SOURCE: Lawrence Asher Gallery

January 22, 2007 21:26 ET

Lawrence Asher Gallery Presents: American Magic and Dread: Paintings by York Chang and Greg Santos

February 10 - March 10, 2007; Opening Reception: Saturday, February 10, 6 to 10 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 22, 2007 --


WHAT: This exhibition owes its title to a line in a Don DeLillo novel that describes an entire mass media culture as morbidly transfixed on the visceral authenticity of the illusion of reality as on reality itself. It speaks to a culture that endlessly produces and consumes violent thrillers, conspiracy theories, advertising, pornography, science fiction, film, and television. Both York Chang and Greg Santos look to today's mass media culture for the idiosyncratic characteristics that our eyes interpret as documentary or realistic. More than a formal exercise, the two painters seek to delve into the emotional properties inherent in this imagery and each artist's respective subject matter.

Greg Santos employs video and photography to create stunning, light-filled paintings that transfix the viewer. His recent body of work depicts utterly improbable images of staged peril and extravagant disaster. The paintings focus on subjects in direct proximity to injury and death and include a man ruthlessly carrying his infant son by one arm, a horse dangling upside down from a steel train trellis, and an indistinct, black form clinging to the face of a glass skyscraper. The experience is disconcerting. Although the situations depicted are incredible, they feel strangely familiar. This unnerving effect draws the viewer in and compels him or her to contemplate subjects on the brink of devastation. Greg Santos recently received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

York Chang is a painter and mixed media installation artist based in the Silverlake section of Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited in art galleries and festivals throughout Los Angeles, including the Lawrence Asher Gallery, the 2003 Absolut International Los Angeles Biennale, the 2004 and 2006 FreshStART, and the Santa Monica Art Studios Grand Opening. Art critics selected him for the 2004 TarFest juried exhibition for the LA Times and the LA Weekly. He also received a juror prize from James Elaine, the Armand Hammer Museum Projects Curator at the Los Angeles Art Association's 2004 Open Show. In November 2006, York Chang completed a two-person exhibition at the University Art Gallery at Cal State Dominguez Hills that was recently reviewed and recommended by ArtScene Magazine. He is an active member of the Los Angeles Art Association and Gallery 825, and is curating an upcoming painting exhibition with artist/curator Karyl Newman at the Pharmaka Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles' Gallery Row. York Chang was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2006 to serve as a Cultural Affairs Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles.

WHEN: Opening Reception: Saturday, February 10, 6 - 10 p.m. The exhibition continues through Saturday, March 10, 2007. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday - Friday from 11a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday 12 - 5 p.m. and by appointment.

WHERE: Lawrence Asher Gallery, 5820 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Located directly across the street from the LaBrea Tar Pits and LACMA -- free parking across the street behind 5858 Wilshire Boulevard on Stanley Ave.

INFO: (323) 935-9100 / http://www.lawrenceasher.com / james@lawrenceasher.com

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