Critics’ Picks

Jennifer Bolande, Tower of Movie Marquees, 
2010, mixed media, 
15 1/2 x 9 x 5’.

Jennifer Bolande, Tower of Movie Marquees, 
2010, mixed media, 
15 1/2 x 9 x 5’.

Los Angeles

Jennifer Bolande

Thomas Solomon Art Advisory | Bethlehem Baptist Church
4901 Compton Avenue
October 16–November 13, 2010

For nearly three decades, critics have talked about Jennifer Bolande’s deft blending of photography and sculpture; the slippages enacted by her repetitions of objects and motifs; and, almost always, a certain je ne sais quoi of unnamed potentiality to her assemblages. Since her emergence in the 1980s, Bolande’s techniques of employing found photographs and fashioning object/image amalgams have become increasingly familiar across contemporary art practices, while the inner logic of her own work has remained appreciably elusive. Finally, a welcome and comprehensive look at the artist’s practice is on view in two concurrent shows that mark her first solo outing in Los Angeles since the mid-’90s. Thomas Solomon Gallery displays a “mini-survey” with works made between the mid-’80s and the present, while, around the corner, the gallery presents a grouping of new output developed along the themes of lunar imagery and movies at Cottage Home.

While Bolande’s diptychs in the 2009–10 series “Space Photography” contribute to her long-standing interests in light patterns, globes, and sound equipment, there is a continuity to these works that carries across the street to her survey as well. Through juxtapositions of sound transmission and reception, light sources and reflections, automated and haptic scenes, Bolande’s diptychs present a richly differentiated and mediated sensorium. Rather than collapsing into the unified body of the spectator or deferring to that of the artist, these works demonstrate a distributed corporeality carried out through a multimedia network of production and consumption. What is more, the artist layers this model of a virtual body-in-formation still further by casting her photographs in the (quite literally) warm red and yellow light of her four-tier Tower of Movie Marquees, 2010, itself displayed within a former movie theater turned art gallery. In its range and import, Bolande’s will be a defining exhibition of this fall season.

This exhibition is also on view at Thomas Solomon Gallery at Cottage Home, 410 Cottage Home Street, until November 13.