Jan Tumlir

  • Stephen Neidich, I can tie a trucker hitch in my sleep, 2021, steel blinds, motor box, idlers, roller chain, light, 86 × 116 × 10".

    Stephen Neidich

    Some say that Duchamp’s 1913 sculpture Bicycle Wheel inaugurated the category of kinetic art. Yet the form’s coming-out party was sparsely attended and brief. If we can call it a movement, it is one that went dormant almost upon inception, thereafter subject to sporadic periods of resurgence. When Peggy Guggenheim granted kinetic art a room of its own for five years, between 1942 and 1947, in The Art of This Century, her New York gallery, she effectively placed it on the front lines of aesthetic advancement. Enthusiasm for mechanically mobilized works held firm for roughly the next two decades,

  • Kandis Williams, Pins and Needles, 2016, vinyl adhesive on Plexiglas, fluorescent light, 48 × 90 1⁄4". From Made in L.A. 2020.

    Made in L.A. 2020

    At the time of this writing, the fifth iteration of this city’s biennial, Made in L.A., a version, was closed to the public. Due to the pandemic, its official unveiling had been pushed off into an indeterminate future on government order, with just a few people allowed in at a time for a sneak peek. Under the circumstances, the haunted tone that pervaded the show by design was considerably augmented. In a Skype conversation transcribed for the biennial’s catalogue, curators Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler discuss the influence of horror films on their decision-making process. “Traditionally

  • Kevin Hanley, On the Floor 2, 2020, ink-jet print on Plexiglas, museum board, 23 1/2 × 28".

    Kevin Hanley

    Around the mid-1990s, Kevin Hanley became known for a kind of photograph that greeted its viewers as deceptively casual, seemingly captured while the artist wandered about in a state of distraction. Under prolonged scrutiny, however, its ostensibly random arrangement would begin to disclose a secret determination, every outwardly incidental element—an architectural detail, item of clothing, or personal accessory—bristling with cryptic import. In an ongoing series begun in 1995, Hanley presented these pictures at a modest scale, just above the snapshot standard, isolated against larger monochrome

  • Lucio Fontana, Ambiente spaziale (Spatial Environment), 1966/2020, rectangular room, two corridors to enter and exit, walls and ceiling lined with black fabric, flooring in polyurethane foam covered in rubber, backlit holes with green neon crystal tubes. Installation view.

    Lucio Fontana

    Not long after the end of World War II, Lucio Fontana (1899–1968) surveyed the wreckage of Milan and, forgoing nostalgia, started to dream big. A black-and-white photograph included at the entrance to his recent exhibition at Hauser & Wirth showed the artist clambering through the ruined shell of his old studio building with the insouciance of a child on a jungle gym. All around him, the walls left standing seem to be pockmarked with shrapnel and bullet sprays, their tortured surfaces foreshadowing the punctured monochrome paintings that he remains best known for. The first of his “Buchi” (Holes)

  • Paul McCarthy, Performance Drawing Notes, 1975, ink on paper, 24 × 19".

    Paul McCarthy

    In the 1960s and ’70s, art in America was radicalized—mostly by women, many hailing from the West Coast—to skewer normative constructs of gender; sexuality; the family as a social unit; and the home as a site of control, a microcosm of the authoritarian state. A particularly anarchic strain of feminist art production, by turns indicting and emancipatory, was a crucial influence on Paul McCarthy’s practice. Salient in this regard are the performances of Linda Montano, Barbara T. Smith, and, in particular, the artists involved in the Womanhouse project, which was mounted in a residential home in

  • Jónsi, Hvítblinda (Whiteout), 2019, twelve-channel sound installation (20 minutes), ten speakers, two subwoofers, aluminum, LED lighting, ozone scent. Installation view.


    Even if you have a fondness for the paintings of, say, Bob Dylan, you might find it difficult to argue for their historical significance. “Show people” tend to treat the visual-art context as a place to unload their doodles—or, worse, they superficially conform to the latest standards of aesthetic production. It is therefore with some trepidation that one might approach a show by the lead singer and guitarist of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós. Jónsi is a bona fide rock star, though not lacking in visual fluency, having recently collaborated with such figures as Doug Aitken and Olafur Eliasson.

  • Tatiana Trouvé, The Shaman, 2018, patinated bronze, marble, granite, concrete, steel, sand, water. Installation view.

    Tatiana Trouvé

    Tatiana Trouvé’s first exhibition in Los Angeles opens on a fantastical scene, stage-managed with imposing verisimilitude: The concrete floor of Gagosian’s front gallery seems to have been fractured by a tectonic shift and disassembled into an irregular surface of jagged blocks jutting this way and that around a central waterlogged depression. Protruding from this shallow pool is the lower section of a sizable oak tree—actually a bronze cast—dribbling water from its torn and tangled roots. Titled The Shaman, 2018, this work is essentially a fountain, one that insistently recommends itself to

  • View of “Pippa Garner,” 2019.

    Pippa Garner

    There was a time when the designation “LA art” actually meant something, not because the art of this region ever hewed to a definable style but because it was relatively style-free, peripheral to what was recognized as art at all. This “outsider” history of the scene is easily overstated, to be sure, but serviceable. This was especially true in its earliest days, during the 1960s, when Pippa Garner, then Philip Garner (the artist underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1993) was still studying in the transportation design department at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. Garner opted for

  • Bas Jan Ader, Broken Fall (organic) Amsterdamse Bos, Holland, 1971, 16 mm transferred to video, black-and-white, silent, 1 minute 26 seconds.

    Bas Jan Ader

    The Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader toiled in semiobscurity throughout his career and then, in 1975, disappeared from the face of the earth. His last show, exhibited at the Claire S. Copley Gallery in Los Angeles, was delivered in three parts: a photographic travelogue that shows him wandering through the nocturnal cityscape of Southern California, his adopted home, toward the shore; a program of sea chanteys, sung by a student choir; and a projection of the choir’s performances in the gallery. The trip that led to the eighteen-part photographic travelogue was intended to be followed by another journey,

  • KISK performing at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, 2019. Photo: Joshua White.
    music September 30, 2019

    Fourth-Best Wins

    “WE ARE FOURTH-BEST note-for-close KISS tribute band from Volga region”: This is how the members of KISK introduce their act as they take to the stage, faces slathered in the original lineup’s familiar white paint with black Kabuki-like touches. “Demon,” “Starchild,” “Spaceman,” and “Catman”—all are present and accounted for. It was back in the early 1970s in New York City that Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Gene Simmons, and Paul Stanley dreamt up these instantly recognizable, cartoonish avatars as the delivery vehicles for their ultra-catchy stadium rock. In this reprisal by the team of Tony

  • Jeffrey Stuker, Mimicry and the Monte Carlo Predator, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 10 minutes.

    Jeffrey Stuker

    Like his show two years earlier at Full Haus in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Stuker’s recent solo exhibition was held in a residential venue. Garden is housed in the converted upstairs bedroom of a stately Victorian pile in Angelino Heights, overlooking the rapidly transforming cityscape below. Since it opened its doors at the end of 2016, this space seems to have consistently focused on work with botanical themes, thereby providing a perfectly heimlich context for Stuker’s decidedly unheimlich meditations on the fate of natural history in our current stage of technological reproduction—or postproduction

  • View of “Brandon Lattu: Full to Bursting,” 2019.
    picks July 31, 2019

    Brandon Lattu

    Brandon Lattu’s work is grounded in photography, a medium that has gradually relinquished every last trace of material specificity. What remains specific about photographs is their innate referentiality; they tend to expose not themselves, but something else: life, either as it is or as it could be. Lattu’s exhibition at Richard Telles, “Full to Bursting,” speaks to the current representational excess that swells the frames of pictures and inexorably pushes out into reality. For instance, a massive print in the main gallery titled Potatoes and Pebbles with Truffle Tumors (An Allegory), 2019,