Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Dealer Spotlight: Von Lintel Gallery | artnet feature

Last year, the Von Lintel Gallery relocated from New York City's Chelsea district to Los Angeles. The decision to move westward was prompted, in part, by the up-and-coming LA art scene, but also by the need for a change of pace. The move has proven refreshingly opportune for gallery owner Thomas Von Lintel, who talks to us about how he got his footing as a gallerist and why he made the big leap west.
Tell us about your background in art and what led you here.

For a couple of years, my father had a gallery in the house we lived in at the Starnberger See near Munich, Germany. His concept was the combination of antiques and pop art—mostly prints—which is a period I remember vividly. I ended up, however, studying finance and investment, followed by a short career in banking, after which I switched to the art world in search of something more fulfilling. In 1989, I first worked for Galerie Claire Burrus and then Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris, before opening my own gallery in Munich in 1993, where I focused mainly on New York painters, some of whom, like Stephen Ellis, Catherine Howe, Antonio Murado, and Mark Sheinkman, I still represent today. In 1999, I moved the gallery to New York, and, after 15 successful years there, I decided to move the gallery to Los Angeles.

Tell us about your first show. Was there a particular moment, good or bad, that was memorable for you?

My first show was with a sculptor by the name of Mark Mennin in my first space in Munich. It was a fantastic exhibition, which did surprisingly well, but I did not have enough money to change the flooring, and the space had been an office, so you could very clearly see the walking patterns where the desks had been placed on the carpet. It was like an unintended site-specific installation. As long as you didn't look at the floor, the art on the walls looked fabulous.

How did you settle on your specialty, and what makes your gallery unique? What is the most challenging part of running a gallery?

I started out concentrating on abstract painting, but over the last 20+ years, I became more and more interested in art that wasn't necessarily what it looked to be. I now work with a lot of unique or camera-less photography, which could easily be mistaken for painting or drawing, and, on the other hand, I have painters and artists who work exclusively with paper, whose work is often mistaken for photography or prints. The most important thing for me is to work with art that will keep a dialogue with the viewer for a very long time, something that doesn't become part of the decoration.

Joseph Stashkevetch, Palisade/Scree #1 (2015)
Conte crayon on rag paper

What is your next important show? Tell us why we should come.

The next important show will be Edward Burtynsky's photographs, which will open on April 25. Edward's work functions on several levels, the way good art should. His breathtaking and timely images show how nature is transformed by industry. The beauty of the photographs is often in tension with the compromised environments they depict.

Joseph Stashkevetch, Palisade/Scree #1 (2015)
Conte crayon on rag paper
Since you started, what have been the biggest changes in the gallery market?

I would have to say the biggest changes in the market are its size and the importance and proliferation of art fairs. Another important change has been the advent of the Internet. When I started, we would send collectors transparencies of the work by mail. They would then take time to study and look at the work. Nowadays, if the artwork doesn't reproduce well on the screen, it is much harder to sell. We look at thousands of images every day. The ‘art' of really looking is very hard to find nowadays.

If you were not an art dealer, what would you be doing?

Working with furniture somehow, or racing fast cars.

What inspired your decision to move from New York to Los Angeles? How has this affected your gallery, and do you plan on any location changes or expansions in the future?

There is much thought that went into my decision of relocating to LA, but in the end, it comes down to opportunity. I loved my time in New York, and it went well, but I just didn't like where the community was heading. The massive increases in real estate prices seem to dictate programming and our personal lives more and more. In Los Angeles, I saw a bourgeoning art market with a better quality of life. I was able to find a fantastic gallery in a prime location (Culver City right next to Blum & Poe) that is roughly three times as large as my last New York space, but I pay 20% less. I live in a house a few minutes from the gallery by car, which has a garden with a lemon tree and zero noise at night. It doesn't seem like much, but after having lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, until recently, it is very much appreciated.

How do you perceive the current Los Angeles art scene in comparison to New York and other international art capitals?

I am still learning about the LA art scene, but it is refreshingly welcoming to outsiders. Collectors, critics, and artists come to see my exhibitions even if they don't know the artist. I expected very little traffic in the gallery, but I was completely wrong. The timing here is different, so the summer tends to be much busier in LA than in New York, where things seem to slow down significantly after May, only to really resume in September. I am also surprised at how many visitors we get from New York and Europe. I think significantly fewer curators from around the world visit LA than New York, but I also believe that's changing. Most of all, there is so much potential here. The greater Los Angeles area has a population in excess of 16 million, and many of them are interested and eager to learn.

Canan Tolon, installation view (2014).
Courtesy of Von Lintel Gallery. Photo by Eamon Conklin.
 Read original feature on artnet

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of recent work by New York artist, Carolyn Marks Blackwood. On the Edge is the artist's first solo show with the gallery.

“Carolyn Marks Blackwood is a modern day artist for whom the Hudson River is also an unfailing muse. Consumed by her daily photographic study of the water over which her studio is perched—as well as the sky that hovers above it—Blackwood’s images are not the romantic vistas of her predecessors, but almost their opposite: focused close-ups that capture the river’s power through the drama of detail. Instead of coalescing several scenes into one, her photographs are a celebration of the variation a single geographic location can elicit through the constantly changing conditions of wind, light, day, night, temperature and tide.”

—Excerpt from the essay Elements of Place by Carol Diehl

Coaxing painterly expression from a documentary device, Blackwood’s photographs reframe segments of air, ice and water into vivid color fields, geometric abstractions and flattened motifs. By removing perspective and context, her unmodified images seize ephemeral moments within everyday occurrences and heighten them into foreign, unfamiliar pictures.

A screenwriter and producer, Blackwood is a principal partner of Magnolia Mae Films. Among the films produced by Magnolia Mae are The Duchess (2008), The Invisible Woman (2013) and Philomena (2013). Blackwood began exhibiting her photography in the last ten years.

The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated brochure with an essay by Barbara Rose.

CATHERINE HOWE | Supreme Fiction | March 7 — April 18, 2015 - Opening Photos

CATHERINE HOWE | Supreme Fiction | March 7 — April 18, 2015

Von Lintel Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by New York artist, Catherine Howe. Supreme Fiction is the artist's third solo show with the gallery. 

The unrestrained brushwork in Howe’s anarchic paintings inject raw emotion into docile subject matter, like flowers in a vase. By using the historical idiom of still-life as the anchor, Howe mashes the heroics of action-painting with the humility of vanitas tableaux.

Rather than focus on intimate observation, Howe operates on memory and feeling to invest mutable mediums with immense physicality. Pushing buckets of clear gloss over titanium molding paste, nascent forms become visible only after a dusting of carborundum grit (traditionally used to smooth lithography stone) and a final sweep of a broom. A self-proclaimed materials fiend, Howe also experiments with mica interference pigment suspended in acrylic resin to lend a refractive, iridescence to the canvas ground.

While the works explode with movement and texture, Howe restricts herself with respect to color. A stark palette emphasizes the expressive, psychological gestures seemingly unleashed during manic creative outputs. Howe qualifies the entire process as one of alchemy. As Michéle C. Cone writes in a recent catalogue essay, “Maybe, Howe’s evocative paintings are not about still life per se, but about the naming of things transposed into paint, and the magical interaction between medium, memory and perception.”

Born in Western New York in 1959, Howe received an MFA from SUNY Buffalo in 1983. The many publications that have reviewed her work include Art in America, Artforum, Art Critical, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and the Los Angeles Times. Howe has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe for over twenty years, including shows at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, MoMA PS 1 in New York, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo.
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated brochure with an essay by David Ebony.

CAROLYN MARKS BLACKWOOD | On the Edge | March 7 — April 18, 2015 - Opening Photos

Farrah Karapetian and the concert that never was at Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles | theartblog.org review

By chip schwartz

February 26, 2015
[Chip draws parallels between David Lynch and a ghostly show of photograms, which he saw while visiting Los Angeles. — the artblog editors]

“No hay banda! There is no band.” Amid the rippled, red “curtains” slung across the rear of Von Lintel Gallery, we find ourselves as the audience for a performance devoid of motion and sound, yet the voice from David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” cuts through loud and clear. “This is all…a tape recording,” says the host from Club Silencio; or rather a “treacherous image,” as the case may be.

Silent music

Artist Farrah Karapetian’s first solo show at the Los Angeles gallery is all but an illusion. Karapetian is someone who works primarily in sometimes representational photograms, and this particular exhibition is inhabited by images hailing from the vocabulary of music and theater. These staged, temporal art forms are very distinct disciplines in their own right, and ones that would not appear to translate well to still images, especially those dependent on long exposures.

In Stagecraft, we encounter life-size drums, horns, and microphones, and yet, not only are they silent, they are not there at all. By capturing these phantoms with the help of camera-less photographic stills, Karapetian carefully directs a show that maintains itself only through the power of suggestion. This parallel with music’s innate ability to communicate through abstract patterns, and drama’s capacity to weave complex scenarios from speech and gesture, only becomes more apparent as I spend more time with these fixed replicas.

Initially, the reverse silhouettes seem straightforward. Each image is layered and bright, with the whitish instruments and occasional musicians contrasted against a murky background of negative space. There are images of cymbals tilted above the toms of a drum kit submerged in an amber glow; the tall yellow portrait of a guitar resting upright; and an orange saxophone bleeding through a darkness that threatens to overtake it and the entire frame.

Growing curiosity

But what of some of the details here? How could Karapetian capture the texture of brass cymbals and all of the lugs and tension rods of the opaque drums with this process dependent on light and transparency? Orchestration, of course–and not of the musical notation variety.

Karapetian’s unusual orchestration

In a side room, we find a fully assembled drum kit bathed in white light. Entitled “In the Wake of Sound; In the Break of Sound,” this instrument is not what it first appears to be. Incapable of being played like an actual drum kit, this setup is really just an elaborate prop used by Karapetian to produce her photograms, or a Dadaist romp to recall Man Ray’s “rayograms”.

The drums themselves are merely skeletons, hollow outlines of hardware without their wooden shells or heads. As for the cymbals, they are fabricated from glass. Although not particularly conducive to striking with a stick, these see-through cymbals are perfect for exposing in front of light-sensitive chromogenic sheets. This chemical process ultimately recreates each non-instrument in such a way that its two-dimensional shape is instantly recognizable as the thing itself, despite the fact that many of them are more model than machine.

As if shedding light on both the process and static performance at play here, Karapetian also includes a series of three images whose subject is the spotlight. This focused beam of light, used on stages to draw audience attention and illuminate specific parts of the action, is precisely what the artist’s misdirection is all about. By carefully staging scenes ahead of and during exposure of the photograms, Karapetian provides the minimum amount of information necessary for her viewers to see–and possibly hear–a band. Add to this a little suspension of disbelief, and the result is a directorial montage not quite live-action theater and not quite film.

 One of the most purely abstract images here is a quietly dissolving trombone lost in an icy haze of immateriality. In “Blow Cold,” we find the horn almost completely obscured by a heavily exposed swath of white that nearly washes out the curve of its bell. This disappearing act manages to anchor us somewhere outside the farce and lets us peer in from afar, perhaps seeing these images for what they are, as opposed to what they represent.

From this almost voyeuristic standpoint, we naturally turn back to Lynch. In the world of “Mulholland Drive,” we attend a concert with no musicians, and our notions of authenticity come under assault. Farrah Karapetian’s Stagecraft is little more than a trick of light and chemistry, but in a way, so is everything we see.