Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures: Alice Könitz and LAMOA Catherine Wagley
Interview with Penny Slinger Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
by Jonathan Griffin

Jennie Jieun Lee
by Stuart Krimko

Trisha Baga
by Lindsay Preston Zappas

Jimmie Durham
by Molly Larkey

Parallel City
by Hana Cohn

Jason Rhodes
by Matt Stromberg
Generous
Structures
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature by Thomas Duncan
Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler by Stuart Krimko
Karl Haendel by Aaron Horst
Wolfgang Tillmans by Eli Diner
Ma by Claire de Dobay Rifelj
The Rat Bastard Protective Association by Pablo Lopez
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews:
Made in L.A. 2016
Doug Aitken Electric Earth
Mertzbau

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
Mark A. Rodruigez
The Weeping Line
Molly Larkey, Aaron Horst,
Keith J. Varadi, Katie Bode,
Stuart Krimko, Matt Stromberg
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Hana Cohn, Eli Diner,
Claire De Dobay Rifelj,
Katie Bode, Molly Larkey,
Keith J. Varadi
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater
Diana Thater
at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj,
Matt Stromberg, Hana Cohn,
Lindsay Preston Zappas,
Simone Krug, Keith Vaughn,
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Launch Party Carla Issue 3
Share Your Piece of the Puzzle Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Eli Diner, Jonathan Griffin,
Don Edler, Aaron Horst
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Benjamin Lord, Aaron Horst, Stephen Kent
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Aaron Horst, Char Jansen, Randy Rice, Lindsay Preston Zappas
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee
William Pope.L’s Reenactor
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
VESSEL // CINS and
VESSEL // PERF
Ben Medansky
I've been a lot of places,
seen so many faces
Nora Slade
Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Catherine Wagley, Keith Vaughn, Aaron Horst, Kate Wolf, Mateo Tannatt, Evan Moffitt, Cal Siegel
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
Distribution
Downtown
ARTBOOK @ Hauser Wirth
    & Schimmel
917 E. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Baert Gallery
2441 Hunter St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Central Park
412 W. 6th St. #615
Los Angeles, CA 90014

CES Gallery
711 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Cirrus Gallery
2011 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Château Shatto
406 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Club Pro
1525 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Fahrenheit
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Ghebaly Gallery
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Geffen Contemporary
    & at MOCA
152 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Harmony Murphy
358 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

LACA
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

MAMA
1242 Palmetto St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Mistake Room
1811 E. 20th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90058

MOCA Grand Avenue
250 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Monte Vista Projects
1206 Maple Avenue, #523
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Night Gallery
2276 E. 16th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Box
805 Traction Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Wilding Cran Gallery
939 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Koreatown / Pico-Union
Commonwealth & Council
3006 W. 7th St., #220
Los Angeles CA 90005

Dalton Warehouse
447 E. 32nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90011

Elevator Mondays
1026 Venice Blvd., Suite E
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Park View
836 S. Park View St., #8
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Skibum MacArthur
712 S. Grand View St., #204
Los Angeles, CA 90057

VACANCY
2524 1/2 James M. Wood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Visitor Welcome Center
3006 W. 7th St., #200 A
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
502 Chung King Ct.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Charlie James
969 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

EMBASSY
422 Ord St., Suite G
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Human Resources
410 Cottage Home St.
Los Angeles CA, 90012

Ooga Booga
943 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Mid-City
1301PE
6150 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Big Pictures Los Angeles
2424 W Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

California African American Museum
600 State Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Chainlink Gallery
1051 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

David Kordansky Gallery
5130 W. Edgewood Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

HILDE
4727 W. Washington
Los Angeles, CA 90016

JOAN
4300 W. Jefferson Blvd. #1
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Kayne Griffin Corcoran
1201 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

ltd Los Angeles
1119 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Marc Foxx
6150 Wilshire Blvd. #5
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Martos Gallery
3315 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Ms. Barbers
5370 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Ochi Projects
3301 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Praz Delavallade
6150 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

The Landing
5118 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

SPRÜTH MAGERS
5900 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Underground Museum
3508 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
2660 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Arcana Books
8675 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Blum and Poe
2727 S. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Cherry and Martin
2712 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Honor Fraser
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Klowden Mann
6023 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Luis De Jesus
2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

MiM Gallery
2636 La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Roberts and Tilton
5801 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Samuel Freeman
2639 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Susanne Vielmetter
6006 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Silverlake/ Echo Park
Smart Objects
1828 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Otherwild
1768 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Hollywood
Diane Rosenstein
831 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Family Books
436 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

GAVLAK
1034 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Hannah Hoffman
1010 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

LAXART
7000 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90038

M+B
612 N. Almont Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Mier
1107 Greenacre Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Moskowitz Bayse
743 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Blvd.
LLos Angeles, CA 90038

Shulamit Nazarian
616 N. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Various Small Fires
812 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Westside
18th Street Arts
1639 18th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis
    College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Christopher Grimes Gallery
916 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

DXIX Projects
519 Santa Clara Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90291

Five Car Garage
(Emma Gray HQ)

Team (Bungalow)
306 Windward Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Eastside
67 Steps
2163 Princeton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

ACME.
2939 Denby Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

ESXLA
602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

SADE
204 S. Avenue 19
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Boyle Heights
BBQLA
2315 Jesse St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Chimento Contemporary
622 S. Anderson St., #105
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ibid.
670 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ooga Twooga
356 Mission Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
1326 S. Boyle Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
649 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Nicodim Gallery
571 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Venus Over Los Angeles
601 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
145 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Ave.
Valley Glen, CA 91401

Natural
15168 Raymer St.
Van Nuys, CA 91405

The Pit
918 Ruberta Ave.
Glendale, CA 91201

Interview with Mernet Larsen

Mernet Larsen, Subway (2014). Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 54.25 x 47 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

Mernet Larsen, Subway (2014). Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 54.25 x 47 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

Weitz and Larsen met in 2004 as colleagues at University of South Florida (USF) and have been
in dialogue ever since. For this interview, the two artists discuss Larsen’s early career, the challenges she faced as a professor in male-dominated institutions, the longevity of her practice over a lifetime, international success at a later stage in her life, and the association between her work and computer generated figuration.

————

Julie Weitz: Years ago I saw a photograph of you from your early days at USF. The strength of your pose and expression immediately struck me. Until then, I hadn’t imagined what it might have been like for you as
a young woman teaching in an all-male faculty at a Southern university in the ’60s. Did anything prepare you for the working environment at USF? Were you self-conscious about being the only woman professor?

Mernet Larsen: In the 1960s, the patriarchy was so “normal,” I had little distance on it. Like many women of my generation, I felt proud and grateful to be accepted into the male world, and probably felt somewhat superior to other women because of it. My first teaching job, in 1965, was at the University of Oklahoma. They brought me in for an interview because they thought my name was a man’s name; they hired me reluctantly and let me know they were taking a chance: “Women always got married, had babies, and quit.” Nonetheless, there was good chemistry at OU then, and I had a great time. Clearly, though, I was never going to get a tenure track position there, so I accepted a position at USF in 1967, where I was the only woman on the studio faculty for about ten years. In fact, I heard later that I was the only woman art faculty in the whole state of Florida at the time.

In the ’60s, there was a general mood that art students would learn art history better from studio artists than from actual art historians; we would presumably bring a more formalist approach. I was considered unusually articulate for an artist, so 
I was hired with the understanding that I would teach studio with the occasional art history course. I ended up teaching 1-2 art history courses per semester and eventually designed my own graduate seminars on Cezanne, for example, or the topic of perception. It turns out, this situation was often the only way women were able to find entrance into art department faculties at that time.

Studying and teaching art history at this intensity was invaluable to me as an artist. However, the preparation dramatically cut into my studio time, so I had a low profile as an artist. I was permitted to supervise graduate students’ written theses, but I was not allowed to serve on their committees. Generally, the male faculty members listened to what I had to say and respected me as a teacher, but didn’t seem to take me seriously as an artist. I once playfully wore a fake mustache to a faculty meeting, sat deadpan through the whole meeting. Everyone else kept a straight face too, and nothing was said.

Mernet Larsen, Taking Notes (2004). Acrylic, tracing paper, and oil on canvas, 48 x 50 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

Mernet Larsen, Taking Notes (2004). Acrylic, tracing paper, and oil on canvas, 48 x 50 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires.

JW: Wow, that was an Adrian
 Piper move before Adrian Piper!
 It also immediately brings to mind your paintings of faculty meetings. Perhaps this is a bit of a stretch, but did the psychology of those early experiences influence the way you construct space? To manage those kinds of situations, you must have developed an observational distance that cultivated imaginative ways of reorienting one’s perspective.

ML: Actually, I always rather liked faculty meetings. They were occasions for discourse, and my colleagues
 were more verbal and intellectually oriented than was usual back then. Meetings could be boring or contentious, of course. I made the faculty meeting paintings after I retired to commemorate something that had been a big part of my life. I took some photographs of the current faculty as my source. Reverse perspective became a way of both defamiliarizing (creating observational distance) 
and monumentalizing. I have always swung between detachment and involvement, but I guess my mode, as a representational artist, is one of detachment, hopefully with a sense of humor and sympathy.

JW: It’s been amazing to see your images proliferate on social media and the internet, particularly because the individuals and settings in the paintings are so familiar to me, but also because your work has been associated with computer-generated figuration used by many younger artists. Writers often discuss your work in connection with video game imagery and I’ve even heard people refer to you as an emerging artist. There’s the assumption that your work is part of a millennial affinity for early computer animation. Do you think these associations are relatable or superficial?

ML: I am a computer Luddite. I’ve never even seen a computer game, much less worked with computer-generated imagery. I play perversely with reverse, Western, parallel perspective to disorient, not to set
up another form of orientation. My characters are reconstructed into impossible constructions and expressive proportions. I see them as analogues to experienced reality, not as mechanical simplifications or dehumanization of the physical world. They have much more in common with early 15th Century Italian art, Byzantine Icons, Japanese narrative scrolls, or even some outsider art!

However, I do feel the world
of digital imaging has awakened, or reawakened, an interest in meta-opticality, an infinite 3D grid, where
the viewer is no longer located in a specific viewing position, as one is in conventional representation. I felt an affinity with early Julie Mehretu and Matthew Ritchie, whose works are strongly grounded in digital processes, and I love the vastness of their spaces, a melding of information and sensual perception, which my paintings do not have. In general, when I look at the work of many young artists, like yours, I can see that they are seeing such potential with digital image making! So perhaps we are in an early period.

JW: You’ve been steadily working in the art world for over 50 years. Given your recent success, how has your perspective changed?

ML: When I was young, we thought art was progressing. Everyone was vying to be on the cutting edge, and to define the trajectory of art history. Now art is understood as a network, and people seem more interested in the synchronic fabric of art, how everyone is intersecting. What node you or others are on this web. There seems less at stake; people seem less a part of a greater cause, and more concerned with their own ability to find a niche. On the other hand, artists seem to have much more freedom to carve out their own eccentric territory. There is much greater interest in the world, socially and politically. Art used to be much more about the self: private or archetypal. We used to worry about posterity.

Now artists worry about relevance. Nonetheless, in talking with students over the years, in some basic ways nothing has changed: most artists want immortality, fame and glory, depth and significance, originality and self-realization. When I was young, it seemed a liability that my work did not conform to any school of thought; now that seems an asset.

Mernet Larsen, Explanation (2007). Acrylic and mixed media on canvas. 41 x 52 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles.

Mernet Larsen, Explanation (2007). Acrylic and mixed media on canvas. 41 x 52 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles.

JW: That’s a beautiful way to put it, leading me to wonder, if there’s less at stake, does that mean we care less? Your commitment and impact on the lives of both students and colleagues at USF has been substantial. How do you frame your practice in terms of cultural and communal value, rather than individual career success?

ML: In the ’70s, I thought I might quit my job at USF and stay in New York. But I made a decision to commit to USF/ Tampa as my base. The department, and my role in it, had changed—largely as a result the feminist movement (which is a whole other conversation). I felt New York was a bit self-referential. I thought it would be better for me, given my temperament, to be some place where I could think of myself more iconoclastically, but also more internationally; I could get travel grants to Japan, China, India, Mexico, Europe, and these experiences were invaluable to my work. I also loved teaching, and liked being in a place where I felt I could make a real difference, and could support the development of young artists through grad school. I felt that a dynamic university art department could be an art world in itself.

I considered myself a researcher in an institution, where I was paid to work on my art. It gave me a freedom to not have to think about a product, or style, or success in the market. (That isn’t possible any more: to get tenure you have to be very successful in the market or an equivalent.) My interactions and dialogues with graduate students were an indispensable part of my working process. I showed at museums and university galleries, but I didn’t show in any commercial galleries until I was in my 50s. When
 I was 50, I had a comprehensive 25-year retrospective in a Florida museum.

As I got older, I began to feel
 a stronger sense of responsibility for sharing my work, getting it out in the world to do its work. It became clear that if I wanted to have visibility and eventually get my work in museum collections, I would need to work through commercial galleries. The chain of circumstances that led to my recent visibility evolved directly and indirectly from relationships that I have had over the years; none came from the direct pursuit of gallery representation. Luck, serendipity, and the support of friends and allies, were, as they always are, key factors!

JW: In that sense, what has it meant for you to make art over the course of a lifetime? Were you aware of an end goal?

ML: I think most of us, in our late teens and early 20s, are shaping lifelong ideals and goals. We ask ourselves why we want to make art and what we can bring to the world through our art. It seems very important to see one’s involvement in art as a lifelong venture, and to remain dedicated and idealistic. It’s amazing how much foresight we have, how prescient most artists are about their unique potential. It’s important to develop an essential grounding before becoming involved with seeking fame, glory, and commercial success, so that there is always a point of tension, something you can come back to when you lose your bearings. Later, I think the pursuit of external success can be good, it can be almost an ally, give us deadlines, challenge us, spur us on when we are discouraged or stuck. I think artists have a responsibility to share their work with the world, even if it’s uncomfortable.

There has to be a constant curiosity, looking for a breakthrough to another level of understanding. As do scientists or philosophers, you share these discoveries, your trajectory, with the world. It’s not about you, it’s about what your work realizes for
 you and everyone else. This is your cultural contribution. Success should, ultimately, be about giving this contribution power and effect in the world.

Mernet Larsen (1967). Image courtesy of Mernet Larsen.

Mernet Larsen (1967). Image courtesy of Mernet Larsen.

issue-6-cover-small-web

Originally published in Carla issue 6