Friday, May 23, 2014

Must See Show in Irvine - One Week Only!

Daniel Hawkins and Jenn Berger are two of the most interesting artists among the current crop of LA grad students, and they are mounting their MFA thesis shows at UC Irvine (along with Jimena Sarno and Isabel Theselius, neither of whose work I know) this week, opening the afternoon of Saturday May 24th from 2 - 5 PM.

Daniel may be familiar as a recent addition to F, my noise band with Marnie Weber and Dani Tull, or from his Amplified Pepperoncini Jar performances from a couple of years ago, or his 2009 show at Las Cienegas Projects. These activities are just the tip of the Hawkins iceberg, though, which is chockfull of epic, ever-expanding Sisyphean Gesamtkunstwerks, including the production of a Val Kilmer mountain-climbing movie and the piecemeal construction of an actual-size replica of the Hoover Dam.

His thesis show, Desert Lighthouse Protocols, collects a portion of the documentation and preparatory works for the titular beacon for wanderers in the Mojave Desert, allegedly built, destroyed by vandals and currently under reconstruction. 

The show features a spectacular large-scale panoramic landscape painting, the completed housing cap for the Fresnel lens, a patchwork actual-size drawing of the lighthouse, a sample stock certificate for potential investors, and an array of other elements and ephemera in a sort of virtual rendition or mock-up visitor's center for the actual land art intervention. 

Hopefully a more centrally located gallerist will snap this show up and restage it, but in case they happen to be from central Manhattan or central Berlin, you should cross the Orange Curtain, just this once, and dig the construction.

Daniel introduced me to the work of fellow MFA candidate Jenn Berger, and if she followed my installation advice to the letter, her show should be just about as spectacular as Daniel's. Jenn's work also runs the gamut from painting and drawing to kinetic sculpture, video projections, photography, and various disciplinary hybrids.

Jenn's work pretty consistently explores dysfunctional -- or at very least decidedly non-vanilla -- family dynamics, as well as off-kilter examinations of the animal kingdom -- often in overlapping configurations as seen in this somewhat disturbing kangaroo love sketch.

This free-standing life-size digital photocollage places her still-living father in his coffin, more or less. And these giraffes appear to be in the midst of some kind of aesthetic vivisection. And don't get me started on her sister, niece, and Granny. Just haul ass and check it out "in the flesh".

UCI MFA Thesis Exhibition Part III

Daniel Hawkins (Font Gallery CAC)
Jimena Sarno (Back Gallery CAC)
Isabel Theselius (Room Gallery)
Jenn Berger (UAG Gallery)

May 22 - 30, 2014 | Reception 2 - 5 pm May 24 | Soft Opening 6 - 9 pm May 22

University Art Gallery | 712 Arts Plaza | Irvine, CA 92697-2775
For a map and directions:

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