Mixed Media

New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–33, at LACMA

August Sander. Painter’s Wife [Helene Abelen], 1926; gelatin silver print; 10 3/16 x 7 3/8 in. Courtesy of LACMA.

Following World War I and the humiliating terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the Weimar Constitution was ratified, establishing Germany’s first democracy. It ushered in a thriving cultural climate: Expressionism came to an end, the Dadaists engaged in anti-art activities, the Bauhaus school was established, and in particular, Neue Sachlichkeit, or “New Objectivity,” emerged. The movement was an alternative realism, endemic to post–WWI Germany, and[…..]

Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet at the American Folk Art Museum

Augustin Lesage. Composition Symbolique, Amour pour l’Humanité (Symbolic Composition, Love for Humanity), 1932;
 
oil on canvas; 38-1/4 x 27-1/2 in.; Pas-de-Calais, France.
 Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo: Claude Bornand.

Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet, currently on view at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, focuses on two events seminal to the introduction of art brut to an American audience. The first was a 1951 speech given by the French artist Jean Dubuffet to the Arts Club of Chicago entitled “Anticultural Positions.” Displayed in full at the museum, the[…..]

Tony Hope: TH+ at ASHES/ASHES

Tony Hope. Untitled (Hugh), 2015; installation view. Courtesy of the artist and ASHES/ASHES.

Obsessively attuned to the use of space, Tony Hope stages deceptively spare sculptural environments within the gallery of ASHES/ASHES in his first Los Angeles solo exhibition, TH+. The two installations, which are suggestive of one another in their polarity, speak to the larger context of the show as it pertains to the value of manufactured identity. Hope displays a deep understanding of the transience found within subcultural materials that do[…..]

Como fantasmas que vienen de las sombras… y en las sombras, se van at Espacio de Arte Contemporáneo

Jazael Olguín. Paisaje molar, 2015; black marker and three paintings. Courtesy of ESPAC.

Like with mazes and haunted houses, there’s a magnetic appeal in unraveling the mysteries that fictitious places offer. We enjoy undefined atmospheres where a strange comfort assures the encounter with the unknown and is met with the thrill of discovery. Because our sense of control struggles with the powerful forces of uncertainty, we are challenged by our own idea of self-representation, despite being aware that[…..]

Interview with Nick Cave

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2015; Mixed media. Courtesy of Shreveport Regional Arts Council. Photo: Casey Jones.

Shreveport is a border town at the crossroads of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. The city is known for its musical history—the term “Elvis has left the building” was coined there. But Shreveport also suffers from crippling issues of injustice. Shreveport prosecutors use peremptory challenges to bar people of color from juries, and juries in Caddo Parish “now sentence more people to death per capita than[…..]

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[…..]

Pope.L: Desert at Steve Turner and Pope.L: Forest at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Pope.L. Forest, installation view, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, 2015. Courtesy of the artist. © Pope.L

Pope.L returns to Los Angeles, after his MOCA exhibition William Pope.L: Trinket this past summer, with a two-part, two-gallery, map-sprawling, time-spanning show—Desert at Steve Turner in Hollywood and Forest at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects in Culver City—connected by a downloadable GPS driving tour. Samuel Beckett, whose influence appeared in Trinket, returns again in the GPS guide’s insistently jolted repetitive language, “this thing this thing this thing[…..]