Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Green Chip David Hammons
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Whatever Gets You
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The Artists of Dilexi
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Generous Collectors How the Grinsteins
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Working Artist Featuring Ragen Moss, Justen LeRoy,
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George Herms and Terence Koh
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Hannah Hur
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Sebastian Hernandez
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Alex Israel
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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
Launch Party May 18th, 2019
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Rob Thom
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Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age
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Anna Sew Hoy & Diedrick Brackens
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Julia Haft-Candell & Suzan Frecon
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Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Letter to the Editor
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Eyes Without a Voice
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Seven Minute Dream Machine
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Travis Diehl
Laughing in Private
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Sperm Cult
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Kahlil Joseph
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Ingrid Luche
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Lynch in Traffic Travis Diehl
The Remixed Symbology of Nina Chanel Abney Lindsay Preston Zappas
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Robert Yarber
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Nikita Gale
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Lari Pittman
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Letter From the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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Don't Make
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The Collaborative Art
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Matt Stromberg
Oddly Satisfying Art Travis Diehl
Made in L.A. 2018 Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj
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Aaron Horst
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Fiona Conner
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Show 2
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Deborah Roberts
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Mimi Lauter
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(L.A. in N.Y.)
Math Bass
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(L.A. in N.Y.)
Condo New York
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Poetic Energies and
Radical Celebrations:
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Simone Krug
Interior States of the Art Travis Diehl
Perennial Bloom:
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Angella d'Avignon
The Mess We're In Catherine Wagley
Interview with
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Ashton Cooper
Object Project
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Lindsay Preston Zappas
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Launch Party May 19, 2018
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Chris Kraus
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Ben Sanders
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iris yirei hsu
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Harald Szeemann
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Ali Prosch
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Reena Spaulings
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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
Launch Party
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Adrián Villas Rojas
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Nevine Mahmoud
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Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985
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Hannah Greely and William T. Wiley
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- Keith J. Varadi

David Hockney
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Edgar Arceneaux
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Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Barely Living with Art:
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Eli Diner
She Wanted Adventure:
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Catherine Wagley
The Languages of
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Lindsay Preston Zappas
L.A. Povera Travis Diehl
On Eclipses:
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Jessica Simmons
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Julie Wietz
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Ravi Jackson
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Tactility of Line
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Trigger: Gender as a Tool as a Weapon
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at the Landing
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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
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
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Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Launch Party August 19th at Blum and Poe
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
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Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
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Broken Language
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Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects


Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures:
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Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
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Letter to the Editor
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Jennie Jieun Lee
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Jimmie Durham
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Parallel City
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Jason Rhodes
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Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
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Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
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Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
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Jessica Simmons
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Exquisite L.A.
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Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature
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Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler
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at Susanne Vielmetter

Wolfgang Tillmans
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at Chateau Shatto

The Rat Bastard Protective Association
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Kenneth Tam
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The Female
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The Rise
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Agnes Martin
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
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Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Made in L.A. 2016
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Doug Aitken
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at Tif Sigfrids

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
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Mark A. Rodruigez
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The Weeping Line
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Letter form the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
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Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
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Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
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Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
Fay Ray
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Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Revolution in the Making
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Carl Cheng
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Joan Snyder
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Elanor Antin
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Performing the Grid
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at Otis College of Art & Design

Laura Owens
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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:
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Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
Interiors and Interiority:
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Char Jansen
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Material Art Fair, Mexico City

Rain Room

Evan Holloway
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Histories of a Vanishing Present: A Prologue
at The Mistake Room

Carter Mull
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Awol Erizku
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Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
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at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota:
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A Conversation
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Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
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Share Your Piece
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Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
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Fred Tomaselli
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Trisha Donnelly
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Bradford Kessler
Letter from the Editor Lindsay Preston Zappas
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
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Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings:
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at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food:
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Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
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Tongues Untied
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No Joke
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Snap Reviews Martin Basher at Anat Ebgi
Body Parts I-V at ASHES ASHES
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White Lee, Black Lee:
William Pope.L’s "Reenactor"
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
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Metaphysical L.A.
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Art for Art’s Sake:
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Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
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Erik Morse
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Pat O'Niell
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A New Rhythm
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Unwatchable Scenes and
Other Unreliable Images...
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Charles Gaines
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Henry Taylor
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Trulee Hall’s
Untamed Magic

Trulee Hall, The Other and Otherwise (2019) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

A lumpy pink ceramic jar of Hannah’s Pickled Eggs sat on a lumpy dark pedestal, behind which you could see a woman’s smooth bare rear on a nearby screen. The woman leaned over in front of a white lattice. In the opposite direction, across an expanse of warm green artificial turf, a multipane window punctuated a textured pink wall, on which a mostly pink painting hung: in it, a chicken laid an egg on a pillow, surrounded by lacy things, beads, a trellis, and another (painted this time) jar of Hannah’s Pickled Eggs. Trulee Hall’s The Other and Otherwise, the exhibition at Maccarone that closed in March, understood its own logic. It existed as a precisely-planned, well-realized but also instinctively attuned ecosystem, one that encouraged close looking, but also rewarded a quick turn of the head (see a corn husk in a video, another husk identically positioned in the adjacent painting, and another comically phallic mechanized, sculpted husk moving back and forth through a hole in the wall, all in a matter of seconds). Good exhibitions sear into you, you internalize them, and then—in a month or two—they disappear.

Yet, as critic Jeffrey Kipnis bemoans in a cynical 2006 letter to curator Paula Marincola, many contemporary exhibitions insist on counteracting their own transient nature: by trying to overly educate their audience, convince them of Big Ideas, or overwhelm them with documents and didactics, even though most gallery visitors stay no longer  than 30 minutes. “I believe that the irreducible, irreproducible effects, the pleasures, the powers, and the possibilities of an exhibition all derive from its evanescence,” writes Kipnis. He goes on, “The exhibition is the only kind of theater in which actor, audience, prop, set, lighting, orchestra, even the stage itself are on stage all at the same time and none quite knows which role it plays.”1 Why try, through minimal exhibition design or verbose wall labels, to tame that magic?

Hall leaned full force into the experiential, in-the-moment potentials of exhibition-making in her first solo gallery exhibition, which arrived nearly two decades into her life as a working artist. The work, years in the making, fit together eloquently but not predictably (awkward, loose paintings contrasted technically meticulous CGI animation). The Other and Otherwise, as a total experience, was a reminder of how little we’ve come to expect of the contemporary gallery show. Such care is often incompatible with the market-driven pace that encourages artists who sell well or charm the critical establishment to produce new bodies of work every year or two. (The exhibitions in my recent memory that also offered such arresting, complete experiences played out at institutions: Ryan Trecartin’s Any Ever [2010] at MOCA PDC and Julie Becker’s installations, recreated posthumously, at the ICA London in 2018). That Hall’s show was so well crafted matters mostly because the mastery of its construction made the world she was building sensorially convincing: the architecture of rooms—walls and niches that divided the gallery and differentiated bodies of work—was met with the combination of hard and soft, precise and imprecise materiality. This mix mimicked the way the expressive, erotic body butts up against and disappears into social and psychological constructs.

Hall welcomed her viewers with Golden Corn Entryway with Boob Fountain (all works 2018), a papier-mâché and Styrofoam wall that was bisected by an archway and flanked by two story-high ears of corn. Six loosely rendered, open-mouthed women, carved in relief into the gold-painted Styrofoam, flailed and floated on the wall’s surface. Inside the circular archway, two ceramic breasts on either side dripped milky liquid into black receptacles. Past the breasts was a wall painted in camouflage, with a window that opened onto yet another, slightly different environment. It almost feels misleading to enumerate the show’s many mediums—claymation, CGI, live action video; sculpture, found objects, carpeting, wallpaper; figurative paintings and abstractions—since the fluidity between them seemed obvious and effortless. The show, full of 59 art objects, communicated its permissiveness through the way its diverse web of materials overlapped, echoed, and opened up to each other.

Trulee Hall, Golden Corn Entryway with Boob Fountain (2018). Gold leaf, styrofoam, wood, carpet, fish rocks, papier-mâché, ceramic, acrylic, fountain, 115 x 362 x 66 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

In a way, Hall’s permissive approach conjures the work of certain feminist forbearers, whose lack of inhibition was maligned until, suddenly and recently, it was revered. For instance, Carolee Schneemann’s Fuses (1964–1967), a lo-fi pornography that embraces awkward noises, heaviness, and real bodily fluids to portray a sexiness far more familiar and unscripted than the term “porn” typically connotes. Penny Slinger’s 1973 self-portraits as an open-legged wedding cake comes to mind for similar reasons, in that it doesn’t resort to irony or abjection—Slinger posing like pin-up girl, wanting to be beautiful, cheeky, and feminine while poking at the patriarchy. Residues of shame do run through Hall’s work, but they came from the viewers more than the artist. It’s because the lingerie-clad women who posed for portraits and caressed chickens (in Hall’s Sexy Chicks series) could be treated as symbols of cheap and embarrassing sexuality in the hands of another that they read as so pleasantly unfettered here. In the context of this non-hierarchical, non-judgmental installation, to shame them would have been to fall prey to cultural prejudices that the realm of The Other and Otherwise made passé.

But if her ethos recalls sexually libertine feminism, Hall’s aesthetic is also tied up in a particularly L.A., Helter Skelter-era lineage. Her fluent merging of kitsch, punk, pop, and fine art impulses recalls Bruce Yonemoto, Paul McCarthy, Mike Smith, and Mike Kelley (L.A. Times critic, Christopher Knight, described her as “grabbing on” to their “artistic legacy” in his review of Hall’s show). Yet in their work, the discomfort of absurdity and abjection could often be the point—as in McCarthy and Kelley’s Heidi, a children’s book turned psychosexual horror film—whereas Hall seems much more set on flipping the conventions of comfort. She folds realities that might cause discomfort elsewhere into scenarios that are strikingly nonchalant. Kelley has come up in relation to Hall most frequently, partly because the two artists took similar approaches to the campy, playful choreography and costuming of their actors, and the appropriation, and mutation, of sweet domestic props and interiors. They also worked together and dated—which has led to a frequent, dubious assumption that Kelley, older and more established, influenced while Hall absorbed. Among other examples though, Kelley’s The Judson Church Horse Dance (2009), for which Hall served as the production coordinator, combined puppetry and live-action with a crafted guilelessness that had already been present in Hall’s work for years.

By the time she received her MFA from CalArts in 2006, Hall was working in the mode she has since honed. Her 2004 video, For Snowball, about a hamster’s short life, features a small snow-white pet in an awkward cage, and a human-sized replica of that cage, in which Hall wears a hamster suit and runs on her own larger-than-life wheel—the endearingly macabre narrative floats between dimensions. Fleetingly, a fluffy puppet hamster appears onscreen. In the 2007 video, Duster’s Undoing, a girl with ragdoll hair sews eyes and a mouth onto yarn duster. Shot in a human-sized dollhouse Hall constructed in a now-demolished Hollywood barn, as well as in an actual, small dollhouse, the narrative keeps shifting from live action to puppetry, as the duster grows petulant, violent, and then escapes out onto L.A. streets. This strategy of mixing live action, animation, and puppetry reached new levels of complexity in the Maccarone exhibition, thanks to CGI, which collapsed genres and levels of reality and fantasy even more completely—in Pink Lattice Room Relations, a romp on a pastel-colored set with Easter baskets as props, nude live actors in wigs and full body paint seem far more theatrical than their weirdly naturalistic CGI doppelgangers.

One immersive installation in The Other and Otherwise, to the right of the gallery entrance, mimicked a child’s room. Three polka-dot covered walls surrounded a blue and white bed, above which a doll on a motor rotated. She was cute and red-headed on top, and then, as she turned, her skirts flipped down to reveal a brown monster face (a ghoulish, tiny Godzilla). Hall shot the videos playing on monitors mounted on the faux brick exterior walls using the bedroom as a set (most of the videos were shot on sets that are in the show). In one video, a gray-haired man peeks through the window; in another, a gorilla holds a blond girl, who becomes a woman as footage moves between animation, puppetry, and live action. The predator/monster narratives all read as the kind of dream, or nightmare, a performatively nice, safe, seemingly suburban bedroom like this one invites, by suggesting the outside world is something to shut out.

Monsters in Hall’s work are never convincing villains though. In fact, next to the omnipresent cornhusks, serpents acted as the exhibition’s most prominent connective tissue. Papier-mâché versions stretched across carpeting and looped over pedestals, while other serpents wound their way through paintings or costarred in videos. Take the video Corn Fetish / Snake Fetish (Snake Fetish), in which once again a woman with pink-hued skin bends over and the green, snakey shapes that float around her appear simultaneously phallic and feminine (philosopher Hélène Cixous jokes that the creative woman “cuts herself out a paper penis” in order to create, before saying that, while men invest too much power in one body part, the female libido “is cosmic”.)2 Because of her skillful world-building, Hall offered artworks that were not just about feminine energy that consumes and invades patriarchal paradigms, but an attempt to send that energy, slithering, dripping, and sashaying, out into the universe.

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


Trulee Hall, The Other and Otherwise (2019) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, Watch Her Suck Worms (Black/White Lattice Diptych) (2018). Collage, acrylic and oil on board, 40 x 48 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, The Other and Otherwise (2019) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, Untitled (Vulnerable Pink and Green Ladies) (2018). Oil, acrylic, collage on board, 48 x 92 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, The Other and Otherwise (2019) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, The Other and Otherwise (2019) (installation view). Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, Herm and Exotica (2018). Acrylic and oil on board, 48 x 36 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, Horny Ladies (Team Effort) (2018). Acrylic, oil, and collage on reclaimed movie set backdrop, 74.5 x 90 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.

Trulee Hall, In Her Place (Don’t Tell) (2018). Acrylic, oil, gold leaf, and collage on Board, 58.5 x 40 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Maccarone Gallery.



This article was originally featured in
Carla issue 16

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  1.  Jeffrey Kipnis, “Who’s afraid of gift-wrapped kazoos?” in What Makes a Great Exhibition?, ed. by Paula Marincola (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 100.
  2.  Hélène Cixous, Keith Cohen, and Paula Cohen, “The Laugh of the Medusa,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 1, no. 4 (Summer, 1976), 875-893.