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:
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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
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Kenneth Tam
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Travis Diehl
The Female
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Catherine Wagley
The Rise
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Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
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Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
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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
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Kayne Griffin Corcoran
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ltd Los Angeles
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Marc Foxx
6150 Wilshire Blvd. #5
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Martos Gallery
3315 W. Washington Blvd.
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Ms. Barbers
5370 W. Adams Blvd.
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Honor Fraser
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Culver City, CA 90232

Luis De Jesus
2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.
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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.
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Culver City, CA 90232
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743 N. La Brea Ave.
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6750 Santa Monica Blvd.
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Shulamit Nazarian
616 N. La Brea
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Various Small Fires
812 Highland Ave.
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Chimento Contemporary
622 S. Anderson St., #105
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Ibid.
670 S. Anderson St.
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Ooga Twooga
356 Mission Rd.
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
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Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
649 S. Anderson St.
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Nicodim Gallery
571 S. Anderson St.
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Venus Over Los Angeles
601 S. Anderson St.
Los Angeles, CA 90023
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145 N. Raymond Ave.
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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

Trisha Donnelly at Matthew Marks Gallery

Trisha Donnelly (2015). Press photograph. Image courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery.

Trisha Donnelly (2015). Press photograph. Image courtesy of Matthew Marks Gallery.

“Non-objective art as I see it removed the referential (idea-identity) from painting—demanding personal sensual involvement as the only accurate human communication.”

-Robert Irwin[1]

Trisha Donnelly does not give away much. Known for her enigmatic images, performances, and installations, she does not allow reproductions of her work to be published. In the case of her recent exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery in West Hollywood, she insisted on skipping the traditional press release as well. Donnelly has earned a polarizing reputation as an artist known for creating moments of doubt, moments of confusion, and most importantly, moments of wonder. In a time when most art is instantly posted, shared, double-tapped, and swiped, Donnelly’s work demands a refreshingly direct engagement with her audience. She maintains a clear consideration of the viewer throughout her practice; she does not make art merely to be looked at or mused over. Her work is meant to be felt.

Describing an experience with words can undo it; abstracting a feeling with language can result in failure. Donnelly’s ephemeral installation presents a similar challenge. Split between two gallery spaces half a block apart, the show forced the viewer to leave the confines of the gallery as they traveled between spaces. One gallery was a vast, dark space dimly lit by abstract images that were projected on the walls at oblique angles. The room was accompanied by a soft muzak that played through large, casually installed speakers. Blacked-out skylights caused columns of darkness to rise up to the ceiling. Daylight bled in around a roll up door while fleeting rays of light mysteriously pierced the space at irregular intervals. Walking out of this dramatically darkened space, with its subtle tricks of light, the warmth and light of the outdoors were a shocking interval between the two gallery spaces. Naturally lit via subtle daylight diffused through scrimmed windows, the second gallery offered a refreshing compliment to the first. The space felt softer and less confrontational than the first and offered a more traditional experience: Two vague photographs that appeared to be accidental exposures, a medium-sized abstract drawing, and a looping animation of clouds projected onto a wall, and slowly rolled towards the ceiling, mimicking the vast columns of darkness in the previous space which called the eyes upward. The works offered little concrete information, aside from the mood they evoked. Further description of the work would compromise the experience, something that Donnelly strictly avoids. She is a powerful aesthetic teacher, unyielding in her vision. She teaches by way of sensual experience—her solution for the shortcomings of language—and she articulates her method well.

By setting up a series of Dualistic relationships throughout her exhibition, Donnelly continually reminded me of my position relative to the work, to the space, and to myself. While walking through the exhibition, I experienced various of states of viewing: inside of the gallery, outside of the gallery, in front of the work, within the work, looking down onto the work, peering up to the work, standing next to the work, understanding the work, and not understanding the work. Each transition between these modes of viewing disrupted my expectations of the usual reserved remove that is often felt in contemporary art galleries. Instead the work involved me on an emotional level; the dynamic experience was empowering. It is within these perceptual shifts that Donnelly acknowledges the viewer and invites them into a conversation; a conversation that began right here in Los Angeles circa 1965.

In Robert Irwin’s “Statement on Reproductions”, which first appeared in the June 1965 issue of Artforum, the Light and Space artist stressed the primacy of the direct experience of the work, a preference that would influence a generation of artists and help introduce a new phenomenological approach to contemporary discourse. For Donnelly, this notion rings as true as ever in a world ruled by emotionless technology: she rejects screens and their digital reproductions wholesale and reminds the viewer of the value and potency of the in-person aesthetic experiences.

Donnelly articulates various emotional states of being in deft detail while allowing variance and chance to illuminate these deep truths. In one particularly moving moment while sitting in near-total darkness, I was beholden to a vast yet comfortable void, only to be suddenly and ecstatically engulfed in daylight. The mechanisms involved—a plastic sheet loosely draped over a skylight—were as simple as they were effective; the experience they created far surpassed their humble means. It caused me to question the location of “the work,” does it exist in the materials, or in the experience? I was confounded by the theatricality of the moment, it was simultaneously off-putting and enrapturing. The work seemed to call into question the limitations of the average art object in the face of the natural world. In a universe ruled by powerful natural forces and random chance, the static art object in contrast can feel vulnerable and mute.

It is Donnelly’s subtle surrender to these unknowable forces that accentuated this series of surreal experiences and elevated the grouping of objects, images and spaces into a realm of spiritualism rarely associated with austere blue chip galleries. While taking in the show one may have found themselves repeatedly looking upwards, towards the clouds and towards the light. Maybe there are answers up beyond the skies, or maybe there are more questions.

[1] Robert Irwin, “Statements on Reproduction”, Artforum 3, no. 9 (June 1965), 23

Trisha Donnelly was on view from September 26–November 7, 2015 at Matthew Marks Gallery (1062 North Orange Grove and 7818 Santa Monica Boulevard).

2016-07-12 (1)

Originally published in Carla Issue 3.