reviews

  • Alma Allen, Not Yet Titled, 2019, walnut, 23 × 44 1⁄4 × 40 1⁄2".

    Alma Allen, Not Yet Titled, 2019, walnut, 23 × 44 1⁄4 × 40 1⁄2".

    Alma Allen

    Blum & Poe | Los Angeles

    Cast and carved from sober materials such as marble, wood, and bronze, the deceptively lissome sculptures of Alma Allen contain more than one crack at the idea of truth in materials. In press and press releases alike, Allen is insistently compared to Constantin Brancusi, who nudged modernism forward with his own quest to manifest the essence of natural forms through direct engagement with his materials. (It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s the essence of a bird, rendered from a single plane of bronze, don’t you see?) Allen, whose work has been shaped by the sun-bleached vistas of Joshua Tree,

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  • Sturtevant, HELLO, 2006, digital video, color, sound, 27 seconds.

    Sturtevant, HELLO, 2006, digital video, color, sound, 27 seconds.

    Sturtevant

    Freedman Fitzpatrick

    Gathering sixteen of Sturtevant’s video works, this exhibition sought to connect the artist’s strategies in televisual media to younger generations’ production, consumption, and distribution of memes on the internet. Recommending these particular videos for this kind of re-reading was the fact that nearly all are less than five minutes long, and thus handily consumable.

    Most of the works played on a bay of wall-mounted monitors, with the exception of one projected work and a pair of 2006 videos shown on two CRT cube monitors installed in the middle of the gallery. Both featured a short sequence

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  • Tiger Tateishi, Revolving Fuji, 1991, oil on canvas, 89 1⁄2 × 63".

    Tiger Tateishi, Revolving Fuji, 1991, oil on canvas, 89 1⁄2 × 63".

    Takuro Tamayama and Tiger Tateishi

    Nonaka-Hill

    It was dusk, and the storefront of Nonaka-Hill had just lit up. The gallery, housed under a deceptive marquee reading BEST CLEANERS, was preparing to open for its evening hours. Inside, a delicate, neon-hued landscape composed of table-like sculptures huddled in the center of the room, illuminated by a suspended glowing orb and fluorescent lights tinted with Day-Glo gels. On the elevated ground, a work by Takuro Tamayama, a marble humanoid shape’s head, slowly rotated, stressing its pawn-like form. Two of Tamayama’s videos—one projected on a wall and the other playing on a boxy monitor—staged

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  • Cynthia Daignault, Elegy (House on Fire), 2019, oil on linen, 64 × 96".

    Cynthia Daignault, Elegy (House on Fire), 2019, oil on linen, 64 × 96".

    Cynthia Daignault

    Night Gallery

    In Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s 1945 essay “Cézanne’s Doubt,” the philosopher used the painter’s work to propose that an individual’s process of applying paint to canvas could serve as an index of the artist’s phenomenological experience of the world. “His painting was paradoxical,” Merleau-Ponty wrote. “He was pursuing reality without giving up the sensuous surface, with no other guide than the immediate impression of nature.” While Cézanne repetitively painted Mont Sainte-Victoire from life, Cynthia Daignault has, for the past five years, devoted herself to picturing the American landscape—actual

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  • View of “Pippa Garner,” 2019.

    View of “Pippa Garner,” 2019.

    Pippa Garner

    Redling Fine Art

    There was a time when the designation “LA art” actually meant something, not because the art of this region ever hewed to a definable style but because it was relatively style-free, peripheral to what was recognized as art at all. This “outsider” history of the scene is easily overstated, to be sure, but serviceable. This was especially true in its earliest days, during the 1960s, when Pippa Garner, then Philip Garner (the artist underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1993) was still studying in the transportation design department at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena. Garner opted for

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