Andy Campbell

  • Franklin Williams, A Thing, 1965, acrylic, gesso, spray paint, silk, and yarn on canvas stuffed with cotton batting, 38 x 9 x 6".
    picks October 23, 2017

    Franklin Williams

    On the heels of a group exhibition of artists associated with the Northern California movement known as “Nut Art,” this gallery dives deep into the work of one of its progenitors, Franklin Williams. Focusing on the first decade of the artist’s career—from the time he was an undergraduate at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland to the early years of his teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute alongside Jay DeFeo and Bruce Conner—this focused show is, above all, an opportunity to see how an artist found his own way.

    One can track Williams emerging from the monochromatic-assemblage

  • Los Super Elegantes, Decorating With Dogs, 2017, glazed ceramic, Martiniano shoes, dimensions variable.
    picks October 12, 2017

    Los Super Elegantes

    Is now the right time to historicize the aughts? Milena Muzquiz and Martiniano Lopez-Crozet, who began releasing music together as Los Super Elegantes in 2001, were darlings of the art world then; they appeared numerous times in these pages (both on the Web and in print), usually in the context of extravagant parties. But their practice was weightier than all that might imply. Muzquiz, who is from Tijuana, and Lopez-Crozet, who was born in Buenos Aires, started their act in San Francisco, performing up and down the West Coast in a style that mixed improvisatory theater, performance art, and

  • Mary Corse, Cold Room (detail), 1968/2017, Argon, Plexiglas, high-frequency generator, light tubes, monofilament, compressor, refrigeration panels, plaster, 50 x 50 x 6 1/2". Installation view.
    picks October 11, 2017

    Mary Corse

    It is a wonder to step inside Mary Corse’s Cold Room, 1968/2017, an installation that took the artist nearly fifty years to realize. Once you’re past the sliding door and within the small, freestanding space, a distinct feeling of solitude descends. Immediately, skin responds: every exposed inch enlivened by the temperature-controlled room. A floating plane of light (argon and tubes) flickers with inconstancy, powered from a distance by a hidden Tesla coil. (The artist has been building high-frequency generators for similarly functioning works since she took a physics class in the late 1960s.)

  • William E. Jones, Villa Iolas (Paul Thek, Lucio Fontana, Takis, Harold Stevenson, René Magritte, Egyptian Sculpture), 1982/2017, hand-coated ink-jet print, 16 x 20".

    William E. Jones

    William E. Jones first met the legendary Greek art dealer Alexander Iolas (1907–1987) in 1982, in the bedroom of the latter’s house in Athens, where the gallerist was readying himself for the day as his chauffeur lay in bed. He first spoke to Jones in French (a language the artist did not know) and followed up in English, asking the young Midwestern boy—fresh from his first year at Yale—whether he knew of the poetry of Constantine Cavafy, adding, “He is one of us.” This question, the large Harold Stevenson watercolor of a column/phallus (COLUMN, ca. 1965) hanging next to the dealer’s

  • View of “David Lamelas: Time As Activity,” 2017. From left: Time as Activity Madrid, 2017; Time as Activity Düsseldorf, 1969.
    picks September 25, 2017

    David Lamelas

    The paragraphs-long labels that accompany the many works in David Lamelas’s retrospective at California State University, Long Beach, some on display for the first time in the US, point to an artistic career of heady investigations into visual hermeneutics. Spurred on by the works of media theorists (Marshall McLuhan), structuralist thinkers (Roland Barthes, Claude Lévi-Strauss), and novelists (Marguerite Duras), Lamelas constructs pieces that unfold over time—requiring both patience and thought from a viewer. Slide projectors accompany a short film in Film Script (Manipulation of Meaning),

  • Awol Erizku, “OFF THE PIG” BEAUTIFUL BLACK MEN!, 2017, house paint and silk screen on plywood mounted on pallet, 51 1/2 x 60 x 6".
    picks September 13, 2017

    Awol Erizku

    The appropriated images emblazoned on the multicolor wooden-pallet assemblages in Awol Erizku’s current exhibition, “Menace II Society,” are sourced from James Teemer’s rejected 1968 proposal for a Black Panthers coloring book. Teemer’s project had an interesting afterlife: Initially presented to the Panthers’ Sacramento chapter, party leadership deemed the book’s images inappropriate for children and had the first copies of it destroyed. Nevertheless, it eventually fell into the hands of the FBI, who used the volume as evidence in their ongoing campaign to discredit the party as an organized

  • Peter Cain, Sean Number Two, 1996, oil on linen, 60 x 84".
    picks August 20, 2017

    Peter Cain

    Because Peter Cain died so young—he began working in the late 1980s and died in 1997—he left a limited but conceptually concise oeuvre to make sense of. He is perhaps best known for his paintings of cars; whole, as in Satellite, 1988, or chopped and collaged, as in Glider, 1995. Similar to the look of the fold-ins at the back of MAD magazines, Cain would truncate advertising images of vehicles in ways that heightened and perverted the eroticism that has long undergirded automobile design. Then the artist painted these strange appropriations onto large canvases, some more than seven feet tall.

  • David Gilbert, Dark Tree, 2017, ink-jet print and pins, 19 x 13".
    picks July 31, 2017

    “Hurts to Laugh”

    Walking along the narrow alleyway to get to this gallery’s main entrance, one hears the voice of comedian Maria Bamford. In her inimitable style, she addresses the social expectations that underscore, and perhaps produce, anxiety and depression, conditions which most of her family and friends would rather not deal with. When I arrived, she was poking a hole in the obnoxious positivity of her sister, who had just become a life coach.

    This is a fitting introduction for a group exhibition that teeters on the precipice between the pitiful and the absurdly funny. David Gilbert’s ink-jet prints of

  • Pepón Osorio, Badge of Honor, 1995, two digital videos, black-and-white, sound, 19 minutes 25 seconds, prison bars, beds, steel toilet and sink, fabric, cigarette boxes, photographs, shoes, dresser, cabinet, nightstands, lamps, baseball cards, posters, reflective floor tile, trophies, air fresheners, clothes hamper, television monitor with sound system, basketballs, mountain bike, computer, plastic, watches, rings, black-and-white photographs, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks July 26, 2017

    “HOME—So Different, So Appealing”

    And just like that, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is upon us. If this is the initiative’s opening salvo, then the portents are good. Organized by Chon A. Noriega, Mari Carmen Ramírez, and Pilar Tompkins Rivas, this exhibition represents the efforts of three giants within the field of Latin American and Chicanx/Latinx curatorial practice.

    The show excels in presenting intricate, and sometimes cumbersome, room-size installations. Luis Camnitzer’s Living Room, 1968, articulates a concrete poetry of domesticity, with vinyl stickers featuring words around the room where furniture and household objects

  • Farah Atassi, The Swimmer, 2017, oil and enamel on canvas, 79 x 63".
    picks July 22, 2017

    Farah Atassi

    Digesting a history of modernist art and design—high points include Fernand Léger’s early twentieth-century paintings and Oskar Schlemmer’s truly bonkers Triadic Ballet, 1922—Farah Atassi attempts to continue that era’s experimental ethos with the trappings of her contemporary world. In Blue Guitar (all works 2017), bendy yoga practitioners curlicue around the musical instrument, its sound hole replaced by the narrow slots of an electrical outlet. Nearby, a clock (Still Life with Clock 2) marks the time—a constant companion in this exhibition of eight paintings.

    These works are in accord; each

  • Nancy Arlen, Comet, 1981, polyester resin, pigment, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks July 09, 2017

    “Sunlight arrives only at its proper hour”

    The most provocative moments of this exhibition ask viewers to rethink their own canon(s) via a superb selection of works from artists mostly marginalized from the annals of art. Works rhyme across the vast space of this gallery—and some are nearly swallowed up by it. Two Cameron drawings (from the series “Pluto Transiting the Twelfth House,” 1978–86, and “Untitled (from the Lion Path series),” n.d.) find echoes in paintings on canvas by Magalie Comeau and a black Jay DeFeo painting on paper, the latter sadly confined to a dim cul-de-sac build-out. Bill Hayden’s carved Oryx horn sculpture, ohoui

  • Birgit Megerle, Allure, 2014, oil on linen, 29 1/2 x 25 1/2".
    picks June 30, 2017

    “Blue Danube”

    Vulgarian is an insult you don’t hear often anymore (Graydon Carter’s description of the “short-fingered vulgarian” who now occupies the White House notwithstanding). Emily Post famously defined the term in her 1922 guide Etiquette, as those who “never had an opportunity to acquire cultivation.” Stemming from the Latin word vulgaris, meaning common or ordinary, the vulgarian was a bogeyman of twentieth-century American class relations—bringing together poor taste in consumption and crude behavior to form a type. But this figuration of the commoner also has the potential to be recuperated in the