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Sprüth Magers

Kaari Upson at Sprüth Magers

Free

“I’m not trying to get to a finished point,” artist Kaari Upson said once before her untimely death in 2021. “There is no finished point. I just want to let it accumulate.” 

A posthumous solo exhibition of work by Upson (her first in LA in a decade) is on view at Sprüth Magers, and highlights the vigor and curiosity that Upson brought into her robust oeuvre. Several of the works begin as miniatures (either painted, whittled, or found) that are then enlarged to create idiosyncratic cast objects laced with memory and pathos. 

A large couch (enlarged from dollhouse furniture) and sculpture of a friend’s Christmas tree wrapped in plastic are paired with small painted portraits made with layered resin, so that the hazy faces become sculptural and ghostly. Upstairs, a body of paintings featuring a pigtailed girl and gingham table cloths have a frenetic, almost traumatic feel to them, their subject floating in and out of frame and overlaid with buzzing lines that mask and obscure. 

Across sculpture, video, paintings, and drawings, the exhibition circles in on Upson’s interest in the banality of the everyday, the interiority of the human psyche, and the trauma that can be laced within the domestic.

On view: August 4 – October 8, 2022

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Photo: Kaari Upson, never, never ever, never in my life, never in all my born days, never in all my life, never. Installation view, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles, August 4–October 8, 2022. Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer. Artwork © The Art Trust created under Kaari Upson Trust