Highland Park’s Night Gallery is just too cool. They consistently are putting on good shows, they have an unrivaled exclusivity, and a late night allure that is more performance than business gimmick. It’s a sexy place that sounds like an art fairy tale come to life. We have yet to go but we got a note from artist Alika Cooper over the weekend about her recently opened Night Gallery show with Anna Mayer. The show and the space certainly live up to their names.
There are two shows happening that have a nice interplay with each other: Cooper’s body of work is titled Upbraid and are a series of fabric works while Mayer shares Vatic Link, a group of knotted sculptures and objects. Upbraid uses various fabric pieces to create painterly figures and silhouettes that depict mostly female subjects, from a group of casual silhouettes to provocative abstract female nudes. Fabric as a medium is so soft to look at and provide for an occasional blur in definition. The more serious or normally unnerving subjects are pacified by bedtimey flower patterns and satin sheets. They appear to be a far cry from the last time we saw Cooper’s work (at TENOVERSIX) as they are a completely different style. However, they both are speaking to quite a specific topic: varying aspects of the female experience and femininity.
Mayer’s work (the bottom three photos) are a collection of sculptures from an almost fictional tribe. You have a mix of soft colored pretzel like objects with prophetic, winding phrases like “In This Case I Am Not Saying That I Think That But Rather I Am Saying That I Can Do That” and “If My Vision Of The World Is Wanted By The World, If My Life Depends On This, If I Can Learn To Work And Speak When I Am Afraid.” They are juxtaposed with panoptic wall pieces like a wreath of eucalyptus branches with eyes and oval of sticks and eyes. Both groups of works are almost like philosophical gatekeepers, watching and judging and warning of what is to come. How you interpret and engage them is a part of this, too.
It’s a neat show. This is judging from the photos, yes, which is certainly not the same as seeing any show or visiting a gallery in person. This said, Night Gallery’s means of presenting itself paired with their current exhibit makes you feel like you are stepping into an ancient art wing of Any City’s History Museum. The black walls and glowing light spots around pieces suggest their being sacred and timeless, relics found by Night Gallery’s excavators perhaps found underneath LACMA with the help of Project 23.
Cooper and Mayer’s work is on view at Night Gallery through November 15. The gallery is located at 204 S Ave 19 in Los Angeles and is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 10PM to 2AM. You definitely should make a point to see this show and major shout out to Alika for sending these fantastic images. You can find more here.
Photos courtesy of Night Gallery. Top Right: Fur Rug, 2012; fabric, adhesive, wood stretchers; 22 x 30 in.