Andy Harman at Lauren Powell Projects – Art and Cake

Andy Harman, leave this like that over there, Lauren Powell Projects, Photo by Sydney Walters

You May Forget Where You Are

Lauren Powell Projects, Los Angeles
Through November 25, 2022

Written by Sydney Walters
Rarely do you enter a gallery and wonder if you are in the right place. As a frequent gallery hopper, the last thing I expect to see are drywall patches and nail holes in the walls, a drill on the ground and a myriad of building tools scattered amongst the art. Shortly after entering, I had the opportunity to meet Lauren Powell, the owner of the space. She asked us to forgive the mess and disclosed that she was cleaning up from a ceiling leak that recently occurred. As I began orbiting around the space, things were not adding up. The tools and construction remnants I noticed were not evidence from a ceiling repair. I came to realize that these tools belonged in Andy Harman’s narrative.

Andy Harman and Powell joined forces to replicate Harman’s Brooklyn studio into the gallery. Serendipitously, the square footage and shape of his studio is roughly the same as the gallery making the transformation that much more compatible. They painted the floor with the same gray hue to match the studio and made faux patches on the walls to emulate well worn walls. Harman has spent most of his professional career as a set designer. Building environments is his wheelhouse and leave this like that over there is an extension of world building.

The theme of impermanence threads through his work and the space. Dozens of white plastic 3M Command hooks pepper the wall like a plastic wave. The hooks seem arbitrarily oriented on the wall because Harman has assigned these household tools a very different job: to support his feather boa drawings. The hooks anchor colored feather boas in zig zags like fluffy, colorful scribbles.

Joy, play and design animates this exhibition. Oversized scrunchies and Cheerios and Cheetos casually lean against walls or drip onto apple box plinths, car doors and tires. The sculptures manifest the fearless attitude and exquisite adornments of stage performers. Harman delivers a storied approach to installation by crystallizing the impermanent shuffling and masquerade of a performance.