Suzanne Hudson

  • 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,” “’

  • Robert Overby

    Twenty-some years after his death at the age of fifty-six, Robert Overby is finally getting his due—both in Los Angeles, where he spent most of his career, and in cities considerably farther afield. (A show at the Hammer Museum in 2000 was a decisive moment in this trajectory, though its effects were not immediately evident.) The most comprehensive survey to date, “Robert Overby, Works: 1969–1987,” organized by Alessandro Rabottini in 2014 for the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Geneva, contributed significantly to the mounting sense of excitement around the artist’s work. The openness and range

  • “Alex Katz: This Is Now”

    In his ninth decade, Alex Katz has been the subject of numerous retrospectives, but, as this show’s subtitle asserts, retrospection need not obviate contemporaneity. At the High, more than forty works created between 1954 (the year of Katz’s first public outing) and 2013 will draw our attention to the increasingly forthright place of landscape in his practice: What once served as background for his smoothly rendered figures had become a prepossessing subject in its own right by the 1980s. “This Is Now” highlights this shift. By bringing together fifteen large-scale

  • Betty Woodman

    “Illusions of Domesticity,” Betty Woodman’s first solo show at David Kordansky Gallery, was also her first one-person exhibition on the West Coast in a decade—the latter landmark made all the more remarkable by the recent visibility of ceramics in the area, with shows featuring the work of Peter Voulkos and Ken Price, among others. Yet while these efforts to showcase ceramics (and thus to retroactively rectify its omission from standard twentieth-century narratives, which privileged painting and sculpture) have primarily been retrospective in their purview, detailing the place of pottery

  • Rachelle Sawatsky

    Last spring, Rachelle Sawatsky mounted five pastel-hued unglazed ceramics and one large, aqueous cerulean canvas to the walls of the Finley Gallery in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles. Glimpsed through the street-level windows, the wall sculptures gave an effect of unprepossessing smallness that nevertheless betrayed an abundance of care, perhaps disproportionate to their modest size. The afterimage of these humble objects lingered in “Stone Gloves,” Sawatsky’s first show at Harmony Murphy Gallery. Here, she framed sixteen twenty-one-by-twenty-seven-inch drawings between two larger

  • Dwyer Kilcollin

    For three days in early November, on a hillside on the east side of Los Angeles, Dwyer Kilcollin erected a freestanding metal fence on which she mounted “algorithmically derived image-shapes” she had cast by hand from computer-generated 3-D models. Boundary, screen, and makeshift gallery wall, the armature further served as a viewfinder: Through the chain-link grid, the tree- and house-flecked expanses of the surrounding rises became conflated with their pictures. These “image-shapes” (as the show’s press release described them)—small, rectangular reliefs—translate and, in their

  • Steven Baldi

    “Branded Light,” Steven Baldi’s second solo exhibition at Thomas Duncan Gallery, picked up the theme of the camera as simultaneously tool and institution previously broached in “Lens Reflex,” a group show the artist curated at the gallery earlier this year with pieces in various media by Zoë Ghertner, Jacob Kassay, Stephen Prina, Eileen Quinlan, H. Armstrong Roberts, and Torbjørn Rødland. A sort of second act, “Branded Light” furthered the photographer’s take on photographic prints as entities in dialogue with the machines that generate them. For Baldi, this claim is demonstrated by works that

  • John Altoon

    Bare-chested on the dust jacket of The Holy Barbarians—Lawrence Lipton’s classic account of the Beat scene around Venice Beach, ca. 1959—John Altoon was cast as a ruffian, a role that stuck. His life was no doubt the stuff of legend, from his Hollywood marriages to his death from a heart attack at a party in 1969 at the age of forty-three—to say nothing of the mental hospitals or his antics in the company of Edward Kienholz, Robert Irwin, Billy Al Bengston, and other Ferus Gallery “Studs” in between. But to promulgate the glib cultural ethnography such details suggest is to

  • OPENINGS: ALEX OLSON

    A METONYM OF SORTS for the modernist picture, the painterly mark has gotten a bad rap: too expressive, too authorial and therefore authoritarian, too sure of its inexhaustible plenitude. Every smudge of pigment at least potentially renews the old fantasy that the painter’s mark can escape the fate of being a sign at all—that it can embody a material immanence and immediacy alien to signification. But as an inchoate index, it also gives the lie to that fantasy, haplessly referring to itself, to the medium and its traditions, and especially to the painter. It is this last point that Los

  • Lucas Ajemian

    Historically, aleatory procedures have yielded artworks that flaunt the removal of subjectivity, or at least posit as significant the marginalization of intention. Lucas Ajemian’s “Laundered Paintings,” 2010–, shown in bulk for the first time at Marlborough Broome Street, by contrast—and rather paradoxically, given the importance he grants to process—resupply the authorial presence that is undermined when composition cedes to chance. Further, the works insist on the social ground on which the making transpires.

    To create the series, Ajemian first obtained paintings made by his artist

  • Julia Dault

    For her first solo show in Los Angeles, “Rhythm Nation 2014,” Julia Dault installed ten paintings around one sculpture, Untitled 34, 2:45 PM–7:45 PM, April 15, 2014; 11:30 AM–12:45 PM, April 16, 2014. A decidedly material proposition, Untitled 34 nonetheless foregrounds the artist’s bodily engagement in its prolix title (which records the time involved in the work’s production over the course of two sessions). As with other pieces she has recently exhibited at the New Museum in New York and White Cube Bermondsey in London, among others, Dault here coerced large panes of Formica and Plexiglas

  • Math Bass

    For Math Bass’s first solo presentation in the city where she lives and works, the artist transformed Overduin & Co. into a kind of playground, its rooms crisscrossed by chutes and ladders. Twinned versions of a waxed-steel sculpture—a narrow vertical plane with a deep U-shape extracted from the top and a smaller, mirroring shape removed from the bottom—were propped side by side against a wall, while three similarly composed iterations of floor-bound metal sheets (each work titled And Its Shadow, 2014) arced as though performing spry gymnastic backbends. The press release for this

  • Sarah Crowner

    For her first exhibition at Nicelle Beauchene, held in 2009, Sarah Crowner juxtaposed two bodies of work: a series of unglazed ceramic vessels and a group of “paintings” sewn together from remnants of discarded fabric. Both revealed a distinctive handmade quality. The former featured mottled surfaces, gently misshapen necks, and generally uneven forms, while the latter betray imperfections of alignment that open up pockets of space, holes amid the just-mismatched seams. Those paintings, with their insistent tactility and crisp, high-keyed geometric designs—they broadly referenced the fabric

  • Clare Grill

    Imagine a gracious Craftsman house, turn-of-the-century floral wallpaper and wainscoting proudly intact. Now imagine a ramshackle shed in the backyard, a weathered lean-to musty from years of neglect. This is Reserve Ames, a new gallery that occupies several first-floor interior spaces as well as the outbuilding, where its inaugural show took place. Inside the house, the projecting lip of that wainscoting supported hand-size, ceramic disk reliefs made by Benjamin Echeverria, the home’s artist resident as well as the gallery’s curator. Nearby, the laundry room was hung with monochromes that

  • OPENINGS: ELISE ADIBI

    AMONG ITS CONNOTATIONS, the grid suggests pure geometry, with none of the anomalies endemic to nature. Agnes Martin, one of the grid’s most distinguished adepts, famously sought to manifest this perfection in her art, and her paintings record her Sisyphean quest to iterate an ideal system. Martin remade the same compositions over and again, laying waste to trials that did not approach faultlessness. Morphology aside, Martin’s paintings thus afford a telling contrast with the square-format grids of New York–based artist Elise Adibi. If Martin pursued a grid unadulterated by somatic reality—by