“L.A. Now” at the Las Vegas Art Museum


L.A. Now, curated by David Pagel
Exhibition: December 12, 2008 to April 11, 2009

The L.A. Now exhibition features 20 emerging artists who live and work in Los Angeles, California. The exhibition is organized by critic and curator David Pagel. Artists included in the exhibition were selected from among those who presented outstanding artworks in Los Angeles commercial galleries during the 2007-2008 season. The artists work in a wide variety of styles and media; each has gained national or international recognition for artistic achievement.

Artists featured in the exhibition include: Olivia Booth, Miles Coolidge, Liz Craft, Nathaniel de Large, Lecia Dole-Recio, Brad Eberhard, Wendell Gladstone, Katie Grinnan, Elliott Hundley, Annie Lapin, Michael Lazarus, Nathan Mabry, Allison Miller, Kristen Morgin, Christine Nguyen, Jared Pankin, Steve Roden, Jeni Spota, Don Suggs, and Wayne White. The exhibition represents the Las Vegas debut for all of the artists.

According to curator Pagel, “L.A. Now” is designed to showcase the artistic achievements of the artists individually: “rather than start with a theme, and fit the art into that, I’m starting with the art and seeing what emerges from that.” Most important for Pagel was to select artworks that are not only singularly memorable, but that together create compelling interactions: “I wanted the works in my show to converse with one another, to engage one another materially, intellectually, and emotionally.”


I spent a few days in Las Vegas last week so I decided to pop in and see the L.A. Now exhibition at the Las Vegas Art Museum. I didn’t know what to expect but I was pleasantly surprised with all the work. The three large rooms of the museum showcased the extremely interesting paintings, sculpture and photography from 20 emerging L.A. artists. The painting was especially of high caliber and there was lots of it. Some of the standout painters were: Jeni Spota, Allison Miller, Wayne White and Steve Roden. And as David Pagel wanted, all the work definitely conversed with one another.


Image above: Jeni Spota, Giotto’s Dream, Holy Mountain, 2007, Oil on canvas.