In addition to Katherine Cone’s brilliant Jill Greenberg show this past weekend, we stopped into Blum & Poe, another Culver City art powerhouse. They had two solo shows happening, celebrating the work of two artists on opposite ends of the specturm: Banks Violette, and industrial minimalist, and Shio Kusaka, a delicate ceramicist.
Violette‘s show, located on the bottom floor, is his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles. His work paints subculture to a gothic tune, literally taking a heavy metal approach to things like NASCAR and Budweiser. His works included long metal gates that end in disruptive, jagged scribbles, evoking that of an ECG wave monitoring a heartbeat, a large, deteriorating number eighty eight (a reference to Dale Earnhard Jr. being that number), and a few sketches/drawings mounted on aluminum. His work complimented Blum & Poe’s large, open exhibit spaces quite nicely, playing with how objects–especially gates–can reshape a room and redefine how we pass through space.
Shio Kusaka seems to be a near opposite of Violette: she creates small, delicate, usually white pots. Each one is beautifully handcrafted by the Japanese born, Los Angeles based artist. The show showed some of Kusaka’s “largest works to date,” some of which were polka dotted, two toned, dimpled, engraved, and thatched and lined with different paints. She works within a very specific–but not limiting–aesthetic angle, playing with the color white and its compliments, to let the shapes and consistency of the glass speak more than any colors or grand embellishments could say. It is exactly what she does not do to the pots that makes them so special. We absolutely fell in love with her work (as did everyone else, who were making purchases that evening).
Both Violette and Kusaka’s work are up at Blum & Poe through February 11.