LA based artist April Street explores notions of fiction and absence within her debut London solo exhibition Cassiopeia loves Grimaldi. Street constructs fictional relationships that consider both the tragic and the comic whilst making reference to mythology, theatrical performance and the history of painting. The exhibition lends its title from the constellation 'Cassiopeia', which is rooted with Greek mythology and the British actor / comedian Joseph Grimaldi, who became one of the most renowned entertainers of the Regency era in the United Kingdom.
The constructed dialogues within the exhibition allude towards the absent characters; a large celestial mural occupies a substantial proportion of the gallery, whilst cast bronze ruff collars suggest regal and thematic references. Street has produced a number of relief paintings, which are deeply embodied within ideas of performativity; works from this series manifest from a sequence of scripted positions, where Street imprints her body into pools of acrylic paint, whilst being partially wrapped in yards of hosiery fabric. The residue of these choreographed performances are then reworked via stuffing, twisting and painting to produce vivid abstract wall reliefs, which recalls the feminist practices of the 60's and 70's as well as the theatrical nature of Chiaroscuro from the Baroque and Renaissance masters.
Cassiopeia loves Grimaldi is comprised of layering artefacts and objects, which nod towards a choreographed past. Whilst making stark references to prominent points within art history, Street has developed a body of work that is purposely sheafed in ambiguity, leaving a margin for play and interpretation.
April Street lives and works in Los Angeles. She studied bronze casting in central Italy and painting at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibitions include Various Small Fires, LA; Carter & Citizen, LA; Rosamund Felsen Gallery, LA; Five Car Garage, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara Museum of Art and Underground Museum, Los Angeles. She is a grant recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts. Her solo shows have been reviewed by ArtForum, Art in America, San Francisco Arts Quarterly, LA Weekly, Hyperallergic and The Los Angeles Times.
October 30 2015 - December 12, 2015 at Various Small Fires, Los Angeles CA
VSF is pleased to present Lay Down Your Arms, Los Angeles-based artist April Street's first solo exhibition at Various Small Fires. Street uses three spaces of the gallery to weave a dialog between a sound work, a sculptural installation and performative paintings. The exhibition is an environmental menagerie of objects and sounds severed from their original habitats, to re-form as one body in the throws of readjustment, surrender and transcendence.
The exhibition begins in the Sound Corridor with Two Mallards, a five-channel sound piece in which the artist and a stranger play out romantic scenarios through bird and cat calls. The two strangers fight, fall in love, sing, and compete for attention. Two Mallards serves and an introductory dialog between the artist and the audience, and acts as the 'visitor's welcome' as prelude to the Courtyard installation.
In the Courtyard, Street's Portrait of a Barn: 1840-2015 (2015) reconstructs the facade of a found image of an Appalachian cantilevered barn typical of the vernacular architecture of her childhood region of Virginia. The 15-foot barn facade, constructed in antique Appalachian wood, is accompanied by a 'painted shadow' resting on the Courtyard's ground, transposing this sculpture back to the world of images.
As is typical of Street's painting practice, the barn's painted shadow is made from stretched yards of hosiery and is an artifact of a private performative act. Through a series of scripted body positions, Street slowly imprints quasi-photographic imagery into pools of wet acrylic paint on canvas, her body wrapped in hosiery, an indexical gesture that recalls feminist performances of the 60′s and 70′s.
In the Viewing Room is Wandering Limb #14 (2015), a hosiery painting stretched onto a frame, removed from its canvas and stretched like an exotic hide, or spun into a suspended rope. An accompanying wooden floor sculpture, the missing structural peak of the outdoor barn, is also a carrying case for the painting.
-----October 4-November 22 2014 My Self is An Other Kendell Carter, Alexandra Grant, Rives Granade, Dennis Koch, April Street curated by Claressinka Anderson and Sonny Ruscha Granade at The Underground Museum 3508 W. Washington Blvd Los Angeles, CA
-----Left Coast: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art - Santa Barbara Museum of Art
May 25 – September 14, 2014 --Opening reception May 31, 5pm-7pm
Since it opened its doors in 1941, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art has consistently been dedicated to collecting—an activity that has contributed to the growth of the permanent collection in significant ways. Art produced on the West Coast is a major part of this endeavor-The exhibition is comprised of works from artists such as Amy Adler, Uta Barth, Russell Crotty, Carlee Fernandez, Llyn Foulkes, Jack Goldstein, Lyle Ashton Harris, Richard Jackson, Kim Jones, Mike Kelley, Elad Lassry, Kori Newkirk, Steve Roden, April Street, Mario Ybarra Jr., and many others. We invite you to become acquainted with these works, which have recently joined the collection to ensure the continued relevance and significance of the Museum.
-----May 24 2014-July 5, 2014 April Street's Runner and Kelly Kleinstrodt's Murmelte Instrumente at Andrew Rafacz Gallery Chicago IL
-----April 5, 2014- May 22, 2014 Veils, a Group Exhibition at The Underground Museum 3508 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles opening reception April 5, 2014 7pm-11pm
-----January 11, 2014 – February 15, 2014. A Vulgar Proof. April Street at Carter & Citizen, Los Angeles CA opening reception this Saturday January 11, 2014. 6-9pm
April Street / A Vulgar Proof
January 11 – February 15, 2014
Reception for the artist: Saturday, January 11, 6-9pm
Los Angeles, CA - Carter & Citizen is proud to present A Vulgar Proof, April Street?s second solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition opens January 11th and closes February 15, 2014. The gallery will host a reception for the artists on Saturday, January 11, from 6 to 9pm.
At first glance, the paintings and objects included in A Vulgar Proof, are like elements out of a science fiction novel. The black nylon paintings with puncture holes that cover layers of painted hosiery appear to be portraits of stars in a night sky. The Bronze Elizabethan collars protruding from the wall are like futuristic weapons, and a graceful floor-to-ceiling installation of 100 cast bronze birthday candles suspended by polished soap stones, bronze meat hooks and waxed silk seems like the curious device that holds the key to saving the hero's world at the end of that novel. Like Street's previous work, here there is a tension where things are not always what they seem. For this body of work Street punctures holes revealing the gestures' capability to adapt to and manipulate to our interpretation, folding the suspension of disbelief back on itself while opening up the surface of painting to reveal its inner workings.
The Black Hole Paintings are named after stars whose names have frequently appeared in fiction; they are fantastic, psychedelic time capsules holding clues to the history of painting and the personal movements of the artist. Each painting is wrapped in black nylon with holes cut or punched through revealing layers of painted hosiery. These hosiery layers are artifacts of a private performative act in which the artist wraps herself in hosiery material to enact a series of precise body positions (which she recorded while sleeping) into pools of acrylic paint on a canvas. The impression made by this act creates a positive and a negative and her mark making appears photographic. The negative on the hosiery is then reassembled onto stretchers and the artist considers them to be portraits of the paintings themselves. Street's gravitational configurations of painted hosiery inside black veils of nylon evoke ideas of masking, deception, sexuality, duration, and adaptation, but these objects of action also point to the act of peering through a camera's eye piece—cropping and editing out the unnecessary to get to the heart of being a maker.
The bronze Collars hinge on the ability of the same exact object to transform human interpretation with the slightest altering of a gesture. When tilted up at the height of the viewer, the collar acts as a stand in for the power of a leader when unaltered and flat the collar is clown- like. The installation, Carving 100 now 6 in my bed, with all of its tension and emotional bravado is a risky and tenuous sculpture that points to the duration of painting. The soapstone rocks that hold 100 bronze candles have a history of form and function; they were once used to carve jewelry and weapons by the Cherokee Indians in the Appalachian Mountains where the artist grew up.
A Vulgar Proof in Elizabethan English means a common experience. All the objects in the show are filled with the gestures of making, masking and revealing. We, as the audience, feel familiarity— even in the strangest moments. The work ignites a conversation with eccentric abstraction, feminism, the performative and the informel, while occupying a new space. These paintings and sculptures are psychologically charged vestiges of personal narratives and painting tricks that create a visceral empathy where the tension between object, narrative, and illusion come together in a cohesive, yet mysterious experience for Street?s audience.
April Street lives and works in Los Angeles. She studied traditional bronze casting in central Italy and at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Art In America-review by Danielle Sommer. December 2012 print issue. http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/april-street/
LA Weekly-5 Artsy Things to do by Catherine Wagley- 1. Intimacy Issues http://blogs.laweekly.com/arts/2012/09/carter_citizen_jancar_gallery.php
Huffington Post- Art and the Feminine Mystique: this artweek October 1 2012- by Bill Bush http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-bush/this-artweekla-october-1_b_1936567.html
LA Weekly- quoted- by Catherine Wagley-http://www.laweekly.com/2012-10-04/art-books/paul-schimmel-moca-destroy-the-picture/
Artweek.LA- weekly pick- by Bill Bush http://artweek.la/issue/october-1-2012/article/april-street-portraits-and-ropes
-----October 19 2013-November 23, 2013. Heroes. John Byam, Patricia Fernandez, Joanne Greenbaum, Julia Haft-Candell, David Ireland, Kelly Kleinschrodt, David McDonald, Jessica Rath, Steve Roden, April Street, Bill Walton, Philadelphia Wirema, Bari Zipperstein. Group show-Curated by David Mcdonald and Whitney Carter. Carter & Citizen Los Angeles CA-
-----May 17, 2013 - June 8, 2013 Object implied Emerson Dorcsh Galler Miami, FL
Kris Chatterson/Dave Hardy /Ryan Roa/April Street/ Robert Thiele/ Odalis Valdivieso
-----May 25th-June 22, 2013 A point of view of a Cat Animatron Los Angeles CA
-----February 15-May 31 2013 Millenial Abstraction Group Exhibition curated by Patricia Watts. Marin Community Foundation, Novato, CA
-----January 12- February 23 2013 Forms of Abstraction. Irvine Fine Art Center. Irvine CA 92604
-----September 8, 2012-October 20, 2012. April Street. Portraits and Ropes.Carter & Citizen. Los Angeles, CA 9003
Carter & Citizen is proud to present April Street Portraits and Ropes, the artist's first solo exhibition with the gallery. A reception for the artist will take place on September 8, 2012 from 6 pm until 9 pm. The exhibition runs through October 13, 2012.
The paintings included in Portraits and Ropes are a fictional familial construct that overlap, rebel against, and conform to their relatives and their imagined lovers through body language, compositions of movement, and color deposits that create a "generational aesthetic". The gravitational configurations evoke ideas of skin and duration, posturing and adaptation, packaging and labor, as well as action paintings' relationship to feminism. Street's palette is plucked from fantasy art and impressionist landscapes combined with skin mimicking textiles as the paintings drape and extend onto the walls of the gallery via corsage pins and copper tacks. Some paintings within the exhibition are spun into ropes ending in cast bronze knots where they meet the wall, These spun paintings act as strands of DNA that would unravel without the weight of their fixtures.
The paintings begin with a performative act we are not allowed to witness, wherein the artist wraps herself in hosiery materials to enact a series of body positions (recorded while sleeping) into pools of paint on canvas. The impression made by this act is rinsed away while the paint is still wet, where then the memory of the gesture is painstakingly repainted by the artist. The result is the intuitive stippling of her ideal fantasy of what happened in the original. Street's labor and fantasy life then create yet another fiction when it is physically covered. The hosiery, once used as the brush in the beginning of her process, is now the subject in control of its own history. Hidden underneath the folds of hosiery is an image that Street only teases us with knowing fully. These veils of fabric become their sole identity inside the gallery space and outside the protective world of the studio. What begins with the artist's private performances ends with the psychological construction of public image.
The work within the exhibition addresses adaptation of an intimate activity placed in a public space. Posturing and social awkwardness, sexual identity and the hiding of labor to feed particular social longings are all tied up in the painting's reactions to each other. Street alludes to the shifting relationships between objects of action, while acknowledging the identity shifts and role-play that occur when one takes their art from private to public. This tension between object, narrative, and illusion is a constant in Portraits and Ropes. The paintings reverse and reconnect their roles in their ultimate incarnation for the gallery, as a community of gestures, packaged for their public moment.
April Street studied at The Art Institute of Chicago and in central Italy learning traditional bronze casting. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles.
Carter & Citizen . Los Angeles CA
Whitney Carter director
Feb 12 - Mar 12. 2011
Patrick Nickell & April Street. Rosamund Felsen Gallery. Santa Monica. CA. Opening reception Feb. 12. 2011. 5-7pm.
-----April 7 - May 12, 2007 The Dominant Planets
High Energy Constructs in Chinatown Los Angeles presents The Dominant Planets Of - a group exhibition of paintings and drawings by Searcy Benson, Kadar Brock, Kent Hammond, Paola Ochoa, and April Street.
Art In America-review by Danielle Sommer. December 2012 print issue. http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/april-street/