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From Abstract Icons to Metaphysical Glyphs | City of the Seekers

November 23, 2016 - Tanja M. Laden

When religious and cultural symbols are removed from their corresponding set of principles, iconography becomes a series of abstract glyphs. In her art practice, Helen Rebekah Garber extracts the images and representations tied to religion while deflecting established aesthetic structures, and her dismantling of the building blocks of ideology leads to a compellingly nonrepresentational visual lexicon.Garber approaches each piece of her art as though she's forming a kind of visual riddle or invocation. "I’m interested in iconic form and also the dissection of that form with intricate subparts that provide further details relating to the entire context," Garber tells The Creators Project. "Peak experiences in the abstract and the underlying patterns in nature are also recurring themes within my work. Codexes act as delivery systems for secret messages."

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Feature: Argonaut Online

November 17, 2016 - Christina Campodonico

Three big names ran for president this year, but the one you didn’t see on your ballot was that of artist Jeffrey Vallance. While Trump and Clinton were duking it out, Vallance ran his own mock campaign of sorts — building a platform based on vintage campaign slogans, automatic writing and symbols that have reoccurred throughout his decades-long career as one of Los Angeles’ most provocative and pioneering artists. Known as an infiltration artist and something of a professional prankster, Vallance has made a name for himself by investigating and inserting himself into institutional processes both bureaucratic and arcane.

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Pick of the Week: Artillery

November 17, 2016 - Ezrha Jean Black

Jeffrey Vallance was already something of a legend when I first became acquainted with his work – an ‘interventionist’ style of conceptual art in which the performance became a kind of deconstructed cultural inquiry. My first impression came by way of captioned illustrations with accompanying narrative (appearing in the L.A. Weekly), a kind of anthropological scrapbook replete with schematic drawings of quasi-iconic images, national insignia, commercial artifacts, transit documents and correspondence with government bureaucrats.

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Review: Artscene

November 1, 2016 - Jody Zellen

Jeffrey Vallance has attained something akin to cult status. His work covers a wide range of media and is based on consumer and popular culture, and is ironically critical without being didactic. Vallance never makes fun of his subjects, but rather uses what is around him--be it a store bought chicken, the work of Thomas Kinkade or President Richard Nixon-- to explore how context can shape meaning. 

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Critics Picks: Art Ltd.

November 1, 2016 - Molly Enholm

A confluence of odd bedfellows is the hallmark of Jeffrey Vallance's irreverent approach to art-making, use of materials, his amalgamations of popular culture, religion, tradition, the election, and the whole lot of it. Recently, Vallance has ventured down two divergent paths: the first, a series of works on paper collectively titled Rudis Tractus; the other veering into the realm of social media, which critic Doug Harvey describes in the show's catalogue as a means "to prod and probe the new social boundaries and mechanisms generated by the new technology." 

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Review: Artforum

November 1, 2016 - Bruce Hainley

On July 28, 2016, Richard Prince retweeted an item from curator Marvin Heiferman's feed about a $1 billion copyright-infringement suit that photographer Carol Highsmith had just filed against the stock-photo agencies Getty and Alamy, charging "gross misuse." Earlier that day, Prince had tweeted a picture of a slightly enlarged black-and-white photocopy of this short 1977 text "Practicing Without a License." He commented: "Feel like I got hacked. Or waxed. Or whacked. Micki'd. Surprised they didn't have my underwear on display. Shame." 

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Review: Artscene

October 1, 2016 - Genie Davis

Jun Kaneko’s Mirage appears to be just that, images so impossible and arresting that we stop to take it all in. One of the most visually pleasurable and immersive exhibitions I’ve seen recently, Kaneko’s large-scale works are astonishing in their complexity. 

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Rule Breakers

September 22, 2016 - Rosa Bertoli

As the London Design Festival broadens its scope to become a major public event, it is also expanding its physical presence in the city, giving historical spaces a new lease of life through exhibitions and installations. This year's main event includes a residency over ten rooms of Somerset House's West Wing, with ten international designers given carte blanche to get creative with their spaces.

Featured projects will include installations with a technological bent, such as the work of German director Tino Schaedler and architecture studio United Realities, exploring the links between the physical and the digital, and Jasper Morrison's designs for Punkt (as seen in W*195), which feature in an exhibition focusing on our relationship with technology. There will be more purely aesthetic exercises, such as Arik Levy and Tabanliogu Architects' installation exploring the theme of transparency; practical displays, including Paperless Post and Patternity's series of digital invitations; and two reading rooms, one by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby in collaboration with Knoll, and another by London designer Faye Toogood, whose project recreates a derelict country house.

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Manny Krakowski at Monte Vista Projects

September 2, 2016 - Aaron Horst

A looped glass pipe rises out and returns through the top of a freezer in Manny Krakowski’s A Simple Chemistry Experiment Explained as a Monument, currently on view at Monte Vista Projects. Shorn of insulation at its turning point, the pipe reveals a steady flow of cooled (salt) water, its outer condensation dripping onto a piece of synthetic marble below.

The quotidian object in art easily tempts cynicism. To his credit, Krakowski demonstrates that it might still provoke thought—or at least curiosity, for those of us plunged into ponderance by the hum of a compressor. Krakowski’s appliance is transformed, in a manner both subtle and extreme: its innards foregrounded, its intended function left in the dust. Less clear is its relation to the surrounding, accessorized tableau, comprising two immaculate blown-glass orbs, real and synthetic marble, a steel armature smeared in a patina-ing sunscreen (Coppertone?), and overextended aspirations into the digital realm via a materials list reference to “virtual space,” which directs to a vague, appreciably scenic webpage. 

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