The Lapis Press marks 30 years with exquisite limited-edition pieces by LA’s iconic artists.
Steel Life Porcelana, 2014, by Ruben Ochoa.
“Lapis is an artist’s toolbox,” explains Adam Gross, director of Culver City’s The Lapis Press, a studio and publishing house known for its ultraspecialized, limited-edition works. “We create an environment for artists to work—in collaboration with our team of professional craftspeople—to create something that furthers their oeuvre.”
Celebrating its 30th year, Lapis was founded by artist Sam Francis in 1984. Since then, the studio has worked with up-and-coming, midcareer, and established artists from all over the globe, creating an eclectic portfolio of specialty objects. Featured artists read as a who’s who of the contemporary art scene—think Ed Ruscha, AnishKapoor, and Adam Rabinowitz—and past collaborations range from a box of tattooed doll appendages by Oaxacan artist Dr. Lakra to etchings of brain silhouettes by Italian maestro Giuseppe Penone. “It’s like book publishing, but we make objects,” says Gross. “Instead of there being 1,000 [editions], there are just a few.”
To celebrate its big 3-0 this summer, Lapis is collaborating with local artist Ruben Ochoa on a series of sculptures that highlight the socioeconomic intersections of Southern California. Ochoa reimagines scrap rebar and wood pallets in porcelain and concrete, re-contextualizing these common, utilitarian items as fragile art pieces that say, “Look, but do not touch.” Lapis is also paying homage to LA with a series of gritty, black and white images from Tokyo-based photographer DaidoMoriyama, taken during a visit to Los Angeles last year.
Ochoa and Moriyama’s editions are the first in a series meant to highlight The Lapis Press’s three decades of work and set the groundwork for the next 30 years. Gross says, “Our focus is to keep our heads down and just do more great work!” 8563 Higuera St., Culver City, 310-558-7700