Current

María Berrío
A Cloud’s Roots
Opening June 1, 2019

Kohn Gallery is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition in Los Angeles by New York-based artist María Berrío, opening on June 1, 2019. Inspired by her youth in the countryside of Bogotá, Colombia, Berrío’s paintings explore the experience of immigrant identity, intercultural connectivity and the beauty that is found in the diversity of cultures and countries. Berrío depicts her figures with richly detailed and patterned backgrounds of exteriors and interiors. The large, detailed mixed media canvases employ lush, carefully crafted, multilayered Japanese papers and paint, resulting in scenes replete with pensive yet confident figures amid a scene of visual exuberance.

Berrío’s work often places female figures at the center of her intricately woven landscapes. Painted with watercolor details, her figures stare out of the composition determined to confront the viewer from their own surreal surroundings. Her work is evocative of predecessors such as Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, both known for their exceptional degree of emotional directness and figural distortion in the place of conventional beauty. Berrío’s works float seamlessly between historical and contemporary artistic styles as they employ a wide visual vernacular ranging from expressionism to graphic, abstract marks.

The variety of media and techniques found in María Berrío’s practice emphasizes the interwoven cultural breadth of the world in which we live, where globalization and injustice touch the lives of everyone. Each character Berrío paints is a symbol of this new reality and the strength that can issue from it. For the artist, a female soldier on the front lines is as brave and mighty as the mother who protects her children from the perils of war. These depictions of women are seen as guiding spirits who are strong, vulnerable, compassionate, courageous and in harmony with Nature and themselves. With these combinations of human traits and emotions, Berrío fortifies her belief that with womanhood every action is considered beautiful and strong, no matter how small or large.

For her current show, A Cloud’s Roots, Berrío focuses especially on place and migration. The individuals are seen in preparation for their travels, in moments of transition, and in various states of uncertainty. Berrío states, “the ambiguity is intentional; although I may have a specific idea in mind when making the work, the actual piece lacks cultural specificity to allow for all symbolic possibilities.” Berrío therefore gravitates towards symbols with global cultural significance, such as braids, birds, and flowers, with the hope that they allow diverse audiences to bring their own understanding to the work.

In her recent work, A Cloud’s Roots (2018), Berrío creates a fictional species of tree based on the dragon’s blood tree, found exclusively on an island off the coast of Yemen. The dragon’s blood tree has adapted perfectly to the island’s desert-like climate and rocky soil, inhospitable to most other plant life. It is a powerful symbol of survival and resilience, able to thrive even in the most unlikely conditions. The figures in the piece are compelled to leave their home but they carry with them the knowledge that they too have the power to put down roots wherever they go.

By reflecting on the beauty of our immigrant nation, Berrío’s new body of work aims to rewrite the narrative of American history to include the stories of people who have long been excluded. It makes space for those who were not born in this country, but come here full of hope and desire to make it their home. As the art canon expands its scope and redefines its boundaries, Berrío imagines a future in which people with diverse perspectives can walk into an institution and see themselves reflected back. Berrío states, “so many immigrants, myself included, are stuck in the inbetween, not quite from here, and no longer from there. I create work that bears witness to this liminal state of being and acknowledges it as an essential part of being American. I wish to convey that which can never be conveyed: the sheer joy of being, of creation, and the undiscoverable mystery of being alive.”

Most recently, Berrío’s work was included in the Prospect.4 Triennial, New Orleans, LA; and in the exhibition, People Get Ready: Building a Contemporary Collection at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC. This Summer 2019, Berrío will unveil her permanent installation commissioned by the MTA Arts and Design program in New York City subway stations, as well as a commission for the Princeton University Art Museum in Princeton, NJ. In June 2019, Berrío’s work will be included in the group exhibition, Radical Love, at the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York, NY, a new exhibition space located within the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

María Berrío (b. 1982) was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia, and spent much of her childhood living on her family’s mountainside farm where she developed a unique and lasting connection to nature. At eighteen Berrío relocated to New York and received her BFA at Parsons School of Design in 2004, followed by her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in 2007. Berrío’s work resides in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC; Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ; Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, New York, NY; among others. Berrío has recently been included in institutional exhibitions at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC (2018); Weatherspoon Museum of Art at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC (2017); and El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY (2015).

Berrío has also been the recipient of several awards, residencies, and fellowships, including 2018 NYFA Fellowship in Painting, Brooklyn, NY (2018); United States Artists Award nominee, USA (2017); Smack Mellon Studio Program, Brooklyn, NY (2017); Sharpe Walentas Studio Program, Brooklyn, NY (2016); Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York, NY (2014); Chachama New York City, New York, NY (2013); Colectivo Puebla, Puebla, Mexico (2012).


Upcoming

Enrique Martínez Celaya
September 2019

Kohn Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Enrique Martínez Celaya opening in September 2019. It will be the first exhibition of Martínez Celaya’s work at the gallery, and simultaneously marks his first exhibition in Los Angeles in four years and his first in the U.S. in two years, following recent projects in London, Havana, Stockholm, and Berlin. Martínez Celaya’s exhibition will feature new major large-scale work, encompassing all three exhibition spaces at Kohn Gallery.

Martínez Celaya is widely celebrated for a practice that arises from sustained engagement with literature, poetry, philosophy, and science, as well as his own writing practice. An artist, author and former physicist, Martínez Celaya works in a variety of mediums and materials that include oil, wax, tar, mirrors, dirt, steel, silk and bronze, which he weaves together with physical, emotional and conceptual qualities into a multi-layered exploration of the human condition which evoke both immediacy and timelessness. His practice is laden with a depth of textures and philosophical touchstones, often incorporating elements of mysticism and fairy tales, yet he creates works that resist narrative interpretations. His paintings, sculptures, photographs and environments address universal questions about life and the individual experience, loss, memory, failure and one’s place in an emotionally radiant yet chaotic world.

In January, three major works by Martínez Celaya were installed at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena, marking the first time in the institution’s history that work by an artist was installed both inside the Huntington Art Gallery and outside in the botanical gardens. The Huntington also named Martínez Celaya the first receipient of a Visual Arts Fellowship. Martínez Celaya was also invited to create a public, monumental sculpture in Cuba’s historic Malecón as part of the 13th Havana Biennial, which led to a new documentary about the artist highlighting this recent project and the artist’s return to Cuba after 47 years, to be released this summer.

A selection of his upcoming projects include, a commission to create the first solo exhibition for the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, after its renovation, a joint exhibition with Käthe Kollwitz at Galerie Judin in Berlin, and individual exhibits at the Fisher Museum of Art, University of Southern California, the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Williams College Museum of Art.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Enrique Martínez Celaya has created projects and exhibitions for the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, The Phillips Collection, Washington D.C., and the Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, among many others, as well as for institutions customarily outside of the art world, including the Berliner Philharmonie, the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York, and the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery in Berlin. Work by the artist is held in over 50 public collections internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford. He is the author of several books including, Collected Writings and Interviews 2010-2017, Collected Writings and Interviews 1990-2010, and The Nebraska Lectures, all published by the University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln), as well as October, published by Cinubia Press (Amsterdam), among several others. He is the first person to hold the position of Provost Professor of Humanities and Arts at the University of Southern California. His previous academic appointments include, the Roth Family Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Dartmouth College, Associate Professorship at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate University, and he was the second Presidential Professor in the history of the University of Nebraska. He is also a Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College, and a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities. Martínez Celaya was born in Cuba and raised in Spain and Puerto Rico. He initiated his formal training as an apprentice to a painter at the age of 12, received a Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics and a minor in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, a Master of Science with a specialization in Quantum Electronics from the University of California, Berkeley where he was a Regents Fellow, and he is the inventor of several patented laser devices.  He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture and earned an MFA with the department's highest distinction from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was also a junior fellow at the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.


Past

2019

Heidi Hahn, Burn Out in Shredded Heaven
April 6 - May 23, 2019

Jarvis Boyland, On Hold: (Gallery 2)
April 6 - May 23, 2019

Gonzalo Lebrija, Veladuras Nocturnas
January 19 - March 23, 2019

2018

Rosa Loy, So Near And Yet So Far
November 9, 2018 - January 9, 2019

Tony Berlant, Fast Forward
September 22 - November 3, 2018

Jess, Secret Compartments
July 21 - September 7, 2018

Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Sheets
June 1 -  July 14, 2018

Mark Innerst, New Paintings
April 6 - May 24, 2018

Gesture | Form | Pop | Process
February 27 - March 29, 2018
 

2017

Engender
November 11 , 2017 - January 27, 2018

Chingaderas Sofisticadas
September 16 - November 4, 2017

Dennis Hopper, The Lost Album
July 8 - September 1, 2017

Dean Byington, Theory of Machines
May 19 - June 30, 2017

Joe Goode, Old Ideas with New Solutions
March 23 - May 13, 2017

Bruce Conner, LOOKING FOR MUSHROOMS
February 9 - March 15, 2017

 

2016

Bruce Conner, A MOVIE
November 11, 2016  - February 8, 2017

John Altoon, Works From The Estate
September 16 - October 29, 2016

Ori Gersht, Floating World
July 9 - September 10, 2016

Wallace Berman, American Aleph
May 6 - June 25, 2016

Ryan McGinness, #metadata
March 19 - April 15, 2016

Dean Levin, XTC (Gallery 2 & 3)
January 16 - February 27, 2016

Lita Albuquerque, Embodiment
January 9 - February 27, 2016

2015

Simmons & Burke: Dutch Masters
November 6 - December 19, 2015

Object/Space: Robert Ryman + Giorgio Morandi
September 19 - October 31, 2015

Annette Bonnier, India's Elephants (Gallery 2)
September 19 - October 31, 2015

The West Coast Avant-Garde, 1950 - Present
July 17 - September 4, 2015


Jess's Didactic Nickelodeon
& Lawrence Jordan's Collage and Film
 (Gallery 3)
June 6 - July 10, 2015

William Monk, The Cloud is Growing in the Trees
May 29 - July 10, 2015

Camille Rose Garcia, Mirror, Black Mirror (Gallery 3)
April 25 - May 20, 2015

Tom LaDuke, Candles and Lasers
April 11 - May 20, 2015

LAND, AIR, SEE
February 21 - April 2, 2015

Troika, Cartography of Control
January 10 - February 12, 2015

2014

Lita Albuquerque, Light Carries Information
November 15 - December 20, 2014

Bruce Conner, CROSSROADS & Works on Paper
November 8 - December 20, 2014

Eddie Martinez, Nomader
September 12 – October 25, 2014

Joe Goode, Flat Screen Nature
July 12 - August 29, 2014

Mark Ryden, The Gay 90s West
May 3 - June 28, 2014
 

2013

Ian Barry, The White, The Black, The Kestrel
July 27 - August 31, 2013

Simmons & Burke, Still Lifes & Common Names
May 10 - July 13, 2013

Opposing the Binary, Curated by Kim Light
March 15 - April 20, 2013

Into the Mystic
November 17, 2012 - January 26, 2013

2012

RETNA, New Paintings and Works on Paper
September 15 - October 27, 2012

Inter  ruption, Curated by Kim Light
July 14 – August 25, 2012

Minimalism, Not Stricly Formal
May 18 – June 30, 2012

Dennis Hollingsworth, Terrestrial
March 23 - May 4, 2012

Camille Rose Garcia Snow White
March 15 - April 14,, 2012

Rosa Loy, Convocation
January 13 - February 25, 2012

CIRCA SIXTY, BRUCE CONNER & JEAN CONNER
November 11, 2011 - January 4, 2012

2011

Bryan Ferry, Olympia
October 20 - November 4, 2011

Joe Goode, Nighttime Series 1977 -1978
September 17 – October 29, 2011

Joan Nelson, New Paintings
July 15- August 27, 2011

Ryan McGinness, Recent Paintings
May 19 - July 1, 2011

Charles Brittin, West & South
April 16 - May 14, 2011

Camille Rose Garcia, Snow White & the Black Lagoon
March 12 - April 9, 2011

Will Cotton, New Paintings
January 14 - February 26, 2011

2010

25th Anniversary Show
November 20, 2010 - January 6, 2011

Simmons & Burke, If Not Winter
September 23 - October 30, 2010

James Nares, New Paintings
July 9 - August 21, 2010

Nathan Redwood, Altered Atmospheres
March 25 - May 8, 2010

David Korty, New Paintings
January 14 - February 27, 2010

 

2009

Bruce Conner, In the 70s
November 7 - December 19, 2009

Cristof Yvoré, New Paintings
September 12 - October 24, 2009

Dark Night of the Soul: David Lynch and Danger Mouse
May 30 - July 11, 2009

Maureen Gallace, New Paintings
March 21 - May 23, 2009

She: Wallace Berman and Richard Prince
January 15 - March 7, 2009
 

2008

Darren Waterston, Aurora
November 7 - December 20, 2008

David Korty, Paintings
September 18 - November 1, 2008

Andy Warhol, Photographs
July 10 - August 22, 2008

Jean Conner, Collages
June 13 - July 19, 2008

Dennis Hollingsworth
April 18 - May 31, 2008

Daniel Chavira, Enmascarados
March 15 - April 12, 2008

Christine Nguyen
January 26 - March 1, 2008

2007

Wallace Berman, Photographs and Other Works
November 30, 2007- January 19, 2008

Bruce Conner, Punks and Dead Ashes, Eve-Ray- Forever
October 20 - November 24, 2007

Darren Waterston, Parlor
September - October, 2007

James Nares, New Paintings
July - August, 2007

Carl Andre and John McLaughlin
May 5 - June 30, 2007

Mark Ryden, The Tree Show
March 10 - April 28, 2007

Wally Hedrick, Estate Sale
January - February, 2007

2006

Matthew Brown, Preserve
October - December, 2006

Andy Warhol, Large Scale Black and White Ad Paintings
September - October, 2006

John Hawke, Supervisors
July - August, 2006

Bruce Cohen, New Paintings
June - July, 2006

Reed Danziger, New Paintings
April - June, 2006

Rough Trade
March 18 - April 22, 2006

Minimalism
January - March, 2006

2005

Will Cotton, Paintings and works on paper
November - December, 2005

England, France, Germany
September - October, 2005

Guy Limone
July - August, 2005

Mark Innerst, Paintings and works on paper
June 2005

Emily Feather and Saul Fletcher
April - May, 2005

Darren Waterston, New Paintings
February - March, 2005

Martin Assig
January 2005


2004

Cy Twombly and Jean Michel Basquiat
October - December

Katy Grannan
September - October

Penelope Gottlieb
July - August

Michael Minelli
June

Walton Ford
May

Bruce Conner
March - April

Maureen Gallace
January