whitehot | January 2009, Three Quick Reviews
Three Quick Reviews:
SHE: Images of Women by Wallace Berman and Richard Prince,
Reindeers and Spheres,
Danielle Eubank: Oil on Water
SHE: Images of Women by Wallace Berman and Richard Prince
Michael Kohn Gallery
Through March 7, 2009
It’s hard to miss the car with a nude pin-up girl silk screened on as you drive down Beverly Blvd. that is in Michael Kohn Gallery’s window of their new exhibit SHE: Images of Women by Wallace Berman and Richard Prince. The small, two-roomed gallery was packed with celebs, paparazzi, and socialites to witness the infamous Prince’s collaged nurse series and Berman’s found-objects-made-into-high-art.
Berman’s collages of hands holding handheld radios with images such as women, symbols, and religious figures were duplicated within the frames and covered two walls of the smaller gallery, along with his “Girlfriend Series” – photographs depicting women in everyday situations (i.e. putting on makeup, sitting in their living room, etc.), whose serene casualty keeps you staring.
Prince’s gallery was filled with his traditional re-appropriation of romance novels with porno clippings of ‘naughty nurses,’ a mailbox covered in wheat-pasted porno, two large pixilated photographs of women, and of course the car mentioned above. Scotch-taped, Exacto-cut marked, and sloppy around the edges, anyone who doesn’t appreciate the theory of Prince will have a hard time with this part of the show.
My overall rating: B+
Reindeers and Spheres
Through February 21, 2009
Anyone who already knows Carston Holler’s work will be able to tell you that when entering into a space in which his art resides, will transform you to a different reality. The prestigious Gagosian Gallery hosts Reindeers and Spheres, an exhibition dedicated to the powers of amanita muscaria mushrooms when eaten by reindeer out in the wild (an archaeologist friend tells me that they actively search for them in order to get high).
Before entering, a single mock-up of a “magic mushroom” rotates in the gallery window within a silver box, making the viewer feel like they are about to enter Tiffany’s. Immaculately curated in one of the best spaces in LA, the main gallery houses two large spheres, one hanging from the ceiling, and the other bolted to the floor, holding ninety light bulbs each within, and giving the appearance of Christmas ornaments in the opposite of a homey room. In the smaller gallery off to the side are more rotating red mushrooms with mirrors speckled on the top. Attached to cords and metal boxes with solar panels, flood lights allow the panels to function the motor in which these mushrooms spin. The sheer cleverness of incorporating natural effects with created aesthetic value makes you appreciate Holler’s intentions even more.
The upstairs and final gallery contains five large, square C-prints depicting a reindeer in a photography studio, and a ginger-haired woman with red toenail polish holding an amanita muscaria mushroom and occasionally interacting with the reindeer. Some images of the woman appear more psychedelic, as waves of radiated color expand from her nude body in spherical shapes, mimicking the large spheres in the main gallery.
My overall rating: A
Danielle Eubank: Oil on Water
Through February 22, 2009
Upon seeing the advertisements and reproductions of Danielle Eubank’s paintings, I trekked all the way up to Silver Lake’s Found Gallery in order to view her show opening night. I was quite disappointed, however, to find that the actual paintings were not as glossy, bright, painterly, or impressive in person.
With poor lighting, and at times poor technical skill, the water that she so adamantly attempted to portray appeared more like tattoo sketches, the canvases thinly covered in too much Liquin to oil paint ratio enabling the linen texture to pop through and take over what could be an interesting abstract piece. In her artist statement, Eubank claims to capture the change that water persistently encounters, yet the static nature of the flatness, thick outlines, and thin coats of paint deter from this possibility.
One piece, however, of a waterscape with two gondolas and a buoy caught my eye for a good fifteen minutes as I gazed upon the remarkable amounts of under-painting in deep pinks and couldn’t help but reminisce about Monet. Unfortunately, the title was nowhere to be found, and so I am left to wonder about where the work’s biography will take it next.
My overall rating: C
Noah Becker: Editor-in-Chief