Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics!
and 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz
Guest Curators: Andrew Hosner (Thinkspace) & Gary Pressman (Copro Gallery)
Exhibition Opens Sunday, February 22nd – April 19th, 2015
(Los Angeles) – The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and Juxtapoz magazine are pleased to present new works by Robert Williams in SLANG Aesthetics! in conjunction with 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz, a group exhibition by guest curators Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gallery and Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery. Both exhibitions will be on view at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery from February 22nd to April 19th, 2015. These two exhibitions commemorate the 20th anniversary of Juxtapoz magazine, founded by Williams in 1994, and it’s vast influence on several generations of artists.
Robert Williams is widely upheld as the godfather of the low brow and pop surrealist art movements, and with as much frequency denigrated as an irreverent iconoclast among the arbiters of “high” art. As both patriarch and outlaw, Williams’ enduring influence on the New Contemporary movement is undeniable. A true maverick who sought to create vital work that channeled the shifting energies and immediacy of counterculture, from the 60’s onward, Williams’ paintings invoked a return to craftsmanship, figuration and demotic imagery that rejected the elitist tenets of conceptual minimalism. In 1994 Williams founded Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine and created a platform for this young and insurgent energy on the West Coast; a publication that was dedicated to the underground and to its cultural mutineers. Williams, a self described Conceptual Realist, continues to create artworks that elicit a response and offer an opinion. Relying on concrete, and relatable, imagery to invoke ideas and concepts, rather than on the non-comital spasms of abstraction, his work continues to cut, seethe, confront and move. Not for the faint of heart, Williams speaks an unruly truth that captures the dark, the beautiful and the appalling tenor of our modern world. SLANG! Aesthetics is Robert Williams’ first major body of work to debut in Los Angeles in well over a decade, and will feature 25 new oil paintings by the artist alongside a suite of drawings, and a series of large-scale sculptures fabricated with the assistance of Gentle Giant Studios.
In conjunction with Williams’ new exhibition of work, 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz celebrates the publication’s 20th anniversary. What once began as an alternative magazine, Juxtapoz is now the most widely disseminated art publication in the world. Predicated on the rejection of the artificial boundaries that consecrated “high”, Juxtapoz effectively broke down walls to allow young artists a chance at their own history. It is also an ideal that attests to the power of making accessible art about shared cultural experiences, identities and aesthetics. The magazine has helped to define and bring to light one of the most exciting art movements of our time, an incipient movement in 1994 that has now, finally 20 years later, begun to infiltrate the mainstream art markets and institutions from which it had once been excluded. It is also a movement with a massive fan following that attests to the power, and relevance, of making accessible art about shared cultural experiences, identities and aesthetics. The artists featured in this exhibition have been chosen based for their impact on the movement, and on how they themselves have been motivated by such an abundance of inspiration. With access to this imagery and community, new and multifaceted generations of artists continue to emerge from the ranks. Avenues made possible by Juxtapoz, through its wide variety of featured media and expressions, have shaped this aesthetic and preserves its trajectory as far as the imagination will allow.
This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs and the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. The LAMAG is located within the beautiful Barnsdall Park at 4800 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. To contact the gallery please call 323.644.6269. Gallery hours are Thursday through Sunday from Noon to 5PM. For special tours and school groups, please contact Marta Feinstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or to arrange special adult tours, please contact Gabe Cifarelli at Gabriel.email@example.com – visit LAMAG on the web at www.lamag.org