reviews

  • Delia Brown, Felicity, Victorious, 2011, oil on board, 8 x 12". From the series “Felicity and Caprice,” 2006–12. Angles Gallery.

    Delia Brown

    Angles Gallery/Country Club at Martha Otero

    A Marxist critic would argue that the uniquely unstable position of the artist within the social hierarchy is a central determinant of all that he or she makes, even if it is not explicitly acknowledged in the work, and perhaps especially then. But what if this factor were declared right up front, as it is in the paintings of Delia Brown, which have long treated class jumping and upward and downward mobility as staple themes? From the start of her career, Brown has sought to manifest a dimension of the art economy that tends to remain latent—the point at which relations between people and

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  • Alex Hubbard, Eat Your Friends, 2012, video projection, 9 minutes. Installation view.

    Alex Hubbard

    Hammer Museum

    In his 1975 book, Notes on the Cinematographer, Robert Bresson stated, “Nothing [is] more inelegant and ineffective than an art conceived in another art’s form.” However, attempting to account for film’s specificity, Bresson arrived at a set of stylistic guidelines that gave his approach to the medium a texture like no other. Specificity and its loss have similarly animated the course of Alex Hubbard’s work over the past few years, and his videos—which may at first glance seem to be paintings by other means—have come to occupy a more complex position between and across media. This

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  • View of “Phil Chang,” 2012.

    Phil Chang

    Laxart

    Straightforward depiction simply doesn’t cut it for a photographer like Phil Chang. Not today, not this deep into the digital-imaging revolution unleashed by Google, Instagram, iPhones, and all the other democratizing platforms, apps, and mobile devices that have made photographic representation not only ubiquitous but ever more virtual. The medium, decidedly in protracted flux, has been thrown into crisis and forced to grapple with the new reality of chronic image-exhaustion. How can photography resist the numbness of which it is the very cause? Structurally, Chang might suggest—perhaps

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  • Jeanette Mundt, Living Room (1–4) (detail), 2012, four oil on linen paintings; pictured: 9 x 12“ and 16 x 20”.

    Jeanette Mundt

    Michael Benevento

    A large mirror faced the tinted-glass door at the entrance to Michael Benevento: the first doubling of vision in New York–based artist Jeanette Mundt’s debut Los Angeles solo show. On the mirror hung a small black-and-white painting of a living room. Toward the back of the gallery, a larger mirror leaned against the wall across from a modest side room containing a suite of grisaille canvases, Living Room (1–4) (all works 2012). The four paintings are sequential renderings of the same black-and-white photo (not on display); each painting is a copy (of a copy) of the last, showing a room crammed

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