reviews

  • Sterling Ruby, STATE, 2019, HD video, black-and-white, sound, 33 minutes 11 seconds.

    Sterling Ruby, STATE, 2019, HD video, black-and-white, sound, 33 minutes 11 seconds.

    Sterling Ruby

    Sprüth Magers | Los Angeles

    Skateboarders are doomed to certain forms of ineffable material intelligence. Zipping on a wheeled plank through the cityscape—where any crack in the sidewalk or knob on a public bench can open your skull like an egg—imprints the texture of urbanism onto your bones. 

    By now, Sterling Ruby’s former stint as a professional skateboarder is barely a blip in his biography, but the efficacy of his catholic output, and of his ceramic work in particular, has more than a little to do with that embodied, kinetic relationship to the built environment—an antagonistic dance with civic architecture. Texture

    Read more
  • View of “Annie Leibovitz,” 2019.

    View of “Annie Leibovitz,” 2019.

    Annie Leibovitz

    Hauser & Wirth | Los Angeles

    Annie Leibovitz’s “The Early Years, 1970–1983: Archive Project No. 1” at Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles began with a wall-size timeline anchoring us firmly amid the total noise of this thirteen-year stretch. The timeline traced a capricious selection of personal and pop-cultural tidbits with a relatively sympathetic focus on the American spirit and zeitgeist, its aspirations and rock-star veneer, with occasional detours toward political injustices and small and large tragedies. Two vast galleries were divided into seven rooms by freestanding panels, to which more than four thousand images, mostly

    Read more
  • Faith Wilding, Woman Clothed in the Sun, 1985, mixed media, 22 1⁄4 × 30".

    Faith Wilding, Woman Clothed in the Sun, 1985, mixed media, 22 1⁄4 × 30".

    Faith Wilding

    Anat Ebgi

    The twelfth-century Benedictine abbess Hildegard von Bingen (known colloquially as St. Hildegard or the Sibyl of the Rhine) was a scientist, healer, composer, religious philosopher, and visionary mystic. She is perhaps best known for the last of these roles, having written down (or at least dictated) dozens of religious visions over the course of her life. Some of these visions articulate a cosmology or rehearse key moments of biblical mythology with new emphasis on the interconnectivity between the divine, the soul, and the world, offering a hermeneutics of relation. One recurring concept and

    Read more
  • Lara Schnitger, Judith, 2019, fabric on canvas, 70 × 48".

    Lara Schnitger, Judith, 2019, fabric on canvas, 70 × 48".

    Lara Schnitger

    Grice Bench

    Lara Schnitger’s solo exhibition at Grice Bench opened with Judith (all works cited 2019), a modestly scaled work of fabric on canvas portraying the titular figure with the severed head of Holofernes resting on a surface beneath her gently curved hands. Many male artists have tried to depict this same heroic, feminist scene. Notable among them is Caravaggio, whose Judith is shown wielding her blade against Holofernes’s neck, releasing a bright-red spray. Schnitger’s version comes closer to that of Gustav Klimt, whose sultry sophisticate defiantly meets the gaze of the beholder in the aftermath

    Read more
  • Nancy Shaver, Flat Goods, 2006, wood, fabric, hand-knitted sock, 15 × 32 × 17 1⁄2".

    Nancy Shaver, Flat Goods, 2006, wood, fabric, hand-knitted sock, 15 × 32 × 17 1⁄2".

    Nancy Shaver and Emi Winter

    Parker Gallery

    “Gathering texture, following shape” featured Nancy Shaver’s sculptures and Emi Winter’s woven rugs and paintings. While the works’ vocabularies did not always rhyme, their joint installation set up a visual call-and-response that made itself at home in the many rooms of the Parker Gallery, located in a house. Both artists also share a sympathy for what Shaver has called “collective history,” perhaps more broadly understood as the lives and works of others, and the circumstances of their coming together.

    One especially eloquent room contained Shaver’s sandbox-like Blue Pool, 2018, a horizontal

    Read more