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Andrew Berardini

20120425105136-o Painted with Candy, Washed in Acid: An Elliptical Review   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Dasha Shishkin at SUSANNE VIELMETTER LOS ANGELES PROJECTS April 7th, 2012 - May 12th, 2012
Posted 4/25/12

Henry Darger, R. Crumb, and George Grosz all found themselves, elbow-to-elbow, drinking hard at the same shitty bar. “Ach! This place is such a stinking pit of depravity!” said Grosz. “Nothing but the most nauseating perverts and prostitutes, corpulent capitalists assfucking priests and army men. Disgusting.” He growled and then took a deep draught of his golden beer, licking the foam off his lip. A roach crawled up to a splash of wet beer on the bar and Grosz brushed it off with a resigned sigh.... [more]

20120325214245-michelson01 A Biennial Timeline   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/25/12

After reading over eighty years of articles about the Whitney Museum of American Art's series of annuals and biennials, one almost wonders, "Could they actually have been that bad?" Exempting this latest edition, the Whitney has, so as we can tell, the longest ongoing tradition in contemporary art of people really, really hating it. In an act of rebellion, we've decided to love the Whitney Biennial, not piece-by-piece, but the whole institution. We've always had a soft spot for unloveables.  What follows... [more]

20120324164239-fivebyfour Color is part of reality   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Mel Bochner at Marc Selwyn Fine Art March 17th, 2012 - April 27th, 2012
Posted 3/24/12

It is a game made with beautiful hunks of glass and written with chalk on the floor, some kind of conceptual art hopscotch. One probably shouldn't hop though. Each arrangement is a different play on numbers and markers, of how space works in fantastically simple reduction, a theory of sculpture, or so the title implies. I see it, and then I read it. Then I compare what I read to what I see. This a simple one. Glass and chalk. So basic, but with a beautiful simplicity that has that great gush of... [more]

20120226084012-basjan2 Greetings from Beautiful Ader Falls   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 2/26/12

In one of his notebook entries, [Bas Jan] Ader jotted an idea for a postcard: "Greetings from Beautiful Ader Falls." More ominously, he wrote, "All is falling." --Bruce Hainley, “Legends of the Fall,” Artforum, March 1999 In the far western hinterlands of old New Amsterdam, just past the fraying edge of the California sprawl, languishes the twilight township of Ader Falls. A phantom truck stop often missed on the long, lonesome interstate between Los Angeles and New York, this forgotten village f... [more]

20120223200452-kelleymemorial More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Mike Kelley at Carport on Tipton Way Near Figueroa February 23rd, 2012 - March 31st, 2012
Posted 2/23/12

Yes, we made that. Together and apart, under a spectral influence. There was one soul who started it and another and another, all of it combining and agglomerating, collected compassion, unabashed sentimentality, gratitude and grief. Neither elitist nor crass, all at once scruffy and cleansing, soft and hard. A shrine, maybe, even if it enshrined would handily sneer at his affiliation with such roadside divinity. Not unlike the working class, from which he and many of us come, artists often work with... [more]

20120216053526-exposicion_gregor_schneider_01 Fairs are Great and Everything, But If You're in Madrid, These Are Probably Better.   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Gregor Schneider at CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo October 28th, 2011 - February 26th, 2012
Posted 2/16/12

So you're probably there, in Madrid, for the art fair. You quite possibly live there already with a rich and fulfilling cultural life in the Spanish capital, eating lots of tapas and various parts of pigs (like Jamon Jamon Lays potato chips, so porkful in Spain they have to say it twice). But it's likely if you're reading this, it's because of ARCO, one of the grand old art fairs and one of the most important dates in the Spanish art calendar. The fair is a monster. The professional days are pr... [more]

20120131175044-vonschelgell Ad Astra   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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David von Schlegell at China Art Objects Galleries January 7th, 2012 - February 4th, 2012
Posted 1/31/12

I’m not sure that anything ever looks like the thing you’re supposed to be looking at. Looking at the paintings of David von Schlegell (1920-1992) I know I can’t be seeing what he saw, though there is no way truly to be sure. Monochromes that fade from corner to corner along a diagonal crest with ragged edges of picture plane pooled with paint, sometimes edged with warm grain of smooth wood, the paintings look nothing like paintings to me, but other much stranger sights. They are sci-fi win... [more]

20120116125714-pstlogoimag21 An Honest Schedule   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Group Show at Pacific Standard Time Festival January 19th, 2012 12:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Posted 1/18/12

The climax of all this Pacific Standard Timing is here. Funded (like much of PST) mostly by the Getty, the PST Festival of Performance and Public Art stretches an official ten days (January 19-29) from the beach to Pomona and many environs in-between. Like all festivals, there’s always more than you could possibly see. And like all festivals the demand to make a schedule is paramount and declaring it to others helps ensure that wants and wishes become reality. So here’s a bit of a curated schedule... [more]

20120110225402-fiona_conner Wall Works   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Fiona Connor at Various Small Fires January 7th, 2012 - February 12th, 2012
Posted 1/10/12

Yes, the walls were moving. Not the four holding up the ceiling, but some other walls in the room, fugitive, unstuck, wandering the space freely. You’re not supposed to touch art (at least in the white cube-ish rules), but they’re walls so maybe you turn your back to it, and then maybe, as happens after so long standing, you maybe start to lean. So maybe you just lean ever so slightly against the wall and the thing shudders, wheels, you catch yourself from continuing the lean-cum-graceless collapse t... [more]

20120103073609-easterislandmoai Exactly Five Things from Farflung Places Seen in 2011   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 1/3/12

1: The Lonesomest Moai in Los Angeles On top of a hill in Glendale, there's a cemetery special in the world, not only because it inspired Evelyn Waugh to pen a comic novel about it ("The Loved Ones") but because it has turned the theater of death into a distinctly California creation. Besides the largest painting mounted on canvas in the world with its own mock-church viewing theater and sundry themed stretches of plots, there is a museum hosting a coterie of odd, disparate objects all arranged w... [more]

20111227225913-agonyitalian A Year in Art-cum-Movie Poster Quotes   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 12/27/11

 Art critics are never quite shilled in the same way as critics for other avenues of culture. Yes, our reviews likely get listed on CVs and not read, adding some vague imprimatur to an artist's career that might help move some product, but we're never exploited in quite the same way, as say, the movie critic, whose thoughtful well-composed reviews (okay not always) get diced into a few words to grace a promotional poster. Oh, if only some art critic (someone from October would be nice, or Texte Zur Kunst at... [more]

20111219233228-screen_shot_2011-12-19_at_11 Portable Objects from Southeast Los Angeles   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Cleveland Museum of Art April 16th, 2011 - February 26th, 2012
Posted 12/19/11

1 LighterAngeleno people, North AmericaPlastic, metalPrivate Collection   The lighter’s considerable wear and tear is an obvious sign of intense use. Often, as a result of continuous handling, the translucency of the lighter darkens over time and receives a deep, glossy patina through scratching associated with overuse. Lighters were frequently acquired at local locations by its original owner or as gifts to maintain harmonious family or kinship ties. As prized daily possessions, lighters were... [more]

20111212224355-ef_parenslifeswork_detail3_web The Pataphysics of Dr (illegible)   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Erik Frydenborg at Cherry and Martin November 5th, 2011 - December 17th, 2011
Posted 12/12/11

One solution is as good as another; if it’s even a puzzle or needs explication, which remains debatable. Possible Uses of the Design in Question:a) A proto-DARPA experimental device developed by top engineers under the influence of LSD to channel orgones into potent ”love bombs” which when deployed on the populace of an enemy state caused all those exposed to strip and engage in mass orgies. Deployment was eminent, but the device physically disappeared under the Kennedy Administration and its resea... [more]

20111121233425-meatyard3 In the Shadows of Children, Playing   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Ralph Eugene Meatyard at de Young Museum October 8th, 2011 - February 26th, 2012
Posted 11/21/11

A shirtless boy stands in front of a dilapidated house, his face blank, clutched in one hand a doll, in the other a disembodied arm arced as if the adult to whom it belonged had suddenly disappeared. A skull looks over him up near the front column, a mannequin head pokes out of the unkempt grass just a few feet away, another strange weed in this wild garden. What is that in the bush to the left, is it a bag? Hard to tell. What is he doing here? Who is he waiting for? All the skulls and heads and... [more]

20111115110448-install-resize2 Chimerical Coitions   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Aaron Curry, Richard Hawkins at David Kordansky Gallery October 28th, 2011 - December 10th, 2011
Posted 11/15/11

Chimera gets close to capturing it. Not in that figurative sense of the impossible wished for thing, but in the old, weird Greek definition of chimera: a fire-breathing female monster, part lion, goat, and serpent, combined together in ways that are invariably wonky, the goat's head poking out of the lion’s back or the lion's head poking out of the goat’s neck, the snake lending itself formally to always simply being the tail. The fact that’s totally mythical to the side, I always wondered how the... [more]

20111107163707-oriental-arch5-479x210 In Between   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Nir Evron at Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv September 8th, 2011 - November 12th, 2011
Posted 11/8/11

The hotel is empty today. It’s empty almost everyday. Sunlight shines over the wood panelling and empty mail slots of a perfectly preserved but unmanned reception desk, the rounded lettering announces the normal functions of a hotel: Cashier, Reception, Concierge, a typography moderne in the 60's but now seems quaintly retro-futurist. Lamps like oriental birdcages hang over the clean lines and airy space of the lobby. They hang over the dining room as well. Hundreds of places along tables drape... [more]

20110921101228-irwin Past Midnight   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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at Pomona College Museum of Art September 17th, 2011 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Posted 9/21/11

Coming into the museum after midnight made me a little nervous. I gently pushed open the door, half expecting it to be locked even if the glass entryway was boldly marked “24/7” in vinyl. A gracious woman, perhaps sensing my trepidation welcomed me in, pointed toward the entrance and mentioned a few highlights, things tucked away that we might miss and we went in, feeling mischievous and exhilarated to be in one of these temples of art past bedtime. Driving to Pomona College Museum of Art in C... [more]

20110624103000-451_982835001308873356 Saint Warhol   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Andy Warhol at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) at Grand Ave. July 9th, 2011 - September 19th, 2011
Posted 8/15/11

32 Soup Cans. This is it. The beginning of Andy Warhol as we know him. Many might say that Warhol being so goddamned influential it might be the beginning of an era. Or, it seems to me less the Warhol era as much as Warhol was perhaps the best at reflecting it. What an era. Though emergent from the '60s, Warhol I think is more of an emblem of the Reagan '80s than a child of that other, more socially revolutionary decade. The Soup Cans, the Marilyns, the Maos, I can like or dislike these as mu... [more]

20110630010440-tcflippedclock To the last syllable of recorded time   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Thomson & Craighead at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive June 1st, 2011 - August 31st, 2011
Posted 7/26/11

Time, time, time: the bastard just doesn’t stop. Time is of course one of those mind-bogglingly ginormous things that’s exceptionally difficult to wrap one’s head around. Even quantum mechanics and other well-degreed and deservedly smart physicists have an exceptionally tough time with it as well for all the right reasons. It’s perhaps best just to show up when your dentist tells you to and try not to think about the existential/philosophical/quantum aspects of time too terribly hard. Time of c... [more]

20110719042007-max-yavno-muscle-beach-1949 The Summer Group Show   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 7/19/11

Most wars are started in the summer. It’s true. Most quotes one finds about summer are about how great summer is. Rarely does one find quotes about how horrible summer is. How long, how hot, how interminable the sweaty days, how much worse work feels under the yoke of summer. Most people who are quoted on summer must be aristocratic poets penning their verse with long lazy loops in leather bound notebooks bought for the purpose of vacationing by the seaside. Summer is long. Summer is hot. On... [more]

20110528082221-gilmore_by_any_means_2009_185px Just Do It!   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Kate Gilmore at Catharine Clark Gallery June 4th, 2011 - July 16th, 2011
Posted 7/5/11

Alright, let’s go. I’m ready. I’m pumped.Right foot, left foot. Clap, clap, shake it off, shake it down. Alright, really I’m ready. Let’s do this. Now. Alright, go. Go!In terms of feats of physical prowess, writing is about as lame and lazy as it gets. Though out of disability as opposed to laziness, Jean-Dominique Bauby wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (albeit only a short book) by blinking it out. Even now as I write this, I’m leaning back in a somewhat comfortable chair, left leg propp... [more]

20110628050640-img_resnikoff_06 The Struggle Itself   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Isaac Resnikoff at Steve Turner Contemporary May 28th, 2011 - July 9th, 2011
Posted 6/28/11

Sisyphus, the poor bastard. Sent to hell, he was doomed to roll a boulder up a hill over and over again, the sucker slipping away as soon as he got to the top. This penalty wasn’t for murdering house guests (one of the shittier things he’s rumored to have done), but simply for thinking himself more clever than the gods.Some time later, the dashingly chain-smoking Frenchman Albert Camus wrote, "The struggle itself...is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy." It’s almost to s... [more]

20110531090149-macleanatkoch2 Simple Patterns Playing Across the Vast Expanse of Land   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Alex MacLean at Robert Koch Gallery May 5th, 2011 - July 2nd, 2011
Posted 5/31/11

It’s not easy to write about landscape photographs anymore. This is not even getting into too deeply the various degrees of high and low from leftist editorial to large-scale color pictorialism to the plethora of photo magazines littering the stand at your local Barnes & Noble with titles like “B&W Photography,” the kind with copious ads for super pro-camera gadgetry. With a note or two from painting, the landscape photograph has become one of those standard stand-bys for those bearing cameras. A... [more]

20110309015411-kitaj390 Packing My Library   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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R.B. Kitaj at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art December 18th, 2010 - July 4th, 2011
Posted 5/24/11

I’m packing my library to move. Yes, I am. I get to handle each of the thousands of books I own, the dust coating my hands, the acrid smell of bookstores and thriftstores and basements and the bright scents of fresh ink and the perfumes of the people who have owned them before me caught in between the yellowing pages, called “sunning” in the trade. Some I’ll turn over in my hands over and over like a gemstone plucked from the morain, some I’ll grab by the stackful and unceremoniously shove in... [more]

20110411233951-untitled__2011_acrylic_on_linen__49_x_73_inches__134 On the Work of Clare Rojas   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Clare Rojas at PRISM February 26th, 2011 - April 16th, 2011
Posted 4/11/11

Is there a better way through doors? The wrist flick of the knob turn, the coldness of the thing in your hand. For some, there’s the acrid paranoia of germ warfare and persistent sickness. Then, there’s the pull back, arm reaching around the door as a hand lets go and then you step forward. My shoulders always gracelessly bump against the jamb; even after all these years, I still have problems moving my body through space. And then once you’re through, there’s the closing of the door to contend... [more]

20110321224328-olivemotel William Leavitt and the Mundane Fantasies of LA   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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William Leavitt at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) at Grand Ave. March 13th, 2011 - July 3rd, 2011
Posted 3/21/11

I drive by the Olive Motel at least once a week, sometimes daily depending on where I’m living in Los Angeles. I’ve been kicked down Sunset from East Hollywood to Silver Lake to Echo Park to Chinatown, any further and I’ll go skittering over the river. I used to drive by it everyday when I lived in Silver Lake, and always dreamed of what it could be.   The Olive Motel is a squat one-story building with curved corners and a neon sign whose font speaks to me from a sans-serif nostalgia, which I ha... [more]

20110315064740-johnwaters-rolemodels John Waters' Family Fare   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/15/11

A late night drive to a midnight movie, or the conversation overheard somewhere of someone waxing rhapsodic about John Waters, leather-coated would-be greasers at coffee shops in the hip part of Omaha or at the trashier gay bars in Wisconsin.  Someone tells you about John Waters and they off-handedly reference him in that way that makes you feel that if you haven’t actually heard of him, you sort of pretend that you had, saying something uncommitedly slippery and face-saving like “Yeah, I thi... [more]

20110315063338-ruscha-gagosian31410 New Paintings by Ed Ruscha   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Ed Ruscha at Gagosian Gallery - Beverly Hills February 25th, 2011 - April 9th, 2011
Posted 3/15/11

The door falls somewhere in the cyan range of the blue-green spectrum, two-panelled, basic; you think maybe you’ve seen it somewhere, maybe it was your door, or even in the trash, on the side of the road in a rough neighborhood. In East Hollywood, there’s a stretch of Normandie between Hollywood and Sunset where I’m positive cheap furniture from all over the city comes to die. My doors these days are four panel jobs, the kind found on on old houses, heavy and steady, but there have been two-panel... [more]

20110301013532-googlemaps-rafman1 Pulled from Google Street View Part 2   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/1/11

Of all the places to pass by on a road, crossing the country perhaps, from here to there, you look out the window and there’s something so distinctly pure and youthful. The rural play of teenagers, hikers taking a lark after long trails, a swim at the watering hole. Though I feel like I did pass this waterfall once, or at least one like it, long ago. This is just the hazy memory of a scene I’d wished I’d been a part of but only saw framed through the window of my car as it chugged across... [more]

20110301011857-googlemaps-rafman2 Pulled from Google Street View Part 1   Pick-button-5bf6c1b36c3b74ec8f312c7c9f6f1ae3
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Posted 3/1/11

This is not a review of any exhibition in particular, but a response to some images that seem to come squarely under the rubric of “Worldwide.” Photographer Jon Rafman has pulled from the deep trove of  Google Street View’s photographic archive a number of strange and wonderful moments in the history of modern life, all caught with the supreme deadpan eye of Google’s cameras as they attempt to document every road in the world. What follows are merely a few impressions of things found out ther... [more]

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