Suzanne Hudson

  • Victoria Gitman, Untitled, 2021, oil on board, 9 1⁄4 × 7 3⁄4".

    Victoria Gitman

    The press release for Victoria Gitman’s master class of a retrospective “Everything Is Surface: Twenty Years of Painting” shares that the show owed its title to a line from John Ashbery’s 1974 poem, “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror.” Ashbery’s text is also an homage—the title was borrowed from a sixteenth-century tondo painted by Italian Mannerist Parmigianino, an image the poet first encountered in reproduction. Parmigianino’s work is remarkable for how he depicted himself: His reflection is distorted by the curvature of the titular looking glass, but the panel on which the image was created

  • Jordan Nassar, O Moon!, 2022, cotton thread on cotton, artist frame, 43 × 54 1⁄2".

    Jordan Nassar

    For his Los Angeles debut at Anat Ebgi in 2017, Jordan Nassar presented a selection of small cotton-on-canvas panels featuring silhouetted embroidered images of swelling, often mountainous terrain. Each thread painting offered a complex and surprisingly tender evocation of a landscape receding into pictorial space, seemingly predicated on a structuring of distance: These environments were simultaneously close but inaccessible, formal yet geopolitical. Much of this effect stemmed from Nassar’s use of Palestinian tatreez embroidery, a form of traditional hand stitching used by women to decorate

  • Cameron Martin, Deluge, 2021, triptych, acrylic on canvas, each panel 66 × 53".

    CLOSE-UP: WITHIN LIMITS

    A DECADE AGO, painter Cameron Martin abandoned full-bleed compositions and the “inherent illusionism” (as he explained it at the time) of motifs that spread edge to edge across the support. He began to bracket selected details of his source images—natural environments appropriated from found photos and his own snapshots—within increasingly emphatic framing devices. The paintings remain recognizable as landscapes, if mediated by redoubled borders and geometric overlays. Their blanched geographies, rendered in gray scale, are cropped, as if to emphasize the genre’s ever-encroaching gaze, its wanton

  • Sylvia Snowden, Betty, 1974, oil on canvas, 80 × 60 1⁄4".

    Sylvia Snowden

    “Sylvia Snowden: Select Works, 1966–2020” was the eighty-year-old artist’s first show at Parrasch Heijnen gallery in Los Angeles. Making up for lost time, this historical (but not chronological) survey of expressively rendered canvases with thickly encrusted surfaces—the paint troweled and visibly mixed in the act of conjuring bodies from the obdurate material—was a contrast to the more focused “Sylvia Snowden: The M Street Series, 1982–1988,” which was concurrently on display for her debut presentation at New York’s Franklin Parrasch Gallery. The latter’s tight grouping featured portrayals of

  • Francesco Clemente, Two Trees, 2001, fresco (traditional pigments on honey comb panel plastered with fresh lime), 9' 10'' × 19' 8''.

    Francesco Clemente

    “Twenty Years of Painting: 2001–2021” was the first show of Francesco Clemente’s work in Los Angeles in almost two decades. (The artist’s last outing, an elegiac 2003 Gagosian presentation that spanned New York and LA, offered a selection of then-recent works that conspicuously absented the human figure—a resonant meditation on loss.) Here, in a decommissioned and vacated Depression-era post office in Santa Monica, thirty pieces were spread across some fifteen thousand square feet of exhibition space. The spare Moderne interior, all rose marble and stained wood, supplied a surprisingly pitch-perfect

  • Lee Bontecou, Untitled, ca. 1982–87, graphite on graph paper, 8 1⁄2 × 11".

    Lee Bontecou

    Although Lee Bontecou remains better known for her sculptures—such as the bulbous, seamed, and multipaneled wall reliefs organized around a central cavity, or the chitinous insectoid objects that hang from ceilings—her career-spanning works on paper have generated due attention in the past few years, most notably in the 2014 exhibition “Lee Bontecou: Drawn Worlds” at Houston’s Menil Collection, curated by Michelle White. The Menil show spanned fifty years and presented drawings done in soot—a welding-torch by-product the artist discovered while on a Fulbright Fellowship in Rome in 1957 and used

  • Susan Silton, We See It Differently, You and I, 2020, photo intaglio print on paper, 14 1⁄2 × 18". From the sixteen-part suite We See It Differently, You and I, 2020.

    Susan Silton

    “We,” Susan Silton’s first solo show with Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, featured a suite of sixteen photographic prints of the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve in Northern California. Each black-and-white work presents two nearly identical views of coastal redwoods, resolutely earthbound trunks emerging from the grassy floor. Silton shot them on her iPhone; vantages capture clearings and the receding spaces of deep, dense groves that eschew the aperture of sky. She subjected the snaps to Apple filters (more limited than what is currently available, because she made the images between 2014

  • HIGHER GROUND

    IN 1981, Jay DeFeo was newly ensconced in a loft in Oakland, California, her largest work space in sixteen years. Her last had been the flat she shared with then-partner Wally Hedrick from 1955 to 1965. It was there, at 2322 Fillmore Street in San Francisco—amid a circle that hosted Robert Duncan and Jack Kerouac at the Six Gallery and showed at Dilexi (where Dorothy Miller, of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, encountered DeFeo’s work and curated it into the 1959 exhibition “Sixteen Americans”)—that she strove for eight years on The Rose, 1958–66, the one-ton, nearly eleven-foot-tall canvas with

  • Star Montana, Large East LA Landscape, 2015, ink-jet print, 25 1⁄2 × 32".

    Star Montana

    Over the past few years, Star Montana has framed presentations of her photographs as chapters, arranging them into tightly conceived groupings that reveal something of the lives of her neighbors in East Los Angeles and chronicle the experiences of Montana’s family among them (most profoundly in a series exhibited at the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles in 2016 and revolving around the untimely death of the artist’s mother). Montana stays close to her subjects, and there is a mutuality of recognition. She images vulnerability in a way that remains resolutely personal even as she insists

  • Emma McIntyre, Fierce Jewels, 2020, oil and acrylic on linen, 11 × 12".

    Emma McIntyre

    For the inaugural show at Chris Sharp’s new, eponymous gallery, Emma McIntyre presented a lush, terrifically vital suite of abstract paintings that evoke the seasons and their elemental atmospheres. Made with oils that she brought to California when she moved there from New Zealand last year, they represent a continuity of palette—especially in those acid brights that glow from within, as well as in the more punctual interference of small fluorescent-orange polka-dot floaters (sunspots?) that commingle with dusty polluted violet-tinged grays and an assortment of pinkish browns. The works also

  • Caroline Kent, Tower, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 105 × 81".

    Caroline Kent

    For her first solo show at Kohn Gallery, Chicago-based artist Caroline Kent hung eight of her oversize acrylic paintings around the venue’s main and commensurately scaled space. The thin unstretched canvases, anchored to the wall by their top edges, suggested an affinity with banners or tapestries, pliant and portable heralds even though their compositions were long since fixed. She describes her signature black grounds as being “unde-finable, unlocatable.” In their materialization of absence, these amorphous settings function as foils for the emergent hard-edge shapes that manifest within them

  • Deborah Remington, Haddonfield, 1965, oil on canvas, 74 1⁄8 × 69". © Deborah Remington Charitable Trust for the Visual Arts/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    Hard Drives

    IN 1965, Deborah Remington returned to the East Coast after nearly two decades in California, memorializing her homecoming with the painting Haddonfield, named for the New Jersey town where she was born. Below a skewed butterfly shape, a steely abstract form is bisected and from there stutters into a pictorial void as it fans out toward the edges. Centered in its vertical frame like a Cubist figure in a studio portrait, the complex shape self-differentiates from the ground, which features a subtly modulating gradient shading from total opacity at the top to the lighter if still penumbral glow