Issue 36 May 2024

Issue 35 February 2024

Issue 34 November 2023

Issue 33 August 2023

Issue 32 June 2023

Issue 31 February 2023

Issue 30 November 2022

Issue 29 August 2022

Issue 28 May 2022

Issue 27 February 2022

Issue 26 November 2021

Issue 25 August 2021

Issue 24 May 2021

Issue 23 February 2021

Issue 22 November 2020

Issue 21 August 2020

Issue 20 May 2020

Issue 19 February 2020

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
Parasites in Love –Travis Diehl
To Crush Absolute On Patrick Staff and
Destroying the Institution
–Jonathan Griffin
Victoria Fu:
Camera Obscured
–Cat Kron
Resurgence of Resistance How Pattern & Decoration's Popularity
Can Help Reshape the Canon
–Catherine Wagley
Trace, Place, Politics Julie Mehretu's Coded Abstractions
–Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.: Featuring: Friedrich Kunath,
Tristan Unrau, and Nevine Mahmoud
–Claressinka Anderson & Joe Pugliese
Reviews April Street
at Vielmetter Los Angeles
–Aaron Horst

Chiraag Bhakta
at Human Resources
–Julie Weitz

Don’t Think: Tom, Joe
and Rick Potts

–Matt Stromberg

Sarah McMenimen
at Garden
–Michael Wright

The Medea Insurrection
at the Wende Museum
–Jennifer Remenchik

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Mike Kelley
at Hauser & Wirth
–Angella d’Avignon
Buy the Issue In our Online Shop

Issue 18 November 2019

Letter from the Editor –Lindsay Preston Zappas
The Briar and the Tar Nayland Blake at the ICA LA
and Matthew Marks Gallery
–Travis Diehl
Putting Aesthetics
to Hope
Tracking Photography’s Role
in Feminist Communities
– Catherine Wagley
Instagram STARtists
and Bad Painting
– Anna Elise Johnson
Interview with Jamillah James – Lindsay Preston Zappas
Working Artists Featuring Catherine Fairbanks,
Paul Pescador, and Rachel Mason
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Children of the Sun
– Jessica Simmons

Derek Paul Jack Boyle
–Aaron Horst

Karl Holmqvist
at House of Gaga, Los Angeles
–Lee Purvey

Katja Seib
at Château Shatto
–Ashton Cooper

Jeanette Mundt
at Overduin & Co.
–Matt Stromberg
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Issue 17 August 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Green Chip David Hammons
at Hauser & Wirth
–Travis Diehl
Whatever Gets You
Through the Night
The Artists of Dilexi
and Wartime Trauma
–Jonathan Griffin
Generous Collectors How the Grinsteins
Supported Artists
–Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Donna Huanca
–Lindsy Preston Zappas
Working Artist Featuring Ragen Moss, Justen LeRoy,
and Bari Ziperstein
Text: Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Sarah Lucas
at the Hammer Museum
–Yxta Maya Murray

George Herms and Terence Koh
at Morán Morán
–Matt Stromberg

Hannah Hur
at Bel Ami
–Michael Wright

Sebastian Hernandez
–Julie Weitz

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Alex Israel
at Greene Naftali
–Rosa Tyhurst

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Issue 16 May 2019

Trulee Hall's Untamed Magic Catherine Wagley
Ingredients for a Braver Art Scene Ceci Moss
I Shit on Your Graves Travis Diehl
Interview with Ruby Neri Jonathan Griffin
Carolee Schneemann and the Art of Saying Yes! Chelsea Beck
Exquisite L.A. Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Ry Rocklen
at Honor Fraser
–Cat Kron

Rob Thom
at M+B
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age
of Black Power, 1963-1983
at The Broad
–Matt Stromberg

Anna Sew Hoy & Diedrick Brackens
at Various Small Fires
–Aaron Horst

Julia Haft-Candell & Suzan Frecon
at Parrasch Heijnen
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Shahryar Nashat
at Swiss Institute
–Christie Hayden
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Issue 15 February 2019

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor
Men on Women
Geena Brown
Eyes Without a Voice
Julian Rosefeldt's Manifesto
Christina Catherine Martinez
Seven Minute Dream Machine
Jordan Wolfson's (Female figure)
Travis Diehl
Laughing in Private
Vanessa Place's Rape Jokes
Catherine Wagley
Interview with
Rosha Yaghmai
Laura Brown
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Patrick Martinez,
Ramiro Gomez, and John Valadez
Claressinka Anderson
Joe Pugliese
Reviews Outliers and American
Vanguard Art at LACMA
–Jonathan Griffin

Sperm Cult
–Matt Stromberg

Kahlil Joseph
–Jessica Simmons

Ingrid Luche
at Ghebaly Gallery
–Lindsay Preston Zappas

Matt Paweski
at Park View / Paul Soto
–John Zane Zappas

Trenton Doyle Hancock
at Shulamit Nazarian
–Colony Little

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Catherine Opie
at Lehmann Maupin
–Angella d'Avignon
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Issue 14 November 2018

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer and Figurative Religion Catherine Wagley
Lynch in Traffic Travis Diehl
The Remixed Symbology of Nina Chanel Abney Lindsay Preston Zappas
Interview with Kulapat Yantrasast Christie Hayden
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Sandra de la Loza, Gloria Galvez, and Steve Wong
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Reviews Raúl de Nieves
at Freedman Fitzpatrick
-Aaron Horst

Gertrud Parker
at Parker Gallery
-Ashton Cooper

Robert Yarber
at Nicodim Gallery
-Jonathan Griffin

Nikita Gale
at Commonwealth & Council
-Simone Krug

Lari Pittman
at Regen Projects
-Matt Stromberg

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Eckhaus Latta
at the Whitney Museum
of American Art
-Angella d'Avignon
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Issue 13 August 2018

Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor Julie Weitz with Angella d'Avignon
Don't Make
Everything Boring
Catherine Wagley
The Collaborative Art
World of Norm Laich
Matt Stromberg
Oddly Satisfying Art Travis Diehl
Made in L.A. 2018 Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj
Jennifer Remenchik
Aaron Horst
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring: Anna Sew Hoy, Guadalupe Rosales, and Shizu Saldamando
Claressinka Anderson
Photos: Joe Pugliese
Reviews It's Snowing in LA
at AA|LA
–Matthew Lax

Fiona Conner
at the MAK Center
–Thomas Duncan

Show 2
at The Gallery @ Michael's
–Simone Krug

Deborah Roberts
at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
–Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi

Mimi Lauter
at Blum & Poe
–Jessica Simmons

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Math Bass
at Mary Boone
–Ashton Cooper

(L.A. in N.Y.)
Condo New York
–Laura Brown
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Issue 12 May 2018

Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
Senga Nengudi and Maren Hassinger
Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
Florals in Feminism
and Across L.A.
Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
Interview with Christina Quarles Ashton Cooper
Object Project
Featuring Suné Woods, Michelle Dizon,
and Yong Soon Min
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos: Jeff McLane
Reviews Meleko Mokgosi
at The Fowler Museum at UCLA
-Jessica Simmons

Chris Kraus
at Chateau Shatto
- Aaron Horst

Ben Sanders
at Ochi Projects
- Matt Stromberg

iris yirei hsu
at the Women's Center
for Creative Work
- Hana Cohn

Harald Szeemann
at the Getty Research Institute
- Olivian Cha

Ali Prosch
at Bed and Breakfast
- Jennifer Remenchik

Reena Spaulings
at Matthew Marks
- Thomas Duncan
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Issue 11 February 2018

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Museum as Selfie Station Matt Stromberg
Accessible as Humanly as Possible Catherine Wagley
On Laura Owens on Laura Owens Travis Diehl
Interview with Puppies Puppies Jonathan Griffin
Object Project Lindsay Preston Zappas, Jeff McLane
Reviews Dulce Dientes
at Rainbow in Spanish
- Aaron Horst

Adrián Villas Rojas
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
- Lindsay Preston Zappas

Nevine Mahmoud
at M+B
- Angella D'Avignon

Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
at the Hammer Museum
- Thomas Duncan

Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
at Parker Gallery
- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (L.A. in N.Y.)
- Ashton Cooper

Edgar Arceneaux
at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (L.A. in S.F.)
- Hana Cohn
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Issue 10 November 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Object Project
Featuring: Rosha Yaghmai,
Dianna Molzan, and Patrick Jackson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McLane
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA
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
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.)
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Issue 9 August 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
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


Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 8 May 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
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
Letter to the Editor
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 7 February 2017

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Exquisite L.A.
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

at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
at the Landing
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Issue 6 November 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Jessica Simmons
Exquisite L.A.
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Made in L.A. 2016
at The Hammer Museum

Doug Aitken
at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

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.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 5 August 2016

Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Exquisite L.A.
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.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 4 May 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews L.A. Art Fairs

Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room

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.)
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Issue 3 February 2016

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
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
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 2 November 2015

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
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
Reviews Mary Ried Kelley
at The Hammer Museum

Tongues Untied
at MOCA Pacific Design Center

No Joke
at Tanya Leighton
(L.A. in Berlin)
Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
Eve Fowler at Mier Gallery
Matt Siegle at Park View
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop

Issue 1 August 2015

Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Pierre Huyghe

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.)
Buy the Issue In Our Online Shop
1301 PE
Anat Ebgi (La Cienega)
Anat Ebgi (Wilshire)
Arcana Books
Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth
Babst Gallery
Baert Gallery
Bel Ami
Canary Test
Carlye Packer
Charlie James Gallery
Château Shatto
Chris Sharp Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Clay ca
Commonwealth & Council
Craft Contemporary
D2 Art (Inglewood)
D2 Art (Westwood)
David Kordansky Gallery
David Zwirner
Diane Rosenstein
François Ghebaly
Gana Art Los Angeles
George Billis Gallery
Giovanni's Room
Hannah Hoffman Gallery
Harper's Gallery
Hashimoto Contemporary
Heavy Manners Library
Helen J Gallery
Human Resources
in lieu
LaPau Gallery
Lisson Gallery
Louis Stern Fine Arts
Lowell Ryan Projects
Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
MAK Center for Art and Architecture
Make Room Los Angeles
Matter Studio Gallery
Matthew Brown Los Angeles
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Morán Morán
Moskowitz Bayse
Nazarian / Curcio
Night Gallery
Nino Mier Gallery
NOON Projects
O-Town House
One Trick Pony
Paradise Framing
Park View / Paul Soto
Patricia Sweetow Gallery
Regen Projects
Reparations Club
r d f a
REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater)
Roberts Projects
Royale Projects
Sean Kelly
Sebastian Gladstone
Shoshana Wayne Gallery
Smart Objects
Steve Turner
Stroll Garden
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery
The Box
The Fulcrum
The Hole
The Landing
The Poetic Research Bureau
The Wende Museum
Thinkspace Projects
Tierra del Sol Gallery
Tiger Strikes Astroid
Tomorrow Today
Track 16
Tyler Park Presents
USC Fisher Museum of Art
UTA Artist Space
Various Small Fires
Village Well Books & Coffee
Outside L.A.
Libraries/ Collections
Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Bard College, CCS Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MO)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore, MD)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA)
NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY)
University of California Irvine, Langston IMCA (Irvine, CA)
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA)
University of Washington (Seattle, WA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

a Timeline in
5 Years

As we celebrate our five-year anniversary, we wanted to look back over each year of the magazine, tracing our growth along with the major exhibitions and events that have shaped our L.A. art community. Museums and galleries have opened and closed, unions have rallied, and beautiful exhibitions have come through our city. We asked five of our writers to look back with us, prompting them to remember a Carla article from each of our five years. Alongside this, each writer highlights major events and influences that have impacted both the art world in L.A. and their own personal engagement with the city.

2015: Aaron Horst

Public opening of Charles Gaines: Librettos: Stokely Carmichael/ Manuel de Falla at Art + Practice, Los Angeles. February 28, 2015. Photo: Andreas Branch.

Carla article: “Layers of Leimert Park,” Catherine Wagley (Carla, Issue 2)

Catherine Wagley captures a nuanced, complex, contextual, and above all local picture of a neighborhood in Los Angeles with both rich historical weight and an unclear future. Wagley deftly unspools the intertwining realities of power, history, real estate, and the public good that the contemporary art world has a hand in shaping, for better or for worse.

L.A. exhibition: John Bock, Three Sisters at Regen Projects (November 6–December 19, 2015)

John Bock, Three Sisters (installation view) (2015). Image courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects, Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Forrest.

Vengeance, film noir tics, Cronenberg-ian assemblages, and flashing lights comprised John Bock’s installation Three Sisters. Bock’s 40-minute film centerpiece both chews and is chewn by the film’s scenery, which filled up Regen Projects’ main room as if flung out by the film’s intensity. Drama of my favorite sort.

Standout artist: Faith Wilding

Faith Wilding, Fearful Symmetries (installation view) (2015–2016). Image courtesy of the artist and Armory Center for the Arts. Photo: Ian Byers-Gamber.

2015 saw several banner exhibitions—in Los Angeles at least—spotlighting influential, overlooked, and up-and-coming female artists, from retrospectives of Sturtevant at MOCA and Frances Stark at the Hammer, to François Ghebaly’s (obnoxiously-titled) group show SOGTFO (Sculpture or Get the Fuck Out). But discovering Faith Wilding’s Fearful Symmetries at the Armory Center for the Arts was a special thing: a series of beautifully crafted, singularly evocative drawings and installations that felt both timeless and out of time. This, from an artist I only knew from seeing her early performance Waiting (1972) on video once at my university library. The editor of this magazine dragged me to the Armory before I could change out of my gym clothes; the last time I wore a tank top in public, but well worth the trip.

Album or book: Perfume Genius, “Fool” from Too Bright (2014)

I have a weakness for new age—drones, sustained notes, and the hopelessly delicate. The middle passage of this song, beginning around 1:45, is a shifting, dual crescendo of voice and synthesizer; wordless, somewhere between the end of a yoga class and blinding, pure white light. I tried perhaps too hard in 2015 to time this with poignant moments, if I could see them coming.

2016: Catherine Wagley

Penny Slinger, I Hear What you Say (1973). Collage. Image courtesy of the Roland Penrose Collection.

Carla article: “Interview with Penny Slinger,” Eliza Swann (Carla, issue 8)

Eliza Swann, whose own work as an artist and teacher I deeply admire, spoke to artist Penny Slinger at the Goddess Temple where Slinger then lived, a home in the redwoods specially built to honor the divine feminine. Slinger has since left the Goddess Temple for the same reasons many artists have since left their homes: financial hardship, rising costs. She spoke to Swann about the difficulty of doing sincerely spiritual, sexual work in the contemporary art world (a dealer had recently told her, of a new series called Reclaiming Scarlet, 2016, “It’s very strong and it’s very real, but I don’t know that there’s a market for it”). Such thinking led to our “immature, materialistic society,” Slinger said. “We need to melt the deep freeze of the collective numbness.”

World event: Election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency

Trump’s terrifying election made many of us realize how complacent we’d all been— why were we only outraged now, when there had been so much to outrage us before? Soon after Trump’s inauguration, I went to a very strange panel at Art Los Angeles Contemporary, self-importantly titled “Art in the Age of Donald Trump.” Mostly it was awkward and half-baked, but painter Christine Wang said some things I still think about. “My paintings can’t vote,” she acerbically pointed out— being political through art alone would never be enough. “We have a certain kind of organizing debt that we have to pay for,” she noted. Trump didn’t invent alternative facts and refugee-related policy disasters. “Reagan made up this alternative fact of trickle- down economics,” said Wang. “I really hope that we can ride our feeling into action.”

Art world news: Boyle Heights protests

Elizabeth Blaney speaks during a rally on the steps of Nicodim Gallery in Boyle Heights. Photo: Matt Stromberg.

Protests of galleries in Boyle Heights began in earnest in September 2016, as certain mid-size galleries that had opened in the 2013–2015 L.A. boom were already losing their spaces thanks to greedy landlords who had only rented to them while waiting for Soho House or Google to arrive in the neighborhood. Evictions of everyone, including artists, became so much more a part of daily conversation. We still have to think and work harder to safeguard the diversity that has made our communities exciting places for both life and art.

Album or book: The Dark Tree: Jazz and Community Arts in Los Angeles, Steven L. Isoardi (2006) and Les Guérillères, Monique Wittig (1969)

I read two books in this time period that I wish I’d read earlier. The first was Steven L. Isoardi’s 2006 book, The Dark Tree: Jazz and Community Arts in Los Angeles, largely about the virtuoso musician Horace Tapscott’s choice to make his art in and for his own community (not for some other global market, or bigger recognition). The second was Monique Wittig’s 1969 political novel, Les Guérillères, about a feminist commune, the members of which are as militant about their pleasure and togetherness as they are about their revolution.

2017: Matt Stromberg

Carla article: “She Wanted Adventure: Dwan, Butler, Mizuno, Copley,” Catherine Wagley (Carla, issue 10)

Catherine Wagley’s article on these four female gallerists smartly goes beyond the reductive trope of the powerless, overlooked pioneer. Drawing on archival sources and interviews, she documents their historical importance and innovative practices, positing that their absence from the official story may have been in part a result of their subversive strategies that were at odds with both their male counterparts and conventional efforts of historicization.

L.A. exhibition: Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA (September 2017–January 2018)

Gustavo di Mario, Vilmar from the series Carnaval (2005; print 2015). Chromogenic print, 20 × 25 inches. Artwork purchased with funds provided by the Photographs Council. © Gustavo di Mario. Image courtesy of The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

The Getty’s multi-venue initiative exploring Latin American and Latinx art in Los Angeles offered a refreshing alternative to traditional Eurocentric art historical models. With exhibitions spanning pre-Columbian masterpieces, feminist artists throughout Latin America, and Chicano muralists in L.A., PST: LA/LA suggested a reorientation that extended southward, tracing lines of influence across the Americas instead of back to the Old World.

Standout artist: Lauren Halsey

Lauren Halsey, The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project: Tower 1: 20 of 1356 (2017). 20 Gypsum panels, 96 × 112.5 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Charlie James Gallery. Photo: Michael Underwood.

I first encountered Lauren Halsey’s work in black is a color, a summer 2017 group show curated by Essence Harden at Charlie James Gallery. Into a grid of white-on-white carved gypsum panels she monumentalized images of black identity: from jazz musicians and the P-Funk Mothership, to Afrofuturist pyramids and elaborate hairstyles, to phrases like “black owned beauty supply” and “here nobody surrenders.” Etched into the boards like Egyptian hieroglyphs, the images reflected life as-lived in South L.A., but also viewed it through a celebratory, fantastical lens—a practice she has only made more spectacular in the ensuing three years.

Art world news: Opening of ICA LA

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). Photo: Jonathan Velardi.

Los Angeles has seen its share of institutional art spaces pop up over the past few years. But, unlike glitzy private museums that serve to show off their founders’ collections—such as the now-shuttered Marciano Art Foundation, which also opened in 2017—the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles opened 47 in fall 2017 as an independent, non-collecting museum. Not an entirely new museum, the ICA LA has a lengthy history as the reborn Santa Monica Museum, which was founded in 1984 by Elsa Longhauser. Already with an ambitious exhibition history including retrospectives on outsider artist Martín Ramirez, signpainter Norm Laich, and mercurial boundary-pusher Nayland Blake, the ICA LA is proving that the market need not be the only arbiter of curatorial decisions.

2018: Angella d’Avignon

Carla article: “Ingredients for a Braver Art Scene,” Ceci Moss (Carla, issue 16)

2018 was the year I left Los Angeles, so every art opening, party, and hang out took on an especially sparkly energy for me. I fell in love with everything and everyone in that way you do when you know you’re on your way out.

It was also a year of reckoning in the Los Angeles art community: tensions between gallerists and anti-gentrification activists hit a fever pitch and it seemed there was a protest every weekend of summer. Gallerists and artists alike scrambled to reinvent the wheel. Many of these endeavors lead to new and innovative uses of space, like Ceci Moss’ mobile GAS Gallery.

Her manifesto-like essay in issue 16 was a call to arms. During my time in L.A., Moss was someone I saw as a sensitive and conscientious titan of the art community and her essay was both a corrective and instruction for how we, a small wavering art world, should act when facing the future.

L.A. exhibition: Jazmin Urrea, I SAW RED at SADE (April 7–May 11, 2018)

Jazmin Urrea, I SAW RED (installation view) (2018). Image courtesy of the artist and Alberto Cuadros, SADE GALLERY.
Jazmin Urrea, Crazy Rollz Gum (detail) (2018). Xerox print, 17 × 11 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Alberto Cuadros, SADE GALLERY.

I SAW RED was the immersive installation Los Angeles deserved (in comparison to say, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors). From floor to ceiling, the gallery walls were plastered in color photographic prints of junk foods prevalent in the low-income South Central neighborhoods where Urrea worked. Starburst, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Tama Roca Paleta, Jolly Ranchers, and Jabalina papered the walls in nauseating patterns. (In case anyone forgot, the entire floor at SADE was covered in three inches of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.)

Standout artist: Trulee Hall

Trulee Hall, Golden Corn Entryway with Boob Fountain (2018). Gold leaf, styrofoam, wood, carpet, fish rocks, papier-mâché, ceramic, acrylic, and fountain, 115 × 362 × 66 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery. The bar at Leroy’s Happy Place. Photo: Angella d’Avignon.

I had the pleasure of visiting Trulee Hall’s studio while she was preparing for a full gallery installation at Maccarone— she was in the final stages of a sprawling, multimedia solo exhibition months before it was expected. I was floored by her warmth, candor, and vulnerability, as well as her aesthetic and technical prowess. She was primed for the spotlight, and it’s still well deserved. The Maccarone show was a break-out hit; Hall was and is the woman to watch.

Art world news: Leroy’s Happy Place in Chinatown was the new Hop Louie

The bar at Leroy’s Happy Place. Photo: Angella d’Avignon.

We smoked under the fluorescent lights of a low-ceilinged parking garage and all your exes were there. A spare cigarette was a wink away. The bathroom was daunting and the dance floor overflowed into the industrial kitchen. This was Leroy’s Happy Place: an abandoned Vietnamese restaurant with everything left intact, turned, overnight, into an art bar helmed by artist Ian James. The pay phone on the wall had no dial tone. The blinds were always drawn. I routinely showed up in a bath- robe draped over my bathing suit after pool parties and stayed way too long. “There were some lovely exhibitions there, and I wish I remembered them,” writer Christina Catherine Martinez texted me recently. “It felt like the last heterogeneous social imperative that brought different circles of the L.A. art world together before the ever- expanding archipelago of ‘spaces’ dotted across Los Angeles and coalesced into more definitive cliques.” All that’s to say: everyone hung out there and no one was turned away.

2019: Jessica Simmons

Honey Lee Cottrell. Image courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Honey Lee Cottrell. Image courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
Honey Lee Cottrell. Image courtesy of the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.

Carla article: “Putting Aesthetics to Hope,” Catherine Wagley (Carla, issue 18)

I found one of the most engaging articles of 2019 to be Catherine Wagley’s examination of work by Carmen Winant in relation to the womyn’s land movements of the ’70s and ’80s. Her essay coalesced around questions crucial to both photography and feminism—invoking gaze, authorship, intimacy, and agency—while also suggesting the limitations of a feminism that isn’t wholly intersectional.

L.A. exhibition: Tatsumi Hijikata and Eikoh Hosoe: Collaborations with Tatsumi Hijikata at Nonaka-Hill (October 12–November 30, 2019)

Eikoh Hosoe, Navel and A-Bomb (video still) (1960). 20 minutes. © Eikoh Hosoe. Image courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film, Tokyo, and Nonaka-Hill, Los Angeles.
Eikoh Hosoe, Navel and A-Bomb (video still) (1960). 20 minutes. © Eikoh Hosoe. Image courtesy of Taka Ishii Gallery Photography / Film, Tokyo, and Nonaka-Hill, Los Angeles.

This exhibition was a perfectly poetic and subtly haunting exploration of Hijikata’s work as the avant-garde pioneer of butoh (a form of dance that evokes the body as a mutable site of passion, violence, genesis, and decay) as well as his filmic and photographic collaborations with Eikoh Hosoe. (Navel and A-Bomb, 1960, is particularly unforgettable). I found it wildly refreshing to see a contemporary gallery execute a thoughtful exhibition of such dark, strange, and vivid work, which remains largely unfamiliar to American audiences.

Art world news: Art workers unionize

Two of the most notable local art world events of 2019— the successful unionization of MOCA employees and the attempted unionization of Marciano Art Foundation employees (which spurred the Marcianos to abruptly shutter the museum)—reflected larger national debates, highlighting deepening divisions over workers’ rights and echoing growing calls for institutional transparency and accountability. The pandemic that as-of-then did not exist has only made these issues more urgent and acute— when the world opens again, it will be telling to see where the chips fall.

Album or book: Slave Play, Jeremy O. Harris (2018)

One of the most memorable and thought-provoking pieces of media that I experienced in 2019 was a Broadway play: Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play, which presented a biting, lurid, disturbing, and uncomfortable visualization of the ways in which the poisonous legacy of antebellum slave/ master power dynamics can silently infiltrate modern inter- racial relationships. It offered a sharp reminder that all white people—even romantic partners, family members, and progressive allies of people of color—are implicated in the disease of white supremacy.

Carla by the Numbers










Aaron Horst is a writer and architect based in Los Angeles. He has written for Carla, Art Review, and Flash Art.

More by Aaron Horst

Angella d’Avignon is a writer in Los Angeles.

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Catherine Wagley writes about art and visual culture in Los Angeles.

More by Catherine Wagley

Matt Stromberg is a freelance arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Carla, his work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Art NewspaperHyperallergicTeremotoKCET ArtboundArtsyfrieze, and Daily Serving.

More by Matt Stromberg