ARTISTS TALK: A Conversation with L.A. Artists is the second program in a series of talks with influential California-based artists, established to explore the living legacy of Los Angeles' vibrant contemporary art scene. The artists will speak to their work, process, histories and lives, addressing the significance and specificity of L.A. as a creative context for their work. The event joins these tangentially related though distinct voices for the first time in a public forum.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby (b. 1983) is a Nigerian-born, Los Angeles-based artist. Her large-scale works on paper combine traditional painting techniques with drawing, collage, and printmaking to convey a feeling of aesthetic hybridity. Informed by her own experiences as a transnational expat, the figure dominates throughout Crosby's expressive work as an imposing vehicle for identity and narrative, as an entity both divided and borrowed, personal and universal, annexed and consolidated. A multiplicity of experience is conveyed in each richly layered and dynamic work, as the artist references the intimacy of domestic and private spaces shaped in perpetuity by the lingering impositions of history and cultural appropriation. Crosby is a 2017 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation 'Genius' Fellowship.
Charles Gaines (b. 1944) is an established Los Angeles-based artist and an influential educator on faculty at California Institute of the Arts. His conceptually inflected works explore the making of meaning and its socio-political implications through the methodical revelation of systems. Varying from the representational to the more deliberately abstract, Gaines explores quantifiable increments, everything from language, musical notation, to numeric data, deconstructing the systemic armatures that support and propagate signification. Interested in the intersection of the objective and interpretative, his photographs, drawings, performances, and works on paper are as poetic as they are critically analytical. Gaines is the 2018 recipient of the REDCAT award, an honor bestowed to leaders in the field of contemporary art.
Moderated by Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum.