Andy Campbell

  • Shagha Ariannia

    On the cover of the first edition of Kathy Acker’s 1978 novel, Blood and Guts in High School, is an image by Sue Coe: a gleaming scene of nighttime danger wherein sentient, money-hungry tenements spit out ghostlike apparitions. They are in turn inhaled by the painting’s central figure, a lanky gang member whose chest tattoo indicates that he’s affiliated with the Scorpions. Sitting on his knee is a cat that opens its mouth in a furious and frightening yowl. Hard glints of light—like sparks struck off a dense flint—provide only the barest of illumination. It is not the kind of image one might

  • Alex Anderson

    The “splashing sweat” emoji (????) was initially intended to denote physical exertion. Since its debut in 2015, though, it has been collectively wrangled in that semipublic semiotic rodeo known as texting to signify orgasmic pleasure and, more recently, hip-hop styling (i.e., drip). Because the emoji invites conversation about social media, sexuality, and racialized forms of cultural expression, it could serve as a virtual pendant to Alex Anderson’s archly titled exhibition “Little Black Boy Makes Imperial Porcelains,” the artist’s second solo outing at Gavlak.

    The drip was literal: Nearly all

  • picks June 01, 2020

    Catherine Opie

    Although it opened before the coronavirus-related shutdowns in the United States, Catherine Opie’s exhibition at Regen Projects, “Rhetorical Landscapes,” seems perfectly attuned to the mixture of political rage and cabin fever that so many feel under quarantine. Nine photographs of swamps in the American South hang on the walls and serve as a counterpoint to the animated collages playing on a loop on a circle of Brobdingnagian iPhones (all works 2019). The photographs read as meditations on ecological otherness. Architectural historian Vittoria Di Palma reminds us in her study of early modern

  • picks May 14, 2020

    Michael Rey

    In a recent virtual talk with students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, artist Michael Rey spoke of his work ZOPTUN (Astrolopico) (all works 2020) as a personal breakthrough. Here he created a painting that is also an object (the four precisely punched holes in its corners call attention to its spatial facticity, which Donald Judd famously excoriated artists for ignoring), an image that is also an abstraction (the raised design of a spiderweb is purposefully shorn from any particular context), and a cipher that is still communicative (the upside-down, reversed text “ZOPTUN” is strictly

  • Raul Guerrero

    In 1989, Raul Guerrero visited Canyon de Chelly, a site where Ancestral Puebloans built spectacular dwellings among sheer rock escarpments, and where, nearby, dozens of Diné families continue to live (the United States holds the land in trust for the Navajo Nation). It is a knee-buckling place. Guerrero encountered the striking rock formations and petroglyphs left by the canyon’s many inhabitants over thousands of years—Ancestral Puebloans, Hopi, then Diné. Canyon de Chelly’s natural and man-made features are instantly recognizable from commonly reproduced photographs by Ansel Adams and Edward

  • Postcommodity

    For “Some Reach While Others Clap,” Postcommodity took LAX-ART’s structures, both physical and organizational, as its material. Near the entrance, two of the building’s load-bearing H beams had been painted (or, in the parlance of custom-car culture, “candied”) in glittering tones of interlocking shapes, one in teals and blues and the other in vibrant pinks and reds. To make this work, the collective (currently comprised of Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist) enlisted Edgar Hernandez, president of Starlite Rod & Kustom, an autobody shop in Los Angeles renowned in magazines such as the now-defunct

  • “Candice Lin: Pigs and Poison”

    Curated by Nikita Yingqian Cai

    Michel Foucault believed that sexual minoritarians have the power to lay “diagonal lines . . . in the social fabric,” thereby recovering buried forms of feeling and relating. The same might be said of this major survey of Candice Lin’s work, which promises to put similar operations into action. Featuring dense and intricately researched installations as well as paintings, drawings, and VR films, this show will rejigger the warp and weft of what holds us all purportedly in common. For Lin to pull this off with even a modicum of success will require a viewer’s patience

  • Nayland Blake

    “NO WRONG HOLES” is the apt title of Nayland Blake’s most comprehensive survey to date, on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles—apt because it immediately opens onto the wit, optimism, and profundity that characterizes the artist’s work. Though ambitious in scope, this survey is not, strictly speaking, the artist’s first. That honor goes to Blake’s MFA thesis exhibition at CalArts, which was styled as a retrospective with the saccharine title “Nayland Blake, The Wonder Years: 1982–84.” Excoriating the growing cult of personality around contemporary artists, Blake opened

  • Lily Cox-Richard

    Once ubiquitous in museums, plaster casts have largely been relegated to storage rooms (or, as was the case with the plaster-cast collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, to the auction-house floor). The two interrelated causes might be identified as a shift in values around originality and righteous challenges to the notion of a stable canon of Western art history. Some institutions, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin, have kept their plaster-cast collections on display. Growing up, I often visited

  • Sturtevant

    Gathering sixteen of Sturtevant’s video works, this exhibition sought to connect the artist’s strategies in televisual media to younger generations’ production, consumption, and distribution of memes on the internet. Recommending these particular videos for this kind of re-reading was the fact that nearly all are less than five minutes long, and thus handily consumable.

    Most of the works played on a bay of wall-mounted monitors, with the exception of one projected work and a pair of 2006 videos shown on two CRT cube monitors installed in the middle of the gallery. Both featured a short sequence

  • picks October 18, 2019

    Dona Nelson

    A lesson in the ardors  of making, Dona Nelson’s work thickens the experience of looking; paying attention means training oneself to revel in the little dramas erupting all over every surface as much as taking in a painting’s gestalt. Since 2003, the artist has been making double-sided paintings, often set in freestanding metal or wood frames. In their transformation from painted pictures to sculptural events (implicating the ambulatory viewer), Nelson’s canvases emphasize that presence is a prerequisite for perception. From the hundreds of decisions that inform each painting, and the works’

  • Patrick Angus

    In Patrick Angus’s painting Flame Steaks, 1985, a dozen men sit apart from each other in a dark bar. Outside, it is still daytime, and two men lean invitingly on opposite sides of the street, cruising together yet apart. Inside the establishment, one man combs his hair back while another spreads his legs (he wears mauve jeans), letting his hands dangle around his crotch in an artfully unpracticed manner. The only other bits of color in this otherwise muted scene are in the lit cherry of a cigarette, a pair of red shoelaces, the wisp of a red hanky peeking out of a back pocket, and two large