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Exhibition with new work by artist Phyllis Green opens at LAM Gallery
Phyllis Green Samidh, 2014. Mixed media, 66 x 40 x 40 inches, detail view. Photo: Ave Pildas. Courtesy of the Artist and LAM Gallery.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- LAM Gallery is presenting its third exhibition with new work by artist Phyllis Green, entitled “Walking the Walk.”

The selection of eight mixed-media objects, which appear as garments, performance props and modernist sculpture, is the culmination of a project proposed to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation that appointed Green a Fellow in Fine Arts in 2014. This is its debut showing.

Inspired by her travels to India and the study of ancient texts—specifically, the Upanishads, writings that reveal the nature of reality and describe the means by which humans can become enlightened—Green has created physical manifestations of poetic metaphors and devotional rituals cited within one particular verse. The Mundaka Upanishad advises that the first step toward enlightenment is for individuals to approach a guru, or learned teacher, with wood (fuel) on their heads. (First Mundaka, Chapter 2, verse 12) A literal interpretation of this decree provided an imaginative departure point for Green to pursue her longstanding interests as a sculptor in the areas of craft, the body and the feminine. Constructed of diverse materials including wood, metal, cloth, fiberglass, porcelain and stoneware, the objects not only function as vehicles for carrying wood, but as receptacles for meaning and sensation, and the experience of both the artist and the viewer.

The sculptures are sites for rituals of discovery: areas of possibility in the convergence of past and present, humor and mysticism, with a measure of self-conscious awkwardness. The objects are specifically scaled to Green’s own body, and are accompanied by photographs featuring the artist interacting with them.

Concurrently with this exhibition, the Craft & Folk Art Museum (5814 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles 90036) will present a monumental figurative sculpture by Green, titled Fall 12: Autobiography Considering Charles Ray’s Fall ‘91. The earliest piece from this same body of work, it refashions American sculptor Charles Ray’s iconic, Amazonian mannequin, Fall ’91 (1992, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles), as a self-portrait guided by the ancient Vedic principles of knowledge, service, meditation and devotion. A live feed of this complementing installation will be visible on a monitor at LAM Gallery for the duration of the exhibition.

Phyllis Green (b. 1950, Minneapolis, MN) is an internationally exhibited artist and curator based in Los Angeles, and she serves as adjunct professor in the USC Roski School of Art and Design. Green is the recipient of numerous prestigious grants and awards, such as the Artist Fellowship, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, New York; Individual Artist Grant, Cultural Affairs Department, City of Los Angeles; California Arts Council Artists Fellowship (Sculpture); and the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (Sculpture). Her work is in the permanent holdings of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and numerous private collections.

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