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Shana Lutker

An Analphabet

September 20November 2, 2019

This image illustrates a link to the exhibition titled Shana Lutker: An Analphabet


"An Analphabet" Installation view Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer

"An Analphabet" Installation view

"An Analphabet" Installation view

"An Analphabet" Installation view

Shana Lutker “Fol-,” 2019

Shana Lutker
“Fol-,” 2019

Shana Lutker “Ana,” 2019

Shana Lutker
“Ana,” 2019

Shana Lutker “Sta-,” 2019

Shana Lutker
“Sta-,” 2019

Press Release

Vielmetter Los Angeles is thrilled to announce the opening of An Analphabet, an exhibition of new works by Shana Lutker opening on September 20, 2019.

The exhibition takes its title from a curious word. An analphabet is an illiterate who cannot recognize the letters of the alphabet. Analphabet is also the title of a 1947 book of drawings by Man Ray, where it seems to describe an alphabet, rather than an analphabet. Spurred by this curious homonym, the exhibition is framed by a circular logic: if a letter is seen as just another shape, any shape might also be mistaken for a letter.

Lutker creates a precarious, shifting installation of sculptural forms. Highly polished reflective steel is cut into recognizable shapes—a lasso, a perforated A-frame, an eye—which are also suggestive of letters or sounds. Culled from her studio archives of materials, surrealist ephemera, and found objects, Lutker presents a body of work that yearns to be more. An Analphabetinsinuates the possibility of a world, and all the shapes and objects in it, as a text to be read.

Lutker plays with the epic and glorious, as well as the ominous; evoking nooses, gallows, and surveillance. Each object occupies the space in dialogue with the others, distinct and yet dependent. Their indeterminacy reflects the ambiguities and anxieties that permeate language today but also pointing to the possibility of a more nuanced interpretation.

In recent years, Lutker has focused her research-based practice on the history of the surrealists and their frequent fracas. The ongoing project is comprised of sculpture, installation, performance, and writing, grouped as chapters from a future publication: Le NEW Monocle: The History of the Fistfights of the Surrealists. The vocabulary she has developed through this project expresses itself playfully in the new work, which does not contain the narrative of a specific altercation, but rather, animates the lexicon of Lutker’s own studio practice as it has been shaped by her investigation of this history.

Shana Lutker lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work is concurrently on view in CURRENT:LA FOOD, LA’s public art triennial. Lutker’s recent solo exhibitions include Shana Lutker: Le NEW Monocle, Chapters 1–3at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; Shana Lutker: Project Gallery, Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL; and Scenes from Chapter Four, 18thStreet Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA. Her work has been included in several prominent group exhibitions including the 2014 Whitney Biennial; Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by her Writings, Tate St. Ives, UK; and Performa 13, New York, NY.

The gallery is located at 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, south of the 10 freeway. Parking is available on the north parking lot adjacent to the building. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm and by appointment.