4650 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90016
Working in a variety of media, which includes painting, drawing and sculpture, Ishi Glinsky investigates the traditional practices of his tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation, as well as other North American First Nations to create contemporary homages to sacred events and customs. These investigations often consist of a close study of the history and significance of a craft tradition, the committed apprenticeship of its technique, and its assimilation or transformation within Glinsky’s artistic practice. Each immersive installation, sculpture or painting is a fusion of intertribal celebration and resourcefulness, permanence or evolution, all of which is intimately reflected in the carefully crafted material nature and composition of a given work. A strategy common to Glinsky’s production consists of creating disproportionate shifts in scale in order to both amplify indigenous practices and stories, and memorialize them in the form of monuments to survival.
For his second exhibition at the gallery, Glinsky will present a series of new and recent paintings and sculptures. The paintings pay homage to indigenous basket weaving traditions of the Tohono O’odham people and the pottery making traditions of the Hohokam people (the predecessors of the Tohono O’odham). Pictorially zooming in on, enlarging and juxtaposing the formal attributes of these different art making traditions, Glinsky all but transforms them into sprawling abstractions whose vibrant colors explosively embody the dynamic shifts of color that may be found in a desert landscape. The compositions of the paintings themselves, which spiral and flow outward from a single center, are meant to symbolically reflect a sprouting seed breaking through the earth, the medicine wheel or the four directions. Glinsky’s method, which consists of the application of ink, oil stick and oil paint, arguably has no real precedent in the history of painting. This is because the artist seeks to approach art making with the resourcefulness of indigenous peoples and treat each body of work as if it were distinct problem which necessitated its own set of formal and technical solutions. By the same token, the wire metal sculptures in the exhibition were first woven by hand and then fashioned together to form baskets. Together, they present wholly unique and novel interpretations of the art and craft making traditions of the indigenous peoples of the North American Southwest, which they foreground and celebrate.
Ishi Glinsky (b. 1982, Tucson, AZ) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. He has exhibited at MOCA Tucson, Human Resources, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery with solo shows at These Days LA and Open Studio Tokyo, Japan. He had his first solo exhibition at Chris Sharp gallery in 2021, and his first solo institutional survey, Upon A Jagged Maze, curated by Gabriel Ritter, and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UCSB, Santa Barbara in 2022. He will participate in “Made in LA, 2023: Acts of Living,” the Hammer Museum biennial, and he will have a solo exhibition at PPOW, New York, in 2024.