Ed Schad

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Nostalgia and Gratitude, Brokenness and Redemption   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Henry Diltz, Walden S. Fabry, Henry Horenstein, Les Leverett, David McClister, Raeanne Rubenstein, Ethan Russell, Leigh Wiener, Elmer Williams, Michael Wilson at Annenberg Space for Photography May 31st, 2014 - September 28th, 2014
Posted 7/20/14
I only need one song to explain how I feel about country music: George Strait’s . A modest hit in 1992, the tune’s not nearly as recognizable as Strait’s other classics. You’ll likely run into All My Exes Live in Texas, but probably not So Much Like My Dad. A few keys of the piano walk you into the song’s weather: the first few drops of an icy rain, a first snowfall. A brush hits the drumhead and somehow it’s cold. It hits a few more times and it’s been cold a long time. The guitar picks up,... [more]
Foul Perfection and Catholic Tastes   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Mike Kelley at MOCA Geffen Contemporary March 31st, 2014 - July 28th, 2014
Posted 4/29/14
Most of the rituals of living life are laid bare in the Museum of Contemporary Art's retrospective of Mike Kelley at the Geffen. Traumas bubble up from the basement of our pasts. Memory is found to be faulty and capable of being reorganized by desire. Patterns of life held dear today are found to have disturbing origins in history of violence and exploitation. All delivered with laughter, diabolical and absurd, the kind that comes from camp's exaggeration and annihilation of form. Kelley was... [more]
A Hard Edge Barely Contains Them   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson, Frederick Hammersley, John McLaughlin at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art December 21st, 2013 - June 29th, 2014
Posted 1/25/14
It may be hard to find, but Dave Hickey did a little catalogue for Karl Benjamin in 2007 (published by Louis Stern Gallery) that contained a sort of palate cleansing line that bears repeating. Actually it bears writing out in pen or maybe even reserving a little space on your pegboard: “One need only consider Abstract Expressionism, for just a moment, as just another style to see with a great deal of clarity that, in the Post World War II period, geometric abstraction, or op art, or hard... [more]
Walks Through a Strange Country   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
John Divola at Pomona College Museum of Art September 3rd, 2013 - December 22nd, 2013
Posted 12/24/13
During the later 18th century and into the 19th, most of Europe took to the countryside. It is not clear how the trend emerged, but when people started to walk, they really started to walk. Thomas De Quincey, author of (1821), speculated that poet William Wordsworth walked 180,000 miles during his lifetime. Art historian Kenneth Clark, amongst others, located this new fervor in the decline of religion, a spiritual vacuum that found expression in a new belief in the divinity of nature.... [more]
My painting is tomorrow's painting. Watch and see.   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Forrest Bess at Hammer Museum September 29th, 2013 - January 5th, 2014
Posted 11/6/13
—Forest Bess, 1951   I saw my first Forrest Bess at the Hammer in 2008, in Amy Sillman's room in curator Gary Garrell's Oranges and Sardines, a group show composed of artists choosing their favorite artists. Star of David, 1959, was one of three paintings I remember, the other two being a devastating little Paul Thek called God is, 1988, and a little hard edge by Juan Melé called Irregular Frame No. 2, 1946. None of these artists are exactly famous, though they inspired Sillman enough to... [more]
The Last Paintings of Cy Twombly   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Cy Twombly at Gagosian Gallery Beverly Hills April 27th, 2012 - June 9th, 2012
Posted 5/5/12
Cy Twombly, it's been my experience, was always at a distance. Most of his life, he lived across the world in whitewashed ancient cities. I never met the man, but all accounts point to a dignified august presence. To me, he’s a fantasy of a Roman poet with a bearing full of nature and wind but also philosophy and silence. His paintings, at least institutionally, have at the moment a certified “you have to like this” air that often makes it exponentially more difficult to see them. I remember... [more]
In the Hammer’s recently released Now Dig This: Art and Black Los Angeles catalogue, there is a reprinted photo from 1971 showing twenty-four young Los Angeles artists arranged casually on the steps of LACMA. There are two African Americans in the picture. The man in the middle, Fred Eversley, is well represented in the Hammer’s galleries by a grouping a very fine resin sculptures, but the other man in the picture, Joe Ray, you might not know. He has wild hair, a thick beard, and a broad... [more]
Why I’m Not Going to See Five Car Stud at LACMA   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Edward Kienholz at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art September 4th, 2011 - January 15th, 2012
Posted 10/10/11
I’d just finished my freshman year of college in Texas when I heard about the brutal murder of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas. Mr. Byrd was dragged by his ankles behind a pickup truck for almost three miles. What was left of his body was dumped in front of an African-American cemetery. I tear up remembering the event and the details of the murder even now. The legislation which arose from the crime, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, was signed by President... [more]
Where in this ripe history can we locate the young Kassay?   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Jacob Kassay at L&M Arts, Los Angeles July 21st, 2011 - September 2nd, 2011
Posted 8/9/11
Twenty-seven-year-old Jacob Kassay’s monochromes at L&M are functions of science and grace. Using a variation of electroplating, metal particles adhere to the surfaces like fields of glimmering dust. The scientific process, however, is the unobtrusive backdrop to subtle variations of color, dry matte bronzes next to pinks, pinks next to cool whites. The paintings have a light touch, and the impression is that Kassay’s L&M show wants to induce feelings of careful calibration and... [more]
The Soul of Paul Thek   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Paul Thek at Hammer Museum May 22nd, 2011 - August 28th, 2011
Posted 7/4/11
Paul Thek believed in a soul. More essentially to his particular pain, he believed in its transience. Part of the brutality and genuine emotion of Thek’s work was that the soul’s peril, its ability to lose a handle on itself, was often more palpable for Thek than soul’s ability to transcend its condition. There are glimpses, premonitions, flourishes, passing brushes of air that tempt hope, but Thek’s soul (his animus, his central compelling force) most often appears as something under attack,... [more]
Give Beauty Back   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
ORLAN, Lillian Bassman, Gilles Bensimon, Erwin Blumenfeld, Guy Bourdin, William Claxton, Chuck Close, Michel Comte, Patrick Demarchelier, Mary Ellen Mark, Greg Gorman, Jean-Paul Goude, Lauren Greenfield, Philippe Halsman, Horst, Lynn Johnson, David LaChapelle, Paul Lange, Robert Maxwell, Nino Muñoz, Leonard Nimoy, Man Ray, Terry Richardson, Herb Ritts, Matthew Rolston, Norman Jean Roy, Martin Schoeller, Andres Serrano, Melvin Sokolsky, Bert Stern, Tyen, Ellen von Unwerth, Albert Watson, Carrie Mae Weems at Annenberg Space for Photography May 21st, 2011 - November 27th, 2011
Posted 6/6/11
A couple of years back, the New Yorker ran a profile of a person who is usually hidden from the public but who perhaps has a wider handle and power on how we see than any artist or optometrist. He is the best in the world, sought after by both artists like Philip-Lorca DiCorcia as well as almost every high profile magazine, and his job is a simple one, to make people look “better,” more beautiful by tweaking the tragedy of the image that was actually captured by the camera. It is Pascal... [more]
The Known and the Disguised: Eberhard Havekost, Part 2   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Eberhard Havekost at Roberts & Tilton February 26th, 2011 - April 2nd, 2011
Posted 3/28/11
The reason why Eberhard Havekost is farther towards doom than Tuymans or Richter is he does not allow as many touchstones, as many meaningful breaths of meaning in the swirling turbulent ocean of broken images. In Richter’s Atlas of photographs, for instance, we find the personal and the political mixed with the banal (and the same goes in Tuymans’ canon of imagery as well). To extend the issue to photography, even Thomas Ruff, that priest of the particulars of how photography carries meaning... [more]
The Known and the Disguised: Eberhard Havekost, Part 1   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Eberhard Havekost at Roberts & Tilton February 26th, 2011 - April 2nd, 2011
Posted 3/28/11
Eberhard Havekost’s paintings are blurry. This simple fact is what makes the painting complicated. Something has to precede the act of blurring. Even his most color stroked works can’t help but suggest they come from somewhere, from a photograph, from a landscape, from an image of some sort. For this reason, some commentators refer to Havekost’s paintings as spectral, as haunted, inhabited by spirits and ghosts. We don’t know the ghosts but we suspect their presence. Other commentators prefer... [more]
A Place Like This of His Own, Part II   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Thomas Houseago at L&M Arts, Los Angeles January 22nd, 2011 - March 5th, 2011
Posted 2/8/11
Houseago likes to unify different visions, but rarely does he do it as seamlessly as he does in Rattlesnake Figure. What’s even more impressive is that this isn’t the entire story with Rattlesnake Figure. When encountering the work, I challenge the viewer to determine the back of the sculpture from the front. After close looking, I failed in my attempt. Glutes easily turn into thigh muscles, the directional force of the legs and body is difficult to determine, the face carving and drawing is a... [more]
A Place Like This of His Own, Part I   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Thomas Houseago at L&M Arts, Los Angeles January 22nd, 2011 - March 5th, 2011
Posted 2/7/11
When it comes to the many young Los Angeles artists that engage very specific modernist masters amongst a litany of popular associations, I am considering the possibility that despite all of their witty references, their contemporary posturing, and in general, their fast talking when it comes to art, it is best to start with a simple question: do these artists live up (on a formal, physical level) to the artists they think about? Does a Mark Grotjahn painting hold a wall as well as a Jasper... [more]
Nathan Mabry's Laughter: Part 2   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Nathan Mabry at Cherry and Martin January 8th, 2011 - February 12th, 2011
Posted 1/18/11
I’ve debated with myself about which side of this equation Mabry is on. For instance, when I see a Lipchitz piece crying, I think of sculpture as laughing at people who genuinely believe in the embedded spirit in things, who believe that a water spot under a bridge in Chicago is the Virgin Mary or that a crucifix can bleed real blood. Mabry maybe suggesting that Lipchitz’s strenuous beliefs in modernist form and its ability to tap into the primitive power of other cultures was bound to have a... [more]
Nathan Mabry's Laughter: Part 1   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Nathan Mabry at Cherry and Martin January 8th, 2011 - February 12th, 2011
Posted 1/18/11
After placing a solid, heavy Michael Heizer-ish hunk of rusty teel sculpture in the first gallery, Nathan Mabry has done an odd thing with the center gallery of Cherry and Martin. He has built a temple.  In the foreground, he has placed a copy of Jacques Lipchitz’s , 1926-30, set on a bed of gravel, crying with a streaming water possibly to be used for ablutions. Deeper into the gallery stand three attendant goddesses around a central figure. The three sculptures are variations on Baga D’mba... [more]
Deceiving the Eye: Kaz Oshriro and Steve Wolfe Part 2   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Steve Wolfe at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art November 20th, 2010 - February 20th, 2011
Posted 12/13/10
        Steve Wolfe focuses on books, and his aims might be considered more personal than philosophical. His 2-D drawings and sculptures feature the cheap, well handled paperbacks that are stuff of serious readers. These books, with their dog ears and tears and bloated contents, have been read over and over — the attention that is paid by Wolfe to his trompe-l'œil detailing matches the detail that the apparent readers have paid to each book. Like Oshiro, the touches, the evidence of... [more]
Deceiving the Eye: Kaz Oshriro and Steve Wolfe: Part 1   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Kaz Oshiro at Las Cienegas Projects November 12th, 2010 - December 11th, 2010
Posted 12/13/10
      It is, initially, hard for me to justify why anyone would ever worry about trompe-l'œil anymore. At their best, trompe-l'œil artists might just be labeled masters of special effects, sort of industrial beings focused on making an impressive product without meditating on why you should make such products in the first place (falling short in the equation that “impressive object + meaning > impressive object”). Furthermore, the objects or images that are mimicked, in how they... [more]
The Playful Art of Blinky Palermo, Part II   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Blinky Palermo at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art October 31st, 2010 - January 16th, 2011
Posted 11/1/10
          While Beuys would make a metaphysical postulations about primal conditions of heat and conservation, Palermo just seems to ask questions like, “Can I get something from the Utopian forms of Malevich without buying into his mysticism?” or “Can I just have the dynamism of basic shapes playing intuitively on a canvas, sensing a purpose in the play yet not needing a reason?” Palermo’s funky result is , 1964. When Kiefer is walking Germany, taking pictures of himself in the... [more]
The Playful Art of Blinky Palermo, Part I   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Blinky Palermo at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art October 31st, 2010 - January 16th, 2011
Posted 11/1/10
          Blinky Palermo was born Peter Schwarze in 1943, subsequently adopted  he became Peter Heisterkamp. And, as far as I know, there are at least two origin stories for why, around 1964, his name changed again to Blinky Palermo. First, some say his teacher Joseph Beuys gave him the moniker because of Heisterkamp’s resemblance to the famous gangster and boxing promoter (Beuys loved boxing), and this makes a certain amount of sense: origin myths and the magic of names (his name... [more]
The Pathetic Art of Paul McCarthy, Part II   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Paul McCarthy at L&M Arts, Los Angeles September 25th, 2010 - November 6th, 2010
Posted 10/4/10
          All this said, I get to the L&M show. McCarthy at L&M, perhaps most shockingly, appears pretty tame, and two of the works, Ship and Apple, come across as almost collegial, despite their lumpen masses of rips and tears. Train Mechanical, though graphic with its portraits of W giving it to a group of pigs, comes across, at least to me, as far less disturbing than your average, sincere Disney animatron. But to say that these sculptures are tame, though a criticism, is not a... [more]
The Pathetic Art of Paul McCarthy, Part I   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Paul McCarthy at L&M Arts, Los Angeles September 25th, 2010 - November 6th, 2010
Posted 10/4/10
          I wonder if there could be a book length treatment of the pathetic. Books on the abject, sincerity, authenticity, the uncanny, and other elusive descriptors exist, but nothing I can find on the pathetic. You would think it would be fodder for a class warrior Marxist critic who could point to moments of sympathy, pity, and sadness that arise in person of privileged position due to the actions of someone in a low state or lower class, someone overly earnest, overly awkward, someone... [more]
      The Getty and LACMA have, in the sporting paintings of Jean-Léon Gérôme and Thomas Eakins, two exhibitions that thankfully counsel one through the doldrums of disappointing gallery group shows (with the exception of Blum and Poe’s show) that mark the end of summer. The Eakins exhibition is delightfully tight with a scattering of paintings and studies that give one an insight into his working method, from inception to completion alongside a nice reading room where one can pick through... [more]
Spectacular Spectacles   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Jean-Léon Gérôme at Getty Center Los Angeles June 15th, 2010 - September 12th, 2010
Posted 9/6/10
          is uneven, full of fluff, and annoyingly open to the bad historical and curatorial habit of reviving an artist, trumping up why they are important in the first part of a show, only to critique the artist over their inappropriate beliefs in the last few sections. However, at points, perhaps due to Gérôme’s ability to let his allegories hang loose and open to various interpretations, some of the paintings feel current and relevant to many of the world’s current problems. His... [more]
“not a painter, but a force”   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Thomas Eakins at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art July 25th, 2010 - October 17th, 2010
Posted 9/6/10
      I am fascinated by Walt Whitman’s thought that Eakins was “not a painter, but a force.” Eakins didn’t strike me, in LACMA’s , as much of a force, but more a careful, diligent student of life, tempted by the forceful, the muscular, and the dramatic, hardly eager to let the stormy extent of those things play their way into melodrama or spectacle. He lived at a time when the robust inheritance of America was starting to stretch its legs with its factories, architecture, and bridges, the... [more]
A New Low of Ignorance or a New Height of Achievement?   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ryan Trecartin at MOCA Pacific Design Center July 18th, 2010 - October 17th, 2010
Posted 8/9/10
  One of my favorite quotes, written early in the 20th century, long before the internet or wikipedia or social networking or Twitter or Youtube is this from T.S. Eliot: “The vast accumulation of knowledge – or at least of information --- deposited by the 19th century have been responsible for an equally advanced ignorance.” I always found these words particularly bitter because of what they must suggest about our present, where information has become not only instant by hyperdimensional... [more]
Rachel Harrison’s Strangely Sensible Sculptures   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Rachel Harrison at Regen Projects (Hollywood) May 27th, 2010 - July 10th, 2010
Posted 7/6/10
  Rachel Harrison is phoning it in as of late. For an artist that for many (not me) represented a wonky, handmade burst of fresh air in the mid-90s, her proceedings, it is easy to argue, now have a certain rote feel to them. She’s been, for instance, trotting out her photographs from an ongoing series of photographs called Voyage of the Beagle and placing them next to a sparse population of sculptures since 2007. That’s only 3 years, and perhaps unfair to say, but it stands to reason that an... [more]
Aaron Curry’s Curious Enterprise   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Aaron Curry at David Kordansky Gallery June 5th, 2010 - August 7th, 2010
Posted 7/5/10
      Aaron Curry’s new exhibition at David Kordansky finds the artist looking for a type of ambitious formal and conceptual scale that has always eluded him, mostly one assumes for lack of studio and exhibition space. The gallery is pleasantly full of large, freestanding sculptures in bright colors and the walls are completely papered over with grey toned screen prints of liquid bubbles (Tonky Star (Points of Cosmogenesis), 2010). A bubble might be a metaphor for what Curry wants—a shiny,... [more]
The Paintings of Miller Updegraff   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Miller Updegraff at Michael Benevento March 11th, 2010 - May 1st, 2010
Posted 3/15/10
A critical shortcoming of mine is to be so overwhelmed by what things look like and what they remind me of, that I forget what they are. What’s worse, is that I burden younger artists, who are just trying to get their toe in the door of this impossibly silly but important artworld, with the weight of those that came before them – I perhaps unfairly went after Steven Bankhead at Circus because he couldn’t live up to his Barnett Newman references in a clear manner; I unleashed the... [more]