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Looking West  

December 17, 2022 - March 1, 2023

Inviting artists to define the future of art in California. We opened our doors as a blank_space.

Looking West is the _Santa Monica Art Museum_’s first exhibition at its new location at 1219 Third Street. We opened our doors with blank walls as a blank_ space on December 17, 2022, and invited artists to begin using the space immediately. Over the course of a month, exciting regional artists helped us define “What is an art museum?” and who we want to be by using our 7,000 sq/ft space to exhibit their work and hold conversations.


Instead of the director and chief curator defining what the _Santa Monica Art Museum_ is, we wanted to give some of the best artists working around Los Angeles and greater California the opportunity to tell us what they think the museum should be. These artists were invited to exhibit and do whatever they would like, therefore showing us what you think the museum should be. 


Looking West, curated and titled by Tom Venditti, has now evolved to include more artists and deepen these conversations, featuring a diverse array of work from both emerging and established regional artists. The exhibition is on view now and throughout Frieze Week Los Angeles. 


These artists include: renowned British-American artist Russell Young, presenting selections of silk screen paintings from his iconic series WEST; Gretchen Andrew’s mixed media Vision Boards; Joachim Castañeda’s assemblage made from unconventional materials; Casey Baden’s mixed-media tapestries and weavings; Daniel Sackheim’s film noir-inspired street photography; and Lindsey Price’s surreal collage paintings. Other artists include: Dhiren Dasu, Feldsott, Brett Foraker, Jessica Goehring, Bob Landström, Tom Pazderka, Max Rippon, Nathan See, Philip Vaughan, Tatiana Wills, and Jody Zellen. 


Together, the artists in Looking West add an evolving and important regional voice to the conversation about contemporary art in California through a variety of thematic explorations. 

Balanced Objects

Gretchen Andrew | Casey Baden | Joachim Castañeda | Dhiren Dasu|Feldsott| Brett Foraker| Jessica Goehring | Bob Landström | Ema McKie | Tom Pazderka | Lindsey Price | Max Rippon | Nathan See | Daniel Sackheim | Philip Vaughan | Sammie Veeler | Tatiana Wills| Russell Young | Jody Zellen

Gretchen Andrew and Aubrie Wienholt introduce Looking West by exploring What Is An Art Museum? and the future of _SMAM_

Debuting during Frieze Week Los Angeles, guests will be led through artworks by Gretchen Andrew to introduce _SMAM_, take visitors on a journey from the museum’s experimental origins, and inspire the public’s creative participation in defining the museum’s future. Further exploring the question of “What is an art museum?” Gretchen’s work is designed to immerse viewers in the world of her Vision Boards in a genre-bending presentation of creative enterprise and blurred cultural production.

More about the artists in Looking West

Gretchen Andrew

Curated by Gretchen

Gretchen Andrew is an interdisciplinary artist who became known for her vision boards and associated performative internet manipulations of art world institutions like Frieze Los Angeles, The Whitney Biennial, The Turner Prize, and The Cover of Artforum. She trained in London with the artist Billy Childish and has exhibited internationally. She is currently the artist in residence at the National Gallery X London.

Casey Baden

What we love about Casey Baden's Work:

Unique way of bringing figuration and textiles and working with handmade and industrial materials with equal delicacy. 

Casey Baden is an interdisciplinary artist working primarily between painting, textiles, and installation. She was born and raised in Houston, TX, and completed her BFA at New York University, and her MFA at California Institute of the Arts.

Joachim Castañeda

What we love about Joachim Castañeda's work:

Bold negative spaces extend and continue Robert Rauschenberg's tradition. Unlikely materials are perfectly harmonized. 

Joachim Castañeda is a California born, multidisciplinary artist. He studied fine art at SFSU, and later spent time in Spain where he studied at the University of Barcelona. 

Dhiren Dasu

What we love about Dhiren Dasu's work:

Themes of colonialism and surveillance are literally masked behind anthropomorphic depictions of spaces transformed by collage and augmented reality.  

Dhiren Dasu, under his moniker Shapeshifter7, has been making art since 1996. He works in photography, collage, film, animation, drawing, poetry and music. He was a contributor to the XR panel for The Art Newspaper and reviewed VR, AR and immersive digital fine arts.



What we love about Feldsott's Work:
Raw, Neo-expressionist paintings that unveils the inner architecture of archetype and human behavior. 

Feldsott is a painter and sculptor who has been creating art for over five decades. He attended the California College of the Arts at the age of seventeen, becoming the first student to earn an MFA without an undergraduate degree. He has exhibited at SFMOMA, Bolinas Museum, Hyde Park Art Center, Minnesota Art Museum, and many art galleries around the United States.


Brett Foraker

What we love about Brett Foraker's Work:
Abstract photography that takes a painterly approach to simulating modern life and technology.


Jessica Goehring

Brett Foraker is an award-winning photographer and commercial director whose photographic work focuses on gesture-based forms of image making and abstraction. 

What we love about Jessica Goehring's Work:

Kinetic integration and laying of materials spur a new consideration of painting in the digital age. 

Jessica Goehring is a Los Angeles-based artist who uses digital tools and AI to formulate her pieces that are kinetic in nature. Drawing from the Light & Space Movement, Goehring merges digital with analog creating holographic works that activate the space they are in. 

Bob Landström

What we love about Bob Landström's work:

Deeply earthy, hand-made materials come together to create playful worlds looming between figuration and abstraction.

Bob Landström is an artist who primarily works with crushed, pigmented volcanic rock. Landström studied fine art at Carnegie-Mellon University, and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts. His work has exhibited extensively and can be found in public, private, and corporate collections around the world. 

Ema Mckie

What we love about Ema McKie's work:

Bold use of space and flattened textures provoke a playful engagement with forms skillfully executed. 

Ema Mckie is a Los Angeles-based abstract artist known for their bold colors and composition-based work. Mckie has exhibited work in LA, NYC and the UK.

Tom Pazderka

What we love about Tom Pazderka's work:

Ash combined with oil paint that interrogates ideology, cultural mythos, and the natural world. 

Tom Pazderka is a painter, installation artist and writer whose work interrogates ideology and our desire to escape it, the built and natural worlds, cultural mythos and a society perpetually on the precipice. He holds an MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he was a Regents Fellow and Artist in Residence. 

Lindsey Price

What we love about Lindsey Price's Work:

Seemless aesthetics between her notable NFTs and painted works bring the viewer into worlds that feel both complete and endless. 

Lindsey Price is an artist and designer, whose current artistic practice concentrates on collage, design, and animation. She received her BFA in Photography and Digital Media from California Institute of the Arts. 

Max Rippon

What we love about Max Rippon's work:

Virtuosic painting paired with a one of today's most interesting social media performance projects this work comments on imperative topics related to news while being painted in a timeless fashion. 

Max Rippon is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores the impact and nuances of textual communication through language, forms, and symbols. He founded the Artist News Network in January 2020.

Nathan See

What we love about Nathan See's work:

Decadence and strangeness make the the viewer feels as if they've walked in on a mystery they are already part of and possibly implicated in. 

Nathan See has exhibited his work in a number of notable shows, including "Suspended, Unsited" at Foyer-LA, which was named a must-see by Artforum, and at the Spring/Break Art Fair LA. See received his BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and was enrolled in the master's degree program at Hunter College in New York.

Daniel Sackheim

What we love about Daniel Sackheim's Work:

Stylish street photography inspired by a decorated career in television and passion for film noir and the ambiguity of time. 

Daniel Sackheim is an Emmy Award-winning film and television director and producer, whose photographic body of work brings together his cinematic sensibilities inspired by the nature of nostalgia, film noir, and street photography.

Philip Vaughan

What we love about Philip Vaughan's work:

Presented in neons and paintings, as playful as they often are intimidating, these works make you want to get close while looking dangerously satisfying.  L'appel du vide in the form of lines. 

Brought up between two countries, Philip Vaughan was born in France to English parents, and eventually relocated to Los Angeles where he lives and works today. His body of work is diverse, ranging from sculpture to paintings to public art commissions.

Sammie Veeler

What we love about Sammie Veeler's work:

Blurring and crossing faulse dicotomies in both physical/digital and cultural expectations of existing and future narratives.

Sammie Veeler is a Los Angeles-based artist and curator whose work examines the spiritual power of personal and collective digital archives through virtual worlding, hybrid sculpture, and visual poetry. As founding director of New Art City virtual art space, she facilitates virtual curation with individual artists, collectives, and institutions. 

Tatiana Wills

What we love about Tatiana Wills' Work:

Photography that turns portraiture into a collaborative endeavor, revealing the artists behind the art they create.

Tatiana Wills is a Los Angeles-based artist whose current photographic work highlights the personalities of other interdisciplinary creatives. She has photographed the likes of Shepard Fairey, Mister Cartoon, Lucinda Childs, Kyle Abraham, and many others. 

Russell Young

What we love about Russell Young's work:

Silk screen paintings imbued with physicality and form a timeless examination of cultural icons, the mythology of the “Wild West,” and the souring of the American Dream. 

Jody Zellen

Russell Young is a British-American artist best known for his silk screen paintings that have exhibited internationally in numerous galleries and museums. His work is included in many prominent private and institutional collections, including The Getty Collection in Los Angeles and The White House Collection in Washington, D.C. His works have crossed the auction block at all of the world's major auction houses, including Sotheby's, Christie's, and Phillips. 

What we love about Jody Zellen's work:

Joyful and curious in its forms and formalism, her energetic practice spans mediums with a bouncing enthusiasm. 

Jody Zellen is a Los Angeles-based interdisciplinary artist who makes interactive installations, app art, net art, drawings, paintings, photographs, public art, and artists’ books. Zellen received a BA from Wesleyan University, a MFA from CalArts, and a MPS from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. 

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