Barely Living with Art:
The Labor of Domestic
Spaces in Los Angeles
Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley
Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
All-Women Exhibitions
Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
When Language
and Photography Fail
Jessica Simmons
Interview with
Hamza Walker
Julie Wietz
Reviews Cheyenne Julien
at Smart Objects

Paul Mpagi Sepuya
at team bungalow

Ravi Jackson
at Richard Telles

Tactility of Line
at Elevator Mondays

Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
at the New Museum
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Launch Party November 18, 2017
at the Landing
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
Reviews
Regen Projects
Ibid Gallery
One National Gay & Lesbian Archives and MOCA PDC
The Mistake Room
Luis De Jesus Gallery
the University Art Gallery at CSULB
the Autry Museum
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

Broken Language
at Shulamit Nazarian

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects

Home
at LACMA

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
Alice Könitz and LAMOA
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Penny Slinger
Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party May 13, 2017
at Commonwealth and Council
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
at Marc Foxx

Jennie Jieun Lee
at The Pit

Trisha Baga
at 356 Mission

Jimmie Durham
at The Hammer

Parallel City
at Ms. Barbers

Jason Rhodes
at Hauser & Wirth
Generous
Structures
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 February 18, 2017
at Shulamit Nazarian
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
at The Broad

Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
at House of Gaga // Reena Spaulings Fine Art

Karl Haendel
at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
at Regen Projects

Ma
at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Mertzbau
at Tif Sigfrids

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
at Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Mark A. Rodruigez
at Park View

The Weeping Line
Organized by Alter Space
at Four Six One Nine
(S.F. in L.A.)
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
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.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel

Carl Cheng
at Cherry and Martin

Joan Snyder
at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery

Elanor Antin
at Diane Rosenstein

Performing the Grid
at Ben Maltz Gallery
at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
at The Wattis Institute
(L.A. in S.F.)
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater:
Diana Thater
at LACMA
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 L.A. Art Fairs

Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room
at LACMA

Evan Holloway
at David Kordansky Gallery

Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
at fused space
(L.A. in S.F.)

Awol Erizku
at FLAG Art Foundation
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word:
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
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 Honeydew
at Michael Thibault

Fred Tomaselli
at California State University, Fullerton

Trisha Donnelly
at Matthew Marks Gallery

Bradford Kessler
at ASHES/ASHES
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 Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
at MOCA Pacific Design Center

No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
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
MEAT PHYSICS/
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
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
VESSEL // CINS and
VESSEL // PERF
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 Pierre Huyghe
at LACMA

Mernet Larsen
at Various Small Fires

John Currin
at Gagosian, Beverly Hills

Pat O'Niell
at Cherry and Martin

A New Rhythm
at Park View

Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
at Public Fiction

Charles Gaines
at The Hammer Museum

Henry Taylor
at Blum & Poe/ Untitled
(L.A. in N.Y.)
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
Distribution
Downtown
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
Club Pro
Dalton Warehouse
Elevator Mondays
The Geffen Contemporary 
at MOCA
Ghebaly Gallery
ICA LA
JOAN
LACA
Mistake Room
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Night Gallery
The Box
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
BBQLA
Chimento Contemporary
Charlie James
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Ooga Booga
Ooga Twooga
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
Nicodim Gallery
Ramiken Crucible

Eastside
AWHRHWAR
67 Steps
ESXLA
Garden
Otherwild
SADE
Smart Objects
Skibum MacArthur
Westside
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
College of Art and Design
Christopher Grimes Gallery
DXIX Projects
Five Car Garage
Team (Bungalow)
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
Natural
Odd Ark LA
Mid-City
1301 PE
Big Pictures Los Angeles
California African American Museum
Chainlink Gallery
Commonwealth & Council
David Kordansky Gallery
H I L D E
Karma International
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
LACMA
ltd Los Angeles
Marc Foxx
Shoot the Lobster
Ochi Projects
Park View
Praz-Delavallade
The Landing
SPRÜTH MAGERS
The Underground Museum
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Visitor Welcome Center
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
Arcana Books
Blum & Poe
Philip Martin Gallery
Honor Fraser
Klowden Mann
Luis De Jesus
Roberts Projects
Susanne Vielmetter
Hollywood
Diane Rosenstein
Family Books
GAVLAK
Hannah Hoffman
LACE
LA><ART
M+B
Nino Mier Gallery
Moskowitz Bayse
Noysky Projects
Regen Projects
Shulamit Nazarian
Various Small Fires
South Bay
DMV
Grab Bag Studios
The Torrance Art Museum
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)
Jessica Silverman (San Francisco)
Left Field (San Luis Obispo)
San Diego Art Institute (San Diego)
Verve Center for the Arts (Sacramento)
Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco)
Non CA
Artbook @ MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY)
Editions Kavi Gupta (Chicago, IL)
Good Weather (North Little Rock, AK)
Nationale (Portland, OR)
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME)
Small Editions (Brooklyn, NY)
Space 42 (Jacksonville, FL)
Spoonbill & Sugartown (Brooklyn, NY)
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)

Dan Levenson Interview

1 SKZ Painting Storage Cabinet and 2A0 Size Black Monochrome (2011), painted plywood cabinet, oil on linen paintings, 72 x 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson.

1
SKZ Painting Storage Cabinet and 2A0 Size Black Monochrome (2011), painted plywood cabinet, oil on linen paintings, 72 x 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson.

I recently sat down with Dan Levenson in his Glassell Park studio as he prepared for his upcoming solo show at Susanne Vielmetter Projects. Levenson has fabricated, in the most inventive sense, a fictional art school, The State Art Academy, Zurich or SKZ–it’s Swiss-German acronym. The academy provides much of the context for his extensive body of work. His paintings are named after students in attendance at the art academy. He also creates the wooden lockers to house student work and shipping crates for when the students are ready to enter the global art market. There are many layers to Dan’s work, and there were just as many in our conversation as we touched on topics ranging from academia and institutional critique to the metric system and Martin Kippenberger.

Barnett Cohen: Much of your work, your paintings and sculptures, stem directly and specifically from your imagined art school, The State Art Academy of Zürich, complete with students, a curriculum, and a prefered brand of cigarettes. How and when did you arrive at the idea for the school?

Dan Levenson: It started when I was an undergraduate at Oberlin College joking with some friends about how art students are fetishized. That there’s something pornographic about art students and art stars—kind of grimy geniuses. Students have 12 to 24 months after graduating from MFA programs to capitalize on their status as shiny new commodities. Artists are constantly being produced as new, interesting, sexy…

BC: Emerging.

DL: Emerging. I feel like young artists often don’t have a chance to develop, and so the artists, the artwork, and the thinking are undeveloped.

BC: Why set the State Art Academy in Switzerland?

DL: I needed a fictional setting for the school. I needed a time and a place. Switzerland just works in so many ways. It’s sort of bland and generic and modern and you can talk about culture and language and ethnicity and nationality and even race without offending anybody. Those are things that I wanted to talk about because those are absolutely things that construct artists.

BC: Do the materiality of the paintings and sculptural work reference a particular time period?

DL: The paintings look old and damaged because of the narrative aspect that underlies the work: a group of Swiss artists emerged from the SKZ, an art school that emphasized formal rather than subjective concerns. This is, I think, the basic idea of modernism: a search for universals that could be emancipatory; those ideas seems antique now. That is why, in part, the paintings look antique. In my narrative, the SKZ closed or was abandoned in 1999. The paintings, along with some furniture and other artifacts, were recovered from its ruins.

2 “Letzte” Brand Cigarette Pack (2008), silkscreen on paper with cigarettes, 3 1/2 x 2 ⅛ x ¾. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Barnett Cohen

2
“Letzte” Brand Cigarette Pack (2008), silkscreen on paper with cigarettes, 3 1/2 x 2 ⅛ x ¾. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Barnett Cohen

BC: To what extent do you think of your paintings as props?

DL: The question about (theatrical) props is a very good one. My question in return is to what extent are all paintings theatrical props? If all paintings are theatrical—and the act of “being-an-artist” is just an act or performance—then what becomes of sincerity? Maybe a more honest approach is to admit, right off the bat, that all paintings are in some sense merely theatrical props. We can then get this nagging doubt about authenticity, which has haunted the 20th century, out of the way; not so as to become cynical but so that we can allow absolute sincerity, or commitment, back in.

BC: Do you see your creation of the school as a form of institutional critique?

DL: I love the legacy of institutional critique. It was coined by Andrea Fraser and she inverted the phrase “Critique of Institutions” from Benjamin Buchloh and embodied the legacy that he identified. I think it was an act of genius on her part, and I like that legacy although I am critical of it. Early influences for me were also Hans Haacke and Mel Bochner, and their idea of framing, or being framed. Discrete autonomous art objects are confined to their physical selves and I wanted to create something that could point outside of itself. That first of all points to the institution. The painting on the wall points to the white cube and that points to all kinds of other circuits. That is what I am trying to do.

BC: How far down the fictional rabbit hole have you traveled? What is your role as the artist, the creator, and the fabricator of this narrative?

DL: I like to compare my role to that of the author of a novel. I am not part of the novel and the characters in the novel are absolutely not to be taken as “alter egos.” It’s very important to me that the emphasis in the project remain firmly on the institutions: the art school, the art supply company, an associated art gallery, a cigarette company, etc, and not on any individuals. Names appear only once: as titles of paintings and in lectures that I give, but nothing else can be known about the individual biographies of the students. I am not interested in glorifying the achievements of individuals but only in understanding what circumstances produce individuals and allow—or prevent—individuals from emerging.

3 Tsürisee Logistik Shipping Crate 001 (2015), plywood, paint, hardware, 62.5 x 30.5 x 44 inches. Image coutresy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson

3
Tsürisee Logistik Shipping Crate 001 (2015), plywood, paint, hardware, 62.5 x 30.5 x 44 inches. Image coutresy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson

BC: With your upcoming exhibition, I am thinking of your shipping crates. You’ve made locker cabinets for the students of SKZ and I wonder if the crates represent an exit from the academy and into world of commerce?

DL: The crates definitely represent globalization. Shipping is the way that crap comes from China to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. It transforms our lives for better and for worse. That’s what happens in the art world. Perhaps the era of biennales is over, maybe the era of brick and mortar art galleries is over as well. The global art fair circuit is growing more and more intensive. All of this has to do with globalization and its effects on the art world. My fantasy of being an artist is just sitting in my studio and doing my work. When you’re exposed to this giant grinding machine, if you’re going to face it directly, you have to arm yourself somehow and that’s what the shipping crates are for me.

BC: What else are you thinking about or what else is at stake for you on the eve of your debut?

DL: I have had the good fortune of being totally unsuccessful for eighteen years since finishing my MFA. I have therefore had a lot of time to work in the studio; I have had time to develop. At the same time, I feel completely blindsided by the upcoming show. It’s just scary to suddenly be exposed to the market, to be exposed to the public, to be answering questions in an interview. Once things are out there, you can’t retract them, you can’t rethink them. And I am someone who overthinks everything.

BC: Given the extent of your practice—the fabrication of the school, and your sculptural and video work—do you still regard yourself as a painter?

DL: Definitely. I have always loved painting. I think it’s one of the deepest ways of addressing representation and materiality. That’s how I started out. However, I didn’t like the idea that as a painter, you’re confined to this rectangle and that’s all you can address. I needed ways to address the larger framework in which paintings happen. When I was in grad school at the Royal College of Art in London, I literally made work about frames and became interested in Haacke and institutional critique.

BC: And through your long body of work, your paintings in particular are highly coherent.  

Dan: Even though I fight against and am critical of it, I understand the need to be coherent and that you have to expose your incoherence over time. Just as there are no individual biographies in my work, my practice as an artist has to be about my work and not about me—not about my personality. I’m boring. Martin Kippenberger could afford to be eclecticist because a cult of personality gave his practice an air of coherence. I am not Martin Kippenberger. I’m not doing coke in motels.

4 Sabine Widmeier (2015), oil on linen, 11.75 x 16.5 inches (A3 size). Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson 5 A1 Size Painting Storage Box (2014), plywood, hardware, 38 x 18.5 x 28.625 inches. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson

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Sabine Widmeier (2015), oil on linen, 11.75 x 16.5 inches (A3 size). Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson
5
A1 Size Painting Storage Box (2014), plywood, hardware, 38 x 18.5 x 28.625 inches. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Dan Levenson