And Pens presents, Build My Nest On The Ground a solo show by Max Kuhn
Opening reception Saturday February 3, 2024 from 6-9 pm at And Pens 4533 Eagle Rock Blvd Los Angeles, CA.
On display through March 3
Info: Max Kuhn is a multimedia artist born in 1989 from Richmond, Virginia. Formerly a self-taught tattoo artist, Kuhn travelled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe for over a decade.
Using limited painting techniques originally developed for making tattoo flash designs, he began illustrating an on-going travelogue on scrap cardboard and old book covers during long periods of solitary travel. His paintings and sculptures depict the folkloric characters of cowboy or hobo, often incorporating diaristic and confessional writing.
“For me, they are pretty untethered from any kind of real history or nostalgia or something. It’s just the use of simple icons to represent something harder to get your hands around. They act as alter-egos, a way of blending actual experience and memory with a more collective myth. I’m not so much attracted to a specific time period, I’m just moved by things feeling human and organic and there is less of that today,”
AND PENS presents, Unusual Pacific Boilerplate A group show of ink drawings on paper (and/or monochromatic works) featuring artists from Canada and the USA (…and one from Switzerland). Opening reception Saturday January 6th, 2024, 6-9pm
with special musical guest (on display through Jan 28)
Featuring: Anna Firth Anders Nilsen Ange Violent Bridget Trout Elmo Fogfood Floyd Tangeman Jonathan Peterson Jordan Rae Herron Keith Jones Keith Shore Marc Bell Mark DeLong Marly Beyer Matthew Thurber Mike Paré Owen Plummer Rachel Howe Ron Rege Jr. Sylvia Munson
AND PENS presents, Return of Secret Origins of the Crass Symbol by David King Opening reception Friday August 11, 2023 from 7:30-9:30 PM with musical performance by Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
“In 1977, David King designed this logo for his friend’s zine cover and later that same friend’s band in Essex, England. This book playfully explores this iconic symbol and the mind of the man that created it.”
In the mid 2000s there was a brief controversy over the ownership and origins of the Crass symbol when a London fashion brand used it as part of a clothing line and then unsuccessfully tried to copyright it. David King (1948 – 2019) knew that over the years the symbol he designed had come to stand not only for the band Crass, but also for anarchy, peace, freedom, autonomy, DIY ethics, a rejection of church and state, a rejection of the system and, for some, a way of life. It was a symbol that could never be owned by anyone. It was designed to be easily reproduced, as evidenced by its proliferation on clothing, walls, badges, jewelry, human skin, the bottom of empty swimming pools, and almost any other surface that would take ink or spray paint.
When faced with the suggestion of someone copyrighting or claiming ownership of his design, King decided to “free the symbol” with humor and color—qualities not always associated with anarcho-punk. His Secret Origins book and related projects expanded the notion of what the symbol could contain—including, but not limited to, wedges of cheese, extended serpents, the Batman logo, tea and coffee pots, smiley faces, the CND logo and more. Today reinterpretations and homages have appeared incorporating killer whales, rainbows and air dancers, to name a few. We know King would have loved these variations, and through them his idea continues to live on.
Return of Secret Origins of the Crass Symbol is an exhibition of King’s process. Alongside the hand-lettered ink drawing for the original book’s cover, there are five scalpel-cut stencils thick with layers of spray paint. These stencils were used not only by King, but also by visitors to 2011’s Spray Day at San Francisco’s Goteblüd gallery, where anyone could apply the designs to clothing, skateboards, toilet seats and anything else they could carry in. Many were later photographed for the book David King Stencils, published by Gingko Press in 2019. These stencils are the literal origins for many reproductions of the Crass symbol, and they offer a simple diagram for how it all began.
David Anthony King (1948 – 2019) was a British born American artist, graphic designer, and musician. He is best known for designing the Crass symbol in 1977. As part of the New York No Wave scene in the late 1970s he played in the bands Arsenal and the Gynaecologists, and later moved to San Francisco where he formed Sleeping Dogs and Brain Rust. He created design work for Danceteria, the Peppermint Lounge, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Details magazine, and many others. In the 2000s he revisited and expanded his design for the Crass symbol through numerous exhibitions as well as producing dozens of self published books of photography and art.
AND PENS presents, Jeff Canham’s Plant Sale! Open reception Friday June 30, 2023 from 6:00-8:00 PM with stripped down musical performance by The Intelligence
Join us as the gallery transforms into a plant shop filled with Jeff Canham’s inanimate leafy wooden plant sculptures.
Jeff Canham is an artist, designer, sign painter, and amateur woodworker based in San Francisco. Originally from Hawaii, he studied graphic design at the University of Oregon, and afterward became the Art Director of Surfer Magazine in Southern California. In 2005 he moved to the Bay Area and began apprenticing at New Bohemia Signs where he learned the traditional art of sign painting. With a BFA in graphic design and a very unofficial degree in hand lettering from New Bohemia, his colorful typographic compositions combine both new and old techniques. He currently works out of a studio space in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset district called Woodshop that he shares with a furniiture maker and a surfboard shaper.
AND PENS presents, PAPERWORK, a group show of works on paper by 23 U.S. and internationally based artists. This inaugural exhibition in AND PENS new space will feature the work of: Alicia McCarthy, Atelier Bingo, Bjorn Lie, Brian Lotti, Chris Baird, Cody Hudson, Corey Presha, Daniel Higgs, Johanna Jackson, John Herndon, Jomo Goodlife, Kyle Ranson, Leif Goldberg, Louis Schmidt, Nathaniel Russell, Nicole Monk, Paul Wackers, Ragnar Persson, Rainen Knecht, Ryan Travis Christian, Shobo Shobo, Terry Haggerty, and Ysidro Pergamino. Please join us for the opening reception on Sunday May 28th from 4:00 – 6:00 PM @ AND PENS, 4533 Eagle Rock Blvd. Los Angeles.
We’ve got some good things in store for this year’s LA Art Book Fair. Like what, you ask? …Well we’ll be releasing a two-color riso zine by Brooklyn based artist James Ulmer called “Grid Paintings” and a 4-color glossy book of Mark DeLong‘s salvaged produce box collages entitled “Stars Above, Snakes Below.” Both publications will be produced in editions of only 150 copies, so stay posted for more info as they’re bound to go quick.
Just in time for the holidays, & Pens has teamed up with Quiet Life
to launch a new small press book nook in their brand new Highland Park
flagship store. Stop by to check out the latest curated selection of
independent art and culture publications now on display. They’re open Wednesday thru Sunday 11am – 5pm. QUIET LIFE, 5627 North Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90042
A long march, a journey in perpetual motion. Following the path of colour, Julio Le Parc now designs his variations on silk. In the heart of the Hermès workshops, the artist returns to his early influences and presents his work “Variations autour de La Longue Marche”: sixty unique silk scarves created for Hermès Éditeur.