Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Launch Party August 19th at Blum and Poe
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale
by Thomas Duncan

Broken Language
at Shulamiit Nazarian
by Angella d'Avignon

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum
by Matt Stromberg

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects
by Aaron Horst

by Simone Krug

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
by Hana Cohn
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures: Alice Könitz and LAMOA Catherine Wagley
Interview with Penny Slinger Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
by Jonathan Griffin

Jennie Jieun Lee
by Stuart Krimko

Trisha Baga
by Lindsay Preston Zappas

Jimmie Durham
by Molly Larkey

Parallel City
by Hana Cohn

Jason Rhodes
by Matt Stromberg
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party
Exquisite L.A.
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature by Thomas Duncan
Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler by Stuart Krimko
Karl Haendel by Aaron Horst
Wolfgang Tillmans by Eli Diner
Ma by Claire de Dobay Rifelj
The Rat Bastard Protective Association by Pablo Lopez
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
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Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Made in L.A. 2016
Doug Aitken Electric Earth

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
Mark A. Rodruigez
The Weeping Line
Molly Larkey, Aaron Horst,
Keith J. Varadi, Katie Bode,
Stuart Krimko, Matt Stromberg
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Hana Cohn, Eli Diner,
Claire De Dobay Rifelj,
Katie Bode, Molly Larkey,
Keith J. Varadi
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater
Diana Thater
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj,
Matt Stromberg, Hana Cohn,
Lindsay Preston Zappas,
Simone Krug, Keith Vaughn,
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Launch Party Carla Issue 3
Share Your Piece of the Puzzle Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Eli Diner, Jonathan Griffin,
Don Edler, Aaron Horst
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Benjamin Lord, Aaron Horst, Stephen Kent
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Aaron Horst, Char Jansen, Randy Rice, Lindsay Preston Zappas
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee
William Pope.L’s Reenactor
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
Mateo Tannatt
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
Ben Medansky
I've been a lot of places,
seen so many faces
Nora Slade
Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Catherine Wagley, Keith Vaughn, Aaron Horst, Kate Wolf, Mateo Tannatt, Evan Moffitt, Cal Siegel
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
Club Pro
Dalton Warehouse
Elevator Mondays
The Geffen Contemporary 
Ghebaly Gallery
Mistake Room
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Night Gallery
The Box
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
Chimento Contemporary
Charlie James
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Ooga Booga
Ooga Twooga
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
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Nicodim Gallery
Venus Over Los Angeles
67 Steps
Smart Objects
Skibum MacArthur
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
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The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
The Art Gallery @ GCC
1301 PE
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California African American Museum
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Marc Foxx
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Hannah Hoffman
Nino Mier Gallery
Moskowitz Bayse
Noysky Projects
Regen Projects
Shulamit Nazarian
Various Small Fires
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Elsewhere in CA
Alter Space (San Francisco)
City Limits (Oakland)
Et al. (San Francisco)
Ever Gold Projects (San Francisco)
fused space (San Francisco)
Gym Standard (San Diego)
Helmuth Projects (San Diego)
Interface Gallery (Oakland)
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San Diego Art Institute (San Diego)
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Space 42 (Jacksonville, FL)
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Ulises (Philadelphia, PA)
Libraries/ Collections
Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
CalArts (Valencia, CA)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
El 123 (México City, MX)
John M. Flaxman Library at SAIC (Chicago, IL)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Research Library (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Marpha Foundation (Marpha, Nepal)
Maryland Institute College of Art, The Decker Library (Baltimore, MD)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Library (Chicago, IL)
Scholes Library, NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Skowhegan Archives (New York, NY)
Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, NY)
Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA)
USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Carter Mull
at fused space

(L.A. in S.F.)

Carter Mull, Theoretical Children (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Carter Mull, Theoretical Children (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery.

A few years ago, Carter Mull ditched the art world to hang with a totally different group of weirdos from L.A.’s underground party scene. He made friends with some of the people that were dancing, drugging, and documenting themselves in what can fairly be called “alternative spaces,” just across the way from his downtown studio. Mull had them over to pose for pictures and otherwise become involved in the artwork he started making as a way to articulate his experiences among the ecstatic revelers of the 21st century. Their names and internet handles figure in the titles of the work collected in Theoretical Children, Mull’s recent exhibition of 2D work, sculpture and video presented by Jessica Silverman at fused space in San Francisco.

Mull’s 2D work employs uncomplicated digital effects; inkjet prints of shapes, gradients, and letterforms are collaged onto marbleized cotton stretched over aluminum. Marbleizing, a technique that produces lush whorls of mingled color, is sometimes used in hardback bookbinding and brings with it a whiff of distinction. By combining contemporary digital design techniques with traditional analog ones, Mull participates in the ageless impulse to parse moments of lived experience into good-looking documents.

Untitled Social Subject (Emotional Assassin, Svelte Accomplice, Fractured Defendant) (2015), a 2D work with a cotton candy palette features reproduced images of Fragonard’s The Lover Crowned (1772) and a leather jacket. Together, they form a continuum of self-centered coolness—an attitude that is comfortingly familiar amid Mull’s high-key translations of the brave new world he found in alternative nightspots and online.

Like the right number of the right people at a party, or in a chat room, the collaged elements in Untitled Social Subject (Suitor) (2015) form an enlivened gestalt. The concise formal and technical dichotomies—chance/ intention, wet/ dry media, geometry/ intuition—push and pull like living specimens under glass. Mull’s best compositions function in the small space between looking incidental and right-on-the-first-try fresh.

Elsewhere in the exhibition Mull took on ideas of identity in a more direct and conventional way, and the results were less revelatory. The layering of technique and materials in the smaller portraits, Theoretical Children (Luna Miu) (2015) and Theoretical Children (Alanna Pearl) (2015) is foggy and dense. They lack the sense of migration that makes Mull’s larger, more abstract works so descriptive of the mercurial nature of social groups and the media by which they define themselves.

Carter Mull, Untitled Social Subject (Emotional Assassin, Svelte Accomplice, Fractured Defendant) (2015). K3 ink, ultra-violet ink and acrylic on cotton mounted on honeycomb aluminum, 59 x 42 inches. Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Carter Mull, Untitled Social Subject (Emotional Assassin, Svelte Accomplice, Fractured Defendant) (2015). K3 ink, ultra-violet ink and acrylic on cotton mounted on honeycomb aluminum, 59 x 42 inches. Image courtesy of Jessica Silverman Gallery.

Covering the floor of the gallery was Connection (2011), comprised of 1,800 stills from an iPhone 4 ad printed on silver metallic pieces of Mylar that shift like slow moving static as people walk around on them. The piece calls to mind the short-term gratification and disposability of the devices of the Information Age. The viewer is left alone to reckon on the inextricability of digital culture from the technological medium of its expression. If the latter so quickly becomes obsolescent junk, what does that mean for the former?

Mull also chose the floor for an even more ominous and intimately scaled expression of existential apprehension. Two sculptural memento mori, flower arrangements wilting under tulle veils, presented accessories common to rituals of transformation, including, but not limited to, weddings and funerals. Surely flowers and veils are comfortable bedfellows, but Mull combines them to particularly bleak effect. Chase / (The Tribune Company) / Los Angeles Times (2014) features a veil printed with the Los Angeles Times masthead. Covered by a haze of information, beauty and vitality shrivel up and die.

An assertion gestated in Warhol’s Factory, and re-affirmed by Mull, is that art—beset by toxic amounts of information—might avoid shriveling up and dying by demonstrating an awareness of the primacy of media. To this end, Mull’s digital video, Triple A Bond (2013-2015), features two party girls mirthlessly leafing through his works on paper, taking photos, and putzing around in his studio. Phrases like “In a new community, a negation of the old” are repeated by a female voice that, in turn, sometimes also refers to the process of repeating and articulating the phrases. Less substantial than the other works, it is nevertheless effective for framing the viewer’s understanding of Mull’s process and his point of view.

Up close, Mull’s work reveals itself to be deceptively low-tech and handmade. His impeccable craftsmanship affirms the traditional studio-based processes of distilling tangible form from the ether of experience. Mull is a wry and incisive artist and doesn’t align his work with Romanticism, which might have been tempting and a bit on the nose. Instead he gives us Fragonard and the Rococo, a style of art associated with the apolitical hedonism of the time right before the guillotine of the French Revolution.

Incidentally, fused space occupies the same building as the internationally-acclaimed design studio fuseproject. I’m told that before the building hummed with the business of conceiving the future, it was a place where coffins were made. Talk about on the nose.

Carter Mull was on view from November 12, 2015–January 17, 2016 at fused space (1401 16th St., San Francisco, CA 94105).


2016-07-12 (3)Originally published in Carla Issue 4.