HUMP DAY ART CRUSH by Alexa Gerrity on Lives and Works. Wednesday May 9 2012
April Street Lives and Works in Los Angeles, CA.
Hailing originally from Virginia, April has a soft Southern lilt and a ready smile. I share a studio near her in downtown Los Angeles. Besides experiencing a familiar floorboard base-thump from the electronics store below us, I've been fortunate to taste her incredible baked goods, whiskey cocktails and Southern hospitality.
April Street's new body of work loosely titled "Sleeping with old Masters" is both sensuous and witty. There is a push and pull between figure and ground, sculpture and painting. These are body doubles, each a stand in for the next. Sexual tension, layered nuances and double entendres form peripheral engagement. Street often imprints the canvas with pattern and natural imagery, utilizing such varied applications and techniques as paint spills, realistic detailing, prismatic color and three dimensional motifs, thus largely relinquishing the paintbrush. Instead, she utilizes her own body as well as materials, such as worn bed sheets to place paint on canvas. One body of work usurps the next. Yards of pantyhose material is used to make imprints and patterns upon one canvas surface, only to find itself re-used again, wrapped around, braided, torn, shredded and entwined with another canvas…created a sculptural monument that may perhaps transcends it's original purpose.
"Slipping in and out of moments of intimate observation and personal narrative, my paintings are beds of elastic space. I want my paintings to be irreducible to abstraction, and at their most illusionary moments, devise to pull the viewer out of the paint and into the reality of the object. My Imagery is created through physical maneuvers while the paint is in its liquid state, and are altered to emphasize various motifs: mobility of meaning, the focus of the eye, and the combinations of disparate styles—such as fantasy art and color field painting. I want my paintings to have a complementary relationship to the human form. As our bodies tell our stories of time, gravity and environment, my paintings' canvas and supports are skin and bones that inform, and at points, become my subjects. By repositioning the brush(hosiery) as subject, the canvas painting as a backdrop, and the body as author of the retelling of a dream all are engaged in an intimate game of role play." April Street
Art In America-review by Danielle Sommer. December 2012 print issue. http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/april-street/
Art Forum-critics pick by Annie Buckley http://artforum.com/picks/section=la#picks34603
LA Weekly-5 Artsy Things to do by Catherine Wagley- 1. Intimacy Issues-April Street's Portraits and Ropes at Carter & Citizen 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
Recent and Upcoming:
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.
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...
Sept. 17-20 2015 Expo Chicago with Various Small Fires
Main Section - Booth 735
Jim Drain | Mernet Larsen | Joshua Nathanson
Amir Nikravan | April Street | Amy Yao | Jeff Zilm
Chicago | Navy Pier ------firstname.lastname@example.org
-----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
-----May 25 – September 14, 2014 Left Coast: Recent Acquisitions of Contemporary Art -The exhibition is comprised of works from artists of both regional and international renown, 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.
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 Streets 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. Recent exhibitions have been at Rosamund Felsen Gallery in Santa Monica and Carter & Citizen in Los Angeles CA, The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and (upcoming) at Various Small Fires Los Angeles. She received an NEA Project Grant for her video collaboration, Imaging Appalachia. Selected Press includes reviews and articles in Art Forum, Art in America,Los Angeles TImes, the Huffington Post, and LA Weekly.
October 19- November 20, 2013. Heroes. Group show-Curated by David Mcdonald and Whitney Carter. Carter & Citizen Los Angeles CA 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.-Opening reception: 6-9pm-October 19, 2013
September 8, 2012 through October 20, 2012 at Carter & Citizen Los Angeles CA. April Street. Portraits and Ropes.
Feb 12 - Mar
Patrick Nickell & April Street. Rosamund Felsen Gallery. Santa Monica. CA. Opening reception Feb. 12. 2011. 5-7pm.
With her own physical movements realized and indexed in paint, April Street makes works that evoke the surrealist automatism of a dreamscape. At the same time, they represent a spontaneous outpouring of social, historical and personal constructions of romanticized subjects and subject matter. Using canvases often imprinted with pattern and natural imagery, and utilizing such varied applications and techniques as paint spills, illusionistic detailing, prismatic color and floral motifs, Street has largely relinquished the paintbrush. Instead, she utilizes her own body as well as worn bed sheets to move paint around the canvas. Displaying a skillful lightness of touch, Who threw the sunset at Me culminates as a series of beautiful, highly mysterious and highly allusive paintings, rich in layered meaning.
July 21st - September 1st, 2012
Baker's Dozen IV
Selected by 13 LA Curators for the Torrance Museum
Max Presneill (Torrance Art Museum) – William Kaminski
Grace Kook Anderson (Laguna Art Museum) – Madison Webb
Carl Berg (Irvine Fine Arts Center) - Neha Choksi
Scott Canty (Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery) – Jorge Oswaldo
Miki Garcia (Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum) – Ry Rocklen
Julie Joyce (Santa Barbara Museum of Art) – April Street
Lisa Melandri (Santa Monica Museum of Art) - Max Jansons
Aram Moshayedi (Redcat) - Fiona Connor
Pilar Tompkins Rivas (18th Street Arts Center) - Sandra de la Loza
John Spiak (Grand Central Arts Center) - Sean C. Flaherty
Tyler Stallings (UCR Culver Center for the Arts & Sweeney Art Gallery) - Brandon Lattu
Aandrea Stang (MOCA) - Robert Fontenot
Irene Tsatsos (Armory Pasadena) - Haruko Tanaka