Andrew Berardini

  • Lutz Bacher, Moskva (Moscow), 2019, 96 ink-jet prints, each 61 3⁄4 × 44".

    Lutz Bacher

    Enigmatic, hilarious, disorienting, and almost mythic, the four decades’ worth of work by the artist pseudonymously known as Lutz Bacher is unparalleled in its raw wit. Bacher had been working with fellow artist (and University of California, Irvine, professor) Monica Majoli to plan this solo exhibition until this past May, when she suddenly died of a heart attack, leaving Majoli to complete the installation. It’s hard to believe it was Bacher’s last.

    Four works were spread over multiple spaces on the University of California’s Irvine campus. Moskva (Moscow), 2019, in many ways felt the most

  • View of “Dylan Mira,” 2019.

    Dylan Mira

    “The word in Korean for shaman means ‘ten thousand spirits,’ as in to be in conversation with. In Chinese, ‘ten thousand things’ means the infinite,” explained the artist Dylan Mira through a recording, her voice disembodied as if she were another ghost haunting this spectral space. In her first exhibition with Park View/Paul Soto in Los Angeles, Mira fluttered through time and space with personal tales, physics theories, mythology, and history, all wrapped into a video installation demonstrating (as she puts it in a recent biography) “bodies making language through the thickness of time.”

  • Lenz Geerk, Untitled, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 59 x 78 3/4".
    picks September 27, 2019

    Lenz Geerk

    “The color is repellant, almost revolting; a smouldering unclean yellow, strangely faded by the slow-turning sunlight. It is a dull yet lurid orange in some places, a sickly sulphur tint in others,” wrote Charlotte Perkins Gilman in 1892, in the story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” In the largest woeful painting in Lenz Geerk’s exhibition, Untitled, 2019, the walls’ hues may be just as lurid and maddening, ranging from sinister buttercup to jaundiced saffron, filling the room with a soft, staid menace. Edging away from the right edge of the canvas, a woman stands with one arm grasping the other in the

  • Alexa Guarilglia, The Lionized Crumb (The Things We Are), 2019, gouache, watercolor, and ink on paper, 60 × 45 1⁄2".

    Alexa Guariglia

    The lanky ladies in Alexa Guariglia’s paintings hover in swirling blossoms of color, caught either in the act of artmaking or aswim in paper or water. Their lithe contours seem to have been recorded with a single swipe of the artist’s brush, as in the elongated bodies of illustrated fashion models. Ensconced in writhing vegetation and clad in frenetic patterns, the figures look wholly lost in their own worlds: Stacks of canvases brick in their makers; arms knead a misshapen hunk of clay; faces bend toward paintings as if entranced by magical mirrors. The portraits’ easy lyricism and diaphanous

  • Jennifer Bolande, Image Tomb (with skeletons), 2014, newspapers, Plexiglas, wood, 43 × 13 × 13".

    Jennifer Bolande

    The stack of newspapers at the corner stand was once replenished regularly. The local bulletin board has lately stood bereft of announcements. Neither one has quite disappeared, but neither one accumulates or announces with the same sense of urgency. Jennifer Bolande meditated with subtle conceptual rigor on these two aging formats of communication in her latest exhibition. She avoided a polemic against erosion and erasure, offering instead an elegy on diminishing material forms. In the nearly forty-nine-minute video from which the exhibition took its title, The Composition of Decomposition,

  • JONAS WOOD

    Curated by Anna Katherine Brodbeck

    In the clean sunlight beaming over every curling vine, fanning leaf, and flowerpot in the paintings and drawings of Jonas Wood, you can feel Southern California. For his first solo US museum exhibition in nearly a decade, featuring more than thirty works created between 2006 and the present, Wood brushes LA’s cool color into strange planes and stony angles. He pulls from the hard-edge spatial manipulations of Stuart Davis, the lush homes depicted by Sylvia Sleigh, and the late cutouts of Matisse, channeling an optimistic and elemental energy into compressed and

  • Max Hooper Schneider, Lady Marlene, 2018, live marine ecosystem, fish, invertebrates, modeled landscape, glass aquarium, steel base, custom LED panel, 47 x 68 x 20".
    picks December 14, 2018

    Max Hooper Schneider

    In a tiny room with walls painted an unappetizing salmon color, above an off-gassing industrial gray carpet, four weird little worlds by Max Hooper Schneider cluster like apocalyptic toy sets. A model train chugs on a track that curves around a goopy pink faux-geologic landscape of blooming hard-ons in Utopia (all works 2018). Lady Marlene is housed in an aquarium, where starfish crawl, anemones pulsate, and other aquatic invertebrates skitter over a reef of off-white lingerie that has undergone plastination, leaving it ghostly and visceral and just a tiny bit lewd. The blackened, crumbling

  • Deejay Lycabettus Hill.
    diary June 29, 2018

    Soft Ruins

    ON A WHITE MARBLE COLUMN, topped by the goddess Athena, that presides over the Pedion Areos Park in Athens, someone has scrawled in black an anarchy symbol. A few steps farther—under lush green trees down Mavromateon Street, past dozens of stray cats haunting the shadows cast by grand bourgeois apartment buildings—are clusters of humans talking under the streetlights in the sticky humidity of the June night. It’s only when you get close do you see they’re cooking and smoking heroin, tongues of flame licking at glass tubes. Beaming down from the fifth floor of one of the buildings, a neon heart

  • Stephen Neidich, I Think I Found Your Problem, 2018, PETG plastic, muffler, 48” x 48” x 31”.
    picks May 24, 2018

    Stephen Neidich and Steve Hash

    Stephen Neidich and Steve Hash make sculptures that seem caught in flypaper. In Hash’s almost classicist works, concrete limbs emerge from pools of Italian marble; the delicate folds of a hanging towel and a rippling curtain are frozen in cast concrete. While the towel hangs from the wall like a locker-room remnant, the curtain defies gravity like a stalagmite that, when peered into, reveals a mirror, and another world through the looking glass. This subject matter, in combination with Hash’s materials and their chroma, makes his sculptures feel almost funereal, memento mori.

    Neidich catches a

  • Artist and practicing witch, Lazaros. (All photos: Andrew Berardini)
    diary May 14, 2018

    Pretty Paper

    A COOL BREEZE carried the thick aroma of brick-fired pizza and the tunes of DJ Maxwell Sterling over tank-topped and shorted Angelenos as they shifted from booth to booth, tucking books into bright yellow totes under the setting sun. Here was the Acid-Free Los Angeles Art Book Market—as chill and cozy as a backyard BBQ—spread across a parking lot and two floors of Blum & Poe, the capacious commercial gallery hosting the inaugural edition, which opened May 4 and ran until May 6. With the tragic death of its organizer Shannon Michael Cane, Printed Matter postponed the 2018 edition of its wildly

  • Chris Kraus, Gravity  and  Grace, 1995, 16 mm  transferred to video, color, sound, 89 minutes.
    picks May 01, 2018

    Chris Kraus

    Before Chris Kraus became a literary icon for her sharp, funny romans à clef and cultural criticism (often brilliantly churned together), she was by her own account awkwardly moving through the New York underground and art world as a “failed filmmaker.” It was her frustration with her lack of success in film that led her to pen her most famous novel, I Love Dick (1997), and there she found her voice as a writer: intimate, incisive, self-deprecating, and radically subjective. Her complete filmic oeuvre, currently on view at Château Shatto, is not a footnote to a literary career but its own gritty

  • Lucie Stahl, Powder, 2017, ink-jet print, aluminum, epoxy resin, 47 1/4 x 65 3/4".

    Lucie Stahl

    “This is the only story of mine whose moral I know,” wrote Kurt Vonnegut in the introduction to Mother Night (1961). “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” In her latest exhibition of works at Freedman Fitzpatrick, Berliner Lucie Stahl showed us bullets pretending to be bears, boys soldiers, and fascists patriots. To supply a setting for these props and characters, Stahl pitched two rectangular tents with the markings of ammo boxes in the middle of the gallery, each titled after the bullet brand name emblazoned on its sides: American Eagle and Brown