artist / participant

press release

WEST COAST. The WEST of which I speak is but another name for WILD; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in WILDERNESS is the PRESERVATION of the WORLD. --From OPERATION: MADMAN presents The READER.

The Company is pleased to announce We barely made it, a two person exhibition featuring Elias Hansen & The Reader. We barely made it brings together these long time friends from the Pacific Northwest for the first time in Los Angeles from Jan 21-Feb 25, with an opening reception Saturday Jan 21, 6-8pm.

Hansen and Read’s art-making approach stem from a shared philosophy, with the final results being considerably different. The care and attention to the materials, from the discarded to the hand-made, is elevated, while nothing is taken for granted. Existing on the street or in a gallery, the process of remaining mysterious while developing a distinct and refined voice is vital. Wordplay through titles and phrases read as secret codes and messages passed between them, but inclusive enough for the audience to be involved, i.e., We barely made it can be interpreted or misinterpreted in so many ways. The friendship between these two artists has cemented over years of ongoing dialogue and a shared vision of remaining authentic and present without revealing too much, even when the world demands it.

For this exhibition, The Reader, who is also known as Read More Books, Read Up, Mr. Bones, Rancor, and Open Your Eyes, has created a selection of graphic paintings. The black, white and red graphic design style and socio-political axioms are reminiscent of Barbara Kruger, with added grit. The skillful use of silkscreen, stencils, spray paint, collage, stickers, letterpress, stamps, and even shiny cigarette packages are materials sourced from and for the street, and transformed into works of art for the gallery.

The methodology of “being clean and gritty at the same time” is also at play in Elias Hansen work. For this show, Hansen will exhibit a network of hand-blown glass beakers, plastic tubing, CFC light bulbs, welded steel, and freshly chopped wood. These components are brought together to simulate interconnectivity, dependency, and completion within a closed system. They take the form of a self-contained water fountain, metal tables, and wall shelves. The glass is hand-blown by Elias and the wood is locally sourced from the artist’s yard in Upstate New York.


Originally from Indianola, WA, Elias Hansen currently lives and works in Upstate New York. Selected solo exhibitions include Frieze Frame with Jonathan Viner, London, UK; The Fireplace Project, East Hampton, NY, The Company, Los Angeles, Lawrimore Projects, Seattle, and Maccarone, NY. Hansen’s work has exhibited in the Seattle Art Museum, WA, Howard House Contemporary Art, WA, and Parc Saint Leger, Paris (with Oscar Tuazon). His exhibitions have been reviewed in Art Review, Mousse Magazine, Art Agenda, ArtForum, LA Times, The Stranger, among others. He has been awarded the PONCHO Special Recognition Award from the Seattle Art Museum. This is Elias’s third exhibition at The Company. Previous exhibitions: Predicting the present (2010) and Next time, they’ll know it’s us (2011).

The Reader is American. In 2011, his solo exhibition, Cut and Dry, was exhibited at Lawrimore Projects, Seattle. Recently, Juxtapose Magazine interviewed him for their December issue. His work will be exhibited at the Art Los Angeles Contemporary Jan 19-22, with Lawrimore Projects. This is his first show at The Company.

Elias Hansen and The Reader 
We barely made It