2012 RECAP


One of the most interesting programs of ART SAN DIEGO each year is the Spotlight Artist Program, which gives collectors a focused look at several cutting-edge emerging artists who will each be creating a site-specific solo exhibition at the Fair in September. Spotlight Artists are selected by Curatorial Director Marcela Quiroz Luna. She states, “This year our selected array of Spotlights–all represented by LA galleries–converge in various aesthetic interests that are crucial to understand the urban approach our 2012 edition sustains. Essentialist depictions, raw materialities, intimate forms of representation and a pensive manner of conveying the narrative qualities of their subjects are some of the nerves that connect our featuring artists in a rather silent an unpretentious way.”

ART SAN DIEGO 2012 Spotlight Artists Include: Jennifer Celio represented by Katherine Cone Gallery; David McDonald represented by Carter & Citizen; Charles LaBelle represented by Walter Maciel Gallery; David Lamelas represented by Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art and Christopher Russell represented by Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.


Spotlight Artists for 2012:

Represented by Cardwell Jimmerson

David Lamelas | “Corner Piece” | 1965-2010 | Latex paint over gypsum board | Dimensions variable

David Lamelas is not only a conceptual artist icon in Argentina, his native country; he is also widely recognized abroad since he was featured at the Venice Biennale in 1968. His work, developed mainly in video and film, has followed various main routes specifically concerning the relation between information, media and society regarding art’s potential to address it and provide new cognitive ways. Throughout his intense and humorously-reflective career based between London and L.A., Lamelas has used almost every media (installation, photography, drawing, language, sculpture, etc) occupied in questioning the ways we refer to and experience time and space, both socially and individually—certain that time can only be thought about in terms of our singular experience of it.

Represented by Walter Maciel Gallery

Charles LaBelle | “KS-H 383 Westin Grand Berlin” | 2010 | Graphite and gesso on book page | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4″

Charles LaBelle has kept a written and photographic record of every building he physically entered since 1997 in a list where he registers the building’s precise location as well as date/time of his first entry. Up to date the list comprises more than 14,000 buildings; a few of them he turns into drawings. LaBelle states that the project’s “true site is the intersection of consciousness, corporeality and the world” concluding that it is not even important if the drawing gets done or not. Fortunately, the drawings he has produced are now part of a series of graphite architectural traces that inhabit not regular paper, but extracted pages out of Freud’s key writings explaining neurosis, libido, narcissism and other psychological affections. As such, the background for these drawings—itself intervened with annotations and extended text disappearances covered by gesso—sets the buildings themselves (and us as testifying witnesses) in an intriguing (un)literal context that enables the construction of a whole new set of signifiers and crossed references regarding memory, representation, temporality and space–both physical and textual.

Represented by Carter & Citizen

David McDonald | “Tiny History #69” | 2011 | Mixed media | 5.5 x 3.25 x 5″ | Photo: Courtesy of David McDonald and Carter & Citizen

David McDonald works with apparently simple structures which he translates into ‘legible’ sculptures by imposing on them equally simple titles–usually grouped in series. The result of this linguistic-sculptural gesture creates an expanded readability that grows from within the works and speaks to the viewer with amazing clarity. McDonald’s works might even seem unaware of the effort his fortunate pairings require since it is quite rare to compound–with such unpretentious honesty–raw materials minimally intervened, with direct and uncomplicated nouns such as “Fractures”, one of his most successful. In this series, McDonald selects broken wall coverings recomposing its fragments, respectfully following its forms to create discrete flattened monochromatic bodies, which nonetheless silently confess their fractured and incomplete condition.

Represented by Katherine Cone Gallery

Jennifer Celio | “Untitled” | 2012 | Graphite pencil on paper | 10 x 7″ | Photo: Alan Shaffer | Courtesy of Katherine Cone Gallery

As Jacques Derrida affirmed, drawing is our closest way to ‘touch’ the world, but it also leads to a intermittent blindness since we can’t really see what we are drawing while we draw; opening up a gap between the work and its referent. The work of Jennifer Celio (Burbank, CA, 1972) seems to understand this condition with extreme sensibility giving way to figurative alliances that construct peaceful yet disrupting environments. Her perfect manufacture reveals such a clarity of vision that easily leads us to believe the gap between what is attainable to the eye and/or to the hand can be easily traversed by very few, Celio being one of them.

Represented by LuisDeJesus.com

Christopher Russell | “The Challenge Wind Makes VII” | 2011 | 60 x 48 inches | Courtesy of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Evocative of some forgotten landscape hidden in our dreamlike memories, the mixed media environments Christopher Russell delivers to our conscious-self, seem effortlessly to capture us deep into the uncanny aesthetics of his constructed realities. He composes his works as a poet would, blending images, narratives and textures that whisper their shared hidden reasons. Russell uses photography, digital media, drawing, writing, bookmaking, floral fabrics, dirt, glitter, among other material excuses to embody imaginary worlds entirely his own, yet familiar enough to awaken our desire to abandon ourselves in them.

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