Drive: LA

MANFRED ZYLLA

CHRIS SULLIVAN

ZEINA BALTAGI

with JACQUES LIPSCHITZ

and COHEN CO.

SEIS Gallery is pleased to present Drive: LA, a group exhibition of works by German, South African and Los Angeles-based artists Manfred Zylla, Chris Sullivan, and Zeina Baltagi. This will be these Artists’ first exhibition with SEIS Gallery. Drive: LA will be on view at SEIS Gallery, located at 1910 6th Ave, Los Angeles, California 90018 from July 23 to August13, 2022. An Artist’s Reception will be held on Saturday, July 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00 pm PST.

 

Drive: LA highlights the works of Manfred Zylla, Chris Sullivan, and Zeina Baltagi. The show examines urgent issues including the dark absurdity in environmental panic, neon signs of cleanliness and class, and the evaluation of roads themselves as cultural objects. Taken together they move us to appreciate the interrelatedness of our everyday lives as Angelenos, driving up and down roads designed to take everybody for a ride.

b. Augsberg, Germany, 1939

Manfred Zylla's work is about the risk we run when we let the ideals of environmentalists curdle into the darkly idiotic. 

Made at the request of the German Green Party for an anti-pollution demonstration in 1993 Munich, these lushly painted works recall F.X. Messerschmidt’s character heads and the work of German expressionists. 

Nearly 30 years ago, Zylla and his militantly activist friends risked arrest only to be dismissed as clowns when we, as a society, chose collective blindness to obvious solutions. 

Today Zylla’s series of vigorous self-portraits seem to laugh at us in our current climate panic. 

We knew what to do then. 

We just didn't want to. 

And now that California is burning down around us, why cry about it now? 

SEIS Gallery Manfred Zylla Stage 1.jpg

Chris Sullivan

b. Cape Town, South Africa, 1960

In Chris Sullivan’s work, the roads themselves become cultural artifacts.

The artist examines the  ephemeral nature of public roadways, transforming them into carpets that physically bring the outside in, weaving bold lines through space, and activating walls with reflective road markings and racing streaks of light.

In his work, roads become collaborative dialogues created across shared space. New stripes appear on top of old ones, one pavement over the next and so on, revealing the thinness of our shared social agreement that a little line of paint means millions can commute in relative safety. 

More thrillingly, he asks, what happens when that line goes wrong?

SEIS Gallery Chris Sullivan Stage 5.jpg

Zeina Baltagi

b. Stockton, CA, 1988

Zeina Baltagi’s postcard series acknowledges the ubiquity of liquor stores when you don’t have a car to get around. 

Lurid neon signs, often dismissed as ugly, in Baltagi’s work are  recontextualized and honored as signposts to the weary traveler saying: “Here is where you go to get clean.” 

People living in communities without access to vehicles know the liquor store is where you go to buy soap, laundry detergent and tampons. 

Baltagi cleverly manages to illuminate a vast cultural divide that wrestles with issues of colonization, class and cleanliness.

Turns out it’s all in how you read a liquor store sign.

SEIS Gallery Zeina Baltagi Chris Sullivan Stage 1.JPG

Through each textured surface, recontextualized object, and call to action, the artists in this exhibition call on us to meditate on LA roads as places of connection and disconnection. Also featuring the work of Jacques Lipschitz and Cohen Co.

 

Together we ask: 

 

What now? 

What’s next? 

Where do we go from here?