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A sense of loneliness pervades the paintings of Sunset, Caroline Walker’s solo exhibition on view at Anat Ebgi. The images read like film stills from a familiar narrative: a wealthy, aging beauty, perhaps a divorcée or housewife, spends her days in relative isolation, her figure largely overshadowed by the sprawling, modernist architecture of her Hollywood Hills home.
In Training (2017), Walker’s subject handles a pair of lightweight yellow dumbbells, the bright pink of her athletic tank top and vivid orange of her yoga mat popping against the blue-greens of the surrounding pool and gardens. The word “training” implies preparation, usually for a sporting event or military service. Used here to describe a wealthy woman’s home workout session, it takes on an exasperating quality, and one wonders what she could possibly be training for: the brunch she eats alone in Desayuno (2017)? An answer may lie in Thanks for Noticing (2017), wherein she prepares herself for a night out in an elegant walk-in closet, the mirrors of which multiply her image ad infinitum. Her eyes stare critically and pointedly at her reflection, implying that perhaps for her a night out is an act akin to war.
From flirting with the pool boy in Fishing (2017) to lounging in a silk robe in Tinseltown (2017) Walker depicts her model in only the most cliché of situations, suggesting that the affluent Hollywood woman may actually be quite lonely and insecure—hardly a revelatory gesture. And in fact, there are no big thematic revelations in Walker’s subject matter, instead what carries the exhibition is its appeal to our collective voyeurism, and our seemingly never-ending fascination with the private lives of the beautiful and the wealthy.
Caroline Walker: Sunset runs January 13–March 3, 2018 at Anat Ebgi (2660 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90034).