11 YEARS - Anniversary Group Show: December 6 - 23, 2014

11th year Anniversary Exhibition

Ron Athey / Josh Bolin / Daniel Brice / Thomas Burke / Carole Caroompas / Cole Case / Alec Egan / Samantha Fields / Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose / Tim Forcum / Eric Freeman / Sush Machida Gaikotsu / Margaret Griffith / Dion Johnson / Ali Kheradyar / Patrick Lee / Joe Lloyd / Zachari Logan / Bob Mizer / Matthew Penkala / Nancy Riegelman / Chad Robertson / Joe Schmelzer / Nicolas Shake / Aaron Sheppard / Arne Svenson / Christian Tedeschi / Tom of Finland / Mark Dean Veca / Wayne White / Jessica Wimbley

Western Project proudly presents our 11th Year Anniversary Exhibition marking a decade and a year of programming. As one of the pioneer galleries of the Culver City arts district, the show will include gallery artists and some special guests; each an irregular, unruly and often impolite force of nature, all burdened with the disease of individual thinking and a call to find a greater depth of human experience. We celebrate with abandon and humor, knowing our job is yet unfinished.




The Conversation is a contemporary art-centric podcast, which includes both the Conversation 3-Way, in which artist Michael Shaw and two guests/co-hosts discuss temporal as well as evergreen topics, and the original format, featuring one-on-one exchanges between Michael and artists, collectors, curators and dealers.

COLE CASE: Flowers, Water and Other Places: New Paintings and Works on Paper

October 20 – December 22, 2012Opening reception for the artist: Saturday, October 20th 6-8pm

Western Project is proud to present the third solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist Cole Case. Culled from two years of observing and drawing on site, the artist has created a body of work both eclectic and incisive. Intuitively traveling to locations throughout Southern California, Case has found the extraordinary in the familiar: cement river beds, high desert landscape, or sunflowers arranged in left over plastic water bottles. Beginning with small ballpoint pen and wash drawings, the artist uses his primary information (much as the Hudson River School artists) in his studio as notes to create a new vision of his experience. Different from the Impressionists and California Plein Air painters who made their paintings on site, Case uses iPhone and iPad app technology to isolate and match specific color elements.

Southern California has been a subject long attractive to artists such as David Hockney, Ed Ruscha or John Divola, each using landscape as the vessel or context for ideas. Unlike the many faux Hockney stylists, it is Case’s drawn line which enlivens his pictures with a distinctly subjective language and voice. It is the signature flow of his hand into elegant forms, countered by immediate swaths of paint that give the work a pleasurable and carnal urgency. His landscapes are void of human presence, each a stage for the mind’s projections. Case’s floral still life works continue a traditional lineage from Dutch masters to Manet to Warhol – some even on a Warhol museum-scale at nine by seven feet.

Landscape, water, and flowers provide a perfect mirror for the human psyche and have for hundreds of years as sensual traps for reflecting beauty, mortality, brevity or fear. Case uses the tactile and physical qualities of paint to engage the senses and his subject matter as a construct for language of emotions; bridging visual experience to classic themes.

Case has recently been included in The Painted Desert at the Lancaster Museum of Art and History, curated by Andi Campognone, and Underground Pop at the Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, New York, curated by David Pagel. He has shown at Howard House in Seattle, Washington; University of California Irvine, Irvine, California; Cypress College Art Gallery, Cypress, California and the Luckman Gallery at California State University, Los Angeles, among other venues.

For information and images, contact the gallery at 310-838-0609 cliff@western-project.com / erin@western-project.com

Western Project - The First Six Years / Group Show / 2009

November 7 – December 30, 2009 Opening reception Saturday November 7th 5-8pm.

Jason Adkins, Oliver Arms, Ron Athey, Tanya Batura, Heimir Björgúlfsson, Daniel Brice, Thomas Burke, Carole Caroompas, Cole Case, Exene Cervenka, Kris Chatterson, Justin Dahlberg, Michael Dee, Tom of Finland, Eric Freeman, Sush Machida Gaikotsu, Martin Gunsaullus, Ellina Kevorkian, Patrick Lee, Bob Mizer, Michael Reafsnyder, Nancy Riegelman, Chad Robertson, Joe Schmelzer, Aaron Sheppard, Arne Svneson, Vincent Valdez, Mark Dean Veca, Wayne White, Eve Wood, Yek

Western Project is pleased to present, The First Six Years, an anniversary exhibition of the gallery and its artists. Thirty one artists are included with new or recent works. The exhibition is also a celebration of the founding of the arts community in Culver City; Western Project being the third gallery to open its doors in November of 2003.

Cole Case: When We Did Believe In Magic And We Didn't Die / New Paintings / 2008

November 15 - December 23, 2008 Opening Reception for the artist: Saturday, November 15, 5:00 - 8:00 PM

Western Project is proud to present the second solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist, Cole Case. With degrees in both fine art and English, Case is a unique narrative artist. This new body of work is comprised of images from his years in Southern California; an iconography of memory – one man’s travelogue of Los Angeles history. Whether under the influence of 17th Century Dutch still life painting or Manet’s, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère or The Arcade Fire, the artist draws together unexpected objects into scenes rich with the palette of contemporary life. It is a kind of autobiographical Pop with reductive compositions, lush with detail.  His peculiar sense takes the past and the present as co-conspirators, creating images as eternal thoughts. Whether depicting a Hollywood cemetery as an idyllic Eden, or an empty, fire-red table at El Coyote, he describes an emphatic kind of living, each an ode to life. Case’s work presses beyond irony with a passion of the fives senses exemplified in the scratched, rubbed and painted surfaces; each a feast of oil paint. By his hand, the Hollywood Bowl is a luminous monument in a sea of cell phone lights. Akin to artists disparate as Philip Guston and Matt Groening, Case proves every image is not what it appears to be; each is a complex and loaded tale.

In This house That I Call Home: Group Show / 2006

January 7 – February 4, 2006 Reception for the artists Saturday, January 7th 5-8pm

Oliver Arms Ron Athey Tanya Batura Carole Caroompas Cole Case Justin Dahlberg Katie Herzog Matthew Jordan Lisa Mraz John Scaraga Joe Schmelzer John Schlue Wayne White

Western Project begins the New Year with a group exhibition exploring ideas and experiences of the home. From heaven, to hell and back, it is interpreted by this group of artists with conviction and authority. Carole Caroompas realigns the myth of Rapunzal and her crumbling castle in a huge and complex canvas; accompanied by Ron Athey’s hair towels made of woven wigs - quite the untraditional handicrafts. Matthew Jordan photographs the silence and order of his bedroom, while Lisa Mraz hangs her linens out to dry on a most caustic laundry line. John Scaraga fatigues images of men and women from fashion magazines by hand – a lone and peculiar activity, equaled by Tanya Batura’s Inhale/Exhale S & M ceramic heads. John Schlue paints recipe cards from his Midwestern kitchen invoking a kind of high caloric minimalism, homespun and as purposely skewed as Wayne White’s Americana relic paintings. Katie Herzog dreams of her cat (XXX) and Joe Schmelzer continues the documentation of his life with his two partners. All in all, there are no rules, party or not, but there is a vibrancy of life that defies categories and boxes, and variance is the key and the practice. The mystery of life bubbles up through our own living room – fantastic, frightening and exhilarating – reasonable and fucked up – horny and monastic – loving and with a sharpened sword – the artists hold up the looking glass, and it is unexpectedly beautiful.

(Thank you Exene and John)

Cole Case: Diamond bullets / New Paintings / 2006

February 11 – March 18, 2006

Reception for the artist Saturday, February 11, 5 – 8 pm.

Western Project is proud to present the first solo exhibition by Los Angeles artist Cole Case. A graduate of Stanford, and Art Center College of Design, Case has developed a visual and material vocabulary that draws from turn of the century American painting, animation and this digital age of imaging. Working with the tradition of sparse compositions and hyper color, the work contains both familiar and surreal feelings – a kind of displaced knowledge that stems from the past, but with a ‘Pixar’ focus. It is not merely the stylistic methodology he uses to combine a myriad of opposites; it is the material quality of paint he employs; thick, brushy, flat, wiry, and detailed. Each object or surface he paints seems to hold an animate language of humor and near terror – as though his spare world will peel away or jump off the panel at will.

What is primary however, is the content of Case’s images. Each is an epiphany from his life – hence the frozen clarity and simplicity of the paintings. Akin to Philip Guston’s later works, Case explores what appears to be the ordinary world with a peculiar vision. Each picture is a small monument to moments of exactness and understanding. They are what Marlon Brando described in Apocalypse Now as ‘diamond bullets’ – the piercing of illusion. What is remarkable is Case’s ability to pull from memory, a kind of ‘altered state’ picture as event –  baseball signs on the highway, rafting to Catalina, or bussing through Egypt – depictions of immaterial occurrences as startling pictures.