Jennifer Peterson

  • picks June 17, 2017

    Sabrina Gschwandtner

    When Rosalind Krauss wrote in 1979 about grids as one of the mythic structures of modern art, she was clearly not thinking about quilts. But one of her main points—that the grid’s formal regularity represses a spiritual unconscious—is useful for considering Sabrina Gschwandtner’s quilts made from scraps of 16-mm film. The magic of these works is that the geometrical compositions of discards reveal an immanent world of human bodies laboring in tiny images, all lit from behind via light boxes or LED panels. This is no regressive return to the realm of belief, illusion, or fiction that modernism

  • picks October 28, 2016

    Tamara Henderson

    Tamara Henderson’s exhibition “Seasons End: Panting Healer” charts a geography of actual places and unconscious emotions. The peripatetic Canadian-born artist’s first solo exhibition in the US is grounded in a traveler’s memories, but the installation feels less like a travel diary and more like a wanderer’s mind refracted onto a set of materials that have taken on a life of their own. This metaphor is best realized in the large sculptural work Seasons End Vehicle (all works cited, 2016), with a working door and seats for the visitor, and in the figure X-Rayed Path, clad in fabric printed with

  • picks April 04, 2016

    Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder

    This is the first West Coast solo exhibition for Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder, whose work explores the materiality of cinema and the meaning of analog in the digital age. In Light Spill, 2005, a 16-mm film is projected onto a portable screen, but the image appears as an illegible smear due to the removal of essential parts of the projector. Our eye is drawn instead to the movement of the film itself unspooling into a large pile on the floor. Hundreds of metal film canisters line the wall nearby like castoffs awaiting their turn to unravel. Threadbare, 2013, a 16-mm projector wrapped in celluloid,

  • picks July 27, 2015

    Joe Sola

    For his latest outing, Joe Sola lets a live miniature horse named Riba roam free in this gallery, which has been transformed to resemble the dining room of a well-off collector. The horse’s fur has been painted in an abstract design suggesting fanciful reinterpretations of ungulate fur patterns (giraffe, zebra, gazelle), running heavy on the red and brown. Her presence is both calming and inscrutable.

    Riba seems quite content to wander around the small gallery space, standing patiently before paintings and drawings by Matthew Chambers, Sayre Gomez, Rudy K. Slobeck, and others. This is not a group

  • picks June 08, 2015

    Nao Bustamante

    Women have often been written out of revolutionary history, but Nao Bustamante’s multimedia exhibition “Soldadera” reignites the figure of the female soldier for the present moment. Soldaderas fought alongside men during the Mexican Revolution. Inspired by a pilgrimage she made to visit the last living soldadera, a woman named Leandra Becerra Lumbreras, Bustamante’s show expresses a utopian wish that one might transmit gestures of care, protection, and ferocity across historical time.

    Bustamante is best known as a performance artist; this show combines video performance with a reconceptualization

  • picks December 10, 2014

    Bruce Conner

    Watching the recent digital restoration of Bruce Conner’s thirty-six-minute film Crossroads, 1976, which depicts 1946 footage of the first underwater atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll, is a vertiginous experience of telescoping back in time. Conner obtained this government-shot film from the U.S. National Archives and with minimal interventions (editing and, most notably, the addition of music), turned it into a resonant meditation on the apocalyptic sublime, rendering the familiar nuclear mushroom cloud strange again. The mushroom cloud is one of Conner’s signature images, appearing in A Movie