All the Best
Artist-run gallery spaces perform a unique balancing act. They offer less established artists the chance to refine the nuances of exhibiting work, develop a reputation for reliability, court the other gallerists and curators, and occasionally receive feedback. They’re also gritty, erratic spaces with little to no funding forced to deal with artists and curators who also develop reputations for unreliability. These artist-run spaces straddle the expectations of a traditional gallery—white walls, press releases, open hours—with the casual affability of a party at a friend’s house. As such, these spaces’ programming can be exciting and freewheeling. Central Park, located on the sixth floor of the Park Central building in downtown Los Angeles, embodies this kind of entertaining unpredictability one would see in a scrappy minor league baseball team.
Central Park’s current group exhibition, All the Best, pairs bizarre, semi-functional furniture created by Ross Hansen with ceramics by Emily Marchand and objects and prints by Lauren Steinberg. On the walls, Benjamin Wills’ paintings—abstract and slow-splattered patterned images made with Crayola Model Magic, Paperclay, enamel, or caulk—mirror Hansen’s enamel and epoxy-globed furniture. Running shorts designed by Jmy James Kidd, with winsome Saved By the Bell-like graphics, hang from a “room divider” by Hansen. All the Best’s straight-out-of-the-tube colors create a sense of a melting Memphis-designed bedroom from the 1980s.
Central Park, which is entering its second year of programming, occupies a small room with huge windows and an adjacent hallway in a building populated by watch and jewelry repair shops. It’s in neither a warehouse nor a storefront, locations typically associated with galleries; Central Park’s out of place-ness and small-scale operation side-steps controversies about gallery-gentrification. Tubs of Budweiser and a smoking section on the outdoor fire escape 60 feet up keep its openings intimate. All the Best will be on view until March 4th, and then Central Park will be onto the next madcap exhibition.
“All the Best,” through March 4 at Central Park, 412 W. 6th Street, #615, Los Angeles, CA 90014, centralpark.la.