July 9, 1989 |
If you flipped through Jo Ann Callis' files of negatives and assembled an abbreviated chronology of her photographs, it might look something like this: * "Man in Tie" (1977), a cropped view of a disheveled fellow who seems to be backed into a wall with a spotlight bearing down on his mouth and neck. * "Salt, Pepper and Fire" (1980), a still life presenting a flaming plate of food as an epiphany on a breakfast table.
July 18, 1985 |
Jo Ann Callis' photography has always had an unsettling quality akin to finding a parrot in your bathtub or a scoop of ice cream on your plate of hot spaghetti. Whether she sets a dish aflame in a mundane table setting, turns a mouse loose near a batch of sugar doughnuts or lets a red stain seep through a fancy tablecloth, she conjures up a sensuous vision and leaves you alone to ponder its creepiness, its veiled eroticism or its whiff of magic.
December 11, 1987 |
Photographer Jo Ann Callis has something new to show these days, and it's as much of a surprise as if she decided to pack it up and move to Soho. She's concocting easel painting-size gelatin photographs that mingle elements of '30s advertisements for luxury goods, black-and-white film stills, store window design, Surrealistic photography of the '20s and the witty part of conceptual art.
April 4, 1991 |
Demonic Mnemonics: Photographer Jo Ann Callis moves into new territory with "Mnemonic Pictures," a body of new work that pairs photography with a series of 16 sculptures. Callis has been fabricating objects to be photographed for a while now, and her objects have finally developed to the point that they've established a life independent of the photos--in fact, they've grown to the point that they upstage the photos on view here. Callis has a very strange sculptural sensibility.
February 16, 1996 |
"Sexy: Sensual Abstraction in California, 1950s-1990s" is a loosely conceived 12-artist show intended to emphasize art's seductive power. Organized by artists Hilary Baker and Julia Couzens for the Armory Center for the Arts, this hit-and-miss exhibition includes too many works that take their tasks too literally, mistaking sex for sexiness.
December 20, 1987 |
The theory that the Pacific Rim is overtaking the Atlantic Seaboard as the premier center of international power has attracted fervent believers among visual-arts aficionados in Los Angeles. It takes imagination to write off New York as an anachronism, but visionary Angelenos who are weary of having their city ignored as an idiot step-child of America's art mecca see California's cultural growth and its proximity to a phenomenally wealthy Japan as the key to a new order.