Carmen Argote, “Tías”


Shulamit Nazarian, Venice

by Scarlett Cheng



In dream analysis, the house generally represents the self, and all the things that occupy the rooms of the house are occupying your subconsciousness. This body of work by Carmen Argote reflects three months she spent in the grand, Neoclassical Mansión Magnolia in Guadalajara, Mexico. Over that period she took carefully composed photographs of different spaces and rooms, focusing on elements and juxtapositions that manage to capture both what was taking place in the house and her feelings about the house. She came to the project with some baggage, as the building had long belonged to her family. Growing up in Los Angeles, she had heard wonderful stories about it from her father. It is poignant that he suggested the family might one day return, and it would be home again. However, today the mansion is an events space for hire, a venue for concerts, parties, and banquets.


Bates, “Alphabet Soup — Better B — Blue”


Buckshot Gallery, Santa Monica

by Jeanne Willette



If there is an international language for the visual arts, it is graffiti, the language of street art. One can travel the world and encounter, on any given street, on any available wall, the distinctive graphics of the outlaw artist. Over four decades, the typography of the streets has become codified into instant recognizability, universal linguistics for artists who prize their freedom as outsider artists. One of the veterans of street art, Bates, who hails from Copenhagen, has been painting the walls of the world since 1971. This spring he is having his first solo show in America, where we can see his distinctive signature Wildstyle, translated from the wall to canvases, bearing titles such as "Once in a Blue Moon." The status of the graffiti artists in Europe is very different from that of American artists. European street artists receive commissions, invitations to enrich blank walls; while American counterparts are frequently regarded as vandals. For a European, remaining unknown is a choice. Bates is always photographed from the back, keeping his face hidden, mainly for privacy purposes. Where he comes from street artists are celebrities and he is a rock star.

Linda Sue Price, “Pause”
TAG, The Artists’ Gallery, Santa Monica
by Genie Davis
Linda Sue Price’s work quite simply glows, inside and out. In her current exhibition, “Hitting the Pause Button,” Price shines a light — a neon light — on current events and culture. Mixing words and abstract neon shapes, her neon images transfix while her words are seared into the humming patterns of light.

Agnes Martin, “Friendship”

Los Angeles County Museum of Art [LACMA], Miracle Mile

by Mario Cutajar

Championed by Ad Reinhardt, claimed as a pioneer by minimalists, and sanctified by feminists, Agnes Martin’s reductive work resists connotative reduction. And while her adoption of the grid as the template of the bulk of her production would suggest that she was loyal to what Rosalind Krauss rather heavy-handedly identified as the central myth of modernism — the notion of the grid as a return to painting’s primordial structure — the effects that Martin was able to achieve within her severe self-imposed constraints reveal, if anything, her freedom from any preconceived notion of what the grid could be made to express. As Anna Lovatt argues in a catalog essay for this comprehensive survey of Martin’s output, Martin’s steady depersonalization of her technique is perhaps best understood in terms of Roland Barthes’ literary concept of the zero degree: as an effort that “substitutes for the idea of opposition, that of slight difference, of the onset, of the effort toward difference, in other words of nuance.”


Kim Abeles, “Zoe’s Teeth,” 2001, Abeles’ daughter’s baby teeth, leaves, is currently on view at Post.

Be prepared to discard mundane assumptions concerning the proper subject matter and staging of portraits and autobiographies when you step into this exhibition of realities reinterpreted by Kim Abeles. Confessing to “Looking for places where strength, anger, empowerment and humor can find their union,” Abeles activates the timer on her camera, taking on the role of photographer as well as subject as she steps into scenes such as “Self portrait dying my wedding dress black” and “Self Portrait (Pope Joan). In a horseshoe shaped work titled “Personal Effects," among objects that would normally be passed on to the next generation such as the first book Abeles created or her uncle’s purple heart, the artist includes the unexpected: a urine sample from her pregnancy test and replicas of legal and financial problems, including a Welfare Department Food Stamp card. Abeles’ version of a family tree features a circle of her daughter Zoe’s baby teeth affixed to a leafy twig. A video portraying Abeles ”Ironing all the paper trash from Earth Day at the California Science Center” references an inquiry Abeles is noted for producing, addressing environmental issues (Post, Downtown).

Diane Calder

APRIL 2016




Our current Previews feature our editors' and contributing writers' evaluations of exhibition that open or continue into the current month, so as to provide you with the opportunity to view those that are of interest to you.


To look up past articles you can go to our archive of Articles forward from April, 2010; or the ArtScene Articles Archive prior to April, 2010 will be called up from a database separate from those starting April, 2010, so you will experience differences in appearance and navigation.


Here are our Previews and Recommendations for April, 2016.



Marilyn Minter, “Blue Poles”



April 2 - July 10, 2016 at Orange County Museum of Art [OCMA], Orange County

by Michael Shaw



In a conversation I had with a local curator, he posed the question, "What artists working in a photorealist style are making relevant work right now?" We talked about the very few that might have passed that test, but none of the names that we mentioned, nor others that occurred to me, included Marilyn Minter. From her 40-plus year career, roughly the last ten years of her work could easily be described as photorealist, at least categorically. But it's a testament to her style and content that her name didn't arise in that discussion. There's too much viscerality, too much feminism, too much at stake for the work to be ghettoized into a sub-genre.




Ed Moses, “Fly Away”



April 30 - June 4, 2016 at William Turner Gallery, Santa Monica

by Shirle Gottlieb / Bill Lasarow



Ed Moses is an absolute phenomenon. Not only is he still making art at the age of ninety, he still has the creative spark that has driven him during a long, illustrious, sixty-year career. To pay tribute to his insatiable search for the "unlimited possibilities of abstraction” we are rewarded with this survey of Moses' paintings and works on paper that is so extensive as to occupy the former Santa Monica Museum along with the host gallery.




Nick Brandt, “Road Junction with Qunquat and Family” (detail)



March 24 - May 14, 2016 at Fahey/Klein Gallery, West Hollywood

by Suvan Geer



Nature photographer Nick Brandt has been documenting the wildlife of East Africa in beautiful black and white prints since 2001. Along the way he has captured images of powerful lions, elephants, giraffes and other formidable beasts living within a vast natural landscape of windswept grasses, rivers and plains. His new series “Inherit the Dust” is strikingly different and far more arresting than the earlier work.




Eric Hesse, “Letting in the Night”



April 9 - May 14, 2016 at George Billis Gallery, Culver City

by Kathy Zimmerer



Eric Hesse shows a suite of new encaustic paintings in his aptly titled exhibit, "Somebody Else’s Light," that encapsulates the filtered light of Los Angeles. He uses the ancient encaustic medium to catch the luminous reflections and depth of the urban environment depicted in these cityscapes. Its a fresh take on contemporary realism that makes compositional use of unique angles and the delicate layers of light and color that the beeswax affords.


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