reviews

  • R. H. Quaytman, Morning, 4.545%, Chapter 30, 2016, twenty-two paintings in oil, gouache, varnish, silk-screen ink, lacquer, and gesso on wood. Installation view. Photo: Brian Forrest.

    R. H. Quaytman

    Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

    OVER THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS, R.H. Quaytman has developed a formidable art practice predicated on a dynamic interchange between her paintings and the specific contexts in which they are exhibited. In a gesture that undermines painting’s customary status as a portable, autonomous object—and therefore any assumption of self-contained and stable meaning—the artist conceives of each exhibition as a starting point for generating a new body of work, rather than as a destination for already finished pieces. Anyone familiar with this foundational tenet of her practice would thus have expected

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  • Oliver Payne, Untitled (Replica of Game Boy Damaged in the Gulf War), 2016, Game Boy console, 5 3/4 × 3 1/2 × 1 1/4".

    Oliver Payne

    Overduin & Co.

    A jar of jelly beans, a replica of a charred Game Boy console, a set of inked fingerprints on a plastic sheet—these were some of the items included in Oliver Payne’s exhibition “Seven Objects.” This title, which corresponded to the number of works installed, is a reference to Miller’s Law, which states that, on average, the human mind can account for seven objects in its working memory. George Miller, a pioneer in the field of cognitive psychology, cites multiple examples supporting his theory in his watershed 1955 text “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two”: the seven seas, the

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  • View of “Sam Pulitzer and Peter Wächtler,” 2016–17. Photo: Jeff McLane.

    Sam Pulitzer and Peter Wächtler

    HOUSE OF GAGA//REENA SPAULINGS FINE ART

    Post-truth, post-irony—post-exhaustion from such prefix-laden terms—it was tricky to decipher the intentions of Peter Wächtler and Sam Pulitzer in this coupling of both artists and their respective galleries, Reena Spaulings Fine Art (of New York) and House of Gaga (of Mexico City). Twenty-two carefully rendered colored-pencil drawings by Pulitzer were clipped to a quartet of flimsy wire-mesh retail display racks in the center of the main gallery of the two venues’ shared Los Angeles space. Scattered throughout the room on waist-high plinths sat five of Wächtler’s largish glass starfish

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