Diana Yesenia Alvarado & Lydia Maria Pfeffer
May 11th - June 11th, 2018
Club Pro Los Angeles is pleased to present Shapeshifter, an exhibition of new ceramics by Diana Yesenia Alvarado and paintings by Lydia Maria Pfeffer, both Los Angeles-based artists who intuitively explore the absurdity of human existence through their own reinvented mythologies.
Delving into the tradition of ceramic making, Alvarado (b. 1992, Los Angeles) creates free-formed figurines and abstract vessels that are concurrently autobiographical, fantastical and art historically referential. Her works not only evoke the Lares statuettes of Ancient Rome, which served as protectors over domestic and public domains, but also the ceramic works characterized under abstract expressionism, particularly made by artists on the West Coast in the 1960s, who espoused an experimentation with chance and exploration of traditional forms. In practice, Alvarado invites subconscious, or latent memories to manifest — her figures reference the ornate security bars on the windows of buildings in her hometown, as well as anthropomorphic guardians possibly encountered in childhood dreams. In a way, these works serve as “memory vessels” — of a childlike ability to construct wondrous, unfamiliar realms and of various preceding moments in ceramic history.
In her paintings, Pfeffer (b. 1976, Annaberg, Austria) creates chaotic, fantastical worlds comprised of referential and imaginary characters. Mythical figures from pre-Christian Alpine folklore play alongside devilish unicorns in bikinis, androgynous mermaids, and sexy Catholic saints in chains. These turbulent paintings read, on the one hand, like a detailed diagnosis of collective madness, or a play in a theater of chaos, where the convolution of pagan mythology, contemporary and biblical imagery, together produce a collapse in time. On the other hand, the paintings are magnificent visions of madness as a collective subversive force, a rebellion against a sort of psychological fascism present in us all—not necessarily in reference to the historical fascism of Hitler or Mussolini—but that which is in our heads, our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.