INTERVIEW: DTLA Artist Lisa Adams on Her Upcoming Show “A Piebald Era” at Garis & Hahn – Saturday, January 12, 2019

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You Can Never Die by Lisa Adams - Garis & Hahn

Artist Lisa Adams has lived in Downtown Los Angeles on and off for about 25 years, and her artwork can be found throughout the LA area. Her paintings appear in such collections as the Eli Broad Corporate Collection, the USC Fisher Museum of Art, the Laguna Museum of Art, and the Long Beach Museum of Art. Adams’ public commissions include the Chatworth Orange Line Metro Station, Fire Station No. 64 in Watts, and the West Valley Branch Library in Reseda.

Adams lived in the Arts District from 1987 to 1996, and she recently returned to the area after living in the Santa Fe Art Colony, about 20 blocks south, for the past decade. She told Cartwheel, “The biggest difference between living here and living on 25th Street is the ability to just take a walk and have restaurants and markets and bars and everything within walking distance. It’s really nice. I lived in New York from ‘81 to ‘85, and SoHo was a bit like this, where you’d have mixed use places and fancy lofts and corner stores. Every time I walk out the door here, it reminds me a tiny bit of living in Soho during those years.”

On Saturday, January 12, the Arts District gallery Garis & Hahn will present Adams’ solo show “A Piebald Era.” Adams says she often struggles to come up with titles for her pieces and shows, but this one just came to her. She says, “It was almost as if someone had whispered in my ear.” The phrase reminded her of one of her favorite paintings at the Getty—“A Piebald Horse” by Paulus Potter, which depicts an Appaloosa horse, also known as a piebald.  Adams says “Because I have so much trouble thinking of titles, I tend to do research on words so I have a better understanding of how they’re used.” As she researched the world piebald and its history, she discovered that it has an alternate meaning: Something that is incongruous. She says, “That made perfect sense to me. An incongruous era, which is where we’re living now. An era that’s full of discord and disagreement. It was like the perfect fit—the perfect title.”

For Adams, the word “incongruous” not only describes the times in which we’re living, but also the work that will be on display at Garis & Hahn. She says, “In general, the paintings are a group of disjointed, eccentric images, based on human relationships to the culture, our relationships to each other, and our relationships to the environment.”

Life's a Tickle by Lisa Adams - Garis & Hahn

Life’s a Tickle by Lisa Adams

Two of the paintings in A Piebald Era were inspired by the unconventional structures she found at Bombay Beach, on the Salton Sea. She says, “The people who live at Bombay Beach are really in a bad situation. The Salton Sea was an agricultural, environmental disaster.” Adams has been going out there on and off since 2006, taking photographs, and using them as references for her paintings.

Adams’ portrayal of nature has a dark side, but her work is also hopeful and beautiful. She says, “It’s a real mashup, a kind of collision, a dichotomy of all these things coming together that probably don’t belong together, but they do exist together, just like in real life. In life, there are a lot of things that exist together that aren’t necessarily good, but they survive. Things survive.”

Top image: You Can Never Die by Lisa Adams

January 12 – February 16, 2019

Opening Reception:
January 12, 2019 (5 – 8 pm)

Garis & Hahn
1820 Industrial St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Expiration of Icons by Lisa Adams - Garis & Hahn

The Expiration of Icons by Lisa Adams


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