Matt Stromberg

From this Author

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[…..]

Pia Camil: The Little Dog Laughed at Blum & Poe

Pia Camil, The Little Dog Laughed, Installation view, 2014, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles; l. Asfalto, 2014, Hand dyed and stitched canvas, 94 1/2 x 94 1/2 inches.
r. The little dog laughed, 2014, Hand dyed and stitched canvas, 108 1/4 x 330 11/16 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles

Pia Camil’s hand-dyed and stitched canvases offer a fresh approach to the well-worn field of geometric abstraction. For her first solo show in Los Angeles, this Mexico City-based artist has created four large, square wall works whose surfaces are divided into loose grids of colored stripes. Each work has a dominant color theme—cream, tan, blue, and purple—with brighter accents of yellow, red, and peach. Within[…..]

Joan Quinn Captured at the Brand Library and Art Center

Don Bachardy, Joan Agajanian Quinn, 1977, graphite on paper, Joan and Jack Quinn Collection.

The portrait is arguably the clearest illustration of the roles of status and patronage in the arts. Historically, portraits were reserved for the great men (and a few women) who shaped society, religion, and culture—or who had the money to pay for it. They proclaim of their subjects: “I exist and I am important.” In an era when many feel that art should remain above[…..]