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Top 3 This Week

Let Lindsay Preston Zappas curate your art viewing experiences this week. Here are our Top 3 picks of what not to miss. Scroll down for Insider stories.

Rollin Leonard, “Color From Three Vectors,” (2020). Dye sublimation on polyester, 180 x 90 inches. Photo by Ruben Diaz.

1. Rollin Leonard at Hunter Shaw Fine Art

At Hunter Shaw, Rollin Leonard’s “About Face” takes the medium of self-portraiture to new heights. In his “Flat Face” series, the artist photographs himself or his subject with an ultra-high resolution camera from three angles and then flattens the images to form one long, extruded face. Two of those works are on view in the gallery, printed out on a large scale that towers over the viewer. Each pore, hair, and blemish is enlarged and rendered crisply, so that the face itself becomes a topological map to be studied.

The process for his other series on view is a bit different. Leonard distorts the face by taking photographs of himself through droplets of water manipulated into curling organic forms. The resulting images depict the face in twisted and bulging expressions, which the artist collages together in large compositions. Though self-portraiture is one of art history's oldest genres, Leonard’s innovative techniques elevate the medium to new process-driven heights. 

On view: July 11–August 15, 2021 Open map

Hunter Shaw Fine Art
Jorge Peris, “Desembarco en el País de Nunca Jamás “ at Nicodim (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Nicodim. Photo by Lee Thompson.

2. Jorge Peris at Nicodim Gallery

At Nicodim gallery, wooden sculptures overtake the space. Many are made from found tables, dressers, pianos, and armoires that Jorge Peris hodge-podges together into strange assemblages that defy gravity. The artist then sands and carves selectively onto the surfaces of his sculptures, creating surprising patterns and nubby edges. In “Fuga para organo y mesa,” for example, the right half of a piano is inexplicably worn down while the other half remains intact, the piano careening precariously at a 45 degree angle on top of a round table. Other structures balance found wood in loosely fitting joints with instrument parts shoved into their crevices, like the trumpet horn slyly poking out in “Eucalipto” (2021). This body of sculptures feels both historical and refreshing, as Peris breathes new life into found objects, imbuing them with purpose, levity, and poise. 

On view: July 17–August 21, 2021 Open map

Nicodim Gallery
Installation view, Yunhee Min


Yunhee Min at Vielmetter Los Angeles

At Vielmetter, Yunhee Min departs from her traditional canvas and uses glass as a luminous painting surface. The artist pours pastel colored paint on the back side of the glass, making the colors appear flat and harmonious, even as they spill and drift into each other. In several floor works, Min sandwiches two such glass paintings together, held in place in a metal base. This display method both creates a three dimensional painting, viewable in the round, and allows for a sense of depth wherein surprising compositions and shadows occur within the overlapping panel layers. 

The works blend chance, allowing the paint to ooze, pour, drip, and control. Each composition is highly deliberate, almost like a graffiti scrawl, the chance happenings hemmed in by more controlled mark-making. By using glass along with paint, a medium that often attempts to recreate light, Min reveals a porous luminosity that makes these works feel bouncy and alive. 

On view: July 3–August 14, 2021 Open map

Vielmetter Los Angeles
Jungle Sweepstakes

Gallery Talk: Rollin Leonard

Gallery talk is your insider look into the stories of gallerists, curators, and artists in the Los Angeles art community.

Rollin Leonard, ”Smile Demon,” (2019-2021). Resin-domed photographs on board, 56 inches diameter. Photo by Ruben Diaz.

Shooting Photographs Through Water

To create his “Water Portraits,” Rollin Leonard plays with water droplets, contorting them into unique swirls and shapes on a piece of glass. Then, to render his distorted portraits, Leonard shoots hundreds of photographs through the droplets, allowing their domed surfaces to contort his visage. Although these effects might easily be accomplished in Photoshop, Leonard prizes his analog process for the unique surprises that it can bring.

“I'm interested in using physical means of distorting an image because it roots the images in physical reality,” Leonard explains. “Using water in particular allows for elements of chance to enter the image. My method also forces me to develop a new way of seeing, which is then hopefully passed on to the viewer, the creation of a kind of third space that exists beyond the perceived line between the simulated and real.”


Lindsay Preston Zappas is KCRW's Arts Correspondent and the founder/ editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla).

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