Jonah Elijah: A Day In The Life | Lauren Elder: The Muse and the Simurgh

1700 S. Santa Fe Avenue, unit 460, Los Angeles CA 90021
Jul 02, 4 PM - 6 PM — ends Jul 30, 2022
Wilding Cran Gallery is pleased to present A Day In The Life, a curatorial assemblage of the memories and everyday influences of emerging artist, Jonah Elijah.

In an effort to capture the essence of life in his hometown of Houston, Texas, Jonah Elijah invites the viewer to take a walk in his shoes, harnessing everything from oil paint and pastel, to newsprint and found objects. Through an odyssey punctuated by snapshots of street scenes and basketball courts, shopping carts and sneakers, A Day In The Life introduces the viewer to a series of vignettes that guide us through the experience of a young Black man growing up in America.

Throughout his practice, the now Los Angeles-based artist utilizes representational and abstract approaches to painting in order to isolate and examine the impact of certain images, objects, and rituals that came to characterize his adolescence. At once thoughtfully methodical and implicitly organic, Elijah revisits the sites of his memories by experimenting with point of view. Through an aesthetic commentary on the ways in which we are able to re-evaluate our modes of perception, the artist questions the significance of where we stand in relation to our memories, to one another, to animals and insects, to telephone poles and mountaintops.

Whether witnessing a bird’s eye view of a neighborhood dice game or observing the world from beneath the soles of a pair of Jordans, A Day In The Life pieces together the puzzle of memory to examine the pathways though which we learn to navigate the world. By holding a microscope up to his own iconography, Jonah Elijah draws the viewer into an intimate autobiographical journey that sheds light on the experiences that shape us as individuals and the ties that come to bind a community.

This is Elijah's first time exhibiting with Wilding Cran Gallery.

Jonah Elijah received his BA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at San Antonio, 2017. Since receiving his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2020, his studio practice has progressed through residencies, such as Virginia Center for Creative Arts (VCCA) where he created his Virginia series, works on paper that respond to the center’s historical land in the foothills of Blueridge Mountains, Amherst, VA, which are simultaneously focused on Black exploitation and Black liberation. His most recent residency was based in Queens, NY at Deli Grocery, followed by his first solo exhibition with the gallery titled ABOVE BELOW CENTER (ABC), featuring works focused on highlighting dimensions of everyday Black life. Elijah continues to push his work forward with guest artist lectures at institutions such as Western Michigan University, Hood College and Claremont Graduate University. Like the narrative of his work, Elijah is ever-evolving.

Wilding Cran Gallery is pleased to present The Muse and the Simurgh, a solo show of new ceramic works by Los Angeles - based artist Lauren Elder.

Elder’s practice pays tribute to the diverse traditions and histories of her Iraqi & Scottish ancestors. Merging their ancestral experiences and cultural iconography with those of her contemporary Los Angeles upbringing, she creates a visual identity of her own.

“My ceramic practice is the most immediate and visceral attempt to engage these ancient cultures, with the most ancient and organic medium: clay. I understand vases as modern relics, each piece of stoneware illustratively engraved and influenced as much by Greek and Persian mythology as by Amphora vases, the natural etchings and hieroglyphs found inside the Lascaux Cave, and computer-generated map-making. In my hand-painted vessels I carve signs and symbols that merge these mythologies with signifiers from my own quotidien existence, weaving ancient languages with pictorial narratives connected to the subconscious. They chart my own psycho-geography as it overlaps with the physical geography of my studio and social life in Los Angeles.”

“In clay I also explore a range of feminine archetypes: from the ancient warrior figure who cultivates power, with a sense of purpose in order to create social justice and systemic change, to the ‘Instagram Influencer’ parlaying augmented body forms for likes and social-media power. My ceramic female bust series examines everything from the archetypes represented in Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party, and punk rock princess to exhibitionist Tik-Tokkers to the matriarchs in my Middle Eastern family who rebelled against systems of oppression. They seek to question power structures and hierarchies within feminist circles and the culture at large.”

This is Elder’s first time exhibiting with Wilding Cran Gallery.