reviews

  • View of “David Hammons,” 2019. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

    David Hammons

    Hauser & Wirth | Los Angeles

    In a 1998 profile of David Hammons in these pages, Manthia Diawara observed, “The use of art against art is, of course, a familiar strategy by now, but what remains interesting is what becomes of the artist in his rebellion against convention. . . . In one sense, aura is everything in Hammons’s art.” For an artist known for refusal, Hammons projected a surprisingly strong aura in this loose retrospective, his first exhibition in Los Angeles in forty-five years. New and older sculptures, paintings, installations, found objects, archival ephemera, and works and films by other artists sprawled over

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  • Candice Lin, La Charada China (Tobacco Version), 2019, cement with casein paint, welded steel table frame, tobacco, ceramics, distillation system, poppy-pod putty, sugarcane, white sugar, cacao, sage, ackee, oak gall, Adenanthera, dong quai, California clay, Dominican Republic clay, metal parts, bucket, pumps, tubing, dried indigo, glass slides, bottles, drawings, tile, rubber, wood, dimensions variable. Photo: Kell Yang-Sammataro.

    Candice Lin

    François Ghebaly

    The first room of Candice Lin’s solo exhibition at François Ghebaly was organized around La Charada China (Tobacco Version), 2019, an altar-like assemblage featuring the prone silhouette of a humanoid figure made from dried, pressed tobacco leaves. As in previous installations, for this work Lin cleverly deployed a host of “natural” materials (the scare quotes are necessary, given Lin’s penchant for reframing the ideological categories that have historically structured our experience of the world) to signify global histories of exploitation and colonial violence. Clay from California and the

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  • Liz Larner, Firestone, 2019, glazed ceramic, 21 1⁄2 × 38 × 32".

    Liz Larner

    Regen Projects

    In her 1994 book Nomadic Subjects, Rosi Braidotti frames the body not as a biological category, but as “a point of overlapping between the physical, the symbolic, and the sociological.” The “nomadic” feminism she proposes suggests that subjects could promiscuously seek out interconnectedness by rejecting the coded, exclusionary systems of essentialism and nationalism. In resisting the illusion of fixed identities, then, nomadic feminists formally disrupt the symbolic meanings of the body and the self.

    Braidotti’s book was among a number of theoretical and poetic texts that Liz Larner left for

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  • Jeffrey Stuker, Mimicry and the Monte Carlo Predator, 2019, 4K video, color, sound, 10 minutes.

    Jeffrey Stuker

    Garden

    Like his show two years earlier at Full Haus in Los Angeles, Jeffrey Stuker’s recent solo exhibition was held in a residential venue. Garden is housed in the converted upstairs bedroom of a stately Victorian pile in Angelino Heights, overlooking the rapidly transforming cityscape below. Since it opened its doors at the end of 2016, this space seems to have consistently focused on work with botanical themes, thereby providing a perfectly heimlich context for Stuker’s decidedly unheimlich meditations on the fate of natural history in our current stage of technological reproduction—or postproduction

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