reviews

  • View of “Laura Owens,” 2019–20.

    View of “Laura Owens,” 2019–20.

    Laura Owens

    Matthew Marks Gallery | 1062 N Orange Grove

    Visitors to Laura Owens’s exhibition “Books and Tables” might be surprised to find that the show consists of just that. Although she has been showing her handmade books for more than ten years, Owens has never before displayed them in a solo presentation without an accompanying installation of paintings. In the absence of the latter, the viewer’s eyes are pushed away from the walls and down toward the ninety-nine books spread out across six tables. Made in a wide variety of colors, sizes, configurations, and paper stocks, the books each ask for a slightly different mode of engagement. Some pop

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  • Tatiana Trouvé, The Shaman, 2018, patinated bronze, marble, granite, concrete, steel, sand, water. Installation view.

    Tatiana Trouvé, The Shaman, 2018, patinated bronze, marble, granite, concrete, steel, sand, water. Installation view.

    Tatiana Trouvé

    Gagosian | Beverly Hills

    Tatiana Trouvé’s first exhibition in Los Angeles opens on a fantastical scene, stage-managed with imposing verisimilitude: The concrete floor of Gagosian’s front gallery seems to have been fractured by a tectonic shift and disassembled into an irregular surface of jagged blocks jutting this way and that around a central waterlogged depression. Protruding from this shallow pool is the lower section of a sizable oak tree—actually a bronze cast—dribbling water from its torn and tangled roots. Titled The Shaman, 2018, this work is essentially a fountain, one that insistently recommends itself to

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  • Octavio Abúndez, Soliloquy, 2019, grooved board, plastic, 47 × 47".

    Octavio Abúndez, Soliloquy, 2019, grooved board, plastic, 47 × 47".

    Octavio Abúndez

    Kohn Gallery

    The human race is better equipped to talk a lot of nonsense than to save itself from extinction. Octavio Abúndez’s exhibition at Kohn Gallery made the point with a resounding crash of cant. The main room was hung with some of the Conceptualist’s hard-edge “stripe” paintings, outfitted with the umbrella title “We Could Be So Much Better,” 2015–, and composed of stacked bands of color. Within each belt, Abúndez embeds text from adventure and catastrophe films whose hammy dialogue mirrors the way we live now—which is to say, the way we collectively react to sure signs of environmental collapse not

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  • View of “Kevin McNamee-Tweed,” 2019.

    View of “Kevin McNamee-Tweed,” 2019.

    Kevin McNamee-Tweed

    Steve Turner

    For his solo debut in Los Angeles, the Iowa City–based artist Kevin McNamee-Tweed clustered dozens of objects—many small enough to hold in your palm, and all solicitous of visual if not tactile intimacy—into wall-mounted vignettes. Shelflike relief sculptures made of found wood braced diminutive glazed ceramics. Alongside these altar-like installations were carefully considered arrangements of his earthenware paintings (flat panels the size of a book or a tablet), acrylics on muslin with bilateral symmetry (hence their designation as the “Butterfly Series,” 2019–), drawings, and ephemera. Despite

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