Right now it’s quiet. The only sound an atmospheric hum of anticipation, the final parts coming together as preparation comes to a close and Spiritualized takes the stage to officially reopen this historic theatre. 
Photo by Spencer Lowell.

Right now it’s quiet. The only sound an atmospheric hum of anticipation, the final parts coming together as preparation comes to a close and Spiritualized takes the stage to officially reopen this historic theatre. 

Photo by Spencer Lowell.


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Downtown Los Angeles

Kevin Willis is a journeyman. He’s an admirer of the ‘camp’ in antiquity and seems always to extract the eerie, underlying purpose from a thing where others see only pulp. Kevin is also a closely-kept member of our family and a contributor to Ace culture in ways that outmeasure just his physical work for us.

In the lobby at the Theater at Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles resides his Cathedral of Our Ladyfingers. She’s something of a sentry at the mouth of the Gothic grandeur that lies just beyond, taking IDs, looking like Mother Superior clipped from the celluloid of a Buñuel film. Her making was entirely in the clay-caked hands and mind of Kevin, but the inspiration was divine.


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Downtown Los Angeles
"Look, but don’t touch" — a universal directive aimed at both young and old, the phrase has the power to reduce curious souls and fledgling gallery-goers to puddles of anxiety when in the presence of fine art. Fabric artist, furniture maker and Los Angeles resident Tanya Aguiñiga, however, is having none of it.

To help tame rising decibels deflecting along the stone-heavy length of the rooftop bar at capacity, Tanya and her crew recently installed a 40-foot tapestry of composite fiber. In its full expanse, the installation folds in on itself non-directionally amidst braids of macramé shapes, descending downward with the weight of their knots, a play of fuzzy asymmetry that naturally absorbs the compounding frequencies of voices thickening as the night arcs toward its peak.

Downstairs, another one of Tanya’s creations is allowed a freer existence. Wild swirls of dun sheep wool climbs the hall behind the front desk, spreading out and ceasing unpredictably like ivy reaching for light — a pleasing sight made even more so when we discover that the animal from which the wool was sheared bears the charming name of Mary.

Many artists struggle with function’s push against the seductive pull of form. Tanya’s work is wholly other, eradicating the boundaries altogether in the simple and enthusiastic pursuit of the new, dismissing the old rules of polite appreciation in the process. Go ahead, it’s okay to touch it. Tanya said so.

Both works will be dedicated by the Public Works Improvements Arts Program of the City of Los Angeles.


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The Theatre
Downtown Los Angeles, CA

Works by John Baldessari, who joined Meg Cranston and Hans Ulrich Obrist at Ace DTLA this past weekend for Surface Magazine’s Design Dialogues.


Downtown Los Angeles, February 5th, 1927
95 years ago Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith founded United Artists. They took their destinies into their own hands and began something the world would never forget.

Downtown Los Angeles, February 5th, 1927

95 years ago Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith founded United Artists. They took their destinies into their own hands and began something the world would never forget.


Downtown Los Angeles, California
The second edition of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair kicked off last night in The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as the fledgling of the famed NY Art Book Fair.  
Over 250 international outfits are taking part in the assembly, and the range of offerings is highly impressive. Everything is egalitarian, sharply presented and extremely tempting.
Hometown heroes Ooga Booga, KesselsKramer, and Arcana — who are making waves on the international scene — are paired with their out-of-town peers, simultaneously repping their work and acting as ambassadors.
The fair is going on until Sunday and is free to enter and enjoy, thanks to the selfless contributions of many. For more information and for the full schedule for screenings, panels, lectures and special events visit laartbookfair.net.

Downtown Los Angeles, California

The second edition of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair kicked off last night in The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as the fledgling of the famed NY Art Book Fair.  

Over 250 international outfits are taking part in the assembly, and the range of offerings is highly impressive. Everything is egalitarian, sharply presented and extremely tempting.

Hometown heroes Ooga BoogaKesselsKramer, and Arcana — who are making waves on the international scene — are paired with their out-of-town peers, simultaneously repping their work and acting as ambassadors.

The fair is going on until Sunday and is free to enter and enjoy, thanks to the selfless contributions of many. For more information and for the full schedule for screenings, panels, lectures and special events visit laartbookfair.net.


Los Angeles, California
Dave Hickey wrote and sent this over before his book signing yesterday. 
I am interested in the survival of the art world now that the distinction between the fine arts and popular arts has dissolved — now that the one-time congeniality of the cottage industry that created most of the great art of the twentieth century has been infected by the relentless, aggressive habits of corporate and institutional culture — now that the underground which once provided a home for cultural rebels has been obliterated. For the past one hundred and fifty years, the marketplace has censored popular art. What is popular is popular art. During the same period, high art has been defined by its ability to censor its audience to a knowledgeable and sophisticated audience defined by its ability to tolerate difficulty and dissonance.
During this period, popular art was always more popular than high art. Peter Max was always more popular than Andy Warhol. Andrew Wyeth was always more popular that Alex Katz. Salvador Dali was always more popular than Georges Braque. So how does high art survive when it can be censored by its “popularity.” In this new art world, difficulty and dissonance are routinely suppressed. Writers like myself whose livelihood has been grounded in the interpretation of difficult art are rendered obsolete. Scholars devoted to assessing the historical impact and viability of difficult art are rendered obsolete. The small contingent of dealers and collectors who take chances on behalf of difficult art are rendered inconsequent. Artist devoted to pushing the envelope are de-prioritized.
So what becomes of the tradition of dissonance and difficulty? It survives, I think, but nobody thinks about it. Art is simply defined by its opacity and left opaque, so there are no historical consequences to work that might be difficult to understand. It simply dwells in the tides of fashion as the sort of thing we don’t understand and don’t care to. So, difficult art will continue to be made but no one will notice. This leaves a space for a new underground where people might pay art more careful attention to the world before their eyes.
Photo by Toby Kamps.

Los Angeles, California

Dave Hickey wrote and sent this over before his book signing yesterday. 

I am interested in the survival of the art world now that the distinction between the fine arts and popular arts has dissolved — now that the one-time congeniality of the cottage industry that created most of the great art of the twentieth century has been infected by the relentless, aggressive habits of corporate and institutional culture — now that the underground which once provided a home for cultural rebels has been obliterated. For the past one hundred and fifty years, the marketplace has censored popular art. What is popular is popular art. During the same period, high art has been defined by its ability to censor its audience to a knowledgeable and sophisticated audience defined by its ability to tolerate difficulty and dissonance.

During this period, popular art was always more popular than high art. Peter Max was always more popular than Andy Warhol. Andrew Wyeth was always more popular that Alex Katz. Salvador Dali was always more popular than Georges Braque. So how does high art survive when it can be censored by its “popularity.” In this new art world, difficulty and dissonance are routinely suppressed. Writers like myself whose livelihood has been grounded in the interpretation of difficult art are rendered obsolete. Scholars devoted to assessing the historical impact and viability of difficult art are rendered obsolete. The small contingent of dealers and collectors who take chances on behalf of difficult art are rendered inconsequent. Artist devoted to pushing the envelope are de-prioritized.

So what becomes of the tradition of dissonance and difficulty?
It survives, I think, but nobody thinks about it. Art is simply defined by its opacity and left opaque, so there are no historical consequences to work that might be difficult to understand. It simply dwells in the tides of fashion as the sort of thing we don’t understand and don’t care to. So, difficult art will continue to be made but no one will notice. This leaves a space for a new underground where people might pay art more careful attention to the world before their eyes.


Photo by Toby Kamps.


Downtown Los Angeles, California
LA Chapter is celebrating its second week of existence. The new restaurant at Ace DTLA is helmed by Five Leaves Chef Ken Addington and restaurateur Jud Mongell.
Expect some of the same iconic dishes from the Brooklyn restaurant but with a truly LA spin.
Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. To make a reservation call 213-623-3233.

Downtown Los Angeles, California

LA Chapter is celebrating its second week of existence. The new restaurant at Ace DTLA is helmed by Five Leaves Chef Ken Addington and restaurateur Jud Mongell.

Expect some of the same iconic dishes from the Brooklyn restaurant but with a truly LA spin.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To make a reservation call 213-623-3233.


Downtown Los Angeles, California
On January 29, we are helping to welcome art critic, essayist and academic provocateur Dave Hickey, who’ll be celebrating the release of his new collect Pirates and Farmers with a talk and book signing at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.
Dave Hickey’s decades-spanning career as a cultural commentator playfully straddles the barriers between high and mass art, music and celebrity culture — a sly irreverence that’s won him a fair share of both favor and controversy, not to mention a MacArthur Fellowship.
If you’d like to drop by, be sure to RSVP via the MoCA Website.

Downtown Los Angeles, California

On January 29, we are helping to welcome art critic, essayist and academic provocateur Dave Hickey, who’ll be celebrating the release of his new collect Pirates and Farmers with a talk and book signing at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.

Dave Hickey’s decades-spanning career as a cultural commentator playfully straddles the barriers between high and mass art, music and celebrity culture — a sly irreverence that’s won him a fair share of both favor and controversy, not to mention a MacArthur Fellowship.

If you’d like to drop by, be sure to RSVP via the MoCA Website.


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