Issue 36 May 2024

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Issue 27 February 2022

Issue 26 November 2021

Issue 25 August 2021

Issue 24 May 2021

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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
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)

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.

This article was originally featured in Carla issue 16

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.

  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.

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

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