Sola Agustsson

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One can’t help but think of the current political climate when looking at Jim Shaw’s apocalyptic installation , one of two inaugural exhibitions at the new Marciano Art Foundation in Central LA. The Scottish Rite Freemasons, the previous owners of the building, left behind an eclectic collection of set designs, paintings, wigs, and costumes they used in their rituals. These artifacts were perfect materials for Shaw, whose work has explored religion, the occult, and the esoteric for three... [more]
Heather Rasmussen’s began with her recreating three iconic pieces by surrealists Hans Breder, Rene Magritte, and Ujj Zsuzsi. In these “recitations,” Rasmussen arranged her own body among objects and possessions familiar to these surrealists to create studies in the form of three Polaroids. The “choreography” of these three studies opened up new modes of working for Rasmussen, who is also a dancer. In the process of remaking these artworks, Rasmussen was able to imagine the new series of... [more]
Malick Sidibé’s striking images of the Malian rock-and-roll scene have been widely exhibited, though rarely in the form he originally sold to his subjects. After late-night parties, guests would come to Sidibé’s photography studio to place orders for their portraits he’d taken earlier that evening. They did this, he claimed, partly because his studio had electricity, a luxury at the time. He often worked after hours developing chemises (French for “sleeves”)—small proof prints arranged in... [more]
Though widely read, novelists Octavia Butler and Angela Carter were often pigeonholed as “genre writers” in their time. In recent years, however, these women’s writings have experienced a resurgence in readership and, decades after publication, they still generate relevant political discussions about intersectionality, capitalism, and the environment. In a testament to their influence beyond the literary canon, two recent art shows engaged with Carter, Butler, and their vital subject matter, as... [more]
, a salutation that translates to “greeting” in the Abakuán language, welcomes Belkis Ayón’s first solo show in the United States to the Fowler museum. After Ayón’s death in 1999, the Afro-Cuban artist’s body of work was declared a patrimony by the Cuban government and was not allowed out of the country until recently. Ayón’s mysterious black-and-white prints appear as an obscure treasure that has just been uncovered, so it is fitting that her work be centered on the mythology of the Abakuá, an... [more]
Charting Experience: Four Artists with Developmental Disabilities Map Singular Visions   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Daniel Green, William Scott, Roger Swike, Joe Zaldivar at The Good Luck Gallery July 9th, 2016 - August 27th, 2016
Posted 8/6/16
The process of creating art always involves transmitting one’s singular sensory experiences into a discrete vision. The Los Angeles exhibition brings together four contemporary artists who organize information and experience through text and images, charting popular culture, physical space, and personal knowledge in painstakingly detailed work. Andreana Donahue and Tim Ortiz of Disparate Minds curated the exhibition, which is now on view at The Good Luck Gallery, a space dedicated to... [more]
In 1,000 Text Paintings, Betty Tompkins Proves Words Are As Provocative As Porn   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Betty Tompkins at Gavlak LA July 16th, 2016 - September 3rd, 2016
Posted 7/25/16
The media floods us with words and images aimed to categorize women. In Betty Tompkins’ new Los Angeles exhibition , the artist best known for her Fuck Paintings repaints some of these common labels, creating a feminist space for her pieces to expose and confront everyday sexist language and representations. On the walls of GAVLAK Gallery, 1,000 small textual paintings hang salon-style, presented as a cohesive installation. Their texts are derived from responses Tompkins got in an email thread... [more]
Ren Hang Fights Censorship and Taboos with Edenic Nude Photography   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Ren Hang at MAMA Gallery June 18th, 2016 - July 23rd, 2016
Posted 6/29/16
A photograph is rarely seen as an act of rebellion these days. Hundreds of billions of images are taken and circulated around the world each year. But under China’s censorship laws, Ren Hang’s outdoor nudes are radicalized. , Hang’s new exhibition now on view at MAMA, features striking photos the artist had to risk his reputation to take. Hang sometimes has to run from police when shooting. The Beijing-born artist, who usually photographs his friends naked has been arrested before for... [more]
Piecing It All Together: Nathaniel Mary Quinn Transfigures a Shattered World   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Nathaniel Mary Quinn at M+B May 13th, 2016 - June 25th, 2016
Posted 5/31/16
Nathaniel Mary Quinn’s fragmented portraits recall his childhood growing up in the Robert Taylor Homes, a notorious housing project in Chicago. His new series , now on view at M+B in Los Angeles, features highly personal works that reflect on his upbringing and the people he knew who were able to escape the violence and poverty so many experienced in the now demolished project. Though his pieces resemble collages, they are in fact improvised paintings. Quinn does not do initial sketches of his... [more]
M. Lamar Turns a "Negrogothic" Lens onto Black Masculinity and the White Gaze   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
M. Lamar at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives April 15th, 2016 - July 30th, 2016
Posted 4/20/16
In , a multimedia installation that recently opened at ONE Gay and Lesbian National Archives at the USC Libraries, artist and composer M. Lamar confronts themes of Black masculinity, collective trauma, and the white gaze through his singular “Negrogothic” vision. Combining Lamar’s operatic sounds, sadomasochistic visuals, and lots of smoke, the exhibition’s multichannel black-and-white videos are beautifully Gothic, yet also haunted by symbols of racial violence, slavery, and mass... [more]
Annette Weisser Traverses the Unsettled Moral Territories of Contemporary German Identity   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Annette Weisser at MiM Gallery March 26th, 2016 - April 23rd, 2016
Posted 4/4/16
Annette Weisser is interested in the remnants of history on the human psyche. The Berlin-based artist came of age in rural Germany in the 1980s, grappling with the specter of National Socialism and her own political socialization in West Germany. As part of the generation (the “grandchildren of the war”), Weisser and her contemporaries are caught in a moral crisis, horrified by the fascism of the past and unsettled by their nation’s ethos of repentance since the 1960s. Her work is a... [more]
The Sensual Writ with Blood: Catherine Opie’s O Series Exposes Intimacy in S&M Photography   Pick-button-f22fa879042524f5c7b8d2278b2983b8
Catherine Opie at LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art February 13th, 2016 - October 2nd, 2016
Posted 3/15/16
For the first time in Los Angeles, the entirety of Catherine Opie’s black-and-white photogravures from her series is on display at the Hammer Building at LACMA. In conversation with two other shows Opie currently has up in Los Angeles—700 Nimes Road at MOCA and Portraits, also at LACMA—as well as with Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium, on view now at LACMA, the seven images are contextualized in a larger photography moment. Opie’s work has long mediated the contradictions between... [more]
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