Suzanne Hudson

  • Theaster Gates

    For his first show at Regen Projects, “But to Be a Poor Race,” Theaster Gates installed within the gallery’s many rooms a sampling of clay vessels, paintings bandaged with hoses from decommissioned firehouses, wall panels studded with narrow floorboards sourced from a nearby Chicago public school gym assemblages of pelts, appropriations of African reliquary objects, found objects, and the single-channel video My country tis of thee, 2016. The video featured documentation of Gates and members of experimental music ensemble the Black Monks of Mississippi riffing on the US national anthem, the

  • OPENINGS: KELLY AKASHI

    KELLY AKASHI titled her most recent solo show at Ghebaly Gallery in Los Angeles, in 2016, “Being as a Thing.” As names go, it was an especially good one. It posited existence itself as a thing, encouraging a reading of the sculptures contained therein—so many material skins out of which Akashi slithered—as harboring independent states of being, despite emphatic registrations of origin. Hands are surrogates and metonyms, extremities that preserve in bronze the friction ridge on a fingertip; an odd, talon-like nail; or plump pockets of skin elsewhere giving way to bone. At the entry,

  • Kathryn Andrews

    Kathryn Andrews’s “Black Bars” opened at David Kordansky Gallery mere days before the US presidential election. It followed by almost exactly a year the artist’s solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, titled “Run for President,” in which she questioned fame parlayed in the service of politics through pieces featuring such public figures as Ronald Reagan and Bozo the Clown (aka Larry Harmon, whose rubber-nosed, yak-haired alter ego ran against Reagan in 1984). Cassandra-like, the Chicago show presaged a climate in which the aforementioned historical cases are less exceptional

  • Barbara T. Smith

    Expanding on her previous three shows at the Box, each of which offered a tight grouping of related work (early paintings, performance documentation, and experiments with incipient Xerox technology, respectively), Barbara T. Smith sought in her most recent exhibition to expose underlying connections between disparate projects. This broad and generous installation made clear the extent to which the exhibition’s titular “Words, Sentences & Signs” provide not only a through line between discrete series spanning from the 1960s to the present, but also a metering of communicative acts relative to

  • Billy Al Bengston

    The outsize personality of Billy Al Bengston looms large in the prescribed historical narrative of Southland art—all wan sunshine and Ferus Gallery machismo—and even larger as the framing device for his own work. The artist’s website details his early migration from Kansas; his study at the Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles; his burgeoning interest in ceramics (which he “ditched” for painting in 1957); and his subsequent biography, metered in marriage, child-rearing, surfing, and motorcycle racing, among other milestones and pursuits. It also specifies the coordinates between

  • Betty Tompkins

    It is at the very least unfortunate—other less anodyne adjectives spring to mind—that it has taken so many years for Betty Tompkins’s paintings to garner the visibility they presently enjoy. Deservedly, much press accompanied the septuagenarian artist’s recent shows in New York—in 2015 at Bruce High Quality Foundation University’s project space FUG, and in 2016 at FLAG Art Foundation. Many writers have offered guesses as to what caused the delay, with the majority citing the sexually explicit nature of her seminal (as it were) “Fuck” paintings and the gender of their maker. Tompkins

  • Benjamin Carlson

    If press releases have largely become baroque exercises in obscurantist prose, the text announcing Benjamin Carlson’s solo show in Los Angeles was refreshingly straightforward, even laconic, in its description of “five paintings depicting still lifes in front of a window.” And indeed, the titleless exhibition offered exactly this, five variations on its theme, one of which was installed between the apartment-gallery’s actual windows (a decision both pragmatic and conceptually rich), while another was inserted into an empty closet. Situated in the proximity of apertures to the surrounding

  • Orr Herz and Roni Shneior

    As if enacting a Venn diagram of independent and collaborative artmaking, Orr Herz and Roni Shneior partnered for “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” by each composing a single piece to exhibit and then joining together to complete a third. The three projects occupied distinct areas of the garden behind Chin’s Push, an artist-run project space, thus functioning as autonomous entities distinct from the primary gallery. The lush garden, cluttered with planting beds and numerous pots, chairs, and a picnic table, and anchored by a full-size vintage trailer, was the perfect site for Herz’s

  • picks June 17, 2016

    “A New Horizon for New Horizons”

    Founded in 1948, the Ofakim Hadashim, meaning “New Horizons,” group of twenty-some artists hung together for well over a decade, and their embrace of such movements as Cubism, Surrealism, and biomorphism, among others, coincided with the formation of modern Israeli art. From the beginning, there was a dual imperative to acknowledge, even synthesize, the stylistic proclivities of an international art world and to form, through such appropriations, a distinctly national school. “A New Horizon for New Horizons” is the first comprehensive exhibition since 1966 to show the work of this cohort, and

  • “The Ocular Bowl”

    The three-person show “The Ocular Bowl” took its name from “The Line and the Light,” a 1964 essay by Jacques Lacan in which the psychoanalyst describes the eye as “a sort of bowl,” a faulty container whose propensity to overflow with visual information necessitates “a whole series of organs, mechanisms, defenses” to collectively bring about vision. Featuring two important works by modernist painter Agnes Pelton—best known for her cosmic abstractions and Southwestern landscapes overlain with transcendental themes—and more recent paintings by Alex Olson and Linda Stark, this show was

  • Ken Price

    The inaugural exhibition at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery was clearly the result of a herculean effort. Not for nothing was the show titled “Ken Price: A Career Survey, 1961–2008”; its ambition and temporal spread rivaled the artist’s 2012–13 touring show, which originated at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. While the latter assembled considerably more objects than were on view here, this retrospective, economic in its selections, nevertheless demonstrated the fecundity of Price’s continual sculptural redefinitions, while hewing to the media in which his material and procedural experimentation

  • “Mark Bradford: Receive Calls on Your Cellphone from Jail”

    The museum debut of Mark Bradford’s Receive Calls on Your Cellphone from Jail, 2013, an expansive installation of mixed-media paintings featuring text that evokes the roadside signage advertising bail bonds and the like, reflects on the rule that prohibits inmates from placing collect calls to cell phones. Originally mounted in 2013 as a set of 150 panels that covered all four walls of a nine-by-nine-by-nine-foot gallery at White Cube, London, the work will be reconceived for this occasion as a grid of thirty-eight panels on one wall, arranged in two horizontal rows in

  • David Muenzer

    To announce his first show at Reserve Ames, a Craftsman-style house-cum-gallery, David Muenzer offered a 2016 photograph reminiscent of James Welling’s early phyllo-dough abstractions, in which ambiguous forms take on a heightened significance against a neutral ground. Scattered like pick-up sticks, the neon-yellow penile forms are in fact the innards of felt-tip highlighters, the material from which “Scalar-Daemon” takes its theme. The gallery’s only show thus far to confine itself to an outbuilding (all others have spread into the residence’s bathroom, laundry room, or living spaces), Muenzer’s

  • “Atmospheric Abstraction”

    The title of this group show, “Atmospheric Abstraction,” neatly suggested the historical lineage of a collection of contemporary nonfigurative work by Los Angeles–based artists heavily indebted to their Southern California Light and Space predecessors. Anchored by recent kinetic three-dimensional works by the Light and Space sculptor Larry Bell, paintings and sculptures by younger practitioners Gisela Colón, Mara De Luca, and Heather Gwen Martin demonstrated a willful extension of the movement’s phenomenological imperatives. Colón’s “Glo-Pods,” 2013–, irregularly shaped wall-mounted acrylic

  • David Benjamin Sherry

    For his third solo show in Los Angeles, David Benjamin Sherry presented a series of nearly two dozen photographs of the American West. As with his past work, the large-scale prints were made in and around national parks with an 8 x 10 field camera. And as with his earlier images, these photos of lakes, glaciers, canyons, and granite domes are uniformly crisp to the point of unreality, with equally crystalline details in the works’ backgrounds and foregrounds. Sherry pays homage to the technical brilliance of modernist photographers of the land and, more specifically, to the sites they frequented.

  • Robert Janitz

    Robert Janitz titled his second show at Team “Kerckhoffs’ Principle,” named for a century-old theorem, postulated by the Dutch cryptologist Auguste Kerkckhoffs, that states that a system will remain secure if everything about that system is known, so long as there is a key that remains secret. (Since illimitable permutations of digits are possible, a complex-enough numerical key is functionally uncrackable.) Once intended for military ciphers, the principle now guides the development of algorithms via which data is encrypted online. The apposition of such a program to the suite of ten Reverse

  • Alex Hubbard

    Alex Hubbard’s latest show, which christened Michele Maccarone’s new Los Angeles space—and which, as so much initial press detailed, opened in tandem with the Broad Museum nearby—serves as a prime example of the recent westward migration of New York galleries, and of a more general media interest in contemporary cultural production in LA’s Arts District. Hubbard’s “Basic Perversions,” the artist’s third outing with Maccarone (on view through December 19), has the additional distinction of marking the fifteenth anniversary of the gallery. Given Hubbard’s practice, which attends deftly

  • Michaela Eichwald

    Michaela Eichwald’s first solo show in Los Angeles bore a gnomic title—“quo vadis gnothi sauton and cui bono”—that was the result of three phrases in Greek and Latin jammed together: “Where are you going?,” “Know thyself,” and “To whose benefit?” The last phrase is perhaps most familiar, its forensic application so ubiquitous on crime shows, but one might still query its present usage with regard to nine large-scale paintings. While each work’s composition appears to be the product of specific and maybe unrepeatable material alchemies (one was laid outside to dry just as the weather

  • Martin Basher

    For his first solo show in Los Angeles, “A Guide to Benefits,” Martin Basher hewed to the patterned paintings for which he is best known and also to the critical frame—the visual culture of consumption—that motivates them. The artist’s now-trademark panels, their vertical stripes standardized at uniform intervals, circled the walls of the two rooms, effecting an environment of superfluity—albeit an excess undercut by the differences between the compositions. Some stripes were painted in oil and enamel on canvas and some on tape layered on cardboard; whether a ground of corrugated

  • Anne Truitt

    With only five works filling two rooms that could have readily absorbed many more, “Anne Truitt ’62–’63” proved exemplary in its economy. The three sculptures—the plinths White: One, 1962, and White: Four, 1962, and the oblong form North, 1963—and two related paintings on paper affirmed the parity between the intentional sparseness of the exhibition and that of the objects themselves. For all their apparent simplicity, the works are purposive, deeply considered things. As with the gallery’s 2013 presentation of Truitt’s works from the 1970s, collected under the rubric “threshold,” “’