I finally got over to see the Neo Povera show at L & M Arts, in what I sadly heard will be there second to last show. The Venice gallery is closing for good this fall, in what will be a big loss to the local art community. I'm not sure why (usually it's a money thing), but I know for sure that they will be missed.
Before you even go inside (or even if you don't), you can enjoy Andy Ralph's sculpture, Manifold Destiny, 2013, which is a bunch of artfully placed chain-link fences.
The show is based on the Arte Povera movement of the late 1960's, which translates literally to "Poor Art". The Artists all worked with accessible materials in an attempt to blur the lines between "elite art and the colletive experience.
The press release explains it well, with an excerpt from the manifesto by Germano Celant, outlining the original movement, Notes For A Guerrilla War:
"Over there is a complex art, over here a poor art, committed to contingency, to events, to the non-historical, to the present ... to an anthropological viewpoint, to the 'real man', and to the hope (in fact now the certainty) of being able to shake entirely free of every visual discourse that presents itself as univocal and consistent. Consistency is a dogma that has to be transgressed, and the univocal belongs to the individual and not to 'his' images and products."
In other, less lofty (everyday) words, it's art made from everyday stuff, that anyone can get, and create with in their own vision.
So you get Maya Lin's take on a Manhattan phone book.
You get Karla Black's cellophane sculpture, Spared The Sight, 2012.
A piece that looks like just a regular old Igloo by Patrick Meagher.
Virginia Overton's Untitled (Sandbag), 2013 ... made from yep, a sandbag.
None of the works were labeled (which always bugs me), so I'll just share some with you that I liked, but don't know the titles or artists of, and didn't want to keep asking ...
I come from a railroad family, so I liked the repurposed railroad tie sculpture back outside by Marianne Vitale.
All in all, it reminded me a bit of the Fluxus movement, where the premise is that everything can be art. Everything can be SEEN as art. And you should go see this very interesting show, while you can. It's on until July 6th, and then there's only one more exhibition at this wonderful space.
Which I guess means we all need to make more art, more accessible, and pick up the big slack that will be left when L & M is gone. Venice is up to the task, as art IS everywhere here.
L & M Arts
660 Venice Blvd.
Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00am - 5:30pm