Influential Los Angeles artist and raconteur Larry Johnson (Art BFA 82, MFA 84) has a full-scale survey of his work on view at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles through Sept. 6. The exhibition features more than 60 photographs, beginning with Untitled (Movie Stars on Clouds), made while the artist was still a student at CalArts.
Deeply rooted in the social and economic fabric of Southern California, Johnson combines streamlined imagery with witty, often cutting references to media, pop culture, animation, gay subcultures and modernist design. Much of his work explores the fringes of Hollywood and celebrity, where aspirations and fantasies crash into reality. Read curator Russell Ferguson’s catalogue essay “I Had Never Seen Anything Like It” on the Hammer website. For background information on Johnson and his work, there’s a Los Angeles Times review of the exhibit and a recent cover feature in the May ’09 Artforum (available in the print edition only).
There are a number of Larry Johnson-related programs and film screenings at the Hammer in August. Find out more on the Hammer’s website.