Embarking with the simple premise of exploring how artists tell stories, the second of the Pivot Points exhibitions, “Part 2: New Mythologies”, which opened on April 12th might go a little too far with its title but the show by contrast is actually quite solid.
A strong opening piece by Jose Bedia entitled “Cargo Cult” that references the spiritual dependence on aid developed by South Pacific tribes during WWII leads on to taxidermy and painting by John Espinosa in which birds appear frozen and suspended in plight by luminous rods opposite deer that grapple with blue plasma antlers. In the entrance to the main gallery a portrait of Norman Mailer in Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster 2: The Metropolis” (1999) eye balls visitors as they pass.
Highlights of this installment are surf drawings by Raymond Pettibon and a brilliant yet hideous head by Louise Bourgeois. With his many drawings on view at the Goldman Warehouse, Pettibon, whose illustrative content draws inspiration from a wealth of experience, encapsulates the aspirations of a surfer catching the next wave.
Each work is in fact exemplary in its own way as it succeeds where so many fail to communicate the particular and often peculiar fascinations of its creator. From drawings and photographs by Michael Vasquez, Isaac Julien, Adrian Paci and Mariko Mori to sculptures and videos from Jason Rhodes, Anne Sofi Siden, Ali Prosh, Anne Chu and Tracy Emin, a great sense of personal truth emerges from various fractured dimensions.
These eclectic works together with the realization of the two exhibitions as a mutually complimentary whole came as a nice surprise considering that I had initially perceived their titles as seriously overambitious or even down right arrogant. Thankfully I was wrong and the two exhibitions, each of which represent a good range of both old and new acquisitions, succeeded in rising above my deplorable preconceptions. In fact I was pleasantly impressed to find interrelating concepts and methodologies in new and exciting groups and one hopes that with MOCA’s expansion which promises to double its exhibition space I can look forward to being wrong again and again.
Written by Thomas Hollingworth for: www.whitehotmagazine.com