Chinatown and environs; Overduin and Kite: April 23-24 and April 30-May 1

Amy Sarkisian, "Perv" life-size wood and paint statue of standing pervert (I'm guessing at the dimensions and media...)

Amy Sarkisian, "Perv" life-size wood and paint statue of standing pervert (I'm guessing at the dimensions and media...)

Amy Sarkisian, "American Gag" installation view

Amy Sarkisian, "American Gag" installation view

I only got a few (modestly) successful pictures at Amy Sarkisian’s “American Gag” show at WPA in Chinatown, there are more and better (if smaller) on the gallery website if you like. Amy’s work is often pretty funny – her 2008 exhibition at then Sister Gallery (now Brennan & Griffin in NY) “So Is Your Face” showed paintings executed in a cartoon-ey manner similar to these sculptures at WPA.

Amy Sarkisian, "American Gag" installation view at WPA

Amy Sarkisian, "American Gag" installation view at WPA

“Perv” has a creepy, engaging smile and wears mirrors on his brogues – the better to peer up ladies’ skirts; “Couple” have vaguely opposing parts (think opposable thumbs here, not opposing armies) but both feature Groucho masks; Underwear-guy (title mis-forgotten) is a ball of interlocking wood panels, garbed in tighty-whiteys.

Amy Sarkisian, “American Gag,” WPA 510 Bernard St. Chinatown 90012; through May 14, 2011

An interstice: utility pole brace dominating vegetable garden, friendly sidewalk, pinkish ball.

An interstice: utility pole brace dominating vegetable garden, friendly sidewalk, pinkish ball.

I see that the Dan Graham space is for rent, recquiescat, respectus, inceptum and all that.

I see that the Dan Graham space is for rent, recquiescat, respectus, inceptum and all that.

Judith Bernstein “Fuck Viet Nam: Early Paintings of Judith Bernstein” isn’t only early paintings, also included are new (and trenchant) works on paper and, in the downstairs gallery I think that there is a new “Fantasy Balloons” piece among a group from 1967-1970.

The “Bonner Series” downstairs (all from 2010) are charcoal pastel on paper resemble really boldly drawn dick-head characters with bug-eyes. Three have surprised, gaping orifice mouths and one has a cunt looking nose/mouth combo. Pretty cool. There is one small image on the website, my own photos of this work kind of suck but I’ll upload them anyway to give you an idea.

Judith Bernstein, "Bonner Series # 14 (Pale pink/green & turquoise lips)" 2010 41.5" x 20.5" charcoal pastel on paper

Judith Bernstein, "Bonner Series # 14 (Pale pink/green & turquoise lips)" 2010 41.5" x 20.5" charcoal pastel on paper

Bonner Series #14, detail showing left upper side with first name of signature.

Bonner Series #14, detail showing left upper side with first name of signature.

Judith Bernstein, "Bonner Series #2 (orange shaft, turquoise eyes, yellow hair), 41.5" x 29.5" charcoal pastel on paper

Judith Bernstein, "Bonner Series #2 (orange shaft, turquoise eyes, yellow hair), 41.5" x 29.5" charcoal pastel on paper

Detail of Bonner Series #2

Detail of Bonner Series #2

Detail of Bonner Series #2

Detail of Bonner Series #2

Detail of Bonner Series #2

Detail of Bonner Series #2

Bernstein’s signature plays a large role in these four works. The script occupies empty space around her figures and really adds a proud emphasis to the potent and active characters. The shafts of her dicks look a lot like work of 1973 from her last show at the Box (May 9 – June 13, 2009). They also bring Lee Lozano to mind, and Eva Hesse and I am sure other artists from the period. Maybe my time spread is a bit off, what I feel when I look at these is super powerful women taking charge of representation; both their own and in their figuring of masculine parts. Screws and tools have been, or were, presumed to be mans’ territory and so yes – this active taking by women artists was (and is) confrontational. Still, there is also an amount of parity implied. I hear not so much, “Hey! I’m taking that (tool) from you and you can’t have it anymore,” but rather, “Hey you – I’m gonna use that because it’s mine too.” It is quite apparent in much of the early and the newer work that Bernstein has a engaged and happy relationship with men and their parts. Her representations of these mechanical pieces are easily parodies yet also admirations of dicks and (one guesses) the men connected to them. Yay to physical pleasure in general.

Judith Bernstein, "Horizontal" 1973 from May-June 2009 exhibition at the Box.

Judith Bernstein, "Horizontal" 1973 from May-June 2009 exhibition at the Box.

The Fantasy Balloon pieces also really made me stop and pay attention.

Judith Bernstein, "Fantasy Balloons Series" not sure of info, this piece not on check list I picked up.

Judith Bernstein, "Fantasy Balloons Series" not sure of info, this piece not on check list I picked up.

detail of above

detail of above

Judith Bernstein, "Fantasy Balloons #3" 1967 balloons, glass, wooden frame upright panel 8.5" x 11" x 1.75" bottom panel 4" x 6" x .75"

Judith Bernstein, "Fantasy Balloons #3" 1967 balloons, glass, wooden frame upright panel 8.5" x 11" x 1.75" bottom panel 4" x 6" x .75"

Fantasy Balloons #3 detail. Look at that balloon! The one's with the translucent tip and the peppermint stripes. How beautiful. I guess it is natural latex with color layer added. Maybe like Murano glass? Just neat. The skin-like translucency has me a bit unsettled - I get a nice erotic charge from the suggestion of foreskin - and then am disturbed and embarrassed that I find fleshly pleasures staring at me alongside the candy colored fun in this reliquary. Without carrying this analogy too far, Bernstein's "Fantasy Balloons" work in my mind like Pandora's boxes of personal and political - well not evils certainly, but little charged moments that leave me troubled and fascinated.

Fantasy Balloons #3 detail. Look at that balloon! The one's with the translucent tip and the peppermint stripes. How beautiful. I guess it is natural latex with color layer added. Maybe like Murano glass? Just neat. The skin-like translucency has me a bit unsettled - I get a nice erotic charge from the suggestion of foreskin - and then am disturbed and embarrassed that I find fleshly pleasures staring at me alongside the candy colored fun in this reliquary. Without carrying this analogy too far, Bernstein's "Fantasy Balloons" work in my mind like Pandora's boxes of personal and political - well not evils certainly, but little charged moments that leave me troubled and fascinated.

Again, Fantasy Balloons #3 detail. Mouse ears with hard on. Bernstein sure saw the future there. Remember this was in 1967 and Disneyland was then "the happiest..." and safe for kids. I certainly never expected then that Disney would become the vampirish preteen overlord that screws all native (lack of)  youth culture.

Again, Fantasy Balloons #3 detail. Mouse ears with hard on. Bernstein sure saw the future there. Remember this was in 1967 and Disneyland was then "the happiest..." and safe for kids. I certainly never expected then that Disney would become the vampirish preteen overlord that screws all native (lack of) youth culture.

Gotta run, it’s 11 am on Monday, April 25. Back with more Bernstein, additional news of Chinatown and Jacob Butts at Raid.

Now 10 pm on Monday.

Ok, so Lee Lozano’s attitude toward men was pretty weird in her later days. By all accounts, including her own in the various diaristic text works she made, she was a pretty typical active hetero woman before whatever it is that happened to her happened. I’m still holding my breath for the (much anticipated) release of Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer’s book on Lozano, as well as the catalog for “Joint Dialogue” the exhibition she curated at Overduin and Kite last year. I want to see what Sarah adds to our understanding of this… challenging artist.

Overduin and Kite activity notification:

Having now looked up the Overduin and Kite website I must digress a bit.

Opening May 1 at Overduin and Kite (holders of one of the most beautiful rooms for viewing art in the city) is “The Rose-Colored Room,”  with work by Marc Camille Chaimowitz, Jutta Koether, Lisa Lapinski and Dianna Molzan.

Is that longing and anticipation I see in your eyes?! Darn well should be.

In 2009 at O&K Chaimowicz did the show “We Chose Our Words With Care, That Neon-Moonlit Evening; It Was As If We Were, Party To A Wonderful Alchemy” and it left me want to see more; Lapinski has recently had work in the Artist’s Museum show at MOCA; Molzan had work in “All of this and nothing” which just closed at the Hammer; and Koether last time I recall in LA was at Vielmetter’s previous space on Washington.

Each of these recently past experiences has left me with striking visual impressions and with questions.

Chaimowicz’ show made me think of Duchamp’s “Etant Donnes” (ooh – I’ll be in Philly and see this next week), also any Tony Duquette work (but especially Duquette’s now deceased Queen of Angels installation). Both Chaimowicz and Duquette have nice ways of making ambiguous any division btwn the real and the fantastic in an artwork. Every artist has to address this problem: “How do I get a viewer to experience this on my (or the artwork’s) terms?” Duquette’s and Chaimowicz’ use of unusual (and even queer) materials fascinate and distract me, charming my conscious/critical mind (Scheherazade just popped into my mind) so that before I know it I am indeed playing by their rules – working under the terms and conditions inherent to each work of art. Pretty sweet.

Lisa Lapinski’s practice has always walked several tightropes among fierce intellect, odd personal stories and interesting materials. Her more recent work, to me, has a painterly way with materials that I haven’t seen since her first show with Telles in 2001. I am not looking for paintings here at all, but either Lapinski is growing more sensitive to her materials or I am growing more sensitive to Lapinski’s work; either way I want to see more.  Click through to the MOCA collection for some work from that first Telles show.

Jutta Koether does in fact make paintings, super material paintings using resin, tacks, black and brilliant sherbety colors. For that show at Vielmetter she also made the most interesting use of an odd space that I have seen. The paintings were beautiful and the installation was politically and emotionally charged. It’s time for a Jutta Koether museum show somewhere around here, but until that happens I’ll see the show at O&K.

And this brings me to Dianna Molzan, whose paintings are truly neat looking. My observation sounds completely off the wall unless you understand that “neat looking” is a term of respect in my book. On the other hand, Molzan’s paintings are quite decorative, cool and knowing even. Such a delicious dilemma. This makes the Calvinist ventricle of my four-chambered heart ache but it sure gets my blood flowing! Listen to Molzan talk about her work on the Hammer’s Watch + Listen and read her interview with Whitney Museum curatorial assistant Margot Norton.

I won’t be here May 1, but I certainly recommend that you attend this opening. No images online yet (I clicked on the appropriate symbol and found images from the last show, Cheyney Thompson) but when some go up I’ll share them with you.

A quick run through of Judith Bernstein images. Do visit Bernstein’s show at the Box.

Judith Bernstein, "Fuck-face Sally Series" "#6 Psycho Shooter," "#5 Twat," "#3 Absolutely Fabulous," and "#9 Crown Jewels," all 49.5" x 29.5" I think perhaps the Box have "Twat" and "Ab Fab" switched number-wise on the checklist, but who am I to argue?

Judith Bernstein, "Fuck-face Sally Series" "#6 Psycho Shooter," "#5 Twat," "#3 Absolutely Fabulous," and "#9 Crown Jewels," all 49.5" x 29.5" I think perhaps the Box have "Twat" and "Ab Fab" switched number-wise on the checklist, but who am I to argue?

Judith Bernstein, "VD not VC," 1967 mixed media on canvas, 50" x 74"

Judith Bernstein, "VD not VC," 1967 mixed media on canvas, 50" x 74"

Detail of "A Soldier's Christmas" 1967

Detail of "A Soldier's Christmas" 1967

Judith Bernstein, "A Soldier's Christmas" 1967 mixed media, brillo and Christmas lights on canvas. 46" x 92"

Judith Bernstein, "A Soldier's Christmas" 1967 mixed media, brillo and Christmas lights on canvas. 46" x 92"

Farther along the road and closing this weekend are Elana Mann “Die Gedanken Sin Frei” and Robert Fontenot “Recycle LACMA.”

Elana Mann, I think a video still from "Die Gedanken Sin Frei," Out thoughts are free" at Jancar.

Elana Mann, I think a video still from "Die Gedanken Sin Frei," Out thoughts are free" at Jancar.

Elana Mann at Jancar.

Elana Mann at Jancar.

Mann again

Mann again

Robert Fontenot at Jancar

Robert Fontenot at Jancar

Fontenot again

Fontenot again

Pepin Moore have Marie Jaeger, “The Magic Mountain” opening this weekend, no images online yet.

Charlie James is three weeks into Daniela Comani.

Young Art have Stephen Aldahl “A, F, K, Q and Z” through May 15.

The Company have “Alptraum!” opening this weekend with a cast of thousands.

(It’s true – check it out: Christian Achenbach | Sanell Aggenbach | Victor Aguilar | Pablo Alonso | Kai Althoff | Salvatore Arancio | Petra Johanna Barfs | Alexandra Baumgartner | Matthias Beckmann | April Behnke | Joe Biel | Marc Bijl | Zander Blom | Armin Boehm | Erin Boland | Jan-Henri Booyens | Derek Boshier | Wim Botha | Lutz Braun | Reuben Breslar | Alan Brown | Amanda Leigh Burnham | Stuart Cairns | Ellen Cantor | Jessica Cebra | Ben Chase I Natalie W. Cheung | Bradley Chriss | Ben Cottrell | Keith Coventry | Jason David | Thomas Draschan | Sven Drühl | Peter Duka | Benjamin Edmiston | Elisophie Eulenburg | Jonathan Garnham | Alexa Gerrity | Stephen Gibson | Sayre Gomez | Georgina Gratrix | Adam Griffiths | Liza Grobler | Ian Grose | Florian Heinke | Trasi Henen | Lori Hersberger | Sean Higgins | Gregor Hildebrandt | Ryan Hill | Stefan Hirsig | Johannes Hueppi | Charles Irvin | Chris Jahncke | Birgit Jensen | Lisa Junghanss | Andy Kozlowski | Clemens Krauss | Moshekwa Langa | Anders Lansing | Xenia Lesniewski | Cedar Lewisohn | Joep van Liefland | Marissa Long | Mara Lonner | Jörg Mandernach | Sandra Mann | Josh Mannis | Maki Maruyama | Nomthunzi Mashalaba | John McAllister | Mery Lynn McCorkle | Bill McRight | Mohau Modisakeng | Aaron Morse | Audrey Moyer | Jan Muche | Mario Neugebauer | Timothy Nolan | Adam Pape | Christopher Pate | Manfred Peckl | Mick Peter | Carl Pomposelli | Richard Priestley | Ali Prosch | Clunie Reid | Joe Reihsen | Rob Reynolds | Lauren Rice | Nora Riggs | Tanja Rochelmeyer | Jenny Rosemeyer | Dennis Rudolph | Ruth Sacks | Jamison Sarteschi | Jaco van Schalkwyk | Maik Schierloh | Andreas Schlaegel | Bonnie Brenda Scott | Marcus Sendlinger | Andrew Sexton | Carole Silverstein | Jessica Simmons | Jen Smith | Kathryn Smith | Cammie Staros | Jennifer Stefanisko | Zach Storm | Jay Stuckey | Linda Stupart | Caro Suerkemper | Alex Tennigkeit | Lisa Marie Thalhammer | Peter Thol | Klaus-Martin Treder | Jason Triefenbach | Tamzyn Varney | Rachel Waldron | Martabel Wasserman | Martin Westwood | Allison Wiese | Maik Wolf | Renate Wolff | Michael Wutz | Jacob Yeager | Ed Young | Phillip Zaiser | Frank Michael Zeidler | Jody Zellen | Thomas Zipp)

Yay on this one” Tom Solomon has Josh Mannis and Nick Kramer opening also this weekend. Plus Solomon has images. Nice.

Or image, I guess. Josh Mannis and Nick Kramer "Who's the Father of Learning?" at Thomas Solomon Gallery.

Or image, I guess. Josh Mannis and Nick Kramer "Who's the Father of Learning?" at Thomas Solomon Gallery.

At Cottage Home, Artist Curated Projects are hosting Tony Payne and Suzanne Wright in “Vessel.” Closing this weekend, so hurry.

Tony Payne and Suzanne Wright, installation view of Vessel at Cottage Home/ACP.

Tony Payne and Suzanne Wright, installation view of Vessel at Cottage Home/ACP.

Jacob Butts is going to have to be another post tomorrow.

Good night friends.

Geoff

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