“There is something uneasy in the Los Angeles air this afternoon, some unnatural stillness, some tension,” wrote Joan Didion in “Los Angeles Notebook,” her now-iconic mechanistic meditation on the city’s environmental precariousness. “What it means is that tonight a Santa Ana will begin to blow, a hot wind from the northeast whining down through the Cajon and San Gorgonio Passes, blowing up sandstorms out along Route 66, drying the hills and the nerves to the flash point.” “Body Boards,” Lisa Williamson’s quiescent exhibition, distilled this psychic and electrical charge in five terse, vertically oriented forms. Nerves, Stereo (LES3), Tsunami, Tincture, and Sunbather (all works 2016) are the distinctly Angeleno titles of a group of exacting wall sculptures that captured the tone of Didion’s gimlet-eyed counter to the prevailing ethos of sunny California optimismmarrying the
Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.