Critics’ Picks

View of “We’re Not Here to Waste Time,” 2011. Foreground: Nava Lubelski, Remains of the Night, 2011. Background from left: Nava Lubelski, Ounce of Cure, 2011; Structurally Sound, 2011.

Los Angeles

“We’re Not Here to Waste Time”

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 South La Cienega Blvd.
March 5–April 9, 2011

The three artists in this exhibition––Nena Amsler, Miyoshi Barosh, and Nava Lubelski––make works that resist being slotted into traditional categories like sculpture or painting, decoration or craft. Materially and visually, their pieces exhibit permeability or seepage—holes, drips, and stains figure prominently throughout—indicating a space where one object or concept blends into or creates a dialectic with another. These artists’ material-conceptual investigations invoke the relational perspective of the French feminist philosopher Luce Irigaray, who writes in her 2008 book Sharing the World, “It is no longer a question of moving in a space arranged by the words of only one subject, but of taking the risk to open one’s own world in order to move forward to meet with another world.”

Amsler uses extruded acrylic paint to create latticelike structures that extend across geometric surfaces on walls in organic webs that often drip or cascade onto the floor. They seem to repel the imposition of boundaries with a quiet subversion akin to lichen overtaking rock. Lubelski’s graceful and moody embroidered textiles explore the value ascribed to one item or experience over another, such as new and old, present and memory. Her stitched designs on used fabric, including a stained tablecloth from a dinner with friends, elevate accident and remainder, that which is leftover or rejected, to art via a decorative practice. Barosh’s sculptural chairs sprout an array of armatures—shiny black drips, metal coils, and foam protuberances—suggesting both the exuberance and the violence of growing outside or through limitations and constraints.