“Black Water,” a somewhat muddled but nonetheless intriguing installation of digital projections by Northern California-based artist Andrew Ananda Voogel, begins with a short, high-contrast video clip shown on a flat-screen. Little islands arise from a shimmering sea, cargo ships mere blips in the distant water.
We are about to take a trip, one that will be characterized by an urge for perceptual purification.
At Young Projects, Voogel sets a visitor adrift in darkened rooms, starting at the projection of a rock concert where crowds gyrate under an orgy of crimson lights, showers of drifting confetti and cascading balloons. This contemporary ritual space gives way to a literal hall of mirrors.
Before he opened his eponymous Los Angeles gallery last May, Christopher Mount spent years as the architecture and design curator at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Mount oversaw its automotive exhibitions and acquisitions, which included a Jaguar E-type and a 1990 Ferrari F1 racer. “One of the things I liked very much was going to visit design studios and seeing the models and design drawings for the cars,” recalls Mount, who organized shows featuring these rides as well as the acclaimed 1999 MoMA survey “Different Roads: Automobiles for the Next Century.” “There is something about the combination of the artistic and engineering aspects of the works that makes them so much more interesting than most ordinary drawings.”
Christopher W. Mount talks about his new gallery and what collectors need to know now.
by Maile Pingel and Jessica Sample
There are many paths one can take in the field of architecture and design; those who are lucky explore more than one. For Christopher W. Mount, who launched his eponymous gallery in both Los Angeles and New York last May, it’s been a particularly fascinating 30-year journey. He’s been Associate Curator for the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; Editor-in-Chief of I.D. Magazine; Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at Parsons The New School for Design in New York; Executive Director of the Pasadena Museum of California Art; and he’s currently a guest curator for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Rounding out those prestigious posts are teaching positions with colleges including CalArts, Otis, the Cooper-Hewitt, and Bard, as well as contributions to publications both scholarly and glossy. Suffice it to say, Mount, who with his wife and son divide their time between LA and Manhattan, isn’t an easy man to catch.
Walking into the gallery at Verge Center for the Arts, you are surrounded by color. Arranged around the room are hundreds of dresses in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – the seven colors of the chromatic spectrum.
The experience first brings to mind a color wheel, then the sheets of paint chips at hardware stores. Then the floor-to-ceiling rows of dresses make you think of a choir, the heads of the singers absent. Or regimented rows of soldiers, an army of color.
Located in the prestigious Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, Young Project Gallery—a 8,000 sq. ft. versatile project space—serves both as an exhibitions platform for video artists and a laboratory for moving image experiments. Its owner, the acclaimed curator, filmmaker, and journalist Paul Young—the author of Art Cinema (Taschen, 2009)—, dedicated his entire career to the investigation and the promotion of video and moving image design as a consistent art practice. Thanks to its high-quality exhibition program and persistent advocacy efforts, Young Projects Gallery is today the most important catalyst for video art on the West Coast. Moreover, it is one of the very few spaces in the world to be devoted exclusively to the circulation of an artistic medium whose commercialization—unlike its appreciation—is still scarcely widespread.