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Top 3 This Week

Let Lindsay Preston Zappas curate your art viewing experiences this week. Here are our Top 3 picks of what not to miss. Scroll down for Insider stories.

Anthony Lepore, Time’s a Taker (installation view) (2022). Image courtesy of the artist and Moskowitz Bayse.

1. Anthony Lepore at Moskowitz Bayse

Anthony Lepore‘s new exhibition of photographs at Moskowitz Bayse revels in trompe-l’oeil trickery. For each work, the artist constructs a shadow box and then lets loose an array of materials and processes which he photographs before framing the image back into the box. Time becomes material throughout the series — in one picture, popsicles are captured mid-melt, their sticky sugars still visible on the shadow box-cum-frame. In others, elements like fire, water, and, in one instance, a live snake, enter into each tableau, giving the feeling of captured motion. 

In Working on Us (2022), an impressive collection of owl figurines (collected by the artist’s grandmother) is arranged on rows of shelves from largest to smallest, to the point of absurdity — a playful look at the objects that infiltrate our lives and work to define selfhood. As a whole, the exhibition not only delights in photography’s ability to fool the eye, it also nods to a rich history of still life in which the objects being depicted are not only ripe with meaning but also reflect back to the unique curiosities of the maker.

On view: March 26–May 07, 2022 Open map

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Laura Krifka, Dawn (detail) (2022). © Laura Krifka. Courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

2. Laura Krifka at Luis De Jesus

In Laura Krifka’s new series of hyper-realistic paintings, one becomes hyper-attuned to the act of looking. Various viewing devices (mirrors, windows, binoculars) are met with figures who slyly peer out of blinds, or offer passing glances out at the viewer. Like previous bodies of Krifka’s work, the domestic space is the container for these devious glances, yet there is always the allusion to an “out there” that is more scenic and wild. 

Several paintings subtly capture sunrise or sunset, the fading light visible in the painting’s background. Sink or Swim pictures a dim and banal kitchen sink that looks out to a lavish private beach. The fantasy always remains at a distance, trumped by the real. Everything But depicts a similar kitchen sink set into an unremarkable Formica countertop, but rather than peer out over a landscape, the sink looks out into a mirror that reflects the entire scene back at us, giving the viewer the uncanny ability to see what would be behind us in the painted scene. 

On view: April 16–May 28, 2022 Open map

Julian Schnabel, For Esmé – with Love and Squalor (installation view) (2022). Image courtesy of the artist and PACE Gallery Los Angeles.

3. Julian Schnabel at PACE

Kayne Griffin Corcoran, a gallery that has been a fixture of the LA art scene since 2011, recently merged with the mega-gallery PACE, making their new La Brea location PACE’s tenth global brick-and-mortar (Jeff Koons, Sol Lewitt, Pablo Picasso, and Agnes Martin are among the top-tier artists/ estates that they represent). To inaugurate their newfound LA presence, the gallery has put up an exhibition of blue-chip artist Julian Schnabel, known for his plate paintings and feature films.

While the artist has turned to unconventional painting surfaces in the past, utilizing fabric awnings from a Mexican fruit market in a 2020 series, for his new exhibition, the artist turns to velvet as the substrate for his gestural marks. The fabric makes for a dynamic painting surface — at once opulent and seedy, the fibers buckle under the weight of Schnabel’s dense and cracking layers of oil paint, shimmering beneath lighter layers of sprayed pigment. While the works certainly include moments of engaging materiality, they also mark a turn towards PACE’s blue-chip mark at the La Brea outpost.

On view: April 09–May 21, 2022 | Open map

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A Closer Look

 Jack Pierson, The End of the World installed in 29 Palms as part of High Desert Test Sites. Photo: Lindsay Preston Zappas.

A day trip to the End of the World

If you’re driving in the high desert this month, you may come across a towering sculptural figure perched on a shipping container. You might also see the words “THE END OF THE WORLD” in billboard-size sculptural letters as you zip down the highway. The pieces are part of High Desert Test Site’s 2022 biennial The Searchers, for which nine artists have created sculptures, installations, and video works located across the high desert. Commissioned by HDTS and curated by Alona Blazwick, artworks have been installed on the side of the highway, off rocky dirt roads, in community centers, and on BLM land. Last week I talked to Greater LA’s Steve Chiotakis about the exhibition and my experience of getting to each of the sites (which included lots of water and sunscreen).

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Anthony Lepore, Working On Us (detail) (2022). Image courtesy of the artist and Moskowitz Bayse.

Collecting as Fodder for Art-Making

Within Anthony Lepore’s dynamic shadow box photographs, you might catch the glimpse of a rare Japanese songbird or a snake winding its way through the composition. These creatures, selectively placed into the artist’s compositions, are actually pulled from Lepore’s own robust collection of animals, plants, and curiosities. 

“These pieces wind around themes and markers of time,” Lepore told me over email. “The owl collection belongs to my grandmother and was gathered over most of her life, a kind of snapshot of 80-some years. The animals in this exhibition, my Japanese songbird, and my snake Hunnybun, represent existences at different speeds of time – fast above us and slow below.” 


Lindsay Preston Zappas is KCRW's Arts Correspondent and the founder/ editor-in-chief of Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles (Carla).

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