Glen Helfand

  • Chris Gentile

    Chris Gentile’s work places him in dialogue with Amy Adler, James Casebere, Thomas Demand, and Erwin Wurm, who photograph handmade objects that rarely—if ever—leave the studio in 3-D form. Gentile also creates sculptures and installations exclusively for the camera, but while the aforementioned artists use the practice to explore cultural, psychological, or media-related issues, his images focus on processes of degradation and decay, which he presents in formal, and sometimes visceral, terms. The objects he depicts are abstract and self-consciously sculptural, yet flaunt their ephemeral nature

  • Bessma Khalaf, Monument, 2009, still from a color video, 3 hours 56 minutes.
    picks October 16, 2009

    Bessma Khalaf

    In two of the three videos that compose “You’re Not There,” Bessma Khalaf’s first solo exhibition at this gallery, the artist shares—through precise actions—an extremely ambivalent relationship with the American landscape and much of what it signifies. In Projection (all works 2009), a sequence of Sierra Club–style photographs of golden plains, majestic mountains, and rolling rivers is revealed as fictional when a fist punches through the sheets of paper the images are screened on one by one. These efficient blows to the land form a rhythmic slide show of constant insertion and, perhaps, rejection.

  • Mitzi Pederson, Untitled, 2009, wood, paint, string, 87 x 39 1/2".
    picks October 07, 2009

    Mitzi Pederson

    By titling her exhibition “I’ll Start Again,” Mitzi Pederson hints at reinvention. But though the show finds the artist maintaining an economy of modest gestures and low-grade materials that seem diverted from landfill, her new sculptures exude the integrity of starting from scratch. Where Pederson’s previous bodies of work have evoked Richard Tuttle, here the spirit of Fred Sandback appears in a series of string-based works that respond directly to the gallery space. Several balance thin thread and pieces of wood and at times articulate geometric volume. All are far more commanding of space

  • Kathryn Spence

    The press release for Kathryn Spence’s recent exhibition outs her as “an avid birder, gardener, and conservationist,” yet the sculptures—fastidiously arranged bundles of refuse, some of which resemble taxidermied animals—suggest another identity, that of flaneur. While looking at the show, it’s easy to imagine the artist keenly observing the city as she wanders streets, harvesting the bits of refuse used in her work. The listed materials—magazine clippings, plastic bags, string, wire, newspaper—are just the sorts of things abundantly available in gutters and alleys.

    Titled “Cloudless White,” the

  • Chris Ballantyne, Mark Mulroney, and Andrew Schoultz, Untitled, 2009, wall mural, 20 x 24".
    picks September 23, 2009

    Chris Ballantyne, Mark Mulroney, and Andrew Schoultz

    In this exhibition, a trio of artists express their sensitivities to ecological and social disasters in solo wall murals and collaborative paintings—all offering fantastical, critical views of American landscapes colorfully ravaged by unidentified catastrophes. Andrew Schoultz, who has previously made paintings, sculptures, and installations with a political edge, here bumps visually into Lari Pittman’s territory with two walls featuring glitter-dusted brick and wood patterns as well as images of viscous, dripping candles. An apocalypse is rendered in repeating and rippling curves that form

  • Alice Shaw

    As the veracity of photographic representation has been thrown into question, it follows by extension that the status of the photographer herself is also in serious flux. Alice Shaw’s most recent exhibition, titled “Auto(biography),” initially read as a whimsical look at self-portraiture, yet functioned as an endearingly digressive visual essay concerning the multitude of strategies for personal and artistic representation. Known primarily as a photographer, the artist here employed a range of media—drawing, painting, appropriated objects, sculpture, as well as photographs—in an inconclusive

  • View of “Michael Guidetti,” 2009. From left: Untitled, 2009; Bounce Room 2, 2009.
    picks August 11, 2009

    Michael Guidetti

    Galleries and museums are, for all intents and purposes, standardized exhibition containers. The three multimedia works that comprise Michael Guidetti’s solo show ruminate on this form, each representing a discrete space used to show art. He sets down basic architectural frameworks in watercolor and effectively enlivens them with superimposed digital projections. Two of the works, Bounce Room 1 and Bounce Room 2 (all works 2009), depict modernist white-cube spaces overlaid with projected red, green, and blue blobs that ricochet against the depicted walls and ceilings. These elements are as

  • Views of “Not New Work: Vincent Fecteau Selects from the Collection,” 2009. Left (from left to right): Eric Rudd, Night Fairy, 1974; Max Ernst, Bauta, 1964; Ron Nagle, Untitled, 1982; Peter Young, Untitled, 1968; Wayne Thiebaud, Untitled (Two Ice Cream Scoops on Plate), ca. 1985. Right: Robert Overby, Hall painting, first floor; H. C. Westermann, Secrets, 1964; Charles Howard, Banner, 1934; Christopher Wilmarth, New, 1968; Ralph Humphrey, Untitled, 1972. (Photos: Ian Reeves)
    interviews August 03, 2009

    Vincent Fecteau

    Vincent Fecteau was perhaps an ideal choice for an “artist selects” exhibition: His own sculptures are potent, peculiarly honed works that take months to produce, and the twenty-three objects he culled from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s storage facilities reveal as much about the quirks of a collection as they do about the vision of an artist set free within it. Pieces by the likes of Judy Chicago, Ron Nagle, and Tom of Finland will be on view through November 8 at the museum under the fitting title “Not New Work.” Fecteau will also have a solo show at Matthew Marks Gallery this fall.

  • Joe Sola, Studio Visit, 2005, still from single-channel color video, 8 minutes.
    picks July 25, 2009

    “Studio Sessions”

    Sandwiched between shows of Richard Avedon, Ansel Adams, and Georgia O’Keeffe, “Studio Sessions,” is a heartening find and an ode to artistic anxieties by slightly less established artists. Five video works, selected by curator Tanya Zimbardo, wittily probe processes and self-doubts—the kind of uncertainties artists, particularly white male ones, don’t usually reveal. The show humanizes artmaking by revealing various means by which artists endure public scrutiny.

    Two pieces rely on broadcast television for moral support and distribution: General Idea’s Pilot, 1977, is a made-for-TV manifesto that

  • Left: LA MoCA chief curator Paul Schimmel with artists Melanie Schiff and Sterling Ruby. Right: Artist Alex Waterman with art adviser Thea Westreich. (Except where noted, all photos: Drew Altizer)
    diary July 15, 2009

    Sharin’ Stones

    Calistoga

    THE VEIL OF THE DOWNTURN covers everything these days, especially parties, typically good barometers of both mood and money. Moments after arriving last Saturday at Norah and Norman Stone’s summer soiree at their Napa Valley weekend home, someone told me that the number of RSVPs to the party had exceeded expectations. No doubt this was a reflection of a “staycation” summer (a casual assessment of the group’s demographics confirmed that suspicion), but it had the odd, and welcome, effect of adding a good shot of conviviality to what easily could have been a staid art-world affair. It’s funny how

  • Tim Sullivan, Streetcar Named Desire, Marlon Brando (George Kuchar), 2009, archival digital print mounted on aluminum, 30 x 50".
    picks June 14, 2009

    Tim Sullivan

    Andy Warhol didn’t live long enough to experiment with freeze-framing films on DVD, but if he had, the results might have resembled Tim Sullivan’s cinema-inspired photographs and videos in spirit. Like Warhol, Sullivan is pale of complexion and hair color and shares an interest in creating a cottage industry of filtering images of pop culture. For his first solo exhibition at this gallery, titled “You Feel Me?,” Sullivan looks for emotional triggers in Hollywood classics—no obscure subtitled source material here—as he re-creates reaction shots from films through gorgeously washed-out photo-booth

  • Claire Fontaine, PLEASE COME BACK (K. font/American), 2008, fluorescent neon tubes, light fixtures, cables, movement detector, 48 x 5 x 1/2".
    picks June 09, 2009

    Claire Fontaine

    Two of the four works in Claire Fontaine’s timely exhibition are titled Recession Sculptures, but the entire show, which is activated and visible for just a few moments at a time via motion sensor, manages to stretch modest, ready-made objects into radical political gestures with the added value of rich formal and conceptual associations. Each of the Recession works (both 2009) effectively and literally meddles with power—they are, respectively, an electric and a gas meter fitted with means to stall or wind back records of consumption with the aid of magnets, distilled water, and a Shop-Vac,