Durden and Ray presents XYZ in August, with an opening reception from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday Aug. 5, 2017. The exhibition is intended as a statement resisting the commodification of art.
The artists in the show — Lana Duong, Martin Durazo, Ed Gomez, Brian Thomas Jones, Ruben Ochoa, Alison Petty Ragguette, and Jaime Scholnick — use unconventional materials to create sculpture that comments on the current political climate.
Curators Ed Gomez and Brian Thomas Jones explore parallels between Los Angeles artists’ current work and Italy’s “arte povera” movement. The term was coined by Italian art critic Germano Celant during the period of upheaval at the end of the 1960s, when artists began attacking the values of established institutions of government, industry and culture.
“The idea for this show started back in 2011 when I did a series of studio visits with artists who were hit hard by the global economic crisis that started with the Bush administration,” Gomez said. “I saw how artists had to change or adapt their art-making practices and resort to scavenging or dumpster diving for materials. This process of making unwanted trash into art had historical parallels that I was interested in investigating.”
At the same time, the curators wanted to explore today’s political upheaval and how that relates to choice of materials, Jones said.
“We chose artists and works that respond to the resistance movement rising worldwide to combat the devolution of culture brought on by the current political atmosphere in our country,” Jones said. “The ideas contained within the show also relate to the resistance to and the reconfiguration of the art exhibition model in the era of art commodification — through the emergence of artist-run spaces and collectives such as Durden and Ray.”