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Rest Area – Dan Graham’s Triangular Bridge Over Water, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis Mo

Recently, while departing from the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to my home state of Missouri, I picked up my Dan Graham exhibition monograph from his well deserved 2009 retrospective organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in collaboration w/ The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.  (An exhibition was also appropriately mounted at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, appropriate in that the artist has a longtime base of followers in the Midwest region).  Being that I was heading to the nature of the family farm, the generational acreage of my lineage, it only made since to re-assert my attention to the chapter of Graham’s writings in his Garden as Theater and Museum.  Although the farm is not a garden, theater or museum, the general notion of immediate nature akin to my family and the recent and partial placement of my own artistic ideas and practice to such an arena seems relevant here.  With this said I don’t totally object to the possibility of viewing a farm as a garden, theater or museum.  After all, all four of these contexts originate in and from nature. As I read through the artist’s writings on  the English Garden’s influence on the French’s own appropriated English garden and the influence that literature, politics and theater had upon the creation of these sites of dwelling, leisure and recreation I became restless as usual.  This is actually cheating the chapter which also includes writings on Disney, Rem Koolhaas-Coney Island’s Luna Park and a great almost romantic and historical exampling on the creation of the writer Rousseau’s burial site.  In short Graham...

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NOTES ON LOOKING PUBLISHES TEN  NEW ARTICLES AND PODCASTS EACH WEEK BY ARTISTS AND WRITERS YOU RESPECT AND ADMIRE AND WHOM YOU HAVE GROWN TO KNOW AND LOVE.      We write about the art of our moment, as it happens, in a city that is central to the creation of art historys future. (Get down.)        For our summer sale all our content is TWICE AS FREE. hahahaha Grab a handful. Grab two!    But remember: while we don’t eschew Capitalism, the mechanics of capitalism as a practice elude us.    Of course we’ll keep making NoL happen – good lord, we (and by this I mean I, Geoff Tuck) love it till the cows come home. BUT………….   Until we figure out a way of making money by making content – ideas – free (or we win that MacArthur grant) we could use some $$$ to pay the utilities and for cocktails.      Look up and to the left. Donate.   YAY!!!     This week at Notes on Looking: Michael Shaw Yunhee Min Geoff Tuck Brianne Latti Carlyn Aguilar Aaron Wrinkle (coming soon) …write about and talk with: Brian Butler Dan Graham Iva Gueorguieva Will Fowler Brian Bress the Pet Shop Boys Heather Brown David Gilbert Wyatt Kahn Sarah Cain Cayetano Ferrer Patricia Fernández Ross Rudel the Ben Maltz Galery Kate Costello We cover such topics as:  A triangular bridge over water Playing chess with boys A Monster Drawing Rally Considerations of the work of 5 (or more) individual artists included in the Made in LA Hammer Biennial Entering and re-entering the art world The dark art of dealing …and even...

from here the weekend looks great – the last days of June and the first of July A FEW THINGS FOR THURSDAY AND FRIDAY

I expect that this weekend we will all be talking about the News Gods generosity this week: with Health Care, a split decision on the Arizona anti-Immigration law, and closer to home the LACMA layoffs and the MOCA meltdown. There’s probably more and certainly there will be by tonight, so let’s plan where to party and look. By the way, if anybody makes it to all of these events – come over and I’ll pour you a martini. If you have gossip, too, I’ll pour it with Lillet! TONIGHT, THURSDAY, JUNE 28 (from east to west, give or take) Paul Waddell Ponding Purple Grass at Night Gallery, closing night. Night Gallery site: http://www.nightgallery.ca/ Quoting from a studio visit with Waddell: “The bodies of a woman and a man are leaning, knees slightly bent, with their upper torsos disappearing into… a colorful maelstrom of psychedelic abstraction. Charles Garabedian came to mind, as did the little I know about ancient Greek figure statues. (Did this guy train with Phidias?) In each of the slightly represented and almost cartoon like figures I was able to discern thigh muscles pushing, and the man’s legs were parted a bit and his glutes were active rather than simply existing as dabs of paint. I sensed that his arms, and the woman’s arms, although not available for my view, were reaching or lifting or doing something… up there. Seeing all this was both hot and profound. As I appreciated the depth of engagement in these bodies before me, my own body became engaged and even engorged – sex hung in the air like a promise with these...

CRAFTWORK – Yunhee Min on play and paintings

How does paint become a painting? For those of us who are in pursuit of this peculiar convention, making painting that is, the answer quickly becomes idiosyncratic as it pertains to each’s particular ways. Naturally, this is when things start to get really interesting. Craft, more or less a pejorative word in high Modernist lexicon goes back deep in Western history. In Greek philosophy craft or art, techne, describes activities that engage in making, that is, actually producing a thing or an affect – from arts and farming to medicine among others. Posited as a sister force is episteme understood as knowledge attained by reflective, analytical and theoretical mental activities. While the subtle differences were spoken and pondered at length amongst the Greeks, the relationship between the practical knowledge by experience and abstract knowledge by analytical faculties is a complex symbiotic one rather than one of exclusivity or of pure dialectics. From early on Modernism had different factions throughout Europe- Arts and Crafts Movement, Art Nouveau, Constructivism, De Stijl, Neue Sachlichkeit, Wiener Werkstätt, Bauhaus, International Style to name a few. While one’s relationship to the world as well as to oneself was to go through radical fundamental changes in material, social, and psychical terms, much of the common goal for these different groups was to change the social conditions and environment, hence, better the individual through means of innovation/technology, science and aesthetics. For William Morris, hand-production signified quality and beauty of individuation. Accordingly, he rejected standardization by mass industrial production. Conversely, the aseptic regimes of Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier had great contempt for craft and viewed it as...

“Ebb Tide” with Heather Brown, David Gilbert and Wyatt Kahn

Drifter it is called. Does it look like someone trying to salvage a broken geometry by pushing in shims to prop up polygons? The surface is dirty and smudged on this object, or on these objects. I begin now to wonder how they are adhered, the shims, the parts? How do they hold together, these canvas planes? Old fashion rabbit skin glue is used not as a prep (I think), but a finish, perhaps on the surface of the canvas. (I see now, as I write, that rust is also an ingredient in this painting. I wish I’d read more closely the checklist when I was in the gallery. A lesson I keep learning: read the material offered and also question myself most when I am complacent in my certainties, as I was certain at Ebb Tide that by seeing I could be sure of what was present.) In the second room I find Frame Work, also by Wyatt Kahn. Is this title a verb? As in to ‘frame’ work? Does it refer to artwork that becomes also a framing device for another surface, making the framed surface art? There are three framed voids in this object (which is made from medium density fiberboard wrapped in clean canvas, I learn). The bottom-most of these areas of wall that are revealed (showcased?) is a cleft between two large planes; it is wider at the base where it is open, the frame is completed by the artist’s addition of three slender canvas-wrapped shard shapes that line the two long vertical sides and the open bottom. The top of this space creates itself from...

Hammer Biennial at Barnsdall: real time w/ Sarah Cain

I recognize the work as yours immediately. Then – what the heck? A small canvas catches my eye, it seems uncharacteristic in its troweled and concretic looking surface. It is simply painted grey like wet cement. I can see raw canvas, so I know it to be a thin surface, but it looks gouged, as though it were a thick, wet medium. They must be applied, these white plastic quarter-pipes. Or are these wax from candles? Whatever – there is violence in there placement, Sarah, and the knots that you’ve tied – in the photograph of knotted ribbons, around the roll of canvas – these feel as much statements, or better questions, as they do actions taken for a purpose. To tie is to gather, to wrap, to bind as a wound, and to bring support. Painted blue and edged with yellow threads is a canvas that is tacked to the front wall (artist built, I suppose) and before this painting turns the corner (which it does, and I think of Liz Larner’s “Wrapped Corner for a moment) the color holds my attention; shadows play on it like poetry. A mysterious coin, a gilt chain, an orchid, a beaded thread. (Floor tiles that you made echo Ry Rocklen’s installation in the center court of the museum.) Inside the room, among much more (that I have not time to detail) are two circles: one is dark blue outline, painted and complete, the other is stucco or toweling on canvas, is implied, and is completed by my eye (as that eye struggles against the pretty strands of orange-painted canvas looping, and...

Hammer Biennial at Barnsdall: real time w/ Cayetano Ferrer

Cayetano’s carpet does strange things to my perception of size: as visiting Getty interns enter through the angled door from the dark bowels of his installation into the Vegas-style “lobby” they appear tiny. The carpet is a wonderful mess of patterns. I want it at home. Inside, lights are projected on the demising wall in a similar mess of color, now with action. They flash. A woman in the room decides it looks like “a strip of movie film – see the sprocket holes?” This nice person also picks out among Ferrer’s references the Rialto Theatre on Sunset, Mayan patterning and the facades of Hollyhock House and other Los Angeles landmarks. I believe that the wall is patterned, too. And so it is, in relief, matching and countering the lights....

Patricia Fernandez “A Record of Succession”

Hmm. “From the collection of Rebecca: You must have seen the greatest change” (sewn buttons on linen, 2012) might be a sampler, a piece made to show off a selection of buttons. And “From the collection of Rebecca: Covers” – what sort of geometry is this? I see a triangle, or it might be a forked bird foot drawn, painted with buttons on blue fabric. A line of dark blue embroidery thread closes the triangle and above this a similar black line overscores it. It brings to my mind Native American symbols for the sky. Two white buttons “fill” the triangle and I think now that Patricia Fernández is using white – the color – as a material, and that another artist might use a metallic finish or a mirror. While white lacks the reflective quality, still it throws light and catches my eye. I wonder about the use in art of reflection as a stand-in for the self, and whether the void of white can accept identity in the same manner. I find impressions of buttons in the color of the fabric, these could be sun bleached over time or hard pressed by the artist (I picture her, weary from cutting into wood her trademark “x” pattern, laying her heavy hands on these buttons, thus still at work even in rest.) Elsewhere among these small paintings I find impressed small flowers. I wonder about squares that I see, like pockets on aprons these are, but they look gouged as in solid color – it’s interesting that fabric, linen, soaked through with different hues resembles less a painted on...

She didn’t even want to play, really she didn’t. (That’s why she made the boy cry.)

  I was totally set up for failure.  Not only had every man who had already gone up against this chess player earlier in the evening faced miserable defeat, but I was told this young man, a Computer Science Engineering Masters student at UCLA, was literally unbeatable.  I didn’t even want to play, really I didn’t.  Yet somehow, last Thursday night, Daniel Lara’s chess set seemed more appealing than a game of corn hole (woodwork and hand-knit beanbags courtesy of David Bell…or was it Anthony Bodlovic?). I was still feeling a bit on edge from the performances that happened earlier in the evening at JB Jurve (some of which never seemed to end but rather continue ambiguously in an uncomfortable in-between of performance and reality).   Trying to recover from the image of Noah Spindler in pink flared pants and a baby-blue rhinestone hoodie, blasting top-40 songs over a shitty PA system bought specifically for the occasion, a rigged chili-cook-off, and the stress of watching “Chad” deliver a “press conference” after running 30 miles in an overly-ambitious initiative to charm all the gallery owners on the East Side in a mere afternoon, I somehow found myself agreeing to give chess with this young man a try. The game did not begin well.  He had already taken one of my bishops and my knights, and all I had was one of his pawns.  As we played, Chess Master X’s friends circled me drunkenly, offering prophecies of failure disguised as words of encouragement (“don’t worry, he beats everyone,” or, “dude, he kicked my ass much faster than he’s kicking yours!”)  One or...