Country Club to present creators of Black Acid Co-op’s new installation Bright Light Underground in Los Angeles

The artist team responsible for the exhibition sensation of 2008 Art Basel Miami Beach, Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe, are doing a major project at Country Club gallery’s Viennese Modernist 1934 Rudolph Schindler designed Buck House in Los Angeles in September of 2010. We were in Miami and got to see the astonishing show the artist team did for Miami Basel that was part of a larger exhibition called The Station, curated by Shamin Momin and Nate Lowman. The project was shown in a not yet completed condo tower in Miami. Their project was created and shown at Ballroom Marfa. It was then shown in Miami and finally at Deitch Projects in New York.

Country Club gallery (Buck House, Los Angeles) garden view

There was blog press claiming that the project was sold to a European collector. This clearly is not the case, as note below in the NYTimes article, that the project is in storage. But the installation was still out-of this-world great.

Country Club gallery (Buck House, Los Angeles), street view

That I can recall, there has never been a project like this in Los Angeles. The NYTimes was blown away by it. I also remember the project was supposed to generate another project for last year’s Miami Basel. That didn’t come through either, but Country Club gallery found a way to have this superb artist team create another hypnotic fantasy world as they did in Miami and Marfa and New York City at Deitch Projects.


I’ll say it again. There has never been a project like this in Los Angeles. This follows another project whose level is new for young LA galleries, which I would call the Miami Basel level. The Mike Kelly and Michael Smith exhibition in the Farley building in Eagle Rock is also a knockout exhibition. There has never been a show of this level that was not in a museum in Los Angeles. The Farley building is a vast empty warehouse and its also Mike Kelly’s studio. From these two projects it looks like LA’s artworld has reached another level entirely in 2010.

The other important aspect of this advance press is that it too is a first for LA. Country Club is a commercial gallery based in Cincinnati and Los Angeles. They are members of the NADA Art Fair and have a publishing concern. There has never been advance press in the NYTimes of ANY commercial gallery show in LA that I can recall. Maybe there was in the Sixties. The second aspect of this advance press means that the show will get NYC and international press coverage. This alone will also be groundbreaking for a young LA commercial gallery. There is bound to be as much press coverage as there was for the earlier fantasy world creations by the artist team involved. There is a video online showing many, many assistants helping them produce their projects.

Don’t forget that the Paul McCarthy show opens at the new L&M Arts Los Angeles gallery in Venice in September 2010 too. This was projected to be the most important opening of the fall art season in LA. Country Club’s show will no doubt be an artworld sensation. There have never been two exhibitions as highly anticipated with as strong an advance interest as these two in LA’s artworld.

I met Christian Strike at last year’s NADA Art fair in Miami Beach and congratulate him on bringing an exhibition of this caliber to LA.

The July 29, 2010 New York Times article  by Carol Vogel reporting this story is below:

“The New York artists Jonah Freeman and Justin Lowe have been creating wild and creepy installations — rabbit-warren-like spaces in which they construct what appear to be burned-out methamphetamine labs — around the country, from SoHo to Marfa, Tex., and Miami Beach. With each installation there are variations on this extravagantly dark side of America. And each intricate environment started with essentially a blank slate, a characterless space.

But this fall the artists are taking their dystopic drug-addled scene into a bastion of high modernism. From Sept. 17 through Oct. 30 they will be transforming Buck House, a 1934 L-shaped Rudolph M. Schindler house on Eighth Street in Los Angeles, into what they are calling “Bright White Underground.” The installation will create a story from both real and imagined history, loosely based on the life of Dr. Arthur Cook, who lived in Buck House for a time and began his career as a practitioner of LSD psychotherapy.

In the late 1950s he practiced psychiatry and later headed the C.I.A.-financed Pacific Psychiatric Institute, which pioneered research into psychotropic compounds’ potential for social control. By the early 1960s Cook was forced to work underground because of his controversial practices.

When Christian Strike, owner of the Country Club Gallery in Cincinnati, expanded to Los Angeles and rented Buck House as gallery space last year, he decided to ask Mr. Freeman and Mr. Lowe to create one of their environments. “This house has so much history and context,” Mr. Strike said by telephone. “And their work is so much about the environment and counterculture. The artists are notorious for their projects that create faux environments, but here they have the chance to create something in the context of a historic house.”

Mr. Strike said the installation would be for sale, though he has not priced it yet. Another one, “Black Acid Co-op,” which the artists showed at Deitch Projects in SoHo last summer, is sitting in his Cincinnati storage space with a price tag of about $250,000. “We’re talking to an institution about buying it or restaging it,” Mr. Strike said.”

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

Circus Liquor Parking Lot. Los Angeles. by Vincent Johns

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles. He has recently been named a 2010 United States Artists Project artist.

The USA site went live on December 7, 2010

My initial project is to fabricate a 3 foot tall doll house sized sculpture of the collapsed William Livingstone House in Detroit. The project description and a video presentation of the project are at the links provided here:
Please feel free to review the site and to contact others who would be interesting in supporting the program and my project.
thanks so much
Vincent Johnson
Los Angeles, California
cell: 818:430.1604


Biography July 2010
Vincent Johnson lives and works in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited at Las Cienegas Projects, LAXART, the P.S. 1. Museum, the SK Stiftung, Cologne, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Adamski Gallery of Contemporary Art, Aachen, the Sacramento Center for Contemporary Art, 18th Street Arts, Santa Monica and the Boston University Art Gallery. His photographic works engage both significant and neglected historical and contemporary cultural artifacts and is based on intensive research of his subjects. Upcoming is a group show at the Kellogg Museum of Cal Poly Pomona.
Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 1997. He studied with Mike Kelly, Jack Goldstein, Stephen Prina, Liz Larner, Chris Williams, Mayo Thompson (formerly of Art&Language), and Liz Larner. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was nominated for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 nominated for Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
Vincent  Johnson
Artist Statement
Vincent Johnson’s work is a form of sustained cultural mining that explores the depths of his subjects. His photographic works created from 2001-2007 delved into architecture as fantasy, from the vernacular architecture of Los Angeles to that found throughout the American West. He has documented several of the no longer extant commercial vernacular structures in both South Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley that came into existence during the birth of long distance family travel by car. In 2007 he presented a fully fabricated work of sculpture – a 12 foot long six-foot high replica of a 1956 Chrysler Air Raid Siren. This project developed as he was both researching and documenting a former military corridor in the San Fernando Valley that included a retired military airfield. His newest photographic works, all created in 2008 and 2009, are large-scale photographic montages, each of  which confront significant cultural figures and several dramatic signal events of Cold War era Western cultural history, including Television, the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Space program, American home-based bomb shelter  program, and Vietnam. He is working on large-scale photomontages of the several major American political figures of 1960’s, including Martin Luther King, the Kennedy family, and Malcolm X, as well the representations of both Communism and Capitalism, Hollywood and Los Angeles and many related Cold War era subjects. Johnson’s photomontages can take several months to create as he captures hundreds of images from online sources, before selecting those which most well index a particular historical moment, personage or event. The creative juxtapositions and scale shifts of the found images is what he most relies on to develop his potent and illuminating photographic works.

One thought on “Country Club to present creators of Black Acid Co-op’s new installation Bright Light Underground in Los Angeles

  1. Thank you for another interesting post about Country Club to present creators of Black Acid Co-op’s new installation Bright Light Underground in Los Angeles fireplace chats. Where else could people get that kind of info in such a concise manner of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look out for such information.

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