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
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
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
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
Doug Aitken Electric Earth
Mertzbau

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
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 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
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 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
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 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
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 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
Distribution
Downtown
ARTBOOK @ Hauser Wirth
    & Schimmel
917 E. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Baert Gallery
2441 Hunter St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Central Park
412 W. 6th St. #615
Los Angeles, CA 90014

CES Gallery
711 Mateo St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Cirrus Gallery
2011 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Château Shatto
406 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Club Pro
1525 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Fahrenheit
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

Ghebaly Gallery
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Geffen Contemporary
    & at MOCA
152 N. Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Harmony Murphy
358 E. 2nd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

LACA
2245 E. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

MAMA
1242 Palmetto St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Mistake Room
1811 E. 20th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90058

MOCA Grand Avenue
250 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Monte Vista Projects
1206 Maple Avenue, #523
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Night Gallery
2276 E. 16th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021

The Box
805 Traction Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Wilding Cran Gallery
939 S. Santa Fe Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
502 Chung King Ct.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Charlie James
969 Chung King Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

EMBASSY
422 Ord St., Suite G
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Human Resources
410 Cottage Home St.
Los Angeles CA, 90012

Ooga Booga
943 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Mid-City
1301PE
6150 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Big Pictures Los Angeles
2424 W Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

California African American Museum
600 State Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90037

Chainlink Gallery
1051 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Commonwealth and Council
3006 W. 7th St. #220
Los Angeles CA 90005

David Kordansky Gallery
5130 W. Edgewood Pl.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

HILDE
4727 W. Washington
Los Angeles, CA 90016

JOAN
4300 W. Jefferson Blvd. #1
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Kayne Griffin Corcoran
1201 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

ltd Los Angeles
1119 S. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Marc Foxx
6150 Wilshire Blvd. #5
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Martos Gallery
3315 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

Ms. Barbers
5370 W. Adams Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Ochi Projects
3301 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

The Landing
5118 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90016

Park View
836 S. Park View St. Unit 8
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Skibum MacArthur
712 S. Grand View St., #204
Los Angeles, CA 90057

SPRÜTH MAGERS
5900 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

The Underground Museum
3508 W. Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90018

VACANCY
2524 1/2 James M. Wood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006

Visitor Welcome Center
3006 W. 7th St., Suite #200A
Los Angeles, CA 90005
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
2660 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Arcana Books
8675 W. Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Blum and Poe
2727 S. La Cienega
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Cherry and Martin
2712 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Honor Fraser
2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Klowden Mann
6023 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Luis De Jesus
2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

MiM Gallery
2636 La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Roberts and Tilton
5801 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232

Samuel Freeman
2639 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034

Susanne Vielmetter
6006 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Silverlake/ Echo Park
Smart Objects
1828 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Otherwild
1768 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Hollywood
Diane Rosenstein
831 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Family Books
436 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

GAVLAK
1034 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Hannah Hoffman
1010 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

LAXART
7000 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90038

M+B
612 N. Almont Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Mier
1107 Greenacre Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Moskowitz Bayse
743 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Regen Projects
6750 Santa Monica Blvd.
LLos Angeles, CA 90038

Shulamit Nazarian
616 N. La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Various Small Fires
812 Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Westside
18th Street Arts
1639 18th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis
    College of Art and Design
9045 Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90045

Christopher Grimes Gallery
916 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

DXIX Projects
519 Santa Clara Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90291

Five Car Garage
(Emma Gray HQ)

Team (Bungalow)
306 Windward Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Eastside
67 Steps
2163 Princeton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

ACME.
2939 Denby Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

ESXLA
602 Moulton Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

SADE
204 S. Avenue 19
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Boyle Heights
BBQLA
2315 Jesse St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Chimento Contemporary
622 S. Anderson St., #105
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ibid.
670 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Ooga Twooga
356 Mission Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
1326 S. Boyle Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
649 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023

Nicodim Gallery
571 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Venus Over Los Angeles
601 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
145 N. Raymond Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91103

Los Angeles Valley College
5800 Fulton Ave.
Valley Glen, CA 91401

Natural
15168 Raymer St.
Van Nuys, CA 91405

The Pit
918 Ruberta Ave.
Glendale, CA 91201

Reconsidering Marva Marrow’s Inside the L.A. Artist

John Baldessari photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

John Baldessari photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

After years of acquiring books, I seem to have accumulated a short-stack that are best filed under the category of “artist portraits.” Most of these books are typical inasmuch as they feature brooding portraits of white men. Hans Namuth’s Artists 1950-81 features photos of the NY school in a severe, black-and-white style, and Arthur Mones’s Artists in Photographs (1981) is very similar.

Photographing the L.A. Art Scene 1955-1975 takes a broader, more candid view, featuring photographs by Charles Brittin, William Claxton, and Edmund Teske, amongst others. Mostly photographed in situ, gender roles are made evident through charming photogenic poses. The most severe example of grand Modernist tropes strangely takes place in a book featuring many postmodern artists: Gianfranco Gorgoni’s Beyond the Canvas (1985). This large 14” folio features severe, mannered, and heroic full-bleed images of masculine artistic behavior. There are two women artists in this 300-page book. African-American artists are not featured once in any of the above-mentioned volumes, but are featured exclusively in Black Artists on Art, Vol. 1 and 2 (1969, 1971) by Samella Lewis and Ruth Waddy.

Out of all the books I own on the subject, one item in particular stands out: Inside the L.A. Artist by Marva Marrow, published in 1988. Morrow seems to break these prior notions of how an artist represents himself or herself to the world. Her portraits touch on elements of camp and are highly staged to the point of theatricality. The book has long been a curiosity for people who have known and studied under the artists featured; the more youthful personas displayed in the pictures fascinated those of us who have been students of these artists.

Today, with even more time having past since its creation, the book has become increasingly fascinating to me. The willingness for the artists pictured to be complicit in Marrow’s elaborate staging certainly takes you by surprise. Yet it was the 80s, a time of full-tilt postmodernism and elaborate sources of expression. You can’t help but get the sense that the overall gestalt was one of humorous self-awareness and a celebration of a more confident, optimistic time.

While many “serious” L.A. artists of the time are not pictured here (i.e. Michael Asher, Chris Burden, and Charles Ray), the number of storied artists in the book is notable. Baldessari, Hockney, Irwin, Ruscha, Turrell and others were willing participants in Marrow’s often fantasy-like imagery. As you flip through the book, the playful images continue to surprise. Baldessari poses in a “stick em up” gesture; Gronk has his trousers pulled out from the pockets; D.J. Hall poses with a piece of cake; George Herms uses one of his found objects as a horn; a young Jim Isermann looks like a surfer with locks of bleached blond hair; John McCracken dramatically strikes a Hieroglyphic pose; Baile Oaks emerges naked out of one of his sculptures; Betye Saar fans herself in a fashion that mimics her forms; Alexis Smith poses on her desktop with a target practice figure; De Wain Valentine wears a tuxedo; and Tom Wudl gives his dog a treat.

In the decades prior, this kind of playfulness was largely absent from the image of the artist, replaced instead by typical depictions of brooding males. Although several artists Marrow photographed are pictured in a more stoic fashion (notably Mike Kelley and Robert Irwin), the vast majority seem to be playing her game, engaging the camera as a form of self-expression beyond the artwork. Artists’ statements are also included, with only Richard Diebenkorn and Mike Kelley refraining. The statements only add to the complexity of the situation, as the ideas of many of these artists are essential and important. Kelly’s absence of a statement, paired with his more somber pose becomes a sign point in the book.

I came of age in the 80s and vividly remember people going to extremes in regard to fashion and self-expression. As a teenager I myself was swept up in this vibrant eclecticism. The fatigue and disenchantment with the 1970s was very real and palpable at the time, and the expressive outburst that followed was yet another example of a culture desiring something new. Marrow’s book is a celebratory and inclusive touchstone of this cultural rebirth at its mid-80s zenith. In all of this festivity, the need for the subjects to take themselves too seriously is muted. Even when they do, Marrow gets around the tension somehow with her angles and configurations. There are more smiles than blank stares in her book, with the conservativeness of conceptual art and minimalism being moved aside by craft, color, theatricality, neo-classicism, and neo-expressionism. Looking back on the book almost thirty years later you can clearly feel the urgency of something different and totally new. Marrow’s book exemplifies this clearly, if nothing more.

Alexis Smith photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Alexis Smith photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

George Herms photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

George Herms photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Lita Albuquerque photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Lita Albuquerque photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

John McCracken photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

John McCracken photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Betye Saar photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Betye Saar photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Gronk photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Gronk photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

David Hockney photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

David Hockney photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Mike Kelley photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

Mike Kelley photographed by Marva Marrow. Inside the L.A. Artist. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, 1988. Print.

2016-07-12 (3)

Originally published in Carla Issue 4.