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Justine Kurland and Deanna Thompson
Kayne Griffin Corcoran, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Michael Shaw

Justine Kurland, "Rebuilt Engine," 2013, inkjet print, 20 x 25"

Continuing through July 30, 2016

In this odd pairing of two artists working in two mediums, the younger photographer Justine Kurland, represented by her series "Auto Parts,” outperforms and overshadows her memorialized counterpart, the late painter Deanna Thompson. Though Thompson's mainly large-scale oil paintings of desert interiors and exteriors get their own survey in the first gallery, some of her smaller paintings are later intermingled with Kurland's photographs, providing at least some confusion. Thompson's paintings, while competent, are nonetheless mediocre to the point of being below par here, the more so by virtue of the context.  

Kurland's C-prints, meanwhile, taken from road trips between 2011 and 2014, are contemplative and restorative. Taking auto shops, engines and cars and their repairers in mid-repair as her subjects, Kurland gets the engines and cars to levitate, and the mechanics to merge with their beasts, whether supine under the hood or with a dangling cigarette above it. Rather than running into exploitative territory, Kurland sends up these rituals and moments of private contemplation in ways that are quasi-spiritual, even religious. It's hard to imagine that Kurland, if not also we the viewer, will be able to see such scenes of auto interplay quite the same way again.

Published Courtesy of ArtSceneCal ©2016

Pace Gallery

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