July 31, 2016
UTA ARTIST SPACE TO OPEN IN DTLA
By Maxwell Williams
The first exhibition will feature the work of artist and ‘Kids’ filmmaker Larry Clark.
In the gallery world, an artist might ask another artist, “Who are you repped by?” Usually that means “gallery representation,” as in, “I’m repped by Gagosian.” But nowadays, that can also mean the Hollywood talent agencies like CAA, WME and UTA, who are increasingly digging into the lucrative art market. The latter has just announced that they’ll be taking their involvement in the art world a step further, by opening the UTA Artist Space, a 4,500-square-foot gallery downtown. Their first exhibition will feature the work of artist and filmmaker Larry Clark.
UTA announced that Joshua Roth would head up their Fine Arts division in February 2015. They have since put together a documentary film about the conceptual artist Maurizio Cattelan by Maura Axelrod; organized an exhibition by Larry Bell at the Pacific Place mall during Art Basel Hong Kong; and helped Kanye West (a UTA client) and Steve McQueen (who is actually a client of CAA) present a video at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. But the UTA Artist Space is a move that signifies a more traditional move into showcasing art inside a gallery space.
Clark is one of those artists who exists in both the film world and the fine-art world. He came to prominence with his 1971 photo book Tulsa, a stunning look at drug-addicted young people in his Oklahoma hometown, and is considered a groundbreaking work of art. In 1995, he embarked on a filmmaking career, debuting his first film Kids, written by a then-teenaged Harmony Korine. His subsequent films, like Ken Park (2002) and Wassup Rockers (2005), entrenched him as a unique filmmaking voice, one who blurs the lines between reality and fiction, and more often than not pushes the boundaries of morality.
He’s continued to take pictures, and has recently moved into painting and photomontage. The exhibition will include examples of each of these media, as well as a screening of Tulsa (1968), filmed while making the pictures for the photo book. Clark’s New York reps, Luhring Augustine, will co-present the exhibition, Clark’s first in L.A. since the Museum of Contemporary Art mounted a survey of his work in 2000.
UTA clarified in the announcement that the space will be multi-purpose, and will be host to readings, screenings and performances in addition to fine-art exhibitions. “UTA Artist Space will become a site of cultural exchange across UTA’s roster of artists, musicians, filmmakers,” the release states
“We are dedicated to seizing opportunities for artists, and UTA Artist Space provides a place for artists to interface with the public and each other in a dynamic, supportive way,” said UTA chairman and co-founder Jim Berkus in the statement. “We are thrilled to inaugurate this mission by hosting Larry Clark and his extraordinary work.”