Christopher Miles

  • Terry Chatkupt

    How about “A guy walks into a diner . . .” or “A guy gets a phone call . . .”? Either mundane opener—which in a joke would set up a punch line, which would achieve humor by creating an unexpected turn in the narrative course—could have articulated an action in the script for Terry Chatkupt’s new video short Transferase, 2010. Part psychodrama, part nail-biting suspense flick, the nine-minute digital video is also a comedy, deriving its dramatic tension from the split perception of its lone, anonymous protagonist and the degree to which he alters the experiences of the people around

  • Pierre Picot

    By the early 1990s Pierre Picot had largely left the exhibition circuit. A Frenchman who immigrated to the US in his adolescence, studying at UCLA and then CalArts in the ’70s, he surfaced in the ’80s amid waves of New Image painting, neo-expressionism, and appropriationist practice, making a place in this environment with new-imagery mash-ups.

    Recently, Picot returned to his French roots during a teaching stint at the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in Brittany, where, shaded by the trees of Gauguin’s Bois d’Amour, he began the series of landscapes shown at Jancar (all Untitled, five in

  • Liz Craft

    Liz Craft derives inspiration from any manner of cultural fodder: from high to low, from mundane to fantastic. Often, the spark seems to come when she mashes multiple aesthetics together, as in the sculptures featured in “Death of a Clown,” an exhibition of work from 2010. Several pieces see her combining the most debased of cultural forms (pictures of clowns and flowers, living-room furniture) with the loftiest (geometric abstraction, Minimalism) and some in between (Pop art, assemblage, hyperrealism).

    A group of wall-hung pieces incorporate the grid—as much a standard of modernism and Minimalism

  • David Korty

    An adroit stylist, David Korty continued to pursue the washed-out, streamlined neo-Fauvism that defined his last show at Michael Kohn Gallery. The results, all produced in the past year and based on photographs the artist takes himself, are lovely enough—unmistakably of an able hand, a keen sense for color and design, and an eye for isolating images from the fray of the world—laid out in gouache and collage on paper, or in pencil and oil on canvas, sometimes with additions of wax and more collage.

    Throughout the exhibition, Korty dealt up witty play between abstraction and representation. Women

  • Adam Ross

    Adam Ross is an artist devoted to exploring the broad range of possibilities in abstract painting. Having come of age aesthetically amid the clashing art-historical narratives of the 1980s—which either tracked painting’s so-called endgame, generating a pronounced interest in the semiotics of abstraction, or, to the contrary, trumpeted the resurgence of representation as the rebirth of the medium—he has made a practice of reconciling tendencies.

    In the ’90s, Ross produced not quite thoroughly abstract paintings characterized by heavily worked surfaces and saturated yet diffuse pockets of color.

  • Olga Koumoundouros

    Los Angeles–based artist Olga Koumoundouros converts two-dimensional graphics and typography into sculptural, at times quasi-architectural, forms. A recent example is her 2003 work Town Meeting: After Acconci—a wood-framed and sheathed buttelike structure. Only after climbing atop the plateau could one see that it comprised massive, three-dimensional letters spelling out the word terror, with the hollow of the o providing a makeshift safe room.

    The artist employed a similar method at REDCAT for her installation Demand Management, 2009. Within the conventionally cubic gallery stood a high, curving

  • Ben Jackel

    Ben Jackel’s first solo exhibition made a fine mixture out of the imagery and accoutrements of warfare, its attendant memorialization and glorification, and the putting out of fires. An artist with a background in ceramics, Jackel has studied with Charles Ray (for whom he now works) and ceramicist Adrian Saxe, and the influence of both artists is evident in his work. The sculptures here strike a balance between faithful mimesis and a tendency toward caricature, while revealing Jackel’s predilection for ornamentation and plays on scale, as well as his keen sensitivity to matters of display.

    The

  • Dave Muller

    Dave Muller’s sixth solo outing at Blum & Poe was the latest chapter of the artist’s ongoing project of chronicling the contents of his bookshelves and record collection. Winding its way free-associatively through Muller’s youth and early fascination with music, the show was, perhaps aptly, titled “iamthewalrus,” unabashedly echoing the 1967 Beatles song written by a purportedly acid-tripping John Lennon and released on the group’s Magical Mystery Tour film sound track when Muller was a mere tot.

    Some of the several works on paper in the exhibition fall well short of the surprise that Lennon’s

  • Christian Jankowski

    In his 1940 essay “The Fall of Paris,” Harold Rosenberg lamented that geopolitical maneuvers, rising nationalism, and fascist aggression had brought about the decline of an almost-levitating capital of modernist culture—once an international “No-Place” of multiple perspectives—and wondered where modernism’s new centers would be and what forms they would take. Surely he did not have in mind an after-party at the Art Basel Miami Beach 2008 fair or an army of Hula-hoopers, marshaled by a German conceptualist, taking up rooftop positions in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Chinatown districts. But

  • Krysten Cunningham

    Perhaps it takes an artist who grew up on a commune and went to college during the (pre-impeachment) heyday of the Clinton years to make work as fundamentally optimistic as Krysten Cunningham’s. In their forms, allusions, and artistic precedents, her sculptures seem unlikely as the products of anyone who didn’t enjoy a certain amount of shielding and hope and all the other benefits of a (slightly) more enlightened era.

    When Cunningham revisits past concerns in art and design, she does so without apology or irony. In this exhibition—titled, appropriately, “Time Machines”—the artist dealt in the

  • Kirsten Everberg

    Surely LeRoy Neiman’s sin—committed in the early 1950s, at the apex of Abstract Expressionism, and ensuring him a career of scorn—was to convert the hallmarks of painters like Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock (the splash, slash, dribble, and daub) into a signature for spasmodic expressionist/impressionist pictures of everything from Playboy bunnies to sporting events to presidents. To use Greenbergian language, Neiman pandered to the masses by reducing the avant-garde to kitsch.

    Kirsten Everberg’s paintings of White House interiors, modernist buildings, and ancien régime décor and monuments, made

  • Christopher Pate

    So apropos was this show’s centerpiece to a state of affairs that has only just come into focus—the too-shallow foundation of recent skyrocketing global economic growth—that it suggested an artist adept at reading and translating the culture around him in ways that seem almost prophetic. Completed earlier last year, the work, titled Bricks, comprises six roughly square panels of the same size, hung on the wall in pyramid formation. Pate has covered each panel first with burlap and then with fabric silk-screened with a blue sky and puffy white clouds, and, over that, with white mortar patterns:

  • Brenna Youngblood

    Brenna Youngblood’s second solo exhibition at Margo Leavin at times felt redolent of Richard Prince or Robert Rauschenberg. The evocation owed less to the strategies that Youngblood shares with these artists—she’ll produce a Prince-like deadpan photograph of an anonymous floral still-life painting, for example, or freestanding painted assemblages reminiscent of Rauschenberg’s Combines—than from the distilling and mixing of Americana that is essential to her practice. Yet Youngblood’s work, in the specific American vernacular it focuses on, differs greatly from Prince’s distanced, appropriationist

  • Roni Horn

    HER EYES ICY BLUE, WITH THE LOOK OF SOMEONE WHO HAS ACHIEVED BLINDNESS BY AN ACT OF WILL AND MEANS TO KEEP IT. This line, lifted from Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Good Country People,” becomes sculptural in a signature work of Roni Horn’s: Each letter is made in three dimensions, in white plastic, and embedded in a long aluminum bar. Fusing Donald Judd’s objecthood with Lawrence Weiner’s linguistic conception of sculpture—and pushing both into literary terrain—this work, titled Her Eyes (Achieving Blindness), was hung horizontally, high on a wall, and alone in one room of Horn’s first solo

  • Steve Roden

    Though better known in the field of sound art, Steve Roden is a polymath artist, most familiar as a sculptor and painter, whose work descends from West Coast abstractionists like Lee Mullican and Peter Krasnow. But Roden also has a Conceptualist’s fondness for plans and systems, combined with the Surrealist and Dadaist penchant for chance and the irrational, and the Expressionist’s drift toward the idiosyncratic and the ego, all of which are subjected to an old-school formalist’s veto.

    The bulk of this show was a selection of paintings, drawings, and collages—the latest additions to an ongoing

  • Masami Teraoka

    “Where to begin?” was the first question prompted by this dense selection of paintings produced between 1997 and 2007 by the Japanborn, Hawaii-based Masami Teraoka—his first Los Angeles gallery presentation in twenty years. The next question was something along the lines of, “Do I even want to take this on?” given that Teraoka was essentially bombarding the viewer with variations on a prevailing theme: The world is heading to hell on a jet. Aircraft did in fact turn up, and were a clear reference to the September 11 attacks, in Teraoka’s 2004 painting Semana Santa/Cloisters Workout; it quickly

  • Toby Ziegler

    Hovering before visitors to British artist Toby Ziegler’s recent US solo debut was True North (all works 2007), one of several sculptures made by joining planes of corrugated cardboard into faceted, volumetric forms. Painted white and suspended from the ceiling, True North seems abstract at first glance, but eventually yields to a figurative read. Its combination of geodesically domed buttocks and cleanly severed thighs and waist suggest both a fragment of classical statuary and the harshly truncated torso of a Brancusi. But if one rotates the object in space, one finds that its provocatively

  • Pae White

    Taking its subtitle from John Neufeld's 1969 novel about a teenager's descent into madness and the gap between sympathetic youths and misunderstanding adults, “Pae White: Lisa, Bright and Dark,” the artist's first US survey, is organized around the duality of “bright” and “dark.”

    Taking its subtitle from John Neufeld's 1969 novel about a teenager's descent into madness and the gap between sympathetic youths and misunderstanding adults, “Pae White: Lisa, Bright and Dark,” the artist's first US survey, is organized around the duality of “bright” and “dark.” This might sound like the curatorial equivalent of mood music for merchandising the Los Angeles artist's assorted projects (mobiles, tapestries, barbecues, birdcages), around forty-five of which, made since 1993, will be on view. But given White's generation-defining tendencies

  • Megan Williams

    In Purge (all works 2008), a new work by Megan Williams that was the centerpiece of the artist’s third solo show at Carl Berg Gallery, several dozen cartoon drawings of the laugh-till-you-cringe ilk are pinned all over a soft mannequin slumped in a chair. Collectively, the sketches form a suit of armor created by the artist spilling her guts, taking the idea of wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve to an absurd extreme. The work also suggests that, like the invisible man we see only by way of bandages wrapped around him, the figure’s form is really all surface.

    This kind of thought stew also informs

  • Terri Phillips

    In “Testimony,” her third solo show at Acuna-Hansen Gallery, Terri Phillips presented seven new sculptures that, while outwardly modest, attest to a certain heroic grandeur. Though evocative more of down-home folklore than of great religious narratives, the works aspire nonetheless to join the extended lineage of art that attempts to give image and form to signs and wonders. Collectively, they reinforced Phillips’s established tendency to conflate the minimal, the humble, and the homespun with the surreal, the epic, and the supernatural.

    Among the most spectacular of the artist’s offerings was