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Katie Grinnan depicts the fractured way we see and interpret our world

For Immediate Release

July 6, 2011

Contact: Jon Lapointe, Director of Communications
Phone: (626) 792-5101 x 134

Exhibition:Katie Grinnan: Attempts to stand on shifting currents
Curator: Irene Tsatsos
Exhibition Dates: October 2, 2011 – January 22, 2012
Reception: Saturday, October 8, 7-9 p.m.
Location: Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, California, 91103

Attempts to stand on shifting currents is an exhibition that features older sculptures and new photograms by Los Angeles-based artist Katie Grinnan, on view in the Mezzanine Gallery at the Armory Center for the Arts from October 2, 2011 through January 22, 2012. The exhibition is organized by curator Irene Tsatsos, the Armory’s Director of Gallery Programs.

Katie Grinnan asserts that capturing a photographic image of a specific place transforms its content, meaning, and identity into portable material. Her photographs, which she integrates into her sculptures, installations, and performances, thus simultaneously reference and re-create actual spaces in the world, depicting the fractured way we see and interpret events and places. Thematically, her work explores the paradoxical relationship between the permanence of the frozen, photographic moment and the entropy that occurs over time in both the physical and photographic world. Grinnan’s previous works have included a three-part project titled Rubble Division, in which she continuously assembled and deconstructed a float that eventually traveled across the country, and various reimaginations of Kukulkan’s Pyramid in the ancient Mayan city of Chichen-Itza in the Yucatan at the MAK Center in Los Angeles.

Grinnan earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1992, attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1992, and earned an MFA from University of California, Los Angeles in 1999. Her work can be found in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hammer Museum, both in Los Angeles. She has had solo exhibitions at The Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria in New York and at ACME., Los Angeles. Grinnan’s work has also been included in group exhibitions at the Hammer Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Modern Art Oxford in Oxford, England. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2006 and the AXA Artists Award in 2007.

Based in Los Angeles, Katie Grinnan periodically works in Topanga Canyon, California, where artist Wallace Berman (1926-1976), an influence on Grinnan, lived and worked most of his life. Concurrent with Attempts to stand on shifting currents the Armory will present the exhibition Speaking in Tongues: The Art of Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, which brings two seminal yet under-studied Los Angeles artists into close conversation with one another for the first time. Never before has their artwork been shown together in a tightly focused two-person exhibition. Organized by the curatorial team of Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon, with supporting research by Carolyn Peter, this exhibition examines how these two artists bridged modernist and emerging post-modernist trends by ushering in the use of photography as a key element of contemporary avant-garde art. Focusing on language and the creation of new visual codes, as well as on the little-known friendship between Berman and Heinecken, the exhibition explores their works within the unique cultural milieu of 1960s and 1970s Southern California, as it fueled and amplified each artist’s highly original and creative approach to making images. Speaking in Tongues: The Art of Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

About the Armory The Armory Center for the Arts, in Pasadena, California, builds on the power of art to transform lives and communities through presenting, creating, teaching, and discussing contemporary visual art. The organization’s department of exhibitions mounts over 25 visual arts exhibitions each year at its main facility and in locations throughout the City of Pasadena. In addition, the Armory offers studio art classes and a variety of educational outreach programs to more than fifty schools and community sites. The Armory believes that an understanding and appreciation of the arts is essential for a well-rounded human experience and a civil community.

Gallery hours at Armory Center for the Arts are Tuesday – Sunday, noon-5 p.m. $5 suggested donation. Armory members, students, and seniors are free. The Armory is easily accessible from the Gold Line Memorial Park Station in Pasadena. For information about Armory exhibitions and events, the public may call 626.792.5101 x122. or visit the Armory website at

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