Exhibition Review: Amy Park at The Kopeikin Gallery
By Katie Heiserman
Ed Ruscha, a veteran of the Pop art movement and the Ferus Gallery Group, works in a variety of media including painting, printmaking, film, and photography. In his innovative photobooks published throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, Ruscha offers unmediated shots of Los Angeles’ visual landscape. Focusing on every day LA settings like gas stations, parking lots, apartment buildings, swimming pools, these works prioritize backdrops over subjects, attuning us to the little-explored tension between elegance and inelegance in the most mundane places we travel.
Ruscha’s use of the Los Angeles landscape seems a perfect match for painter Amy Park, whose watercolors meticulously render modernist architectural facades and interiors. For her second rendition of Ruscha’s work, Park interprets photographs from Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass (1968), adding vibrancy and tranquility to Ruscha’s simplistic snapshots. The show is currently on exhibit at The Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City.
Park has ventured reenactments of renowned photographers more than once. In 2012, The Kopeikin Gallery exhibited a show of her renditions of Julius Shulman’s photographs of California homes. Last year, Park showcased her first homage to Ruscha, recreating all fifty-four prints in Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966). Though the two artists never worked together directly, Park pursued the project with Ruscha’s blessing.
Park represents one in a small cohort of contemporary artists who have used Ruscha’s photographs as a springboard for the creation of their own work. Others include British artist Jonathan Monk and Toronto-based artist and writer Dave Dyment.