Originally published on contemporaryartreview.la, July 21, 2016
Skin Ego at Skibum MacArthur is smartly arranged. Pops of color and artwork bound to both floor and air wrestle for your eye. A mirrored text piece by Andrew Emard (To You: But Not A Specific You, A General You: Part 1, 2015) on the floor glints in the afternoon sunlight, daring you to attempt to read the vapid poem etched on its surface. Bodily-colored silicone pieces by Maxfield Miles slink around the periphery, slithering along electrical tracks or looping around the rafters.
In this nine-person show, Graham Landin anchors the exhibition with five (of the 15) works presented. While his sculptural assemblages are towered by a nearby Dywer Killcollin column, they hold their own with unassuming nonchalance. The Punky Hairdo My Father Advised Against (2016) is a grafted cactus—it’s base, strong and stable, is soon interrupted by a flowering prickly pear. Punky indeed. Landin’sVenus of the Isle (Mimi) (2016) is a pit-fired clay vessel à la Amy Bessone. A subtle torso can be made out as one walks around and notices the unmistakable backside; the pot’s handles become its knowing arms, resting on the hips.
With the upswing of breezy summer group shows, Skin Ego does stand out in its coherency. Like so many grafted plants, the works in the exhibition wiggle into their newly-found shared context, accepting it well. The tentative, emotive quality that many of the works exude is momentarily lost in Jefferey Cortland Jones’ dry geometric wall works—though, perhaps it is only in this active context that his works become the wallflowers at the disco. The double edged sword of such an active group show is that someone is bound to be left out.
Skin Ego runs from June 26–August 7, 2016 at Skibum MacArthur (712 S. Grand View St., #204, Los Angeles, CA 90057).