Emily Hall

  • Alex Prager, Crowd #7 (Bob Hope Airport), 2013, ink-jet print, 59 1/2 x 79".

    Alex Prager

    Alex Prager’s recent photographic works depict crowds on streets, on a beach, and at the airport, among other locations where humans find themselves in close proximity to other humans, sometimes unwillingly. In fact, the photographs were all shot on sets in Los Angeles, carefully staged to produce an elaborately cinematic atmosphere heightened by costumes, makeup, lighting, and a saturated palette that renders the works intense and alluring. They are scaled large enough to immerse or even overwhelm the viewer and were mostly shot from above, some from almost directly overhead, suggesting the

  • View of “Franz Erhard Walther,” 2013.

    Franz Erhard Walther

    The first thing to greet viewers in this exhibition was an imposing gallery wall, appended to which was Franz Erhard Walther’s Vier Körperformen (Four Body Shapes), 1963, made when he was still a student at Kunst-akademie Düsseldorf and had just begun to work with fabric. Each of the work’s four parts, which are crafted from sewed and stuffed canvas and resemble sea creatures’ limbs, was mounted to one of the wall’s four corners, with plenty of space between them. Walther intended for viewers to hold these objects or attach them, like prosthetic pillows, somewhere on their bodies; they could

  • Wynne Greenwood, More Heads, Belgrade, 2013, video, color, sound, 2 minutes 43 seconds.

    Wynne Greenwood

    If you’ve ever been lucky enough to see a Tracy + the Plastics show, you know that Tracy as well as the two Plastics are all played by Wynne Greenwood and that a show is not only about music but also these three characters, with Tracy appearing live and the Plastics—named Nikki and Cola—as video projections. The three chat, theorize, complain, and stand around in what critic and curator Johanna Burton called, in Artforum in 2005, a “split-personality hallucination,” or perhaps a kind of ventriloquism performed with the artist’s own body.

    For her recent exhibition at Soloway, Greenwood

  • David Gilbert, Yarnia, 2013, ink-jet print, 50 x 33".

    David Gilbert

    David Gilbert is inspired by Brancusi, an artist who saw his studio as a dynamic place—a place with “nothing fixed, nothing rigid”—and who often photographed his sculptures there. Gilbert’s studio is also a vital site, but the studio is all there is. Gilbert takes the things that litter it and arranges them into tableaux that exist only in and for his photographs. Aside from the paintings and drawings that variously appear in these images, the materials that populate Gilbert’s photos are generally domestic: a lot of yarn and string, rolls of tape, screws, hooks, a bucket, and fabric.

  • Jane and Louise Wilson, Atomgrad 7 (Nature Abhors a Vacuum), 2010, C-print, Diasec mounted with aluminum and Perspex, 71 x 89 3/4". From the series “Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum).”

    Jane and Louise Wilson

    A yardstick lies beneath a desk in a destroyed schoolroom. Windows are blown out, notebooks are scattered, and rubble streams among the desks as though deposited by a glacier. The ceiling is pockmarked, the walls are crumbling, and paint peels away in great strips.

    This photograph, from the series “Atomgrad (Nature Abhors a Vacuum),” 2010, was taken in Pripyat, Ukraine, a town built for workers at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and abandoned after the disaster there in 1986. Another work from the series shows a sort of amphitheater, austere in the Soviet fashion, with most of its light filtering

  • Meredith Danluck, Good News/Bad News, 2013, two-channel HD-video projection, color, sound, 13 minutes 3 seconds.

    Meredith Danluck

    In Good News/Bad News (all works 2013), a two-channel video by Meredith Danluck, fifteen actors answer a telephone. The first channel, projected on one wall, shows the performers reacting to good news, while the second channel, projected on an adjacent wall, shows them reacting to bad. In each iteration, the script is roughly the same: A phone rings, an actor answers it, says “Hello?” and “Yes? Yes! Yes!”—or “No! Oh, no, no, no”—then, “Thank you,” and hangs up. After that, another performer appears, and it all happens again.

    The scenes take place in an anonymous room. It is dully

  • Arne Svenson, The Neighbors #1, 2012, pigment print, 26 x 63".

    Arne Svenson

    Arne Svenson’s photographic series “The Neighbors,” 2012–13, offers glimpses of people going about their lives at home. Among the dozen large-scale images that were on view here, arranged singly and in pairs, are domestic scenes both quotidian and strange: of a woman holding a pair of red-handled scissors; a couple eating breakfast and reading; a man stretched out to sleep on a sofa, a large toy giraffe lurking in the shadows. A sense of calm, almost a sweetness, pervades the photos. The furnishings look upscale, the apartments clean and well-appointed. We are kept, however, at a distance: The

  • B. Wurtz, Untitled (bread quilt), 2012, plastic bread bags, wood, string, thread, T-shirt, shoelace, caution tape, 80 x 45".

    B. Wurtz

    The work of B. Wurtz, which returned to the attention of the art world in the late 2000s and early 2010s after flying under the radar for many years, reflects an austerity more pragmatic than visual. The artist recycles things ordinarily thrown away, but—as he laid out in the text of a 1973 drawing that has now taken on the power of a manifesto—he limits those materials to items related to food, shelter, and warmth: plastic lids of yogurt or hummus containers, bread bags, buttons, the plastic mesh sacks used for produce, shoelaces, ribbon, along with objects not so readily identified

  • Suzanne Treister, King of Pentacles—Economic Cybernetics (tarot), 2009–11, giclée print with watercolor on paper, 11 3/4 x 8 1/4".

    Suzanne Treister

    The links between Ken Kesey, William Gibson, and Robert Oppenheimer are not immediately apparent; perhaps it is easier to understand the connections among Theodore Kaczynski, the Whole Earth Catalog, and Diogenes of Sinope—or maybe not. In Suzanne Treister’s “HEXEN 2.0,” her second solo show at this gallery, each of these is part of a network of thought and threat, of counterculture, conspiracy, and control.

    Treister represents such figures and ideas as tarot cards, each one a small, framed giclée print with watercolor additions. Arrayed in a long row around the gallery, the seventy-eight

  • Kevin Cooley, Skyward, 2012, video, color, sound, 9 minutes 45 seconds. Installation view.

    Kevin Cooley

    Kevin Cooley’s video Skyward, 2012, has a simple premise: It shows the perspective of a camera mounted to the roof of a car and pointed at a bright, unclouded sky. On a near-ten-minute loop, the video takes us under streetlights, palm trees, and the tops of buildings, ornamented in a beaux-arts style that could mean we’re in Los Angeles. A bee hovers in the frame; birds flash past. The work’s installation, too, is straightforward: The video is projected on a large screen mounted on the ceiling, and viewers watch it while lying on pillows strewn over Astroturf. Together, these elements create

  • Robin Rhode, Bird on Wires, 2012–13, eight framed C-prints, each 16 3/8 x 24 1/4 x 1 1/2".

    Robin Rhode

    The protagonist of Robin Rhode’s photographic works, who is played either by the artist or a stand-in for him, is a fellow in casual street gear—puffer jacket, sneakers, watch cap, sunglasses. His face is almost always turned from the camera, his hands often covered in paint. He is a mysterious presence in these works—an Edward Gorey character in pristine high-tops—but also a bit mystified, caught up, like Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin, in situations beyond his control.

    Sequences of photographs, which show this character interacting with images stenciled, chalked, or painted

  • Jennifer West, One Mile Film . . . , 2012, 35 mm transferred to HD video, color, silent, 58 minutes 40 seconds. For full title of work, see page 268.

    Jennifer West’s One Mile Film

    THIS PAST OCTOBER 17, one of the first cold nights of fall, Los Angeles artist Jennifer West screened One Mile Film . . . , 2012, a work shot, altered, and, not least, projected on the High Line in New York. (It was commissioned by High Line Art.) Underneath the arch of the Standard Hotel, a group of underdressed viewers, shivering and stamping, gathered to watch the film’s layered, jittery views of the park and the neighborhood, sequences of varying tone and saturation showing two young parkour performers doing handstands, flips, and balancing tricks on the rails of the park’s undeveloped