ARTISTS

Featured Artist

The “Featured Artist” page archives the artworks that grace the homepage of the LARB website every week. Each gallery compiles four images of works, followed by a short text. This section reflects LARB’s longstanding commitment to honor not only verbal but also visual culture, and to increase the reach of artists not only from the United States but from all across the world. The art on the homepage and the gallery archive is an ongoing nonverbal contribution to the larger conversation between here and there, between the past, present, and future, that LARB seeks to foster.

Tom Lutz

Portraits: Moments of Intimacy on the Road is Tom Lutz’s latest photography book published by Rare Bird Books. Many of the subjects of Lutz’s portraits are recognizable from his previous travel books. Lutz characterizes his portraits as “the result of those extended sessions, those moments of accidental intimacy on the road.”

Tom Lutz is the author of ten books, including the At Home in the World trilogy (Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World, And the Monkey Learned Nothing, and The Kindness of Strangers), based on his travel to some 140 countries and territories. His books Aimlessness, Born Slippy, Crying, Doing Nothing, Cosmopolitan Vistas, and American Nervousness, 1903 have been translated into a dozen languages and have won the American Book Award among other honors. He is the founding editor in chief and publisher of Los Angeles Review of Books and a Distinguished Professor at University of California, Riverside. He lives in Los Angeles.


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Jorge Mujica

Jorge Mujica (b. 1982) explores the fragility of an unbroken line and the context created within the boundaries of a positive and negative space. His designs are rendered through rehearsed drawing exercises examining a combination of automatic movements and choreographed mapping of space to animate flat materials into free-standing painting surfaces. 

Mujica’s academic background allows him to understand the conventions of contemporary artwork by addressing the flat surface as an illusionistic portal and simultaneously, embracing the independence of the object as a sculpture in physical space to manifest panoramic ruptures.  

Mujica is the Director of Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space (CACtTUS) and has shown at M+B 22′, Ace Hotel 22′, Bozo Mag 21′, (Los Angeles). Centro Cultural de La Raza 21′ (San Diego). Hi-Bye 20′, Casa Del Ahuizote 20′ (Mexico City). Horse and Pony 18′, Copyright 19′ (Berlin). And commissioned by the Museum of Latin American Art to create “Long Beach High Five” a public sculpture at Robert E. Gumbiner Park in Long Beach, CA in 2019. 

He earned an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University 12′, an MA in Visual and Critical Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago 10′, and a dual BA in Political Science and Art History from Cal State Univerity Bakersfield 08′. 


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Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces is an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Just Above Midtown (JAM) was an art gallery and Black space that welcomed artists and visitors of many generations and races in New York City from 1974 until 1986.

A hub for Conceptual art, abstraction, performance, and video, JAM expanded the idea of Black art and encouraged both critiques of and thinking beyond the commercialization of art. Linda Goode Bryant started JAM in 1974, when she was a 25-year-old arts educator and mother of two, to, in her words, “present African-American artists on the same platform with other established artists.” A self-declared laboratory for experimentation, JAM encouraged artists and visitors to challenge hierarchies within the art world and definitions of what art should be.

MoMA’s exhibition follows a loose chronological structure that references the hundreds of solo and group exhibitions, performances, and installations at JAM. The display includes a wide range of art made by key figures like David Hammons, Janet Henry, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O’Grady, Howardena Pindell, and Randy Williams, among many others. The exhibition presents archival photos, videos, and other contextual historical material to give visitors a sense of the collaborative ethos that defined the art gallery and the alternative model of art it championed to respond to a society in need. In addition to the exhibition, the project includes performances, film screenings, public programs, and an exhibition catalogue, co-published with The Studio Museum in Harlem.


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Bob Smith

Bob Smith was born in Springfield, MA in 1944. Awarded a traveling scholarship by the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1969, he went to Europe, settling in Madrid then Morocco. Between 1971 and 1977, Smith was regularly exhibited across Europe, including the 1973 Biennale de Paris.  In 1977, Bob Smith returned to New York City. Sharing a loft with video artist Michel Auder he became friends with many artists and poets. In the harsh realities of the city, his work of the 80s took a new turn getting interested in people’s fantasies and dreams, first with the wave of Egyptomania around the large exhibition “The Treasues of Tutankhamon” organized by the Metropolitan Museum and soon followed by his Sleepers & Dreamers’ series of paintings inspired by his participation in some of Carole Bovoso’s (Ione) dream workshops.

 By the late eighties, Smith moved to Miami. During this time, he was battling debilitating symptoms of AIDS but found joy in creating art and being active in various art collectives and organizations. Smith passed away in Miami, Florida in 1990. 

 Bob Smith is featured in the upcoming issue of the quarterly journal.


MORE FROM Bob Smith