When I first thought about an exhibition at Night Gallery my instinct was to tear down all the walls, which I thought created difficult triangular areas and didn’t offer long distance viewing of the work that would be possible in an emptier space. I proposed this idea to Mieke and Davida who both considered it but ultimately didn’t want to make such a dramatic change. They had a hand in the design of the space with architect Peter Zellner and had invested a lot of emotion and money into it.
The odd angles of the plan and my desire to see work from far away reminded me somehow of my longstanding interest in urban planning and how it relates to hanging an exhibition. Unable to do a destructive renovation à la Haussmann, I realized that I could just think on a different scale about the space to afford the views I wanted. I started to think of Amy’s Ladder as an Eiffel Tower and she had also mentioned making some kind of fountain. I also wanted to make a series of paintings that look like building facades and show them all in a row, and could imagine looking down a boulevard of paintings with Ladder-Monument at the end of it. Each artist of the group show could create different “arrondissements” of work, connected across the oddly angled vistas.
The title Paris de Noche contains references to the nature of the neighborhood around Night Gallery, of art galleries as a spearhead of gentrification (Haussmanization?) of industrial and traditionally Mexican neighborhoods, to the joyful cynicism behind Kippenberger’s “Capri at Night” which I read as a critique/enjoyment of the aspirational fantasy behind the name of Ford Capri, as well as an embrace of the dowdiness of post-war Germany and later Los Angeles (the restaurant “Capri”).
When I saw Andrei’s corrugated fence paintings, which together formed a kind of wall, I thought they perfectly reflected the beauty of the trashed industrial non-site surrounding Night Gallery.
When you’re in my hut
You know what’s up
Let your mind be free
Relax your body
(Pentti Monkkonen, from the press release)
Until December 20th
2276 E 16th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90021