June 9 – July 14, 2007 Opening reception for the artist Saturday June 9th 5-8pm.
Western Project is proud to present the first gallery exhibition in Los Angeles by Exene Cervenka. After a stunning debut at the Santa Monica Museum in 2005, and a solo show in New York last year, she will present new collages and historic journals. As one of the founding members of the seminal punk band X, Cervenka has made an indelible mark on the culture of Southern California, the US and beyond. An ‘artist’s artist’, she has influenced writers, poets, visual artists, filmmakers, musicians – too many to imagine. While critically acclaimed as a song writer and performer, she has consistently documented her travels and life in the form of journals, collages, drawings and books. A primary theme has been her unmasked admiration of America, and its idiosyncratic characteristics.
Layering bits and pieces of Americana, paint and text, Cervenka builds kaleidoscopic maps of beauty and uncertainty; premonitions and wonder, of longing and knowing. Akin to Bruce Conner, Jess and Joseph Cornell, her work is a romantic dance (and battle) of light and dark, creation and destruction. Elements such as unicorns, valentines, cocktail napkins and clowns are mixed together with Biblical quotes, wasps or mushrooms, all physically raw and lyrical; love and nature, collide with the havoc of emotions and culture. At the core, Cervenka’s art is heart driven, and is imbued with a rare type of wisdom.
Cervenka continues to tour with X, along with her band, The Original Sinners and with The Knitters. She lives and works in her studio in Missouri.