Witty and Urbane

May 9, 2015 - July 10, 2015

How do human beings respond to the Metropolitan structure? What are the aspects of living in the city of Los Angeles we find so compelling? What does it mean to live within generations of images and visual detritus from many different cultures?  Witty and Urbane, is a five-person exhibition curated by Kristi Lippire which reflects on the complexity of overlapping urban fragmentation and development with humor and curiosity.  Exhibiting artists include Kristi Lippire, Susan Logoreci, Melissa Manfull, Dana Maiden and Erin Payne.

To live in a city structure is to live as a collective. The fluid movement of people, businesses and neighborhoods allows for the coexistence of differences.  These artists attempt to level out any hierarchies by their interests in diverse urban elements. The work in this exhibition researches a variety of historical, social and cultural subjects and ranges from photography to sculpture and drawing.

On Sunday, June 28th there will be an all-day, multi-venue event in conjunction with the exhibition. Each artist will be leading a participatory activity related to how they explore the city of Los Angeles. Starting at the FOCA gallery in Chinatown, Melissa Manfull will help guests print their own silkscreened map of the day’s events and of other points of interest in North-East Los Angeles. Erin Payne will be constructing floating biodegradable structures at the LA River near Marsh Street Nature Park.  Susan Logoreci is showing visitors how to use their own cell phones to take personal aerial photographs in Lincoln Park. Dana Maiden will be setting up her photo-sculpture Think Tank in El Sereno where for the same price as a bag of fruit, participants will receive a bag of chopped up photographs, which they can use to create a collaborative collage. Kristi Lippire will host an open studio in El Sereno. Come see her space and the workspace of her colleagues in the former Post Office of El Sereno. There will be a post-event reception at the open studio 4 – 7pm.


Kristi LippireKristi Lippire’s sculptures embrace play, experimentation and intuitive exploration in their creation. Reinterpreting found images into precarious forms and structures; Lippire contributes two new works that have been inspired by issues of failed utilitarian interventions in urban forms and landscape. There is a sense of humor that is conveyed in keeping the viewer perpetually off balance in imagery and overall construction. The images and objects reference the negative spaces of urban landscape and are made up of objects and structures in any given periphery. The use of color and scale in the work directly refers to the access we have here in Los Angeles to light and space.
Susan LogoreciSusan Logoreci’s colored pencil drawings use well known Los Angeles landmarks in order to express a casual, playful and celebratory mood while simultaneously depicting urbanity as a flawed and sprawling endeavor that is out of balance. Logoreci’s drawings express confusion between space and flatness, seducing and alienating the viewer with exhaustive patterns of form. They are contemporary landscapes that tease our preconceived ideas of place and structure as stable and permanent. “My interest in making this work lies in the paradoxes of the spaces we create (virtue and vice, doubt and wonder), as well as discovering a new vision in the rich tradition of landscape art.”
Melissa ManfullMelissa Manfull’s drawings for this exhibition each relate to a different section of a reading from Melville’s Moby Dick. The drawings are a notation of a chronological grouping of chapters where ink renderings are immediate visualizations of text through movement, line, pattern & imagery. The bookMoby Dick was chosen for its themes relating to the existential; living within daily existence of striving for something unattainable, moving through the motions of daily life within a set of prescribed actions, towards the goal of the unattainable. Manfull relates this story specifically to Los Angeles as a city intrinsically tied to the ocean & the vastness of the unknown outside of its borders.
Dana MaidenDana Maiden investigates the ways photography and sculpture can be combined to reactivate the spatial details of a particular time and place. The works in this show are inspired by two novels set in Los Angeles at the end of the 1960s: The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon and Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. Taking each book’s descriptions of the L.A. landscape as her starting point, Maiden explores the intersection between nostalgia, alienation and the disembodied perception of photographic space as she attempts to relocate herself in a fictional landscape nearly fifty years later. The artist’s large-scale photographs are often cut out, mounted to free standing structures, combined with found objects and re-photographed back in the landscape. These recursive explorations seize fissures in the simulacra, expanding the borders of the representation into the tensions of space.
Erin PayneErin Payne’s work is an examination of the natural history museum diorama and the humor that exists in the relationship between what is real and what is artificial. For this exhibition Payne has made a “prop” or sculptural recreation of a chunk of earth based on a site in Pico Canyon, Santa Clarita. The artificial piece of land has been documented amongst living, natural elements and animals of the environment which inspired it. This sculptural prop is re-photographed as a sort of imposter or absurd copy as it negotiates a playful contradiction of sources between the flora and fauna. The Natural History of an urban environment is one of fluctuating circumstances.

Public Events

Witty and Urbane: Multi-venue Event

June 28, 2015
June 28, 2015
Details >

Witty and Urbane: Opening Reception

May 9, 2015
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Details >

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