August 2010, Skylar Haskard and Michael Rashkow @ Garboushian Gallery

Michael Rashkow, World Carriage, 2010
C-type print, acrylic paint, unique, 24 x 32 1/8” 
Courtesy of the artist and Garboushian Gallery


Skylar Haskard and Michael Rashkow
Garboushian Gallery
427 North Camden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
12 June through 17 July, 2010


Skylar Haskard and Michael Rashkow’s simultaneous, intersecting solo exhibitions at Beverly Hills’ Garboushian Gallery could at first glance be taken for the work of a single artist operating in both sculpture and photo/print-based media. Their compatible sensibility of juxtaposition and repurposing of commonplace imagery and materials (found posters, industrial plastic, assemblage, etc.) in fact is what makes their pairing in general and this installation in particular so balanced and mutually beneficial. But in reality, the photographs, manipulated posters, and combination prints are by Rashkow, while the sculptural and more dimensional wall work is by Haskard—and contemplation further distinguishes the differences between the two, revealing a chasm in humor, influence, and riskiness that, once apprehended, can’t really be ignored.

Haskard has worked closely with John Baldessari in the past, and having ideas about the great artist’s influence on the younger, especially given the long shadow cast by the current LACMA show, is unavoidable. And while there is certainly a love of bright color, multivalent ideas, spectacle, and practices of non-painting evident in Haskard’s aesthetic, that influence is manifested more in temperament than in form or style. Rashkow’s work demonstrates far more overt traces of Baldessari’s influence—but, unfortunately, on a formal level that is dryly conceptual and rather fails to entertain or engage. One gets the impression from Rashkow’s understated, emotionally terse images that the artist is working out ideas rather than pictures, and the pictures suffer for the neglect. By comparison Haskard’s innovative, quirky, and confident fun-house fare is modern and smart—as well as visually seductive, and ambitious in its cheeky, well-crafted DIY, humor.

That said, the combination of the two is mostly quite charming, with Haskard’s “furniture” and Rashkow’s photography completing the sketched impression of a domestic setting—couches, lamps, pets, cushions—lending the whole project a much-needed slyness and wit. The fact that viewers are invited to have a seat on the very comfortable plastic-and-shredded-cardboard sofa blurs the lines between functionality and fine art, setting a friendlier tone for contemplating the more difficult and or blasé work, armed with permission to laugh.


Skylar Haskard, Couch # 3, 2010
Ikea couch stripped, vinyl, shredded paper, 64 x 38 x 24”
Courtesy of the artist and Garboushian Gallery 


Skylar Haskard, Tapestry # 1, 2010
Mixed medium, 108 x 48”
Courtesy of the artist and Garboushian Gallery


Skylar Haskard and Michael Rashkow Installation view at GARBOUSHIAN GALLERY

Courtesy of the artist and Garboushian Gallery

Shana Nys Dambrot

Shana Nys Dambrot is an art critic, curator, and author based in Downtown LA. She is the Arts Editor for the LA Weekly, and a contributor to Flaunt, Art and Cake, Artillery, and Palm Springs Life.

She studied Art History at Vassar College, writes essays for books and catalogs, curates and juries a few exhibitions each year, is a dedicated Instagram photographer and author of experimental short fiction, and speaks at galleries, schools, and cultural institutions nationally. She is a member of ArtTable and the LA Press Club, and sits on the Boards of Art Share-LA and the Venice Institute of Contemporary Art, the Advisory Council of Building Bridges Art Exchange, and the Brain Trust of Some Serious Business.


Photo of Shana Nys Dambrot by Osceola Refetoff


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