Jan Tumlir

  • Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange, 1971, 35 mm, color, sound, 136 minutes. Detail of contact sheet showing “the droogs.”

    Stanley Kubrick

    Once poised as the medium best suited to bridge high and low cultures, film is now, arguably, more divided against itself than ever; and what remains of art according to this new configuration is increasingly confined, or so it seems, to art-specific spaces. Thus, notice was taken whe the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, hot on the heels of its celebration of James Bond, unveiled a survey show of that preeminent twentiethcentury filmmaker Stanley Kubrick. Though no doubt a concerted effort on the museum’s part to appeal to Hollywood (whose support the local art establishment has long sought

  • Jordan Wolfson, Raspberry Poser, 2012, digital video with CGI and hand-drawn animation, color, sound, 13 minutes 55 seconds.

    Jordan Wolfson

    Jordan Wolfson appears in his Raspberry Poser, 2012—a fourteen-minute video that premiered this winter at LA’s REDCAT—as a shaven-headed punk, his leather jacket emblazoned with the names of the Clash and the Jam, his bovver boots kicking up dust on a remarkably anodyne dérive through the streets of Paris. In one telling scene, the New York artist is shown wearing blackface while chatting amiably with an older gent on a park bench in the Sixième. A politically fraught collection of codes that would once have provoked fear and loathing in passersby fails here even to raise an eyebrow.

  • View of “Mary Kelly,” 2012. From left: Mary Kelly and Ray Barrie, Habitus Type I, 2010–12; Mary Kelly, Mimus, Act III, 2012.

    Mary Kelly

    In her Post-Partum Document (1973–79), Mary Kelly closely followed her infant son’s acquisition of language, tracing his first written words while simultaneously narrating the conditions under which they appeared. As media studies reminds us, words are a memory-storage technology, and the written word, which organizes its contents into straight lines of historical thought, shapes memory to fit. Whatever does not make the cut is at the crux of Kelly’s ongoing aim to propose an alternate history, and so it makes perfect sense to start the account at this preliminary point, as a record of the

  • Dave Muller, Little (Ed), 2012, acrylic on paper, 11 x 8 1/2".

    Dave Muller

    Sometime in the 1990s, the critical mandate of the prior decade’s “appropriation art” underwent a casual revision by an emerging generation less inclined to feel itself victimized by the “society of the spectacle.” Pop-cultural citation would continue apace, but in a less anxious, less clinical manner, one that evoked an element of personal investment. Overall, Dave Muller’s work could serve as a case in point, especially his latest exhibition, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” Deriving this insistently affirmative title from the Beatles’ 1963 song “She Loves You,” the Los Angeles–based artist focused

  • Llyn Foulkes, Happy Rock, 1969, oil and acrylic on canvas, 88 3/4 x 84 3/4".

    Llyn Foulkes

    “Despite his Ferus Gallery credentials and considerable influence on the Los Angeles art world, a career-long thwarting of stylistic consistency may have rendered Llyn Foulkes and his work virtually unclassifiable.”

    Despite his Ferus Gallery credentials and considerable influence on the Los Angeles art world, a career-long thwarting of stylistic consistency may have rendered Llyn Foulkes and his work virtually unclassifiable. All of the polarities of West Coast art have found their way into his practice, from “cool” abstraction and the brand-newness of Pop to “hot” (abject) figuration and the used-upness of assemblage. What holds it all together is the relentless tone of political indignation; whether aiming at the rape of landscape by commerce or the siege of real life by the forces

  • View of “Aaron Garber-Maikovska,” 2012.

    Aaron Garber-Maikovska

    If there is one common aim that runs through the entire course of avant-garde art, it is to grind up and reinvent words, whether spoken (as in the Futurists’ parole in libertà) or written (as in the rebuslike cryptography of the Lettrist International). Implicit in these various projects is a critique of our given languages as either inadequate, unable to account for the full scope of contemporary experience, or, worse, coercive and actively constraining that experience. Some of this animus finds its way into the work of the LA-based artist Aaron Garber-Maikovska as well, but here, in a show

  • Pietro Roccasalva, Il Traviatore, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 30 5/8 x 19 5/8".


    FIRST, THERE IS THE PAINTING. For Pietro Roccasalva, this medium occupies the radiant center of an ever-expanding constellation of formal and conceptual analogies that takes in photography, video, sculpture, installation, and performance. All are derived from painting as more or less concrete extrusions of the picture plane, and all return to it at some point as material for further painting. The artist’s skill in this department is irreproachable; evidently, he can render by hand anything he wants to see, but this is not to suggest that his imagination is unfettered or that its products can

  • Delia Brown, Felicity, Victorious, 2011, oil on board, 8 x 12". From the series “Felicity and Caprice,” 2006–12. Angles Gallery.

    Delia Brown

    A Marxist critic would argue that the uniquely unstable position of the artist within the social hierarchy is a central determinant of all that he or she makes, even if it is not explicitly acknowledged in the work, and perhaps especially then. But what if this factor were declared right up front, as it is in the paintings of Delia Brown, which have long treated class jumping and upward and downward mobility as staple themes? From the start of her career, Brown has sought to manifest a dimension of the art economy that tends to remain latent—the point at which relations between people and

  • Sanya Kantarovsky, The Man with the Black Coat, 2012, oil and watercolor on linen, 34 x 26".

    Sanya Kantarovsky

    The paintings of Russian-born, LA-based artist Sanya Kantarovsky are almost irresistibly appealing, even adorable. Modestly scaled mergers of abstract and figurative—or, more to the point, painterly and illustrational—elements, they are executed with a confident ease, a lightness of touch that suggests not just rigor and control but a self-pleasuring frivolity, too. In these works, the paint is often thinly applied and, here and there, wiped or scraped away, leaving voids veiled with the barely there traces of facture, lines and layered color over which the artist has rendered a

  • Bruce Nauman, South America Triangle, 1981, steel beams, steel cable, cast iron chair. Installation view, 2011. Photo: Brian Forrest.

    “Under the Big Black Sun”

    IN CONTRAST TO THE SPIRIT of celebratory commemoration and even boosterism that underlies so many “Pacific Standard Time” exhibitions thus far, Paul Schimmel’s latest curatorial effort, “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974–1981,” has a critical and historical argument to make. His premise is that a “plethora of individual art practices”—what he dubs “California pluralism”—“flourished within [the era’s] dystopian atmosphere.” To put it more bluntly: “Bad times” make for “good art,” or at least the kind of art Schimmel favors, which tends toward a negativity bordering on the

  • Karina Nimmerfall, Double Location (The Ambassador Hotel), 2008/2011, sculptural three-channel video installation, mixed media. Installation view.

    Karina Nimmerfall

    Berlin-based Austrian artist Karina Nimmerfall, who spent the past year teaching at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, delivered her “take” on Los Angeles via her three-channel video installation Double Location (The Ambassador Hotel), 2008/2011, just days before returning to Germany this fall. Focusing on the exceptional zone that emerges where the virtual space of film/television overlaps with the worldly dimension in which LA residents actually exist, she may well not have been able to craft this work anywhere but here. After all, LA remains the epicenter of the spectacle

  • Linder Sterling, poster for Buzzcocks’ single “Orgasm Addict,” 1977.

    “Loud Flash: British Punk on Paper”

    What is there left to say about punk in 2011? Some thirty-plus years after the fact, the spiky-haired and safety-pinned look has taken its place right alongside that of the hippie as a Halloween-costume option, drained of any potential to shock or scare. One could go further and claim that if punk once marked the outer limit of subcultural rebellion, then its apparent loss of agency suggests it may no longer be possible to signify refusal in stylistic terms. Today, the punk rocker mostly appears as an endearing, Muppet-like caricature.

    However, Honor Fraser’s recent exhibition of punk-rock