Catherine Wagley

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Phoebe Unwin's solo show, Man made, is currently on view at Wilkinson Gallery, London (January 13 - March 6, 2011. Her work is also included in British Art Show 7: In the Days of the Comet (February 16 - April 17, 2011). The British Art show is recognized as one of the most influential exhibitions of contemporary British art. I has been taking place every five years since 1979. Curated by Lisa Le Feuvre and Tom Morton, British Art Show 7 opened in Nottingham, and after its London showing at the... [more]
Raymond Pettibon and Yoshua at the Armory Center for the Arts   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Yoshua Okon, Raymond Pettibon at Armory Center for the Arts May 23rd, 2009 - August 31st, 2009
Posted 6/29/09
Raymond Pettibon and Yoshua Okon work together seamlessly. Hipnostasis, their collaborative installation at the Armory, is a one-minded project. Yet it’s more opaque than work I’ve seen either artist do on his own. Pettibon’s raw scrawl is there without its pop-infused narrative and Okon’s unpretentious social commentary has become mythological.I first saw Hipnostasis through a chain-link gate. I had to ask to be let in, and while I know the gate exists to secure the video monitors, I still... [more]
Last weekend, at Machine Project, the crowd reached back to the door. Partly, this was because those of us who came late weren’t brave enough to take the empty seats at the front of the room. Mostly, this was because a surprising number of people wanted to spend Saturday afternoon thinking about design algorithms. Garnet Hertz, Tim Durfee, and Nick Klien each contributed lectures on, respectively, skeuomorphs (“an ornament or design on an object copied from a form of the object when made from... [more]
Gary Lang at Ace Gallery   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Gary Lang at ACE Gallery Beverly Hills July 18th, 2009 - October 31st, 2009
Posted 6/29/09
The The explosion at the end of Antonioni's Zabriskie Point transfixed me when I first saw it.  Then it transfixed me again and again as I re-watched. Antonioni's young heroine stares at the architectural embodiment of everything she's rejected, an aloofly minimal desert chateau, wishing to sever herself from its banal austerity. It's a sort of self-purging: her stare causes the chateau to blow in slow motion, debris psychedelically swimming to the music of Pink Floyd. No existential messages... [more]
Tawanna Thai   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 3/30/09
  Tawanna Thai 6236 Wilshire Blvd.Los Angeles, CA 90048Phone: 323-939-2450 Mon-Fri 11:00-10:00Sat-Sun 12:00-10:00 I love driving through Los Angeles because, every few blocks, I feel like I’m in a different city. There’s a little strip mall on Wilshire that enacts this LA phenomenon. A manicured Thai restaurant called Tawanna sits right next to a Subway, and the whole strip is made up of disparate, crammed-together shops. At Subway, the employees wear baseball... [more]
Exposing/Imploding   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Tierney Gearon at ACE Gallery Beverly Hills February 19th, 2009 - April 25th, 2009
Posted 3/30/09
        I have been trying, for the past week, to teach myself how to articulate what I felt when I saw Tierney Gearon’s Explosures. But I am still at a loss. I can say, quite simply, that Gearon’s photographs twist archetypes in a way that is both poignant and unnerving. I can also say that the many images—over thirty—hung in Ace’s Beverly Hills galleries are too many, and that I would have preferred to see fewer so that I could look at each without being distracted by the rest. However,... [more]
When I walked into the Ruskin Theatre last Saturday, to hear Richard Hertz read from his new book at Art LA, I was floored by how many people I recognized -32 bodies in the room and I could name 7 of them. Then, when Hertz began moving through his various narratives-The Beat and the Buzz: Inside the L.A. Art World includes a slew of narratives from people who have shaped the LA art world since 1970. The 30-plus people featured talk a lot about Walter Hopps and eccentricity (Jim Hayward: "I've... [more]
65 and Counting   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Group Show at Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (Scripps College) January 20th, 2007 - April 8th, 2007
Posted 2/2/09
          The two traditional craftsmen depicted on the massive sign outside Scripps College's Williamson Gallery are hard at work, sculpting ceramic masterpieces that promise to look a lot like what we usually imagine such masterpieces to look like: formally pristine vessels that share an aesthetic sensibility with Brancusi. For 65 years, Scripps College has honored ceramic art and this year's annual exhibition confronts the medium's stigmas head-on, suggesting that its baggage only adds... [more]
Curiosity Kills Couture   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Marianne Mueller at Kim Light / LightBox January 24th, 2009 - March 7th, 2009
Posted 2/2/09
          There are no faces in Marianne Mueller's photographs. The Swiss artist shoots thighs, arms, breasts, legs, sheets, shoes, poles, and bathtubs, but leaves eyes, noses, and mouths out of the picture. It's a brilliantly simple move. Every nuance of Mueller's newest exhibition at Kim Light/Lightbox evokes the shape and weight of a body-even images of microphones or piping feel like they're waiting to be filled by a living, breathing figure. Yet without facial expressions to pin down... [more]
- ArtSlant writer, Catherine Wagley, discussed form, process, history and practice with L.A. based artist, Steve Roden via email. "Installation View", 2008; Courtesy of the artist Catherine Wagley: When we talked the other day, you said that your interests are as impure as your work. I love that idea. What if your art is tainted by the history and cultural layer it interacts with, but tainted in an enticing sort of way? How do your wide-reaching interests in everything from Rimbaud to... [more]
Perfect Home   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 12/23/08
David Kordansky Gallery 3143 S. La Cienega Blvd, Unit ALos Angeles, CA 90016 Tel. 310-558-3030 Fax.310-558-3060 Tuesday - Saturday 11am-6pm David Kordansky Gallery has a new home at 3143 S. La Cienega Blvd, Unit A. “Unit A” is off the main drag, and, if not for a banner visible from the street, I may not have found it. The gallery’s new space is great—warehouse size, with towering ceilings. But what’s even greater is the way Kordansky’s inaugural exhibition interacts with its industrial... [more]
Is This What We Want?   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Rubén Ortiz Torres at LAXART November 15th, 2008 - January 3rd, 2009
Posted 12/23/08
With locations throughout the state, this year’s California Biennial literally invites a nomadic experience. In fact, much of the included work is actually about movement and transition. Both Julio Cesar Morales’ and Rubén Ortiz Torres’ contributions to the Biennial fit that bill, exuding a haunting potential energy that, installed at LAX Art and isolated from the rest of the exhibition, becomes all the more forceful.Knowing about Mexican General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, or about the night in... [more]
Smoke and Mirror   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Eileen Quinlan at Overduin & Co. December 14th, 2008 - January 24th, 2009
Posted 12/23/08
For images so methodically composed, Eileen Quinlan’s photographs are strikingly vulnerable. Her polished still lifes occasionally rupture, giving breath to cavities of bodily pinks or reds and interrupting the sleek, produced read that her work initially invites. Quinlan’s current exhibition at Overduin and Kite, titled Downtime, includes photographs from the artist’s ongoing “Smoke and Mirror” project. Maybe it’s only the likeness of the titles, or maybe it’s Quinlan’s understated aesthetic,... [more]
Automat   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 11/17/08
936 Chung Kind Road is now home to a strange experiment: a no-frills room of vending machines and picnic tables. The machines dispense snacks and sodas of the world market variety, not the typical snickers and coca-cola, and the whole environment strikes me as refreshing because of its lack of pretension. Called Automat, this snack shop resonates with the composed coolness of a gallery more than with the fullness of the nearby shops and restaurants. When I first saw it, I was sure it was some... [more]
Measuring Now   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Branden Koch at High Energy Constructs October 25th, 2008 - November 29th, 2008
Posted 11/17/08
It’s hard not to take Branden Koch seriously when you walk into High Energy Constructs and see his paintings’ intermittently coarse and lyrical surfaces. It’s hard not to feel a melancholy weightiness when you read the limited edition broadside that hangs repeatedly on the gallery’s left wall: “The burden of history, ever changing, with it’s refusal to remain fixed in one place…” But, when you realize that the broadside depicts the squished face of a cartoon bulldog and that Koch uses absurd... [more]
The Best Kind of Decadence   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Jennifer Vanderpool at Bandini Art November 1st, 2008 - December 5th, 2008
Posted 11/17/08
Jennifer Vanderpool’s Hysterical Paradise is a carefully controlled, pristinely crafted venture into lavishness. Vanderpool judiciously goes too far, filling Bandini Art with a hand-crafted garden of Astroturf cut-outs, plastic bag flowers, beaded bushes, duct-tape laden bird baths, and trees of painted cup-holders. The installation undoubtedly seduces. But it also does something else far more gripping. “A style of decadence is one in which the unity of the book is decomposed to give place to... [more]
Perfect Deceit   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Diana Thater at 1301PE September 18th, 2008 - October 25th, 2008
Posted 10/13/08
Diana Thater’s work is deceiving in the sincerest way possible. A video veteran—she’s been exhibiting since the early ‘90s—Thater always manages to maintain an understated freshness that makes her work seem fugitive and youthful. The ephemeral aura of her work is immediately discernible but the unsettling, non-narrative suggestions that her videos make take longer to uncover. Her current exhibition at 1301PE requires an investment; unless you take the time to lose yourself, you won’t feel the... [more]
Grappling with Bigness   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Edgar Arceneaux at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects September 13th, 2008 - October 30th, 2008
Posted 10/13/08
Edgar Arceneaux’s current exhibition at Susan Vielmetter Projects has a ravenousness that is at times as frustrating as it is intoxicating. It’s hungry to engage immense ideas—metaphysics, phenomenology, cosmology—and, as always, such ideas tend to be elusive. Arceneaux knows this and whenever he stops trying to depict the abyss and simply interacts with it, his work has the satiating quality of an ocean swim. You feel you’re a part of infinity instead of a powerless observer. In the main... [more]
Art near the Beach   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Posted 9/22/08
For me, gallery hopping is usually part of the work day. Since I love what I do, I can’t complain, and, especially when I’m on Wilshire or in Culver City, acting like I’m on the job seems completely fitting to the environment. But there is something surprisingly invigorating about going to galleries on Santa Monica’s Main Street or on the fringes of Venice Beach.  Especially if it’s a sunny Saturday, the dominant mood is leisurely, fun-seeking, and infectious, reminding me that art-viewing... [more]
Make it Useless or Skip It   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Amanda Ross-Ho at Cherry and Martin September 20th, 2008 - November 1st, 2008
Posted 9/22/08
“Tell me things I won’t mind forgetting,” says a dying woman in Amy Hempel’s story In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson is Buried. “Make it useless stuff or skip it,” the woman continues, and her friend, the story’s narrator, tentatively launches into a succession of anecdotes. Tidbits about Bing Crosby and chimpanzees downplay the closeness of death and the women lose themselves in their own witty rapport, dismissing everything weighty in favor of anything paltry. Amanda Ross-Ho’s second solo show... [more]
Don’t Take it Too Seriously   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
at Angles Gallery September 13th, 2008 - October 11th, 2008
Posted 9/22/08
At Angles Gallery, Sumo wrestlers trudge through snow, Buddha sits in a bucket of paint, a battlefield merges with an off-kilter carnival, imaginary machinery runs amuck, and a birthday party resembles a washed out still from a dated horror movie. Yet nothing about The Unruly and The Humorous, an exhibition curated by Thomas Whittaker Kidd, seems contrived. The work is genuinely, unpretentiously intractable and strange, which is high praise at a time when humor in art is often equated with... [more]
It’s been slow lately—not many openings and not much to see in Culver City, Chinatown, or any other gallery-heavy LA neighborhood. But late summer art scene lethargy is rapidly ending and I’m unusually excited about September. What I’m most looking forward to: Cycling Apparati, the joint venture by Solway Jones Gallery and High Energy Constructs, partially inspired by a Duchamp piece that it includes, promises to introduce a heady, surreal, idiosyncratic span of artwork from an unconventional... [more]
Ending Decadence   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Tom Allen, Brian Bress, Robert Fontenot, Wendell Gladstone, Julian Hoeber, Brian Kennon, Kelly Sears, Anna Sew Hoy, Ryan Taber, Ami Tallman, Cheyenne Weaver at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) June 12th, 2008 - September 27th, 2008
Posted 8/25/08
You want to feel artwork before you think about it, to feel guilty, uncomfortable, elated, seduced, or even perplexed. Then you want to kick your brain into gear, to figure why you feel what you feel, what dormant nerve the work has struck. Those situations in which your brain can’t decipher your emotional reaction are initially disappointing but ultimately unmemorable. The times when the feeling doesn’t strike at all and you have to do brain work first can be rewarding though, especially if... [more]
Beauty without Mystery   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
IwamotoScott at SCI-Arc Exhibitions August 8th, 2008 - September 14th, 2008
Posted 8/24/08
It’s a beautiful thing, the Voussoir Cloud that architects Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott designed. Beautiful, in this particular case, has multiple meanings. It means that the Cloud feigns effortlessness, that it merges delicacy with a paradoxical portliness, and that the transparency of its structure makes it feel pleasantly accessible.The vaults that make up the Voussoir Cloud—stoutly ephemeral canopies of paper-thin wood laminate petals—rely on each other and three gallery walls for their... [more]
ArtSlant's Catherine Wagley spoke with Kori Newkirk recently after the opening of , Newkirk’s installation at LAXART in Los Angeles in July 2008.  Rank consisted of a flashy, monumental podium of mirrors. In scale, the fabricated sculpture was a far cry from the intimate work Newkirk has done in the past, yet it still engaged the same absorbing, open-ended conversation about how people fit into the world at large. In this interview, Newkirk talks about being a painter who doesn’t paint, the... [more]
  Culver City’s ever-growing arts scene is as lively as ever this summer and the Music Festival is a fun low-key way to get in on the action. Featuring a diverse span of community-friendly artists, from a ‘70s rock band to progressive bluegrass group, the concert series is celebrating its 14th year. Concerts will be held in Culver City’s City Hall Courtyard every Thursday night at 7PM through August 28th More info at: [more]
Making Culture   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Guestroom, Mariano Mayer, nueans, Ojo, Gastón Pérsico, Public Holiday Projects, Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Peter Rostovsky, Dexter Sinister, Cecilia Szalkowics, Olav Westphalen at Lizabeth Oliveria Gallery July 5th, 2008 - August 16th, 2008
Posted 7/13/08
Multidisciplinary, collaborative, interactive exhibitions have the potential to be hazardous. Even those of us who are contemporary art world regulars tend to feel uncomfortable about touching artwork and we don’t always like to be asked to read a pamphlet or listen to a recording when we came to look. We, a cleverly energetic exhibition at Lizabeth Oliveria, Gallery, takes this problem on with gusto. Curated by Jen Lui, We includes work by nine international artist collectives. The exhibition... [more]
Indulgent Paintings   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Steve Roden at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects June 21st, 2008 - August 2nd, 2008
Posted 7/13/08
More is less and less is more for Steve Roden. The thick paintings in “Lines and Spaces” at Susanne Vielmetter Projects seem succinct despite their wrought under-painting, the layers melting together to become a single, indulgent experience. The main gallery is filled with mellow, full-bodied oil and acrylic paintings, all of which have idiosyncratic, music-inspired titles. “when sun is like rain. when rain is like sun,” hung at the back of the space, looks like what might happen if Karl... [more]
  Terence Koh's five year reunion at Peres Projects has led to a trail of flour on Chung King Road.  The basement of Peres Projects is filled with Koh's installation-a sea of flour and white sculptures-but all you can see from the street are the footprints covering the gallery floor. While Koh's show certainly deserves a visit, the footprints themselves are an exhilarating addition to Chinatown. They add a sense of mystery: some covert event that can't be seen from the street is leading to... [more]
Murakami in Moderation   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Takashi Murakami at Blum & Poe May 3rd, 2008 - June 14th, 2008
Posted 6/1/08
Takashi Murakami's tasteful new exhibition makes a persuasive argument for the importance of the gallery space. Murakami's retrospective at The Geffen Contemporary last winter-the same show is now on display at the Brooklyn Museum-was a sea of sex complexes, porno, bathroom humor, smiley faces and commercial glamour. The scale of the museum space made the retrospective's exorbitance seem decadent rather than alluring and the Geffen's galleries felt like a cul-de-sac of undirected audacity. But... [more]