Christopher Miles

  • 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, Chiaccere, 2007, thread and Color-aid paper, dimensions variable.

    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

  • Anna Sew Hoy

    Over the last few years, Anna Sew Hoy has fashioned sculptures that function as pedestals for bottles of designer fragrances and offered lines of handcrafted jewelry, vases, ashtrays, and paperweights. Her latest outing, in which she paneled Karyn Lovegrove Gallery with whitewashed plywood, turned the space into what looked like a boutique stocked with designer handbags, decorative platters and trivets, and culturally scrambled ethnographic trinkets. Far from offering a high-low cultural critique, Sew Hoy’s latest works suggests more of a post–high-low revelry.

    Hanging on resin “finger hooks”

  • Susan Silton

    Though wildly diverse, Susan Silton’s works of the past decade nonetheless share elements of formal experimentation and aesthetic choice, and employ coded imagery and iconography to deliver socially and politically charged messages. Recently, Silton has made a series of works playing on stripes, including a project currently on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art for which she covered the museum’s exterior in the sorts of striped tarpaulins used on houses undergoing fumigation, and another in which she filled an interior space with found objects unified only by their striped surfaces.

  • Lari Pittman

    From across the room, it looked as though two perfect sunny-side-up eggs were stuck to the face of a painting in Lari Pittman’s recent exhibition. Closer inspection revealed them to be painted on, in something between a flat, graphic style (the differing shapes of the two egg whites made by flipping the same stencil over) and an attempt at spatial illusionism, with a waft of shading hinting at the contour of each yolk. This stylistic and spatial play—continuing in the way the eggs assert the surface and artifice of the underlying painting, which depicts in illusionistic depth a hyperstylized

  • Peter Rogiers

    Belgian artist Peter Rogiers titled his first US solo exhibition “Slagroom,” using a word that, besides referring to the solidified impurities skimmed off molten metal during smelting, is also Dutch for “whipped cream.” Indeed, Rogiers’s recent sculpted figures are clotted-looking masses that seem barely to hold their shapes against the forces of gravity and motion, and while plastic was more prevalent than metal in this show, these curious forms suggest creatures that might have crawled from one of Vulcan’s crucibles.

    Modeled in buttery clay, Rogiers’s figures take the rawness of Rodin to an