DANICA PHELPS: Many Drops Fill a Bucket

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

Aug. 4, 2024 - Sep. 1, 2018

2685 S La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, 90034
PHONE 310-838-6000



August 4 – September 1, 2018
Artist Reception: Saturday, August 4th, 5-8 PM

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce DANICA PHELPS: Many Drops Fill a Bucket, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles since 2011, to be presented from August 4 through September 1, 2018. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, August 4th, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

The drawings and sculptures that Danica Phelps has created for Many Drops Fill a Bucket record the experiences that she and her son, Orion, shared together during their California road trip last March. Driving down the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles, they camped along the way and spent time each day cleaning its beaches and gathering trash. At the end of their daily outings, they brought the trash back to their campground, cleaned it, and assembled it into small, intimate sculptures which they photographed. Throughout their two-week trip the photographs were posted on Facebook and the sculptures auctioned off. The funds raised were donated to a variety of grassroot, non-profit organizations that help clean the oceans, cut animals free from ghost fishing gear, develop sustainable fishing practices, prevent climate change, and support refugees who are traveling via the ocean in search of a better life.

Phelps’ elegant pencil drawings combine abstraction and figuration within a conceptual framework that meticulously catalogues rituals both intimate and quotidian, and tracks the artist’s daily expenses and the money raised through the auctions on social media. She painstakingly documents every aspect of her life as an artist and a single mother in a system that becomes increasingly layered and complex. Each drawing is a depiction of an activity and a documentation of financial transactions, and each dollar is represented by a single stripe of watercolor: green for income, red for expense and grey for credit. Phelps engages with issues such as the creation of value or the structures of the art market by laying bare her costs of living down to the last dollar and by creating works that in turn deal with her own economic situation. In this exhibition, she extends her interests to the global sphere.

Many Drops Fill a Bucket includes an installation of sculptures created using the trash collected in California, which are presented on makeshift pedestals made out of a variety of materials and discarded objects sourced locally in Los Angeles. All of the original road trip drawings in this exhibition and their “generations” will be available for purchase; funds generated from the sale of the small sculptures will be donated to non-profit organizations. In addition, the exhibition will present a selection of new drawings created from an earlier trip to Puerto Ric—including one of her beautiful ‘scroll-drawings’—that is a fundraiser for the island’s recovery after Hurricane Maria.

Danica Phelps has participated in more than 38 solo exhibitions and 60 group exhibitions, many of them in public institutions. Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Time Out New York and the Los Angeles Times. She lives and works between Massachusetts and Brooklyn, NY.

For further information and images, please contact Meghan Gordon, Associate Director, at 310-838-6000, or email [email protected]. Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is located at 2685 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm, and by appointment.

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