reviews

  • Gracie DeVito, Machiavelli Heart Break, 2019, oil on cotton, 15 1⁄2 × 14 1⁄4".

    Gracie DeVito, Machiavelli Heart Break, 2019, oil on cotton, 15 1⁄2 × 14 1⁄4".

    Gracie DeVito

    Overduin & Co.

    A long time ago, I saw a video of Gracie DeVito worming out of a hole in a wall. The act was simple, and even under the aegis of performance art (it was a gallery wall), it made the crossed-armed spectators break into smiles and giggles. I had yet to become a performer myself and failed at the time to fully appreciate how much of a feat simplicity can be.

    Paintings can be experienced as performances. Critics have an impulse to slow them down to dissect their operations, but if we’d just let them happen once in a while, we might better understand what they do. The art historian Michael Baxandall

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  • RJ Messineo, 4:00 Universe, 2020, oil and wood on canvas, 8' × 19' 2".

    RJ Messineo, 4:00 Universe, 2020, oil and wood on canvas, 8' × 19' 2".

    RJ Messineo

    Morán Morán

    RJ Messineo’s recent works emphasize painting as a process of accumulation. In ten pieces gradually assembled over twelve months, Messineo painted the view from her studio window, recording fluctuating atmospheric and seasonal conditions in abstracted strokes, scribbles, and patches of color. The exhibition’s largest painting lent the show its title, “4:00 Universe.” That hour marks for Messineo a sweet spot in the studio, a moment of clarity before the day’s light dissolves. The title also illuminated a certain logic in the works on view: Each encompassed moments as small as 4:00 (a cloud

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  • Alex Anderson, Stop Cooning, 2019, glazed earthenware, gold luster, 24 × 23 × 24".

    Alex Anderson, Stop Cooning, 2019, glazed earthenware, gold luster, 24 × 23 × 24".

    Alex Anderson

    GAVLAK | Los Angeles

    The “splashing sweat” emoji (????) was initially intended to denote physical exertion. Since its debut in 2015, though, it has been collectively wrangled in that semipublic semiotic rodeo known as texting to signify orgasmic pleasure and, more recently, hip-hop styling (i.e., drip). Because the emoji invites conversation about social media, sexuality, and racialized forms of cultural expression, it could serve as a virtual pendant to Alex Anderson’s archly titled exhibition “Little Black Boy Makes Imperial Porcelains,” the artist’s second solo outing at Gavlak.

    The drip was literal: Nearly all

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  • View of “Tina Girouard,” 2020.

    View of “Tina Girouard,” 2020.

    Tina Girouard

    Anat Ebgi

    On a visit to her native southwestern Louisiana around 1970, Tina Girouard inherited eight lengths of patterned 1940s silk from her mother-in-law, who had been given the material by a relative named Solomon Matlock. Rather than sew the material into wearable garments, Girouard decided to integrate the fabrics into her practice in New York City, where she had moved two years prior. Measuring three feet by twelve feet each, the Solomon’s Lot fabrics, as they came to be known, are saturated in pastel tones and festooned with variegated floral and botanical patterns. When juxtaposed, as Girouard

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  • Luchita Hurtado, Untitled, 1970, oil on paper, 19 × 18 1⁄2". From the series “I Am,” ca. 1967–73.

    Luchita Hurtado, Untitled, 1970, oil on paper, 19 × 18 1⁄2". From the series “I Am,” ca. 1967–73.

    Luchita Hurtado

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    Isolated in your apartment, you are lonely, stressed, bored. You walk into the kitchen and see the bowl of apples and the dishes in the sink. You’re getting nothing done; maybe you’re resorting to bad habits. Nothing inspires. Now is the time for you to look at the art of Luchita Hurtado, who teaches us that, whether just standing in our living rooms or wandering aimlessly around the kitchen, we are as alive as we will ever be—that every passing moment is an opportunity to reach for the sublime.

    Hurtado was born in 1920 in Maiquetía, Venezuela, and moved to the United States when she was eight

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  • View of “Psychic Plumbing,” 2020. Background: Sara Ludy, Channels, 2019. Foreground: Philip Peters, Fault Lines and Freeways, 2020.

    View of “Psychic Plumbing,” 2020. Background: Sara Ludy, Channels, 2019. Foreground: Philip Peters, Fault Lines and Freeways, 2020.

    “Psychic Plumbing”

    Canary

    On the white landing page of the website www.thecanarytest.com, two surveillance-style live feeds appeared side by side and a time signature gave the current hour, minute, and second in Pacific Standard Time. The cameras were trained on Canary, a new downtown off-space housed in a former clothing store. One was positioned at the front of the long narrow space and the other at the back, where metal racks and clothes hangers were still installed. The gallery’s inaugural show, “Psychic Plumbing,” existed in these two locations: the physical space and its 24/7 broadcast online. But this past March,

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