Critics’ Picks

Seth Price, Bob, 2015, dye-sublimation print on synthetic fabric, aluminum, LED matrix, 58'' x 13' x 4''.

Los Angeles

Seth Price

356 S. Mission Rd.
356 South Mission Road
January 30–April 10

Seth Price’s exhibition “Wrok Fmaily Freidns” all but begs you to make this terrible pun: Has Price pushed the envelope too far? Having already produced countless prints, paintings, and images, as well as clothes, based on envelope security patterns and their unfolded shapes, the artist marshals these motifs into a few last stands here. They appear silk-screened over spilled paint in Spill Test, 2015, as if finally losing all physical coherence. The most notable extension of this focus on wrappings is his new take on those that we meatbags wear. Giant light boxes with images of minutely photographed human skin—taken by a camera that spends hours capturing an area about a foot long and even longer to finish stitching the thousands of images together into a composite—line the back wall for Bob, Danny, Ariana, and Brad, all 2015. The microscopic and intricate patterning of skin resembles the fine and repeatable details of the security envelope, but here it feels oddly vulnerable—the human pelt as an insecurity envelope, if you will.

The rest of the show is filled with a consideration of work in the latter’s most general sense. Construction fencing affixed to two by fours marks a path through the space as in Sentimental Construction Barrier, 2016, and offcuts from a PVC printing and signage place are tacked up here and there. Presiding over all this is Price’s own logo, a kind of face equipped with a pencil, penis, and vagina that is printed across a group of PVC sewage pipes, suggesting an icon of a self-fertilizing system grafted onto its own waste conduit. As a metaphor for what Price is up to, it has the effect of getting out ahead of his audience and acting as an a priori guide to interpretation. Thanks, Seth.