Sayre Gomez’s “I’m Different” and JPW3’s "32 Leaves, I Don’t The Face of Smoke"
              Jonathan Griffin
              Someone has cut a large hole in the chain-link fence that separates Los Angeles’s François Ghebaly Gallery and Night Gallery. Perhaps eight feet in diameter, it is large enough to drive a car through and at the opening of concurrent recent exhibitions by Sayre Gomez (at Ghebaly) and JPW3 (at Night), the circumference of the hole was dressed with burning incense sticks, like a low-fi ceremonial portal from one dimension to another. The hole is #4 (2014), an intervention by John Connor, the fictional artist invented by Gomez and JPW3 (a.k.a. Patrick Walsh) to whom they attribute their collaborative projects. The pair also run a project space in the studio building that they used to share, named Patrick Gomez 4 Sheriff. While it is obvious that both artists enjoy making mischief around issues of individual authorship (John Connor, of course, is played by different actors throughout the Terminator franchise), their solo exhibitions are distinct entities, and any resemblance between the two is, as they say in the movies, purely coincidental. Which is remarkable because the parallels between the exhibitions are numerous. Both artists could be described primarily as painters, although they both situate their paintings here in a broader material context, which …
              “Made in Space”
              Jonathan Griffin
              Is it possible to talk about art made in Los Angeles without crediting the city with everything that makes its art unique? Why are artists in Southern California so often asked to explain how their work is influenced by its infrastructure or climate? Is “Made in Space,” the exhibition curated by artists Peter Harkawik and Laura Owens, an antidote to these tendencies or is it a symptom? Harkawik and Owens make no claims for their selection of thirty artists, though the show’s title is uncannily reminiscent of “Made in L.A.,” the 2012 Hammer Biennial, which pitched itself as “a snapshot of the current trends and practices coming out of Los Angeles.” By contrast, Harkawik and Owens’s thirteen-point exhibition text (in place of a press release) begins with no 1: “Someone drank tea. Someone else felt that a specific kind of taco eaten at a particular geographic location was like a drug. The spices generated a certain kind of energy, or, perhaps, muscle memory. It was 2012.” It goes on to reference a litany of local legends and historical phenomena, from Peter Schjeldahl’s dismissive 1981 essay in The Village Voice about the Los Angeles art scene to O.J. Simpson’s 1994 car …

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