Critics’ Picks

View of “Hi from California,” 2013.

Los Angeles

“Hi From California”

Freedman Fitzpatrick
Gower Plaza, 6051 Hollywood Blvd #107
April 28 - June 1

Freedman Fitzpatrick’s debut exhibition offers a sense of the self-reflexive; it is as if the gallerists wanted to highlight their entwined roles as friend, worker, participant, and actor. The seven works in the show arrived in LA from Berlin and Zurich in a single suitcase and have been installed in a configuration that recalls a theater, complete with stage, props, backdrop, sound track, and actors: Swiss Shield Suits (all works cited, 2013), two faceless mannequins in sharply tailored white suits by Claus Rasmussen, stand tall in the middle of the room, overlooking the exhibition. Behind them, taking up the entire south wall, is Matthew Lutz Kinoy’s The Meadow, a twenty-two-foot-long painting of a lush, vibrant, brushy landscape broken up by nude, frolicking derrieres. The painting seems to dance to the audio work, Hi by Hannah Weinberger. The sounds are a loop of dings, whistles, and jolts that she created in response to the other pieces in the show.

Instead of a press release for the show, the gallery issued a script-like text written by Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff of Berlin’s Times—a now defunct bar, hangout, meet up, and artistic hub in Neukolln. The text provides a backstory to the exhibition and also describes a ritual that took place a week before the opening: Alex Freedman and Robbie Fitzpatrick, former Berlin expats who recently moved back to the US, received the art-filled suitcase, and they took it to the Joshua Tree National Park in California. While wearing Rasmussen’s white suits, they buried the suitcase as the sun set. Imbibing ensued, and they woke the next morning to dig it up and bring it to the gallery, located in a corner of a Hollywood shopping plaza, sandwiched between a sushi restaurant and tobacco shop. There is a clear note of curatorial heavy-handedness here; yet, with rose-tinted glasses square on the nose, this exhibition is ultimately an honest approach to Los Angeles on its own slippery terms. It is also an astute way to inaugurate a small gallery.