Jan Tumlir

  • Wolfgang Tillmans

    Seen after Catherine Opie’s retrospective at the Orange County Museum of Art, Wolfgang Tillmans’s midcareer survey at the UCLA Hammer Museum felt like more of the same; both shows came off as rapid-fire trips through the history of photography-as-art that attempted to weave together two distinct lineages—those of the medium and of the individual practitioner—in order to affirm the artists’ accession to canonical status. In Tillmans’s case, however, every last vestige of conventional historiography is gleefully dispatched. The latest and the earliest pictures hang side by side without

  • Adrià Julià

    Adrià Julià, a young Spanish artist who has been living in Los Angeles since 2001 (she graduated from CalArts in 2003) has already exhibited widely throughout Europe but remains underrecognized in the US. This should change soon. The work on view at the Orange County Museum of Art comprised just a handful of medium-scale, resoundingly Felliniesque photographs and a film (split into two separate projections), La Villa Basque, Vernon, California, 2004, all depicting aspects of the titular restaurant. As the first things one sees, the photographs distantly recall the sorts of images that remain on

  • Sunn 0))) at Auditorium Flog, Florence, February 23, 2006. Malefic. Photo: Seldon Hunt.

    Sunn 0)))

    LISTENING TO A SUNN 0))) record at normal volume is a calculatedly disappointing experience. Take, for example, their latest full-length album, Black One: Released on CD last year and recently issued as a double LP, it features an elaborate gatefold sleeve boasting a morosely hyperstylized drawing of an overgrown forest. This package seems to promise exactly the kind of overpowering, supremely lachrymose sound that the band, as the arguable apotheosis of the drone-metal subgenre, is known for. But put the record on and you may feel that you’re hearing a standard set of hard-rock chord progressions


    THE OVERTLY CONTENTIOUS, covertly symbiotic relations of art and design have had a long and complex gestation. Before weighing the merits of this union and its latest manifestations among such willfully unreconciled proponents of the interdisciplinary as, say, Jorge Pardo, Pae White, or Liam Gillick—the most direct precursors of Matthew Brannon’s own “difficult” practice—we may want to gain a longer-range vantage on the relationship. Consider, for instance, Velázquez’s Las Meninas, a detailed analysis of which opens Michel Foucault’s Order of Things. That painting, the philosopher suggests, is

  • Francis Alÿs, Ambulantes I (Peddlers I), 1992–2000, 1 of 80 projected 35 mm slides. From the series “Ambulantes,” 1992–2003.


    When first appearing in 1992, inSite—a biennial artistic event that engages the border area between San Diego and Tijuana through a series of specially commissioned and site-specific works and exhibitions—caused barely a ripple, being underreported and underdiscussed. But within two short years it had the support of the Centro Cultural Tijuana (CeCuT) and has steadily gained in funding and prestige with each subsequent installment. While the sprawling nature of the project has necessarily made for patchy affairs on occasion, inSite has also delivered such memorable moments as the Trojan horse

  • David Hullfish Bailey

    If American painters continue to doggedly mine the border between abstraction and representation, it is because they remain, in general, conflicted on the issue. Neither a painter nor really a sculptor, David Hullfish Bailey has found it more productive to speculate on the nature of the opposition itself rather than seek any kind of synthesis. Architecture, urban planning, and product design appear in his work as real-world sites of this ongoing aesthetic conflict, providing concrete instances of a figurative occupation of abstract space and vice versa.

    The reductivist argument for abstraction

  • Stan Kaplan

    In vivid coloration, gestural exuberance, and overall scale, Stan Kaplan’s second show of abstract canvases at Mary Goldman Gallery notably ratcheted up the ambitions of his first. This is painterly painting in the “grand manner,” recalling the exertions of the New York School without a trace of irony, or even ambivalence. The various alibis that have enabled returns of this sort over the past twenty years, from Appropriation to Simulationism, have been discarded so that the artist may, once again, face down the tundra of the gessoed surface as if for the first time, contending with this, and

  • John Baldessari

    John Baldessari’s oeuvre reflects the entire unfolding of West Coast postmodernism. First, he sets all of his canvases ablaze in order to reject painterly formalism and reclaim those modernist “others,” information technology, the image, and the word. Second, he develops an aesthetic language out of mass-media image fragments. Third, he comes full circle, rehabilitating formalism as such, but within a context of media studies and linguistics. It should be interesting, then, to see what the sixty-six paintings, photographs, and films on view might mean both for the

  • David Hockney

    David Hockney’s colorful persona has long served as a foil for the quiet understatement of his pictorial output. Throughout the 1960s, these two elements—the artist and his oeuvre—were consistently misaligned. On his emergence, Hockney the artist embodied the optimism that gripped the United Kingdom in the postwar years as rationing gave way to what Lawrence Alloway called an “aesthetics of plenty.” Registered in every detail of his carefully plotted social pose was a kind of content that forcefully mitigated the glacial ennui that permeated so many of his paintings, especially those he would

  • Mathias Poledna

    Version, 2004, the most recent film by Mathias Poledna, is strongly reminiscent of his last one, Actualité, 2002. Once again, the gallery was painted black, and a 16 mm projector beamed a film onto the far wall. And this work, too, depicts a group of attractive twentysomethings shot against a black backdrop, conveying a vaguely purgatorial impression. The sense that Poledna’s subjects are spirits trapped in a liminal zone between art gallery and movie theater is, again, corroborated by a looping repetition that keeps them turning hellishly in place, as well as by the pronounced grain of the

  • Amir Zaki

    To point a camera at a house is a somewhat tautological operation, as both comprise rooms—the term camera denotes an enclosed, interior space—with windows, or apertures, opening out. Among all fabricated things, the house is the camera’s closest kin and shares its most salient associations; above all, to the psyche, whether perceiving, remembering, imagining, dreaming. In The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard famously described “the chief benefit of the house” in relation to this last function: “the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”

    In Amir Zaki’s recent work

  • Cindy Bernard

    Once known for tightly plotted, high-concept musings on the ongoing annexation of everyday life by the entertainment industry, Cindy Bernard has more recently converted to the (quasi-)formalist cause. For an artist whose formative years were spent Greenberg bashing, this may come as either a surprising case of pent-up desire finally released or as a concession to the dictates of fashion. In actuality, it is probably a little of both. Like many of the ’80s generation, Bernard has no doubt felt firsthand the confining effect that “issues” can have on art, and her decision to strike out for