All Kinds Of "People": Jeffrey Deitch Curates Wide-Ranging and Era-Spanning Sculptural Show at His LA Gallery
Jeffrey Deitch has always had the knack, or more so the curatorial eye, to blend era and genres like few other gallerists working on his caliber. He has been able to create and support landmark projects that define graffiti and street art ascension into contemporary art, but also work with the likes of Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy or Nick Cave, all artists included in this new People show but long established stalwarts of "that" fancy art world. And in People, this dichotomy of trends, eras and genres, all under the figurative-sculptural form, is not only effective but fascinating and historical.
And it's aesthetic eye-candy. People, on view at Deitch Projects in Los Angeles through April 6, 2019, plays out like a contemporary art lesson. Juxtapoz readers will gravitate to the Barry McGee, Ruby Neri, Austin Lee or even Sorayama works, but the figurartive sculptures of Koons, Vanessa Beecroft, Nick Cave, Sarah Lucas, Raúl De Nieves, Luis Flores and Narcissister (who was doing performance work while we were at Deitch) were all standouts. The Lee sculpture in particular provided a fantastic entrypoint to People (and seeing that the artist has a solo show, Feels Good, opening at Deitch in NYC on March 9th, it made for a smart start). It's New Media application, which sorts of created an almost surreal blending to the environment, encapsulated the range of sculptures in the show, from absurdity to classical work, to the motorized work of Barry McGee to the craft of Flores to the ceramics of Neri. The show felt like a now moment, giving the viewers that sort of 21st Century feeling of seeing all their favorite artists in one place, but smart enough to become a historical look at a practice.
As the gallery noted, "People is an expansion of an exhibition presented in Jeffrey Deitch’s New York gallery in May 2018. The show also extends the theme of the Metropolitan Museum’s 2018 Like Life exhibition to encompass a younger generation of artists. People is especially inspired by Mike Kelley’s influential exhibition and book project, The Uncanny from 1993. The show also builds on Deitch’s 1992 book and exhibition, Post Human." But with Frieze kicking off in LA last week, People felt like a reminder that there are still must-see art shows coinciding with art fairs. If you get a chance, this is the best of LA right now.