Catherine Taft’s Top 10 Shows in L.A.: Nov 2010

Alexandra Bircken: STORNO BQ
30 October – 20 November

This month, Berlin-based gallery BQ opens a temporary exhibition space on the sunset strip. Located in proximity to Ltd. and Michael Benevento, the gallery adds an exciting element to a quickly growing Hollywood art “district.” German artist Alexandra Bircken creates crafty, organic sculptures that are a fitting transplant to the flux of Hollywood.

Julian Hoeber: Demon Hill
30 October – 23 January 2012
Hammer Museum

Road side attractions and “mystery spots” across the United States have long toyed with human perception, turning basic laws of physics into paranormal curiosities. Julian Hoeber explores this phenomenon and the mystique surrounding it with this gigantic installation, a tilted freestanding room that wickedly disorients the viewer..

The Artist’s Museum MOCA
31 October – 31 January 2011

For this inclusive survey exhibition, a team of MOCA curators collaboratively whittled down a long list to the 146 artists that demonstrate the strength of Los Angeles as an art capital. While some of the inclusions are questionable (Vanessa Beecroft? Devendra Banhart?), there’s no question that this show makes a convincing case for L.A.’s enduring importance.

Kyle Field: Waxing Marks Taylor De Cordoba
6 November – 18 December

Artist, musician and surfer Kyle Field presents his third solo show at Taylor De Cordoba with a new series of detailed ink on paper drawings; in these works, a lyrical horror vacui emerges from Field’s typically compulsive mark-making, gestures drawn from waxing a surfboard (or perhaps just waxing poetic?).

Martin Mull: Split Infinitives Samuel Freeman
6 November – 18 December

Martin Mull’s not exactly photo realistic paintings seem to exist in a space between a familiar two-dimensional reality and its dreamy double. Picturing scenes of a recent past, this exhibition fleshes out Mull’s vision through large-scale canvases and more intimate studies on paper.

Amanda Ross-Ho: A Stack of Black Pants Cherry and Martin
6 November – 18 December

With work featured prominently in “The Artist’s Museum” at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art and in “New Photography 2010” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Amanda Ross-Ho is clearly helping shape the “contemporary” in art today. Her typically strong solo exhibitions offer viewers a chance to sit with her quirky material lexicon, letting the puns and surprises unfold the longer one looks.

Stop.Move. Blum & Poe
6 November – 23 December

Animation—in film, video, art—is currently enjoying a critical moment and Blum and Poe’s latest exhibition is yet another example of such. Including work by Nathalie Djurberg, Hirsch Perlman, Robin Rhode and Matt Saunders, this show revolves around the technique of stop motion animation, taking the moving picture beyond the child-like imagery of traditional hand-drawn animation.

Marnie Weber: Eternity Forever
11 November – 20 December
West of Rome Public Art

The laying to rest of an artwork or practice can be a therapeutic and ultimately regenerative exercise (just as John Baldessari proved when he cremated all of his paintings in 1970). Marnie Weber’s Eternity Forever brings one body of work to a close while christening a new one. Fittingly, a performance at Altadena’s Mountain View Cemetery kicks-off this exhibition of new film and collage work.

Annie Wharton Los Angeles
18 November – 20 December

This month, dealer Annie Wharton (formerly of the Chinatown gallery, The Company) goes solo with her new project space ANNIE WHARTON LOS ANGELES (or AWLA). Her inaugural (and yet untitled) show will feature work by a new stable of artists—Alika Cooper, John Espinosa, Peter Harkawik, Davida Nemeroff, Mary Anna Pomonis, Lina Theodorou, and Bobbi Woods—and opens as part of the Pacific Design Center’s on-going support of art in L.A., the “Design Loves Art” series.

Play It As It Lays: A Tribute to Joan Didion
19 November – 12 December
Space 1520

Of the many voices that have attempted to articulate the strange logic of Los Angeles, Joan Didion’s is perhaps the most eloquent and honest. This exhibition honors the legendary writer (and her dramatic novel which gives this show its title) through contributions by Noah Davis (below), Kim Fisher, Malisa Humphrey, Richard Lidinsky, Nora Jean Petersen, PJ Risse, John Sisley, Natascha Snellman, Ann Trondson & Amy Yao.

About the author

Catherine Taft is a Los Angeles based critic and curator. Her essays on contemporary art and culture appear regularly in publications including Artforum, Modern Painters, ArtReview, Metropolis-M, Kaleidoscope, and in exhibition catalogs in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to her writing, Taft is Curatorial Associate in the department of Architecture and Contemporary Art the Getty Research Institute, where she helped organize the 2008 exhibition, California Video and is currently working on Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1945-1980 (Fall 2011).


  1. gillian glassborow says:

    very good leaves an impression of what can be exspected off art to come

  2. Thanks for the excellent writeup! Los Angeles is bursting with amazing art!

  3. Guila says:

    Mr. Taft,
    Cna you write for an exhibition catalogue.
    How can I reach you for details?
    Thank you.


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