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Review: 'For the Martian Chronicles' salutes Bradbury at L&M Arts

November 29, 2012|By David Pagel
  • "For the Martian Chronicles" installation view at L&M Arts.
"For the Martian Chronicles" installation view at L&M… (From the artists and L&M…)

“For the Martian Chronicles,” at L&M Arts, pays homage to Ray Bradbury, who wrote much of his fantastic tale in his clapboard home that once stood at the gallery’s address.

Organized by Yael Lipschutz, archivist of the Noah Purifoy Foundation, the 30-artist exhibition is a whimsical mishmash of media, methods and styles. It keeps visitors on their toes, thinking quickly to discover connections among objects and images with not much in common except for their love of wide-eyed possibility.

A vitrine containing galley proofs of Bradbury’s masterpiece grounds the enthusiastic exhibition, which is all about flights of fancy and the unlikely places they take us. Great pieces by the usual suspects, including Larry Bell, John McCracken, Ken Price, Ed Ruscha and Jim Shaw, are interspersed with lively surprises by Yves Klein, Matthew Ritchie, Noah Purifoy and Fred Eversley.

The smart installation makes terra firma feel extraterrestrial. Realism segues into science fiction as objectivity gives way to something stranger and stronger than subjectivity.

Vija Celmin’s magnificent etching of a starry sky makes it seem as if anything’s possible. Silliness matters, especially with Tom Sachs’ satellite-boombox combination, Corazon del Sol’s tarted-up relic and Marnie Weber’s campy photography.

As a whole, the show does not require you to believe what you see, just to momentarily suspend disbelief.

L&M Arts, 660 S. Venice Blvd., (310) 821-6400, through Jan. 5. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

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