Nicholas Grider

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The Artifice of War  
Nicholas Grider at Sea and Space Explorations January 3rd, 2009 - January 31st, 2009
Posted 1/6/09
Nicholas Grider's exhibition, Artifice and Sacrifice is on display through January 31, 2009. For those unfamiliar with Grider's project, the left wall of the gallery sets out a bit of context. There's a hand-written anecdote from his experiences at Ft. Irwin along with the re-presentation of (presumably) an army manual that translates the command, "Stop or I'll shoot," into multiple languages. On several occasions Grider participated in military exercises at the Army's National Training... [more]
ArtSlant's Kristin Dickson met up with CalArts MFA candidate, Nicholas Grider, to talk about his current project following an Army Cavalry unit as an embedded photographer within "Fake Afghanistan" in the Mojave Desert. There's an enormous "Mideast" at Fort Irwin (near Barstow, CA) that is the size of Connecticut, which includes civilian first-generation emigrants from the Mideast, fake reporters like Grider, and army units in training. As the concentration for his MFA thesis show, Nicholas... [more]
Intervention   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Group Show at Kopeikin Gallery January 12th, 2008 - February 9th, 2008
Posted 1/21/08
A group show of fourteen artists from Berlin, Wunderlust Berlin showcases a vibrant cross-section of work using a wide variety of media.  Given the large number of artists in the relatively small space, there isn’t really a “dud” in the show.  Guest curator Laurie De Chiara has done an excellent job in compressing a wide survey into a small space and all of the work is worth seeing, but a few pieces in particular deserve special mention. One artist in the show with whose work I was already... [more]
In Between   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Anne Collier, Brian Fahlstrom, Evan Holloway, Carter Mull, Sterling Ruby at Marc Foxx January 12th, 2008 - February 9th, 2008
Posted 1/21/08
At first, the current group show at Marc Foxx offers little in the way of a theme or “hook.”  However, the juxtaposition of works that seem to have been randomly chosen to show together, other than the fact that they are all large-scale pieces, is ultimately rewarding rather than frustrating.  The gaps left between one artist’s work and that of another are productive in that they lead one to actually try to put the puzzle together, rather than simply “read” the show along a pre-determined... [more]
Words, Words, Words   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 12/16/07
As part of a larger initiative to foster debate in Los Angeles over the complexities and still-contested status of photography in the contemporary art world, LACMA has set up a website to accompany a year-long series of lectures and events.  So far, the site contains only a single essay and a number of responses, but the beauty of the site is that the first, provocative essay has provoked a debate that anyone, from amateur photo hobbyist to “art” photographer to critics and curators can... [more]
Between Painting and Writing   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Shepard Fairey at KP Projects / MKG December 1st, 2007 - January 5th, 2008
Posted 12/16/07
The very large show of new work by Shepard Fairey at Merry Karnowsky goes a long way toward recontextualizing the artist not simply as a “street” artist (responsible for those OBEY stencils and stickers) who has made the move from street to gallery but as a sophisticated, if slightly obsessive, collector of images.  Shepard’s current work falls much closer to the paintings of Lari Pittman (for example) than that of fellow street-related artists such as Barry Magee.  Magee and Pittman are both... [more]
As Far as the Eye Can See   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Kaucyila Brooke at Michael Dawson Gallery November 9th, 2007 - January 12th, 2008
Posted 12/16/07
Criminally underrecognized in her native LA, Brooke’s recent solo show of photographs and videos in the gallery of the Michael Dawson bookstore in Hollywood is a good illustration of two things: the first thing is that Brooke is a smart and sophisticated artist even when working with subject matter as benign as hunting towers in Germany; the second thing is that it’s a shame that Los Angeles can’t seem to support sophisticated and thoughtful contemporary photo/media work.The show itself is very... [more]
A Little Bit of Flavor   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 10/29/07
This may be one of those things that I’m the last to know about, but I recently was introduced to Homies—the small, gumball-sized plastic figures created by David Gonzales depict various kinds of LA denizens that walk a funny and very thought-provoking line between “representative” and “stereotype.”    The Homies (there are dozens of them, all currently on display at the Pasadena Museum of California Art) are literally dispensed (at least at the PMCA) via a gumball machine or are available by... [more]
Alive and Dead   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Dawn Kasper at Circus Gallery October 20th, 2007 - November 21st, 2007
Posted 10/28/07
    Dawn Kasper is a young, LA-based artist working mostly in performance, and many of those performances are meticulous, disturbing and dryly funny stagings of “her” own death—or at least the death of a character she has carefully created and then only left traces of for the performance visitor to reconstruct as if Kasper’s performance installations were art-decorated crime scenes.     They’re much more than that, though, and this is evident walking into Circus Gallery, which is for the... [more]
Text Working   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Robert Barry, Hanne Darboven, Guy de Cointet, Douglas Huebler, Olivier Mosset at Norma Desmond Productions September 15th, 2007 - December 16th, 2007
Posted 10/28/07
    Though there are a relatively small number of works on display at the new(ish) Norma Desmond and those works all employ superficially similar strategies—replacing image with text, or using text to push “image” to the margins—the exhibit, now extended through Dec. 16th, is a great example of the rich possibilities of text in contemporary art, both as a medium and as an end in itself.    Possibly due to the prevalence of captions and signs and other explanatory text that surrounds us in our... [more]
Foster’s Donuts   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 9/27/07
Foster’s, a tiny donut and coffee shop wedged into a tiny corner strip-mall on Colorado in Glendale, probably doesn’t have the best ambiance, the best location, or even the best food—but it has what’s more important in a city full of similar donut shops—character and almost exasperatingly low prices.By character I mean that though the place is tiny, the owner-operator family is friendly and quick to learn the favorites of their regulars.  And then there’s the décor, which ranges from a large... [more]
My Support Group Told Me to Go to Hell   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Torbjorn Rodland at Michael Benevento September 15th, 2007 - October 20th, 2007
Posted 9/27/07
, the terse, deadpan title of Norwegian photographer and video artist Torbjorn Rodland’s works at Michael Benevento is technically true, in terms of the surface content of the work, but the images, both as individual pieces and when taken together, offer forth a lot more than a kind of diaristic collection of portraits or still lives. If anything, Rodland’s understated but carefully-composed photos, as well as the quasi-structuralist video looped in the back, avoid falling into simple... [more]
The Day The Earth Began to Spin Faster   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Susan Silton at Solway Jones October 6th, 2007 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Posted 9/27/07
 Susan Silton’s exhibition title for her five new large-scale color photographs, does not actually refer to the film, The Day the Earth Stood Still.  While these photos are underpinned by film stills Silton chose of mid-century sci-fi films, the title refers to a still used from a different (but probably similar) film, The Day the Earth Caught Fire.   The tension between “standing still” and “catching fire” is at the center of these five new works.  Huge and vibrant bands of color overlay the... [more]
The part of the country I’m from—the upper Midwest—is a kind of architectural triumph of the Big Box.  By “big box” I mean a frighteningly large retail outlet a la WalMart* or SuperTarget (we have one in Burbank—check it out) where you can get almost anything that a Walmart or SuperTarget might provide.  It might be the cold winters, but there’s something nice about not having to stop at 10 different stores to collect the disposable stuff you need for the near future.  And in any case, bigness... [more]
Minimalism, Theatricality and You by Nicholas Grider   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Dan McCleary, Lucas Reiner, and George Stoll at Carl Berg Gallery September 8th, 2007 - October 6th, 2007
Posted 9/9/07
Let me start by paraphrasing the gist of Michael Fried’s famous anti-minimalism jeremiad Art and Objecthood: Fried argues that a minimal form like a cube or a grid of metal squares is essentially theatrical, requiring an audience to be present in order for the work to “function,” and that previous art had an autonomy that meant a given painting still meant something even when you weren’t standing in front of it—in other words, pre-minimalist art was a tree that, when it fell in the forest, did... [more]
A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Stephen G. Rhodes at Overduin & Co. September 6th, 2007 - October 17th, 2007
Posted 9/9/07
When you first enter Overduin and Kite, especially when you’re making the visit during a typically over-bright LA afternoon, the transition from the glare of the outdoors to the clutter and darkness of the gallery can be quite jarring.  But that fact that it’s difficult even to see much of Rhodes’ installation at first, save for two lower-than-eye-level screens onto which are projected what looks like cutting-room-floor footage of a duel, only adds to the eventual charm of the show—and is... [more]
As a fairly recent transplant to Los Angeles from Milwaukee, I was surprised that prices were about the same for most things in each city, except for two specific LA-based problems: real estate and restaurants.  I won’t get into the real estate issue, but the restaurant thing is odd, especially because it seems like there are restaurants everywhere here, and because you can’t eat anything at any of them for less than $10.  Except for India Sweets and Spices on Los Feliz Blvd. in Atwater.  It’s... [more]
The Authority of Architecture by Nicholas Grider   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Richard Ross at ACME June 30th, 2007 - July 28th, 2007
Posted 7/11/07
For the past six years, Richard Ross has been collecting images of places of power - interrogation rooms, holding rooms, and isolation cells - as a kind of survey of the “architecture” of power and force.  His current exhibition of these photographs titled Architecture of Authority is on view at Acme gallery through July 28, 2007.   There are more than a few reasons why you should not miss this exhibition, but the three that come to mind are the timeliness of the subject matter, the... [more]
What Does a Portrait Do? by Nicholas Grider   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Group Show at Marc Selwyn Fine Art June 30th, 2007 - July 28th, 2007
Posted 7/10/07
Some Kind of Portrait is a large group show that explores the idea of what a portrait is and means.  Though this is an interesting idea that could no doubt be expanded to fill large gallery spaces in a museum, Hensala and Watson do an excellent job of presenting a wide range of approaches to ‘the portrait’ in a small space, working with, rather than against, the intimacy of the gallery. With such a large group show, though, there’s always the danger of any intended theme getting lost among the... [more]
Instead of Painting by Nicholas Grider   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Wade Guyton, Nathan Hylden, Michael Krebber, Olivier Mosset, Stefan Muller, Kelley Walker, Christopher Wool at Richard Telles Fine Art June 30th, 2007 - August 4th, 2007
Posted 7/10/07
is a small, somewhat terse collection of mostly abstract, mostly painting-related pieces by seven artists, all but one of whom is represented by only one work.  This amount of restraint only makes the viewer work harder to connect the dots, and the results are very rewarding.   Close inspection of the show reveals that while there isn’t a theme, as such, two elements connect the initially very disparate work.  The first element is that all of the work in the show has an uncertain... [more]