Entries in PAPILLION (17)
We had a magical night with EJ HILL last Saturday. The open conversation between Hill and everyone else in the room was engaging to say the least, in the case of this emerging performance artist the best way to describe the night was "he was present"
Recorded live via U-stream the night of the conversation.
Above images courtesy Treyvon X
Still tripping out over one of the best exhibitions in the history of art, the Noah Purifoy show at LACMA will change your life.
Wonderful review of Kenturah's show at the Daily Serving.
As an artist playing with the limits of realism, Kenturah Davis points to the construction and materiality of the portrait, while also emphasizing the internal and social nature of language in her solo show Narratives and Meditations at Papillion in Los Angeles.
Through an impressive mastery of her subjects’ image, Davis creates portraits of brown-skinned, kinky-haired, vocal subjects. Installed in a grid-like pattern on the wall, the series Narratives comprises two graphite murals, each formed by numerous sheets of archival paper. Within these two murals, four portraits anoint the gallery lounge. The faces emerge from lines of Davis’ poetry, scrawled in densely layered cursive script that reads: “There’s something about dignity/And something about shame/There’s something about honesty/And something about blame…” Covering each sheet, the text creates a wide range of value gradation, punctuated with highlights of negative space. In the next room,nine framed portraits (graphite, 42 x 38 in. each) from the series Meditations command the viewer’s gaze. Similar to those in the Narrativeseries, these images are also constructed from layers of text; however, they read as mantras, or vocalizations of the self. Whether it’s Davis’ own writing, scripture, song lyrics, or a quote from Audre Lorde, a sentiment of personal resilience is conveyed. The text constitutes each subject, but it also activates a dialogue between subjects, as well as the subjects and viewers, that works to intercept culturally constructed notions of otherness made apparent by their deftly captured features.
While Davis does not make portraits only of black women, black women are her primary focus of study. Her reverence for black women, and the legacies of black feminism (the privileging of self-definition, the articulation of a visual beauty that is inherently coupled with blackness, the assertion of a powerful femininity), are apparent in the number of women she draws and her decision to situate them equally within the context of Audre Lorde and the Bible. Even though the texts convey sentiments of prideful endurance, and though the absence of color renders the faces as almost iconic, Davis’ treatment of her subjects also reveals an interest in vulnerability. From the soft lines and dark contours of their faces, to the unruly kinks of their hair, her portraits are full of complexity. Davis maintains an attention to detail that simultaneously complicates the images’ minimal arrangement and the internal strength conveyed through the text. There is no lack of confidence in Narratives and Meditations, but these beautiful people are more than prideful. Their gazes reveal reflexivity, timidity, joy, and exhaustion, and in this way, the portraits reflect what it means to be utterly human.
By Anna Martine Whitehead
Super stoked to be listed on LA WEEKLY's Best of LA 2014 list!!!! Check us out as the Best Art Gallery Off The Beaten Path :-) the write up sums up very accuartely what we are all about!
Here is the live recorded video of Kenturah's art talk that took place during Leimert Park Artwalk on Sunday. Shawanna Davis is the moderator.
Thank you Women's Wear Daily for profiling us! And for writing about the arts revolution we are hoping to spark in Leimert Park. It has been an incredible 6 months being open in our new neighborhood and we couldn't be more happy to be adding to Leimert's rich legacy and creating new history.
On a recent August afternoon in Los Angeles, Michelle Joan Papillion was taking a break inside her sprawling, whitewashed gallery in Leimert Park. She was a few days away from finishing preparations for a new exhibit and was enjoying a rare moment of peace before an upcoming opening.
Papillion, in a loose-fitting tank and skirt, hasn’t had many of those moments lately.
Since she opened her first gallery four years ago, the 32-year-old has emerged as one of L.A.’s gallerists to watch, thanks to her hit shows and prominent supporters, like Jeffrey Deitch and Franklin Sirmans, chief curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
“I wanted to be stimulated by many different things and different types of people in one space,” she says casually by way of explaining her rise in the art world. “And I know how to do that through art.”
Papillion grew up in Oakland with a deep interest in the arts, though she wasn’t quite sure what form that interest would take. After high school, she pursued an art history degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C., but her real education came from the people she encountered socially on trips to gallery openings in Manhattan in the early Aughts.
Kenturah's next solo exhibit opens this upcoming Saturday August 30th at 6pm...looking forward to seeing you all there!
Happy to be included in the LA issue of Town & Country Magazine. We're in great company as one of the "34 genuises turning it into America's capital of cool!" In over its 100 years of exsistence T&C has never had a guest editor, Liz Goldwyn was the first and its an honor. Its on newsstands now but you can read the online interview about "the LA galleriests who are remaking the art scene in their own image" HERE
Michelle Joan Papillion
Papillion moved from New York in 2008, opening her first gallery four years ago.
HOW HAS THE ART SCENE CHANGED SINCE YOU MOVED TO L.A.? "Back in 2008, the art community seemed very insular. It was not so inviting for an outsider. But all of that has changed. It's now the hippest place for an artist to be, and the scene feels very open and expansive."
WHAT'S RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT CHANGE? "I don't think there's one thing, though technology is definitely a key ingredient in facilitating the growth of the scene. Social media has been a big game changer—here and everywhere."
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NEW YORK AND AN L.A. COLLECTOR? "There is a greater passion for and commitment to supporting local artists here."
HOW WOULD YOU RATE L.A.'S MUSEUMS? "They are world class. I travel a great deal for work, to view exhibitions around the globe. Your Bright Future at LACMA and Art in the Streets at MOCA are in my top ten exhibitions ever. And I always look forward to MADE IN LA, the biennial at the Hammer."
IS IT EASIER TO BE A FEMALE ARTIST IN L.A.? "No. Women have to work harder and smarter to be recognized in the same circles as their male contemporaries. Diversity in the contemporary art world is not as progressive as many would think. The work of some of my favorite L.A. artists—like Miranda July and Kenturah Davis—are adding important things to this conversation."
WHAT'S THE MOST EXCITING GALLERY NEIGHBORHOOD? "Regen Projects, LACE, and HVW8—all in Hollywood. But Leimert Park, where I opened my second gallery this year, is becoming the next great art destination."
IS THERE A SONG THAT SUMS UP L.A. FOR YOU? "Kendrick Lamar's album Good Kid M.A.A.D City."
Our new art world boo is Casey Jane Ellison! We are happy to be a part of Touching the Art - Episode 2 - Postmodernism, post-Net & The Art Market on Ovation!
We're happy to be in the fall ART issue of Salon Magazine and included in their Art Radar 2014. If you're in Europe pick up a copy!!
"Papillion, located in the up and coming area of Leimert Park, has a strong programme for emerging artists and a stylish woman at its helm."
Thank you Los Angeles Times for the prominent feature in today's Business section! The story speaks about our perspective and vision on Leimert Park and how we think art can transform the community. Peep the Noah Davis "Temptations" painting and the Lisa C Soto sculpture, the photo was taken in our private upstairs gallery :-) Click the CONTACT tab to inquire about these available works.
We had a crazy successful opening last month when we finally debuted in Leimert Park!!! And word has gotten around town, check out our re-cap and press from a recent newsletter:
"We opened our doors February 15th in Leimert Park and nearly 500 people showed up to make it a complete success! The group exhibition titled OPEN features work by 8 emerging artist who should be taken note of: Painter, Hugo McCloud; Designer/Drawer, Kenturah Davis; Sculptor, Raksha Parkeh; Video & Installation artist, Danielle Dean; Painter & Sculptor, Nzuji de Magalhaes; Sculptor/Drawer, David Sigmund; Painter, Derek Fordjour and Abstract artist Samuel Levi Jones represent the burst of great talent the emerging art scene has to offer. Its an exciting time for Los Angeles and the artist community and I feel OPEN represents a little of this excitement.
There were some great write ups about the show. KCET Artbound, Intersections South LA and Morningside Park Chronicle all covered our opening while LA WEEKLY just named us as one of the "5 Artsy Things to do in LA". There are some great quotes from Mark Bradford, Eileen Harris Norton and Jeffrey Deitch who attended the opening and had beautiful things to share.