Michael Ned Holte

  • Daniel Mendel-Black

    At first glance the nine paintings that comprised Daniel Mendel-Black’s recent show at Mandarin might recall Gerhard Richter’s self-conscious “Abstraktes Bild” (Abstract Picture) canvases, with their layers of big-brush smears and scrapes, revealing and concealing color, sometimes in jarring combinations. But unlike Richter’s canvases, which methodically reenact reproduction of the photographic process with cool, if not cold, mechanized neutrality, Mendel-Black’s bring an unabashed lack of skepticism to abstraction, and seem almost eager to please. Compared to the assured perfection of his

  • Amanda Ross-Ho

    TO CREATE HER WORK SEIZURE, 2006, Los Angeles–based artist Amanda Ross-Ho incorporated several dozen images she had culled from the Internet into a single large laser print. They were photographs of contraband: caches of weapons both primitive and automatic, drugs and paraphernalia, and repetitive stacks and radial piles of (minted or counterfeit) cold cash—all forms of capital extracted from an illicit economy and carefully arranged for the camera by cops unwittingly negotiating issues of morphology and presentation while creating perfunctory documents of their night’s work. Ross-Ho printed

  • Sterling Ruby

    “From whatever side one approaches things, the ultimate problem turns out in the final analysis to be that of distinction.” Thus begins Roger Caillois’s “Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia,” an essay published in 1935 in Minotaure magazine that interweaves issues of personality, biological camouflage, and spatial assimilation. Lurking in the back gallery of Marc Foxx, Sterling Ruby’s eight-minute video Dihedral, 2006—the title refers to the interaction of a vertical body and a horizontal plane—begins with the same quote, appropriating and adapting Caillois’s text as its distorted

  • Monica Bonvicini

    Monica Bonvicini’s recent exhibition in a vacated 18,000-square-foot Organized Living store on the second floor of a Pasadena shopping mall allowed the artist to push her ongoing interrogation of architectural space—specifically, the way in which constructed space defines, and is defined by, sexual politics—to its contextual limit. Featuring more than thirty sculptures, videos, drawings, collages, and installations dating from 1998 to the present, the show also served as a de facto midcareer survey.

    Bonvicini’s ambitious confrontation with the viewer began well before one entered the store: A

  • Stan Douglas, Klatsassin, 2006, still from a color video projection, 840 variations, each with an average duration of approximately 5 minutes, total running time 73 hours. Thief (Michael Eklund).

    1000 WORDS: STAN DOUGLAS

    VANCOUVER-BASED ARTIST STAN DOUGLAS has reinvented some of the most significant works of cinema, from his elegantly looping six-minute, 16-mm work Subject to a Film: Marnie, 1989, which follows closely from Hitchcock’s 1964 original, to Suspiria, 2002/2003, a recombinant video mix of elements borrowed from Dario Argento’s gory, Technicolor-drenched 1977 cult classic of the same name, transposed to an eighteenth-century tower in Kassel, Germany, during Documenta 11. Douglas’s latest offering, Klatsassin—a high-definition video that will be screened in abridged form at the Vancouver International

  • Allison Miller

    As the recent “Société Anonyme” exhibition at UCLA’s Hammer Museum helpfully reminded us, painterly pluralism is nothing new. But for all its diversity, avant-garde modernism was largely predicated on imperatives, on overturning old paradigms for something more visionary—whether futurism or Fauvism, Surrealism or geometric abstraction. I must admit I often get a little perplexed about what the imperatives might be for contemporary painting, beyond the laws of supply and demand, and the speculative whims of fashion.

    But while I wait for an imperative to emerge, I’m willing to settle for some simple

  • René Magritte, Decalomania, 1966, oil on canvas, 31 7/8 x 39 3/8". ©  Charly Herscovici, ARS, New York, 2006.

    “Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images”

    Borrowing its subtitle from René Magritte’s influential 1929 canvas, which is owned by LACMA, and placing the piece at the center of sixty-five of the Belgian Surrealist’s visual conundrums and just as many works by thirty-one contemporary artists, this exhibition seeks to unveil Magritte’s pervasive influence.

    A literal-turned-figurative sign painter, René Magritte surely predicted Pop, and his infamous inscription on canvas, CECI N’EST PAS UNE PIPE, foresaw the wordy indexical play of Conceptual art. Borrowing its subtitle from that influential 1929 canvas, which is owned by LACMA, and placing the piece at the center of sixty-five of the Belgian Surrealist’s visual conundrums and just as many works by thirty-one contemporary artists, this exhibition seeks to unveil Magritte’s pervasive influence. In addition to major players (Johns, Lichtenstein, Ruscha,

  • Manfred Pernice

    In his first solo show at Regen Projects since 2002, Berlin-based artist Manfred Pernice continued his ongoing formal investigation with a terraced installation of blocky sculptures. Eight discrete constructions, all titled exscape (all works 2006)—which also served as the name of the show—were arranged on several wedge-shaped planes demarcated by a gray vinyl mat and a raised platform covered in gray carpeting. An additional sculpture, titled ikebana 1, which effectively recalls the Japanese tradition of flower arranging with a twisted scrap-steel “bouquet” situated on a cylindrical base,

  • Anthony Hernandez

    MAKE ME A LATE BREAKFAST: A T-shirt emblazoned with this decadent demand appears near the top of Anthony Hernandez’s photograph Beverly Hills #34, 1984, behind a wild-maned Raquel Welch wannabe posing in a gray, asymmetrical jersey dress. In a complex act of doubling—of herself and of the stillness of the photographic image—the woman also wants to be a mannequin: She is not posing specifically for the photograph, but was apparently frozen in this stance in order to sell clothes off the rack to tourists in Beverly Hills.

    Known in recent years for his meticulously composed images of evacuated

  • Installation view, 2006.
    picks May 02, 2006

    Douglas Huebler

    Douglas Huebler is best known for his pioneering photo/text contributions to Conceptual art, but this rewarding exhibition features underappreciated works from the artist’s later “Crocodile Tears” series, which began as a feature screenplay about an up-market art forgery ring before shape-shifting into a serial comic strip. Here, isolated pages of the screenplay and wry comic episodes (as original paste-ups or recurring Xeroxes) are juxtaposed with skillful oil-on-canvas knockoffs of Gauguin, Seurat, and de Chirico (painted by Huebler), as well as street photography extending from the artist’s

  • Cameron Jamie

    Backyard wrestling, haunted-house decorating, and competitive hot dog–eating are among the popular, if marginalized, ritual phenomena investigated in this exhibition of some forty of Jamie's works made since 1984.

    Like a goofier, less bilious Antonin Artaud, Cameron Jamie locates trauma emerging from unacknowledged forms of social theater by zooming in on subcultures in his native San Fernando Valley and elsewhere. Backyard wrestling, haunted-house decorating, and competitive hot dog–eating are among the popular, if marginalized, ritual phenomena investigated in this exhibition of some forty of his works made since 1984. The show centers around four films—BB, 2000; Kranky Klaus, 2003; Spook House, 2003; and JO, 2004—unfussy documents, shot with handheld cameras, that

  • Katie Grinnan, Rubble Division, 2005. Installation view, Fourth of July parade, Aspen, Colorado. Photo: Roxanne Banks.

    “Interstate: The American Road Trip”

    DRIVING HOME THE IDEA THAT a summertime cross-country excursion is as American as apple pie, NASCAR, and breakfast at Stuckey’s, the upcoming exhibition “Interstate: The American Road Trip” will make an ambitious attempt to chart what its curators call “the vast psychological expanse” between the eastern and western edges of the US. Co-organized by Alyson Baker, executive director of New York’s Socrates Sculpture Park, and artist Andrea Zittel, the show begins at a two-day festival heralding Zittel’s fifth annual High Desert Test Sites (HDTS) project in the Southern California desert on May 6