Critics’ Picks

Wall Cabinet #2 (Sonic Youth), 2003–2004.

Wall Cabinet #2 (Sonic Youth), 2003–2004.

Los Angeles

Kaz Oshiro

Rosamund Felsen Gallery
1923 S Santa Fe Ave #100
March 27–April 24, 2004

Kaz Oshiro’s meticulous reconstructions of Peavey amplifiers, Sony speakers, fast-food trash receptacles, and dorm-room minifridges ambivalently answer the question posed by MoCA’s “A Minimalist Future?” (currently on view downtown). Oshiro implicates Donald Judd’s fabrications in a wall stack of six Sony bookshelf speakers. Specific objects indeed—but unlike Judd’s, Oshiro’s industrial aesthetic is the product of his own hand, manipulating paint and Bondo over stretched canvas forms to produce ghostly simulacra. These faux readymades are mediated by Baudrillard’s 1983 claim that “illusion is no longer possible, because the real is no longer possible.” The artist tips his hand with theatrical flair, exposing the hollow, unpainted insides of his freestanding objects. His trash bins and minifridges explicitly recall Richard Artschwager’s garish wood laminates, but while Artschwager achieves generality in his “tables” and “chairs,” Oshiro exposes the singularity of generic objects, painting the varieties of fake wood grain himself and revealing the “personality” of trash cans through color (turquoise or orange) and typeface (“Thank You” in serif or sans). West Coast finish fetish is given a tweak via painstaking reproduction of the scars that accrue on mass-produced objects: Wall Cabinet #2 (Sonic Youth), 2003–2004, embraces John McCracken yet subverts his perfection with precise renditions of the band’s (Raymond Pettibon–designed) Goo sticker and the gooey trace of a sticker that's been removed. Oshiro’s empty vessels are postpunk reflections on products of collective memory both artless and Minimal.