Los Angeles

Heather Cantrell

Kinkead Contemporary

For eight weeks last summer, Heather Cantrell’s “A Study in Portraiture: Act I” transformed part of Kinkead Contemporary into a functioning portrait studio equipped with a stockpile of costumes and props: painted backdrops, animal skins, cardboard cutouts of wolves and snakes, silk flowers, hats, masks, and household objects. And during the exhibition’s run, Cantrell held a series of public photo shoots, to which she invited a subsection of the Los Angeles art community. With her input, participants could choose accoutrements and a backdrop. (For some special individuals, the artist made her own nude body available for placement in the scene.) After arranging the sitter in a bizarre pose, Cantrell took two black-and-white images in quick succession with a 4 x 5 camera: One, a negative, went to the artist’s archives; the other, a Polaroid, was added to an accumulating display on the gallery’s

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 receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2009 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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