Michael Dee: Melted Hearts and Deadly Force / 2009

Sculpture, drawings, video and photographs September 12 – October 31, 2009

Opening reception Saturday September 12th 5-8 pm

Western Project is proud to present new work by Los Angeles artist, Michael Dee. Entitled, Melted Hearts and Deadly Force, the exhibition explores the contradictions of materials and content, and the primacy of illusion, beauty and transformation. Dee uses plastic as a synthetic messenger; a manifestation of the sublime. Transparent plastic Lexan tubes are heated and structured into web like creations, colorful nests or polycarbonate environments, hiding bright neon hearts. The individual sculptures and large ceiling installation allude to the natural world and the historic works of Chamberlain and Eva Hess. From cheap industrial materials, aesthetics arise; each work a phoenix of desire, lust, and emotion. The neon hearts glow in the center, as fragile decoys, or sign of True beauty? Hearts Melt, How Many More Times, is a work comprised of hundreds of cheap plastic heart shaped boxes, melted into sexual orifices. A similar transformation occurs in Dee’s graphite drawings of exploded jacketed hollow point bullets: a phallic projectile transforms into an orifice upon impact; force becomes a flower formation. Conversely, Dee’s video, Song of Myself, superimposes live performances of Devo (Uncontrollable Urge) and Led Zeppelin (Black Dog) to create an uneasy unity. It is a noisy examination of two different generations/attitudes using the same blues rock structure; mirroring songs grind against one another – lust and anxiety as inseparable partners. As a cacophony of longing, the video exemplifies Dee’s search for meaning in artifice; as opposites illuminate one another in our dualistic universe.

Dee has exhibited in Japan, England, France, New York, Larry Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles and numerous other galleries and museums in the United States. He will be in the upcoming exhibition, Sweet Subversives: Contemporary California Drawings, at the Long Beach Museum Of Art.

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.

Sculpture: Part II / Group Show / 2008

August 9 – 30th, 2008 Opening reception: Saturday August 9th, 5-8pm

Michael Dee Heimir Björgúlfsson David Kiddie Michael Reafsnyder Wayne White

Western Project is proud to present the second installment of SCULPTURE. This section features five distinct sensibilities: Michael Dee with his large star sculptures made from heated plastic cups; David Kiddie collaborating with Michael Reafsnyder creating ceramic platters, and Reafsnyder alone, crafting mermaid goddesses out of clay; Heimir Björgúlfsson sees nature and culture as inseparable in his enigmatic found object works; and Wayne White continues to confound us with his unique brand of humor and skill in new ceramic work (PORKGREASE) and painted wood sculptures.

Michael Dee has recently completed a solo exhibition at Shaheen Modern and Contemporary Art in Cleveland and was included in Super Thing: NY Goes Devo at 3rd Ward in New York, Michael Reafsnyder is currently exhibiting at the Rebecca Ibel Gallery in Columbus, Ohio, and in Las Vegas Collects, at the Las Vegas Art Museum. Heimer Björgúlfsson was recently in Six From LA at Seiler and Mosseri-Marlio Galerie in Zurich, and Wayne White was included in Build-Up at the Ottawa Art Gallery in Canada.  A monograph of Wayne White's work published by Ammo Books and edited by Todd Oldham is to be released in March of 2009.

Sculpture Part I / Group Show / 2008

May 28 – June 18, 2008Opening reception: Saturday May 31st 5-8pm

Jason Adkins Tanya Batura Heimir Björgúlfsson Michael Dee

Western Project is proud to present the exhibition, SCULPTURE, in two separate exhibitions. The first part features four distinct sensibilities. Jason Adkins’ cage sculptures refer to cargo, confinement and minimalist aesthetics. Tanya Batura’s exquisite ceramic works are portraits of the unvarnished subconscious; both disturbing and serene. Heimir Björgúlfsson sees nature and culture as inseparable in his enigmatic found object works. Michael Dee’s flaming red Mylar sculptures are melted monuments atop cardboard boxes, revealing the candor and transience of beauty and emotion. The collision of methodologies in this exhibition produces a chorus of inquiry as to the possibilities of manifestation.