Andy Campbell

  • View of “Stories of Almost Everyone,” 2018. Photo: Joshua White.

    “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

  • View of “Bari Ziperstein,” 2018. From left: Be a man!, 2017; No, we didn’t reap or plough—we just had a picnic in the field, 2017; The price of glasses of wine, 2017. Photo: Lee Tyler Thompson.

    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

  • The Los Angeles Convention Center, where the 2018 College Art Association Conference took place.
    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

  • Simone Forti, Huddle, 1975–78, 200º multiplex hologram, 57 x 20 x 20".
    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

  • Postcards from Harald Szeemann's collection of pataphysics material in the Getty Research Institute's Harald Szeemann Archive and Library.
    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

  • Xylor Jane, Untitled (Three 727 digit Sophie Germain prime palindromes), 2017, oil and colored pencil on paper mounted on board, 16 x 20".
    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

  • Channing Hansen, Index-Manifold, 2017, wool, casein, silk noils, tussah silk fibers, gold, holographic polymers, pearl dust, photoluminescent recycled polyester fibers, banana cellulose, bamboo, bamboo carbon fiber, rose cellulose, SeaCell, legume cellulose, redwood, 50 x 78".

    Channing Hansen

    Here’s a joke: A topologist is a mathematician who can’t tell the difference between a coffee mug and a doughnut. To understand the gag you have to know what topology is: a branch of mathematics concerning spaces that are transformed through bending and stretching (but not severing or intersecting). Klein bottles and Möbius strips are examples of the kinds of subjects a topologist might invest her energies in. To a topologist, both a mug (a volume with a single hole, in its handle) and a doughnut (a volume with a single hole, in its middle) are tori—they only appear to be different, while

  • Ron Athey, Gifts of the Spirit: Prophecy, Discernment and Automatism 2018. Performance view, Vibiana, Los Angeles, 2018. Photo: Ben Gibbs.
    performance January 30, 2018

    Glory Be

    IN APRIL OF 2017, Diamanda Galás gave a concert in Vibiana—the airy, deconsecrated cathedral named for Saint Vibiana that once served the Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles. Her singular ululations and yowls (perfected in songs like “O, Death”) echoed across the space. I imagined her notes as a physical substance, filling up the nave of the church like a rising tide—apocalyptic and cleansing. Ron Athey’s lush and redemptive Gifts of the Spirit: Prophecy, Discernment and Automatism (a version of which was first staged in 2010 in London) performed here nearly a year later, is a kind of