los-angeles

View of “Stephanie Taylor,” 2012–13.

Stephanie Taylor

Samuel Freeman

View of “Stephanie Taylor,” 2012–13.

By boggling the name of gallerist “Sam Freeman,” LA artist Stephanie Taylor arrived at “Swam Sea Span,” the title of her recent show at his space. These three words, in turn, generated not just a punning narrative but also a set of related art pieces—six prints and three sculptures. As an introduction, a chantey-style hymn periodically sounded from a triangular speaker cabinet, telling the tale of an ill-fated channel crossing by a swimmer bearing, among other items, an ax, a foghorn, and a bottle of brandy. Such narration seemed to offer the possibility of deciphering the surrounding works (all cited, 2012), which, despite their clear hues, were semantically murky. The amorphous Channel Prop, for example, a six-foot-tall piece of lauan and Europly painted teal, resembled a body of water, and perhaps the concrete-and-steel “floats” at the base of Ropes and Buoys (whose thick

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