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Preview: Robert Williams “SLANG Aesthetics!” ~ Opens this Weekend

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This weekend, as part of the Juxtapoz Magazine 20th anniversary party and art show, the founder of Juxtapoz will be showing a new exhibition of work. A self-described conceptual realist, Williams is considered the godfather of the low brow art movement. This is his first show in LA for over a decade. Keep reading for a preview of some of the images that will be on display, along with more info on the show...

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The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and Juxtapoz magazine are pleased to present new works by Robert Williams in SLANG Aesthetics! in conjunction with 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz, a group exhibition curated by Andrew Hosner of Thinkspace Gallery and Gary Pressman of Copro Gallery. On view at DCA’s Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park from February 22 to April 19, 2015, the exhibitions commemorate the 20th anniversary of Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine, founded by Williams in 1994, and its vast influence on several generations of artists.

Juxtapoz magazine allowed Robert Williams to create a platform for this young and insurgent energy on the West Coast and, with its unprecedented success, Williams became widely upheld as the godfather of the lowbrow and pop surrealist art movements. His first major body of work to debut in Los Angeles in well over a decade, SLANG! Aesthetics will feature 25 new oil paintings by the artist alongside a suite of drawings and a series of large-scale sculptures fabricated with the assistance of Gentle Giant Studios.

As both patriarch and outlaw, his enduring influence on the New Contemporary crusade is undeniable. A true maverick, Williams sought to create vital work that channeled the shifting energies and immediacy of counterculture. From the 60’s onward, his paintings invoked a return to craftsmanship, figuration and demotic imagery that rejected the tenets of conceptual minimalism.

Robert Williams says: “My art is of a feral nature and fashionably in excess of an academic definition, so where better to showcase it than LAMAG, which, as the country’s last municipal art gallery, remains vigilant in its efforts to ensure art in all its forms is accessible to all.”

A self-described Conceptual Realist, Williams persists in creating artworks that elicit a reaction, which cuts, seethes, confronts, and moves. Not for the faint of heart, he speaks an unruly truth that captures the dark, the beautiful, and the appalling tenor of our modern world.

In conjunction with Robert Williams’ new exhibition of work, 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz celebrates the magazine’s 20th anniversary. What once began as an alternative magazine, Juxtapoz is now the most widely disseminated art publication in the world. Predicated on the rejection of the artificial boundaries that kept “high” art removed from popular culture, Juxtapoz effectively broke down those walls to allow young artists a chance at their own history.

The magazine has helped to define and bring to light one of the most exciting art movements of our time, an incipient undertaking in 1994 that has now, finally 20 years later, begun to infiltrate the mainstream art markets and institutions from which it had once been excluded. It is also a movement with a massive fan following that attests to the power and relevance of making accessible art about shared cultural experiences, identities, and aesthetics. The artists featured in 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz have been selected based on their cultural impact and on how they themselves have been inspired by Juxtapoz. New and multifaceted generations of artists continue to emerge through the access made possible by the prestigious publication, which has shaped and defined the culture itself, ensuring its continued relevance for years to come.

The SLANG Aesthetics! and 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz exhibitions will open to the public on February 22. The robust roster of related programming includes a talk with Robert Williams on Saturday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m., a curator’s talk on Saturday, March 14 at 2:00 p.m., and a book signing for Williams’ new book with Baby Tattoo on Saturday, March 28 at 2:00 p.m.

The exhibitions are sponsored by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA);
the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG), the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery
Associates (LAMAGA), and the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation.

Robert Williams: SLANG Aesthetics! and 20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz

VIP Preview Reception: Saturday, February 21 from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Public Opening: Sunday, February 22 from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Exhibition Dates: February 22 to April 19, 2015

Time: Thursday through Sunday, noon to 5:00 p.m.; First Fridays, noon to 9 p.m.

Location: Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park
4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90027

Admission: FREE


About the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs

The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for Los Angeles’ 4 million residents and 40 million annual overnight and day visitors.
DCA advances the social and economic impact of the arts and ensures access to diverse and
enriching cultural activities through: grant making, marketing, development, public art, community
arts programming, arts education, and building partnerships with artists and arts and cultural organizations in neighborhoods throughout the City of Los Angeles.

About the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery

LAMAG is the flagship exhibition space DCA. LAMAG showcases the work of emerging, mid-career,
and established artists whose contributions enhance the culture of the city and help make creativity
LA’s number one economic engine. The Gallery’s reputation for supporting Los Angeles artists and cultural communities through its exhibitions is unparalleled. The original gallery, a temporary structure designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was built in 1954. The current 10,000 square foot gallery opened in 1971, presenting and interpreting successive waves of artists and movements. Today, exhibitions of contemporary art are developed by DCA’s curatorial staff and with invited guest curators. For over
fifteen years, LAMAG has premiered the artwork of the recipients of DCA’s annual City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowships and has collaborated with important arts and cultural institutions

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