- Category: Exhibition Reviews

Art-Tease

Blazing pink like a Willy Wonka fantasy on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, Circus of Books is a historic gay bookstore and porn shop with a history stretching back to the 1960s. The store is the subject of an award-winning documentary of the same name about the older heterosexual Jewish immigrant …

Preserved Memories

Medical professionals forecast somewhere between 130 and 176 million people globally will have dementia in 2050, dramatically rising from 57.4 million in 2019, meaning that the chances of developing a neurodegenerative disorder or knowing someone with one are increasing at an alarming rate. “Preserved Memories,” a solo presentation of installation work by Aazam Irilian at …

At the Edge of the Sun

On rare occasions, there are gallery exhibitions that make a strong statement—either politically, culturally, or both— capturing the zeitgeist of a moment, and sparking a myriad of conversations. Perhaps the work is by an artist whose star is quickly rising or one whose art is so striking you know that their work will be included …

Imaginary Cartography

A map is a drawn representation of space, making sense of and setting limits to a given area. The earth’s terrain is charted through its natural barriers, carved and reshaped by mountains and rivers, as well as its man-made artificial borders used to enforce territory. Similarly, the human body can also be thought of as …

Felix Art Fair 2024 Edition

Learning about new and emerging contemporary artists can be daunting for the average person who doesn’t regularly attend gallery openings to mingle with artists, collectors, and the occasional celebrity, or discuss the latest art trends while exuding an equal level of aloofness and coolness. To do this in the first place, you would need to …

The End of the Night

Drawing inspiration from film and art history, Karyn Lyons’ wistful, evocative oil paintings of teenage girlhood are charged with coming-of-age romanticism. In her first solo exhibition at Anat Ebgi, “The End of the Night,” New York-based Lyons presents a suite of intimately scaled, semi-autobiographical oil paintings that capture the tenderness, mischievousness, and enchantment of a …

Synthetic Self

The meteoric rise of Artificial Intelligence, or AI, in 2023 has commanded our attention. From its popularity on platforms like ChatGPT—capable of generating and editing text with a few simple commands—to headlines of Hollywood on strike to renegotiate contracts based on AI’s newfound capabilities, to even President Biden’s recent executive order ensuring the “safe, secure, …

The Illusion of an “Underneath”: an exclusive interview with artist Hank Ehrenfried

What is revealed behind the fold? What is hinted at, but goes unseen? This is the power of art; to make something in our minds beyond what’s on the page. Hank Ehrenfried’s work — on display in Los Angeles for the first time as the new Vardan Gallery’s entrée into the art world — is …

HYPNAGOGIC SEX IDOLS

We as humans seem to have a fascination with documenting ourselves—with showing that we were here, that we mattered. From the crude marks of ancient cave paintings to more contemporary portraits of the wealthy and aristocratic, the act of documenting does more than just record its time. It also exposes something more universal about us, …

Hot House

In more ways than one, a garden is an apt metaphor for describing life. It’s difficult to tend; it requires patience, skill, and planning; and sometimes, despite a great deal of love and labor, the seeds we plant don’t always grow or blossom as we had hoped. Our internal lives can act as a garden, …

Echo

Understanding the chaos and grandeur of Elliott Hundley’s collage works means understanding the fundamental unit of their construction: the intimate and almost sentimental act of sifting through old objects and images, delicately cutting them out from their original form, and then placing them on pins as if they were entomological specimens. Hundley does this hundreds …

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 …