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
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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
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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
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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.)
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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.)
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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
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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
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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.)
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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
Hamzianpour & Kia
Hannah Hoffman Gallery
Harper's Gallery
Hashimoto Contemporary
Heavy Manners Library
Helen J Gallery
Human Resources
Hunter Shaw Fine Art
in lieu
LaPau Gallery
Lisson Gallery
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)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Interview with Elliott Hundley

Leer en Español

Image courtesy of Kasmin, New York and Regen Projects, Los Angeles. Photo: © Max Knight.

In Jean Genet’s 1956 play The Balcony, Irma, the madam of a brothel, frantically seeks to build and maintain the fantasies of her clients against the backdrop of a revolutionary uprising in an unnamed city. Central to the play is the delicacy of these dalliances; they are vulnerable to shifting and shattering at a moment’s notice. While multimedia artist Elliott Hundley’s past work has focused on ancient Greek theater, including references to The Bacchae and The Illiad, his latest exhibition at Regen Projects took inspiration from Genet’s work of deconstructionist theater. One of the highlights was a wall-length collage entitled Balcony (2021), for which the artist limited his intervention on the canvas to only where his arms could reach, leaving the upper edge empty. With this constraint, the piece highlights the play’s intertwined themes of physicality, intimacy, power, and performance.

Entitled Echo, the exhibition investigated the conditions of both art-making and art viewing as Hundley transformed the gallery into a simulation of his Chinatown studio. This gesture emphasized the open-ended process by which he creates his densely composed work. Large sheets of purple foam affixed to the gallery’s walls became ad-hoc workspaces for Hundley’s extensive archive of images, which he pinned to the foam in enticing groupings alongside standalone artworks. Hundley’s images are often sourced from pop culture and advertising media, but he also includes intimate photographs of close friends and family performing staged scenes from classical theater in his studio. The artist meticulously cuts each figure out of the photographic prints, often abstracting them into a tangle of limbs and props. Sometimes, the images repeat, alluding to a seriality or narrative that never fully forms. At Regen Projects, the purple foam backdrop served as a connective tissue, linking together the studio archives, collages, sculptures, and paintings. The fluidity among these diverse media immersed the viewer in an atmosphere of ongoing artistic formation. On a long shelf in the gallery’s eastern hallway, Hundley arranged a collection of found knickknacks, many set within individual plastic vitrines. Intermingled with potted plants, drawings, and ceramics, the grouping felt random yet deliberate, as if the objects took on significance simply by their placement next to each other. Nothing felt permanent.

Though Echo highlighted more than 20 years of work, Hundley’s installation allowed disparate works to bleed together, emphasizing the messy process of creation. This messiness was best expressed in the sculptural work Echo (2022), which gave the exhibition its name. Echo is also the name of Hundley’s pet African grey parrot, who, during the process of creating the show, would constantly chew through the purple foam while the artist worked. Hundley chose to see these parrot-chewed scraps of foam as a new material instead of a burden.

In our recent conversation, Hundley and I discussed the importance of his studio as more than a production site for art, the relationship between preserving memory and openness to the future, and the central role of community in his practice.

Sampson Ohringer: Can you talk about your relationship with the studio and how it may be different from that of other artists? Or how your studio takes on an artwork-like quality of its own?

Elliott Hundley: I mean, the first thing is I insist on living in it, and I can’t see another way. Whenever I’ve had a studio that’s separate, I end up working in my home. I think there’s something about the way that the things I put in my head… like right now, I’ve got two dogs on my lap, a bird. When I was working in the gallery installing, I noticed a lack of warmth that made me more self-conscious. Whereas the way that I work in my home, [making work is] seamless with everything else I do. It just doesn’t feel like work. I think there’s something about decorating, the idea of nesting and creating a space around yourself—I think of [decorating] literally, like it generates objects.

SO: In Genet’s The Balcony, which you reference in one of your work’s titles, the brothel is described as a “house of illusions.” At the recent press preview for your Regen show, you described taking on the role of the “madam” of your studio. I’m curious how you understand that role as a figure of authority who is running the show without necessarily exerting control.

EH: Irma in that play is orchestrating [the liaisons]—she has a little tool that she uses to see every room. But she’s scrambling the whole time. She has anxiety about what’s going on outside [of the brothel]; she’s constantly nagging everybody to do what they’re supposed to do. She actually doesn’t have that much control, she’s more like a shepherd. I like to think of myself as a shepherd or a gardener. I try not to be scrambling. If the effect of my art is anxious, the process is the opposite. The process is a way to keep me quite balanced and calm and happy.

SO: My understanding of The Balcony is that it is about the relationship of this performance, or illusion, to power, and attempts to claim or legitimize that power. In some ways, there’s a very cynical dimension to how the play understands what illusion can be used for—it shows how people crave illusion and performance.

EH: It’s like Baudrillard’s simulacrum; [performance] gives us the illusion that things are comprehendible. It gives us the illusion that there’s a structure.

SO: Your work doesn’t often get discussed in terms like “power” and “simulation.” Can you expand on that?

EH: My work is a simulation. It’s a simulation of experience and memory. It’s trying to tap into someone else’s experience and memory and then, in the disorientation, practice discernment, interpretation, and make meaning. We’re all making meaning constantly. By that I mean, gathering information, collating it with the past, and creating narratives about the future. A lot of us do that thoughtlessly. I think that’s why doing drugs can be good for people because it disrupts their patterns of thought. I’m not a big drug user, but I try to make my art another means to do that.

SO: How do you understand your audience and their involvement with the work within this studio or “house of illusions?”

EH: Well, the first audience is the subject of the photograph[s]. They see me photograph them and they understand my direction, and there’s a certain attitude and autonomy and authorship that I want them to feel.

When I do that, I do not think about the audience. I don’t really think about the person looking at the artwork until deep into the process. It primarily exists for me in the outset.

SO: It seems that because your studio is so much a part of the work itself—it’s not just a room to make a painting in, for example—you’re always aware of how the space presents.

EH: For me, it’s an invitation. It’s as much for other people as it is for me. I invite everybody to my studio and I do exhibitions for other artists in my studio. I think that when people see how I live, they understand me and my values more. There’s theatricality to it, certainly.

SO: The artist Kurt Schwitters and Merzbau (1923–37) (his home and studio, which he turned into a live-in sculpture) come to mind as a touchpoint for how you are thinking about your space.

EH: I really disdain domestic spaces. I don’t want to live in a house. Kurt Schwitters was undermining the bourgeois idea of the home. He was choosing something else.

SO: Another way of living.

EH: Why don’t we all create our own Merzbau?

SO: A significant part of your work, and a significant part of Merzbau, is the primacy of process and change. There is a porousness that is not about the objects themselves but the relationship between them. How do you balance that with the importance of collecting and preserving objects in your work?

EH: Because the archive is not porous?

SO: Or it often becomes fossilized.

EH: What’s funny is I originally started putting objects in my life in vitrines because they were like barnacles on my life. For me, putting the object that I couldn’t get rid of—basically, my archive—in a vitrine was a way to carve it off my body to keep it from weighing me down, so that I could become a new person. I didn’t have to be defined by the sentimental attachment to the object.

But I will not let go of it. A lot of people let go and reject, but for me, that was not an option. I would rather be many people than forget who I was.

Elliott Hundley, Echo (installation view) (2023). © Elliott Hundley. Image courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects. Photo: Evan Bedford.

SO: I’m interested in this idea that the meaning accumulates with time. I’ve heard you use the phrase, “detritus of empire” to describe your use of found objects. There’s a very real political dimension to displaying the stuff our society has discarded.

EH: I love Mad Max because it’s about bricolage and repurposing… We live in an age of material excess, there’s no doubt. It is beyond what it’s ever been and it is not sustainable. That’s just the environment I’m making art in. I’m trying not to contribute. I rarely buy new things. But it’s just where we’re at—peak oil. So to make art that doesn’t acknowledge that would be humorous. Or delusional. It’s not so much the subject for me as that I’m just a parasite on it. I’m just a scavenger.

SO: But also the fact that you save all of these found and personal objects is really meaningful—I’ve heard you say that you are “susceptible to nostalgia.” Can you explain that? How do you ward it off in your work?

EH: How do you honor the past and stay in touch with it emotionally without longing for it? I don’t want to long for another time. I don’t think that’s good. But I want to honor every experience I’ve had. That’s just the key to successful living. How do you genuinely stay in touch with everyone you’ve been and honor and accept those experiences in the present without longing for the past or the future?

Nostalgia is intrinsically conservative because it honors what is known rather than what is unknown. And I am too intellectually invested in possibility to be nostalgic.

SO: I think that presents in the work in terms of this openness to contingency—

EH: And possibility and speculation.

[Echo interrupts the conversation with smoke-alarm-like chirps]

SO: This might be a good time to ask about Echo’s relationship to the exhibition. I know he participated in making one of the pieces, as well as gave the show its title.

EH: He was tearing up the foam while I was working on it. I thought he was just mocking me. And then I thought, “You know, I’m pretty much that simple.” I’m just tearing up material to nest. I just enjoyed thinking, “What if it’s just that simple?”

SO: Your work is as much about a way of living as it is about what ends up in the exhibition.

EH: I’ve changed the way I think about my work with this last show. I’ve started to think that maybe the subject of my work is creativity. It’s about anxiety, it’s about issues of scale, it’s about power. But after I saw my last show [at Regen Projects], the culminating theme was the power of creativity.

For example, I try to do two studio visits with other artists a week. Or I have these shows in my house [for other artists]. Because for me, it isn’t just about my creativity. My interest is all of our creativity. If I have somebody over to the studio, when I talk about my work, because I have to, it’s much more interesting to hold it in relation to somebody else’s art for a moment, and then, the next time they come, to hold it in relation to somebody else’s art, so that the conversation broadens. I think it’s enriched [me] instead of staring at my navel and expecting everybody else to be interested in what I’m interested in.

SO: Part of creativity is about relating to others.

EH: I think so. I think about it as generating ideas—and more than generating ideas, generating questions. Even the idea of generating a bond socially is a creative act where something didn’t exist previously. I also think the more I study creativity, [the more I think] that pretty much all artists are good. They just aren’t understood. It always happens that the more I learn about an artist, the more I understand the depth of their ideas.

SO: They all require their own models of thinking.

EH: It’s up to me to change my mindset. It takes an adjustment, it takes time.

Elliott Hundley is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. He was recently included in the 5th Prospect New Orleans triennial (2021) and has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus; and Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. His work is held in museum collections including The Broad, Los Angeles; Colección Jumex, Mexico City; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; and Museum of Modern Art, New York; among others.

This interview was originally published in Carla issue 32.

Elliott Hundley, The Plague (detail) (2016). © Elliott Hundley. Image courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects. Photo: Evan Bedford.

Elliott Hundley, Echo (installation view) (2023). © Elliott Hundley. Image courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects. Photo: Evan Bedford.

Elliott Hundley, Balcony (detail) (2021). © Elliott Hundley. Image courtesy of the artist and Regen Projects. Photo: Evan Bedford.

Sampson Ohringer is a Los Angeles-based writer, originally from Chicago. His research interests focus on global shipping and logistics networks as they intersect with other disciplines.

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