Culture

Vegas newcomer Jason Adkins brings his work to Pop Up Art House

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Jason Adkins and Shannon McMackin, inside Pop Up Art House, renamed Vast Space Projects.
Photo: Sam Morris

Shannon Mc Mackin was on her way to Mexico to grow blackberries on a boyfriend’s organic farm when the relationship ended. Done with LA, she headed back to Henderson to be near her dad, and, needing something to do, turned an old strip-mall kickboxing studio into one of the most surprisingly impressive gallery spaces in the Valley. The Pop Up Art House, a vast white cube gallery, opened in May and is now housing its second exhibit: Jason Adkins’ solo show, Align and Prosper.

The details

Pop Up Art House
Through September 22
Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
730 W. Sunset Road, 323-240-2888

The show is a striking display of minimalism for an artist who began his career hating the movement. Three sculptures stand as voluminous fortresses made of stacked wood crates, painted solidly in one or two colors—school bus yellow, lavender and red and light blue and bronze—leaving space between for viewers to visually explore. The works are a result of an “aha!” moment, which came when Adkins was shipping art for a crating company and noticed that the 10-foot crate, a sinister entrapment “prison-cell” sort of thing, could be developed into an interesting work of art.

The large, blocky, structures (stacked Lincoln Log style) deviate from Adkins’ earlier crate-like wood works made of thin wood slats, which incited comparisons to Sol LeWitt. And rather than sanding down the reformatted crates to a high-gloss McCracken-style finish, Adkins preserves the history of material—wood extracted from industrial lots in Henderson—resulting in a gritty finish exposing naturally split crevices. Even splinters and a few industrial nails and staples remain, covered, like the rest of the structure, with acrylic house paint.

There’s nothing slick in these works by the Vegas newcomer, who recently relocated from LA. In the digital age, it’s a refreshing representation of brute labor and industrial style presented in a thoughtful, curious context, allowing viewers a chance to explore and marvel at its force, created through symmetry and discarded lumber. His two large-scale horizontally striped paintings—vibrantly colored and leaning against the wall—respond to the sculptures’ controlled brawn, making you want to bundle up the whole show and take it home.

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