Theadora Walsh

  • Daisy May Sheff, Double Act, 2021, oil on canvas, 75 1/4 x 65".
    picks February 17, 2022

    Daisy May Sheff

    I overheard a visitor to Daisy May Sheff’s exhibition “Hid it Well in a Walnut Shell” say, “I’m sure this painter didn’t go to art school.” This was incorrect: Sheff graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a BFA in 2018, but the statement was easily understood as a compliment to those in the gallery. Her paintings seem intuitive, confident, and strange, and are filled with hermetic but loaded symbols: seeds, tails, hands, leg-of-mutton dress sleeves and, more than anything else, dogs.

    A small canine on the edge of Double Act (all works cited, 2021), feels almost compulsively

  • Camille Holvoet, Anti-Corna Cake to Kill Virius Pills (sic), 2020, mixed media on paper, 9 x 12".
    picks May 25, 2021

    Camille Holvoet

    In Camille Holvoet’s drawing ReRuns of Obsession, 2015, there are two slabs of chocolate cake, and on each one is scrawled “DUCK-GO-ROUND.” Over the right slice hovers a miniature tombstone. The desserts are dated and inscribed with blueprint renderings of a state-fair-style carousel that sits in the work’s foreground. It’s as if each piece of cake represented a buried memory of the fictive Duck-Go-Round itself. Holvoet’s cakes transpose emotions, fixations, and components of her day-to-day; they are convoys. What’s being taxied in Holvoet’s solo exhibition “Cake Taxi”—curated by Jordan Stein

  • Rashaad Newsome, It Do Take Nerve 2, 2019, collage, automotive paint, mahogany and resin frame, 68 5/8 x 68 5/8 x 4".
    picks February 10, 2020

    Rashaad Newsome

    A brocade covers the gallery floor and walls in Rashaad Newsome’s exhibition “To Be Real.” Its design is a collage of bejeweled flowers, gold chains, and mouths, all with lips parted and teeth bared to show off equally bejeweled grills. At the show’s center is Ansista (all works cited, 2019), a hybrid being, caught mid-vogue dip, formed from a nonbinary torso, a Chokwe Pho mask, the legs of a sex doll, acrylic nails, and Swarovski crystals. Being, a genderless chatbot with Ansista’s face, awaits visitors in a nearby theater. Although Being was taught to speak through the writings of bell hooks,

  • Gene Beery, Advertisement, 1970s, acrylic on canvas, 20 × 21 1⁄4".
    picks December 02, 2019

    Gene Beery

    In “New Mythic Visualizations,” Gene Beery’s first solo exhibition in the Bay Area since the 1970s, the Californian artist’s signature non-sequiturs and declarative truths, attenuated by his satirical drawl, are featured in a central black-and-white multi-panel arrangement of recent paintings. “SOPHISTICATION IS DEATH,” reads one, in biting all-caps, while another simply offers, “A PIPE,” in just off-center ligature, a quip at that Modernist master whose readymades lurched from conceptual rebellion to rarified artifacts of high culture. Curated by Jordan Stein and Nick Irvin, the exhibition also

  • Kim Cogan, Pay Little, 2019, oil on canvas, 30 x 42".
    picks September 17, 2019

    Kim Cogan

    San Francisco represents the far edge of colonial expansion, an apocalyptic end zone. The gold rush dwindled in the nineteenth century. The beats got jobs, the hippies bought houses, the artists had to move to Oakland. Change is the only constant. Kim Cogan’s impressionistic paintings of the city feature its anti-landmarks—corner stores, relic motels, cars oxidizing from Pacific fog—while carefully attending to telephone wires, peeling paint, and vacant sidewalks. His attention to these scenes demonstrates an intimate concern for the ever-shifting city.

    Cogan works from a combination of reference

  • Tadaaki Kuwayama, Untitled, 1971, acrylic on canvas with aluminum, 12 panels, 7 x 16 1/8'.
    picks July 22, 2019

    Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito

    In describing the opening scene of Godard’s Passion (1982), Harun Farocki has remarked that the shot’s unsteady pan—which follows an airplane’s disintegrating white contrail—is actually a register of “the movements of Godard’s eyes, scanning the sky to see what it can tell us.” Tadaaki Kuwayama and Rakuko Naito’s exhibition at Adrian Rosenfeld is a similar pan through the six-decade career of this power couple within the Minimalism movement. In Kuwayama’s Untitled (Diptych), 1969, a bisected blue panel measuring more than seven feet in both directions is mounted beside a bisected white panel of

  • Lydia Ourahmane, bronze belly III, 2019, bronze, sealed lead, bust 33“, waist 26”, hip 36".
    picks May 22, 2019

    Lydia Ourahmane

    This is not obvious when you first enter Lydia Ourahmane’s “low relief,” but the entirety of the gallery floor has been mopped with antiseptics. The atmosphere is surgical, cloying, and yet intimate. Also not apparent is that the show’s central bronze sculptures, cast with the exact measurements of the artist’s abdomen, have been implanted with lead, which will slowly creep into the bronze and mutate the color. Titled bronze belly IIV, 2019, these works are laid on the ground, naked and vulnerable, pelvic bones lilting upward.

    Renée Falconetti as a weeping Joan of Arc in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s