Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer at her gallery, The Finley
Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer has been thinking small. She has no clients, no opening hours, and her gallery is hardly the size of a jail cell. You can find it in the artsy, more bourgeois than bohemian neighborhood of Los Feliz, on Finley Avenue. It’s called The Finley. But you can’t go inside. It isn’t tragically hip, but it is exclusive. In fact, only those who are residents of the Los Feliz Villas may enter. After all, The Finley is their ground floor stairwell.
A pedestrian’s view of The Finley
An art critic, curator, and native Californian who has spent time on the East Coast, Lehrer-Graiwer conceived of The Finley in fall of 2011 with Jeff Hassay, who happens to be the building’s manager. The tiny exhibition space may by physically out of reach for most, but it is visibly accessible to all, 24/7: A long window to the right of the complex’s main entrance at 4627 Finley Avenue provides pedestrians a perfect vantage to the art. And, bounded by the bustling eating/shopping/drinking thoroughfares of Vermont and Hillhurst Avenues, the area is one of the few in the city where people actually walk.
Having presented shows by Eli Langer, Mark Roeder, and Taft Green over the past six months, this spring The Finley features a set of untitled “clock paintings” by big time local painter Laura Owens, on view through April 8. The square canvases—hung just below ceiling level to align with that view from outside—are structured by grids variously shifting, busting apart, or that have been completely overwritten by more unruly marks like scribbles and smears. Some have moving parts that tick-tock in circles like a clock hand. Despite the space’s eccentricities, they look good enough on the walls to take home, but as the website says “the show is for looking only, not buying!”