By Michael Aushenker
The Rogue Wave group show at L.A. Louver gallery in Venice almost didn’t happen.
Head curator Christopher Pate, who has spent 20 years with L.A. Louver Gallery, explains that the original Rogue Wave show manifested back in the 1990s, debuting in 2001.
“I curated pop shows,” he said. “(L.A. Louver Director) Peter (Goulds) saw what I was doing and liked the energy behind it. He said we should do something like this at L.A. Louver.”
Subsequent Rogue shows followed in 2005 and 2007. Then it hit a wall.
“There was a consensus in 2009 that maybe an exhibition of this kind is unnecessary,” he said. “There were other galleries doing a similar exhibition highlighting undiscovered talent.”
However, the idea did not stay dormant for long.
“There are so many great artists working in L.A. now,” Pate said. “Even if there are other institutions, there are so many still untapped or overlooked. It seemed to not do it, we’d be missing a moment in time.”
Running through Aug. 24, Rogue Wave opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, July 18.
For this year’s show, L.A. Louver’s committee narrowed down 120 artists over eight months to 15 L.A. artists, including Kim Schoenstadt, the one Westsider in the group.
“Kim brings an interesting engagement in which she engages with the site,” Pate said. “We offered her two exterior walls. She immediately became interested in the history of the architecture.”
“That’s part of the way I normally work when I create a wall drawing,” Schoenstadt told The Argonaut. “I do a fair amount of research on the location. I just kind of got hooked and found it intriguing to work this way.”
In addition to meeting with gallery architect Fred Fisher, Schoenstadt researched iconic Modernists Neutra, Schindler, Lautner and Eric Owen Moss.
Schoenstadt, who is married to Getty Research Institute Conservator Jonathan Furmanski and has lived in the Abbot Kinney Boulevard area for more than 10 years, rarely exhibits in Los Angeles, having exhibited in Washington, D.C., and Lodz, Poland. But she has a network of artist friends in her Venice nabe, including Jen Wolfe, who assisted her on the exterior Louver mural, and Samantha Thomas, whose exhibit at LAX Art in L.A. opens July 20.
“These are like visions she’s celebrating,” Pate said of Schoenstadt’s wall work. “A painting with three-dimensional parts that just pop off of it. A 2D versus 3D space.”
Rogue Wave artist talks will be held every Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. during the show’s run beginning Thursday, July 25, when Schoenstadt will speak.
“Some are very loquacious and want to promote their work,” Pate said of Louver’s artists. “Others are more private, and talking too much might (mitigate the power of their work).”
Fortunately, all 15 Rogue artists plan to discuss their work.
“An interesting thing happens when you do shows like this,” Pate promised. “You come into overlapping moments, zeitgeist moments in ways we couldn’t possibly predict.”
L.A. Louver gallery is at 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice. Information, lalouver.com.
Venice artist Schoenstadt goes ‘Rogue’
By Michael Aushenker