Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What exactly is Potpourri?

Tony Fitzpatrick and Peter Frank at THE BUS
This past Friday we opened two completely different exhibitions that drew an impressive crowd of Los Angeles art scene elite. In Gallery II, we invited Tony Fitzpatrick to curate a show featuring some of his favorite colleagues from Chicago in an exhibition called THE BUS. Many of the guest artists made the trip out to Los Angeles to see their work on our walls and discuss their processes with each other and patrons alike.

Fogelson's "Bouquet No. 3"
One of the most impressive among them is artist Doug Fogelson.

At first glance it would be easy to mistakenly dismiss Doug's pieces as digital manipulations of still life photographs–two things that we don't normally showcase. It turns out that Doug's work involves a richly textured and high-concept procedure in which he starts with a 4x5 photo negative and uses the subjects of the photo sessions (the petals of the floral bouquets) to rub color into the film and distort the images naturally and viscerally. The flowers are not only iconic images, they are tools of production.

THE BUS features only two Bouquets from Doug's full Potpourri body of work. Viewed in total, it is a multi-media installation that documents the decay of the bouquet and addresses the connection of flowers as a celebratory object, used in some of mankind's most important rituals (birth, marriage, funerals, etc.) with the very non-conservationist aspect of their being: disposable, living representations of beauty, which are often killed to offer temporary enjoyment. Flowers very much mirror the life events that they decorate, and decay is the final, visible result.

Fogelson's full "Potpourri" installation
The 59th day of Fogelson's "Potpourri"
Fogelson's "Castrato No. 4"

Fogelson breaks the work into separate divisions. There are the "Bouquets" (as featured on our walls currently), and there are dark, macro-portraits of decaying flowers called "Corpus," and there are overlaid close-ups of the plant's reproductive organs called "Castrata," and finally, there are details of multiple divisions combined called, "Potpourri."

Doug Fogelson is part of Tony Fitzpatrick's THE BUS: 29 Hooligans from Chitown, currently on view at La Luz de Jesus Gallery. Though not on view, the additional pieces from Fogelson's Potpourri exhibition can be purchased. Contact gallery director Matt Kennedy for details.


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