Art Critic Mat Gleason Launches Coagula Curatorial Art Gallery

  • LOS ANGELES, California
  • /
  • April 02, 2012

  • Email
Eric Minh Swenson

Art Critic Mat Gleason Marks 20th Anniversary of Coagula Art Journal with the Launch of Coagula Curatorial Gallery on April 21

 Debut Show Features Works by Tim Youd with Photographs of Artist Josef Beuys by Michael Montfort

Mat Gleason, the visionary founder and publisher of Los Angeles’ first underground journal for art criticism, is putting his money where his mouth is and marking the Journal’s 20th Anniversary, with the launch of Coagula Curatorial.  The new gallery will open with two shows:  Coney Island of the Mind - A solo show of works by Tim Youd and Beuys in the Basement - An exhibition of Michael Montfort’s photographs of artist Josef Beuys.  Coagula Curatorial opens on Saturday, April 21.


Curatorial Slant

With a focus on meticulously curated shows Coagula Curatorial will showcase  Gleason’s picks for must-see works by the world’s rising art stars paired with works by established artists.  From the eyes of this consummate critic, Coagula Curatorial will present quarterly shows highlighting artists to watch and pieces to collect. 


“Coagula Curatorial has been in the works for a number of years.  There has always been a real void between the artwork on view and the kind of talent that exists.  If the galleries and museums are not going to show good art and curate great shows, somebody has to,” states Gleason.

Known for his ability to spot rising talent, Gleason’s critiques for Coagula Art Journal have consistently spotted art trends, art movements and emerging individual artists on a national scale.

The New Business Model

Walking a fine line between commercial gallery and non-profit art space, Coagula Curatorial will specialize in combining emerging artists with the great artists of today.  Just as Coagula Art Journal has called many an art world tradition into question, Coagula Curatorial will challenge younger artists to press beyond conventional training and encourage new artists to work outside-the-box. 

Michael Montfort Proof Sheet selection - Josef Beuys Press Conference, 1969
Coagula Curatorial

With a goal to both educate and enlighten novice collectors and meet the needs of the serious collector, Coagula Curatorial will provide a range of works in two price tiers:  under $1,000 and over $10,000.  This model aligns with Mat Gleason’s vision to showcase the future and present state of art in America.

Unlike traditional galleries, Coagula Curatorial will not represent specific artists.  A true art space, the gallery will feature a series of large-scale exhibitions designed to meet a need in the art community to highlight impactful works.

Coagula Curatorial will also place an emphasis on strong art fair presence beginning with the upcoming SF ARTMRKT in May.

The Return of Chinatown & Historic Chung King Road

Chung King Road, the trailblazing row of galleries in Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown is on the verge of a renaissance.  Coagula Curatorial is on the forefront of the revival of this iconic district, which some describe as a displaced Westside arts faction — hip, edgy and young. And while the art is breaking boundaries, the galleries are still paying tribute to the culture of Chinatown, keeping the original storefronts and feel of this quaint street.

The Inaugural Exhibition:  Tim Youd  & Michael Montfort

Coney Island of the Mind is a solo show featuring more than 100 paintings, drawings & assemblage pieces by artist Tim Youd. This exhibit combines the artist’s love of literature with his lust for the flesh, wistfully merging sculpted assemblages of cerebral observations of great writers on the subject of the female anatomy with large expressionist drawings of the same subject. The installation overwhelms in an amusement park-like madness of the impossibility of the male gaze to ever fully comprehend the feminine.  Viewers are left as in awe of the biological source of life as they are titillated by the artist’s raw yet obsessive forays outside the bounds of traditional figurative subject matter and presentation.

Beuys In the Basement is an exhibition of 30 never before seen photographs of artist Josef Beuys taken in the 1960s by the late German émigré photographer Michael Montfort.  Most noted for his collaborations with the poet Charles Bukowski, Montfort was a midcentury documenter of rogue creative genius on two continents, following and photographing eccentric greats as diverse as actor Klaus Kinski, writer William S. Burroughs and singer/poet Jim Morrison.

Coagula Curatorial is located at 977 Chung King Road, Los Angeles CA 90012.   The Gallery launches with two exhibitions, Coney Island of the Mind & Beuys in the Basement on Saturday April 21 from 7pm – 10pm. Both shows run through June 3, 2012.  Gallery hours are:  Wednesday thru Saturday from 12pm – 5pm and by appointment.  For more info, please visit 

About Coagula Art Journal

Coagula Art Journal was first published in April 1992, brainchild of Los Angeles writer Mat Gleason. The bimonthly print journal quickly gained notoriety as a no-holds critique of contemporary art and the art world. Championing Los Angeles and mocking New York when the notion of the Big Apple playing second fiddle to “LaLa Land” was considered delusional.  With more than 100 published issues, it is the autonomous companion to the rise of the Los Angeles art scene.

About Mat Gleason

In 1992 Mat Gleason founded and continues to publish Coagula Art Journal, described as the “National Enquirer of the Art World” by the New York Observer.  The New York Times described Mat Gleason as a famously provocative Los Angeles art critic, while the L.A. Weekly once referred to him as a cranky, self-exiled gossipmonger. A consummate critic, he has written for numerous publications, from Modern Painters to the Lollapalooza Concert Tour’s Art Program. The early issues of Coagula were anthologized in the book MOST ART SUCKS (Smart Art Press, 1998).  In his 1999 review of the book, David Bowie raved: “Gleason clobbers the closed door snobbishness that has increasingly distanced the public from the rarefied air of the art world.” Mat Gleason is a regular guest on the Ovation TV Network and has appeared alongside artists John Baldessari, Richard Tuttle, and Agnes Martin in the art world documentary Art City: Simplicity.  Gleason is a featured contributor to the Huffington Post’s Arts pagesince its 2012 debut.

  • Email
Spencer Helfen Fine Arts - Special Exhibition

ARTFIXdaily Artwire