Tuesday, February 03, 2009
In my sunny corner of SoCal we have a new art complex. Lux Institute, ultramodern architecture tucked into an exclusive canyon neighborhood, is a small museum, a learning center, and an apartment for artists. It’s our first residency program, and it ain’t for locals… not that I’m complaining…
The two shows I’ve seen have displayed exquisite workmanship, in both 2D and 3D work, and dealt with landscape. You can’t take photos, so see them here.
My problem with the place is its exclusive nature. Openings are by invitation only. There’s a free day each month, but it’s “family night,” which is off-putting to many artists, with good reason. And regular tickets are $10, for one small gallery.
I complained, and they invited me to bring a class of students for free, which was nice… We met Jolynn Kristosek and talked with her as she cut paper (this is the concept: meet the artist and watch him or her work).
Kristosek makes low-relief sculptures based on Dutch flower still lifes. They are impressive, if a bit funereal. She’s only 26 and has been making this work for five years (started it as an undergrad and continued it through grad school). And now she’s hitting the bigtime in NYC. I wonder if she’s painting herself into a corner that she’ll never get out of. The sculptures are a bit of a trick: the wax mold is cut away and re-added intact. For example, she gouges out a petal and then attaches that petal.
It remains to be seen if Lux will reach out to the local art community, while keeping its prestige and ambitious charter. After all, it’s not every day you see this kind of investment in art.