There's something to the way the show's title elides its source, a quotation from Roberto Bolano's The Savage Detectives that originally reads “Freedom is like a prime number.” It's a subtle change from simile to metaphor, a near-subliminal attrition that renders the phrase both more direct and abstract.
This shift, of course, has much to do with Sarah Cain's work, whose fearlessness in the face of excess is closely tied to her insistence on the expressiveness of color and form, however esoterically these... [more]
I have never seen a real, archeological hoard. I’ve read about them in books, with full-color jewels splayed out on neutral backgrounds laid carefully in protective casings, stacks of silver and bronze coins embossed with Roman emperors, coiled gold snakes for nameless warrior queens. The internet provides hours heaped upon hours of “research” a procrastinator can dig into for the sake of pure meandering scholarship (a hoard of wasted time), giving one visions of buried riches, war loot, lost art... [more]
So almost every week for the three wintry months these last two years I’ve participated in an ongoing art project that involved taking off my clothes with strangers, crawling into a mirror-covered, egg-shaped steam chamber, concentratedly sweating until I could no longer take the heat, and then slithering my wet body back into the cool air. Rinse, repeat.
Clement Greenberg never did this.
I did it nearly every week because I loved it, but throughout the experience I’ve been reluctant to write abou... [more]
Motorbike to cemetery, Picnic on wild berries... We'll come back for Indian Summer We'll come back for Indian Summer We'll come back for Indian Summer Cover me with rain.
Beat Happening, Indian Summer
Dip your fingers into the Southwestern paint box and if you run them through the sky across a smeary summer, you'll leave a trail that leads straight to autumn. Rust reds and creamy umbers, a flicker of primrose and pinks that might make a conch shell blush, all flow handily into the br... [more]
Death on the Assembly-Line by Jared Baxter Mark Bradford, URS FISCHER, Julie Mehretu, Sterling Ruby, Rudolf Stingel at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) at Grand Ave.
April 29th, 2012 - August 20th, 2012
The second my shoes hit the white wall-to-wall carpeting that blanketed the galleries, I was struck by how radically this simple addition—actually, as it turned out, an artwork by Rudolf Stingel—shifted both the acoustics and the register of the space. With the hushed voices and dampened footsteps, I felt like I’d wandered by mistake into a showroom whose wares I obviously couldn't afford. Of course, this feeling of displacement might've had something to do with the fact that I was oscillating b... [more]
Summering City, Cryptic Languages by Arely Villegas Nick Aguayo, Brandon Andrew, Erich Bollmann, Sebastien Bonin, EJ Hill, Peter Holzhauer, Ian James, Calvin Lee, Lesley Moon, Lisa Ohlweiler, Marcus Perez, Mark Verabioff, Augusta Wood, Bobbi Woods, Aaron Wrinkle at Charlie James Gallery
July 21st, 2012 - August 18th, 2012
"It's a show about winter in summer," replied the woman behind the gallery counter. Summer in Los Angeles, where time seems inescapable... This exhibition seduces the spirit of the summer group show, drawing out the cryptic parallel lines of the poetics of the physical (objects) and fantasy (desires). The longing and anticipation in Ian James Elements of Fractal Topography #8 (Chair throws), 2008, a distorted landscape of photograms, might be tinting towards desires/obsessions in its hyperbolic magen... [more]
August is stealth mode in the art world. Shades are pulled, galleries go dark. Everyone is supposedly relaxing at the shore before the September openings. But we all know that this pause in the art calendar is actually an intense time of backroom re-orgs, private previews and strategic positioning, a time for researching and reconsidering, finishing touches and frantic scrambles. All efforts are pointing towards the big Fall ta-da.
We take it for granted that galleries exist, that they move the... [more]
Words Fail Me by Jared Baxter Robert Barry, Barbara Bloom, Carol Bove, TROY BRAUNTUCH, Tom Burr, Andrew Cameron, Michelle Elzay, Morgan Fisher, Wade Guyton, Richard Hamilton, Adrià Julià, Louise Lawler, Frank Stella, Yves Tanguy, David Weldzius at David Kordansky Gallery
July 14th, 2012 - August 18th, 2012
This is a funny show, really. Over there, scattered along the main wall, a conversation between analyst and analysand traces a kind of erratic through-line around an idiosyncratically hung collection of diverse works, ranging from an Yves Tanguy knock-off and a Frank Stella lithograph to more recent pieces (Wade Guyton, Carol Bove, and Louise Lawler to name a few) with little regard for chronology. At times, the patient's breakthrough seems to be on the tip of his tongue, as he dredges through m... [more]
Jesse Fleming at The Finley Gallery and L'Idée Fixe at Steve Turner Contemporary
The tangible vs. the intangible
Architecturally, the Finley adapts to the facade of the building—situated while seemingly floating in space. Imminently, the Finley imitates the quiet intangibility of William Leavitt´s shape shifting dreamscapes (pulsating purple plays with the inhibited greenery of garden plants), the poetics of Hollywood sets along with the untidy narrative of the Los Angeles landscape... [more]
Heather Brown at Carter and Citizen & Scott Olson at Overduin and Kite Preamble: It has been true for years, I am way over spectacle. Maybe you’re like me. I thought a lot of people felt this way but clearly not enough do because 2012 still looks a lot like 2007. Celebrity continues to be watered down. Like warm piss in the toilet bowl, it holds charm no more. The otherwise charming word Franco has come to signal the knee-buckling weakness formerly serious institutions have acquired for dull gl... [more]
Lynn Ozzle shuttered his studio. It was time. He would explode otherwise. The canvas and linen have been rolled up. The table saw unplugged and lumber stacked in a corner. The tubes of oil paint closed and spirits capped. The palette wiped clean. Nothing may ever be painted there again. He has gone outdoors, to turn some very special soil and plant some very special seeds. Ozzle had been preparing for this for two decades. It all started with this recurring lucid dream in which he was Gregor Mend... [more]
It’s leftover memories hauled off in a battered boxed, thin with water damage, to the local thrift store and dropped at the backdoor. An abandoned baby, lovingly clad in taffeta and enshrouded in a knit blanket, with nary a note. What, if anything, can be found in the kitsch of capitalism, the leftover detritus of a disposable culture, a transient society? What initial hopefulness and final dejection can be located in their battered bodies? Liz Craft’s excavation of what can be found in the lost-i... [more]
The Province of Provinces by Jared Baxter Scoli Acosta, Kathryn Andrews, Sarah Conaway, Fiona Connor, Kate Costello, Meg Cranston, Roy Dowell, Zackary Drucker, Rhys Ernst, Patricia Fernández, Dan Finsel, Morgan Fisher, Liz Glynn, Mark Hagen, Zach Harris, Channa Horowitz, Pearl C. Hsiung, Vishal Jugdeo, Mimi Lauter, Thomas Lawson, Meleko Mokgosi, Ruby Neri, D'Ette Nogle, Alex Olson, Camilo Ontiveros, Joel Otterson, Karthik Pandian, Laura Riboli, Analia Saban, Brian Sharp, Ryan Sluggett, David Snyder, Jill Spector, Koki Tanaka, Caroline Thomas, CODY TREPTE, Erika Vogt, Lisa Williamson at Hammer Museum
June 2nd, 2012 - September 2nd, 2012
Los Angeles, a city of developers and opportunists, store-front mystics and varyingly legal working-class migrants, is also by some lights a city of artists. The Hammer Museum recently unveiled its first Los Angeles biennial, an inward-looking affair solely showcasing the work of locals.
Can an exhibition thus conceived add up to anything more than narcissism?
Sure, but whether this is possible in LA, a city with a profoundly neurotic self-regard, is a question left open by the biennial dubbed M... [more]
Let us examine the rainbow.
A radiant bend of light that gives pause to even the surliest of sailors, the direct route to concealed honeypots glutted with gold, a divine message to Noah that the rinse cycle was completing its global soak, the rainbow is such an easy handle for spectral forces, sublimity and facile poetry that it may even be too obviously beautiful for us to concoct anything better than it, thus making rainbows the stuff of sappy cards and toddler’s television. It’s hard to bea... [more]
I’m not sure if it’s legal. In fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t be. It’s definitely disturbing and highly problematic—beyond sketchy at the same time that it stands out as the most incredibly soul-shaking and thrillingly provocative art proposition I can remember. Or, I should say, that I can’t remember because memory itself (in the actual neurological, chemical sense, not some vague loosey-goosey thematic) is the medium with which this art boldly fucks.
I’m talking about Meghan Shalimar’s instantly n... [more]
Having established himself in LA during the sixties as a highly successful and award-winning graphic designer with credits for huge companies like IBM, CBS, Boeing, and MGM (as well as LACMA), it wasn’t until 1969, in his mid-thirties, that Robert Overby switched gears away from advertising and decided to become an artist. When the switch happened it happened fast and opened a floodgate of parallel outpourings. The trigger was actually a job for CBS in which Overby was hired as an art-buyer. He immer... [more]