Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Thomas Helbig

China Art Objects Galleries, Los Angeles

There is a moment in Thomas Helbig’s exhibition ‘Use Your Relatives’ that I can’t stop thinking about. A large oil painting comprises two pale pink egg shapes on a dirty white ground. The forms touch – kiss – at one edge; as we approach, the mess around them clarifies into a constellation of distinct, deliberate marks. In its lower left corner, a caterpillar-sized lozenge of paint, straight from the tube, has rolled from the point where it was applied and come to rest against the bottom edge of the frame, leaving sticky lemon-yellow tracks across the surface of the painting. Where it began, another squeeze of paint has been applied, making the trail double-headed and seemingly offering an inversion of the work’s downward gravitational pull.

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Brian Kennon

Spread the Word

Over the past few years, Brian Kennon has emerged as one of the most active and generous participants in the Los Angeles art scene. Aside from his practice as an artist, which regularly involves collaboration or appropriation of other artists’ work (many of them his friends or mentors), he single-handedly runs 2nd Cannons Publications, an independent publishing house that produces a wide range of artists’ books and editions. In 2008, 2nd Cannons opened a project space, a glass-fronted vitrine in Los Angeles’ Chinatown; the current exhibition, by The Institute of Social Hypocrisy, will be its last. Kennon’s work as an artist has taken the form of prints and publications, and his latest exhibition, ‘Documents Remain’, will be at BQ, Berlin, until 25th February 2011.

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