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Bed

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Date: 
Saturday, 8 June 2024 to Saturday, 6 July 2024
Opening: 
Saturday, 8 June 2024 - 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Artists: Jorin Bossen, Steph Goodger, Jenny Hager, Susie Hamilton, David Leapman, Lee , Andy Parsons, Sarah Sparkes, and Lorraine Wake Maelzer

Durden and Ray presents Bed, pairing Southern California artists with artists from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in an exploration of an ordinary piece of furniture where extraordinary life events unfold. Whether it’s a slightly scraped hollow in the ground or an elaborate four poster, a bed is the one piece of furniture that humans throughout history have possessed. We are almost certain to have been born in a bed and many of us will die in one, and in between, a bed is a place for life. It is a place to sleep and dream, a place to read and daydream. It is a place to make love, or to hide under the covers - our safe space, where the monsters of childhood imaging cannot find us. But it can also be a sick bed, hospital bed, or our deathbed. This exhibition doesn’t see a bed as a piece of furniture, but as a metaphor for life in all its fullness. 

 

Susie Hamilton’s C-19 series of hospital doctors began when she was contacted by consulting hepatologist and art collector Peter Collins, who sent her photos from his Bristol hospital. She created these powerful images centered around the vulnerability of bed-bound patients and the alien quality of the PPE clad doctors, documenting a bewildering global event with a fluidity and ambiguity. Likewise, Sarah Sparkes’ collages were created during Covid lockdown while teaching an online life drawing class. While the models were posing in their bedrooms on their beds, the students and Sarah drew them from their own domestic spaces, creating a voyeuristic intimacy. Sarah’s work while leading this class combined materials at hand such as spontaneously torn pages from Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe, and pieces of her own childhood wallpaper, remnants used repeatedly in her work for many years. 

 

Andy Parsons created his drawings on site while he was Artist-in-Residence at Sligo University Hospital. The watercolors and drawings, in their present configuration, situate the viewer in the bed with a selection of people and equipment in orbit, a familiar and unsettling scenario to those finding themselves in a hospital bed. David Leapman and Jenny Hager, both known for their bold palettes and idiosyncratic abstractions, embrace bed within this tradition. Leapman’s bed becomes creature-ish, apt to scamper off animatedly, recalling strange and fantastical past events and future escapades. Hager investigates an equally animated liminal space that embodies the spectral, with the bed becoming the bound landscape. 

 

Lee Maelzer and Lorraine Wake utilize limited palettes and heavy impasto to different ends. Wake revels in the ephemera of impasto paint, lushly breaking down the bed/ground boundary, creating an environment where intimacy, dreams, and memories take place, leaving the body to rest and the breath to quieten. Maelzer, a long-term painter of interiors, ruins, and abandoned places created this series from recent advertisements on Facebook Marketplace of rooms to be let in London, and through this use of impasto imbues the beds with weight in an otherwise spare and lonely environment. 

 

Steph Goodger and Jorin Bossen explore moments of a final resting place. Goodger’s paintings of Lusitania’s staterooms and the perspective employed present a quiet remove haunted by our knowledge of the Lusitania and its passengers. A reader of Walter Benjamin, Goodger reflected on Benjamin’s “The pomp and the splendor which commodity producing society surrounds itself are not immune to dangers”. Bossen pays homage to his hometown Hollywood Western film history and Renaissance religious death of Christ paintings. By cropping the heads of the cowboys, Bossen emphasizes the inertness of the fallen figure and multiple possible narratives in such an immediate passing. 

Venue ( Address ): 

1206 Maple Avenue, #832 Los Angeles, CA 90015

Durden and Ray , Los Angeles

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