Craig Krull Gallery will present a solo exhibition of a new body of work by seminal Los Angeles based artist Lita Albuquerque in conjunction with the Getty's Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1945-1980 The exhibition, entitled 287 Steps, will also coincide with Albuquerque's Spine of the Earth 2012 a large scale ephemeral work created for the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, organized by Glenn Phillips of the Getty Research Institute and Lauri Firstenberg of LAXArt.
The exhibit 287 Steps is comprised of three installations in which the human form is alchemically re-embodied, taking new forms in historically significant, elemental materials such as gold, pure powdered pigment dust, and bone white plaster. The artist's body is incorporated into elements of the installation, echoing the excavated bodies from Pompeii, where plaster was injected into the vacant space left by human forms leaving a distinct record of the moment their bodies were transformed into ash.
Three large-scale blue pigment paintings surround the perimeter of one of the exhibition spaces as three gold leaf suits hover, suspended above the gallery floor. The suits undulate in the air, influenced by each subtle movement in the space. The exhibition also includes a series of "wind paintings", composed of pure powdered pigment blown across canvases, creating a record of the artist's gesture joined with the elemental force of a gust of wind. By working with fundamental elements such as wind, pigment and gold as the primary materials for the creation of 287 Steps, Albuquerque brings the interplay of natural forces to the center of the process of creation and the embodiment of form.
Lita Albuquerque is an internationally renowned installation, environmental artist, painter and sculptor. She has developed a visual language that brings the realities of time and space to a human scale in ways that are simultaneously ancient and futuristic. For decades she has created large scale ephemeral pigment pieces in desert sites including the Pyramids of Giza and more recently the ice desert of Antarctica where she led an expedition and team of scientists and artists that culminated in the first and largest ephemeral art work created on the continent. Often best seen from space, Albuquerque's work challenges perspective, and the perpetually shifting relationships between bodies in space.
Her paintings are a materialization of the ideas about color, light and perception first created in her ephemeral works. Through her use of pure pigments, and gold, she engages perceptual and alchemical shifts in the viewing subject. Her work was recently seen at MOCA in The Artist's Museum exhibition and was featured in Art Paris 2011. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including three National Endowment for the Arts, the Cairo Biennale Prize and a National Science Foundation Artist Grant. Albuquerque's work is included in collections at the Whitney Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Getty Trust, and The Los Angeles County Museum, among others.
287 Steps opens on January 21st, the night before Albuquerque's large scale ephemeral work Spine of the Earth 2012. 287 Steps is on view through February 25th, 2012.