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Various Small Fires

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812 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038 United States

February 2020

Calida Rawles at Various Small Fires

February 18, 2020 - February 25, 2020
Various Small Fires, 812 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038 United States

On view: February 12–March 14, 2020 At Various Small Fires in Hollywood, languid figures float in rippling pools of water. Calida Rawles’ large scale paintings are a potent mix of figuration and abstraction, as her figures contort and merge with the liquid surrounding them. Rawles is focused on intersectionality and elevating the black female body, and her subjects find peaceful respite and a sense of elevated reclamation. The water surrounding them acts as a safe buffer against the violence of…

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January 2021

Clarence Holbrook Carter at Various Small Fires

January 23, 2021 - February 26, 2021
Various Small Fires, 812 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038 United States

Bluntly titled “American Surrealist,” a solo show by Clarence Holbrook Carter (1904-2000) at Various Small Fires lives up to this moniker. While the press release compares Carter to luminaries like Max Ernst and Giorgio de Chirico, Carter’s work is relatively unknown, and it was a surprise for me to discover. The show pulls from various periods of the artist’s work, the oldest painting in the show, a graceful portrait of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Lady of Shallot,” dates back…

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April 2021

Alexander Harrison at Various Small Fires

April 24, 2021 - May 29, 2021
Various Small Fires, 812 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038 United States

The small scale of Alexander Harrison’s paintings at Various Small Fires forces the viewer to get up close and personal. This range—at times, my nose was just inches from the work—feels pertinent, as Harrison’s paintings are each like a little cabinet of curiosity that build to create a robust narrative.  The works have a surrealist, Magritte-style composition, many employing thick windows as framing devices, as if the viewer is on the inside, looking out on a lush landscape. In others,…

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September 2021

Ashley Bickerton at Various Small Fires

September 25, 2021 - November 6, 2021
Various Small Fires, 812 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038 United States

Ashley Bickerton, an artist who came up in the neo-geo scene in 1980s New York alongside artists like Peter Halley and Jeff Koons, has an exhibition on view at VSF titled Landscapes, Seascapes, and Interiors. His first with the gallery, Bickerton’s show is a welcome deep-dive into the artist’s new works, which utilize human refuse that washes ashore in Bali where the artist lives and works part-time. In his Flotsam series, Bickerton assembles trash — ocean-worn plastic items like flip…

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May 2022

Amelia Lockwood at Various Small Fires

May 14, 2022 - August 27, 2022
Various Small Fires, 812 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038 United States

Under the baking LA sun, Amelia Lockwood’s gaggle of ceramic sculptures have taken up residence in Various Small Fire’s gravel-covered outdoor space. Each stoneware construction feels symbolic, with spirals, candles, winged figures, chains, and staircases building a Tarot-like symbolism across the pieces. Bubbling glazes, etched patterns, and appliqué details cover their surfaces with busy yet meaningful decoration, with no corner left untouched.  In “Lovers Labra,” twin forms snake upwards from a bed of flames, crossing each other at the top…

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November 2022

Donghoon Rhee at Various Small Fires

November 12, 2022 - January 21, 2023
Various Small Fires, 812 N Highland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90038 United States
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At Various Small Fires, Donghoon Rhee infuses the traditional medium of wood carving with a pop culture sensibility, showcasing figurative sculptures inspired by female K-Pop stars. Made primarily with a chainsaw, Rhee’s rough-edged pieces delight in imperfections, with the saw’s lines conveying the movement of his subjects with a Futurist sensibility.  Dance moves play out across the sculptures via doubled hands and eyes, yet the figures are rendered with minimal movement from the chainsaw’s blade. This looseness to their structure…

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