Assembly and TOMWORK


Merwin Belin: Frontpages

1984 to Present

April 13th—May 11th


Jesse Benson at Venice 6114

April 13th—May 4th

Merwin Belin: Frontpages

1984 to present

Assembly and Tomwork (Tom Jimmerson, formerly of Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art) present "Merwin Belin: Frontpages" on view from April 13 to May 11. Artist's reception is Saturday, April 13, 6 pm-9 pm. Assembly is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90232. Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 6:00 pm. Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to WSS Shoe Warehouse at the same address.

Ronald Reagan served as President of the United States from January 1981 until January 1989. Sometime in 1984, when the so-called "Reagan Era" was coming to be recognized as the political and cultural sea-change that it was, Merwin Belin embarked on an ambitious series of artworks of and about that era and the culture-wars that followed. The logic of Belin's project is as simple as it is relentless. Portions of a newspaper's front page--The Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times and Herald Examiner--are excised by x-acto knife and discarded. Other portions from "the back" of the paper so to speak, are moved forward and substituted, thus generating a new narrative that was arguably already there; this within a design format--the front page--that is itself a "readymade" composition. Rinse and repeat.

Belin has so far executed more than two hundred such pieces, one hundred of which are on view here. Each is as particular and as general as the day it addresses. Collectively however, they raise two important critical issues. One is the matter of "method," Belin's means of production. The other is "time" and the circumstances of his reception.

In the 1974 book "Theory of the Avant-Garde," Peter Burger identified collage / montage as the wedge dividing a (false) organic realism from a (true) dis-continuous reality. Collage was thus declared "the fundamental principal of avant-gardiste art" as it developed in the early twentieth century. Things have changed. Collage is now taught as an introductory art technique from kindergarten to the old-age home. No longer radical, it has instead become almost shockingly routine. Indeed, in the "cut and paste" digital workplace, are we not all collagists now? Belin concurs, comfortable in the knowledge that, except for frames and plexiglass, these now old-fashioned paper documents barely even register as art.

Time? It is a peculiar and perhaps defining feature of Belin's work that a statement made in time, about a specific moment in time, might take yet more time--years or perhaps even decades--to become fully legible. "Timing is everything," according to the vulgar phrase that so neatly fits into the pragmatic ideology of neo-liberal economics. Likewise, "yesterday's paper" was shorthand for something valueless back when newspapers still mattered. But there could be another, more subtle view of temporality that applies here. When the philosopher Nelson Goodman grew tired of circular arguments about "what is art," he countered with the question "when is art?" In the twilight of the once mighty print culture this artist so closely observes, Belin's "Frontpages" answer, "now."  

Media contact: Tom Jimmerson, 310.815.1100


Mark Roeder Present


(Education in Ruins) 


Teenagers in

Public Spaces

May 18thMay 25th

Opening Reception 

May 18th, 4:00—6:00PM

Closing May 25th

Monument (Education in Ruins) and Teenagers in Public Spaces

Mark Roeder and Assembly® present Monument (Education in Ruins) and Teenagers in Public Spaces, an exhibition of two new projects by art students from Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Middle School.  Organized by artist and teacher Mark Roeder, the exhibition will feature a collaborative installation process culminating in a reception for the artists on Saturday, May 18, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM.  Assembly® is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90232.  The exhibition will be on view Thursday through Sunday, noon to 6:00 pm.  Parking is available in the lot adjacent to WSS Shoe Warehouse at the same address.

Monuments give us much of what we know about the past.  Monuments aid in our remembrance of people, events, and parts of our cultural background.  On the front lawn of Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Middle School, an architectural remnant was installed when the school was razed and rebuilt following the 1971 Sylmar earthquake.  The remnant is the entablature from above the piazza of the old school building’s facade: MOUNT VERNON JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL. This leftover piece of the old school, originally built to resemble George Washington’s riverfront home, stands as a question: How are the past, present, and future of this place interrelated?  Monument (Education In Ruins) is an inquiry into the present moment these students and their teacher – maybe all students and teachers, find themselves in. 

With present trends in educational reform focused on accountability & accounting and evidence & excellence, aspects of educational experience become distorted when, according to educational scholar Bill Readings, “much of the current furor over teaching has to do with a simple contradiction between the time it takes to teach and an administrative logic that privileges the efficient transmission of information.”  Students aren’t consumers; and, education is a matter of justice, not a transaction of truth in exchange for evidence of work.  Monument (Education in Ruins) is a form, made by these student-artists, from the leftovers of some of what passes for evidence of met outcomes: classwork and homework.  Shredded paper, soaked and formed into several-hundred paper blocks, form an ad hoc monument to a year of thinking about artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, and aesthetic valuing. 

Lines between public and private are blurry.  Many seemingly public spaces are governed by municipal ordinances or private security.  Parks, shopping malls, schools, even cyberspace, are compromised in their ‘public’ use.  There are inconsistencies between the form and substance of these spaces.  Parks require reservations or permits for gatherings, malls are the patrons of businesses, many schools have free-speech zones, and acceptable-use policies are the gatekeepers of Internet access. 

Teenagers in Public Spaces considers the question: Who gets to use these spaces?  Paintings of the artists and their friends show how young people’s sense of worth and identity is shaped by how they believe they are perceived by others. Gathering in group-settings gives teenagers a chance to see and be seen, by others.  Are they hanging out, goofing off, kicking back, screwing around, flipping out, and getting over when they should be buckling down or shaping up?  You go tell them.

Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Middle School, through a collaborative team effort, is committed to developing the whole child as a successful life-long learner by creating a positive school culture through the effective delivery of a rigorous standards-driven curriculum based on assessed student needs.

Shows and Events

at 2045 S. La Cienega

April—November 2013

Assembly Presents

Born & Brewed

(A joint pedagogical venture

between David Askevold,

Michael Asher, John Knight,

and their combined students)

Opening Reception 

July 20th 2013, 6:00—9:00PM

"History takes place," observed the Mississippi writer Eudora Welty, slyly applying weight to the word "place."  In this spirit Assembly® presents "Born & Brewed (A joint pedagogical venture between David Askevold, Michael Asher, John Knight, and their combined students)" an exhibition focusing on events occurring at 1945 S. La Cienega Blvd. during the 1977-78 academic year.

In the winter of 1973, John Knight recruited Michael Asher to substitute as instructor for his class at UC Irvine for the entire winter quarter.  Indeed, UCI offered the first real teaching opportunities for both Asher and Knight.  UCI then was where and when some of the attitudes and techniques were developed that came to be known as "extended critique."  Earlier, on the other side of the continent, David Askevold engaged in a similarly considered re-thinking of college-level art education in his now celebrated "Projects" class at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.  After Irvine, Michael Asher moved to CalArts and John Knight to the Otis Art Institute.  In the fall of 1976 Askevold left Nova Scotia to accept a teaching position at UC Irvine.

The next year, in a gesture equal part hostile division and sympathetic combination, the three teachers and their students chose to leave their home campuses and meet together in a vacant medical office building at 1945 S. La Cienega Blvd., offered up by a student related to building's owner.  The building became operative 24/7 with students coming and going. In one room a critical discussion ran on while other activities took place throughout the building including art production and social activity.

Thus, "Born & Brewed: Michael Asher, David Askevold, John Knight (A joint pedagogical venture between David Askevold, Michael Asher, John Knight, and their combined students)" an exhibition which publicly announces this important if little known episode in the history of art pedagogy and, in making such an announcement, serves also as a timely place-holder for historical research yet to be done.  

Assembly® is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd.  Parking is available in the lot adjacent to WSS Shoe Warehouse at the same address.

TOMWORK and Assembly


Vern Blosum:

Out of Order, Paintings 1962-1964

September 7 - October 26, 2013

Opening Reception 

Sep. 7th, 6:00—9:00PM

Assembly and Tomwork (Tom Jimmerson, formerly of Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art) present "Vern Blosum: Out of Order," an exhibition of Blosum's paintings from the early and mid nineteen sixties. The show is on view from September 7 to October 26. Artist's reception is Saturday, September 7, 6-9 pm. Exhibition hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 6:00 pm. Assembly is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd. Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to WSS Shoe Warehouse at the same address.  


"You should always have a product that is not you." Andy Warhol

"Every refutation is a mirror of the thing it refutes--ad infinitum." Robert Smithson


When Pop Art emerged and flourished in the years between 1961 and 1965, Vern Blosum was an active participant in the New York art scene. He moved in social circles that included artists such as Adolf Gottlieb and Tony Smith, Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. It was however the art dealer Ivan Karp, then working for the Leo Castelli Gallery, who managed to insinuate Blosum's hauntingly enigmatic and anodyne paintings into the rapidly developing critical and commercial network that came to be known as Pop. Examples of Blosum's work appeared in early and important exhibitions including "Pop Art USA," (1963, San Francisco and Oakland) and "The Popular Image," (1963, Washington D.C.) and were documented as well in Lucy Lippard's book on Pop Art published in 1965. Blosum was thus part-and-parcel of Pop Art, or at least its first iteration. Prescient collectors such as Robert Scull, Larry Aldrich, Burton Tremaine and Betty Asher agreed. As did the Museum of Modern Art which acquired an artwork for its permanent collection. Realized at more or less actual size in a palette of mostly black, white and gray, MoMA's "Time Expired"(1962) was simply the painted image of an expired parking meter sitting above two painted words spelling out "Time Expired."


This is where the now familiar rediscovery narrative--"another deserving if little remembered sixties-era artist attracts fresh attention"--takes a peculiar turn. For soon after its acquisition Alfred Barr, then MoMA's director, chose to have "Time Expired" removed from public exhibition and put into storage. He did so because the museum was unable to verify any of Blosum's biographical data, according to documents passed back and forth between MoMA and the Castelli gallery. By Barr's exacting journalistic standards, Blosum was judged a "fraud." Good instincts. For a fact not known then was that the name Vern Blosum, derived from the botanical term "vernal blossom," was the pseudonym adopted by a young and committed abstract painter who, by his own modernist high-culture standards, considered Pop Art itself to be fraudulent. But for Blosum, Pop Art was not just simply a fraud but also a complex social system which he sought to understand and reproduce; this both despite and because of his antipathy to it. The resulting "product that is not you" (Warhol) and "mirror of the thing it refutes" (Smithson) was then recirculated--via the good offices of Karp and Castelli--back into the Pop Art system to be consumed in turn.


Like MoMA's "Time Expired," the artworks presented by Tomwork at Assembly are depictions of the routine instruments of urban administration, each consisting of a painted image sitting above a simple descriptive text. Together, they are as unsettlingly ordinary as the following checklist suggests: "Zero Minutes," 1962 (parking meter), "Out of Order," 1962 (parking meter), "Fifteen Minutes," 1962 (parking meter), "Giant Expiration," 1963 (parking meter), "Abgelaufen," 1963 (German parking meter), "No Pressure," 1963 (fire hydrant), "Mueller," 1963 (fire hydrant), "Homage to Ivan K.," 1963 (fire hydrant), "Alarm," 1964 (alarm box), "Telephone," 1964 (pay phone), "Not for Deposit," 1964 (postal box), "Zip Code," 1964 (postal box), "Stop," 1964 (stop sign). Appropriately, "Stop" was Blosum's final painting.    


It didn't, however, fully stop there. Rather, Blosum's work from the nineteen sixties was even then oriented "toward an imagined future" (TJ Clark's words from another context); pointing in the direction of Conceptual Art and with it an emerging critique of advanced capitalism associated with some of the conceptualists. Indeed, while Blosum focused his ire on Pop, his project was equally directed against an art market dependent on the presumptively inseparable connection between (a real) artwork and (a real) artist that Blosum so willfully sundered. To be sure, others have similarly challenged received notions of authorship and authenticity. But coming as it did after R. Mutt and Rrose Selevy and yet before Sturtevant, Sherrie Levine, John Dogg and the Bernadette Corporation, the full meaning of the Blosum story may be available to us only now. How will we know? Warhol insisted that even in art, the economic marketplace provides the sole measure of value, a sentiment Blosum deplored but observed to be coming true before his eyes. The exhibition "Vern Blosum: Out of Order" is thus respectfully resubmitted to that marketplace for its judgement.  

Assembly Presents

Animal Charm:

"Secret Style" Super Show

October 5 - October 20, 2013

Opening Reception 

October 5th, 6:00—9:00PM

Animal Charm is having a “Super Show” at Assembly®, concurrent with and parallel to the exhibition Vern Blosum: Out of Order, Paintings 1962-1964.  The show opens Saturday, October 5th with a performance and extra video at 7pm.

For two weeks thereafter, guests can visit Assembly and ask for their Blosum "Animal Style," prompting the gallery attendant to turn off the lights and turn on Animal Charm's video projections, superimposed upon the gallery walls and their contents.  Assembly® is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd.  Parking is available in the lot adjacent to WSS Shoe Warehouse at the same address.

Assembly® presents "Glen Small: Recovery Room," a selection of earnest architectural proposals yet to be realized. The show is on view from November 9 through 30. Artist's reception is Saturday, November 9, 7-9 pm. Exhibition hours are Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 6:00 pm. Assembly is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd. Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to WSS Shoe Warehouse at the same address.  

“When he saw the Green Machine, he said, ‘we're going to build this thing.’” – Glen Small quoting Los Angeles city planner Calvin Hamilton

Oregon and Nicaragua-based architect Glen Small’s mid-career proposals still inspire radical reconsideration of our notions of environmentalism, housing, and urban development.

From the 1960s-1980s, a body of visionary designs placed Small at the center of key discussions of architectural experimentation and ecological consciousness in California, and studying alongside him was an assumed part of one’s education during the founding decades of the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

Thirty-plus years later, his proposals still exist - not as suggestions for monuments, nor as paper architecture, but as thoroughly worked out architecture. Projects like Green Machine (1977-80) and Turf Town (1983) are made all the more valid and relevant by comparison with contemporary development projects. Details of a work like Biomorphic Biosphere Megastructure (1969-77) may be elegant, but these qualities are never separate from a primary function as architectural program. Glen Small, and the flickering ethos of early SCI-Arc, still represent positions that are often considered too difficult in the current state of education and emerging practices.

Through original models, drawings, published material, and a series of events, Assembly® will join in the conversations Small has sustained throughout his practice.


and Orhan Ayyüce


Glen Small:

Recovery Room

November 9—

November 30, 2013

Exhibition hours:



Assembly® and Jesse Benson present The Benefit of Friends Collected, an artist-on-artist critical writing project.  Last year Jesse Benson invited 50 international artists (himself included) to write about one another via a random draw.  Some people knew each other, or knew of each other, and many did not.  Those who agreed to participate did so with no knowledge of which artist each would be assigned to write about.  Artist/writers were given total freedom to print anything they wanted in relation to their subject artists with no editing, and were each given 2-page color spreads (they could either design their spreads themselves or plug into the default design structure offered by Benson).  The resulting limited-edition book will be released with a reception at Assembly®.


Participating artists listed in the order of their writing assignments:


Gaillard and Claude on Luis G. Hernandez on Olivia Booth on Aaron Garber-Maikovska on Mark Roeder on Aline Bouvy and John Gillis on Julian Hoeber on Joey Ryken on Sara Greenberger Rafferty on Damien Mazieres on Alex Morrison on David Kennedy Cutler on Shana Lutker on Molly Corey on D'Ette Nogle on Alexandra Grant on Sherin Guirguis on Katie Herzog on Farrah Karapetian on Bret Nicely on Erik Frydenborg on Hannah Greely on Matt MacFarland on Steven Bankhead on Alison O'Daniel on Renee Petropoulos on Megan Hepburn on Jacob Melchi on Jason Yates on Adam Miller on Jesse Wine on Tom Norris on Chris Oatey on Ginny Cook on Alivia Zivich on Brian Mann on Sam Watters on Jesse Benson on Dominic Watson on Ed Gomez on Carlson Hatton on Jay Stuckey on Elana Scherr on Elonda Billera Norris on Otino Corsano on Bitsy Knox on Jesse Aron Green on Kiersten Puusemp on Gabie Strong on Greg Wilken on Gaillard and Claude

Assembly is located at 2045 S. La Cienega Blvd. Ample parking is available in the lot adjacent to WSS Shoe Warehouse at the same address.


and Jesse Benson


The Benefit of

Friends Collected

Book Release

and Launch

Sunday, November 24,

6—8 pm