Andy Campbell

  • picks December 05, 2018

    Ricky Swallow

    Following the tangle of rope comprising Ricky Swallow’s sculpture (0), 2016–18, is both a demanding and rewarding task. Twenty-six feet of the braided cotton material, cast in bronze and painted the light wheat color of ship rigging, functions like a portal onto Swallow’s meticulous process. Look in the tiny crevices of the twisting rope and sense (see would be too strong a word) the bronze underneath—a dark jumble under a light exterior. The work’s casting is as convincing as its disavowal: Rope? Nope. In Floor Sculpture with Pegs #1 and #2 (both 2018) cast bronze Shaker pegs are lined up

  • B. Wurtz

    What of the everyday? When bombast becomes routine, the quotidian is crushed to pieces and caked into something dense and foul. No rest for the weary. No rest, period. Small pleasures (that recipe, that friend, that story) are no longer spiritually fulfilling in quite the same way. Microaggressions, nightmares, and traumas cycle through one’s head: She came up the stairs and he was waiting, with his friend, to attempt to rape her. They laughed because (and we don’t have to assume) it happens every day. 

    In four sculptures and ten wall-mounted assemblages on panels, B. Wurtz managed to make an

  • picks November 29, 2018

    Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick

    Located about an hour outside Baton Rouge, Louisiana, near the banks of the Mississippi River, is the former site of the Angola plantation, named after the place where many of the enslaved Africans who worked and died there purportedly came from. Now it is a prison, and its consolidation with other nearby plantations has swelled its size beyond the square mileage of Manhattan. It is a place of sport—boasting a nine-hole golf course and a stadium for the annual prison rodeos—and a place of surveillance, where police officers patrol on horseback to maintain control over the approximately six

  • diary October 24, 2018

    Pack Mentality

    “I’M A LESBIAN RODEO CLOWN,” crowed Lex Vaughn. “My mom was a dick-puncher, and my dad was an ass-muncher.” Besides breaking biography as a genre, Vaughn, whose comic timing is only superseded by her charm, expertly played the part of emcee this week at Jonesy’s fashion-show-performance-cum-exhibition, titled “Jonesy’s Pack.” Like that of her Kander and Ebb cousin’s, Vaughn’s métier was utter perversity—one minute cat-calling the runway models and the next philandering with a fillet of beef jerky pinned to her vest. Gross, satisfying: tomato, tomahto.

    What’s it all about? Queer lineage. For

  • picks October 08, 2018

    Laub

    Queer people are used to differentiating between two kinds of family—the chosen and the not chosen. The impetus to find supportive, caring, but still challenging communities often emerges from unpleasant or traumatizing experiences with relatives. In Laub’s show with the ecstatic title “The Act of Growing Up: Emanations of a Soul Nerve Revival,” these two kinds of family collapse into one; the artist ruminates on how a frayed quilt of familial relations might be mended.

    Tapestries (embroidered and appliquéd) such as Ice Cream for Breakfast and Marilyn Takes Her Grandparents on a Walk (all works

  • Young Joo Lee

    Paradise Limited, 2017, was the showstopper of Young Joo Lee’s recent exhibition. The three-channel animation dramatizes the sociopolitical tensions in the demilitarized zone separating North Korea and South Korea, informed by the artist’s research and interviews there. Lee’s approach to animation could be placed somewhere between Shahzia Sikander’s playful and sometimes acidic riffs on Indian and Persian miniature paintings and William Kentridge’s airless, political morality plays. Referencing Korean landscape scroll paintings (in fact, the video’s attendant eighty-two-foot scroll, In Search

  • picks August 03, 2018

    Young Joon Kwak and Mutant Salon

    Finding that the usual wall text has been placed on the ceiling is an early, cheeky indication that this confluence of sculptural and performance-based works is anything but typical. Two disparate collections open “CAVERNOUS”—a group of diminutive, anonymous genital sculptures borrowed from the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives (the world’s largest repository of LGBTQ material), and a trio of outrageous wigs from Hollywood Wigs, a store located just a few paces down Hollywood Boulevard. These objects cue the themes of Young Joon Kwak’s sculptures: sexual figuration and transformation. For

  • picks July 02, 2018

    Fiona Connor

    In the fifth century BCE, a Greek cult emerged that was dedicated to the demigod Asclepius, whose province was healing and medicine. Before retiring to the holiest chamber of his temple to engage in sacred sleep, adherents of the faith would pray to Mnemosyne—goddess of memory—in the hope that their dreams would not be forgotten. Instead of soliciting the facility to remember, Fiona Connor’s sculptural replicas of club doors, “Closed Down Clubs,” 2017–2018, point to the potential foreclosure of public memory. Connor is meticulous with her reproductions, which encompass everything from the

  • picks June 26, 2018

    Lisa Davis

    The world is full of worlds—crucibles of connection and affinity that can make the present bearable or, better yet, a whole lot of fun. One such world existed in Austin in the 1990s, a group of queer musicians (mostly women) committed to expanding and refining their art, moving their listeners, and unsettling the status quo of their surroundings. “We’ll Just Rock for Ourselves” is a small but deeply felt exhibition drawn from the archives of Lisa Davis, who was there the whole time, capturing it all on film.

    Davis was, to crib a term from literary theory, a minor artist, working in the major

  • picks June 25, 2018

    Kim Zumpfe

    A few years ago, the cultural critic Roxane Gay argued for the necessity of safe spaces: “When you are marginalized and always unsafe,” she wrote, “your skin thins, leaving your blood and bone exposed. You live at the breaking point.” In her sensitive installation outside the length of a room | OR | diving into the blue sun, 2018, Kim Zumpfe has horizontally bisected a large gallery to create a space that is at once a retreat from the world and an engagement with its potential limits. A subterranean zone is filled with bedrolls and television monitors displaying the same slow-moving blue-tinted

  • “Stories of Almost Everyone”

    A KIND OF POST-CONCEPTUAL malaise crept over me when, twenty minutes into viewing “Stories of Almost Everyone,” a group exhibition centered on the narratives that “accompany” objects, I found myself spending more time reading and rereading wall texts than looking at the works themselves. Of course, one could graft this overreliance on mostly dry, institutionally crafted text onto a critical argument about the further evacuation of art’s aura—and a concomitant call for further engagement with the discourse surrounding art’s production and reception—but I don’t think that’s what curators

  • “Contemptorary:  Deep-Time Construction”

    Eunsong Kim (poet, translator, and writer) and Gelare Khoshgozaran (artist and writer) cofounded the online arts platform contemptorary.org in 2016, and have since published thoughtful, wild, and necessary writing focused on queer and women artists of color. Following a teaching residency at CCA’s graduate program in fine arts this past spring, the two will be extending the tendrils of their project with this exhibition of time-based works by artists such as NIC Kay and Asma Kazmi, and essays by Nazik Dakkach and Jennifer Tamayo, among others, addressing time as it relates

  • picks April 02, 2018

    Maren Hassinger

    Pink plastic bags, each puffed with breath and holding a small love note, cover every inch of a narrow hallway, resembling the internal linings of a body. This is Love, 2008/2018, an itinerant installation by Maren Hassinger, whose practice imbues everyday materials (wire, newspaper, bags) with the poetics of potentiality. The artist’s manipulations of both materials and space—as seen in her sculptures, installations, and choreographed works for live audiences (High Noon, 1976) or for a camera (Wind, 2013)—have been woefully understudied, and this exhibition marks an opportunity to

  • Bari Ziperstein

    Bari Ziperstein has a knack for turning the seemingly abstract geometry of ceramic sculptures into a framework for rich historical narratives. As a resident artist at the Wende Museum (which specializes in “Cold War art, culture, and history from the Soviet Bloc countries”) in Culver City, California, Ziperstein came into direct contact with artifacts of Soviet visual and material culture. That research underpins the visual language of her slab-built works for “Propaganda Pots.” Installed primarily on a long, chest-high U-shaped table, the twenty pots twisted and pressurized, obscured and revealed

  • picks March 19, 2018

    “Melting Point”

    In their inaugural biennial dedicated to clay and its capacities in contemporary artistic practice, the curators of “Melting Point” have brought together a broad and heterogeneous swath of artists. On the one hand, the show speaks meaningfully to a dedicated core of makers and scholars invested in the histories of a medium that has otherwise been marginalized in the predominate discourse on contemporary art. On the other hand, the curation meaningfully reflects a nascent and ever-expanding interest in ceramics from that selfsame contemporary art world. In effect, a big tent is erected in what

  • picks March 12, 2018

    Rodrigo Valenzuela

    Thick, gray paint peels from the walls of the gallery, revealing shocks of white underneath. A large tower has crashed to the ground (when? it’s unclear), and barricades, painted ghostly white, hide fluorescent lights, throwing shadows across the cracking walls. In this evocative environment, altogether titled Tower, 2018, one doesn’t simply encounter Rodrigo Valenzuela’s work but rather becomes drawn into its political implications.

    The artist’s large photographs scintillate. The seven works from his 2017 “Barricade” series present an achromatic playground of visual doubling and totemic sculptural

  • diary March 05, 2018

    Sans Cowl

    “HERE IN FRONT OF THIS ARCHITECTURAL BLUNDER.” That was the text Marcus Kuiland-Nazario sent me about thirty minutes before our panel was set to begin at this year’s College Art Association Conference. He was referring, of course, to James Ingo Freed’s glass-and-steel entrance portal to the Los Angeles Convention Center, which, frankly, looks like an overscale Apollo space capsule. Like most convention centers, the interior of the LACC is a sequence of immense volumes that are traversed in minutes, rather than seconds. The escalators go up and the escalators go down, but does anyone truly get

  • picks March 02, 2018

    Simone Forti

    In 1975 the choreographer Simone Forti began to collaborate with holographer Lloyd Cross—whose innovations democratized access to the technology—and the fruits of their efforts are displayed here, in the form of seven holograms. Although holograms now seem an outdated, even kitschy, medium, these works—several of which were exhibited at Sonnabend Gallery in 1978 and have not been seen since—still have the capacity to elicit unbounded wonder. All feature Forti performing solo, except for Huddle, 1975–78, which is based on one of the choreographer’s prior Dance Constructions from 1960–61. In Huddle

  • picks March 01, 2018

    “Museum of Obsessions” and “Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us”

    When Swiss curator Harald Szeemann died in 2005, he left behind his “Museum of Obsessions,” a vast library and archive tracking his decades-long research and exhibition history. In 2011 the Getty Research Institute acquired this trove, which remains one of the largest singular archival collections housed by the institution, with more than twenty-five hundred linear feet of material. The current exhibition at the Getty Center is a first pass at sussing out Szeemann’s formidable impact on modern curatorial practice, illuminating a highly original mind. Exhibitions from the 1970s—“Monte Verità: Le

  • picks February 01, 2018

    Xylor Jane

    An accidental smudge on the left edge of PeopleMover (all works 2017) reveals Xylor Jane’s geometric paintings to be an incommensurate tug-of-war between the steady work of the hand and the roving pleasure of the eye. Like a well-crafted collection of couturier garments, these ten paintings have in common certain marks and signs—little colorful dots, lists of prime-number palindromes—and most are handsomely framed out in steel with a dull, brassy finish. And yet, each work is unquestionably its own, possessing traits unique to itself. In PeopleMover, this individuated element would be the silvery