- Category: Exhibition Reviews

Durian on the skin

With all of its flesh tones and synthetics, its re-purposed refuse, its simulations and premonitions, its wisps of human history and myth—and especially its rethinking of the body—“Durian on the Skin” feels very post-human, maybe even a little post-apocalyptic. Before seeing the show, “Durian on the Skin” caught my interest as I wanted to see …

LOW VOICE OUT LOUD

Oil painting’s historical connection to wealth—and more specifically to the rise of capitalism—is not news to anyone. As the art critic John Berger pointed out, oil painting’s rise to prominence as a medium had a lot to do with its ability to express the changing worldview of the Western European ruling class of the 16th …

Mapping The Sublime: Reframing Landscape in the 21st Century

While the majority of Americans, 72% according to a 2021 poll by Yale University, believe global warming is happening, only 47% seem to believe that it would harm them personally. This alarming second statistic seems to prove the national disconnect as to why most individuals don’t seem to “feel” the same urgency as those who …

The Conversation

“Listen up, motherf*ckers! Now we’re having fun.” The lines come squawking through a speaker (as in, an object producing sound) on the floor, but who is the speaker (as in, the subject producing the thought)? Is it the African grey parrot, or the scarlet macaw represented in high definition on two vertically-oriented wall monitors? Do …

We Are All Guests Here

One of my favorite half-truths in the art world is that there really isn’t anything new, just variations of what’s come before. It’s true that what might appear undeniably “new” can be endlessly dissected into “old” components, merely recombined. This seems like a dispiriting process, but it reveals another truth: that something exists apart from …

Song of the Cicada

In a moment of acceleration and rapid climate change artists must ask what it means and entails to approach this moment—the Anthropocene—from the vantage point of art-making. How can artists recalibrate notions of art to respond to this new planetary epoch? And how can artists use the sites of art to imagine a new future? …

Sacred Witness Sacred Menace

Perhaps it’s by default, reverence, or sentiment that we think of the progenitors of an art movement as having more difficult challenges than those who maintain it. But artists in the lineage of painterly abstraction increasingly face a new kind of problem, which verges on paradoxical: how does an artist advance an aesthetic when the …

Desert X 2021: Places and Ideas

Desert X is an exhibition that exists in two modalities. One is in the physical world – the actual sites of the work scattered throughout the Coachella Valley The other is the virtual world of media – both that produced by Desert X, and the ad-hoc user-generated documentation via social media. After a year of …

2 monogrammatic shows, 2 historical exhibitions, and a familial notion

Each of the five exhibitions currently on view at the California African American Museum (CAAM, www.caamuseum.org) stands on its own, but it is the sum total that makes the trip to Exposition Park worthwhile. On the whole, it’s intellectually, emotionally, historically, and contemporarily engaging. There’s a lot to see, but it’s digestible and not as …

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A Journey That Absolutely Was

“All meaning accrues in duration.” -Ken Burns* Memory, nostalgia, duration, rhythm, repetition — time. A Journey That Wasn’t purports to show works of contemporary art that “[consider] complex representations of time.” It’s a pretty open brief, but one that allows for an unexpected and playful grouping of works from in and around the vast Broad collection. …

Light and Space and Reality

The space is cavernous. The machinations at work creating the abstract play of light, shadow, and geometric shapes on the enormous floor-to-ceiling screen on the opposite end of the room are not readily apparent. The sound betrays only the occasional hint of having been designed – a chorus of construction sounds, piano strings, ratchets, and …