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Jeni Spota, up and coming

August 22, 2009 |  1:20 pm

Only months out of graduate school, painter Jeni Spota had her first solo gallery show. Not that unusual, perhaps, in an art world that mirrors the broader culture’s lust for youth and novelty. The show, at Chinatown’s Sister gallery, sold out before it opened.
A few months later, Spota had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, part of a series featuring emerging area artists. Such a show, early in a career, is also becoming less out of the ordinary, but hers was the first in the series, recalls curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm, “where I had to borrow every piece from collectors, major collectors,” most notably Paris-based François Pinault, and L.A.’s Dean Valentine and Amy Adelson. “Word had gotten out.”
A Project Room exhibition featuring four of Spota’s paintings on canvas and one cast in bronze with a silver patina is about to close at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Four new paintings will go on view Sept. 12 in the artist’s second solo show at Sister, which is changing its name to Kathryn Brennan Gallery. The largest piece was just bought by London-based collector Charles Saatchi.

Leah Ollman has an "Up and Coming" feature in Sunday Calendar.

Photo: The artist with "San Damiano."

Credit: Axel Koester/For The Times