Jennifer Greenburg, “I was never good at handling unwanted attention”



March 19 - May 28, 2016 at jdc Fine Art, San Diego

by Daniella Walsh



Imagine looking through an album filled with photographs of complete strangers, women for the most part, and wondering who they are or were, what turn of circumstance brought them into the environment in which they were captured for posterity. Photographer Jennifer Greenburg has cleverly appropriated such found images for her own purposes, thus “Revising History,” the title of the exhibition.




“Revolution in the Making,” installation view



March 13 - September 4, 2016 at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, Downtown

by Nancy Kay Turner



The new kid on this block quite literally occupies the block in its entirety in the downtown Arts District. It is fair to say that Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is actually an unprecedented fusion between a gallery and a museum in its size and the scope of its programming. It blends the commercial and the educational in a number of galleries, a bookstore, cafe, even a garden; so it is fitting that the theme of the massive debut exhibition embraces more than a half century and unfolds expansively. Paul Schimmel, the chief curator at MOCA, who for 22 years brought many innovative exhibitions there, joins UC Santa Barbara professor Jenni Sorkin to mount a remarkable grouping of women sculptors in "Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947-2016."




John Baldessari, “Doris Comes in and Draws Bill Aside …,” 2015, varnished inkjet print on canvas with acrylic paint, 54 7/8 x 65 7/8 x 1 5/8”.



John Baldessari's work looks stunning in the recently opened Spruth Magers Gallery across the street from LACMA, which is itself part of the story here. Spruth Magers launches this space in addition to their prominent Berlin and London venues in a building originally designed in the late 1960s by legendary West Coast architectural firm William L. Pereira & Associates. The 14,000 square foot space, designed by London-based architect Andreas Lechthaler and Berlin-based architect Botho von Senger und Etterlin, is well proportioned, window lit and elegant. The galleries sport views of Wilshire Boulevard, which turn out to be a perfect environment to view Baldessari's latest composites.


In his new inkjet on canvas prints the artist paints over areas of appropriated images depicting individuals enjoying leisure activities, covering parts but not all of the originals. He juxtaposes these altered images with fragmented texts appropriated from film scripts. Baldessari's cunning wit comes through in these compelling couplings. In "Doris Comes in and Draws Bill Aside…" a man leans diagonally across the composition in the midst of a workout, pressing a painted green bar above his head. The irony here is that Bill probably does not want to be bothered by Doris while working out. Seemingly tongue and cheek, Baldessari's work undermines the obvious (Spruth Magers, Miracle Mile).

Jody Zellen


MARCH 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 March, 2016.



Helen Lundeberg, “Self-Portrait”



February 21 - May 30, 2016 at Laguna Art Museum, Orange County

by Liz Goldner



The artist’s ”Self-Portrait (with Landscape)” (1944) adorns the facade of Laguna Art Museum, announcing “Helen Lundeberg: A Retrospective” within. This carefully rendered painting of the artist, still in her thirties, is of a beautiful young woman, facing the viewer, a paintbrush in her left hand, and a small blue orb representing a planet in her right hand. The easel just beyond her, depicting a painting within the painting, illustrates deep blue space, while alluding to the artist’s career-long obsession with the metaphysical.



Monique Prieto, “Shrimp Chip”


February 27 - April 9, 2016 at Chimento Contemporary, Downtown

by Andy Brumer



It wasn’t until last month that scientists finally “heard,” then graphed the presence of the those remarkably enduring “gravitational waves” which resulted from the collision of two massive black holes in space some 1.3 billion light years away. Art lovers can find metaphorical gratification at a far closer proximity in the synesthetic partnership of Roy Thurston and Monique Prieto’s two-person exhibition. A well-established veteran of L.A.’s light and space movement, Thurston offers new versions of his shimmering painting/sculpture hybrids which, when considered alongside Prieto’s five small diptychs suggestive of human ears, interweave the senses of vision and hearing. One can almost listen to Thurston’s works vibrating cosmically, while Prieto’s ears receptively “look” at and hear them.




Tomkoo Sawada poses with her installation of “Facial Signature”



February 20 - April 9, 2016 at ROSEGALLERY, Santa Monica

by Jody Zellen



Tomoko Sawada is a Japanese artist whose self-portrait works are concerned not only with identity and personality but the relationship between a woman's inner and outer image. She rose to fame with her project "ID400" (1998), in which she presented large grids of black and white photographs created in photo booths. Each time Sawada visited the booth she was dressed and made up differently. She sat in the chair and pushed the button. Out came a square image containing four identical passport size photographs. Sawada composited the grids of four into large-scale montages. By the end of the project she amassed 400 photographs, which she presented in different gridded configurations. What is remarkable about this project is how different she appears and how by changing hairstyle, (she often wore a wig), makeup, clothing, expression and attitude, how many different personas an individual can become.




Ryan McCann, “He’s a Wino Tried and True”



March 5 - April 2, 2016 at Launch LA, Miracle Mile

by G. James Daichendt


The work of Ryan McCann has become synonymous with fire. Utilizing a technique that allows him to paint photo realistically with a blowtorch, this destructive force is reinvented in his hands as he blends tones with ease on wooden surfaces like it’s charcoal. Using a method he calls pyrography, even McCann’s own signature is a small flame with his first initial applied inside the contour of the brand. Yet his aesthetic reach extends beyond this challenging process as his oeuvre often plays with symbols from contemporary culture that draw the viewer in like a moth to a flame.




Artis Lane, “New Woman Fragment”



We regret that the exhibition planned to open this month has suffered a last minute cancellation.  We present the Preview article in the interest of documenting the work of this important Los Angeles-based artist.--Ed.


Watts Towers Art Center, South Los Angeles

by Bill Lasarow



Now 88, Canadian native Artis Lane has spent the second half of her life working in Los Angeles. Her career has followed a reasonably successful trajectory, but it must be said that her generation of African American artists were mostly forced to build their reputation and marketed their work on the outskirts of art’s mainstream. There was, basically, Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. There were no Mark Bradfords or Kori Newkirks, no Mickalene Thomases or Kara Walkers. Mainstream galleries have, to their shame, never particularly warmed to an aesthetic that straddled conventional realism (too bland) and social and metaphysical idealism (too aspirational).



Brice Marden, “Uphill with Center,” 2012-15, oil on linen, five panels, overall 48 1/8 x 192 5/8", is currently on view at Matthew Marks.


Brice Marden's latest minimalist paintings possess elegance, power and resonance. Marden, whose career dates back to the 1960s, is one of the most accomplished painters working today. These paintings are subtle, never a quick read or brightly colored. Rather they are meditative, monochromatic works achieved by applying layers and layers of muted earthy colors to the surface. These perfectly crafted surfaces invite careful scrutiny. Works from two series are on view: monochromes and calligraphic works. In the monochromes, a horizontal pencil line divides each so that a finished rectangle sits atop loose drips that emanate from the line, placed so as to reveal the process of creation. The calligraphic paintings are overtly gestural — lines swirl on top of a neutral ground, weaving back and forth across the composition. The largest work here, "Uphill with Center," combines three monochrome panels with a calligraphic panel. In this work, based on the four seasons, one imagines the colors of summer or spring transitioning into fall and winter as Marden's undulating stokes cascade across the panels (Matthew Marks Gallery, West Hollywood).

Jody Zellen


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