Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Category: Cultured

Jonas Wood


Jungle Kitchen, 2017. Photo by Brian Forrest; courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky gallery.


In the art world I thought I knew, no one would publicly admit to an interest in golf, least of all a young painter who was just making his name. But that is exactly what Jonas Wood did, a decade ago, when he made a painting of the golf course in Glendale where he was learning to play. Now, 10 years later, he is revisiting the subject in his latest show at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, which will take over both spaces (and viewing room) of the imposing gallery in November. It does not matter to Wood that the subject of these paintings is the squarest, most buttoned-up, bourgeois weekend pastime going. Read the rest of this entry »

Peter Shire


Peter Shire, Scorpion, White, 1996-2015 cone 06 clay and two part polyurethane with ceramic primer, and glazed lids with metal detail 12.5 x 21.25 x 8.25 inches

The door of Peter Shire’s first ceramics studio, in Los Angeles, opened directly onto the sidewalk. He moved in three years after graduating from the Chouinard Art Institute, in 1972, and soon discovered that the corner of Echo Park Avenue where his studio was located was also where the members of the local gang – the Echo Park Locos – regularly hung out. Read the rest of this entry »

James Turrell

CAPE HOPE (S. Africa) Elliptical Wide Glass, 2015

CAPE HOPE (S. Africa) Elliptical Wide Glass, 2015


In the Skyspace meeting room at Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery in Los Angeles, James Turrell is telling me about the Antikythera Mechanism. In the spring of 1900, a group of Greek sponge divers discovered the sunken wreck of a Roman cargo ship off an island in southern Greece. Among the coins, jewelry, glass and statuary that they recovered was a corroded hunk of bronze and wood, about a foot in width. An archaeologist at the time suggested it might be an astronomical clock, but its complexity did not fit with its estimated date—a century before Christ. Read the rest of this entry »