Matt Stromberg

From this Author

Alex Da Corte: A Season in He’ll at Art + Practice

Alex Da Corte, A Season in He'll, installation view. Courtesy of Art + Practice, Los Angeles. Photo by Joshua White.

There is a scene early on in Lamberto Bava’s 1986 low-budget Italo-horror schlock fest Demons 2: A sinister figure is seen limping down a hallway. He enters a room, picks up a knife that is covered in what looks like blood, and wipes it on his soiled apron. The camera then reveals the source of the gory substance: a jar of syrup that has been[…..]

Andrew Birk: Callejero at Anonymous Gallery

Andrew Birk. Callejero, 2016; installation view, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City. Courtesy the artist and Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City.

Andrew Birk is a gringo. I don’t mention this as an insult—I’m one too, after all—but to give some context to his work. The Portland, Oregon, native has lived in Mexico City since 2011 and has a clear affinity for the cacophony and vibrancy of this dense, sprawling metropolis. It is with the fresh eyes of an outsider that Birk is able to translate the[…..]

Jennifer Moon, Jemima Wyman, and Robby Herbst at Commonwealth & Council

Jennifer Moon. 3CE: A Relational Love Odyssey, 2015; HD Video (TRT: 11:15); edition of 3 + 1 AP. Courtesy the artist and Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles.

As contemporary art seems to be increasingly the province of the 1%, with continual record-breaking auctions, it may be difficult to appreciate the revolutionary origins of modernism. Early 20th-century art movements like Constructivism, Futurism, and Dada sought an aesthetic, social, and political break with the past, often with utopian goals for the future. A trio of solo shows at Commonwealth & Council aim to reinvigorate[…..]

Tom LaDuke: Candles and Lasers at Kohn Gallery

Tom LaDuke. Gloryhole, 2015; acrylic and glitter on canvas over panel; 50 x 42 in. Courtesy the artist and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles.

Tom LaDuke’s paintings are messy, exuberant, indulgent affairs, cramming multiple techniques and representational modes onto each canvas. These range from total abstraction to meticulous rendering, as paint is smeared, dripped, and airbrushed across the surface, built up into textured accretions, and covered in glitter. Trompe l’oeil competes with pure paint for authenticity. The result is a frenetic, often garish exploration of representation and perception, offering[…..]

Stan VanDerBeek: Poemfield at the Box

Stan VanDerBeek: Poemfield at The Box, Los Angeles (installation view). Courtesy of the Estate of Stan VanDerBeek and The Box, LA. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

From the malevolent mainframe of 2001’s “Hal” to the proliferation of remote-controlled, drone-delivered destruction, dystopian visions of technology exist in abundance. Even contemporary artists who work with technology, like Cory Arcangel and Wade Guyton, tend to focus on its glitches and limitations. By contrast, the Box’s dazzling exhibition of computer-animated films by Stan VanDerBeek offers a hopeful perspective on the promise of technology, one that[…..]

Doug Aitken: Still Life at Regen Projects

Doug Aitken. END/RUN (timeline), 2014; Clear mirror, resin, concrete powder
coated steel; 72 x 132 3/4 x 36 in. © Doug Aitken. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

Doug Aitken is a quintessential Los Angeles artist. Working across multiple platforms—“photography, sculpture, publications, sound, and single- and multi-channel video installations”[1]—he employs the high production values and superficial slickness of Hollywood. His art is all about spectacle, whether it’s Electric Earth (1997), his multi-screen video in which a solitary protagonist dances his way through a pulsing, nocturnal urban landscape, or his recent endeavor Station to[…..]

Matt Sheridan Smith: Widow – Fig. 3 Ep. 1 at Hannah Hoffman Gallery

Matt Sheridan Smith. Widow – Fig. 3 Ep. 1, installation view. Courtesy of the artist and Hannah Hoffman Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Joshua White

Matt Sheridan Smith’s current exhibition at Hannah Hoffman Gallery is a portrait show, but not in the conventional sense. Instead of painted likenesses of his subject (there is one representational image; more on that later), Sheridan Smith uses pattern, abstraction, and the readymade to create what he dubs “a sort of speculative portraiture.”[1] Evocative and confounding rather than illuminating, the works in the show obscure[…..]