Magazine article Artforum International

Top Ten

Magazine article Artforum International

Top Ten

Article excerpt

Delia Brown is a Los Angeles-based artist who shows regularly at D'Amelio Terras, New York, and Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles.

1 WEST COAST DIVAS Goapele, the Oakland-based soulstress of earthy and otherworldly beauty, inspired and starred in my recent video Pastorale. Her debut album, Even Closer (Skyblaze Recordings, 2002), is a hot seller in the Bay Area, and if there's any fairness in the world, she'll soon reach a much wider audience. The rapper Mystic also hails from Oakland. Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom--packed with smooth tracks and sharp lyrics--came out in 2001 on Goodvibe Recordings, but the fools at commercial radio slept on it. Mystic's labelmates in Los Angeles, Medusa & Feline Science, took the LA Weekly Hip-hop Artist of the Year Award in 2001 and 2002, but for some reason they, too, still haven't broken through the underground. Medusa rips the mike live. With a butch girl DJ, two big sexy backup singers, and great live instrumentation, they are off the hook--a female Funkadelic.

2 AGAPE INTERNATIONAL SPIRITUAL CENTER Reverend Michael Beckwith, founder of this transdenominational "church" in Culver City, is on par with Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. in my book. His sermons on the "love-intelligence that governs the universe" are delivered to the most diverse group I've ever seen gathered in one place, which in itself is pretty inspiring. Music director Rickie Byars writes original spirituals and conducts a first-rate choir. (Am I proselytizing?) Not for the resignedly cynical, nor those who can't stomach small doses of New Agey-ness.

3 THE ECKHART SOCIETY Meister Eckhart, the fourteenth-century Dominican mystic, was accused of heresy and written out of ordained Catholic history. He preached on the spiritual principles of creativity (foreshadowing the Theosophists) and proposed a cosmology that placed God within human reach (plebeian = divine manifestation = not good for kings). The Eckhart Society, founded in 1987, publishes an annual journal and holds conferences dedicated to contemporary Eckhart scholarship. A new member myself, I'm always happy to discover that we don't have to raid Eastern philosophies to find the good stuff.

4 MARK GROTJAHN Though little excursions into conceptual territories have always been part of Grotjahn's practice, I (mis)understood his work to be of the highest order of modernism: a strictly formal investigation. His recent paintings disarmed me of my prejudice. Sober and patiently built-up rays of paint fan outward in a tonal spectrum, the oil thick and viscous right up to the edges--with one exception: Grotjahn left nearly phosphorescent under-painting exposed at the canvases' bottom corners, where his monogram glows in the negative space. More than a signature, the letters intrude on the composition, becoming perhaps its most important element--a self-conscious disclosure of authorial ego. This jolt came as a gift, allowing me to transcend my distrust of the "pure" painter and indulge with him in enjoying the wonderful physicality of paint. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.