Morgan’s Venice gallery, the Sacred Door, recently closed, and Dilettante, which manages visual artists as well as musicians like the psych-folk legend Linda Perhacs, hadn’t yet hosted a group art show, so the collaboration was a logical one. Co-curated with Dilettante’s founder, George Augusto, “The Mothership” features 13 female artists, many of whom are L.A. locals. Together, they represent the next generation of metaphysical art, in which spiritual principles are supported by rigorous artistic practices.
Lila Roo’s stately “For the Canyon” headdress appears to be made of feathers but is actually plastic refuse that the nomadic artist collects and transforms on site (the canyon in question being the Grand Canyon). Elena Stonaker’s elaborately beaded soft sculptures also have a ceremonial feel, evoking Haitian voodoo flags and the tarot figures of Niki de Saint Phalle. For Amanda Charchian, whose “Eye Walker” steel spider sculpture sparkles with hundreds of crystals, working with energy-transmitting materials requires a meditative, “cleansed” mindset. “It’s my responsibility to make sure I’m in a heightened state,” she said at the opening.
Despite Dilettante’s almost antipublicity approach (even their most popular past events, like an exhibition of rare found photographs of the Rolling Stones and the only L.A. performance by Kim Gordon’s Body/Head project, relied on word of mouth), news of “The Mothership’s” landing apparently got around. The space was buzzing all night; to the great relief of the curators, a floor installation by the celebrated artist Lita Albuquerque managed to survive the crush of visitors.
Half of the show’s only mother-daughter duo, Albuquerque, who is best known for her cosmic-minded environmental works, incorporated elements such as pigment spheres, honey-filled blown glass and slate bars into her piece “Jazz Riff #1″ as a sort of call-and-response with her daughter Jasmine’s Kandinsky-esque geometric drawings. Surveying her work and the colorful crowd from the loft’s mezzanine, Albuquerque reflected on her participation in the nontraditional show. “This is an interesting moment for Downtown, because the boundaries are really breaking down,” she said. “It’s not just visual arts; it’s fashion, music, dancing. This is where it’s happening in the city.”