On the evening of September 22, Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles bustled with the creative energy of artists and aesthetes alike. They were headed in droves to Hostler Burrows gallery for the opening of MyungJin Kim’s solo exhibition “Hortus Talisman,” a dynamic display of the LA-based artist’s latest work in terracotta clay, presented with Ago Projects through October 27. Gallerygoers viewed the show over drinks and in between conversations, and a select group of art world guests were invited to continue the party into the night. In celebration of Kim, Cultured partnered with the two art spaces to host a special dinner at the home of Peter Dunham and Miguel Torres following the opening reception.
South Korea-born Kim has been living and working in LA since matriculating Seoul National University in 2002 with an MFA in ceramics. Her latest body of work on view in “Hortus Talisman” is a departure from her previous pieces, influenced by the botanical landscape of the city. Instead of her usual white porcelain, the artist sculpted organically shaped bas-relief terracotta clay vessels, drawing upon the Korean cultural practice of using symbolic art as talisman for protection within the home. In much of her work, Kim finds influences from both the East and West, infusing each piece with her cultural history and current environment.
Guests were encouraged to wander the gallery space, engaging with Kim’s latest works and awing over her largest ones to date: two pieces towering over six feet tall. Casa Dragones made sure all who wanted had a cocktail in hand: on offer was Dragones Rocks—Casa Dragones Blanco served over a 2-inch signature ice cube and a grapefruit twist. Following the reception, art world insiders including Lizzie Grover and Sean Rad, Joel Lubin, Kim DeJesus, Jordana Wechiel, Adrienne Arieff, Allegra Hicks, Oliver Furth, Sean Yashar, Jamie Bush, Allegra Pessenti, and Brooke Kantor joined a small dinner in celebration of Kim, hosted by Juliet Burrows and Kim Hostler, founders of Hostler Burrows; Sarah Harrelson, founder and editor-in-chief of Cultured; and Rudy Weissenberg and Rodman Primack, founders of Ago Projects. At the intimate affair, guests enjoyed a farm-to-table meal paired with Casa Dragones Joven tequila and prepared by Primack himself with produce from a local farmers’ market.
The personal care put into menu and its cooking was just another reminder of the sense of creative community present throughout the evening.