Contents January 2016

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JAN/FEB 2016 

 

David Bowie: Ashes to Ashes

Starman Waiting in the Sky


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David Bowie released his envoi-like album, Blackstar, on his birthday, and so a lightness of being seems to shine through his final week on earth. His... Read More

Editor’s Letter

January/February 2016


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Dear Readers,Film and art just go together. If you’re into art, you’re most likely a film buff (and film snob), and if you’re into film,... Read More

Art, Lies and Film Docs

David Hockney and Peggy Guggenheim


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Not all films about artists and the art world are silly, but most of them are. To paraphrase a Mark Twain quote, “There are lies,... Read More

Louis CK: Comedian cum Auteur

Comedic Filmmaker Knows his Darkness


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In an episode of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Louis CK takes Seinfeld out on his boat on the Hudson River. Looking across... Read More

Kahlil Joseph

Filming His Way into the Art World


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Seeming to arise from the video music world this past summer to land at MOCA, the path of “Kahlil Joseph: Double Conscience” may seem roundabout... Read More

BEST IN SHOW 2015

Staff Writer Ezrha Jean Black Picks the Top 10 Los Angeles Museum and Gallery Shows


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We live in interesting times—possibly the end of time, or at least the end of history as humans have conceived it over the last few... Read More

Inside a Pause: Adriana Salazar

Videos Reflect on Stillness in Motion


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Octavio Paz wrote, “this hour has the shape of a pause.” Adriana Salazar’s videos situate us inside such a pause, places where we are in... Read More

Rabyn Blake

The Element of Time and Flux Video Pioneer


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In the late ‘70s, I would carry the Sony Portapak for my artist stepmother, Rabyn Blake, across muddy fields in Southern France as she filmed... Read More

TOTTENHAM CORNER

Land of Disenchantment: Rediscovering the pleasures of Trona


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Ten years ago, when I learned of the existence of a film called Trona, shot in the desert hellhole of the same name, I feared... Read More

Living at the End of the World

Re-enacting the Act of Killing


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Anwar Congo is a stone-cold killer.He is also a petty gangster, a wealthy if somewhat eccentric paterfamilias, something of a dandy (never wear white to... Read More

Frank Stella: A Retrospective
@Whitney Museum of American Art/New York City


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To find a curatorial through-line for the wildly varied career of Frank Stella must be an enormous challenge. Hanging opposite the elevators on the new... Read More

Laurie Anderson Produces the Body

Habeas Corpus at Park Avenue Armory


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Laurie Anderson fairly disappeared in the gaping vastness of the darkened Park Avenue Armory. Standing, violin in hand, next to a Lincoln Memorial–sized plaster sculpture... Read More

DECODER

Vita Breva


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In “Her Story” you watch a handful of video clips of a staged interrogation. You then have the option to type in searches for key... Read More

GUEST LECTURE

JONAS N. T. BECKER


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The sculptures and videos in Same Rock are based on a “little Switzerland” in Appalachia, founded on the promise of its similarity to the Alps,... Read More

BOOKS: Hold Still

A Memoir by Sally Mann


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Part journey of self-discovery, part family history, part window into an artist’s oeuvre, Sally Mann’s memoir Hold Still is simply wonderful, sharing that same combination... Read More

BOOKS

Animals with Humans in Elephant House


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 With trunk tucked up compactly—the elephant’s signof defeat—he resisted, but is the child of reason now. His straight trunk seems to say: when what we... Read More

BOOKS

Francis Bacon in Your Blood: A Memoir


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According to his Wikipedia entry, this is Michael Peppiatt’s eighth book about Francis Bacon. If all of his Bacon books were packaged like a deluxe... Read More

ART BRIEF

Keeping it Real


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Last year I was invited to view a controversial painting that the owner claimed to be a genuine Rothko he bought at a small LA... Read More

UNDER THE RADAR

Pictures of Gone Worlds


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Archiving cultural ephemera is a tricky business. Anyone who’s followed my writing for even a brief time will have encountered some kind of rant about... Read More

BUNKER VISION

The Longest Movie Ever


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Long films aren’t new. As early as 1914, there was a film (The Photo-Drama of Creation) that ran eight hours. Wikipedia lists at least five... Read More

RETROSPECT

Death Race 2000


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The most famous Hollywood movie I appeared in was Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000, which was bizarre because coming from New York, I didn’t know... Read More

Kathy Butterly

Shoshana Wayne / Los Angeles


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Looking like contorted urns collapsing inward or twisting outward, the 16 new cup-sized works that comprise “The Weight of Color,” Kathy Butterly’s fifth show with... Read More

Alia Malley

Sloan Projects / Los Angeles


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In his essay “The Ontology of the Photographic Image,” film theorist André Bazin observed that image-making was “no longer a question of survival after death,... Read More

Devin Troy Strother

Richard Heller Gallery / Los Angeles


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The individual works in Devin Troy Strother’s 2010 solo debut were tiny spectacles, collages full of frolicking figures and bright shards of colored paper that... Read More

ASK BABS

Etiquette for Artful Living


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ROCK AND ROLL IS FOR THE BIRDSDear Babs, What do you think about using live animals in an artwork? I recently went to a museum... Read More

Marc Horowitz

Depart Foundation / Los Angeles


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Humor is often a neglected muse in the production of fine art. Seldom is it thought of as a legitimate field of cultural inquiry or... Read More

SHOPTALK

Maccarone Gallery; LA Art Fairs; Film Series at Hammer; Gallery Moves


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DANGEROUS TERRITORYLOCAL HOMIES ANSWER MACCARONE GALLERYSometimes gentrification can backfire, especially if you crow about it too loudly. Last September New York gallerist Michele Maccarone told... Read More

SIGHTS UNSCENE

Photograph by Lara Jo Regan


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Kenton Parker

CES Gallery / Los Angeles


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While it would not be incorrect to say that Kenton Parker’s work primarily deals with nature, it would be rather misleading. There are no polite... Read More

VICTOR HUGO ZAYAS

MUSEUM OF LATIN AMERICAN ART / Los Angeles


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With 40 expressive oils, Victor Hugo Zayas’ exhibition “The River Paintings,” responds to the ebb and flow of the Los Angeles River in its many... Read More

RECONNOITER

Stephen Cohen


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Stephen Cohen is the founder of photo l.a. and the Stephen Cohen Gallery, which is now the Cohen Gallery on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles.... Read More

Andy Fedak

Luckman Gallery / Los Angeles


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Playfully assaulting the construct of the rational, coherent, autonomous individual in his solo exhibition “You Have Nothing To Worry About,” Andy Fedak’s new stereoscopic (3D)... Read More

Ulrich Wulff

Tif Sigfrids / Los Angeles


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A recognizable figure or persona, which may or may not stand in for the artist but, regardless, bears on his relationship to the world and... Read More

Josh Jefferson

Gallery 16 / San Francisco


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Human beings are genetically programmed to respond positively to the face, no doubt a survival instinct, as babies bond with their nurturing parents. Perhaps not... Read More

Laura Kimpton

Zener Schon Gallery / San Francisco


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Every year explorers, wanderers and artists gather at “The Playa,” or, as it is more commonly known, Burning Man. They convene in the desert with... Read More

Dorothy Cross

Frith Street Gallery / LONDON


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The Irish artist Dorothy Cross’ explorations of the links between human activity and the natural world often possess great lyricism and poetic insight. Born in... Read More

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