The Underground Museum is a 6,000-sq. ft. alternative space-gallery adjacent to Noah Davis’ studio in the Crenshaw district. Its current show, “Veils,” is the most ambitious yet. Curators Jhordan Dahl and Ariana Papademetropoulos have pulled together a mix of emerging artists and cult-fave historical figures. Foremost among the latter is beat artist and philosophic scenester Marjorie Cameron. At top is a trippy Cameron self-portrait, apparently little-known even to the inner circle. It’s accompanied by a suite of eroto-cosmic drawings. The most ardent of Cameron’s growing cult will want to visit the UM for this alone.
Also on the roster: Wallace Berman, Robert Heinecken, Jeffrey Vallance, Marnie Weber, and—the unexpected pièce de résistance—a collaborative work by Chris Burden and Vallance.
That would be Urban Guerrilla, a modest Burden sculpted head shown at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in 1981’s “The Fix-It-Up Show.” The premise was that Vallance and Michael Uhlenkott modified works by other artists: “Modification techniques included banging against and dragging over concrete, glueing on hair, and similar broad, gestural treatments.”
Below is a “Veils” installation view with Eric Yahnker’s Long-Banged Angel, a large pastel of Farrah Fawcett. The reference is to Charlie’s Angels, but there is a rhyme with the Cameron self-portrait. Yahnker transmutes Cameron’s wispy, vegetal proto-feminism into the big hair of retro-TV T&A.
The Underground Museum is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, noon to 6, at 3508 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles. By the way, Jeffrey Vallance will be holding a seance to contact Andy Warhol at the UM on May 3rd.