Natalie Haddad

  • Jessie Homer French, Spring Snow – Chernobyl, 2019, oil on plywood, 12 x 23 1/2".
    picks June 05, 2020

    Jessie Homer French

    Creation and destruction coexist in the natural world; their interplay features prominently in the work of Jessie Homer French. The artist, who lives in Southern California, has experienced the flowering and withering of the landscape up close, as wildfires and earthquakes have ravaged her environs.

    Homer French’s flat colors and simplified figures evoke outsider or naive art, but those labels belie her artistic depth. Her sensitive layering of storylines, existential themes, and site-specific commentaries is informed by the work of her artist friends and local peers, including Ed Ruscha. In

  • Christina Fernandez, Lavanderia #1, 2002, ink-jet print, 30 x 40".
    picks May 15, 2020


    Of all the Los Angeles streets, apartment facades, and interiors depicted in “Southland,” the modern 1960s-style living room in John Divola’s photograph X18F5, 2002, may seem the most familiar and uncanny. The image is from Divola’s “X-Files,” 2002, which features sets from the titular TV show; this interior is a re-creation of a set from The Brady Bunch, repurposed for the long-running science-fiction series.

    The slippages in X18F5 between reality and illusion, between a sense of absence and an unseen gaze, pervade the exhibition. Photographs by Peter Holzhauer, James Welling, and Mark Ruwedel

  • Steve Roden, orrery, 2017, video, color, sound, 12 minutes 27 seconds.
    picks July 26, 2019

    Steve Roden

    In “could/cloud,” the LA-based sound and visual artist Steve Roden continues his long-standing exploration of the relationships between sound, color, and form. The exhibition features several small- and large-scale abstract paintings and two videos, all accompanied by a soft, ambient soundscape. Roden’s bigger canvases, filled with prismatic slivers of color, evoke the stained-glass windows of a cathedral; yellow-ocher passages toward the tops of two of the paintings, both titled in and in and up and down below (above), 2019, enliven the mostly purplish color palette with a burst of divine light.

  • Alex Hubbard, Projector 1, 2018, LED monitor, coated lenses, urethane, LED light bulbs, lighting transformer, Plexiglas, bellow, tables, plinth, digital video (color, silent, 10 minutes 31 seconds).
    picks March 11, 2019

    Alex Hubbard

    In his current exhibition, “Projectors,” Alex Hubbard synthesizes the aesthetic and conceptual themes that have informed his work in two films: Projector 1 and Projector 2, both 2019, recall Stan Brakhage’s hand-painted moving images and are screened from projectors built by Hubbard.

    As with much of Hubbard’s oeuvre, these new pieces thematize light and dissolve the boundary between abstraction and figuration. The shorter work, Projector 2, is a kaleidoscopic collage of turquoise and ruby. Bright, dazzling specks of color stand out against the diffuse background to evoke the sense of being

  • Ann Greene Kelly, Untitled, 2019, mattress, graphite, colored pencil, plaster, wood, 82 x 69 x 32".
    picks February 28, 2019

    Ann Greene Kelly

    Ann Greene Kelly toys with the tradition of the ready-made by melding everyday objects with plaster, stone, and other traditional sculptural materials, lending the quotidian an intimate and idiosyncratic edge. In her first solo exhibition at Michael Benevento, “For a Mended Tread,” the artist focuses her work on mattresses and tires, two man-made items designed to facilitate two of our most important activities—sleep and transportation. 

    In Untitled (all works 2019), two deep, black tire grooves fashioned from molded plaster and graphite are embedded in a stained pink mattress, which, slumped

  • Trenton Doyle Hancock, Step and Screw Part Too Soon Underneath the Bloody Red Moon, 2018, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 90 x 132 x 6".
    picks January 25, 2019

    Trenton Doyle Hancock

    Trenton Doyle Hancock’s first solo exhibition in LA, “An Ingénue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes,” is an engrossing primer on the artist’s extraordinary fictive universe. Displayed in the gallery’s front hallway is a set of intricate ink drawings that compose a graphic novel, which begins with the artist at his drafting table. The drawings set the tone for the entire exhibition: Replete with references to modern art, underground comix, mythology, and the Bible, they depict the cosmology of the Moundverse and the Mounds, plant-animal hybrids that emanate positive energy and are at odds

  • Nicole Miller, Michael in Black, 2018, bronze, 42 x 15 1/2 x 22".
    picks January 14, 2019

    Nicole Miller

    In Nicole Miller’s exhibition “For Now,” three works form a meditation on race and identity that subtly prods the notion of a fixed or true self.

    In the video Pino (all works 2018), voice actor Pino Insegno, who is white, considers his frequent casting to voice black actors when American movies are dubbed in Italian. Between his musings on-screen, he performs dialogue from roles he’s voiced, including those for Jamie Foxx in Ray (2004) and Will Smith in Ali (2001). The video alternates with For Now, a laser projection of the titular phrase that undergoes shifts in shape, color, and legibility

  • View of “Michael E. Smith,” 2018.
    picks October 22, 2018

    Michael E. Smith

    For his first exhibition at Detroit’s What Pipeline, Michael E. Smith explores themes of mortality and consumption with elegant economy. The show comprises two works (both Untitled, 2018): a camcorder with a small potato stuck in its lens, resting on the floor of the gallery’s main space, and a sea turtle skull seated on a scuffed white plastic lawn chair, stationed in the small back room.

    This interplay between the organic and the synthetic speaks to the relationships between humans and things. In both artworks, the organic object impedes the synthetic, domestic object’s utility. If the former

  • View of “Michel Parmentier,” 2018.
    picks August 15, 2018

    Michel Parmentier

    For Michel Parmentier’s first US museum exhibition, twenty-seven artworks represent the phases of his life’s work—from his imposing paintings of the 1960s and early 1980s to his delicate works on paper, in which his antigestural stance chafes against his scrawls of graphite and oil stick. Rounding out the show are archival materials and his writings on art, as well as a documentary film by Bernard Bloch depicting the artist at work, demonstrating the centrality of critique to his practice. While these are essential to contextualizing the works, it is the remarkable consistency of his principles