Suzanne Hudson

  • 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

  • Lesley Vance

    Still life has long occupied a lowly position relative to more noble pursuits of, above all, painting historical subjects, though even the portrayal of someone’s face would do. To depict flowers, foods, and tabletops is to look at the overlooked, as Norman Bryson puts it in his brilliant revisionist account, or to redress a historical inequity predicated on the format’s modesty and domesticity. Though the genre is often belittled, many scholars have explored the strangeness of the still life’s equal and opposite claims for symbolic meaning as well as for a resolutely material representational

  • diary December 20, 2013

    Last Call

    I AM NOT SURE what I expected to find in Venice the weekend the Biennale closed. The prospect of the city subsiding into its lagoon, and tilting ever eastward into the Adriatic Sea, is real, if occurring on a scale asynchronous to that of a six-month exhibition. Still, other postdiluvian scenarios were in ready supply: abandoned gardens and art left for mulch. In moments of undue hilarity, I imagined said gardens beset by feral dogs. Such was my conditioning by an economy of instant obsolescence in which shows open only to be met with a headlong rush to consensus and forgetting, often before

  • Robert Ryman

    Since the beginning of his career, in the 1950s, Robert Ryman has pragmatically tested the means of painting, deploying a variety of supports and an equally catholic range of utensils and paints. He has applied pigment directly onto gallery architecture, moved canvas fasteners from the rear of a painting to the front, and installed his works so they project outward at right angles from the wall. In all of these experiments, Ryman checks action and consequence—which is to say, what one material will do to another: what force it exerts, what response it elicits, what value it suggests, and

  • Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy Thomas Duncan Gallery For his second show at Thomas Duncan Gallery, Sean Kennedy abandoned the hanging wood-and-Plexiglas boxes that dominated his first solo presentation in the same space. Those 2012 pieces—dangling platforms that reveal, from below, tableaux of everyday objects arranged by the artist—addressed themselves to the ceiling and the floor, rather than projecting out from the wall or standing on a pedestal. These works maintain irresolution, hovering between image and object, and they occupy space uncertainly, always one jostle away from disarray or total