September 7 - October 19, 2014
TOP COAT curated by Roger Herman
Catharine Ahearn, Roger Herman, James Iveson, Ravi Jackson, Calvin Steele Marcus, Ross McLain, Sarah Sarchin, Frank J. Stockton, and Nate Zeidman
Top Coat is the first exhibition in an on-going series of artist curated projects at The Pit. For our first project by an outside artist we asked LA based artist Roger Herman.
Herman is a well known fixture in the LA art world. His paintings and ceramics have been widely exhibited and shown in the region (as well as internationally) since he moved to LA in 1981. He has been teaching painting at UCLA since 1985. He was also one of the founders of the now infamous Chinatown gallery Black Dragon Society which opened in 1998 and helped launch the careers of a multitude of young artists until the doors closed for good in 2008.
For Top Coat he has asked 8 of his students at UCLA in the MFA painting program to contribute work. Herman has a history of showing his work with his students and subverting the typical hierarchy found between students and professors, artists emerging and established.
The 8 artists chosen by Herman to participate in Top Coat have a range of art practices from the surreal and sometimes comical sculptures of Catharine Ahearn; to the abstracted facial form paintings of Ravi Jackson; to Ross McLain’s geometric abstract paintings that bring to mind blind fixtures flittering in a dusty motel room.
For Top Coat Herman has implemented a formal challenge to the selected artists; create a painting on a 3 dimensional object. The show explores a painter’s idea of what constitutes a finished artwork. In these pieces the form of the sculptures work in tandem with the objects’ top coat – the paint, the brush, the mark, and the gesture.
Made in conjunction with the exhibition, Herman has also created two of his traditional wood block prints in honor of Top Coat. One serves as a show poster and the second makes reference to the Pit’s name presented as a single color abstract composition with a circular black void in the center.
In addition, The Pit has commissioned a short run silk screen edition by the artist Ravi Jackson to commemorate Top Coat. The 3 color silk screen was printed in an edition of 20 with 3 artist proofs. All prints are available in limited quantities on the Pit’s website in our shop.
A Risograph book has been designed in a limited edition of 200 to accompany Top Coat and will be available for purchase at the opening and in The Pit’s shop. All 9 artists contributed a variety of images to the publication. The book also contains writing by Sarah Sarchin and a short introduction by Adam D. Miller.