peek out. “His is the freshest work I’ve seen in a long time. It captures what I love about painting—a certain kind of abstraction but also figuration.” 955 Chung King Road, LA, 213-290-0122; anatebgi.com


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