Critics’ Picks

Wolfgang Stoerchle, Wolf, Wayne, Robert, eating apples, laughing, 1970, 8 mm transferred to digital video, color, silent, 13 minutes 27 seconds.

Lisbon

“Binet, Divola, & Stoerchle”

Ampersand
Lisbon
November 30 - January 20

Before he became an essential figure of the 1970s Southern California art scene and professor in the legendary Post-Studio program at CalArts, Wolfgang Stoerchle studied painting at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). There, he experimented with a series of performances and videotapes prior to receiving his MFA in 1970. Last year, Alice Dusapin, one of the founders of this cooperative space, unearthed from the artist’s effects a handful of 8-mm films he made during his time at UCSB. In one of the more notable works from this cache, Wolf’s Master of Fine Arts Show, 1970, he jumps through plaster panels and collides with sculptures of his own. And in the archival footage Wolf, Wayne, Robert, eating apples, laughing, 1970, he and two friends appear to break into fits of laughter after eating fruits. Now digitized, these and other films are here either projected upstairs or shown on two TV monitors downstairs. The exhibition is a timely exercise in tiding audiences over, before an upcoming monograph on Stoerchle’s work is published in 2019, as well as an opportune moment to have archival pieces in conversation with the works of two other, living artists.

Next to the monitors are two abstract, black-and-white landscape photographs showing derelict sites with spray-painted marks of shadow and light, both from the 1974 “Vandalism” series by John Divola, a California native and contemporary of Stoerchle. Also hung downstairs are three paintings by Jonathan Binet, two of which are large wooden stretchers with broken panels of painted wood and strips of fabric attached to them (both Untitled, 2017). It is not difficult to imagine Stoerchle running through them.

In its emphasis on objects themselves, the exhibition succeeds in organizing what would seem to be marginal parts of varied artistic histories and narratives into a full statement.