Connor Everts, Studies in Desperation
Cardwell Jimmerson Contemporary Art
8568 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA
July 20, 2007–August 25, 2007

The visitor to Connor Everts, Studies in Desperation at Cardwell Jimmerson first confronts a lengthy introductory wall text that is also a rumination on the politics of art censorship. This socially-minded tone is right for the show’s contents: beyond lies a group of lithographs and charcoal drawings from the mid-1960’s that provoked an obscenity lawsuit at the time of their making. But it also sets up an expectation of transgressive art, of a shock—a shock that never comes. Far from sensationally indecent (the charge of legalistic eyes back then), Everts’ work visually maps psychic states of dread, alienation, desire using the subtlest effects of medium and hand.
In the series of drawings entitled Prototype, Studies in Desperation, this formal economy is at its most potent, with a few choice erasures of a dense charcoal background coming to suggest grotesquely deformed mouths, limbs, loins. At times the work’s  disturbed spaces indeed contain erotic references, albeit in abstract form, but even these episodes seem less than lewd. The show, in other words, brackets the moralistic debate over Everts’ art as a telling historical phenomenon. And one leaves Cardwell Jimmerson’s pristine white cube pondering another, very present-tense question—namely, in our age of hyperexposure, what image (if any) could read as reliably obscene?
(reprinted from

More about this trial is on the Cardwell Jimmerson website here

Connor Everts with Paul Darrow were founders of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society in 1962