dayoutlast is a record of my direct engagement with mostly contemporary art, mostly Los Angelean.

As this blog has evolved since its 2010 inception, so has my perspective. What I once perceived as central within the investigation was what was central, literally, within the photographic frame that I shared here. While still an important consideration, such thinking has also given way to more peripheral considerations, ones also accompanied occasionally by text (written manifestation of thought) and the oscillations between them. What's missing here are larger unknowns surrounding issues of presentation and representation; the amount of time and space it actually takes to accomplish such first-hand observations; and the quandaries between documentation and interpretation.

Despite my attempt to communicate here with image and text what is essential in some respect about the artwork, neither representation should ever be considered a substitution for the primary viewing experience. Of course, occasionally there are exceptions.

Most of the time, these posts are merely remnants---residual fragments---from my last day out.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"The Cartographer" Curated by Alise Spinella @ Charlie James Gallery

Charles Gaines
Numbers and Trees, X1, #3, Audrey, 2014
acrylic sheet, acrylic paint, ink, foamboard
46 1/2 x 50 1/4 x 3 1/2 inches

Clarissa Tossin
Shared Napkin (Andrezza, Guilherme, Ludovic, and I),  2007
paper napkin, lipstick, grease, red wine, chocolate, tomato sauce, and coffee
11 1/2 x 16 1/4 inches

Clarissa Tossin
Shared Napkin (Louisa, Lindsay, and I),  2007
paper napkin and pomegranate
9 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches

Alise Spinella
I Hold the Line, 2014
charcoal, grease pencil, graphite, acrylic polymer on canvas
36 x 28 inches

Steve Roden
Gloppen = Open Glow,  2007
Four-color offset printed map
27 x 39 inches

The map, a representation of a surface largely uneven and virtually incomprehensible at any scale, charts a landscape, a body, a relation of parts.  Seeing these works had me thinking about Vermeer's paintings that included maps in their backgrounds thereby suggesting a way to look at painting as map but also to think about a subject of exploration, one of great unknowns in Vermeer's time since so few had developed any sense of a world-image, certainly as we know it today from satellite photos and daily, global exchange.  So, this show had me wondering, ultimately, how I was to think about the map-maker, the cartographer (the artist I'm assuming) rather than the the map as subject.

Jim Lambie "Shaved Ice (LA)" @ Kayne Griffin Corcoran

"Soft Target" Curated by Phil Chang and Matthew Porter @ M + B

Jason Bailer Losh (sculpture), Sara VanDerBeek (photo left) , and A. Pilgrim Peterman (photo right)

Sara VanDerBeek

Asha Schecter

Tim Hyde

Richard Caldicott

Peter Holzhauer

Justine Kurland

To seek to define photography, so young and rapidly an evolving medium, seems fair enough even if only in linguistic terms (production, circulation, and reception in this instance). Naming does make the conversation a bit more fluid. So, Soft Target, is indeed germaine, especially when we point and shoot gratuitously most days. I just did.  For this show, as an aside but perhaps with more significance than one might think, I appreciated both the space given between works and also the artists who minimized reflection in the work by glass choice in the framing. Such details can not be overlooked, certainly in the reception of the work.  Both gestures (space and minimized reflections) isolated the works in the viewing conditions and allowed for a more careful survey of the photograph.  What was left to ponder was content and how such images reflected the title and objective of the show.

Drawn easily to the sculptural components clustered amongst flat works beyond, one could wonder about photography and depth perception in the curiosity of placement not to mention VanDerBeek’s architectural structured oriented on its side by which the eave seems to point to the corner, the axis of depth concern. Schecters’ site-specific decal installation underlines such a point in the opposing corner as depth can also be thought about more temporally than spatially. Of it’s moment in the context of this exhibition (much like the advertisement on the side of a bus, for example), its ephemeral qualities as a function of the space, on a door slightly ajar, suggests an acceptance of such conditions (now in terms of production and circulation also) but more importantly to my point of depth perception (time of reception, for example).  Schecters’ work seemed to embrace the thesis of the show most directly and to satisfy my own interests where art and architecture intersect.

The more abstract works in the show seemed less about the thesis of the show in any way that I could take easily but did in fact reassert my observation and insistence on depth plays here.  Other subjects, automobiles for example, in various states of change, refers to something particular about the moment, our moment in time (instantaneous with Holzhauer and geologic with Kurland). So, with architecture and automobile as metaphor for product, it mirrors the photographic concern of production (the results of how things are made) and circulation (how we get around).  Ultimately, it’s difficult not to think about this show and its terms more so in relation to market driven questions than ones of idea alone.  Perhaps where these intersect, at the wall, in the photo, is what makes some of these worth considering.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

David Horvitz @ Blum & Poe

In Caspar David Friedrich's The Monk by the Sea of 1808-1810, a lone figure, a monk according to the title, stands before a stormy sea, the horizon blurred by turbulence, a vision of conquest of wild unknowns (the romantic sublime) also a time on the eve of photographic reproductions of such natures. 

In Horvitz here, we see the same, essential composition and perhaps concern (albeit at a safer distance behind fences et al), though now the sublime seems to have shifted from, narcissism aside (you know, looking into the water and recognizing ones reflected image and falling love), a thought about water, transparency and seriality.  Concerning the latter, one can’t help but see parallels between the two juxtaposed rooms of glass containers (framed photograph on the one hand and hand-blown vessel on the other) and how through reference of subject and difference of perspective we may consider what lies therein.  The photographs contain a lone figure looking toward a calm horizon; with the glass vessels on the floor (which somehow seem to differentiate the real space of viewing) each viewer or group of viewers may peer into a calm body of water.  Am I or are we to see ourselves as the lone figure?  

Formally, Sugimoto comes to mind here from a recent body of his work that I saw in 2012 at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (See here) as a part of Phantoms of Asia.  With Sugimoto one is able to contemplate landscape and being as a function of both glass vessel and photograph (sourced through a reflected glass lens as we know). So, the optical materiality of glass itself attempts to filter a clear picture in some sense (our own eyes implicated) and what can be seen between a representation (a photograph) and some literal presentation (a glass vessel), never mind that the self never resolves (perhaps the best part of the sculptural installation in Horvitz) and that further on a topical note, certainly in Southern California, is our ability to contemplate the precious resource of water, ocean water in this instance though, thereby suturing ourselves as vessels of water as well.  What we are rather than what we must consume.

While I never found myself, actually, I connected on an intellectual level with much of the Horvit'z concern here, at least how I was seeing it, a thought about immersive conditions in two adjoining rooms.