Joel Otterson

Maloney Fine Art
2680 South La Cienega Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034

November 1 – December 21

Maloney Fine Art presents Chandelier Queer, Joel Otterson’s second solo exhibition at the gallery. The exhibition will load the ceiling with three fetishized chandeliers made of hundreds of goblets from the 50s, 60s, and 70s that mimic the silhouette of a Baccarat chandelier, a strategy that opens art up to the world of everyday life. This installation of sculpture demonstrates that pop art remains vibrant as it continues to undermine authoritative definitions of what constitutes aesthetic value. The exhibition stages a handcrafted re-imagining of the Susan Sontag’s pivotal 1964 essay, Notes on Camp.

For the past twenty-five years Otterson has combined the venerable with the banal, working his way through the “House”— creating mash-ups of architectural elements, furniture, appliances, utilitarian objects, interior decorations, entertainment centers, and even a toilet (while an artist in residence in the Arts/Industry Residency Program at Kohler Company, 1991-92)—utilizing everything that has been invented to make our world a better place. For him, making these objects is a way of reclaiming the industrialized object as his own. His sculpture is a bricolage of domestic handicraft with traditional sculptural materials, at times blurring the line between high and low culture, art and craft. Otterson employs a diverse array of materials such as copper pipe, concrete, and blown glass with techniques such as woodworking, pottery, and needlework. His work goes beyond traditional stereotypes as an amalgam of sculptural techniques often associated with the masculine, with craft traditions that often allude to “women’s work.” It has been aligned with feminist thinking, gender bending, “Queer Aesthetics,” and, ironically, an embrace of American traditions like family, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and baseball.

Joel Otterson has shown his work internationally at venues such at The Museum of Modern Art (PROJECT series, 1987), the Venice Biennale (1993), and the Hammer Museum (Made in L.A, 2012). The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.

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