presented by John Wolf
October 1–November 30, 2016
2231 S Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90018
Chantal Joffe. Self-Portrait in the Garden at Night, 2016
Oil on Canvas. 84 1/8 x 60 in. Courtesy of Victoria Miro Gallery
Photo: Copyright the Artist
Saturday, October 1, 2016 from 6:00–9:00 p.m.
Public Hours: Friday–Sunday from 11:00 a.m.–6 p.m.
Press Preview: Thursday, September 29, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
RSVP to email@example.com
LOS ANGELES—September 12, 2016—Human Condition is an immersive, site-specific exhibition that features the work of sixty emerging and established artists in a uniquely challenging space: a former hospital in West Adams, previously known as the Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center. Curated and produced by the Los Angeles-based art advisor John Wolf, Human Condition invites artists to re-contextualize the hospital’s functional history—over 40,000 square feet of it—as a venue to explore what it means to be human. The exhibition opens to the public on October 1, 2016 and runs through November 30, 2016.
Matthew Day Jackson. Trophy, 2013. Stainless steel, silicone, pigment, human hair, steel, porcelain, glass, lead, copper.
24 x 120 x 15 in. Courtesy of Hauser and Wirth
The Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center proudly opened in 1971 as the first Black-owned hospital in Los Angeles. It operated successfully for decades. Later, both the hospital and the West Adams neighborhood in which it was located declined; in the hands of the Pacific Health Corp, the hospital closed amid revelations of criminal mismanagement and insurance fraud in 2013.
Years of neglect are now giving way to reinvestment in West Adams, which hosts much of the city’s cherished architectural heritage and landmarks. It is now home to many working artists, a burgeoning art scene, and other signs of community-driven cultural renewal.
With Human Condition, Wolf has invited artists to explore the corporal and psychological experience of being human. Ranging from sculpture, drawing, painting, performance, and immersive installations, the works are displayed amongst the surgical rooms, maternity wards, a psychiatric floor, and cafeteria. Both the artist and viewer are encouraged to explore the dilapidated remains and transcend the building’s original intention.
Leonhard Hurzimeier. Snoop Doc, 2016
Oil on canvas. 31 1/2 x 23 3/4 in.
Courtesy of the Artist and Rachel Uffner Gallery
Many of the artists have taken over entire hospital rooms for solo presentations and site-specific installations, with the two main floors of the exhibition divided in approach to human condition.
The subconscious mind is addressed on the first floor by artists Jenny Holzer, David Benjamin Sherry, Gregory Crewdson, and Chantal Joffe, among others. The hospital’s rooftop billboard, which once read “The Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center,” now reads “Flesh and Bone Zone” in a gradient of flesh colors—the work of artist Kelly Lamb. Upon entry, Jenny Holzer’s engraved white granite bench “What a show when they tell you it won’t hurt…,” 1989, succinctly sets the tone for psychological tour de force ahead.
The conscious, decision-making mind is explored on the second floor by Laurent Grasso, Polly Borland, Matthew Day Jackson, and Marc Horowitz, to name a few. Here, the surgery rooms host sculptural work by Daniel Arsham, Matthew Day Jackson, Tony Matelli, and Nick van Woert, while Polly Borland’s “Babies”series hangs in the cheerful pediatric ward. The juxtapositions range from uncanny to twisted. Before climbing to the fourth floor psychiatric ward, guests are invited to put up their feet: In an ironic nod to a human need for comfort, the otherwise sterile ICU has been repurposed as a waiting room with furniture from the Haas Brothers, Jeff Zimmerman, James Magni, Kerry Joyce, and Holly Hunt.
Human Condition is a unique opportunity to experience artwork outside the confines of a typical art space. In using the skeletal remains of the hospital and its discarded medical supplies, artists and viewers are encouraged to explore the notion of what we leave behind—from objects to human history.
Polly Borland, Rock a Bye Baby, 2001 Chromogenic Print, 7.8 x 11.8 in. Courtesy of the Artist.
Artists in the exhibition:
Nina Chanel Abney, Daniel Arsham, Gintare Bandinskaite, Tanya Batura, Katherine Bernhardt, Louise Bonnet, Polly Borland, Delia Brown, Ross Chisholm, Greg Colson, Chris Cran, Gregory Crewdson, Zoe Crosher, Mira Dancy, Marc Dennis, Marlene Dumas, Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, Nicole Eisenman, Amir H. Fallah, Louis Fratino, Derek Fordjour, Danny Fox, Louisa Gagliardi, Anna Glantz, Brendan Getz, Laurent Grasso, Heidi Hahn, Michael Haight, Brian Harte, Sebastian Herzau, Katie Herzog, Jenny Holzer, Marc Horowitz, Ridley Howard, Bettina Hubby, Leonhard Hurzlmeier, Matthew Day Jackson, Joshua Jefferson, Chantal Joffe, Jordan Kasey, Hoda Kashiha, Owen Kydd, Shay Kun, Friedrich Kunath, Kelly Lamb, Jonathan Lux, Tala Madani, Robert Mapplethorpe, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Max Maslansky, Tony Matelli, Simon Mathers, Patrick McElnea, John Millei, Marilyn Minter, Theo Mercier, Jonathan Nathanson, Sarah Petersen, Vernon Price, Tal R, Chris Reynolds, Holly Rockwell, Alexander Ruthner, Lionel Sabatte, Stuart Sandford, Yves Scherer, David Benjamin Sherry, Kim Simonsson, Peter Stichbury, Claire Tabouret, Johan Tahon, Mateo Tannatt, Kenneth Tam, Ed Templeton, Kristian Touborg, Nick van Woert, Mark Verabioff, Matt Wedel, Jessica Williams, Bradley Wood, and Alexander Yulish.
The opening night will feature engaging special performances by Sarah Petersen and Christopher Reynolds, curated by Laura Watts. Millie Brown will also be performing the LA debut of a very special piece in the morgue, and Jack Thorson Moll at the second floor nurse’s station.
John Wolf is a global art advisor based in Los Angeles. He founded John Wolf Art Advisory & Brokerage in 2009 to assist private collectors, institutions, and corporations in creating outstanding collections of contemporary art. Outside of the traditional art advisory and brokerage, Wolf both consults with the interior design trade and curates exhibitions. He has spoken on panels at Art Miami, Art Silicon Valley, produced exhibitions at 4619 in Los Angeles, and is a member of LACMA’s Modern and Contemporary Art Council (MCAC).