Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: Noah Purifoy

Doyle Lane

Doyle Lane, c. 1976, El Sereno, Los Angeles. Photograph: Ben Serar

One afternoon in the early ’90s, the banking consultant Rudy Estrada returned to his mansion in Pasadena, Calif., to find two members of the local sheriff’s department standing over a lightly built African-American man spread-eagled on his front lawn.

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Noah Purifoy

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Noah Purifoy

Noah Purifoy, Earl Fatha Hines, 1990, mixed media, 1.3 x 1 m

There are two entry points – architecturally but also thematically – to ‘Junk Dada’, the exhibition of sculpture by Noah Purifoy housed on the top floor of Renzo Piano’s Broad Contemporary Art Museum, at LACMA, curated by Franklin Sirmans and Yael Lipschutz. Read the rest of this entry »

The Quiet Life

Artists and the Freedom of the Desert


A couple of miles into the unprepossessing town of Yucca Valley, in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree, California, is a turn-off for the Sky Village Swap Meet. There’s a sign, but it’s almost impossible to spot from the main road. Open on Saturdays and Sundays, the swap meet has been run for 35 years by Bob Carr, who stepped back from day-to-day operations earlier this year so he can concentrate on making art. Carr is 76. His masterwork is The Crystal Cave (2004–ongoing), a freestanding grotto made mainly from expanding foam and crystals. Customers at the swap meet can peer through circular windows in the structure’s lumpy brown walls and spy a miniature landscape painted green and brown, through which running water trickles over waterfalls and rock crystals sprout like alien flora. Read the rest of this entry »