According to titles of Lari Pittman's artworks, 1194 years must pass before "honesty will be a natural reaction," 2135 before "achievement will be measured by contribution," 4361 before "understanding the bittersweet will facilitate all new growth." He knows, for example, that "suffering and redemption will sprout from the same vine" in AD 7344. He also knows where these utopian events will occur, or at least he has given visual form to his speculations in a show of new paintings (up to 16 feet wide) and smaller works on paper.
Though Pittman's projections are scattered over thousands of years, they obviously come from the same visionary artist. The places of his dreams are collage-like melanges of lacy patterns, calligraphic birds and chandeliers, looming eyeballs, ancient sailing vessels and cobwebby landscapes. Between the confusing array of overlapping imagery and a rather nauseating palette, Pittman's work makes some observers feel a bit queasy. His art is bizarre, but it's also more interesting than the predictable stuff that turns up in most galleries.
While much is murky about his work, Pittman clearly dredges the past for keys to a hopeful future. He borrows some of his images from pattern books, his techniques from commercial art, but his brand of "appropriation" is recycled so completely that the products appear startlingly original. (Rosamund Felsen Gallery, 669 N. La Cienega Blvd., to March 12.)