Michael Ned Holte


1 Larry Johnson (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles) Situated between Warhol’s cool remove and TMZ’s stalker embrace, Johnson’s photographs “to be looked at and/or read” don’t celebrate celebrity so much as they frame its simultaneous fantasy and banality. (Painfully fitting, then, that the King of Pop OD’d the same week this overdue retrospective opened.) Again and again, Johnson nails the duality of Hollywood as idyllic imago and boulevard of broken dreams. Wisely including several slight variations of similar works—a series of snowcapped landscapes with text-filled panels, for example—curator Russell Ferguson foregrounded the artist’s investment in repetition and his wicked time-release humor. Now that Johnson is finally getting some attention, let’s hope this notoriously elusive character stays in the picture.

2 William E. Jones, “Le Grand Mash Up” (REDCAT, Los Angeles)

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