Neyat is a writer based in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Criterion, Mubi, Bright Wall/Dark Room, KQED, Cleo Film Journal, and more. In a past life, she wrote tardy slips for late students.
A giant monstera, a jade plant, a rubber tree, and something tall thriving further in the background come into focus. The space looks tranquil, like a Dominic Chambers painting in which figures hole up with a book, meditate, or get lost daydreaming. It’s then unsurprising to find the artist himself in this serene, plant-filled setting. Chambers’s oeuvre has long been concerned with Black life, but his recent paintings explore rituals of rest and sites of leisure.
“Plan B: a population bomb,” begins Anne Hathaway. She’s dressed in a lab coat, busily opening drawers and doing NASA things. “Within 30 years, we could have a colony of hundreds,” she explains. It was purely a coincidence that I watched Christopher Nolan’s rendering of a post-Earth eventuality, Interstellar (2014), last week, right before encountering Lucy McRae’s solo exhibition Future Sensitive at Honor Fraser.
In one of her devoted, often fanatical paens to Los Angeles, Eve Babitz mused, “In Los Angeles, it’s hard to tell if you’re dealing with the real true illusion or the false one.” Olivia Hill captures the slipperiness of our local mirage in Strike-Slip, her current solo exhibition at Bel Ami, paying particular attention to Southern Californians’ tenuous relationship to nature.
Early in his career, Jenkins saw the limitations of popular media and the ways that it enforces systems of white supremacy, but he also believed in the visual medium’s potential to offer individuals the ability to share narratives of their own, counteracting the popular media monolith. In his videos, he took on a self-reflexive role as both witness and subject, giving him the freedom to defiantly reframe the ideas about Black people that mass media (film, television, the news) was churning out with wanton disregard for the tokenized caricatures it propagated.
Fifty years later, “Womanhouse” is back. Anat Ebgi is celebrating the West Coast’s defining blueprint for feminist art while reflecting and expanding upon it. What was once subversive can seem quaint against our current cultural landscape, but this show extols the 1972 exhibition for its triumphs as it coaxes it into the present context.
Devin Troy Strother approaches Undercover Brother, his show at The Pit, with a similar philosophy, summoning nervous chuckles from some and indulgent belly laughs from others. It’s the gallery’s first solo exhibition with Strother, and the work in it ranges from figurative caricatures on canvas to ceramic figurines that engage in what the artist calls “revisionist art history” and “rebranding” meant to unearth deeper intentions from familiar cultural artifacts of the last century.
Futurition recognizes the human condition and the cacophonous stress response to impending doom. Does one cope by smoking a cigarette? Drinking? Taking more vitamins? Exercising? Seeking shelter under a disco ball? Ruiz manages these disparate approaches and prepares for a future where either decomposition or preservation is a potential eventuality—or both.
In her latest show, Love Letter to L.A., artist Beverly Fishman used green (among other carefully selected hues) with a similar sense of purpose, continuing her enduring exploration into the abstract nature of pain and wellness. The exhibition probed and reappropriated Big Pharma’s claim to our individual, nuanced experiences, which it uses to market its products back to us, an increasingly medicated consumer audience. Fishman’s new paintings on shaped panels maintain a provocative line of inquiry into the seductive, but ultimately destructive, grip that pharmaceutical conglomerates have...
This project, BLOOM, rooted in both research and object-making, is the latest installment of Bustamante’s enduring interrogation of the patriarchy and its deleterious effects. Over time, women and femmes have been made to dissociate from their bodies in order to function in a violently patriarchal culture. Autonomy begins to feel increasingly impossible in a world where abortions are almost as difficult to obtain as justice from a rapist and male gynecologists conducting research can have free rein to exploit vulnerable women’s bodies without consent. BLOOM excavates this violent history...
...will my carefully selected trinkets—the private archive of dusty junk I hold deeply—reveal my legacy? This is precisely what ends up being the case for many women whose histories are often comprised of archival materials they’ve curated for themselves, honoring themselves and their life’s work, society having long-prioritized eulogizing patriarchal accomplishments. These loose archives—the soft evidence of self-worth and care—are beautiful and instructive, but do not carry with them the forcefulness of the large, dimensional, officially recognized monuments that take up civic space.
In their current group exhibition, Ensemble, Château Shatto forgoes a theme, instead banking on the potential for intuitive connections. Entering the gallery feels like stepping into the glistening din of a late-night house party at its peak. A cacophony of personalities cling to the walls of the fete and, in some cases, lie crumpled on the floor. A syrupy voice emanates from Barbara Hammer’s 16mm short film Double Strength (1978), asking, “How are you feeling?” with an earnestness that gives...
Mia Thermopolis’s journey to self-actualization—even if by way of an antiquated beautification process—is still a relevant and relatable one.
Interview with Brianna Rose Brooks for Issue 23 of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla).
Domestic work offers both an agonizing ennui and the satisfaction of a necessary task being completed. In the 1981 documentary Clotheslines, filmmaker Roberta Cantow mines these two moods, as well as the subtler emotions that fill the distance between them. Over the course of this thirty-two-minute, nearly ekphrastic meditation on the art of laundry, we listen to twenty-one women reconcile their feelings about this mundane chore.