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.)
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
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 Jenni Sorkin

The Feminist Studio Workshop, lead by Faith Wilding. Photo: E.K. Waller.

Before I ever met Jenni Sorkin, I encountered her work from afar. After reading her essay on the legacy of the radical, Marxist feminist Shulamith Firestone for a 2015 issue Frieze magazine, I wrote her a cold email about the ways that her writing had moved me. She wrote back right away, and we have been in touch—in person and over email—ever since. As I came to know Jenni better, I also discovered more of her work, reading essays she’s written on re-performance, stained cloth, and most recently, her 2016 book Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community, a project that focuses on the lives and practices of three American, female ceramicists working in the 20th century. Through each of her projects, I’ve become more sensitive to the interconnectivity of gender, embodied performance, alternative pedagogy, and craft work as community engagement. Here, we discuss that recent book, as well as Sorkin’s role in the seminal L.A. exhibitions WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution at MOCA Geffen (2007), Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957 at the Hammer Museum (2016), and Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016 at Hauser & Wirth (2016).

Carmen Winant: As a place to start, will you talk a little bit about your background as an artist? As an undergraduate student you were focused in the material and fiber department at SAIC.

Jenni Sorkin: I started in the photo department and quickly moved on to fiber. The department was full of women. That education introduced me to an alternative canon and an alternative modernism. I only realized that was the case when I arrived at Yale as an art history doctorate student, actually.

But there was a very strong Americanist program at Yale, and wonderful collections and decorative arts and crafts objects. Because I had a foothold already, I could bring along the hands-on knowledge with me, and use it to bracket the canonical modernism to which I was being introduced.

At SAIC I had a handful of amazing faculty mentors—all women, such as the art historian Kelly Dennis, and the artists Anne Wilson, Joan Livingstone, and Barbara DeGenevieve. Still, this was a BFA program in the late ’90s—there was no dedicated “critical” focus. It was haphazard; I graduated from that program never having written a paper.

CW: Did you come to miss art making as you shifted focus from it?

JS: I actually found it arduous, and tedious, even as I was doing it. I never liked being in a studio by myself. I tried social practice work; I tried lots of things. But what I really liked doing was talking about other people’s work. You can imagine: people hated me in critiques! I was always hyperarticulate and hyper-critical of other people’s work. I felt out of sorts in art school.

CW: You moved from there into curating, not directly into art history.

JS: From SAIC, I got an MA at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. That education exposed me to a different history and politics. There were many international students and curators who passed through that program, in particular,  many Latin Americans. After that I accepted a position at MOCA, Los Angeles, working with Connie Butler on WACK!. I had no friends in L.A. at the time; I knew no one. Instead, I spent a lot of time doing studio visits with artists in that show, listening to them talk about their own histories.

CW: What a unique experience, meeting with those women. How many curators have access to so many of their living subjects?

JS: Nobody cared about them at the time. This was directly after 9/11 [2001]; people did not give a shit about feminism. Barbara T. Smith, for instance, had no gallery; she hadn’t had encounters with curators for 10 or 15 years. There was very little knowledge about the history of the Woman’s Building, or the Feminist Art Program at CalArts. The history of feminist activity was mostly overlooked and ignored. Pacific Standard Time, which helped shine a light, had not yet happened. It was a serious process to bring it all together—the show opened in 2007, and I started working on it in 2001.

WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (installation view) (2007). Image courtesy of MOCA, Los Angeles.

CW: At UC Santa Barbara, you have an appointment in art history and are affiliated with both feminist studies and the art department. Do you find that these disciplines—and their coursework—compete with one another, or inform each other’s projects?

JS:  It’s all a part of the same project. As a contemporary art historian, my work always takes on a bifurcated role: both forward and backward-looking. I am what I consider a first responder to artwork—the first person to write on work as it’s first being shown, the first person to publish on an emerging artist, etc.—and a responder to  the past, writing archivally-driven histories like (my book project) Live Form that are very much bound up in the longer 20th century.

Art historians and artists have different purviews in the work. Artists are always driving forward in their work; they get bored or anxious if they are asked to spend too much time looking back. It is one of the amazing features of being artists. They are over the series they did one year ago, ten years ago.

CW: Revolution in the Making, a show that you co-curated with Paul Schimmel at Hauser & Wirth, veered toward the latter: it was a more historic project. The exhibition has had a major impact, and continues to echo in conversations I have with friends and artists. Can you describe the process of putting it together?

JS: It was the inaugural show of Hauser & Wirth [then Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel]. Paul [Schimmel] approached me, and invited me into that space to work together; we knew each other from my time at MOCA, and he was aware of my commitment to feminist art, and art made by women. It was a wonderful invitation, and one that totally overtook my life for two years.

The experience of working with a commercial gallery budget was totally transformative, I have to admit. Museum budgets are often quite pinched—things move a lot slower to keep up with fundraising efforts. We got to do in two and half years what would have taken six or seven years  at a major museum. The show wasn’t as historically minded at WACK!, though they were, of course, related. I was able to work less within a tightly constructed framework and more toward an aesthetic preoccupation with abstraction.

CW: It was a big show, in multiple senses of the word.

JS: Well, the work had to be large in scale, in some obvious sense, to hold the enormity of the space. But more importantly, women often work on a small scale out of necessity, not out of desire. Their practices are often not supported economically through galleries and museums. We found so much work by women sculptors responding to this in a long-term way: for instance, responding to the scale of their male counterparts, like Richard Serra, responding to minimalism. It was a fascinating pattern.

CW: WACK! and Revolution in the Making were women-only projects, as is your book, Live Form, which examines the lives and work of three ceramic artists working in the 1950s: M.C. Richards, Marguerite Wildenhain, and Susan Peterson. Are you…

JS: A happy separatist? Yes! [Laughs.] I do write about men. But I feel compelled to write about women; I am not apologetic about that.

CW: All-women exhibitions have drawn criticism lately for perpetuating some ghettoization of the already marginalized in the art world.

JS: Why don’t we understand them instead as bringing much needed attention? Why does the language need to be continually framed in such  a negative way? We still have the problem of the default to address. When you say the term “artist”—and this is a notion that Griselda Pollock, the feminist art historian, first wrote about—it is additive to have to put “woman” in front of that. That adjective—the African-American artist, the Asian-American artist, the gay artist, the trans artist—becomes the means of making everyone non-white or male into a secondary addition. We cannot fully unseat the white male artist, which is why these projects are so necessary.

Projects like Live Form work to force a different viewpoint. Making people aware of alternatives is a deliberate revisionist art historical or curatorial strategy. Listen, there is no such thing as feminist curating. There is only curating by feminists.

Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016 (Installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of the artists and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Brian Forrest.

CW: How did you elect to focus on these three particular artists— M.C. Richards, Susan Peterson, and Marguerite Wildenhain—for Live Form?

JS: All three of these women left their most important work in print. Each consistently published, each left an impressive written archive. Their words, devalued in their own lifetime, contained germs of wisdom that I thought could be really applicable today. Also, each of these artists worked to pioneer some sense of alternative spaces and alternative pedagogy. They offer an alternative model for an artist working outside of the boundaries of the art world. This is compelling to the present moment; there are so many people at that margin now. My job as a historian is to go back to the record and see what lessons can be taken from these women, all of whom lived in a far more sexist and repressive social era.

CW: And, of course, each worked in ceramics.

JS: Ceramics has been completely undervalued and overlooked. My work tries, always, to consider it in a more constructive and theoretical way. I aim to reclaim it as a performative— and non-utilitarian—medium, in which the maker is not only performing skill and mastery, but also the making of the self.

CW: You describe your subjects several times as proto-feminists. What exactly does that mean in this context? Would they have referred to themselves that way?

JS: These ceramists would have vehemently rejected the term “feminist.” Frankly, they could not have been asked to accept that term in the time they came of age. Each of these women supported their male colleagues more than they supported their female colleagues. This has to do, I think, with self-identifying with a masculine way of being in the world which still persists. Only one of the three women in this book (Susan Peterson) had children. All three of them married and divorced multiple times; in that historical moment, such a practice was quite uncommon. For a woman to of be self-supporting during the 1950s, to lead a hand-to-mouth existence, was very rare. It meant giving up the more comfortable, social privileges of being married, having a man in your life, owning property, being settled in some way. This offers a real lesson for artists in trying to figure out new ways of living now.

Andrea Zittel, for instance, forging new designs for living in Joshua Tree is really no different than Marguerite Wildenhain establishing Pond Farm. Forging new, outsider  models is not new; part of my work is demonstrating that such a legacy exists. And, this is important, it is a legacy of craft. Craft is really where it’s at when thinking about a history of social practice work, non-object based work, performance work, and alternative world-making.

CW: Speaking of new models of teaching and living as an artist, you contributed several shorter essays to the Black Mountain College show catalog. Maybe we could end on this note; can you speak a little about notions of “alternative world-making” in relationship to schools?

JS: Right. The history of art schools, like CalArts and so many others, is one of community building. Of learning, in some real sense, how to live and be an engaged citizen of the world, rather than learning how to make artwork. Helen Molesworth’s Black Mountain show is very much engaged in this project—this interest in cultivating utopian values, in collectivity. Los Angeles, and its legacy of art schools, is the city most devoted to this practice. It really differs from a city like Chicago in that way: there is one major art school in that city, which provides a less sustainable context. Here, people move, attend, graduate, and stay. There is a network to enter and build from. And it feels endless.

Jenni Sorkin is an associate professor of Art History at UC Santa Barbara. She writes on the intersection between gender, material culture, and contemporary art. Sorkin’s new book, Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community was published in July of 2016.

This interview was originally published in Carla issue 9.

Faith Wilding in her studio, 1980. Image copyright the LA Daily News. Photo: Lori Valesko.

Harmony Hammond in her studio. Photo: Sydney Brink.

WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (installation view) (2007). Image courtesy of MOCA, Los Angeles.

Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947 – 2016 (Installation view) (2016). Image courtesy of the artists and Hauser & Wirth. Louise Bourgeois: Art © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: Brian Forrest.

Carmen Winant is an artist and the Roy Lichtenstein Chair of Studio Art at the Ohio State University. Her work utilizes installation and collage strategies to center modes of feminist exchange and social movement building, with particular emphasis on intergenerational and multiracial solidarity. She is a mother to her two sons, Carlo and Rafa, shared with her partner, Luke Stettner.

More by Carmen Winant