The Props assist the House at Bel Ami

Artists: Milano Chow, William Leavitt, Nancy Lupo, Liliana Porter, Benjamin Reiss, Paul Salveson, Ana Tiscornia, Eric Veit

Exhibition title: The Props assist the House

Venue: Bel Ami, Los Angeles, US

Date: August 3 – September 14, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House
Until the House is built
And then the Props withdraw
And adequate, erect,
The House support itself
And cease to recollect
The Augur and the Carpenter –
Just such a retrospect
Hath the perfected Life –
A Past of Plank and Nail
And slowness – then the scaffolds drop
Affirming it a Soul –

– Emily Dickinson, ca. 1863

In Emily Dickinson’s poem, props do many things. They support a house under construction and furnish an analogy about how we mature. Props, peripheral by definition, are not usually the main focus. Their labor is often overlooked or quickly forgotten within the framework of a grander drama, but here they are recognized as an activating and altering force.

The artists in this exhibition use elements of domestic and theatrical staging to call attention to the props, imagining new roles for them and leaving the wider narrative open to interpretation. Through a variety of media including drawing, collage, lithography, sculpture, installation and photography, the works engage surrealist strategies to find the marvelous in the banal and re-assign value to the familiar. Their source materials reflect the latent influence of consumer culture on our psyches, ranging from ingestible ingredients such as barley greens powder and jawbreakers to household stuffs like ice cube trays, patterns embossed on paper towels, foil from chocolate bars and wine bottles, real estate ads and fashion magazines. Architectural figurines, facades and floor plans shift standards of scale and proportion, inviting us to rewrite the scripts that dictate how we move through public and private spaces.

Dickinson implies that certain props are no longer needed after a time, although a house, like a life, is always a work in development.

Milano Chow (b. 1987, Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. She received her BA from Barnard College in 2009 and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013. She has had solo exhibitions at Chapter NY, New York, Galleria Acappella, Naples, and Mary Mary, Glasgow. Recent group exhibitions include the Whitney Biennial 2019 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2019); For Mario at Tina Kim Gallery, New York (2019); The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges, Bentonville, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, and New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain (2018-19); A Slice Through the World at Drawing Room London & Modern Art Oxford, Oxford (2018). She is a 2018 recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Her work was recently acquired by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

William Leavitt (b. 1941, Washington, D.C.) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include Greene Naftali, New York (2019); Frank Elbaz Gallery, Paris (2018); Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Genève (2017); Institute of the History and Theory of Architecture, ETH, Zurich (2014); Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles (2012); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011); and LAXART, Los Angeles (2009). His work is in the collections of Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam; Hammer Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Nancy Lupo (b. 1983, Flagstaff) lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions include The Square at Noon, Visual Arts Center, Austin (2019); No Country for Old Men, Antennae Space, Shanghai (2018); All Always Already, Kristina Kite Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); and Parent and Parroting, Swiss Institute, New York (2016). She has participated in several group exhibitions, including Made in L.A. 2018, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles – A Fiction, Mac, Lyon (2017) and Astrup Fearnley Museet, Oslo (2016); The Poet, The Critic, and the Missing, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2016); and Taster’s Choice, MoMA PS1, New York (2014). Upcoming projects include a public commission for Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles as part of CURRENT: LA FOOD, the Public Art Triennial. Lupo’s first solo museum exhibition will open at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego this fall.

Liliana Porter (b. 1941, Buenos Aires) has resided in New York since 1964. Recent solo shows include those at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2019); Blanton Museum of Art, Blanton (2018); El Museo de Barrio, New York (2018); The Perez Art Museum, Miami (2018); Galería Luciana Brito in São Paulo, Brasil (2018); ART OMI in Ghent, NY (2018); Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah (2017); El Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales, Montevideo (2017); Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Franklin Rawson, San Juan, Argentina (2016); Museo de Arte de Zapopan, Guadalajara (2014); Sicardi Gallery, Houston (2015); Galerie Mor-Charpentier, Paris (2012); and Barbara Krakow Gallery, Boston (2010). Porter’s work was featured in Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960 – 1985 at the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2017-18). In 2017 Porter’s work was included in Viva Arte Viva, La Biennale di Venezia, 57th International Art Exhibition in Venice and the 2nd Bienal de Performance, Parque de la Memoria in Buenos Aires. Porter’s most recent theatrical performance, THEM, co-directed with Ana Tiscornia, debuted in New York at The Kitchen in 2018.

 

Benjamin Reiss (b.1985, Los Angeles) received his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and is currently an MFA Candidate at the University of California, Irvine. Recent exhibitions include Deeper Than Inside, High Art, Paris (2019); Angel’s Share, FLAX @ Tin Flats, Los Angeles (2018); U, Utopian Visions, Portland (2018); Package Factory (Natural Marriage of Natural Resources), Bel Ami, Los Angeles (solo) (2018); Nut Art, Parker Gallery, Los Angeles; Pleasure Principle; Release and Exhibition, Actual Size, Los Angeles (2016); No Free Tax Art Month, 247365, New York (2016); Louie, Louie, Human Resources, Los Angeles (2014); and Rogue Locomotives; new work by Benjamin Reiss and Connor Thompson, Actual Size, Los Angeles (two person) (2014).

Paul Salveson (b. 1984, Washington, D.C.) received his BA from Bard College and his MFA from the University of Southern California. Salveson has presented projects at AWHRHWAR, Los Angeles (2017); JOAN, Los Angeles (2015); Favorite Goods, Los Angeles (2015); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2014); and Human Resources, Los Angeles (2013). Past group exhibitions include Things Themselves, Vernon Gardens, Vernon (2016); Chewing the Scenery, Icebox Project Space, Philadelphia (2016); First Book Award Showcase, Media Space, Science Museum, London

(2015); Louie, Louie, Human Resources, Los Angeles (2014); Three Themes: Contemporary Connections With Paul Strand, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (2014); Itinerant Belongings, Slought & University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (2014); Reading Photographs, Centre for Modern and Contemporary Art, La Spezia (2013); Photography For The Next Generation, Swiss Institute, New York (2009); Newest New York, Prague Biennale 4, Karlin Hall, Prague (2009); Altered, Stitched, and Gathered, MOMA PS1, New York (2006). A book of his photography, Between the Shell, was published by Mack Books in 2013.

Ana Tiscornia (b. 1951, Montevideo) has resided in New York since 1991. Her work has been shown internationally in various solo shows at OMI, Ghent, New York (2018); Galeria Nora Fisch, Buenos Aires (2017); Galería del Paseo, Lima (2015); Galería Nora Fisch, Buenos Aires (2013); Museo Gurvich, Montevideo (2013); and Josee Bienvenu Gallery, New York (2013). Additionally, Tiscornia has participated in group exhibitions such as Latinoamerica: Volver al futuro, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Buenos Aires (MACBA) (2018); Jesualdo: la palabra mágica, Museo Figari, Montevideo (2017); Márgenes, Museo de Historia del Arte MUHAR, Montevideo (2017); Mujeres en el arte. Museo Nacional de Artes Vi-suales, Montevideo (2015); and Doing and Undergoing, Columbia University, New York (2013). She represented Uruguay in the II and IX Bienal de La Habana (1986 and 2007) and in the III Bienal de Lima (2002), and participated in the Bienal del Fin del Mundo, Mar del Plata, Argentina (2014). Tiscornia is Emeritus Professor, State University of New York, College at Old Westbury. She is the author of the book, Vicissitudes of the Visual Imaginary: Between Utopia and Fragmented Identity, published by White Wine Press in collaboration with Distrito Cuatro.

Eric Veit (b. 1986, Napa, California) lives and works in New York. His work has recently been shown at Motel, New York (2018); Boatos Fine Arts, São Paulo (2017); Carl Louie, London, Ontario (2017); Rear Window, New York (2016); Exo Exo, Paris; Parisian Laundry, Montreal (2016); Jack Hanley, New York (2015); SpazioA, Pistoia (2014); Interstate Projects, New York (2014); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2014); and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2012).

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

The Props assist the House, 2019, exhibition view, Bel Ami, Los Angeles

William Leavitt, Installation Kit (Molecule), 2009, Lithograph, 19 x 23 3/4 (48.3 x 60.3 cm)

William Leavitt, Installation Kit (Wall), 2009, Lithograph, 19 x 23 3/4 (48.3 x 60.3 cm)

William Leavitt, Installation Kit (Lamp), 2009, Lithograph, 19 x 23 3/4 (48.3 x 60.3 cm)

Nancy Lupo, CW Two, 2015-17, Magic-Sculpt, ice trays, barley greens powder, calcium carbonate, acrylic binder, UV sealer, fibered aluminum roof coating, 113 × 6 1/2 × 2 in (287 x 16.5 x 5.1 cm)

Nancy Lupo, OV One, 2015-17, Magic-Sculpt, ice trays, barley greens powder, calcium carbonate, acrylic binder, UV sealer, fibered aluminum roof coating, 106 1/2 × 7 × 2 1/2 in (270.3 x 17.8 x 6.4 cm)

Eric Veit, Daffodil Tulip Steak, 2018, Wood, enamel, 17 x 20 1/2 x 1 1/4 in (43.2 x 52.1 x 3.2 cm)

Liliana Porter, Bell House, 2006, Digital photograph, Image 13 1/2 x 10 in (34.3 x 25.4 cm) / Framed 17 x 13 1/2 in (43.2 x 34.3 cm)

Milano Chow, Three Columns with Leaning Figure, 2019, Graphite, ink, vinyl paint, and photo transfer on paper, Image 12 × 9 in (30.48 × 22.86 cm) / Framed 14 3/4 x 11 3/4 (37.5 x 29.8 cm)

Milano Chow, Night Scene with Silhouettes, 2019, Graphite, ink, vinyl paint, and photo transfer on paper, Image 28 × 15 in (71.1 × 38.1 cm) / Framed 30 3/4 x 17 3/4 (77.1 x 45.1 cm)

Liliana Porter, The Sign, 2018, Metal object and figurine, 3 x 4 1/4 x 1 1/4 in (7.6 x 10.8 x 3.2 cm)

Liliana Porter, The Red Box, 2019, Acrylic on vintage book with attached figurine, 8 x 5 1/4 x 2 3/4 in (20.3 x 13.3 x 7 cm); The Book, 2018, Acrylic on vintage book, 7 1/2 x 5 /2 x 1 1/4 in (19.1 x 14 x 3.2 cm)

Paul Salveson, Failed Conversion, 2019, Paper, ball bearings, wood, 28 3/4 x 22 1/2 x 2 (73 x 57.2 x 5.1 cm)

Eric Veit, Better for Earth, 2019, Wood, shellac, plaster, wine foil, resin, plastic, wine, silver, 10 1/4 x 36 1/2 x 1 1/2 in (26 x 92.7 x 3.9 cm)

Benjamin Reiss, Writing Table, 2018, Pine, oak, basswood, MDF, paint, glue, steel, 16 x 47 x 23 in (40.6 x 119.4 x 58.4 cm)

Eric Veit, Sweet Potato Baby Doll, 2019, Wood, shellac, plastic, chocolate foil, resin, 8 1/2 x 3 x 2 in (21.6 x 7.6 x 5.1 cm)

Paul Salveson, Untitled, 2018, Paper, acrylic, wood, ball bearings, wood glue, 3 1/2 x 5 x 5 in (8.9 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)

Paul Salveson, Untitled, 2018, Paper, acrylic, wood, ball bearings, wood glue, 3 1/2 x 5 x 5 in (8.9 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)

Paul Salveson, Elastic Mask, 2018, Paper, jawbreakers, wood, wood glue, 28 1/4 x 25 x 2 in (71.8 x 63.5 x 5.1 cm)

Paul Salveson, Ideal Configuration, 2019, Paper, jawbreakers, wood, 28 1/4 x 25 x 2 in (71.8 x 63.5 x 5.1 cm)

Ana Tiscornia, It was next to the rug, 2019, Acrylic, plaster, digital print, mosaic and wood, 11 1/4 x 14 3/4 in (28.6 x 37.5 cm)

Ana Tiscornia, Remaining flowers, 2018, Acrylic, plaster, paper and wood, 12 x 23 1/2 in (30.5 x 59.7 cm)

Ana Tiscornia, Side by side, 2019, Acrylic, plaster, and fabric, 12 1/2 x 13 1/2 in (31.8 x 34.3 cm)

Nancy Lupo, REG Two, 2015-17, Magic-Sculpt, ice trays, barley greens powder, calcium carbonate, acrylic binder, UV sealer, fibered aluminum roof coating, 108 × 7 × 2 1/2 in (274.3 x 17.8 x 6.4 cm)

Liliana Porter, The Unravel (green thread), 2019, Figurine and thread spool on white shelf, 4 x 22 x 5 in (10.2 x 55.9 x 12.7 cm)

Paul Salveson, Drupe, 2019, Paper, jawbreakers, plastic Bags, wood, 40 x 13 x 5 in (101.6 x 33 x 12.7 cm)

Ana Tiscornia, Rug and chair, 2017, Digital print on fabric and painted wood, 88 x 60 x 8 in (223.5 x 152.4 x 20.3 cm)

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