Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer

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              Two years ago this September, due to an afternoon programming snafu, Vic Ferrari was asked to fill an hour of television at last minute. Back then he was a junior coordinator at a public access television station. Instead of throwing on some rerun of the normal show (which broadcast popular music videos), Ferrari hastily slapped together his first episode of Video Chest. By the end of the hour, the phone was ringing off the hook with compliments and complaints. Over fifty... [more]
Endless Picture Industry   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Justin Beal, Billy Al Bengston, Scott Benzel, Gil Blank, Jennifer Bornstein, Carol Bove, Cameron, Anne Collier, R. Crumb, Lucy Dodd, Sam Durant, Roe Ethridge, Amy Granat, Guyton\Walker, Drew Heitzler, Ed Kienholz, Margaret Kilgallen, Nate Lowman, John McCracken, Adam McEwen, Aleksandra Mir, Dave Muller, Catherine Opie, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Phillips, Amanda Ross-Ho, Sterling Ruby, Ed Ruscha, Reena Spaulings, Vincent Szarek, Christopher Williams at Blum & Poe July 3rd, 2010 - August 28th, 2010
Posted 8/23/10
Review also includes “Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That).” Organized by Walead Beshty at Regen Projects.   Both of these artist-curated, large group shows gather an impressive all-my-cool-friends and heavy-hitters list of players and both claim, in their statements, to be in large part organized in response to an ambivalent experience or conflicted impression of Los Angeles as a formative urban, cultural context. Both shows are full of really good individual works. Couched in terms of... [more]
            1. In the late 1960s, Richard Artschwager disseminated his flat ovular, pill-shaped ‘blips’ on his cross-country roadtrip and all over the urban skin of New York City. They were absorbed topically into the landscape, a staccato tattoo showing up unexpectedly like a coded message or a rare bird you learn to spot with excitement. Artschwager’s interventions added an incongruous but inconspicuous level of visual detail to the environment; easy to miss in plain sight. He... [more]
        Following on the controversial sleeper success of his literary debut eight years ago, Phil E(p)stein’s new book is the author’s shocking tell-all autobiography, Before and After the P was Silent: a verse narrative in three unequal parts composed in anticipation of the future perfect, or the right path narrows to the left—all over again. Take 2. A memoir. Self-described as autobiographical, the ambitious composite trilogy reads like an amphibious amalgam that can’t cleanly be parsed... [more]
Enter the Frenzy, Groin First   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Erik Frydenborg, Nicolás Guagnini, Wade Guyton, Robert Heinecken, Leigh Ledare, Amanda Ross-Ho, Collier Schorr at Cherry and Martin May 22nd, 2010 - July 17th, 2010
Posted 6/28/10
      Despite his remarkable prescience and pioneering treatment of mass media imagery, Robert Heinecken (1931-2006) has been largely marginalized in the mainstream art historical record. Heinecken’s early experiments, beginning in the 1960s, with camera-less photographic cooption, alteration, and repurposing of magazine pages and commercial pornography anticipated by a decade the mass media appropriationist strategies that later launched the Pictures Generation and has since become utterly... [more]
Still Life with Jamie Isenstein   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Jamie Isenstein at Michael Benevento May 15th, 2010 - June 26th, 2010
Posted 5/31/10
          Jamie Isenstein has developed a sly genius for crossing the divide between object and action. In previous projects, she's introduced kinetic organic elements (like live fleshy body parts—a leg in fishnet stockings and pumps here or a bare arm holding a light-bulb there) into her sculptures so that they cross over seamlessly and thrillingly into performance. That temporary insertion of time-sensitive components (most notably, her own body) into otherwise static objects gives her... [more]
          The Lucid Vantage Foundation is pleased to announce that Donovan L’hommedieu (pictured) has been selected as the winner of the prestigious, Paloma Van der Rothschild-endowed Lucid Vantage Grant for Transcendent Vision that is awarded once a decade to a researcher of outstanding daring in the arts and sciences. L’hommedieu won the much coveted grant (which promises a blank check to fund the winning enterprise for the course of the decade) for his meticulously researched 710-page... [more]
Hand Cut: Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili at Eighth Veil March 26th, 2010 - May 31st, 2010
Posted 4/26/10
Ere Is My Head, photographer Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili’s first solo show of twenty photographs, is ostensibly about the medium’s inherent morbidity, the past-ness of every image captured, the melancholic symbols of our mortality. The press release foregrounds Barthes’ notion of the photograph as ‘flat Death’ in references to Camera Lucida that are both appealing and a turned off, as the crutch of intellectual name-dropping always makes me cringe a little. Alexi-Meskhishvili sets herself,... [more]
                        For the past year, Sergio Sergio has been carrying out experiments in belief. Each week, she attempts to totally immerse herself psychologically in a different specific belief-system either received socially or invented personally that will structure her thoughts and behavior for the duration of the experiment. Sergio begins her Mondays formally writing up the week’s governing belief-statement and going on to observe how living that conviction manifests... [more]
Blunk, Blunker, Blunkest   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
j.b. blunk at Blum & Poe March 12th, 2010 - May 15th, 2010
Posted 3/22/10
            Blum & Poe’s exhibition of eleven large sculptures by J.B. Blunk (1926-2002) comes as a discovery not only because I had never heard of Blunk prior to this encounter but because the works themselves have a strange and powerful presence at once monumental and intimate, ancient and alien, brute and subtle. Blunk, though largely obscure to contemporary audiences, was a distinguished woodworker and esteemed regional sculptor, craftsmen, and furniture maker working in Northern... [more]
Though little to nothing is known about them, we can at least say, after last month’s cryptic press conference, that ControlAltDelete is an anonymous multinational art collective orienting their efforts surreptitiously towards large-scale topographical and urban built alterations. The group formed in the mid to late 1980s, taking their intimidating name from the technical language of home computers (which were becoming widespread at the time) meaning “reset/kill application/force quit.”... [more]
Flour & Tape   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
aaron GM at ltd los angeles January 12th, 2010 - February 27th, 2010
Posted 2/15/10
            Wow, aaron GM has come an awfully long way from the loose-goosey, clumsy days of his aggressively dysfunctional environment/performance Ice Cream Shoppe, 2006, in Shirley Morales’ garage to arrive so gracefully at his first solo show, capezio, inaugurating Morales’ LTD Los Angeles Gallery. GM benefits tremendously from the self-imposed formal limits that structure the exhibition’s various tableau installations and videos. There is a consistent, spare palette of blue and white... [more]
A Year in Review with Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer     “Maybe that disturbing confusion is good …. Maybe.” Sharon Lockhart Lunch Break Blum & Poe November 21, 2009 - January 9, 2010 “… works beyond the earth, literally out of this world… he teaches the rewards of not taking some things, some art, seriously.” Stephen Kaltenbach Another Year in LA October 30th, 2009 - December 5th, 2009   “For the first time in recent memory, the government took an affirmative... [more]
  Hulett Muni, Wyoming lies in the far shadow of Devils Tower, which rises up like a gargantuan petrified tree stump in the distance, out of view from the small town but not unfelt. The whole local region has a special geothermal signature that likely relates to the bizarre electro-magnetic microcosm of activity there which the area’s indigenous Native American tribes regarded as signs of a spiritual center. Jericho “Coco” Fitzsimmons grew up and lived behind closed doors in Hulett Muni,... [more]
Sharon Lockhart in Culver City   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Sharon Lockhart at Blum & Poe November 21st, 2009 - January 9th, 2010
Posted 12/21/09
In “Lunch Break,” Sharon Lockhart’s recent body of work that is the first solo show in Blum and Poe’s enormous and enormously monied new space, the artist presents two new films and twenty-seven photographs related to her investigation of industrial working life at Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.  Departing from the fixed camera composition of her past films, a long sustained tracking shot moves the frame slowly and steadily over its eighty minute duration down a tremendous narrow hallway... [more]
Picking up where we left off: It turns out, as of November 13th, that NASA’s LCROSS mission has definitively confirmed that, yes, there is indeed water (billion-year-old ice) on the moon. This is exciting news for extraterrestrial life everywhere. And for the prospect of actualizing science-fiction’s most basic dream of widespread space travel and extended human expeditions, extra-planetary colonies. The ramifications for the hopes of future lunar exploration and settlement are huge:... [more]
Lunar Follies   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Stephen Kaltenbach at Another Year in LA October 30th, 2009 - December 5th, 2009
Posted 11/16/09
Just over a month ago, on October 9th, NASA successfully completed its Lunar CRater Observing and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission when a spacecraft crashed its payload into a permanently shadowed crater at the moon’s polar regions. Sent on a suicide mission, the unmanned LCROSS spacecraft investigated indications of water on the moon by colliding kamikaze-like into the lunar surface, sending up subsequent plumes of debris which have since been analyzed for signs of lunar water ice.... [more]
JP Munro in Chinatown   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
JP Munro at Cottage Home October 17th, 2009 - November 14th, 2009
Posted 10/19/09
        JP Munro’s most recent exhibition of new paintings and drawings are even more libidinous than usual. His characteristic naïve-neoclassical world of imagery remains the familiar location for these new quasi-mythological scenes. While Munro clearly draws from an extensive and ranging selection of compositional and stylistic art historical references, his pictures have the overwhelming effect of lurid friezes, playing off classical Roman tropes while distorting bodies into more... [more]
          Clyde Dillon may be a total unknown today, but that was not always the case. At least, not exactly. Dillon dramatically entered the downtown New York art world in 1968, disappearing soon after and nearly as suddenly, and with as little explanation, as had been his appearance.  In a certain sense, he is just one of the many, many forgotten casualties of those exciting, heady days. But much more than most, his biography and trajectory have been heavily shrouded in... [more]
  Brushes are too clinical and unfeeling for Paul Farance. He doesn’t trust them with the measured truth of his mark anymore. Generically prefabricated and chronically detached, they are standardized and lifeless. Farance has always sought something more intimate, more urgent and more palpable in his art, which privileges the privacy of his own often-untranslatable sensory experiences and actions over their public expression. For his season opener at Garage Projects, A Way You’ll Never... [more]
Lassry in Culver City   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Elad Lassry at David Kordansky Gallery September 12th, 2009 - October 24th, 2009
Posted 9/21/09
  Less nostalgic and a bit more creepy (in a totally repressed and cryptic way), a shade more bizarre and disjunctive, Elad Lassry’s latest exhibition seems to signal a slight and subtle departure from his previous work. But, then again, his practice of juxtaposing a wide range of unrelated subject matters in his shows – collections of what he terms “free radicals” – always does produce an initial charge of surprise. The basic tenets of his photographic and film practice remain: still lifes... [more]
Ever since his unforgettable 1984 debut solo exhibition in an empty warehouse in Fountain Valley, Mr. Fonktaine has become notorious as something of a cult trickster lacing the far reaches of our radar with an elusive psychedelia. But pranksterism is far from his mind; he is not aiming to fool or mock the viewer’s expectations. In fact, he would insist that all of his slippery conceptual actions are private, metaphysical meditations done in total good faith. Fonktaine is the reclusive... [more]
"Deep End" In Chinatown   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Jen DeNike, Carlton DeWoody, Alexa Gerrity, Elizabeth Huey, Susan Lipper, Eric Payson, Ali Prosch, Lucy Stein at Anat Ebgi August 15th, 2009 - October 4th, 2009
Posted 8/23/09
    Even though many (if not most) of the eight artists in this swimming pool-themed summer group show are neither from nor based in Southern California, “Deep End” intriguingly taps into regional tropes of sunshine and noir in addition to seasonal tanlines. As curator Anat Ebgi reminds us in her exhibition text, the swimming pool is a fraught cultural symbol of both leisure and lust, childhood and drowning, suburban daydreams of the good life and shady visions tainted with danger. The pool,... [more]
Take a trip to Death Valley in late summer or early fall. It’s only about four or so hours driving from Los Angeles.  You can see the salt flats, Zabriskie Point, the sand dunes, Artist’s Palette, and the mysterious Devil’s Racetrack. All striking and each benefiting from the blushing glow of morning or evening light. The dunes are best. You can see all the usual tour book attractions, but you can’t see Jeff Hassay’s See Through Mountain, 2009. Even though it’s there. Follow these directions... [more]
Camilo Ontiveros in Miracle Mile   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Camilo Ontiveros at Steve Turner LA July 18th, 2009 - August 15th, 2009
Posted 7/26/09
Old, beat up, and broken, many with deep scratches and nicks in their white or ochre enamel paint, thirteen washing machines and dryers in various states of disrepair cluster around the crisp, white walls of the gallery. Camilo Ontiveros amassed this collection of tired appliances in the weeks leading up to this, his first solo gallery exhibition, through brightly colored bi-lingual posters advertising fifteen dollar payments per used machine. Continuing his ongoing consideration of the... [more]
Patrick Wilson in Culver City   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Patrick Wilson at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects July 18th, 2009 - August 29th, 2009
Posted 7/26/09
Flattened into digital printouts in glossy magazines or jpegs on the gallery’s website, Patrick Wilson’s paintings basically appear as slick, decorative corporate lobby art. They’d go perfectly over a Corbu couch with matching conference table. From a polite distance, you might fairly think their saturated color block abstractions and overlapping geometries were computer generated. Float one of each of the canvases many sharp-edged rectangular fields on a drifting digital track and they would... [more]
Beauty’s Dark Side   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Eduardo Consuegra, Morgan Fisher, Richard Hawkins, William E. Jones, Brian Kennon, Hedi El Kholti, Elad Lassry, Michele O'Marah at Mandarin Gallery February 9th, 2008 - March 22nd, 2008
Posted 3/2/08
          Mandarin Gallery’s current exhibition is a conundrum. , curated by young LA art scene figures Andrew Berardini and Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, is both wily and gapingly tender, leaving you torn between the charm of the appropriated imagery and the works' darker side.  Much of the dapper collage and photography by the show’s eight artists has the same fugitive allure as the defaced books that got 1960's British writers Joe Orton and Kenneth Haliwell into trouble. Orton and his lover... [more]