los-angeles

Daniel Joseph Martinez

LAXART

In new nonprofit gallery LAXART’s inaugural show, Daniel Joseph Martinez revisited the straightforward presentation of text and image that defined his early practice, one which often addressed the subject of polarization but was itself polarizing. The artist’s I CAN’T IMAGINE EVER WANTING TO BE WHITE badges, distributed to visitors at the 1993 Whitney Biennial, remain iconic of late-’80s/early-’90s work around the politics of racial identity. Yet while this selection of new works was characterized by a high-contrast mix of black and white, the result felt oddly indeterminate.

Words were everywhere here, painted and printed on surfaces ranging from banners to the gallery’s exterior wall. Though sources are never cited, some texts are borrowed. From Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947) comes THE FULLY ENLIGHTENED EARTH RADIATES DISASTER TRIUMPHANT, reproduced

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2006 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.