Ace Gallery launches an impressive new exhibition space with an inauspicious show called "Kings of Spray." The space is 13,000 square feet of warehouse with 25-foot ceilings in a cul-de-sac at 5917 Burchard St. near Venice and La Cienega boulevards.
Called the "Ace Museum," the space is intended for the kind of large non-commercial projects the gallery has done in the past with such artists as Michael Heizer and Richard Serra. A gallery spokesman describes rather grandiose plans to turn the place into a nonprofit institution and develop a sculpture garden in an adjacent outdoor space beneath the freeway.
Well, good luck. For the moment it is christened with a wobbly show that continues at the gallery's location on Melrose Avenue. The exhibition at least gives the Southland a firsthand introduction to several legendary graffiti artists from Manhattan's East Village circuit.
The principal virtue of this how-de-do is to confirm a conviction that spray-can "writers" may lend a certain gritty virtuosity and daring to vandalizing a subway car, but brought in from the cold they are revealed as raw, immature talents whose admirable energy finally fails to compensate for poverty of substance.