Suzanne Hudson

  • Maria Hassabi, STAGING, 2017. Performance view, Remai Modern, October 21, 2017. Photo: Danger Dynamite.
    slant December 14, 2017

    On the Ground: Saskatoon

    THE REMAI MODERN opened on October 21 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. A city of 250,000 founded as a dry temperance colony, supported by stores of potash and oil, and frequented by hobby hunters dispersing into the great Canadian prairies, Saskatoon would seem an unlikely place for a 130,000-square-foot beacon to modern and contemporary art. While a precirculated press release notes that its “launch aligns with the international trend of world-class museums opening in unexpected destinations”—boilerplate become gospel in the first weekend’s official ceremonies—there is much that such an

  • George Egerton-Warburton, The bus metaphor, 2017, ink-jet print, dirt, oak, paper, glass, 16 x 20 x 2".

    George Egerton-Warburton

    For “The weapon soup boils over, as stocks in metaphors plummet,” George Egerton-Warburton’s first solo show in Los Angeles, the Australian artist showed three kinetic sculptures—Sisyphean motors powering nothing—and a suite of photographs from 2017. He pasted text on each of the images and ensconced the collages in crudely assembled shadow boxes, into which he deposited desiccated California soil. The photos comprise groupings of bucolic sheep, mobs grazing in the landscape of remote Western Australia. Taken in 2013 by Egerton-Warburton’s father on his farm upon the artist’s request,

  • Helen Pashgian, Untitled, 2010–11, cast epoxy, 12x12"

    Helen Pashgian and Brian Wills

    A two-person show of Helen Pashgian and Brian Wills, “Transient” modeled the visual volatility characteristic of many 1960s Southland art practices. Despite its moorings in a Los Angeles vernacular of Light and Space—that likewise conjures a very specific horizon of military and commercial development and the coincident artistic appropriation of such technologies—this occasion eschewed historical specificity in favor of a formal, phenomenological dilation of temporality licensed by the same origins. (The press release casts “light” as atemporal, “as old as the universe itself,” and

  • Louise Nevelson, untitled, 1970, cardboard, metal foil, and paper on board, 20 × 16".

    LOUISE NEVELSON

    Nevelson had been working seriously as an artist for more than thirty years before she received significant recognition; too often, however, this belated appreciation took the form of hagiography—a mythifying focus on her outsize life story and decidedly flamboyant self-presentation. This concise show of nineteen works—the first major presentation of the artist in the Nordic region in nearly forty-five years—promises to return attention to Nevelson’s stunning art itself. The exhibition comprises her signature monumental black or white wood reliefs, a selection

  • Kim Schoen, New Large Dictionary (Neues Grosses Lexikon), 2017, C-print, 13 1/4 × 19 7/8".

    Kim Schoen

    An open book on an angular asymmetrical plinth partially submerged beneath granules of sand: This tableau was the first thing one encountered in Kim Schoen’s “Hawaii,” an exhibition that elsewhere offered the book not as an object but rather as a fantastic, disemboweled placeholder for the printed tome. The paperback on display was one of the hundred that comprise Hawaii (160) (all works 2017), an exquisite editioned artist book featuring texts by Schoen, Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer, and Jan Tumlir, interleaved with the images on view in the present context and orphan “pages without books” recovered

  • Nancy Lupo, AAA (detail), 2016, mixed media, dimensions variable.

    Nancy Lupo

    For Kristina Kite’s inaugural show, Nancy Lupo crafted a sprawling tapestry, whose distinct sections of clustered disposable cutlery, bound together with dental floss and intermittently studded with various foodstuffs and trinkets, were meant to represent the four seasons. The gallery space, formerly an artist’s studio, features an optically arresting mosaic of black-and-white and terrazzo tiles that predates Kite’s arrival. The architecture granted Lupo’s floor-bound arrangement an additional layer of complexity, providing a room-scale ground to the imposing swaths that visually warped the

  • View of “Theaster Gates,” 2017. Photo: Brian Forrest.

    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

  • Kelly Akashi, Finger Figure (detail), 2016, bronze, copper, brass, anodized aluminum wire, 28 × 28 × 44".

    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,

  • View of “Kathryn Andrews,” 2016. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

    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

  • View of “Barbara T. Smith,” 2016. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

    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, Honolulu Watercolor, July, 1985, watercolor on paper, 42 1/2 × 29 1/2".

    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, Fuck Painting #52, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 60 × 84". From the series “Fuck,” 1969–.

    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