Meg Cranston

 

Biography

1960 Born in Baldwin, US
Lives and works in Los Angeles, US

EDUCATION

Since 2009 Chair of the Fine Arts Department at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, US
2001-2005 Professor at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, US
2001-2005 Professor at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, US
1994 John Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, US
1993-1998 Lecturer at Department of Art, University of California, Los Angeles, US
1989 New School of Social Research Faculty Development, New York, US
1988 Postgraduate Study at Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht, NL
1987-2001 Senior Lecturer at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, US
1986 MFA California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, US
1982 BA Study in Anthropologie, Kenyon College, Ohio, US

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017

Same Compostion, Different Hues, Different Titles, Meliksetian | Briggs, Los Angeles, California, US

2016

Pizza, Bagpipe, Carburetor, Meliksetian Briggs, Los Angeles, US

2015

I Suppose So, Kunstverein Heilbronn, Heilbronn, DE

2014

Poodle Mix, Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
Fitzroy Gallery, New York, US

2013

Real Painting (for Aunt Cora), with John Baldessari, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE
Keep it simple. Keep it fresh, with John Baldessari, Galerie Michael Janssen, Singapore, SG
Emerald City, LA

2012

Meg Cranston, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US

2010

Meg Cranston, Galleri Brandstrup, Oslo, NO

2009

Meg Cranston, Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen, DE

2008

Every Dog in the Pound, Mercer Union, Toronto, CA
The Pleasure of Obvious Problems, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, NZ

2007

The Pleasure of Obvious Problems, Artspace, Auckland, AU
Meg Cranston: The Pleasure of Obvious Problems, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, NZ

2006

Meg Cranston - California, Venetia Kapernekas Gallery, New York, US

2005

Volcano, Trash and Ice Cream, The Happy Lion Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Rock Bottom, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, DE

2003

Magical Death, ART Unlimited, Art Basel 34, Basel, CH
Magical Death, Gallery Leo Koenig Inc., New York, US
Recent Works, The Happy Lion Gallery, Los Angeles, US

2002

The Happy Lion, Leo Koenig, Inc. & Galerie Michael Janssen, Los Angeles, US
Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, US

2000

Printed Matter, New York, US
Galerie Michael Kapinos, Berlin, DE
1301PE, Los Angeles, US
Venetia Kapernekas Fine Arts, New York, US

1999

Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, US

1998

Dogenhaus Projekte, Berlin, DE

1997

Boesky & Callery, New York, US

1996

Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, US

1995

Galerie Tanja Grunert, Cologne, DE
CBD Gallery, Sydney, AU
Galerie Etienne Ficheroulle, Brussels, BE

1994

1301, Santa Monica, US
Icebox, Athens, GR
Karsten Schubert Gallery Ltd., London, UK

1993

Karsten Schubert Gallery Ltd., London, UK
Galerie Marc Jancou, Zurich, CH
Galerie Tanja Grunert, Cologne, DE
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, US

1992

1301, Santa Monica, US

1991

Olin Art Gallery, Kenyon College, Ohio, US
Galerie Tanja Grunert, Cologne, DE
Ealan Wingate Gallery, New York, US

1990

Marc Richards Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Koury Wingate Gallery, New York, US

1989

Marc Richards Gallery, Los Angeles, US

1988

Jeffrey Linden Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica, US

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015

The Afghan Carpet Project. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US

2014

Made in L.A. 2014. Los Angeles Biennial, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US

2012

Made in L.A. 2012. Los Angeles Biennial, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, US
Jack Helgesen Family Collection / Archeology of the Image, Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium, Vestfossen, NO
Paper does not blush, Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin, DE

2011

On the Line, LACE - Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, US
Framing Abstraction: Mark, Symbol, Signifier, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Police and Thieves, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, US
Gallery Brandstrup, Oslo, NO

2010

Doctor Zomb, The Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, US

2009

Das Gespinst - Die Sammlung Schürmann zu Gast im Museum Abteiberg.
Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, DE
BAD MOON RISING 3, Boots Contemporary Art Space, Saint Louis, US

2008

Conventions and Attitudes, Habeas Lounge, City University New York, New York, US
Every Dog In The Pound, Three Bedroom Flat, Mercer Union - A Centre For Contemporary Visual Art, Toronto, CA
California Video, Getty Museum of Art, Los Angeles (cat)
Parcours Interdit, Künstlerverein Malkasten, Düsseldorf, DE
Scala Paradisi, Walter Swennen bei Schürmann Berlin, DE

2007

De Pasada por Los Angeles, Atelier als Supermedium, The Hague, NL

2006

Oleon, Mary Younakof Galleri S.E, Bergen, SE
Los Angeles Art Now, I-20 Gallery, New York, US
KLF, 4 F Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Wonder and Horror of the Human Head, 4-F Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Meg Cranston and Peter Robinson, Kapinos Galerie, Berlin, DE

2005

10 Years!, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, DE
A Walk to Remember, LACE, Los Angeles, US
Echo/Anti Echo, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, DE

2004

Paper, Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica, US
Me, Myself 7 I, University Galleries, Florida Atlantic University, Florida, US
Kurzdavordanach, SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne, DE

2003

Golden, Galerie Michael Janssen, Cologne, DE
Me, We, Art in General, New York, US
The Greatest Album Covers That Never Were, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, US

2002

Meg Cranston and Jeffery Vallance, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, US
COLA. Individual Artist Fellowships, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, US

2001

Heads or Tails, Galerie Praz-Delavallade Paris, Paris, FR
Structures of Knowledge, Raid Projects, Los Angeles, US
Featherweight, Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, CA
One Minute of Your Time - A Brief Survey of Southern California Art, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, US

2000

The L.A. Scene, Numark Gallery, Washington, US
Focus on Pain, on Destruction, Power, Death, Venetia Kapernekas Fine Art, New York L.A. EX, Marstell, Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, Munich, DE
Performances, Museum Villa Stuck, Theater im Marstall, Munich, DE
Group show, Museum het Domein, Sittard, NL

1999

A Girl Like You, Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris, FR
Painting: Fore and Aft, ACME, Los Angeles, US
Art/Journalism, Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Santa Monica, US
Life is Elsewhere, Theoretical Events Gallery, Mailand / Theoretical Events Gallery, Naples, IT
The nude in contemporary art, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Rue Louise Weiss, Abbaye St André, Centre d‘art contemporain Meymac, Meymac, FR
Deep Storage - Arsenal der Erinnerung, Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf / P.S.1, New York, US / Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, US

1998

Life Lessons: How Art Can Change Your Life: The Judy and Stuart Spence Collection, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, US
Double Trouble: The Patchett Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, US
The Unreal Person: Portraiture in the Digital Age, Huntington Beach Art Center, Huntington Beach, US

1997

Deep Storage - Sammeln, Speichern, Archivieren in der Kunst, Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, DE
Deep Storage – Arsenale der Erinnerung, Haus der Kunst München, Munich, DE
Deep Storage - Arsenale der Erinnerung, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, DE
Display: An International Exhibition of Painting, Charlottenborg Exhibition Hall, Copenhagen, DK
L.A. Drawings, Galerie Tanya Rumpff, Haarlem, NL
Performa 97, Performance Festival, Berlin, DE

1996

It‘s Only Rock and Roll, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, Ohio / Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, Peoria, Illinois / Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, Virginia / Tacoma Art Museum, Washington / Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, Florida / Dean Lesher Regional Center for the Arts, Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek, California / Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix / Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida / Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee / Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, Arkansas, US
The Power of Suggestion: Narrative and Notation in Contemporary Drawing, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, US
A Glimpse of the Norton Collection: As Revealed by Kim Dingle, Santa Monica Museum, Santa Monica, US

1995

From L.A. With Love, Galerie Praz-Delavallade, Paris, FR
I Love What I am Doing, Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago, US
Biblio Vertigo, Northern Illinois University Art Museum, Chicago, US
Meg Cranston, Chris Wilder, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydney, AU

1994

LOS ANGELES: Mind Quakes, Breda Fotographia‚ 94, Breda, NL
Sincerity and other Peccadilloes, Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles, CA
Arrested Childhood, Center for Contemporary Art, Miami, US
[cut] - Los Angeles - 90‘ernes, Kunstscene, Konstforeningen, Copenhagen, DK
I Myself & Me, The Interart Center, New York, US
Jenseits von Eden (East of Eden), Museum Schloss Mosigkau, Dessau, DE
The Media & Art Exhibition ‚94, Magic Media Company, Hürth, DE

1993

Sampler, Studio Guenzani, Milan, IT
Kontext Kunst, The Art of the 90‘s, Neue Galerie Graz, Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, AT
Paper Trails: The Eidectic Image, Contemporary American Works on Paper, Krannert Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, US
Into The Lapse, Karsten Schubert Gallery Ltd., London / Bruno Brunnet Fine Arts, Berlin
Influx. Gallery 400, The University of Illinois, Chicago, US
Space of Time: Contemporary Art from the Americas, America Society, New York Kontext Kunst, New York, US
Künstlerhaus Graz, Neue Galerie am Landsmuseum Joanneum, Graz, AT
Open ‚93: Emergency, Aperto, ‚93, Venice Biennial, Venice, IT

1992

Flux Attitudes, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, US
120 Minuten! Galerie Esther Schipper, Cologne, DE
Histories, Galerie Karin Schorm, Vienna, AT
Untitled, Galerie Max Hetzler, Cologne, DE
Songs of Innocence, Songs of Experience, Whitney Museum in Equitable Center, New York, US
Helter Skelter, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, US

1991

The Lick of the Eye, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Los Angeles, US
When Objects Dream and Talk in Their Sleep, Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, US
Tres Instalaciones, Galeria Sloane Racotta, Mexico City, MX
Körper und Körper, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, AT
Facts and Rumors, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, NL

1990

I to Eye, Cirrus Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Spirit of our Times, Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum, Santa Barbara, US
Meg Cranston, Sarah Seager, Thaddeus Strode, Galerie Schurr, Stuttgart, DE
CologneShow, Galerien Grunert, Hetzler, Sprüth a.o., Cologne, DE

1989

Hand Made: The Nature of the Object, Bard College, New York, US
Sculpture, Laurie Rubin Gallery, New York, US

1988

Girl‘s Night Out: Femininity and Masquerade, curated by John Baldessari, The New Museum of Art, New York and Jeffrey Linden Gallery, Los Angeles, US

1987

The New Who‘s Who, Hoffman Borman Gallery, Los Angeles, US

2001

1/2. Loughelton Gallery, New York, US
Breaking the Looking Glass (East), Holly Solomon Gallery, New York, US
Breaking the Looking Glass (West), Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, US

1986

TV Generations. Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, US

PERFORMANCES

2005

Riot at Pandora’s Box: The Secret Art History of Sunset
Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, US
Navajo of Bunker Hill, LACE, Los Angeles, US

2004

William Faulkner Museum, Patricia Fuare Gallery, Santa Monica, US

2003

Artist For President, United Divas, Los Angeles, US

2002

Woman Who Would Play Me If I paid Them, written by Meg Cranston, various performers, Goldman Tevis Gallery, Los Angeles, US

2000

Dental Physiognomy, performed by Meg Cranston, Venetia Kapernekas Fine Arts, New York, US
Long Story Short, text, sound and video performance, works written and performed by Meg Cranston, Marstell Theater, Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel, Munich, DE
Life Death Misc., music arranged by Meg Cranston, Villa Stuck, Munich, DE
Good Morning Evil Genius, text and image by Meg Cranston, Galerie Michael Kapinos, Berlin, DE

1999

Life Death Misc., music/sculpture, music arranged by Meg Cranston performed by various artists

1998

God Love the Tragic Artist, Meg Cranston on the Life of Marvin Gaye, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, NL

1997

God Love the Tragic Artist, Meg Cranston on the Life of Marvin Gaye, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, US

1995

God Love the Tragic Artist, Meg Cranston on the Life of Marvin Gaye, CBD Gallery, Sydney, AU

Press text 'Poodle Mix' (2014)

Michael Janssen Berlin is pleased to announce the exhibition Poodle Mix with new paintings by conceptual artist Meg Cranston.

The paintings on view have very common subjects in painting - bottles and dogs. The dogs featured in the paintings come from a video work Cranston did in 2008 called All the Dogs in the Pound for which she photographed all the dogs in Los Angeles animal shelters for the period of a month. It included a total of 750 dogs who needed new homes. "After living with humans and getting their photographs taken often dogs seem to understand how to pose for maximum impact", says Cranston. People mostly adopt dogs by looking at photos on the web, so for shelter dogs a good photo is a matter of life or death. The paintings are an extension of that work and reflect her interest in weaving together formal experimentation with recognizable cultural references, a strategy that she shares with many other artists from Los Angeles such as John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha among others.

The paintings all began as collages. Painters have often used collage as a starting point for painting; de Kooning for example used collage to develop composition. Some of the paintings feature several painting styles in one work, which also represents a form of collage.
Most of the paintings are 180 x 140 cm (70 x 55 in.); a size obtained by blowing up the collages 500%. Pop artists liked to satirize or ridicule objects by enlarging them. “I like the number. It seems so huge. Things really change when you blow them up“; says Cranston.

In her practice Meg Cranston investigates the intersections between individual and shared experience and how imagery and objects acquire meaning in our culture. By appropriating from diverse aesthetics such as color theory, design, fashion, and supermarket advertising, Cranston makes energetic collages, paintings, installations and sculptures by pairing found imagery with monochromatic abstract forms.

While often taking personal attributes or historical events as a starting point, Cranston’s work is equally concerned with the formal language of art and the role the artist plays in helping us see the world in new ways. Some of her most recent works borrow their colors from color forecasts for fashion and home design.

Cranston has recently collaborated with John Baldessari in two series of text paintings entitled Keep it Simple. Keep it Fresh. and Real Painting (for Aunt Cora) on view at Michael Janssen in Singapore (2013) and in Berlin (2014) respectively. Collaboration itself was a way for the two artists to achieve new solutions. For both exhibitions they allowed the planes of text and color to work simultaneously in order to achieve a new and unanticipated resonance and profundity. The idea behind it was to use old texts by Baldessari and update them by blending them within the context of color trends.

In her installation, Emerald City (2013) - that received the 2013 Artadia NADA New York Award - Cranston painted two walls of the gallery emerald green. A painting of Kate Middleton wearing an emerald pleated gown in November 2011 was installed on one of the painted walls. It seemd as if Cranston had taken the color emerald green as a readymade.
While the market economy used to rely on circulating goods through advertising, it is now more preoccupied with choreographing moods, gestures, and, inevitably, color. In December 2012, the Pantone Corporation held its semiannual secretive two-day conference, and announced emerald green as the color of 2013. Yet, Middleton, pictured in Cranston’s portrait, seems to have been the one to set the tone a year before Pantone determined the latest chromatic zeitgeist. As such, the readymade expanded from the thing itself to the context within which a product is circulated and interpreted— more specifically, from a royal figurehead to a globalized culture.

In Emerald City, Cranston questions what creative autonomy entails when a choice like an artist’s palette or the color one wears is not as autonomous as it seems. As Cranston mentions in an interview, she is not necessarily concerned with a critique of corporate-curated environment. Rather, it is the symbiotic relationship between individual identity and branding that is her subject matter.

 

Press text 'Real Painting (for Aunt Cora)' with John Baldessari (2013)

Galerie Michael Janssen is pleased to announce the exhibition Real Painting (for Aunt Cora) with a series of new works by American artists Meg Cranston and John Baldessari. Following the exhibition Keep it Simple. Keep it Fresh. at Michael Janssen Singapore in January 2013, Meg Cranston and John Baldessari collaborated in this new series to create paintings Baldessari formerly deemed impossible.

The text used in the paintings comes from a text written by Baldessari in 1961 to his Aunt Cora. It is an apology for not making the type of paintings his aunt would enjoy. In it, Baldessari states, he would like to make a painting of pink clouds, sage brush, washing on line, a bullfighter, sand dunes, a red farm house, a lady in gypsy costume, ducks by an old well, oaken buckets, a sad doggie, an eucalyptus tree with leaves that look real and highlights on raven-black hair. But, he said simply, "I can't".

The paintings have monochromatic backgrounds with gray text. The text is in Arial italic type hand painted. Meg Cranston determined the colors for the series drawing on her most recent work that reinvigorates color theory and investigates the business of color forecasting. She borrowed the colors determined by the Pantone Corporation for the women's fashion 2013 collections. “I have always been interested in why some colors seem to dominate at certain times. I have learned that the reason is that they are largely programmed – determined, if you will, by organized forces, namely the Pantone Corporation. Pantone releases a color forecast every season that most manufacturers follow to determine the colors of their products. I used the same colors because I wanted the paintings to be realistic – to reflect current conditions”, says Cranston.

Collaboration itself is a way for the two artists to achieve new solutions. For the exhibition they allowed the planes of text and color to work simultaneously in order to achieve a new and unanticipated resonance and profundity. The idea behind it was to use a 40-year-old text and update it by blending it within the context of color trends. “John and I are similar in the sense that we both like to work from a simple, almost neutral plan in the hopes of generating unexpected results. We both like to find ways to get beyond our own preferences and tastes so that we can generate something that we cannot anticipate. Paradoxically, for both of us, the lesson seems to be – the more neutral the plan the more surprising the result”, Cranston explains.

In her practice Cranston investigates the intersections between individual and shared experience and how imagery and objects acquire meaning in our culture. While oftentimes taking personal attributes or historical events as a jumping-off point, her work is ultimately concerned with the formal language of art and the role the artist plays in helping us see the world in new ways.

Since the 1960’s, the works of Baldessari have developed into one of the most pioneering oeuvres of contemporary art. By means of productive gaps between image and word, he focuses on the relationship between language and power. Visual jokes and plays on words are the means by which he disrupts the strict classification of sense and nonsense and sets in motion processes of critical thought with regard to society.