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Review: Amy Stein in Los Angeles, at Paul Kopeikin Gallery

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 6, 2008
Updated: Monday, January 13, 2014
DATE: March 6, 2008

New York–based photographer Amy Stein has enjoyed a glittering career since completing her MFA at the School of Visual Arts in 2006. She appeared in a number of group shows immediately after graduating, won the 2006 Saatchi Gallery/Guardian Prize, has been named one of the world's top 15 emerging photographers by American Photo magazine, and won the Critical Mass Book Award. Now, Paul Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles is hosting Stein's first solo show, "Domesticated," which runs through April 26.

"Howl" 2007. Copyright Amy Stein. Courtesy Paul
Kopeikin Gallery, Los Angeles.
The images in "Domesticated" are set in and around Matamoras, a small town in Northeast Pennsylvania on the edge of a state forest, and they typically depict encounters between animals and the local community. From the grizzly that mesmerizes a local girl in her backyard swimming pool to the wolf that howls crazily at a street light, the creatures in Stein's works exist somewhere between the wild and civilization, and appear no less compromised, nor confused, than the townsfolk who spot them. What makes the work so unforgettable is how it reveals the unresolved conflict between our yearning for kinship with nature's mysteries and our desire to bring everything that surrounds us under rational control. As they overturn trash cans or hide among the plants in a greenhouse, Stein's animals embody our internal conflicts between "comfort and fear, dependence and determination, and submission and dominance," describes the gallery. Indeed.

Once you've been to Paul Kopeikin, here are Amy Stein's selections for other shows to see in L.A. this weekend:

1. André Kertész: Seven Decades at the Getty Center, through April 13

"André Kertész has taken so many amazing pictures you almost take them for granted. His images can be subtle or grand, but they are never without a compelling narrative and a profound sense of drama."

2. Hiromi Tsuchida: Photographs, 1969–2004 at Michael Dawson Gallery, through March 29

"Hiromi's black-and-white images from the '60s and '70s remind me of Garry Winogrand. These stunning photos bring a street immediacy to everyday lives in rural and urban Japan."

3. The Goat's Dance: Photographs by Graciela Iturbide at the Getty Center, through April 13

"Graciela Iturbide was born into privilege, and her curiosity and appetite seem to have evolved in reaction to that upbringing. Her subjects exist on the periphery of Mexican culture, but Graciela doesn't approach them as mere novelties. Her striking photos elevate them to a crucial position within the nation's collective memory."

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