November 20, 2010–February 20, 2011 – Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Steve Wolfe was born in Pisa, Italy in 1955 and lives and works in San Francisco, California. For the last twenty years, Wolfe has created objects and drawings of astounding craft and visual presence that investigate intersections among material culture, intellectual history, and personal and collective memory. Wolfe’s art represent objects of cultural mass dissemination—books and records. Rather than the ordinary depiction of books on canvas or another two-dimensional framing device, Wolfe’s painted objects employ the tradition of trompe l’oeil, the trick of the eye. Tattered books and worn album covers are meticulously produced to convey the mark of time and handling, and often literally fool the eye on first inspection. The tears, creases, and basic wear point to human contact and become metaphors of enlightenment and culture.

Indebted to Pop Art, Wolfe’s work manifests an updated approach to craft. and an almost erotic representation of the fact that one can fall in love with that which is ephemeral (ideas, music). His carefully considered subjects include reproductions of books by Gertude Stein, Pablo Picasso, Raymond Chandler, Frank O’Hara, Marcel Duchamp, and James Joyce, thus creating a portrait of the artist as a perpetual student.

This exhibition will focus on the artist’s works on paper, many of which combine aspects of drawing, collage and printmaking.

Museum Hours