Andy Campbell

  • View of “Sadie Barnette,” 2018. All works untitled, 2018.

    Sadie Barnette

    In Sadie Barnette’s photographic collage Untitled (Pink Diamond/ Jump), 2016, the gleaming facets of a pink diamond adjoin the upper torso of a young black girl playing in a bounce house. Part of the artist’s recent solo presentation, evocatively titled “Black Sky,” this image contains references to stereotypical girl culture and class aspiration, both of which were consistently and vibrantly invoked throughout Barnette’s expansive, multiroom installation. The upper gallery featured paintings, photographs, collages, and light boxes, while the lower space, set up to function as a living room or

  • Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, In the Body of the Sturgeon, 2017, HD video projection, black-and-white, sound, 12 minutes 15 seconds.

    Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley

    In Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley’s collaborative and often funny works, historical events are rendered as featherlight webs of consequences. For this series of paintings, photographs, and sculptural installations (many of which featured the characters—some historical, some invented—that populate their video In the Body of the Sturgeon, 2017, also on display here), the duo struck a more restrained tone, knitting together histories of settler colonialism, the sociosexual politics of naval life, and President Harry S. Truman’s deployment of the atomic bomb. Similar to the pair’s previous

  • Guadalupe Rosales, Latinas Mapping the City, ca. 1994–1998, 2018, ink-jet print on self-adhesive vinyl, 96 × 72".

    Guadalupe Rosales

    On first encountering Guadalupe Rosales’s Untitled (all works 2018), a wall-based sculpture of a pager dangling from a string of pastel plastic raver beads, I felt the strange urge to look up the artist’s birth year. Here’s what I found: Rosales was born in 1980, two years before I was. While an artist’s age is often of trivial concern, it’s important here: As rough contemporaries, we have both seen telecommunications technologies shape and reshape our lived worlds, especially the experience of being a teenager in the 1990s. When we were in elementary school—she in Los Angeles, I in

  • Ricky Swallow, (0), 2016–18, bronze and oil paint, 45 x 29 x 6 1/4".
    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, Untitled, 2018, wood, string, buttons, acrylic paint, wire, 30 × 8 × 5 1⁄2".

    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

  • Keith Calhoun, Who's that man on that horse, I don't know his name, but they call him Boss, 1980, ink-jet print, 27 1/8 x 40".
    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

  • Matt Savitsky, Don't Kiss Me. Performance view, Klowden Mann, Culver City, CA, 2018. Photo: Andy Campbell.
    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

  • View of “The Act of Growing Up: Emanations of a Soul Nerve Revival,” 2018.
    picks October 08, 2018


    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, three-channel digital video, color, sound, 17 minutes.

    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

  • Young Joon Kwak, Surveillance Mirror Vaginis, 2018, convex acrylic security mirror, fiberglass resin, wood, silver  leaf, 79 1/4 x 48 1/2 x 8 1/2".
    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

  • View of “Closed Down Clubs,” 2018.
    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

  • Lisa Davis, untitled [Kay Turner playing with Girls in the Nose], n.d., pigmented ink-jet print on matte surface paper, 11.5 x 17".
    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