Last year when Cardi Black Box
in Milan first contacted art writer Andrew Berardini
and graphic designer Lauren Mackler
to curate a possible project, the gallery asked for a show inspired by their hometown of Los Angeles. “We tried to approach Los Angeles at large, catching the theatricality, the stage-like qualities of the city," explains Berardini. "It’s a place where the imaginary seems to mesh with reality and reality with the imaginary.” That compelling mix of fiction with fact comes through in their show "Set Pieces," which opened last night at Cardi Black Box.
Berardini and Mackler—who had worked together before on the exhibition "Treating Shadows as Real Things" for Artissima
in Turin, Italy—settled on inviting artists to build four different frameworks as riffs on stage sets. Each stage contains additional work by 14 different artists including Matthew Brannon, Zoe Crosher, Friedrich Kunath and William Leavitt, who the curators cite as a major inspiration for the show.
The interplay between the art and the imaginative backdrops by artists Sarah Cain, Liz Glynn, Samara Golden, and Mateo Tannatt make for an unusual conversation, juxtaposing each work within a larger context like Russian nesting dolls.
Mackler says, “We never know what the end result is until we have experienced the exhibit ourselves.” Viewers have until April 30 to catch the show first hand.