John Coplans’ essay, “Pasadena’s Collapse and the Simon Takeover: Diary of Disaster” written for Artforum in 1975, unravels the mirages and problems that the Pasadena Art Museum faced before being essentially purchased by ketchup mogul Norton Simon. Architects Lad + Kelsey's plan rode over the balance of architecture and beneficial exhibition space for their own design vision. The new building and location opened in late 1969 with a chaotic flurry of anticipation from the staff and artists,... [more]
Those who say that Los Angeles has no history would do well to drive east. There, the signs of the past ten or twenty years, at least, are unmistakable. Ever newer developments, stamped with KB Homes' trademark homogeneity, impose a geometry on the landscape that feels immediately familiar, as though one had gone back in time to pass the same part twice. In a sense, one hears, these areas are having something of a second life. Investors of the sort who've been doing well lately are accelerating the conv... [more]
I want all of Sam Gilliam's paintings here to be book covers.
Perhaps it's because their flatness and angles handily resemble package design of a certain era. I've always felt similarly about Ellsworth Kelly's bright, cheerful paintings that look like they'd been stolen from the detergent aisle and had their explosively optimistic names removed. Gilliam’s paintings on view at David Kordansky look mostly to me like one of the more recent cover designs for JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, which is... [more]
Here’s a show whose reception seems to have been preempted by the mounds of publicity preceding it. The narrative, though likely familiar from one or another of the articles touting Llyn Foulkes’ resurgence, bears repeating here, this time in line with the chronology established by the retrospective itself.
A Los Angeles artist since forever ago, Foulkes began by working through influences both global (Rauschenberg, Dalí, de Kooning) and local (notably Richards Ruben, whose imprint is unm... [more]
There's hope this might be seen, yet a humbling acceptance of the vast loneliness of space.
It is a gesture.
A last love letter from a sunsetting civilization, a temple left on an abandoned planet, a spare record jettisoned into the cosmos whispering its enigmas through these worn remnants.
Do words fail? Maybe. So do civilizations. After a people’s peak troughs, do objects reclaim their lost souls? The first and last humans doubtlessly were and will be animists. I wish we had a verb for once... [more]
Let's be honest here.
Fuck art fairs. Long live art book fairs.
This weekend Printed Matter opens the first ever LA Art Book Fair. This is important. I want you to go.
Art books are generally everything you wanted art to be but you can actually afford it.
I don't know how much Laura Owen's paintings are going for, more than I make a year or five it's safe to assume, but her book, Fruits and Nuts is available at Ooga Booga for $500; each is its own unique beauty, handmade with love by the art... [more]
Aude Pariset isn't taking part in Art Los Angeles Contemporary, and most likely none of her work will be on display at any stall throughout it. She does however have a show at Favourite Goods gallery supported by Ceci N'est Pas. As an integral part of programming around ALAC this programme shows how an art fair isn't simply a commercially driven sharkfest but can also be a powerful driver of internationalism and offer the opportunity for young artists to both show their work and broaden their exp... [more]
Perhaps the art fair brought you to LA, or maybe you live here but are looking for a little international flavor from the coterie of foreign art dealers caravanning in art from far-flung lands. There is a certain, dynamic allure to any assembly, party, fair. But in the end, nobody really loves an art fair. There's the art fairs in the Grand Palais in Paris, whose beautiful glass dome certainly takes the sting out, but as a rule a convention hall will only ever be a conventional hall: harsh over... [more]
Art Los Angeles Contemporary – the name itself has a certain blankness, being obviously designed to blend into the range of similarly named art fairs that have proliferated with particular intensity since the 90s. Undoubtedly, the same complaints everyone has about these events will hold true here – there's the difficulty of seeing anything in such a saturated environment, the claustrophobia induced by the crowds, the distasteful commercialism...
To be sure, ALAC is at least as capable as an... [more]
What is fair in Los Angeles, but the amalgam of worlds and communities that thrive and crash histories under almost perfect weather? We interviewed Tim Fleming, director of Art Los Angeles Contemporary art fair, who talks about the fair’s fourth year.
What is your take on the move of other fairs installing programming west in the past two years, including Paris Photo inaugurating later this year in April?
I really don’t have any comment on the other fairs, except that we are really exc... [more]
I could watch Jordan Wolfson’s Raspberry Poser for hours and hours, which is to say far longer than downtown parking affords. Having the large-scale projection all to yourself in the middle of the day, splayed out or dancing on wall-to-wall white carpeting is a pretty sweet, cozy thing.
The third in the artist’s new (and suddenly signature) series of hybrid CGI, hand-drawn animation, and live footage videos (following Con Leche, 2009, and Animation, Masks, 2012), Raspberry Poser is the first to... [more]
In anticipation of and celebration in the numeric vortex/cultural angst that is 12/21/2012—as in THE long-awaited 2012, written in boldface, all caps and with the force of a psychic tattoo unleashing bangs, whimpers, revelations, light, darkness, questions, answers and disappointments of the profoundest nature—Phil E(p)stein gave a twelve-hour lecture from the moment that the Mayan calendar ends, at the strike of midnight, until the rapturous light of noon on December 21, 2012.
Like all of E(p)stein’s lecture... [more]
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 Te... [more]
Lost and Found by Jared Baxter Stephan Balkenhol, Michel Blazy, André Breton, Valentin Carron, Guy de Cointet, Philippe Decrauzat, Laurent Le Deunff, Bertrand Dezoteux, Vincent Ganivet, Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel, Piero Golia, Camille Henrot, Thomas Hirschhorn, Fabrice Hyber, Nathan Hylden, Robert Kinmont, Vincent Lamouroux, René Magritte, Tony Matelli, Philippe Mayaux, Mathieu Mercier, Laurent Montaron, Julien Prévieux, Man Ray, Jim Shaw, Alexandre Singh, Tatiana Trouvé, Oscar Tuazon, Jean-Luc Verna, Robert Watts, Marnie Weber at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park (LAMAG)
December 1st, 2012 - January 27th
Knowing nothing about the TV show that provides the inspiration for this exhibition—and not really caring to learn more—I might suggest that the resonance of “Lost,” as theme, has at least as much to do here with the space of the Barnsdall itself. Passing from the entrance hall to the center of the exhibition area, one inevitably pauses, slightly disoriented, and wonders whether to go to the right or the left. The choice, in the end, matters little—either way, one enters an unaccountably... [more]
In the cavernous former movie theater that makes the main gallery of Human Resources, performance artist MPA has hung a lunar calendar, following the phases of the moon for the duration of the exhibition the work finds itself in. Curated by artist and Human Resources collective member Chiara Giovando, the premise of the thematic exhibition, “Gap, Mark, Sever, and Return”, is that of the “series”, the way interconnected works can mark time, to organize, to build. The documented course of ti... [more]
I almost want to fuck him. Is this John the Baptist? The big JC's notable cousin, claimed second-coming of Elijah and pre-ambler to the messiah, the fiery Jewish prophet, whose head a mere few paintings away gets plattered for the sexy, slithery, fourteen-year-old sexpot Salome? This pale northern European beauty never burned in a Judean summer or strained too strenuously under an imperial Roman yoke; this John, who in the gospel is in the deserts till the moment he manifests to Israel, seems to... [more]