In the Silver Lake area…Tyler Park Presents debuted The Dawn Riders, the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Los Angeles-based artist Cathy Akers. An opening reception was held on July 8, 2023. The exhibition will remain on view through August 19, 2023.
The artist has been exploring the concept for over the last 17 years. To explore the idea of utopia from different vantage points, Akers moves between fact and fiction. Here she interprets archival research and creates imaginary worlds inspired by this research. Akers attempts to come to a more complete understanding of the utopian impulse, as well as reimagining typical commune power structures through a feminist lens.
The Dawn Riders, Cathy Akers
For The Dawn Riders, Akers has created an immersive exhibition of ceramics, including figurines, sculptures, busts, vases, and reliefs. The striped green carpet is reminiscent of 16-bit video game representations of grass. It is both functional and imaginative as it guides the viewer on a journey through the gallery. On this journey, the pathway takes the viewer through a landscape of varying scales and dimensions. The landscape is populated by hand-built, tactile, and generously glazed ceramics.
Upon first stepping into the realm, dreamlike scenes from the artist’s own imagination as well as others from historical research into the Morning Star and Wheeler’s Ranch communes of the 1960’s. Representations of commune members in the form of figurative busts highlighting both the joy and pathos of their utopian strivings also line the walls. Dissatisfied with the world they had inherited and determined to create a better one, the depictions show off-grid living, relaxation, bodily acceptance, as well as fornication as the commune members attempt to become “at one with nature.”
As the pathway banks left and right at the back of the gallery, figurative ceramic sculptures of women on horseback travel up the pedestal to confront the male guru/leader. This provides a much-needed corrective to the typical commune power structure dominated by charismatic male leaders.
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On view: July 8, 2023 – August 19, 2023
What: The Dawn Riders, Cathy Akers
Where: 4043 West Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90029
When: Running through August 19, 2023