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Lesser-known artists are poised for a breakthrough

The Pacific Standard Time museum extravaganza will give some of the unsung heroes their due as well as their more celebrated colleagues.

September 18, 2011|By Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times

Schimmel also expects growing interest in Chauncey Hare — "not an artist I'd ever heard of before working on this show." Hare came to photography late in life after working as a research engineer for Standard Oil, and his tour de force shows workers in impersonal offices or cubicles variously enslaved by the greed and uniformity of corporate America. Schimmel calls it "a very powerful point of view, political but at the same time emotional." (Not much for art sales or even museum shows, Hare now offers his services in San Francisco as a therapist in the field of "work abuse.")

The curator's final pick was Bas Jan Ader, the Dutch-born L.A.-based conceptual artist presumed to have died in 1975 while trying, in the name of art, to complete a solo sail across the Atlantic in a 13-foot boat. The boat was recovered; his body was not.

Ader is now the subject of much art-world buzz, and Schimmel has a take on why. "I think we all want to believe that art is about miracles — feeling and seeing something beyond language and normal visual recognition, and we see that both in Bas Jan Ader's work and his biography."

Then, with the kind of comparison that can help to carve out space for lesser-known artists in the canon, Schimmel added, "Bas Jan Ader is to Conceptualism what Basquiat was to graffiti or Van Gogh was to neo-Impressionism."

jori.finkel@latimes.com

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