Kyla Hansen’s ‘The End’ provides Kleven Contemporary with a fitting final chapter


That Kyla Hansen’s solo show at the soon-to-be closed Kleven Contemporary is titled The End and Sh*t seems so serendipitous that it couldn’t be coincidental. But this fat smack of kismet is indeed just that: a fortuitously titled exhibit that ushers out the world as we know it (via Hansen’s work) and provides a punchy farewell for one of the best galleries in town.

The gallery closure is bittersweet in that it will allow Jennifer Kleven the time and money she needs to focus on her own art. That it ends with such a bang, particularly after its previous exhibit of works by John Bissonette, is a finale that reminds us of the great shows held there—solo shows intended to highlight the work Kleven saw her friends producing, including Hansen, who received her BFA at UNLV before heading off to Claremont Graduate University.

The Details

The End and Sh*t
Opening reception February 22, 6-9 p.m.
Through March 30. Kleven Contemporary, Emergency Arts, 501-9093.

The End is a fantastic exhibit that sweeps together Wild West mythology, the feared end times and the detritus we’ve cast aside, piling it all nicely into contemporary sculptural works to consider and behold. Appearing as distant future artifacts, Hansen’s works almost don’t need this, or any, narrative to create oohs and aahs. That’s the icing on the cake for object lovers who should appreciate a blue Thermos sliced cleanly in half to reveal a synthetic geode sparkling from within or the crude exterior of a geode that shows its dazzling innards on one side and a car’s brake light on the other.

Hansen’s “stage props” of the “real and fake” include a whimsy that, designed to or not, mirrors superficial cultural attitudes toward ideas and realities that were once approached more gravely. But maybe that’s also what happens when the world, and all of human arrogance, is wiped clean, leaving everyone to build anew, clutching their sacred possessions in a post-apocalyptic American West.

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