Aili Schmeltz: A Future Perfect


May 11 - June 22, 2019

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, May 11 | 6-8 PM       

Edward Cella Art & Architecture is pleased to announce its debut exhibition featuring Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, CA based artist Aili Schmeltz. This exhibition follows her recent inclusion in the Joshua Treenial; an installation at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art; a summer residency at Scuola Internazionale de Grafica Venezia in Venice, Italy; and will be featured in the upcoming Pacific Coast edition of New American Paintings. Her structured paintings and sculptures in this exhibition show influences among such artists as Louise Nevelson, Hilma af Klint, and Donald Judd and the modernist architecture of John Lautner, Le Corbousier, Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra.

Schmeltz’s research based process integrates utopian ideologies into her paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Reflecting on Modernism and obsessively engaging with architectural forms; Schmeltz manipulates and reduces these ideas and objects to their simplest form. The exhibition centers on the sense of endless possibility with a penetrating gaze that challenges the modernists notion of a perfect future. Her fascination with the landscape fuels this critical approach that questions the political philosophies of the American West that created the artificial environments in which we now live.

Her ongoing project Object/Window/Both/Neither developed as she was renovating a homesteader cabin near Joshua Tree into an exhibition space and live in gallery called Outpost Projects. While painting the walls a stark white she noticed an optical effect of the surrounding landscape shifting forward spatially through the windows while the walls receded into background. This discovery has incited her experimentation into resulting works that reduce architectural framings to the flatness obtained by looking through them. Built using line and color, the paintings and sculptures intend to be seen as both objects and windows. Schmeltz's approach of a learn-by-innovation attitude asks us to see more, to look harder, firmly citing her into the history of female homesteaders, artists, and innovators who have changed how we see the world.

Aili Schmeltz
lives and works in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree, CA. She received her MFA from the University of Arizona and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute. Solo exhibitions include Espronceda Center for Art and Culture, Barcelona, Spain (2017), Grand Central Art Center, California State University Fullerton, CA (2013); Prescott College Art Gallery, Arizona (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson, Arizona (2011); Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha (2008). Group exhibitions include Friedman Benda Gallery, New York (2014); The Hoxton Gallery, London (2014); Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, California (2014); Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles (2013); Galeria La Miscelanea, Puebla, Mexico (2013); Zatoka Sztuki, Sopot, Poland (2012); Asihlquaiss Offspace, Zurich, Switzerland (2011); and Golden Parachutes Gallery, Berlin (2009). She is the recipient of awards such as the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia in 2015, the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Arts in 2013, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants, New York as well as the Creative Capacity Fund Grant of San Francisco in 2011, and the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 2009.