Sohrab Mohebbi

Wrinkle Decker, Lazy Boy, 2014,  wood, cardboard, dirt and glue, 7 x 6 x 5 1/2".

ORGANIZED BY Cabinet Gallery, the exhibition at the Airbnb’d Fitzpatrick-Leland House (a 1936 Schindler building) in Lauren Canyon perhaps was the closest you could get to a John Knight retrospective (February 2, 2014 to February 5, 2014). A take on the Los Angeles–based artist’s oeuvre was presented through a collection of his signature 8 x 10′′ exhibition catalogues, postcards, posters, photographs, a few editions and studies, and other ephemera, all part of the expanded site(s) of the works that locate them in the greater socioeconomic network of contemporary art. As the city is dealing with the curse—or blessing—of bigness, this exhibition, while modest in its presentation and duration, remained true to Knight’s conceptual practice and his interest in architecture as a discursive site.

In situ in the middle of Lydia Glenn-Murray’s living room was Wrinkle Decker’s Lazy Boy, 2014, a giant cardboard and clay sculpture of a mustached dude sitting on a rock, his hands locked around his knees; he looks bored or sad, if not both. An instant Instagram hit, the piece was part of “Push It @ Chin's Push,” (September 5, 2014 to September 27, 2014) a storefront attached to the owner’s residence in the “up-and-coming” neighborhood of Highland Park. What started off as a pretty standard gallery show in the storefront transitioned to the living room as you went up the stairs and entered the house through the kitchen where people were taking selfies A Subtlety–style. In a town where there are as many project spaces as taco stands, people’s apartments, closets, garages, studios, and front yards turn public, or rather semipublic, every now and then (the list of spaces that opened only this year will probably exhaust the word limit of this piece). Lazy Boy was a semipublic sculpture for a semiprivate space raising questions about how we perform in these undefined spaces, where some are welcome and others are not.

While on the topic of these halfway spaces, this summer, 356 S. Mission Road’s basement hosted Dopp’s—an open bar collaboration initiated by Michael Dopp, Calvin Marcus, and Isaac Resnikoff—after the original one in the back of Marcus’s studio got in the way of production. Perhaps not as mysterious as Piero Golia’s Chalet, it nonetheless had an air of privacy to it, casually invoking anxieties around in/exclusion and the navigation of these seemingly undefined spaces. Some call these pop-up art bars practices of community making, others networking schemes, alternative economies, or elite fraternities. But Tom Marioni’s historical formulation of drinking beer with friends as the “highest form of art” was clearly the spirit of the season with other watering holes surfacing around town, such as Jorge Pardo’s Mountain Bar reassembled at Tif Sigfrids gallery over the summer and, most recently, Paris de Noche bar at Night Gallery, not to mention Kunstverein’s Bob’s Your Uncle—a Los Angeles export a la Robert Wilhite.

One last thing: follow @therealstarkiller.

Sohrab Mohebbi is REDCAT assistant curator and a writer based in Los Angeles.