Every fall, The Main Museum hosts Office Hours, a program that welcomes fifty Downtown L.A. artists to discuss their work one-on-one with Allison Agsten, director of The Main, on a first-come, first-served basis. At the culmination of each appointment, artists are invited to hang their art, or documentation of it, as part of an eponymous group exhibition. // Cada Otoño, El Museo Main lleva a cabo Horarios de Oficina (Office Hours), un programa que le da la bienvenida a cincuenta artistas del centro de Los Ángeles que, por orden de llegada, se dan cita en el museo para discutir su trabajo unx-a-unx con Allison Agsten, directora de The Main. Al finalizar cada reunión, lxs artistas son invtadxs a instalar su obra, o documentación de la misma, como parte de una exhibición grupal epónima.
July 8 – September 2, 2018
The Main presents Milton Davis and Vickie Uyeda: Common Ground—an exhibition pairing the work of two L.A. artists whose practices together span more than 80 years. The exhibition highlights the complex paintings, drawings, and ceramics of Milton Davis (b. 1949) and Vickie Uyeda (b. 1958) which feature subjects ranging from serene depictions of the natural world to portraiture with a playful emphasis on pop culture.
Davis’s work, which is often tightly patterned with lines and circles, pulls inspiration from textile and folk art as well as the African diaspora. Uyeda’s sumptuous, expressive paintings use color in unexpected ways and--in their layered richness--possess a tactile quality. Through her lens, such well-known figures as John Wayne and Dennis Rodman transcend conventional depictions, appearing sinister or heroic, respectively. And as with all of Uyeda’s subjects, these men return the viewer’s gaze with an unnervingly, penetrating stare.
All works in the exhibition were created during the artists’ time working with the adult art program at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF)—a pioneering 72-year-old L.A. nonprofit dedicated to creating artistic opportunities for individuals with special needs and developmental disabilities. Both Davis and Uyeda have been active for decades in the ECF Art Centers Program. As ECF’s longest participating artist, Davis has spent five days a week for the last 50 years honing his practice at the organization's South L.A. and Westside Art Centers. Uyeda has participated in the ECF Art Centers since 2004 and also devotes five days a week to artmaking.
Working on this exhibition prompted The Main to more closely consider how its offerings could be made more accessible to people of all abilities. To that end, The Main is working with ECF and other partners to learn about and implement better accessibility measures throughout the museum. Visitor resources for this exhibition include audio guides in Spanish and English, artworks mounted at comfortable viewing heights for greater accessibility, and exhibition materials offered in larger type and with enhanced contrast for increased legibility. Programming throughout the run of the show will focus on accessibility and will include verbal description and ASL programs.
Listen to the visual description tour audio guide.
About Milton Davis
Milton Davis was born in 1949 in Fordyce, AR, and now lives and works in Inglewood, CA. He practices at the Exceptional Children’s Foundation Westside Art Center and has been developing a prodigious body of work for 52 years. Davis works primarily in pen and ink and his technique can be described as draftsmen like. He uses repetitive lines to create pattern, shape, and figures. He pulls from a strong visual language of African American art, media, and a surreal imagination. His work is meticulous, utilizing a fine line that references geography, wood grain, and a meditative state of making.
About Vickie Uyeda
Vickie Uyeda is a Japanese American artist whose creative practice has been supported by the Exceptional Children’s Foundation Art Centers program since 2004. She comes from a family of artists and began drawing when she was 8 or 9 with the encouragement and mentorship of her father. She loves cherry blossoms because they symbolize her Japanese heritage. She remembers her mother telling her that cherry blossoms happen only in the morning and at night. She enjoys painting animals, landscapes, nature scenes, geysers, and waterfalls. She’s inspired by the works of Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. Her paintings explore gesture, color, and abstraction and are highly process driven. Her work reflects her handling and accumulation of paint from her desk to a given surface, her worn brushes, and her sense of humor. Uyeda also loves to cook and plans on one day producing a cookbook. She enjoys learning how to prepare food, but appreciates eating the food she prepares more.
About the Exceptional Children’s Foundation
ECF was founded in 1946 by a group of parents and community activists who sought to establish a day training program as an alternative to institutional care for individuals with developmental disabilities. Over the years, ECF’s services expanded to meet the changing needs of its target population. The agency successfully developed and implemented early intervention programs for infants and toddlers, as well as residential, work, and day programs for adults. In 2008, ECF merged with Kayne Eras Center (KEC), adding a K‐12 school and a comprehensive Mental Health Program to its services. Today, with an annual operating budget of $27 million and 375 staff, ECF serves approximately 4,000 children, adults, and their families at 15 ECF service sites, in clients’ homes, and in community settings throughout L.A. County.
February 25–May 13, 2018
Rigo 23 (b. 1966, Portugal), a Los Angeles-based Portuguese artist known for large-scale outdoor murals, is considered part of the first generation of the San Francisco Mission School art movement, which emerged in the city’s Mission District in the early 1990s. For nearly three decades, his socially engaged work has focused on addressing injustices, notably highlighting Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of murder in connection with the shooting deaths of two FBI special agents on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in 1975 and whose two life sentences have been the subject of much debate. Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves was the first presentation of the artist’s statue of Peltier after its contested removal from American University’s campus in early 2017.
Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves featured works that emphasize the artist’s longtime advocacy for social and political change, specifically calling attention to the incarceration of political prisoners and political organizing in support of indigenous communities in the United States. The exhibition takes its name from a quote by Robert H. King, former political prisoner and cofounder of the Black Panther party chapter at the Louisiana State penitentiary, who said, “The deeper they bury you, the louder your voice becomes. You throw pebbles into the pond, you get ripples; ripples become waves; the waves can become a tsunami.” Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves featured works that emphasize the artist’s longtime advocacy for social and political change, specifically calling attention to the incarceration of political prisoners and the plight of indigenous communities in the United States. The exhibition took its name from a quote by Robert H. King, former political prisoner and cofounder of the Black Panther Party chapter at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, who said, “The deeper they bury you, the louder your voice becomes. You throw pebbles into the pond, you get ripples; ripples become waves; the waves can become a tsunami.”
Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves was on view February 25 to May 13, 2018 with free admission.
ABOUT RIGO 23
Rigo 23 (b. 1966, Madeira Island, Portugal) lives in Los Angeles and works globally. He has exhibited his work internationally for more than 20 years, placing murals, paintings, sculptures, and tile work in public situations where viewers are encouraged to examine their relationship to their community and their role as unwitting advocates of public policy. Rigo’s works live both as artworks and thoughtful public interventions and have been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) and the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles; the New Museum and Artists Space, New York City; and the Museo de Arte Contemporanea, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His work has been included in the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India; Aichi Triennial, Japan; Shenzhen Hong-Kong Bi-City Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture, China; Auckland Triennial, New Zealand; Lyon Biennale, France; 2006 Liverpool Biennial, United Kingdom; and 2004 California Biennial, among others. Rigo received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and his MFA from Stanford University.
February 25–May 13, 2018
Dora De Larios: Other Worlds highlighted the work of L.A. native and ceramist Dora De Larios, one the city’s most vital, yet under-recognized artists. Dora De Larios: Other Worlds showcased work from the artist’s six-decade-long career and inaugurated the new 2,750-square-foot mezzanine gallery, marking one in a series of public openings tracking the ongoing evolution and completion of The Main.
De Larios grew up in Boyle Heights and graduated from the University of Southern California with a bachelor of fine arts in ceramics and a minor in sculpture in 1957, a time when women, people of color, and ceramic art were barely visible in the art world. Against these odds, she developed a robust six-decade-long art practice that endured not only because of the virtuosity of her work but also because of her pioneering spirit.
De Larios operated outside of the gallery system by necessity and through sheer force of will. She co-created a thriving studio for women ceramists, modeling a way of working that offered income opportunities and other forms of support, such as shared childcare and cooking. Her practice expanded to include large-scale commissions in California, Florida, Japan and Tahiti, paving another path to work outside of a typical commercial setting.
De Larios’s work is connected to Mexico—her ancestral home and a country she visited again and again as a child—as well as Africa, Asia, and other places that influenced her when she spent time outside of Los Angeles, where she lived. Instead of earthly forms, the artist often used mythological, goddess-like figures and unplaceable yet familiar animals. Up until her recent death in January 2018, De Larios continued creating paintings and drawings almost daily.
Dora De Larios: Other Worlds was on view Februaury 25 to May 13, 2018 with free admission.
Update January 29, 2018: We are so sad to let you know that our beloved Dora passed away on January 28, 2018, after a prolonged battle with cancer. It has been a dream for our team at The Main to work with Dora on this exhibition and we can't wait for you, the public, to be able to engage with her beautiful work when we open the exhibition at the end of February.
ABOUT DORA DE LARIOS
Dora De Larios was an American ceramist and sculptor who worked with clay for over 60 years. Born in Los Angeles in 1933 to Mexican immigrants, her heritage and relationship to Pre-Columbian Artwasis evident in her work, which embodies themes of spirituality, nature, and mythology. Dora graduated in 1957 with a major in ceramics and a minor in sculpture from USC's School of Fine Art, where she studied under noted ceramists Vivika and Otto Heino and Susan Peterson. Over time, Dora broadened her focus to include work in cast concrete, brass, stainless steel, acrylic, and wood, completing a variety of large-scale architectural commissions. Dora's ceramic sculptures were featured in three major exhibitions as part of the J. Paul Getty Museum's 2011 Pacific Standard Time, and she was honored with a 50-year retrospective at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles in 2010. Her work is currently included in Found in Translation, a PST: LA/LA exhibition at LACMA. De Larios passed away at the age of 84 in January 2018.
+ In Focus: Rachel DuVall
Wednesday, November 29–Sunday, December 17
Beta Main | 114 W. 4th St., Downtown Los Angeles, 90013
Over the course of three weeks in November, The Main's director Allison Agsten, met with fifty Downtown area artists on a first come, first served basis. The on-site visits offered an intimate opportunity to form personal connections while also opening a dialogue about the making of the museum. At the end of each meeting, every artist was able to leave one of their works or documentation of it to be installed in Beta Main. Later, the fifty artists gathered to meet each other, followed by a public opening.
This year, The Main introduced a new addition to Office Hours with In Focus: Rachel DuVall. In Focus highlights the work of Rachel DuVall, a Los Angeles–based textile artist who participated in the inaugural iteration of Office Hours in November 2016. Works by DuVall are on view along with works by participants of this year’s Office Hours program.
ABOUT RACHEL DUVALL
Rachel DuVall is a Los Angeles–based textile artist who makes handwoven works. Her geometric compositions explore the grid structure inherent to weaving: the result of the warp and weft fibers intersecting. By using repetition of line and shape, her work investigates the relationship between the rigid framework required to produce a weaving and the flexible imperfect nature of the resulting material. Within this repetition, the subtlest differences become amplified, such as the variation in tension of each handwoven line or subtle color shifts achieved with hand-dyed fibers. DuVall received her BFA in fiber from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2008.
Sunday, May 7–Sunday, September 24
Sculptor Alice Könitz was commissioned to develop ideas for new types of museum seating that Beta Main—and soon, The Main—can use permanently in its galleries. Two prototypes were selected for production: Circle Chairs (2017) for the intimate environments they create both for looking and conversation, as well as their sculptural beauty, and Triangle Chairs (2017) for their many possible configurations and ease of use in the space.
Könitz’s work, which is oriented in the physical object as well as the social space it creates, values model-making. In siting prototypes within the prototype of Beta Main, the museum has a unique opportunity to learn directly from visitors what may or may not be working in the process of making a museum and, more specifically, to better understand the experience of interacting with the seating in a gallery setting. We invite you to share your feedback by completing a brief survey available at the front desk in Beta Main.
Alice Könitz (b.1970 in Essen, Germany) lives and works in Los Angeles. She is the founder of the Los Angeles Museum of Art (LAMOA), an experimental exhibition space that she describes as a “platform for an organic institution that lives through participation.” In 2014, LAMOA was included in the Hammer Museum's biennial Made in L.A. 2014, winning the Mohn Award. Könitz had solo exhibitions at Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles; Galerie Nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder, Vienna; Wall House, Groningen; LAXART, Los Angeles; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Hudson/Franklin, New York; University Art Museum Long Beach; Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions; boom-editions/Shane Campbell, Chicago; and Luis Campaña, Cologne; among others. Her work has been included in group shows at the Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg; mumok, Vienna; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; Villa Arson, Nice; Kunsthaus Dresden; London Institute; Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis; Tirana Biennial, Albania; and others.
Sunday, May 7–Sunday, September 24, 2017
When Star Montana was a student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, she longed for California sunshine and dreamed of the light and the people of Los Angeles. A Boyle Heights native, she returned home periodically, trips during which she took a number of the photos on view in Beta Main. When Montana moved back to Los Angeles after graduation, the reality—the nightmare—of traumatic events with family and friends awaited her. Despite the circumstances, her dream of Los Angeles continues through her photography practice and is captured in the images in this exhibition.
Many of the subjects in Montana’s photography are strangers she got to know when she approached them in East L.A. or South L.A., engaged them in conversation, and then asked to take their pictures. Some are friends and others she met via an open-call process to add to this body of work as part of her residency at The Main that preceded this exhibition. With honesty and sensitivity in equal measure, Montana endeavors to give visibility to those who are not often represented in art or art institutions. Each label contains Montana’s observations about her subjects and their contexts excerpted from a conversation between the artist and The Main director Allison Agsten. These texts complement and reveal Montana’s dialogical process, which typically involves a lengthy exchange just prior to each photo session. The full transcript can be read here.
Star Montana (b. 1987) is a photo-based artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. She was born and raised in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles, a predominantly Mexican American neighborhood that serves as the backdrop to much of her work. Montana’s imagery deals with class, social environment, and identity within the personal and her family. Three dots and Tear drops—a long-term project with her family that has dealt with fragmented histories, loss, and the hope of the next generation—was recently on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum and the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. Recently, Montana has begun work on her themes within a larger scope of Los Angeles residents via portraiture and video. Montana received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2013.
Saturday, February 4–Sunday, March 26, 2017
11 am–7 pm
In Library of Black Lies, shown for the first time on the West Coast at Beta Main, Edgar Arceneaux challenges the narrative of American progress, and in particular, African American progress through the selection, placement, and modification of books in a library of his own invention. Via this timely work, made last year, when fake news became “real” news and the content of real news was interrogated, the artist presses for a closer look not only at what is patently true or false, but at the more complicated stories about our past that lead us to where we are now.
Edgar Arceneaux (b. 1972 in Los Angeles) lives and works in Los Angeles. Arceneaux was the director of the Watts House Project from 1999-2012. Solo exhibitions of his work have been mounted at Kunstverein Ulm, Germany; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; and the Project, New York, among others. He has been included in group shows at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris; Mona Bismarck American Center, Paris; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Orange County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Kunstmuseum Basel; and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and many more.
Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
In collaboration with John K Chan of Formation Association.
Originally co-commissioned by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.
Office Hours Meetings
Tuesday, November 29–Wednesday, December 7, 2016
Office Hours on View
Friday, December 9–Sunday, December 18, 2016
Wednesday–Saturday from 12–8 pm;
Sunday from 12–5 pm;
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Free and open to the public
Let’s get to know each other.
Neighbors, introduce yourself and your art practice to The Main and learn more about the museum’s future plans. From Tuesday, November 29 to Thursday, December 8, The Main’s director, Allison Agsten, will meet one-on-one with fifty Downtown L.A. artists on a first come, first served basis in Beta Main, the test site for the museum.
At the end of each visit, artists may hang one original work or documentation of their work in Beta Main. This culmination of Office Hours will be on view Thursday, December 8 through Sunday, December 18.
Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art
Sunday, October 30–Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Every day from 12–8 pm
Related Drawing on View
Wednesday, November 9–Sunday, December 18, 2016
Wednesday - Saturday from 12–8 pm;
Sunday from 12–5 pm;
Closed Monday and Tuesday
Beta Main’s first commissioned project, Performance Lessons: Suzanne Lacy Teaches Andrea Bowers Performance Art, centers on the profoundly influential trajectory of performance art in California between 1968-1980, reanimating and contextualizing this rich artistic history through durational performance, conversations with practitioners and theorists and inquiry on politics and pedagogy.
Performance Lessons follows the artists’ durational installation at The Drawing Center in New York in 2014, where Andrea Bowers taught Suzanne Lacy how to draw. Using the practice Lacy was foundational in forming, roles are reversed this time and Lacy teaches Bowers how to do performance art. For ten days, the pair will live in Beta Main while Bowers is assigned lessons, develops performances, and undergoes the formal critique process art students endure as part of their education. The lessons, taught by Lacy and other renowned artists, will be free and open to the public.
Through documentation of contemporary activists focused on women’s rights, migrant justice, workers’ rights, and climate justice, Andrea Bowers commits to an intersectional feminism that dismantles gender privilege and builds community that collectively cares for one another. Her multivalent art practice documents and honors the activists whose everyday actions forge meaningful change.Bowers has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Vienna Secession, Vienna, Austria; The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; the Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs; REDCAT, Los Angeles; the Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; and the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Greece.
Bowers received her MFA from CalArts, and currently lives, works and teaches in Los Angeles. She is a proud member of the SEIU local 721 and currently a member of the Bargaining Committee for the Otis College of Art and Design Part-time Faculty Union. She has been teaching in the Otis Graduate Public Practice Program since 2007.
Suzanne Lacy is an internationally exhibited visual artist, social activist, educator, writer and feminist whose body of work includes performances, video and photographic installation, critical writing and public art with a focus on social and urban issues.She lectures widely, has published over 70 texts of critical commentary, and has exhibited at the Tate Modern, London, England; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the New Museum, New York; and MoMA PS1, New York. Her scores of fellowships include the Guggenheim Foundation, The Henry Moore Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Her book, Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art (1995), now in its third printing, was responsible for coining the term and articulating the practice.
Lacy is currently a professor of art at the USC Roski School of Art and Design. Prior, she served as the founding chair of the MFA in Public Practice at the Otis College of Art and Design. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy from Gray's School of Art at Robert Gordon University in Scotland.