Contents January 2016

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JAN/FEB 2016 

 

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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