Critics’ Picks

Horizontal Diagram and Key, 2007, mixed media, each 49 x 29 x 25".

Los Angeles

Justin Lieberman

Kantor / Feuer Gallery
7025 Melrose Avenue
January 11–February 24

Attempting to impose a quasi-sociological order on the bedlam of a distinctively American subsistence, New York–based artist Justin Lieberman turns a flux of capitalist odds and ends—receipts, magazine clippings, found photos, counterfeit dollars, lottery tickets, small sketches, public signage, fridge magnets—into a subjective material history of late-modern life. Playing off the show-and-tell conventions of the natural-history museum, Lieberman presents four sizable collages in thick-glass vitrines, accompanied by hand-drawn and -numbered keys cataloguing the origins of the remnants. These informative drawings take on an intentionally pathetic sculptural “authority” when placed atop two bleak wooden podiums (of a type common in public repositories). Elective Affinities with Monochromatic Color Average Shift, 2007, places a collage of gallery announcements, fliers, and magazine ads next to a painted canvas that reduces the array of printed matter into a patchwork of monochromatic rectangles. The diptych mimics the didactic institutional impulse while making relics of both painting and the art market. As it happens, the show coincides with both the release of Lieberman’s artist’s book, Hopi Basket Weaving, and a New York solo show that riffs on advertising. Lieberman’s West Coast showcase (entitled “A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place”) situates a transparent and lucrative “place” for his efforts.