Critics’ Picks

View of “Concrete Cakes and Constellation Paintings,” 2011.

View of “Concrete Cakes and Constellation Paintings,” 2011.

Los Angeles

Piero Golia

Gagosian | Beverly Hills
456 North Camden Drive
June 23–August 5, 2011

With the location yet to be determined, Piero Golia announced in March of this year that it was time for his first show in Los Angeles. “I think [it] should be on June 23 . . . it is going to be paintings and sculptures,” he posted to Facebook, leaving it up to the galleries in the city to compete for the opportunity to unload the artist’s assortment of “Concrete Cakes and Constellation Paintings.” From the outset, Golia established the terms under which his precious objects were to be presented, and along the way he became the first artist ever to use social media to get a show at Gagosian.

Schemes such as this corroborate the trickster persona that Golia has cultivated since before he made Los Angeles his home almost a decade ago. The artist’s penchant for mythmaking is further articulated in the series of paintings and sculptures that make up the exhibition’s namesake. In both instances, Golia has capitalized on incidents and events from recent personal history––a taxi driver crashing through the front door of his Hollywood Hills home after a disputed fare is perhaps the most remarkable––to produce a body of work that satisfies our collective need for folklore. The paintings in the exhibition are the most successful in this regard. Even though they are made to resemble celestial constellations, they are filled with pathos and the remains, thanks to that taxi driver, of Golia’s shattered belongings.