Organized by the Landing gallery’s Gerard O’Brien and L.A.-based writer and curator Michael Slenske, “Object Lessons” examines the highly collaborative, interdisciplinary practice of Chuck Arnoldi, Frank Gehry, and numerous other modern artists from the Westside and beyond. The art exhibition is one of two shows occupying the former artist lofts; the other is the gallery’s NADA Miami presentation which features Arnoldi’s sculptures and paintings by architect Leonardo E. Marmol.
“Object Lessons” transports visitors back to a time when Venice Beach was the ultimate hotbed for creativity and interdisciplinary collaboration.
“There wasn’t this stigma attached to just riffing in different areas. This freedom of form and material has always lived on in California”MICHAEL SLENSKE
With iconic projects ranging from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Chiat/Day “Binoculars” Building, Frank Gehry has helped dynamically transform the Los Angeles cityscape. And while his contemporary structures are renowned for their daring geometries, the modern architect’s more humble early works reveal the experimental origins of his genius.
Like space itself, the art installation “Object Lessons” reflects decades of collaboration and experimentation between two artists, Frank Gehry and Chuck Arnoldi, who challenged the long-held belief of design being the lesser art. Instead, these creatives proudly incorporated functional forms and concepts into their oeuvres.
The show features several early pieces painted by Kenny Scharf, including the TV on which he used to watch Days of Our Lives in the lofts, as well as a sofa, which Slenske describes as a “furniture riff off of his thrift-store paintings.” Other rarities include Ken Price drawings from the collection of Anjelica Huston, a Frank Gehry “Snake” lamp, and Joe Goode’s sake cups that the artist used to gift visitors to his Santa Monica studio. Several items, such as a found basketball hoop by Glen Wilson, speak to the gentrification of Venice while others address contemporary politics, like Chaz Guest’s paintings on American flags.