BIG MESS: Margaret Griffith, Kyla Hansen, Christian Tedeschi

April 6 - May 4, 2013 Opening Reception: Saturday, April 6, 6:00 - 8:00 PM

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Western Project is proud to present three sculptors from Los Angeles. BIG MESS is a tongue-in-cheek wrap around of works that are essentially untoward; objects entwined, piled, stitched, wrapped or encased in resin, with materials such as paper, blankets, toilet paper, X-mas tree lights, or broom bristles. A phoenix of debris, the exhibition pokes at suburban lifestyle aesthetics and ideals; handicrafts, patriotism, sports, architecture, privacy and clutter horror. Each artist investigates a personal narrative and process with materials.

Margaret Griffith uses the structures of gates and fences found in her community to create hand-cut paper sculptures, monuments to fragility and impermanence. She transforms the rigidity of steel structures into billowy forms; folded veils as sublime renderings of environmental boundaries, delicate reminders of the fiction of permanence. In the spirit of feminism and land art of the 1970s, Griffith’s work recalls the explorations of Jackie Ferrara, Alice Aycock, and Jackie Windsor.

Kyla Hansen creates textiles and uses found objects in a punked-up language from desert suburbia. She stacks stools, cast wood stumps, crocheted blankets and holiday lights into a ten foot construct of home-style liberty. Darkly giddy, her works dredge the family garage for elements such as golf clubs, old yarn and glitter to declare: USA (!) in a limp paper-mache curve; the kind of dysfunction all men dread. Her giant The End and Shit is reminiscent of traditional Gee’s Bend textiles, while echoing American survivalist fears of Judgment Day. Her work addresses domestic values similar to the late Mike Kelley, with a wink and sharpened utensil.

Christian Tedeschi’s work mines ideas about the human body, and male identity. Using socks, sports uniforms or hoodies, the artist twists and stretches them into resin-ed forms, part-time artifacts, or small monuments to unknown lives lived and games played. His 400 Years, a 48 inch diameter roll of toilet paper is also glazed with resin; a mock wheel of life and/or clock of bodily functions. Tedeschi stretches a Superman uniform around a steel rod thirteen feet high as a primary colored lingam and testament to heroics, a contrast to Brancusi’s Bird in Space, or Giacometti’s existential slender human figures of the early 20th century. The large Untitled sculpture made with thousands of plastic broom bristles is nearly anthropomorphic as a mass of black and yellow stands hovering over it’s own black pool on the ground. The piece is a hypnotic and visceral relative to 1960s and 70s string art, but now alarming and wet in appearance.

Each of the artists work is straight forward and obsessive, and sometimes expressionistic. In 1980, the punk band X proclaimed: The World’s A Mess It’s In My Kiss, a right-to-the-point declaration. In this exhibition the work mirrors a similar message using an everyday kind of vernacular; a sly hustle, conceptually rooted, alluring and slightly toxic.

Christian Tedeschi recently completed a solo exhibition, Throwing a Blanket Over the Invisible Man at the California Baptist University, Riverside, California, and as part of the art collective, Object Orange, was included in, Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, U.S. Pavilion Venice Architecture Biennial 2012, Venice, Italy. His work has also been shown at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, Woodbury University, San Diego, Occidental College, Los Angeles and the Torrance Art Museum, as well as in galleries in Germany and Australia. He is an MFA graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art, and teaches sculpture at California State University Northridge, Northridge, California.

Kyla Hansen was recently included in The 10th Circle, curated by David Pagel at VAST Space Projects in Henderson, Nevada She has shown at the University of California, Long Beach, Raid Projects, Los Angeles, and the Peggy Phelps Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California, and UCLA New Wight Gallery. She recently completed her MFA at Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California.

Margaret Griffith has exhibited at the Torrance Art Museum, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Long Beach Museum of Art, Woodbury University, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California, Jancar Gallery, Los Angeles, and the Museo Archeologico di Amelia, Amelia (TERNI), Italy, She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2001 and is represented by the Ruth Bachofner Gallery in Santa Monica, California.