Artist Glenn Kaino Lands LA Bridge Commission

Glenn Kaino
Photo: Courtesy of Glenn Kaino Studio

Los Angeles artist Glenn Kaino has a big year ahead of him. On July 2 the City of Los Angeles named him recipient of a major commission for a public artwork as part of its initiative to replace the Sixth Street Viaduct, which connects the Boyle Heights neighborhood—where Kaino grew up—to the LA Arts District. In addition to that very large-scale public project, he’s preparing for solo shows at Kavi Gupta and Honor Fraser, and big installations in Washington, DC and New Orleans.

“I wanted to say that I am very excited and feel honored to have been selected for this project,” Kaino said at a press conference. “I have such a great deal of respect for the communities on both sides of the bridge and look forward towards making a project that resonates with them now and for future generations. My practice has been about using art and the techniques associated with art to make connections—between seemingly disparate materials, ideas, people, and even histories. I can’t think of a more profound challenge to me than to create something meaningful in a place that already means so much to me and everyone in Los Angeles.”

The Sixth Street Viaduct commission comes at a moment of intensified activity and heightened visibility for Kaino. In September he’ll open an ambitious exhibition at Kavi Gupta titled “Leviathan,” and install his sculpture Bridge (2013)—a freeze-frame like rendering of athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists in homage to the Black Panthers at the 1968 Olympic Games—in Washington, DC, as part of the public art exhibition “ALTER/ABOLISH/ADDRESS.”

In October he’ll unveil a massive new installation in New Orleans as part of Prospect.3, which we’re told will include military tanks and marine life. And, rounding out the Kaino calendar, he’ll have his second solo show with LA’s Honor Fraser in early 2015.

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