Jan Tumlir

  • 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

    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

    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

    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

  • 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

    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,

  • 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

    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

  • 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,

  • Lara Schnitger

    Lara Schnitger’s solo exhibition at Grice Bench opened with Judith (all works cited 2019), a modestly scaled work of fabric on canvas portraying the titular figure with the severed head of Holofernes resting on a surface beneath her gently curved hands. Many male artists have tried to depict this same heroic, feminist scene. Notable among them is Caravaggio, whose Judith is shown wielding her blade against Holofernes’s neck, releasing a bright-red spray. Schnitger’s version comes closer to that of Gustav Klimt, whose sultry sophisticate defiantly meets the gaze of the beholder in the aftermath

  • DESKTOP PICTURE PLANE

    MATTHEW BRANNNON’S WORK is known for its dark explorations of male—and specifically American male—subjectivity. It is obviously informed by Freudian psychoanalysis, and on this point it is worth noting that Freud was no great fan of America, which he located as the epicenter of modern civilization’s “discontents.” Being American, Brannon is implicated and therefore ambivalent in his approach: The subject under analysis is always him.

    Brannon’s work has long been suffused with a lyrical tone, intimate and confessional. He is a highly literate artist and also a literary one, having, between 2007

  • Jack Goldstein

    Jack Goldstein (1945–2003) is one of those artists who is always ripe for reappraisal. As the times change around his work, the work itself also changes, though not in a way that suggests either foresight or myopia on Goldstein’s part. This work does not predict the future, nor does it obsolesce in the future’s wake; rather, it maintains its composure even as it is profoundly impacted by every new context it occupies. This was certainly the case in a modest but encapsulating exhibition mounted this summer at 1301PE, which featured a projection of Goldstein’s 16-mm film Under Water Sea Fantasy,