The Luckman Gallery is 3,600 square foot space located at the top of the Street of the Arts at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex. Since its inaugural exhibition in 1994, it has emerged as one of the most respected galleries in Los Angeles.






On View November 8 through December 20, 2014.

This exhibition surveys the works of late Los Angeles- based painter Robert Olsen (1969-2014), whose unique and nocturnal palette centered on the nightscape of Los Angeles.

See exhibition images here

Opening Reception: Saturday, November 8, 6-8 PM.

Admission to the Luckman Gallery is free of charge.


Julie Orser : Madeleine


Julie Orser Madeleine

On view Sep 13 through Oct 25, 2014.

Artist Walkthrough: Thursday, October 16, 7:30 PM

This exhibition features new photography and video works by Los Angeles-based artist Julie Orser that explores motifs of Alfred Hitchcock’s film Vertigo. Works in this exhibition examine representations of female characters (including the Hitchcock Blonde), the double, cinematic memory, narrative repetition, fear and desire, the possession of images, and the agency of music. 

See exhibition images here.

Admission to the Luckman Gallery is free of charge.


AFTER LIFE : MARCH 29 - MAY 24, 2014


The Luckman Gallery is pleased to present After Life, a group exhibition curated by Kristine Thompson.  The show features historical and contemporary artwork that examines death, mourning traditions, and memorials, and how our understanding of these ideas and practices has changed over time. The work on view demonstrates a shift from overt representations of death via the body to contemporary artists grappling with death in more fragmented ways, often where the body or loss is represented as a trace, via abstraction, or where emphasis is placed instead on memorial objects or sites of significance. The show includes work by Andrea Bowers, Ellen Carey, Alexandra Pacheco Garcia, Jason Lazarus, David Maisel, David Orr, Ira Sachs, Loren Schwerd, Sarah Sudhoff, and objects from the collection of UCR/California Museum of Photography.

The 19th and 20th-century photographs from the collection of UCR/CMP serve as an introduction and epilogue to the exhibition and keep the historical precedents in direct visual conversation with contemporary works. These photographs range from post-mortem daguerreotype portraits to instant prints from the 1970s and 80s of mourners posing alongside the deceased.

The installation of contemporary work is anchored by Ellen Carey’s monumental Mourning Wall, composed of 100 grey Polaroid negatives, made with a large-format Polaroid 20 X 24 camera. Created at the turn of the millennium, the group of negatives suggests a way of representing both collective and individual loss.

David Maisel’s Library of Dust photographs depict individual copper canisters, each containing the cremated remains of a patient who passed away at a state-run psychiatric hospital in Oregon and went unclaimed by family members. Water damage and temperature changes over time interact with the copper in ways that individualize each canister and raise questions about what happens to our bodies and how we might be remembered after we die.

Chicago-based artist Jason Lazarus utilizes cremated remains of the late artist Robert Heinecken to create a series of unique color photograms. By sprinkling remains onto the photographic paper and employing a range of color combinations and exposures in the darkroom, the resulting prints are simultaneously an act of photographic chance and homage to the late artist who was a pioneer of experimental photographic processes.

Alexandra Pacheco Garcia’s self portraits also utilize a photogram process—made by placing a piece of photographic paper over her face and exposing it to light. Outlines of a nose, lips, and chin emerge differently in each print, and formal relationships to death masks and graphite drawings are suggested as the artist attempts to performatively breathe life into the mortified photographic object.

Large-scale color photographs from Sarah Sudhoff’s At the Hour of Our Death project reveal swatches of bedding, carpet, and upholstery, marked by bodies that have passed away on those surfaces. The artist works with a trauma scene crew to gain permission to document these imprints before they are destroyed, drawing attention to traces of death that are typically rushed out of sight.

Loren Schwerd and David Orr ruminate on geographic sites of loss.  Schwerd’s Mourning Portrait is a series of memorials to the communities of New Orleans that were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Using human hair extensions that she found in her neighborhood after the hurricane, the artist weaves these into sculptural renderings of vacant houses in the Ninth Ward neighborhood. The works reference the 19th-century tradition of hairwork, in which family members and artisans would fashion the hair of the deceased into intricate jewelry and other objects as symbols of death and rebirth.

David Orr’s installation All That Is Solid Melts Into Air includes photographs of the skies above a site where someone has passed away. The photographs are then suspended on a panel from the ceiling. Corresponding survey markers, engraved with the person’s name, age, cause of death, and GPS coordinates, are embedded in concrete plinths on the floor below, creating a tension between visual and textual information.

Andrea Bowers and Ira Sachs present separate works that recognize the significant loss of lives due to AIDS-related causes. Sach’s 8-minute film Last Addressis an elegiac homage to a group of New York-based artists who died of AIDS between 1983 and 2007. It consists of footage of the exteriors of buildings—the last known physical addresses of these individuals. Bowers’ video Continual Maintenance and Mending documents Gert McMullin, a full-time seamstress who has cared for and mended the panels of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt since its inception. Like other projects by Bowers, this piece demonstrates how women’s craft and political activism are often intertwined.  


Kristine Thompson is an artist, educator, and independent curator. Her visual work addresses many of the ideas embodied in this exhibition, and has recently been exhibited at Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles, and the Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena. She worked for several years as a curator at UCR/California Museum of Photography, and she is currently Assistant Professor of Art at Louisiana State University.

On view: Mar 29 though May 24. 

Opening reception: Saturday, March 29, from 6-8pm.

Gallery hours: Monday through Thursday & Saturday, 12-5pm.

Admission to the Luckman Gallery is free of charge. 



The Luckman Gallery is pleased to present new work by Los Angeles-based artist Carlos Mollura in his first solo exhibition in nearly a decade.

For this exhibition Mollura will feature a new installation of industrial plastic inflatables that respond to and occupy the entire gallery space, a combination of both architecture and interventionist sculpture. 

Born in Argentina, Mollura's entrepreneurial father immigrated to the United States with his family to escape the dictatorship of Juan Peron and to seek prosperity. His father became an innovator in the waterbed industry and continues to hold numerous patents pertaining to waterbed technology and fabrication. Plastic fabrication has had an undeniable influence on Mollura's own vision as a sculptor and directly inspires this body of new work.

Mollura succinctly describes his new work as "Ancient Sumerians, punk rock, waterbed culture, capitalism and Apocalypse Now all cooked in a stew".  Commanding the main the space, Hierarchical Waterbed Ziggurat is an oversized inflatable transparent ziggurat-like monument that proposes parallels to ancient Mesopotamia. An early architectural phenomena, equivalent in grandeur to the ancient pyramids, the ziggurat became a sign of human enterprise and power. Further, the Assyrians, an ethnic group living amongst ziggurats, are credited for making the first waterbeds out of goat bladders during the Mesopotamian period. 

Another work, Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure, references Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) and a famously improvised line of dialogue by Marlon Brando's character Colonel Kurtz. Recounting the horrors he witnessed during one of his missions, Brando's Colonel Kurtz gives a soliloquy about the genius and monstrosity of an enemy who severed the arms off of all the children who were recently inoculated with the polo virus. Mollura comically embodies this horror in the form of  a heap of inflatable severed arms piled on the gallery floor.

See exhibition images here.

Carlos Mollura received his BFA from Otis/Parsons College of Art, Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; ACME, Los Angeles; L.A. Louver Gallery, Los Angeles; Sies + Hoke Galerie, Dusseldorf, Germany; and Institute for Contemporary Art, Vienna, Austria. Additionally, his work is included in numerous private and permanent collections, such as Creative Artist Agency (CCA), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).

Admission to the Luckman Gallery is free of charge. 

On view: Jan 18 through Mar 15. 

Opening Reception: Saturday, January 18, 5-7 pm



One painter, one sculptor, one video artist, one photographer... 
This recurring exhibition, Primer lll, focuses on promising artists who are part of Los Angeles’ vibrant art community, and provides a space for their work to receive more attention. One painter, one sculptor, one video artist, one photographer.

See exhibition images here.

Admission to the Luckman Gallery is free of charge.  

On view: Nov 9 through Dec 21.


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