Double U Sacha Halona Baumann and HK Zamani September 10–October 8, 2022 Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10, 4:00–8:00 p.m. Gallery hours: Monday–Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
LA TATE GALLERY is pleased to present Double U, a two person show featuring work by Los Angeles-based artists Sacha Halona Baumann and HK Zamani.
The exhibition centers around the artist’s shared use of a very specific medium: W magazine, in particular issues from the late 1990s and early 2000s. Visiting Zamani's solo exhibition Protagonists and Erasures at PRJCTLA in 2021, Baumann immediately recognized that the substrate for Zamani’s brush and ink drawings were pages of vintage Ws. The magazine during that period was oversized, 14 x 10 inches, and its editorial and advertising content had a uniquely recognizable aesthetic. Baumann knew this because she too creates art from this material, from the same era.
Baumann and Zamani agreed that this niche way of making art seemed too delicious of a coincidence to not exploit in some way. They jointly declared: “We should do a W show!” Double U offers each artist’s unique use of the medium but also their shared interest in the material itself—both in the images the pages depict and their united efforts to manipulate and redirect their original intention.
In his Fashion Erasures series, Zamani challenges class consciousness, standardization, and expectation. The obscuring of found images cancels their conventional orthodoxies while embellishing and empowering them to suggest both their primal origins and a potential undiscovered future. His Inadvertent Protagonists series allow for an unpredictable shifting of possibilities and imaginings in a dialogue between painting and sculpture. Mirroring, through their various juxtapositions, the cultural duality and overlap he brings to his work.
In her various series of collages in the exhibition, Baumann makes aesthetic choices based on self-imposed restrictions; a collage may be made using only three cuts of paper, another is strictly black and white, and works may use only small cuts of black or a particular range of page numbers. In her Awkwardseries, Baumann creates collages from monochromatic images of beautiful models, using only their eyes, lips, arms, and hands. The new figures become unknowable creatures with no bodies, presenting themselves in uncomfortable poses and self conscious gestures.
Both artists appropriate, fracture, and delete the printed photographic and graphic material—frequently luxury advertising—to be re-choreographed into surreal configurations with effects ranging from the abstractly enigmatic to the theatrically psychological.
Doubling, a poem written by Zamani and then manipulated by Baumann:
Double U It’s you and you Male Female it’s you Good and Evil it’s you Double U W Double consciousness it’s you Patriarchy Matriarchy it’s you Your double is you You walk and walk it’s you You in the mirror is you Word play with you W You cut and paste it’s you You on the page it’s you You block out the figure You cut out the figure It’s you Double or nothing it’s you
Sacha Halona Baumann (b. 1970, Hollywood, CA) studied Visual Communication at San Francisco State University. She received her Master’s in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art at Claremont Graduate University. Selected exhibitions in Los Angeles include Noysky Projects, Keystone Art Space, Idol Wild, Somewhere Something, and Ace Museum. She has curated exhibitions of emerging artists throughout Los Angeles. In 2017 she began publishing a broadsheet, FULL BLEDE, which she also designed and curated. There have been 10 issues to date, featuring the work and writing of over 250 artists. Beyond her collage work, Baumann also creates zines, slaps, and mostly recently published a 480 page book of her street photography. She is an Arts Professional, working closely with artists, galleries, studios, and Estates throughout Los Angeles.
HK Zamani (b. 1958, Tehran-Iran) studied Studio Arts and Design at California State University, Dominguez Hills and El Camino Community College. He received his Master’s of Fine Art in Painting from Claremont Graduate University. Selected regional exhibitions include Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, A+D Museum, PRJCTLA, LA Louver, Municipal Gallery at Barnsdall. He has also exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, London, Berlin, Prague, Seoul, Saigon, and Bangkok. He is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and founder of PØST, an alternative exhibition space in Los Angeles (1995-2018), where more than five hundred exhibits were hosted. He has taught at University of California Los Angeles, University of California Santa Barbara, California State University at Long Beach, California State University at Dominguez Hills, Woodbury University, and been a Visiting Artist at numerous national and international institutions. He is a recipient of The City of Los Angeles Individual Master Artist Project (COLA-IMAP) and California Community Foundation grants, and his work is in the collections of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Berkeley Museum of Art, and Lancaster Museum of Art and History.