Travis Diehl

Oliver Payne and Keiichi Tanaami

Hammer Museum

June 2017

It’s called “bullet hell” for a reason: In this die-hard subgenre of 2-D shooters, the player’s lone plane makes twitchy forays against radiating swarms of missiles and beams. Oliver Payne is a fan of the games, though, he admits, also very… READ ON

PICKS

“Maven of Modernism”

Norton Simon Museum

May 2017

Galka Scheyer thought blue was a mystical color. Her Richard Neutra–designed house, built in 1934, still stands in Hollywood on Blue Heights Drive. Her poodle was named Blue Blue. And when it came time to brand her favorite quartet of modernist… READ ON

PICKS

“You May Add or Subtract From the Work”

MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Mackey Apartments

April 2017

In 1977, artist Christopher D’Arcangelo placed a blank centerfold in the journal of the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art along with a note suggesting that readers paste the insert to the institute’s walls. Blank would meet blank: … READ ON

PICKS

Sarah Ortmeyer

POTTS

March 2017

Is it sad or is it “Sad!” when any embroidered hat immediately evokes the white-on-red MAGA brand? Never mind that the ball caps that make up Sarah Ortmeyer’s installation INTERNATIONALIS, 2010, bear little family resemblance: white and … READ ON

PICKS

Trisha Baga

356 S. Mission Rd.

February 2017

Trisha Baga’s “Biologue” opens with a row of store-bought lenticular prints of cute animals and fruit—puppies, white tigers, watermelons—all dabbed with rainbow impasto, in collaboration with Josefin Granqvist. The paint sits on the surface… READ ON

PICKS

Rock of Ages

Travis Diehl on Pierre Bismuth’s Where Is Rocky II?

February 2017

A TEASER, says screenwriter Mike White midway through a manic cameo, should tell you exactly what you’re going to get. Where Is Rocky II?, the directorial debut of artist Pierre Bismuth, is a slick, evasive splice of reality TV, documentary,… READ ON

FILM

Sam Pulitzer and Peter Wächtler

HOUSE OF GAGA // REENA SPAULINGS FINE ART

January 2017

Flanking the entryway of the upstairs gallery are two leather cutouts in the shape of depleted hounds. Peter Wächtler’s Dog 1 and 2 (all works 2016) loll on the floor like floppy shadows of the space’s twin mission-style windows. The scene … READ ON

PICKS

Guthrie Lonergan

Honor Fraser

November 2016

In a clip from Guthrie Lonergan’s Bugs in Screens Playlist, 2006, a YouTube user drags spastic rectangles around an ant. The pixilated fleck of the cursor, like the speck-size animal, seems literally trapped between real and virtual space. … READ ON

PICKS

Julien Nguyen

Freedman Fitzpatrick

October 2016

What is a superpredator, anyway? The racist term has wormed back into prominence this election season: Hillary Clinton used it twenty years ago in reference to supposedly ruthless, remorseless young gangbangers. These days Donald Trump is … READ ON

PICKS

Rafa Esparza and Timo Fahler

Club Pro

September 2016

“Creosote Dream,” Timo Fahler’s toxicolored series of tinted Hydrocal casts on chicken wire (all works cited, 2016), reads like a rain-damp desert fantasy. Yet the works also bear the impression of a creosote-poisoned telephone pole. Such a… READ ON

PICKS