Curated by James Lam Scheuren
Lawndale Art Center
Work by Morehshin Allahyari, Sterling Allen, Miguel Aragon, Doug Burns, Marcos Castro, Teresa Cervantes, Collective Task, Corey Drieth , Jonathan Faber, Sally Glass, Julia Haft- Candell, Ronald Hall, Hollis Hammonds, Jonas Hart, Nicole Jean Hill, Bethany Johnson, Christina Kerns, Phil Ladeau, Camilo Leyva, Jonathan Marshall, Francisco Moreno, Lauren Moya Ford, Theo Mullen, Alex Robinson, Maria de los Angeles Rodriguez Jimenez,Rachel Stuckey, Maggie Sullivan, Dan Sutherland, Eric Shane Swanson, Sherwin Rivera, Tibayan, Chris Wawrinofsky, Anna Winter, Dave Woody, William Wylie, and Ricky Yanas.
…when my generation put their feet on the ground, collectors bought works because they wanted to be associated with the art. Now it appears a great number of collectors treat it as an investment. That is disgusting. They have art advisers in the same way as they have financial advisers.
Traded is a group exhibition consisting of artists who have traded works with one another. The organizational premise is simple. I reached out to a number of artists, who I know personally and whose work I respect, and asked them to propose one artist with whom they have traded works to join the artist roster. In this way, an extended network of artists began to form, and the concrete evidence of these connections exists in the artworks themselves. For the exhibition, each artist pair will submit two works that they have actually traded with one another (i.e. Kristin submits a work that Francisco gave her, and he submits the work that Kristin gave her in exchange). In this way, the exhibition presents an artistic sensibility from the perspective of the artist, as opposed to the collector/curator, and also evidences a form of artistic exchange that circumvents the traditional art market. This reflects an interstice, in the sense of a space outside an economic system, which artists have created through trades that preclude the sales of the traded works. The trade elides the commodification of the art object or the art object as a financial investment. Moreover, the show bespeaks the importance of artists’ communities, formed through personal and professional relationships (reflected in the traded objects), some of which go back many years. These works on display thus indicate a fuller life around the periphery of the so-called “artworld”—one in which artists support and encourage one another’s work. With astronomical market prices of modern art making headlines, along with the seemingly contradictory cutting of government funding to the arts, it is important to engage the public’s perception of how most artists actually live. A show about traded works highlights how much artwork produced is not sold and often is not originally produced with the impetus to be sold. Trades with other artists/friends then become channels of experimentation, not dwelling on singular ideas and media.