Event Coverage: Opening Reception of “Dark Progressivism: The Built Environment” at Lancaster Museum of Art & History (MOAH) – November 11th, 2017

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I’m glad I was able to make it out the opening of “Dark Progressivism: The Built Environment” at Lancaster Museum of Art and History (MOAH) on November 11th. The museum has a nice feel to it.

Walking in, I found co-curator Lisa Derrick giving a filmed interview to some folks from New York and after almost walking in front of what I didn’t realize was a film camera she called me over to give some additional perspective on Prime’s Payphone installation. The wall is a palimpsest of writing styles and “signs of life.” I wanted the interviewer to understand that while average citizens would either not notice the wall writing in its original street context, or would think of it as blight, that there was deep history reflected in the letters, with various generations of L.A. derived letterforms to be appreciated.

Prime took me over to his scribed cement piece and, as always, had very informative things to say about the people whose names graced the piece as well as the fonts.

Gajin Fujita’s strong and personal multicultural mix is always enjoyable to see, and it was nice that Jaime Scholnick was next to him as Gajin had questions about some of the ways she created her work. Artists, talking with other artists about their work is always informative. Scholnick captures a feeling of streets that would be familiar to those that roam the city.

Michael Alvarez also captures a neighborhood feel, albeit in a more surreal way. Look at his work up close and appreciate the variety of approaches he uses to create his half real/half dream representation.

Susan Logoreci, even through the view is aerial, smartly forces us to look closely at her work by painting seeming obstructions to an easy read of the surface and almost creating mini compositions within the whole.

Big Sleeps’ calligraphy and painting may be appreciated on a purely aesthetic level, but it’s always worth spending the time figuring out the personal message of the letters.

Rafael Reyes draws from a similar well of street inspiration but primarily using symbols close to his heart.

Felix Quintana’s piece is more than just interesting for how he creates something that looks like half drawing and half neon art; there is a real feel for human concerns.

These were some of the people I was glad to be able to visit with at the opening although all of the show deserves time and attention. Some contributing artists couldn’t get out to the opening, but seeing their work, Chaz Bojorquez and Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez (detail), for example, were like visiting with them.

The show is altogether of a piece: the city from various views and inhabitants reflecting a not-always-happy but certainly alive response to it. Props to Lisa Derrick, Rodrigo d’Ebre and Andi Campognone at MOAH for having the vision to put such a good show together.

Last Photo:  (L-R)Rodrigo d’Ebre, Lisa Derrick and Louis Jacinto (photographer with work in show).

Artists: Michael Alvarez, Sandow Birk, Chaz Bojorquez, Liz Brizzi, David “Big Sleeps” Cavazos, Roberto Chavez, Cryptik, Gajin Fujita, Peter Greco, Roberto Gutierrez, Jason Hernandez, Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez, Louis Jacinto, Susan Logoreci, Manuel Lopez, Eva Malhotra, Horacio Martinez, Jim McHugh, Gerardo Monterrubio, Estevan Oriol, Cleon Peterson & Lisa Schulte, Felix Quintana, Carlos Ramirez, Erwin Recinos, Rafael Reyes, Joe “Prime” Reza, Sandy Rodriguez, Shizu Saldomando, Alex Schaefer, and Jaime Scholnick.

Special note from Cartwheel Art: Coverage from previous Dark Progressivism exhibitions, screenings, graffiti tour and additional special programming, presented by Cartwheel Art, including “Dark Progressivism: Metropolis Rising” at the LA Art Show 2015, can be found here.

“Dark Progressivism: The Built Environment”
November 11th, 2017 – January 14th, 2018

Dark Progressivism Website 

Special Programming:
December 10th, 2017: Art and Science Panel
January 7th, 2018:  Zine Fest and Noir Panel.

MOAH, Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA
665 Lancaster Blvd, Lancaster CA 93534


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