Los Angeles

Nayland Blake, Crossing Object (Inside Gnomen), 2017, mixed media, approx. 72 × 34 × 34".

Nayland Blake, Crossing Object (Inside Gnomen), 2017, mixed media, approx. 72 × 34 × 34".

Nayland Blake

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Nayland Blake, Crossing Object (Inside Gnomen), 2017, mixed media, approx. 72 × 34 × 34".

“NO WRONG HOLES” is the apt title of Nayland Blake’s most comprehensive survey to date, on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles—apt because it immediately opens onto the wit, optimism, and profundity that characterizes the artist’s work. Though ambitious in scope, this survey is not, strictly speaking, the artist’s first. That honor goes to Blake’s MFA thesis exhibition at CalArts, which was styled as a retrospective with the saccharine title “Nayland Blake, The Wonder Years: 1982–84.” Excoriating the growing cult of personality around contemporary artists, Blake opened their show with an enlarged headshot in which they look boyishly queer, with curly hair cascading down their forehead just so. The main event of that retrospective was a reproduction of the most absurdly literal of mythicizing curatorial tactics: Blake installed their own worktable in the

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 2019 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.