Ron English’s ‘NeoNature’ Opens in Los Angeles

All images courtesy of Corey Helford Gallery

Ron English has got a bone to pick with evolution. Or rather, that in advancement’s process of selection and rejection, only the ordinary seem to stubbornly win out. For his latest exhibition, NeoNature, hatching at the Corey Helford Gallery this Saturday, the pop surrealist will unveil a colossal 22-piece collection. The head trip of original works, in the making since 2014, examine the very (literal) art of evolution. According to English, the work “find[s] visual equivalencies and mirroring patterns of disparate animals and eons…mak[ing] the case for evolutionary alternatives, the random shifts of nature crossed with the unceasingly interventionist will of man, determined to kill and become his own Creator.” See, kids? Just in time for the holidays!

RON ENGLISH - NeoNature Exhibit - ‘Monarch Ship’ oil on canvas, 36 x 48

The only-from-the-mind-of-Ron-English series features sculptures, two dense environment installations, and detailed oil paintings of neo-natural creatures like the rhinocorn (“a real animal poached nearly to extinction for its magical horn”), as well as the zelephant and the monarch elephant. Each piece is a new, next-level rung in English’s articulation of his conceptualized views on the nature of unlimited change and evolution as “the flaw that propels civilization.”


“We are the new They,” says the artist in the show’s press release. “And we will materialize joy by thinking as a species. We have evolved to survive in times incongruous with nature, where instinct won’t save us. Our intellect is our fang.”

NeoNature, the POPagandist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in two years, is a trinity of multilayering—in artistic process, presentation, and materials utilized. Case in point: English painstakingly sculpted and crafted figures and set pieces to populate 3D environments, lit and photographed them, and then used those images as a starting point for the oil paintings in the show. Yep. Remember that the next time you cut-and-paste something and call it art.

RON-ENGLISH - NeoNature Exhibit - 'Poultry Rex Revolution' oil on canvas, 56 x 42

So, mark your calendars, Angelinos. NeoNature, the premiere exhibition in the new 12,000-square-foot digs of the recently relocated Corey Helford Gallery (571 South Anderson Street, Los Angeles) opens this Saturday, December 12, from 7 to 10 p.m. A DJ set by KCRW’s Marion Hodges and cowgirl barmaids doling out beer and wine included.

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