June 06 - July 04, 2015

The Dust of Sunlight
Journals & Collage 1974-2015

Sloan Projects is pleased to present The Dust of Sunlight: Exene Cervenka, Journals and Collages 1974-2015, curated by Kristine McKenna. On view June 6 through July 04, 2015. 

For her first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in eight years, musician and artist Exene Cervenka will exhibit selected collages from the past decade, including a triptych from her current series in progress, The Singularity. An inquiry into the merging of man and machine that is occurring at an ever-increasing rate, The Singularity marks a decided shift in Cervenka’s approach to collage. Works of the past two decades have primarily been loose compositions comprised of found objects, images, and text; The Singularity, on the other hand, falls within the tradition of the obsessively intricate, densely woven collages of Bay Area collage pioneers, Bruce Conner and Jess.

Conceived as a kind of cautionary tale, and executed in muted colors, The Singularity collages look decidedly different from Cervenka’s previous creations, but they share the same roots: the raw materials include old advertisements, vintage business journals, mail order catalogues, and old newspaper clippings.

Curated by Kristine McKenna, the exhibition will also include four of Cervenka’s journals dating from the years 1974 – 1985. Largely created while Cervenka was traveling the U.S. as a touring musician, the journals offer a bittersweet glance at what musicologist Harry Smith referred to as “the old weird America.” Cervenka caught the tail end of it when she began traveling in 1976, and her journals evoke a lost America of two-way roads, mom & pop stores, seedy bars, and wide-open spaces. The pages of the four journals on view will be turned each day throughout the exhibition.

Born in Chicago, in 1956, Cervenka is a founding member of critically acclaimed band, X, and country quartet, the Knitters. She’s released six albums as a solo musician, maintains a practice as a spoken word artist, and has published two volumes of poetry. Her artwork has been exhibited widely throughout southern California and New York, and is the subject of Magical Meteorite Songwriting Device, an artist’s monograph published by Perceval Press in 2007; out of print for several years, the book recently went into a second printing by Perceval. Copies of the book as well as her catalogue America the Beautiful, will be available for purchase.

Kristine McKenna is an American journalist, critic and art curator. She wrote for the Los Angeles Times from 1977 through 1998 and was one of the first mainstream journalists chronicling the early L.A. punk rock scene. Her profiles and criticism have appeared in Artforum, The New York Times, Artnews, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post and Rolling Stone. McKenna was co-curator of Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & his Circle, a highly influential group exhibition that opened at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2005. In 2010 she co-founded Foggy Notion Books in Los Angeles.