Updated: May 14, 2020
May 5 - June 22, 2018
Organized by The Pit
Situated in the giant San Fernando Valley and also within the valley between the foothills of the easternmost Santa Monica Mountains and the Verdugo Mountains, Glendale, California is located just north of downtown Los Angeles and the city’s east side neighborhoods, long known as artists’ enclaves. Though less renowned than its metropolitan neighbor, Glendale has also been home to artists’ studios and domestic lives for decades. Vision Valley brings together thirty-three artists who are currently living or working in or on the borders of the city.
Conceived and organized by The Pit, an artist-run gallery located on Ruberta Street in Glendale, Vision Valley features work by 32 artists in mediums including painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, video, photography, and film. Adam D. Miller and Devon Oder founded The Pit in 2014, opening the project space in the same building that has housed their studios since 2011. Recognizing the significant number of artists whose studios were located along San Fernando Road--the major thoroughfare that is adjacent to the gallery and which also connects Glendale and Los Angeles--the inaugural exhibition at The Pit comprised works made by artists with studios along the busy street. That first exhibition set the stage for The Pit’s ongoing experiment in building a community of artists and friends.
There are no conceptual, political, or philosophical themes upon which this exhibition turns, and it does not claim to distill a particular trend, aesthetic, or idea. Instead, Vision Valley is a celebration of artists working in a specific community and geographic location. Though most of the artists in the exhibition are currently active in Glendale, the exhibition includes a significant bit of history through the inclusion of Edward Weston. First visiting Glendale (then known as Tropico) in 1906, Weston subsequently set up a photography studio in Glendale in 1910. Vision Valley offers a diverse selection of works that are part of an ongoing, dynamic multilogue between artists living or working in a specific geographical area and aims to showcase the many coincidental visions at work in the valley known as Glendale.
The Pit was founded in 2014 by artists Adam D. Miller and Devon Oder, as a creative exhibition space focused on emerging and mid career Los Angeles based artists with shows running every eight weeks. The space is housed in a 600 sq/ft bay in Glendale, CA. which was formerly a section of a mechanic’s auto shop and adjoins both artists' studios. Supplemental publications are designed and printed in house on our Risograph printer and limited artist editions are created and sold in conjunction with all exhibitions. In 2016 The Pit II was opened as a secondary pocket gallery in an adjoining former garage. We host focused solo shows in the intimate Pit II gallery.
Hayley Barker makes paintings and drawings about spiritual experience, landscape, ritual, and the body. She earned her BA from the University of Oregon (1996); MA and MFA in Intermedia from the University of Iowa (2000, 2001); and her MAT from Lewis & Clark College (2007). Barker describes her work as depicting “spirits and guides, goddesses and sometimes versions of myself, disembodied,”and the characters in her work do in fact feel bodiless. Built up of small, fragments of color that draw heavily on the legacy of pointillism, her spirits seem almost-invisible, caught in a space between arrival and exit.
Olivia Booth is an artist who lives, works, and teaches in Los Angeles. She moves between making paintings, sculptures and installations using glass, and, now, making lamps. She received a graduate degree from Art Center College of Design and has shown in various galleries in Los Angeles.
Aline Cautis was trained as an architect in a sort of Bauhaus environment, in terms of space, line, and color, etc. She is uncomfortable with terming her work as abstract as she feels that her paintings are not abstract, but rather explore all sorts of things without actually painting a picture. “They are fragments of many, many, narratives. This is where history of painting and art fit in. I often reference several contradicting histories within one work. These references intend to function as narratives, which I attempt to reconcile through painting”. Aline Cautis is based in Los Angeles. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Rice University, Houston,TX. Recent solo exhibitions include Sabot (Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Saturday Cinema (Chicago, IL), and Devening Projects (Chicago). Recent group exhibitions include Duckrabbit, Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles; Estate, a project by Lucie Fontaine, Marianne Boesky, New York; Fridge organized by Erin Foley, Control Room, Los Angeles; New Nomenclature, Galeria Pies, Pozen, Poland; Modern Talking, Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Four Rooms, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; and Prague Biennale, Czech Republic. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Grant (2011) and a residency at the Vermont Studio Center (2008).
When Ian Davis puts a brush to his canvas, his inspiration can range from the tumultuous world around him to the hypnotic, rhythmic blues of Jimmy Reed. Based in Los Angeles, the 43-year-old painter sees his oeuvre as a continuum rather than a specific body of work, though he notes that his projects often feel very “of the moment” and reflect the issues he has with authority. In his works, one can feel underlying anxiety and political tensions or palpable anger. Despite dark themes, Davis constantly strives to weave optimism into his paintings, noting that the world too easily “looks for what’s wrong.” The paintings are executed in clean, graphic acrylic layers establishing vast architecture and nature; then finished with brushy filigree on sometimes hundreds of faces. Davis’ vignettes can be sited at any point in the past 50 years. Complex, considered geometry tightens the psychological effect of the scenes. The artist’s compositions hum with a balance that is both serene and unsettling.
Harry Dodge is an American sculptor, performer, video artist, and writer, whose interdisciplinary practice is characterized by its explorations of relation, materiality, and the unnamable with a special focus on ecstatic contamination. His solo and collaborative work has been exhibited at many venues nationally and internationally, including New Museum’s upcoming 40th anniversary exhibition TRIGGER (Sept-Jan), upcoming solo show Mysterious Fires at Grand Army Collective (Brooklyn), and (currently), Selections from the Permanent Collection at MOCA (LA), and Living Apart Together: Selections from the Collection at Hammer Museum (LA), as well as, the 2008 Whitney Biennial; a solo show entitled, Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 2013; and Hammer Museum’s 2014 Biennial, Made in L.A. Dodge’s work is in collections including Museum of Modern Art (NY), Museum of Contemporary Art (LA), Hammer Museum (LA). His most recent solo exhibition was The Inner Reality of Ultra-Intelligent Life, at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts, which followed 2015’s solo exhibition, The Cybernetic Fold at Wallspace, NY. Recent group exhibitions include: Concrete Island at VENUS LA, The Promise of Total Automation at Kunsthalle Wien Austria; a three-person show at London’s The Approach Gallery, Triples: Harry Dodge, Evan Holloway and Peter Shelton; Routine Pleasures a show organized by Michael Ned Holte at the MAK Center in Los Angeles; and a group show, Protuberances curated by Jess Arndt and Catherine Taft at LAX Art.
Roy Dowell’s work combines collage and painted elements, and elements of mass media to create abstract compositions. Dowell received a Bachelor of Fine Art and Master of Fine Arts (1977) from California Institute of the Arts, where he also met his life partner, the painter Lari Pittman. He is exhibited nationally and internationally including a one-person exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts. He is represented in major museum collections such as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hammer Museum of UCLA, Berkeley Museum of Art and the Oakland Museum. In 1979, Dowell founded the Graduate Fine Arts Department at Otis College of Art and Design and serves as Chair. He has been awarded a J. Paul Getty Fellowship in the Visual Arts, and has served as artist in residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, Colorado.
Ryan Fenchel’s paintings depict vessels—universal, utilitarian objects used by every ancient culture. His work is rendered in unusual and sparse layering of oil stick. Ryan Fenchel lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He completed an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University in 2007. Past exhibitions include Dan Devening Projects, LVL3, and Roots & Culture in Chicago, IL as well as Bodega, Philadelphia, PA; Control Room, Los Angeles, CA; and Gallery Yasashii Yokan, Tokyo, Japan.
Karin Gulbran is an artist based in Los Angeles. Gulbran trained initially as a painter – she received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1996, and her MFA in 1999 from UCLA, whose faculty included John Baldessari, Paul McCarthy, Charles Ray, and Lari Pittman – but more recently her work has taken the form of functional ceramic pots, decorated with highly stylized, and intuitively drawn images of animals – that bring to mind the earlier anthropomorphic bestiary found in the work of artists such as Asger Jorn or Pablo Picasso (both of whom shared Gulbarn’s interest and investment in folk art forms and ceramics
Shaun Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles. He has shown at Queens LA, Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento, Human Resources, Chimento Contemporary, BBQLA, Silver Scream Festival, and the Los Angeles International Underground Film Festival. Trained in painting, his practice has expanded to include collage, experimental film, and self-publishing.
Silke Otto-Knapp is a painter who works in the often-marginalized medium of watercolour. Known for her crepuscular landscapes and figurative tableaux that engage with the history of painting, Otto-Knapp’s signature style employs subtle washes of watercolor, slowly built up layer by layer on the surface of the canvas to create form. Each carefully constructed composition embodies distinct temporalities and moods evoked through a juxtaposition of flatness and luminosity achieved through painterly chroma and surface texture. Drawing inspiration from a myriad of sources and subject matter including historical figures, landscapes, seascapes, poetry, modern dance choreography, and theatre design, her work engages both abstraction and representation, simultaneously evoking and erasing form on the picture plane. Otto-Knapp was born in Osnabrück, Germany in 1970. She earned a M.A. from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London, and a degree in Cultural Studies from the University of Hildesheim, Germany. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Spencer Lewis received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and his MFA from UCLA. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Edward Cella, Los Angeles (2014) and Hayworth Gallery, Los Angeles (2006). His work has been included in group exhibitions at Et. Al, San Francisco (2016); Arena 1 Gallery, Los Angeles (2011); Black Dragon Society, Los Angeles (2008); Track 16 Gallery, Los Angeles (2008). His work has been included in the Hollywood Biennale (2009) and the LA Weekly Biennial (2008). Using a combination of raw pigment, oil, acrylic, enamel, and spray paint, Lewis makes aggressive impasto paintings on large cardboard substrates, elevating the utilitarian material through his artistic interventions. Multiple coats of bold hues are confidently slapped on the corrugated surfaces - in certain cases executed directly with his fingers and hands - to create an all-over effect. The scale and proportion of his compositions evince the human figure, vertically oriented and looming over the viewer when mounted to the wall. Framed within an immersive picture field, his loose and traversing brushwork echoes techniques found in graffiti art and street tagging.
Caitlin Lonegan’s paintings exhibit a specific kind of abstraction that avoids the grand, one-off gestures of mid-20th-century abstract expressionism. She deliberately refuses allegiance with any formal school or position, stating, “It’s not interesting if you know where the artist is.” Each painting emerges from a series of marks carefully applied up over time. She works on multiple canvases concurrently as the paintings migrate around her studio—from the floor to the wall and back again—sometimes taking over a year to complete.
Shana Lutker works in sculpture, installation, performance, and text. Her concepts are often synthesized from historical and theoretical research. Lutker is represented in Los Angeles by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. In addition to solo exhibitions at Vielmetter, LAXART, and Barbara Seiler Galerie, she was included in Performa 13 and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Lutker is an editor of X-TRA and the Executive Director of Project X.
Adam Miller’s technique of drawing with oil stick on canvas, using jagged lines, dense patterning and vibrant colors, is well suited to depicting the snarling faces central to his expressionistic compositions. The artist incorporates imagery from Greek mythology, pre-Columbian art, metal culture, horror movies, textile design, fantasy illustration and and comics to investigate man’s unchecked destructive instincts. Miller received an MFA from Art Center College of Design (2008). His works have been included in group exhibitions in Los Angeles including at Eagle Rock Center for the Arts (2012), RAID Projects (2011), Actual Size Gallery (2011), Luckman Gallery (2011) and 533 Gallery (2010). He is co-owner and Director of The Pit and The Pit II galleries in Glendale, CA. He is the co-curator of Vision Valley with his partner and artist, Devon Oder.
John Mills was born in East Malling, Kent, England. He received his BFA in Painting at University of Florida, Gainesville, and his MFA in Painting and Drawing at The California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco. He has exhibited at Acuna-Hansen Gallery, Los Angeles; the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Feature, NY; Torrance Art Museum; Thomas Solomon Gallery, Los Angeles; Daniel Weinberg, Los Angeles; and Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA. The artist has received the Barclay Simpson Award and the Rema Hort Mann Foundation—YoYoYo Grant for group project proposal. His artwork is in the Collection of J.P. Morgan Chase Contemporary Art Collection. He has been exhibiting with the Rosamund Felsen Gallery since 2014. Mills lives in Los Angeles.
Olivia Mole currently lives and works between San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA. She worked as a set designer in the mainstream film and animation industry for over a decade before returning to art practice. She attended The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art at Oxford University, and received an MA in Production Design from the National Film and Television School in the UK. She has designed sets for John Frankenheimer, Michael Radford, Wes Anderson and multiple productions at Dreamworks Animation. Her work has been shown guerrilla style in a garage (San Francisco), at The Wattis Institute (San Francisco), at Steven Wolf Fine Arts (San Francisco), at Southern Exposure (San Francisco), and at Pro Arts (Oakland).
Adam Novak's paintings abstractly document the life of "Steve," a portmanteau of various real-life handsome men (and tropes of handsome men). In everyday situations in the artist's city of Los Angeles, Steve is getting lost on Google Maps, driving, or reclining, and is always shown alone, ostensibly in a universe which only includes himself. Recent exhibitions include The Property Gallery in Los Angeles, City Limits in Oakland, and Irvine Fine Arts Center in California. Novak has participated in the Vermont Studio Center residency and was a nominee for the Headlands of the Arts Graduate Award. Novak has an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
In Devon Oder’s ominous representational and abstract landscape photographs, Oder manipulates the image through over exposure, multiple exposure, and lighting filters. Oder references nostalgia through the use of antiquated photographic methods such as cyanotype contact prints, lithograph on cotton rag paper, and Polaroid film. In some of her series, Oder distorts the image through vibrant psychedelic colors, while in others, the landscape is abstracted through direct sunlight. Oder's work looks back at the tradition of landscape photography while also presenting an apocalyptic future. Oder’s work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at Regina Rex, New York, Gallery Lara, Tokyo, Alexys Schwartz Projects, California, and as part of an Art Basel pop up exhibition in Miami.
Adrian Paules: The work is intuitive. The work is made by systematic strategies. The work is the intersection of subjective decisions and self-imposed constraints (that are subjective as well). The work asserts the authority of the artist. The work celebrates and questions the meaningfulness of expression. The work celebrates and questions the meaningfulness of systems. The work examines the locus of meaning. The work is the result of a series of decisions. The work is the result of physical labor, but is not justified by it. The work requires no justification. The work does not aim to present an exhaustive list. The work continues.
Hilary Pecis makes sincere and reflective representational paintings depicting the space around her. She draws influence from the landscape, the light and the pace of her life in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited widely both domestically and internationally at such
galleries as Halsey McKay and Morgan Lehman Galleries in New York, Hunted Projects in Holland, Galleria Glance in Turin, Guerrero Gallery and Catharine Clark in San Francisco, and Roberts and Tilton in Los Angeles. She has an MFA from California College of the Arts in SF and lives and works in Los Angeles.
Corrina Peipon is the Director of Exhibitions for The Pit and The Pit II. She was the Director and museum liaison at Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles and an assistant curator at the Hammer Museum and a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
Ryan Perez is an American artist of Mexican-Filipino descent who lives and works in Glendale, California. His sculptures and photographs of exacting studio constructions playfully confound distinctions between artistic and industrial production. For Perez, his work exists metaphorically within the moment of seduction. When one chooses, for example, which pair of scissors to buy amongst many, the utility of the tool itself becomes inconsequential to the sensuality of its form, and the identification of an individual with an aesthetic sensibility becomes of paramount concern. Ryan Perez received his BFA from Art
Center College of Design in 2008 and his MFA from University of California Riverside in 2012. His work has been exhibited at RaidProjects, Control Room, Pepin Moore, the Riverside Art Museum, and LACMA Special Projects, among others.
Lari Pittman was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1952. Pittman received both a BFA (1974) and an MFA (1976) from California Institute of the Arts, Valencia. Inspired by commercial advertising, folk art, and decorative traditions, his meticulously layered paintings transform
pattern and signage into luxurious scenes fraught with complexity, difference, and desire. In a manner both visually gripping and psychologically strange, Pittman’s hallucinatory works reference myriad aesthetic styles, from Victorian silhouettes to social realist murals to Mexican “retablos.” Pittman uses anthropomorphic depictions of furniture, weapons, and animals—loaded with symbolism—to convey themes of romantic love, violence, and mortality.
Iris Porter is a text-based artist, letterpress printer and musician based in Los Angeles, California. Other hobbies include: swimming, reading, cooking for others, walking with dogs and playing Scrabble. Porter received a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 2006. In 2002, she was awarded the Merit Scholarship in book arts from the Oregon College of Art & Craft. She was given the Dare to be Different Award from Highlands Elementary School in 1986.
Rachel Roske is known for her paintings created without the use of paint, but by applying graphite to unprimed canvas, which often leaves the work resembling shadows and reflections of ambiguous objects that she didn’t make visible. The canvas is sometimes light and the shadow is negative space, the other times the canvas is negative space. Her works center around a fleeting moment in time, represented through the shadow, which she regards the most literal and ancient index of time. Roske received her BFA at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University School of Art. She currently lives in Los Angeles and is an Assistant Professor of Art at Otis College of Art & Design.
Kathleen Ryan lives and works between New York and Los Angeles. She received her BA from Pitzer College in Claremont, California in 2006 and her MFA from UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) in 2014. Ryan has had solo exhibitions at the Theseus Temple at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria (2017), Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles, California, (2017), and Josh Lilley Gallery, London, UK (2016).
Betsy Lin Seder’s art embraces and exploits confusion – of space, time, vision – as a generative tool for revealing and reconsidering some of the assumptions and limitations of photography. She received a BA from Brown University in Modern Culture and Media, a Masters in Interactive Technology from NYU in 2002 and an MFA from UC Irvine in 2010. Seder has since taught at Wellesley College in Massachusetts and University of California in Riverside, California. During the summer of 2014, she was an artist fellow at the Terra Foundation in Giverny, France. Seder recently exhibited her work in the three-person show Kevin Appel, Betsy Lin Seder, Canon Hudson at Samuel Freeman Gallery in Los Angeles. She has had solo exhibits at Las Cienegas Projects and Workspace in Los Angeles and has shown her work at Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Headlands Center for the Arts, Laguna Art Museum, The Torrance Art Museum, Center for Photography at Woodstock and Exit Art in NYC. IN 2011, Seder was an artist-in-residence at Anderson Ranch Art Center.
Nicolas Shake lives and works in Los Angeles, California. His interdisciplinary practice investigates the politics of periphery, the aesthetics of the desert, and the trajectory of objects once relished that have become remnants of late capitalism. Shake scrutinizes the idea of entropy, ownership and labor through the tropes of classical and still life painting. While exploring the outskirts of Los Angeles County on the border of suburban sprawl there are parcels of desert where information is perceptually and tangibly acquired. In these interstitial spaces Shake finds the remnants of domestic interiors from surrounding communities and inserts his multifaceted constructions with an ethnographic sensibility of socioeconomic fragmentation.
Mungo Thomson explores popular culture and everyday objects in his recent series, using elements such as the covers of the notorious Time magazine or a standard deck of 52 playing cards. In his Compositions series, the cards are shuffled then thrown into the air; the resulting scattered formation on the floor is photographed and translated into an image on linen via digital embroidery. Thomson has recently started working on the series Rods and Cones, exploring optical art by transforming junk “circulars” pages related to vision into paintings. Influenced by the Light and Space movement and its claims for Southern California light, he introduces light into these images both as a function of vision – cones are responsible for color, rods for light – and as a self-conscious artifact of California art. Thus, through his eclectic body of work which includes films, sculptures, photographs, music and
books, Thomson leads us to question what we most take for granted, or fail to notice.
Kerry Tribe works primarily in film, video, and installation. Focusing on the mechanics of representation - particularly cinematic representation - its metaphoric potential and its engagement with reality, her art addresses processes of thought and their relationship to subjectivity, narrative, place and time. Employing image, text, sound, structure, and space, her work plays upon the internal workings and ingrained habits of the mind, its unavoidable quirks, flaws, and shifting fault-lines. Tribe’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at The Power Plant in Toronto, Modern Art, Oxford, Camden Arts Centre in London and Arnolfini in Bristol. It has been included in recent significant exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. The recipient of a Creative Capital grant and a USA Artists Award, her work is in the public collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, The Hammer Museum, The Orange County Museum of Art and The Generali Foundation among others. She was a fellow at the American Academy in Berlin in 2005-2006, received her MFA from UCLA in 2002, and was a Whitney Independent Study Program Fellow in 1997-98. Tribe is represented by 1301PE in Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works.
Edward Weston was a 20th-century American photographer. He has been called "one of the most innovative and influential American photographers…" and "one of the masters of 20th century photography." Over the course of his 40-year career Weston photographed an increasingly expansive set of subjects, including landscapes, still lifes, nudes, portraits, genre scenes and even whimsical parodies. It is said that he developed a "quintessentially American, and specially Californian, approach to modern photography" because of his focus on the people and places of the American West. In 1937 Weston was the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship, and over the next two years he produced nearly 1,400 negatives using his 8 × 10 view camera. Some of his most famous photographs were taken of the trees and rocks at Point Lobos, California, near where he lived for many years