Claire Lehmann: The Understudy | Models
709 N. Hill St. inside Asian Center upstairs suite #105 Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA
Thursday, April 25 at 6:00 PM 9:00 PM
Ends May 25, 2024
Claire Lehmann: The Understudy Bel Ami and Page are pleased to present The Understudy, Claire Lehmann’s debut solo exhibition in Los Angeles. For this collaboration, Lehmann has created a new group of eight paintings, which continues her engagement with the universe of mimetic representation. Lehmann’s latest sequence of works includes a space-age garden of roses blooming on an outmoded server rack; a perspectivally skewed tabletop scene featuring a sugar-topped cake baked in the shape of a lamb; and a pseudo–Madonna and Child in which the central figures are replaced by an obstetric “phantom”—an educational dummy used for medical simulations. The artist scavenges this content from a diverse set of sources—obsolete computer files, historical exhibition catalogues, medical textbooks—mining the history of representational painting alongside that of industrial, vernacular, and technical imaging to create uncanny, anachronistic tableaux. Lehmann restages her source materials through a free-associative process, merging ancient and contemporary visual artifacts in ways that feel simultaneously familiar and mysterious. Within these varied depictions, central themes emerge: technology’s spells, sensuality and transience, and the fastness of images. Though Lehmann’s source materials are seemingly disparate, each exemplifies the unseen processes that shape the appearances of our image-drenched world. Her visual precursors include traditional art-historical genres, motifs, or optical styles; industrial procedures that govern analog photography or motion capture; digital image files used to test or train new algorithms; and other graphic customs. Moving beyond a strict dichotomy between the artificial and the organic, Lehmann’s paintings explore these categories’ interconnectedness, forming a subtle fusion that is neither overly scientific nor naturalistic, but rather a hybrid with its own essence. For Lehmann, each painting results from an inquiry into the contents of the image world’s unconscious—the substrate that supports the forms of the visible realm. Tenderly and precisely painted, these works are suffused with a numinous quality; there is a sense of suspension inherent in these scenes, as though a divine light has briefly flooded the view but may soon blink out. Claire Lehmann (b. 1980, Boston, MA) is an artist and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include David Lewis, New York (2021). Recent group exhibitions include David Lewis, New York (2024); Amity at Carlye Packer, Los Angeles (2023); and Harkawik, New York (2023). Lehmann co-curated, with Ann Temkin, Ileana Sonnabend: Ambassador for the New at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; co-authored the anthology Artists Who Make Books (Phaidon/PPP Editions); and wrote “Color Goes Electric,” a widely read and anthologized history of the digitization of color for Triple Canopy. A former editor at Cabinet and a frequent contributor to Artforum, Lehmann has a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College. She is represented by David Lewis, New York. - Models Tom Allen, Daniel Beckwith, Milano Chow, Elizabeth Englander, Erik Frydenborg, Ishi Glinsky, Andy Hervey, Hanna Hur, Jacob Kassay, Patrick Kerville, Calvin Marcus, Rodney Nonaka-Hill, Corrie Siegel, Nicole-Antonia Spagnola, J. Parker Valentine, Eric Veit, Erin Calla Watson, Michael Zahn This is a show of architectural models of gallery and exhibition spaces. These scale models are not originally meant to be exhibited publically: they are tools used to plan and prepare for upcoming shows. Models like these are often discarded after they have fulfilled their initial goal. In fact, some of the models in this show were, or are, going to be tossed out. This show includes no artwork and nothing is titled. Consequently nothing is priced.
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