Exhibition dates: June 26 - August 23, 2009
Opening reception: Thursday June 25, 6-9 pm
Conversation between the artist and Charles Gaines: Thursday June 25, 6:30 pm
Los Angeles, June 8, 2009--Olga Koumoundouros: Demand Management  will be on view in the Gallery at REDCAT June 26 through August 23, 2009. Organized by gallery director and curator Clara Kim with curatorial assistant Ryan Inouye, Demand Management excavates the political, psychological and physical terrain of class in America. Informed by research on the country's uneven distribution of wealth, Koumoundouros contemplates the promise of middle class life and its compounded and compromised relationship to lived reality.
In the artist's site-specific installation commissioned by REDCAT, a room-size circular structure stands as an architectural manifestation of a pie chart, which represents the 1% of the U.S. population that holds 34% of its wealth. The imposition of this architectonic structure counters the expressive papier-mâché molds found inside. Made from everyday household furnishings--a bathtub, refrigerator, toilet and mattress, among other items representing basic human sustenance--the objects form a ring that cuts into the 1% of the "pie". Referencing cyclical movement, productivity, Möbius strips and tunnel forms, Koumoundouros explores concepts of standardization, industry and commerce in relation to human scale and expression, forcefully considering questions of mobility and power, participation and citizenship.
The exhibition title, Demand Management, offers an entry point into the artist's thinking on the subject. Here, Koumoundouros articulates a particular tension--this "demand" speaks of an anxiety, incites violence and aggression; the "management" calls for order, requires restraint. Through the artist's sculptural language, this abstract tension finds footing in material and form.
The artist's dexterity and commitment to materiality is her tour de force. Koumoundouros' provocative practice over the last few years has actively engaged ideas of labor, class and human sustenance, shaking the very core of the American Dream. Often working with building materials, such as plywood, corrugated fiberglass, plaster and tar, the artist's sculptural objects and installations resonate with brute but elegant force, exploring the many social, economic and political ideologies that shape our relationship to both past and present.
In A Roof Upended (2007), a recent project the artist undertook in Bellevue, Wash., she recovered sections of asphalt shingle from a derelict, ranch-style house and reconstructed the roof tilted on end, supported by columns of stacked vegetable cans filled with concrete. Here, the artist explored the tension between development and community, while contemplating the displacement of people and their histories.
Koumoundouros graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, and University of Vermont, Burlington. She has presented work at Open Satellite, Bellevue, Washington; Mullin Gallery, Occidental College, Los Angeles; Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre, Banff; Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; LA XART, Los Angeles; Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; among others. She is the recent recipient of a grant from The Durfee Foundation. Koumoundouros lives and works in Los Angeles.
This exhibition is made possible with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and John Rubeli. Additional support provided by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
Free gallery admission underwritten by generous support from Ovation TV.
Visiting the Gallery at REDCAT
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REDCAT acknowledgements