Walking into Klowden Mann–currently housing Munich-born, Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Wiesenfeld’s latest exhibition, o–one is struck with the unorthodox hanging of the artist’s work. Here, small and large pieces are seemingly arranged at random. Several works are crowded onto a single wall in a style reminiscent of the Parisian salons of yore, while other areas are virtually empty. There is, naturally, a method to such unexpected madness. The show was organized based on theme and time of creation, allowing the viewer to track Wiesenfeld’s creative process in the placement of these drawings and wall paintings.
With their eye-catching shades of violet, turquoise, and citrine, Wiesenfeld’s mixed-media creations are enigmatic in their blend of figuration, landscape, and abstraction. One such image, titled “I Will Try to be Gentler Next Time” (2017), features a nude woman on a rudderless boat. Another piece, titled “Prayer” (2017), resembles an illuminated rose window found in Gothic cathedrals. For the artist, these works tell stories lurking deep in the subconscious mind. Their narratives may not always seem outwardly rational, but they do get to the heart of the human struggle for meaning and direction.
While the meanings of these works may be mysterious, the history of their making is on full display. In the pieces presented in o, the viewer can see each individual layer of paint and pastel as Wiesenfeld builds her canvases. This technique is a common one of the artist’s. She employed it often in her earlier figurative paintings which have been widely exhibited at HilbertRaum in Berlin, the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Anton Gallery in Washington, DC, and Germany’s Kunst Carlshütte.
With this latest show, Wiesenfeld’s striking layers, unconventional narratives, and unusual presentation produce something unexpected–enough, perhaps, to elicit, as the show’s title hints at, that familiar exclamation of bewilderment: oh.
Alexandra Wiesenfeld: o
Through June 3, 2017
6023 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232