Kang Seung Lee’s two part exhibition at Commonwealth & Council reflects in part on photography’s documentary capacity by re-examining and reproducing photographs. Lee’s project grapples with the indexical nature of photography, but moves beyond merely exploring concerns surrounding what Roland Barthes called photography’s “evidential force.” [Read more…]
There was no way it was ever not going to be a mess: eleven years of one of the most influential American art galleries, condensed into a 100,000 square foot section of LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion. Consider the fact that many of the artworks in the 134 exhibitions held over those eleven years turned out to be canonical Modernist masterpieces, and were acquired by museums or major private collections around the globe, many now unwilling or unable to lend them. Others were destroyed, or lost, or are too delicate to go on public display. Some – not all of them masterpieces – entered LACMA’s own collection, so of course they wound up in this show, whether they fully deserved to be there or not. [Read more…]
Point Blank is the title of the exhibition of four new paintings by Berlin based German painter Marcel Eichner (b. 1977, Siegburg, Germany) at James Fuentes Gallery, New York. In this show, Eichner works in acrylic and ink, with vigorous ink drawing and marks on broad washes of acrylic ground in pastel pinks and blues, and areas of white. These paintings mark the fulfillment of a new phase in Eichner’s approach to painting, since he has now moved away from his earlier idiom derived from the style of his mentor at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Jörg Immendorff. In his earlier work, Eichner emulated the piecework integration of figure and ground that is characteristic of Immendorff, an almost claustrophobic “interior-view” aesthetic so often found in the German Expressionist tradition. [Read more…]
It would be easy to say that the alternative histories portrayed in the works of Umar Rashid are perfectly timed to reflect the era of “alternative facts” taking place in this historical moment. But the truth is, if you are going to make art intended to talk, both directly and indirectly, about the oppression of people of color and the suppression of their history, there is no time in the modern era when the work would not seem timely.
As Frohawk Two Feathers, and now Umar Rashid, the artist re-imagines 18th century history in images that recall traditional portraiture, folk art and Native American art but updated with details from the contemporary world. The mash-up allows him to speak simultaneously about the past and the present, accompanied by a complicated written narrative that must be read to fully understand the work. [Read more…]
Silent Voices at LewAllen Galleries, Santa Fe NM Reviewed by John Biscello
During a recent visit to Santa Fe, I chanced upon the artwork of Linda Stojak. Her show, Silent Voices, was being featured at LewAllen Galleries, and entering the shrine-like atmosphere of the nine-painting exhibition, I immediately felt as if I were holding sacred vigil or bearing witness to metamorphic elegies.
The female subjects comprising Silent Voices seem to exist in a haunted chrysalis state, or embryonic purgatory. Their faces, ashen swabs which are kin to Di Chirico’s faceless enigmas, suggest not only the tragic obliteration of identity but also the potential for rebirth, i.e., a Bardo makeover. [Read more…]
at The Harwood Museum of Art, Taos NM
Reviewed by Erin Currier
Not unlike tin scraps gathered, then painstakingly crafted and painted into ex-voto offerings under the dim flicker of propane lamps in the outer rings of Mexico City, Antigua, or Salvador, and not unlike the mid-century Beat “cut-ups” of William S. Burroughs scattered like lotus petals on a mosaic tiled floor in the junk-sick dawn of Tangiers, and not unlike the embroidered Ayahuasca-dreamt songlines of the Amazonian Shipibo, Anthony Hassett’s pen, ink and glaze drawings in Japanese Moleskin albums are rhythms of a history at once autobiographical and universal: poetic calling cards shuffled and laid bare in a line by an adept renderer’s hand that has the strength and fury of a fighter’s fist combined with the mystical empathy of a Stigmata. [Read more…]
On Saturday, January 21st of this year, Tony welcomed me into he and Erin’s warm home. Greeting me at the door with a big hug and smile, Tony, despite his ongoing lengthy battle with cancer, was his usual self: cracking gallows humour jokes about his health, about the newly inaugurated President Trump, the cop-rotten planet, and so much more. [Read more…]
I have a vested interest in finding whether essential differences exist between the art of women and that of men. A woman, I’ve been doing, appreciating, thinking about art all my life. Questions assail me as I approach the MOMA exhibition Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction. Is their work different from their male counterparts? If it is different, in what way? Is their art worse, justifying the relative obscurity they have been left in? Is there a unifying quality to the work, or is the collection of individualities more defining than the elusive gender? [Read more…]
Matthew Marks Gallery, NYC
Reviewed by Donald Lindeman
A confusion about media is at the heart of Vija Celmins‘ artmaking. In her new show at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York, are paintings, prints and sculptures, but we soon learn that things are seldom what they seem in Celmins’ art. The paintings and prints are based on photographs made by her, and some of the sculptures are ‘real’ found objects, e.g. stones, writing tablets, that are juxtaposed to mind-boggling “doubles” crafted by the artist. [Read more…]
The Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach
Reviewed by Nancy Kay Turner
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream”
Edgar Allan Poe
“Dreamland,” Frank Romero’s sprawling (like Los Angeles itself), exuberant retrospective at the Museum of Latin American Art, is jam-packed with over 200 paintings, monotypes, mixed-media low-relief wall pieces and jazzy neon sculptures. Romero, a founding member of Los Four in 1974 with Carlos Almaraz, Gilbert “Magu” Lujan and Roberto “Berto” de la Roche, came of age artistically in that heady time when identity politics was being shaped. Groups underrepresented in the art world at that time -women, gays and lesbians, Chicanos – all separated into their respective tribes to develop and nurture art that both described and celebrated their unique experience. [Read more…]
A Pen of All Work New Museum, NYC Reviewed by Martin Woessner
I still find it strange that there is a contemporary art museum on the Bowery, but the Bowery is no longer the Bowery. The New Museum is located a block and a half down from a Whole Foods and about three blocks down from where CBGB’s used to be. There’s a John Varvatos boutique there now, selling designer button-downs, vintage vinyl and even—if you have the cash—vintage turntables on which to play said vintage vinyl. I’m sure the framed photographs of the Ramones I spied through the window can be had for the right price as well.
It is impossible to ignore these things when you visit the current, career-spanning exhibition of Raymond Pettibon’s work at The New Museum, “A Pen of All Work.” [Read more…]
Fowler Museum, Los Angeles
Reviewed by Lorraine Heitzman
The recent show at The Fowler Museum, Nkame: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón, was the first major retrospective of Ayón’s powerful and emotional work in the United States and inarguably one of the most significant exhibitions that opened in Los Angeles last year. Nkame, meaning “greeting” or “praise” in the language of Abakuá, was a welcome homage to Ayón’s signature black and white prints and featured a comprehensive selection of her work never-before shown together outside of Cuba. [Read more…]
JTT Gallery, NYC
Reviewed by Michael Hilsman
Dan Herschlein’s current exhibition, “Safe as Houses,” at JTT Gallery in New York’s Lower East Side, consists of wall works, sculptures, and works on paper. Situated in the center of the gallery floor is a work titled The Tenant, which, like much of the sculptural work in the exhibition, is made from pigmented wood, plaster, and pigmented joint compound painted in thin washes of milk paint, a type of paint similar to casein and used by early American furniture makers. [Read more…]
Justin Lyons is a mixed media artist living in the Florida panhandle. We spoke with him on the eve of his solo exhibition at the Bruce Lurie Gallery in Los Angeles.
CHRISTOPHER HASSETT: Before addressing your most recent work, I wanted to briefly touch on a few signature elements in what is considered to be pivotal career pieces, elements which not only define but help flesh out your global visual language. This language, by the way, initially and superficially registers as being quite primitive, even crude, but upon spending time with these pieces it becomes apparent that something more thoughtful and sophisticated is taking place. [Read more…]
Pierogi, New York City
Reviewed by Phoebe Hoban
Elliott Green’s show at Pierogi is an eye-opener. The dozen ambitious canvases exude enormous confidence and verve, and more than most contemporary abstract painting, bring the once-radical genre of abstract-expressionism back to its original roots. While essentially abstract, these works are nothing if not expressive on a purely visceral level, a painted barometer of a roiling subconscious encountering disorienting change. [Read more…]
The Broad, Los Angeles
Reviewed by Nancy Kay Turner
“Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.” —Albert Camus
“Creature,” at The Broad Museum, brings together 55 diverse artists whose engaging work, according to the curatorial statement, demonstrates a “representation of the self.” This vague description states the obvious, as art is always crafted of its maker’s fears, obsessions, thoughts, attitudes, neuroses and beliefs. However, let’s examine the word creature. What does the word “creature” conjure? If you are of a certain age, you might automatically think of the cheesy fifties B movies such as, “Creature of the Black Lagoon” or “Godzilla,” our favorite irradiated lizard mutating into a rampaging gigantic freak of nature. Creatures can inspire fear, dread or curiosity. They can be small and terrifying (tarantulas, snakes), or unknown and unknowable like aliens. They can even be invisible like ghosts, goblins or spirits. Real or invented, they populate our imagination and our nightmares. [Read more…]
Neville Wakefield is the Curator and Artistic Director of Desert X, a site-specific contemporary art exhibition ongoing throughout the Coachella Valley from February 25 to April 30, 2017. RIOT MATERIAL spoke with Neville on the eve of Desert X’s launch.
CHRISTOPHER HASSETT: What is it about these artists you’ve selected for Desert X that speak to you personally, or speak to a greater vision you’re trying to articulate through the exhibition, and I refer to them more as an inter-connective group as opposed to distinct individuals? [Read more…]
Desert X, a site-specific contemporary art exhibition in the Coachella Valley, curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield, will become the sweeping canvas for work by established and emerging artists, whose projects will amplify and articulate global and local issues ranging from climate change to Tribal culture, immigration to tourism, gaming to golf. The exhibition, which opens to the public this weekend, 25 February, will focus attention on, and create a conversation about, environmental, social and cultural conditions of the 21st century as reflected in the greater Palm Springs area.
In an online roundtable discussion, RIOT MATERIAL spoke with Desert X artists Jennifer Bolande, Glenn Kaino, Phillip K. Smith III, Tavares Strachan about the desert, their driving visions, and their particular installations. [Read more…]
Works On Paper And Sculpture Art Los Angeles Contemporary / Kayne Griffin Corcoran By Christopher Michno
At this year’s Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the international contemporary art fair of the West Coast, the Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran devoted its booth to a display of 46 works on paper and two mixed media sculptures by David Lynch. The four day affair, running January 26-29, 2017, offered a dense sampling of the 70 year old artist’s drawings and watercolors, the majority of which were dated from 2008 through 2014. Though most of these works have been previously exhibited, it was a welcome reprise, and Lynch’s works on paper addressed threads that also repeatedly emerge in the auteur’s better known film oeuvre—the desire to probe the unconscious mind, the sense of the uncanny, the need to stare directly into the murky depths of humanity’s darkness. But as is the nature of small works on paper, they are quieter than his film work, and more reflective. [Read more…]
Elizabeth Peyton’s portraits of both her friends and members of the cultural elite of her era, (Kurt Cobain comes to mind), first gained celebrity in the mid-to-late 90s. Since then, there has been what one might informally call a Peyton school of portraiture, particularly among young or emerging artists. Peyton herself owes a debt to the great portrait painter Alice Neel, known for her incisive psychological studies, and in fact paid homage to Neel with a nude image of the artist (referencing Neel’s own famous nude self-portrait at age 80.) [Read more…]