Karin Lanzoni | Recent Paintings | Recent Drawings | CV | Essay

The Room Itself Was Always As It Was | Oil on wood panel | 60" x 24" | 2016

It's A Beachy Smell | Oil on wood panel | 12" x 12" | 2014

It's A Beachy Smell | Detail | Oil on wood panel | 12" x 12" | 2014

Everywhere In The Little World | Oil on wood panel | 12" x 12" | 2015

Everywhere In The Little World | Detail | Oil on Wood Panel | 12" x 12" | 2015

Uncertain, Wary, But Unstoppable Relief | Oil on Wood Panel | 8" x 8" | 2014

Golden Cup (Mushroom series) | Oil on Wood Panel | 8" x 8" | 2014

Some Far Away Sound | Oil on Wood Panel | 6"x 6" | 2014

Somehow Attracted To The Glow | Oil on Wood Panel | 8"x 8" | 2014

Nooks And Crannies | Oil on Wood Panel | 8"x 8" | 2014

A Bit Of Warmth| Oil on Wood Panel | 8" x 8" | 2014

Inner Teenage Voice | Oil on Wood Panel | 8"x 8" | 2014

Work, Dust, Excitement | Oil on Wood Panel | 12"x12" | 2014

Dried Gulch | Oil on Wood Panel | 8"x 8" | 2014

Foggy Sea | Oil on Wood Panel | 8"x18" | 2014

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Drawing from: How Painting Works | Pen & ink, paint collage printed an artist's book | 8"x 12" | 2016

Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.



1995 MFA California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA

1988  Fifth Years Honors Certificate. School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

1987 Diploma. School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

1986 BFA Studio Art and BA. Anthropology, Tufts University, Medford, MA



2012 CETL Grant from CSULA

2011 Nancy Graves Foundation Grant

2010 Visiting Artist, California State University, Los Angeles, CA

1994 Liberace Foundation Scholarship, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, Ca.

1993 California Institute of the Arts, Scholarship, CalArts, Valencia, Ca.

1988 Traveling Scholarship Recipient, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.



2016   How Painting Works, artist’s book release, Blue Circle Projects, Los Angeles, CA

2014 Open Studio: Sous Chef, Blue Circle Projects, Los Angeles, CA

2002 Spread, London Street Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1995  Synthetic Logic, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA

1994 Misplaced Items, CalArts at Lockheed, Valencia, CA

1994 Vernacular CalArts at Lockheed, Valencia, CA

1991 Domestic Mapping, 88 Room, Allston, MA



2015 Recent Works,  Fine Arts Gallery, Cal State L.A

2014 New Paintings, Blue Circle Projects, LA, CA

2014 Gallery Tally, ForYourArt, LA, CA

2013 Friends as Fiends (paintings) published in Asian American Literary Review, Irvine, CA.

2011 Color, Blue Circle Projects, LA, CA

2011 Chain letter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2010 Biennial Faculty Exhibition, Fine Arts Gallery, CSULA, CA

2010 Ready Made Color, Luckman Gallery, CA

2008 Eagle Rock Sixth Annual Art Auction, Los Angeles, CA

2007  Route 66, Eagle Rock Art Center, Los Angeles, CA

2004  Multiples Show, Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2004 Please, Please Yourself.  Atelier Cardenas Bellanger, Paris, France

2001  Skin Deep, Cerritos College, Los Angeles, CA

2000 For Example, Acuna-Hanson, Los Angeles, CA

2000 Frequent Flyer, Artist Space, New York City, NY

2000 Irrégulomadaire, 5/ Printemps, Paris, France

2000 Group show @ command N in SCAI the Bathhouse Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

1999 Frequent Flyer, Barnsdall Art Park, Los Angeles, CA

1999 Salt, Fresno Art Gallery, Fresno, CA

1999  One Night Stand, Park Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

1999 Real Deal, Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, CA

1998 Photo Show, George's, Los Angeles, CA

1998 One Night Stand, Farmer's Daughter Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

1998 Tweeners, Spanish Kitchen, Los Angeles, CA

1998 Mid-Sized Media, Ubermain Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1997 Hotel California, Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington, TX

1997 Hotel California, The Bridge Center for Contemporary Art, El Paso, TX

1997 Full Moon Gallery, FAR, Los Angeles, CA

1996 EXHIBITION SPACE, artists' book, Los Angeles, CA

1995 LACE ANNUALE 1995, at Los Angeles Contemporary Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1995 225 Days Follow, Long Island City, NY

1994 TEMPORARY, Temporary Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA

1993 National Showcase Exhibition, Alternative Museum, New York City,

1992 Hey! Artist Foundation, Boston, MA

1991 A Sense of Place, Fort Point Gallery. Boston, MA

1991 Four Questions, 88 Room, Allston, MA

1990 Think Tank, 88 Room Allston, MA

1989 Open Studios Fort Point, Boston, MA

1988 Museum School Annual Film Show, Remis Auditorium, MFA, Boston, MA

1988 Traveling Scholars



• Catalog essay for Joan Perlman and Lloyd Hamrol Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), 2016

• Co-Curated Welcome!  an exhibition at Fine Arts Gallery, CSULA 2016

• Curated Idea Machine: The Sketchbook at CSULA 2015

• Mash-up Marginalia and the Sea of Monsters, catalog essay for Dirk Hager’s exhibition at Earl & Virginia Green Art Gallery,  BIOLA University, Spring 2015

• Oversaw the production and contributed an essay in Intransigent Ticket: Artist as a Filter catalog, published in Vienna, 2014

• Produced the first Graduate Thesis Exhibitions Catalog for CSULA, 2013

• Published a featured exhibition review: MOLTEN MULTI-COLORED OOBLECK: Ken Price Sculptures in Art Papers, March-April Issue, 2013

• Curated Mechanical Alphabets, CSULA Fine Arts Gallery, Feb. 11 – March 2, 2013

• Co-Curated Staring Intently at a Sound, the Studio Practice of Mac McClain, CSULA Fine Arts Gallery, Oct. 1-Oct. 29, 2012

• Curated Word is… CSULA Fine Arts Gallery, Oct. 1-Oct. 29, 2011

• Practicum Exhibition: Blue: an Idiosyncratic History of a Color, Part 1 June-February 2011

• Co-curated, The Page, an Interactive Exhibition of Artists’ books. Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University (Feb-Mar 2010) ; Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Planning in May, 2010

• Ready Made Color, essay and catalog of curated exhibition, Luckman Gallery, CSULA, 2010

• Malvina Hoffman Research Lab, Getty Research Institute, a 2 day intensive workshop, 2009

• Visiting Artist, Advanced Sculpture class, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1991

• Periscopes.org, Director of an on-line arts project, co-curated and published 8 pairs of artists on the web, 1999-2005

• Contributing Editor of X-tra magazine, a Los Angeles non-profit Art Magazine, 2003-2008

• Editor of X-tra Magazine, 2000-2003

• Curated artists for the Sketchbook Issue, X-tra magazine, Vol. 4., Issue 4, 2002

• Co-curated: "One Night Book Store", Park Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, 1999

• Co-curated: EXHIBITION SPACE, artists' books, Los Angeles, CA, 1996

• Co-curated: "Landscapes", L shaped Gallery, CalArts, Los Angeles, CA, 1995

• Co-curated: “Testimonials for the Ryan White Care Act,” exhibition in the West Wing, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1991

• Co-curated: "December 1st: Artists Respond to the AIDS Crisis,” exhibition in Foster Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1991



Hapaham, “Reclaiming Having a Heritage” Harvey Mudd College’s Asian American Mixed Race Experience Class (blog), Oct. 18, 2013

Zhengyao, Ximena, “The Page” in ArTech Magazine, Shanghai, China, 2011

Pence, Elizabeth, “Karin Lanzoni” ARTWEEK, Vol. 31, No.3, March 2002

Miles, Chris  “The Deal with the Real” catalog, Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman University, Orange, LA,  99

Kutner, Janet “Transience-themed exhibit is long on creativity, talent,” Arlington Morning News, 5/12/97

Kutner, Janet “Art of the Moment” The Dallas Morning News, May 11, 1997

Tyson, Janet "Arlington Museum show of West Coast Artists plays it cool,” Star-Telegram, April 22, 1997.

Kandel, Susan “Domesticated Identity” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 11, 1996

Temin, Christine. “No Theme, but Plenty of Talent in ‘Hey!’ Exhibit” Boston Globe, June 17, 1992: 42.

Unger, Miles. “A Sense of Place” Art New England, Feb.-Mar. 1992: 54.



• Various lecture and presentations in the Fine Arts Gallery, 2009-2016

• Lecture on Abstract Painting, Tim Ebner’s class at CSULA, 2014 & 2015

• Lecture on Artist’s Books, Upper Level Photography Class for Bia Gayotto at CSULA, 2012

• Lecture on “The Page” at the Santa Ana Art Forum, Santa Ana College, Orange, 2010

• AAUP (American Association of University Presses) conference: presented 30 artists books for 120 conference attendees, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 2006

• Talk on Accessing Artists' Books, at the Artist's Book Symposium held at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 2005

• Guest Lecturer, History of 20Th Century Art, Cerritos College, Los Angeles, CA, 2001

• Guest Lecturer, USC, Digital Video Course, Los Angeles, CA, 2001

• Guest Lecturer, Chaffey College, Photoshop and Illustrator Course, Rancho Cucamonga, CA, 2000

• Gallery Talk on Richard Artschwager’s Work, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1992



CAA since 1997




Martha Rosler’s Semiotics of the Kitchen casts her as a host of a fictitious cooking program in which she rolls out various kitchen utensils, based on their alphabetic position, and demonstrates their use.  A is for Apron, B is for Bowl and so on, you get the idea.  At first the demonstration seems fairly straightforward, if not mundane, and even Martha seems a little bored.  As she goes on though the presentation she seems to go off-script and the show begins to merge into comedy.  She starts to violently shake some of the tools around in a threatening manner and this seems very out of place.  This goes on and by the end, U through Z, she doesn’t even present any kitchen utensils and simply makes the letters with her arms.  As funny as the video is, below the surface are the undercurrents of a displaced frustration that women of the time were feeling with the focus of much of their cultural production being confined to places like the kitchen.  Fast forward 40 plus years and the work of Karin Lanzoni harnesses some of those same kitchen tools to make work that is odd, goofy, smart, and a whole lot less instructive.  Her paintings acknowledge a relationship to earlier feminist art production, yet they also address current issues of abstract painting and its relevancy with a public that has gone far beyond concerns of a woman’s place is in the kitchen.  Her paintings don’t so much examine the cultural freedom of women but rather the freedom of painting itself.


Karin Lanzoni’s painting practice has developed a kit of techniques that are more akin to work in the kitchen than the studio.  Her oil paintings look like eatable treats from a bakery where the decorators wake up and watch Teletubbies, eat bowls of Lucky Charms, and listen to Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds before they commence work.  The paintings are composed of built up surfaces and layers that are a result of several techniques.  The base layer uses an orthodox palette knife to spread and blend together colors into a taffy-like consistency.  The subsequent layers are made with conventional oil paint and frozen oil sticks, interfacing with a variety of kitchen tools including cheese graters, micro-planers, spatulas, grinders, forks, spoons and other objects della cucina to provide different takes on the material articulation of oil paint.  A base of paint undulates up and down in no programmatic way and this layer is covered with tiny shavings of color that have fallen onto it like snow.  Once it is all put together, the end result is a small painting with a sculptural surface composed of color forms and details.  It looks unlike anything you’ve seen before and can best be described as naturally grown miniature landscapes unmolested by a human hand.  Up close this makes some visual sense, but seen from a distance it’s as if you’re looking at a different painting altogether.  Your eyes feel like an auto focus camera lens trying, and failing, to lock on to something hard-edged or sharp.  Perhaps the oddest thing about the work is that when you look at the painting you are not looking at what you would call an image, it’s more like a surface.  There is nothing gestural, dramatic, or indexical of human touch.  This is like painting as a noun, not a verb.


What’s apparent in the production of these works is the shift from the fussy lessons of earlier feminist works to a kind of art where the gender of the artist isn’t necessarily relevant to the intellectual direction it takes.  The relief here is that Karin Lanzoni, a female artist, can take up kitchen utensils to make paintings and not necessarily kick start a graduate seminar on semiotics.  Kitchen utensils are used here not to make political statements but simply to generate new elements of a greater painting language and explore the meaning of their expression. This is not to say that her work is devoid of philosophical inquiry.  The paintings may seem lite and fluffy on the surface, but in addition to the deep seated roots of her artistic ancestry, she poses fundamental questions about what painting is, what human mark making is, and what non-figurative communication is in the twenty-first century.  She makes little paintings about a big picture.


An interesting consideration arises about the relevance of abstract painting in a time where the public feeds upon languages populated with pictograms that express every human emotion imaginable.  Given the immediacy of this kind of infantile communication, how do abstract painters, let alone figurative painters, escape conventional dialogs with a viewing public that seems to have lost interest in painting as a form of metaphoric conversation?  Ms. Lanzoni’s work marks the beginning of something that is afoot in the evolution of Abstract painting.  Her work strives to defy the known world, the world of direct injection literacy and communication, and starts pushing the boundaries of visual language in the opposite direction, toward a kind of ambiguity of familiarity.  Her work resists casual consumption and demands a little more scrutiny.  Not only are the philosophical and ideological agendas of her work unclear, even the practical side of how she made the work is not readily available.  The aforementioned kitchen tools she used have created very hard to read indexes of gesture, and turns what is very gestural and hand made into something that looks like it could have grown on the side of a hallucinogenic mushroom.  Her work offers a distinct resistance to the kind of consumptive visual huffing that viewers are accustomed to at commercial galleries and museums.  Because her work doesn’t clearly offer you some “thing”, it begins to call into question what exactly is it that you are asking for.  Without a clear answer, her paintings represent a kind of painting that is unencumbered and free.



Jack Viney

January, 2016