Carmen Argote

July 17 - August 22

Stairwell LA

Carmen Argote

July 17 - August 22

Dog Glove Hand

Exhibiton Gallery

Glove Hand Dog
Commonwealth and Council

Hand Dog Glove

Big City Festival "Stories that Move"

Presented by Big City Forum
July 31 - August 2 at 2PM (PST)
Instagram Live@BigCityForum

Bringing together culture makers, activists, change agents, and creative visionaries to explore the role of art in building a strong democracy and collaboratively shaping a better future.

This online festival will highlight the power of stories to heal, transform, and catalyze our actions towards a new sense of knowledge making as we encounter tremendous personal and collective upheavals due to the pandemic and systemic social injustices in our communities.

Friday Christopher Rivas
Saturday Natalie Patterson
Sunday Bianca Nozaki-Nasser

Sunday 4 - 6PM (PST)
Music by Bruja Prieta and Baby Bruise

Want to support this program?



Dog Glove Hand
Carmen Argote
July 17th–August 22nd, 2020

Stairwell LA presents Dog Glove Hand, an exhibition of recent work by Carmen Argote showing across three spaces: Commonwealth and Council, Clockshop, and Stairwell. Conceived during the shelter-in-place order in Los Angeles, Dog Glove Hand continues Argote’s process-based investigations of her surroundings as artist, dweller, and flaneux.

The oil blot prints in Dog Glove Hand, stem from her desire to reanimate through depiction coincides with a deep need to find the appropriate language, the measure and the time, to recall the spirit—of other beings, as one’s own. Embarking on a series of transfer prints, Argote pressed RXbars (popular for their simple ingredients: egg whites, cashews, almonds, dates) onto paper in an almost linguistic syntax and spacing, marking time spent indoors. The nut oils seeped into the paper, creating abstract blooms which she then traced in crayon. The oil blots continue to spread beyond the traces, indexing the passage of time. Argote likens this seepage to digestion: as the oil absorbs, it gradually weakens the fiber, turning the paper transparent. Autonomic and independent of the artist, the work changes and lives. Oil blots imprinted at different time intervals grow at different rates, creating a polyrhythmic buildup of layers—days, weeks, and months all recorded on a single sheet.

Argote contrasts the RXbar prints with an oil blot work in progress in the Stairwell studio—an evolution to a metalanguage where creatures appear, no longer drawn from memory but hallucinated in the free-association of glyphs and forms now standing in for the outside world.

With the abstracted oleaginous marks, Argote metabolizes foods into their constituent elements like calories, macronutrients, and sodium. More broadly, the protein bar intimate a variety of social dichotomies that undergird the life of the city: individual vs. shared consumption, “smart” snacking vs. junk food, upscale vs. proletarian lifestyle eating. Even sequestered from public view, our lives continue leaving their mark in the street.

In the midst of a pandemic that revealed the imperative of purpose and collective solidarity Stairwell, Commonwealth and Council, and Clockshop with additional support from LACE and the Hammer Museum--have come together to support Carmen Argote's practice.

Glove Hand Dog at Commonwealth and Council

Hand Dog Glove at Clockshop

Events to RSVP for:
Tuesday, July 21st, LAST LIGHT screening and Q&A with Erin Christovale, co-presented by Clockshop and the Hammer Museum
Wednesday, July 22nd, LACE benefit edition reveal and Q&A with Daniela Lieja Quintanar

Carmen Argote (b. 1981, Guadalajara, Mexico; lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MFA in 2007 from University of California, Los Angeles, where she also received her BFA in 2004. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Visual Arts Center, University of Texas, Austin (2020); New Museum, New York (2019); PAOS, Guadalajara, Mexico (2019); Ballon Rouge Collective, Istanbul, Turkey (2019) and New York (2018); Instituto de Vision, Bogota, Colombia (2018); Panel LA, Los Angeles (2017); and MAK Center for Art and Architecture (2015). Argote has been featured in group exhibitions at SculptureCenter, New York (2019); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana (2017); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2017); Ballroom Marfa, TX (2017); and Denver Art Museum, CO (2017). She is the recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2019); Artadia Los Angeles Award (2019); Rema Hort Mann Foundation Artist Community Engagement Grant (2015); and the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists (2013).


Westlake 1891. Courtesy of the Photo Collection, Los Angeles Public Library.

Stairwell is a research based practice and experimental space for the discovery + investigation of art practice located in the Westlake-MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles. Founded in 2020 by artist, curator, and social researcher Cynthia Vargas.

Contact: Cynthia Vargas | 213.700.0700


The Francis Residency

Carmen Argote in conjunction with LACE