Annie Buckley

  • Macha Suzuki, Permission to Fail, 2010, mixed media, 90 x 116 x 20”.
    picks May 02, 2010

    Macha Suzuki

    With “Permission to Fail,” Macha Suzuki takes his idiosyncratic blend of craft and dreamlike imagery to new levels. The introduction of figurative sculptures accentuates the surreal and contemplative sensibility that was hinted at in his earlier work but subordinated by slick surfaces and formal beauty. In Just a Tree (all works 2010), a character based on the artist stands near the gallery entrance; ordinary save a modeled tree trunk for a head, he offers an oversize handmade gem with outstretched hands. Constructed, like all of Suzuki’s work, from simple materials including wire, medium density

  • Gregorio Rocha, Los rollos perdidos de Pancho Villa, 2003, black-and-white and color film, 49 minutes.
    film May 02, 2010

    Reverse Angle

    WITH LOS ROLLOS PERDIDOS DE PANCHO VILLA (The Lost Rolls of Pancho Villa, 2003), Gregorio Rocha has constructed a fascinating document of the intertwining histories of cinema, politics, and culture. The film grows out of a surprising contract made in 1914 between the Mutual Film Corporation and Pancho Villa, in which the leader of Mexico’s Constitutional Army granted the company exclusive rights to film him in exchange for 20 percent of the profits from any resulting movie. From this odd agreement came The Life of General Villa, 1914, a heroic portrayal of Villa’s life that included select

  • Moris, Mi casa es tu casa (My house is your house, detail), 2010, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view.
    picks April 07, 2010


    For a new installation commissioned by the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), the Mexico City–based artist Moris inscribed the contents of a letter from the United States government—denying his application for a work visa—on an exterior wall of the Museum of Contemporary Art. In a deft use of appropriated text and site-specificity, oversize letters make the ubiquitous, even rote, into a monumental force. Despite the large population of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles, it’s likely that many Angelenos rarely consider the impact of such a letter on individual lives and families, a

  • Toshiko Okanoue, Mask, 1952, collage, 16 1/4 x 12 3/8".
    picks April 06, 2010

    Toshiko Okanoue

    A white-gloved hand is daintily poised to drop a tiny head into an open purse. Nearby, a blonde without a body gazes out from a lamppost, mouth half open, as if in midconversation. Set in the gray light of dawn, or maybe in the deepening glow of evening, between the darkened shadows of two buildings, the scene is just one of eleven black-and-white photographic collages by Toshiko Okanoue on view in this exhibition; each consists of an equally delicate and surreal depiction of an eerily familiar but impossible tableau.

    Okanoue made these collages between 1950 and 1956, just after the devastation

  • Dennis Oppenheim, Stills from Gingerbread Man (detail), 1970–71, black-and-white and color photographs, collage, text, 60 x 40".
    picks April 01, 2010

    Dennis Oppenheim

    In the summer of 1969, Dennis Oppenheim debuted new work at Yvon Lambert Gallery in Milan; included in this exhibition was a sound track of his footsteps made while walking through the city. This piece inspired Oppenheim to shift focus from Land art to the more intimate site of his own body. What followed, including the seminal Reading Position for Second-Degree Burn, 1970, in which Oppenheim’s skin was “painted” red by absorbing rays of sunlight, was a series of works probing relationships between the body and its surroundings, between art and life. These approaches resonate through contemporary

  • Robert Rauschenberg, Samarkand Stitches #IV, 1988, assemblage with ikat silk, domestic fabrics, and screenprinting, 61 x 40". From the series “Samarkand Stitches,” 1988.
    picks February 11, 2010

    Robert Rauschenberg

    Art history is rife with instances in which limitations—financial, material, spatial—sparked inspiration, but for thirty-five years, Gemini G.E.L. provided Robert Rauschenberg with the exact opposite of restriction. The results of the long and overwhelmingly positive relationship between the artist and print studio reflect Rauschenberg’s exuberance and the unique environment provided by Gemini. Founded in 1966 and still run by two of its founders, Sidney Felsen and Stanley Grinstein, Gemini offers its invited artists free rein and seemingly unlimited resources to make prints and multiples.

  • Travis Somerville, The New Land of Lincoln, 2009, oil, oil stick, and mixed media on paper on canvas, 80 x 96".
    picks October 27, 2009

    Travis Somerville

    Travis Somerville’s work addresses the tangled knot of issues surrounding the history of race in America. Using such loaded images as a noose, hooded clansmen, and the Confederate flag in a self-consciously liberal way is laced with difficulties, yet Somerville takes such challenges on with gusto in a new exhibition, “Dedicated to the Proposition.” Conceptualized as a contemporary response to Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address, the exhibition is fraught with aggressive images, including a sculpture of Lincoln’s head on a ball and chain, and assorted representations of people in blackface.

  • Francesca Gabbiani, Faces, 2009, colored paper and gouache on paper, 22 3/4 x 32 3/4".
    picks October 13, 2009

    Francesca Gabbiani

    The intricately hand-cut paper collages in Francesca Gabbiani’s latest exhibition offer such a profusion of excess that one may long for meaning, for some purpose to validate or justify the artist’s wildly obsessive effort. As if in response to this desire, the center of the majority of the works reflects the viewer’s own gaze through a dark field of rich color: inky black or watery blue. It’s a bit of a trick and subtle at best (you’re just as likely to miss it), but in the right light, the wreathlike imagery wraps around a central space that functions as a kind of mirror.

    Around these voids

  • Neïl Beloufa, Kempinski, 2007, still from a color video, 15 minutes.
    picks September 16, 2009

    Neïl Beloufa

    Language has the capacity to root or to displace; degrees of understanding can make the difference between profound ease and deep anxiety. In Kempinski, 2007, the video at the center of Neïl Beloufa’s second solo exhibition, the artist’s strikingly simple linguistic twist—the future in present tense—sets into motion a stream of lyric, mysterious, obscure, and beautiful texts. The French-Algerian artist made the work in Mali, asking people to speak about the future as if it were occurring now. If one is to take him at his word, a slippery proposition given Beloufa’s penchant for fusing fact and

  • Analia Saban, Layer Painting (CMY): Still Life with Exotic Fruit, 2009, acrylic and screenprinting ink mounted on canvas, 80 x 71".
    picks September 15, 2009

    Analia Saban

    Despite its multiple metaphoric rebirths, painting still acts as a placeholder for nostalgic reverie. New ventures in the field, uncommon as they are, invariably compete with memories of Picasso or Pollock, Goya or van Gogh, or the painter who instigated the viewers’ awareness of art. In an exhibition that succeeds at edging painting in a new, if idiosyncratic, direction, Analia Saban embraces rather than suppresses this natural urge toward reminiscence. The imagery in her large, luminous paintings includes tropical foliage, a duck, and a vase of flowers, together evoking Dutch still-life

  • Lucas Murgida, (w)hole, 2009. Performance view.
    picks July 31, 2009

    Lucas Murgida

    Experiential and performance art tend to make comebacks in lean economic times, as seen in a recent evening of performances hosted by Los Angeles’s Chinatown gallery district. Among the events, ranging from serious to entertaining to histrionic, Lucas Murgida’s four-hour performance (w)hole, 2009, and a related exhibition emerged as a highlight. In a dexterous feat, the Bay Area artist fused the caring honesty of direct interaction with the intellectual vagaries of relational aesthetics, while improbably balancing material, object-based concerns with the raw nerve of performance art.

    On the

  • Pae White, Smoke Knows, 2009, tapestry, 9' 6“ x 21' 6”. Installation view.
    picks May 25, 2009

    Pae White

    Pae White is best known for her sculptural installations, which celebrate color and a tenuous kind of anti-form. In most of these, individual pieces of felt, fabric, and paper hang together as if suspended between dissolving and cohering. Flux and fusion remain at the heart of White’s new body of work, but the results are surprisingly material. Multiple woven tapestries drape from the walls alongside carved paper drawings. In all these, the subject remains constant: smoke. White begins by photographing smoke in action. Expert weavers in Belgium then translate these images into stunning tapestries.