Jenny Okun | Peter Olson: Marked for Life | Guy Dill: Nomad | Llyn Foulkes
Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Building B3, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Saturday, June 1 at 5:00 PM 7:00 PM
Ends Jul 6, 2024
Craig Krull Gallery has been exhibiting the photographic work of Jenny Okun since 1991, in the pre-digital era when she invented her extraordinary layering of images by “simply” advancing the film in her camera by small increments between exposures. Her multiple exposures combined architectural elements in cubistic fashion and she embraced the sections that were over or under exposed as aspects of the photographic process.  She states, “looking at architecture is like listening to music.  Both are dramatic forms that reveal multiple, repeating themes.  Above all, both require time. Just as a symphony cannot be experienced in a few seconds, it is impossible to see a whole building at once.”  Her images are a filmic deconstruction of architecture, a distillation of elements into a new, harmonious composition of successive forms in time and space.  The exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery will focus on Okun’s interpretations of three masterpieces of Frank Gehry, The Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.  Gehry’s sweeping curves and deconstructivism are clearly complementary to Okun’s methodology. - Peter Olson began his photography career in the 1970s when he founded the punk rock magazine, New Sound. Subsequently, he became a street photographer, architectural photographer, sports photographer and even corporate head shot photographer.  Around 2013, he developed a passion for ceramics and looked for ways to combine his two interests.  Recognizing that simply adding photos to the surface of ceramics was rather commonplace, he invented a form of ceramic narratives in the tradition of ancient Greek vessels that told mythological stories around the circumference of their forms.  However, Olson’s figures are not gods and goddesses, but often average people on the street.  He transfers ink from his photographic images onto his own, highly accomplished, wheel-thrown pots.  In fact, all the images on Olson’s pots come through his camera, even the filigree and architectural elements that he photographed at the V&A and British Museum.  He then meticulously hand colors everything, achieving the appearance of fine Sévres porcelain.  The exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery will include work from his Marked for Life series, which depicts people whose bodies are covered with tattoos, a parallel to Olson’s own practice of decorating the bodies of his ceramic forms. - In the 1970s, Guy Dill was part of a young group of artists loosely referred to as the Venice Mafia, taking advantage of cheap real estate and beach lifestyles. Having graduated from Chouinard Art Institute, his first forms of recognition came from the legendary dealer Irving Blum who “discovered” him and invited him to participate in a group show, and his inclusion in Ten Young Artists: Theodoron Awards at the Guggenheim in 1971, along with other emerging LA talents, Mary Corse and Ron Cooper. Over the years, Dill has experimented with a diverse range of materials in his work, from glass, aluminum, steel, wood and concrete to those connective elements that held his materials in states of tension such as string, rope and cable. In fact, Dill has always addressed the ageless fundamental issues of sculpture such as torque, tension, balance, and weight, as well as the more contemporary concerns of process and conceptual inquiry. Peter Plagens understood this early on when he said, “Guy Dill is the most consistent sculptor around; inventive, craftsmanlike, elegant and reasonably witty…what the pieces have to say are answers to exercise questions. [such as] Can a 9’ sheet of glass stand on end? “ Dill exhibited at Ace Gallery in the 1980s when Craig Krull was director there. Forty years later, his first exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery, is entitled Nomad, and will include recent white, powder coated aluminum sculptures with arcs, twists and elongated curves that recall the movement and strength of Martha Graham. His work is included in major museums such as, MOMA, The Whitney, Guggenheim, MOCA, LACMA, The Stedelijk and The Smithsonian. - Since his debut at Ferus Gallery in 1961 and his first museum exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum the following year, Llyn Foulkes has continued to produce raw, visceral, provocative, often political and sometimes disturbing works of art.  He said, “My work has always been about man’s inhumanity to man.” His edgy and honest approach has resulted in a public reception over the years vascillating between adulation and misunderstanding. As curator, Ali Subotnick wrote, he prefers “to exist a bit on the periphery to retain his rawness, integrity and realness.  He’s much more in tune with what’s happening in the real world rather than just focused on - as so many artist are – the art world.”  A major “rediscovery” occurred with his inclusion in MOCA’s  Helter Skelter exhibition in 1992, and yet again in recent years with solo exhibitions at Sprüth Magers and Gagosian. His exhibition at Craig Krull Gallery will include 16 recent small scale works of painted-over portraits, signature “bloody heads” and assemblage in critique of his cultural nemesis, Walt Disney and the omnipresent Mickey Mouse.  In a catalogue essay from the exhibition, Llyn Foulkes: Between a Rock and a Hard Place at the Laguna Art Museum in 1992, Marilu Knode wrote, Foulkes’ “musings presage the millennial anticipation of a country wondering how it will adjust to changing global interconnections, even though the changes have been wrought in part by America.”