"An Evening with Farrah Karapetian and Susan Laxton" : Thursday, February 27th, 2014

DRFA hosts an evening Conversation with Susan Laxton and curator Farrah Karapetian.

Feb. 17, 2014

Unsparing Quality's curator, artist Farrah Karapetian, will be joined in conversation by art historian Susan Laxton. Laxton and Karapetian will walk through the exhibition and identify key themes in Surrealist practice that run through the three generations of artworks in the show. In the dialogue published in the exhibition's catalogue, they explore the idea of the imagination a a relentless sort of pressure. This pressure results in a completion of expression that runs from one end of a century to the other: from Man Ray's Indestructible Object, 1923/63, to Robert Therrien's No title (Beard cart II), 1999-2014. Karapetian and Laxton will use theworks on display to suss out the deviations from normalcy that define Surrealist practice as it was once and may be fruitfully again, in the 21st century.  

Farrah Karapetian (USA, b. 1978) is an artist who works with cameraless photography in a sculptural and increasingly relational field. Recent exhibitions of her artwork include Good Sign, a public installation in abandoned signage for the Flint Public Art Project, Michigan; the 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA; and Rogue Wave '13 (15 Artists From Los Angeles), L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CA. This year, her artwork will be included in the Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Puebla, Mexico and three group exhibitions in California at the Armory Center for the Arts, the California Museum of Photography at Riverside and the Torrance Art Museum. Karapetian was the associate curator of The Black Mirror (curated by James Welling and Diane Rosenstein) at Diane Rosenstein Fine Art in 2013. She was a MacDowell Fellow (2010) and an artist-in-residence at the Wende Museum, Culver City, CA (2009). Ms. Karapetian earned a Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her blog Housing Projects (2012). She received her BA from Yale University (2000) and her MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles (2008). Ms. Karapetian lives and works in Los Angeles.

Susan Laxton is Assistant Professor of the History of Art at the University of California, Riverside, specializing in the European avant-garde and the history of photography. Her interests range across the alternative art practices introduced by the European avant-gardes of the 20th century, among them photography, collage, photomontage, and automatic or chance-based processes - all practices that emphatically challenged the conventions of traditional mediums like sculpture and painting. Photography, as a medium simultaneously engaged with technology, mass media, documentation and art, has been central to her understanding of modern and contemporary art as both a model for and challenge to the visual arts from the medium's inception to its digital present. Professor Laxton has received fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University, and the Hellman Foundation. Her work has appeared in such publications as October and Critical Inquiry, and in numerous catalogs and edited volumes. She is currently completing a book on ludic strategies in Surrealism.