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April 4, 2014 | By Sharon Mizota
At 1301PE, German artist Jan Albers uses industrial materials - chiefly polystyrene, the stuff of packing peanuts - to create textured wall pieces that evoke dramatic, craggy landscapes or tortured, ravaged flesh. Often colored an unnatural shade of magenta or a sickly beige, these chaotic surfaces are contained in paradoxically clean geometric shapes encased, Petri dish-like, in clear Plexiglas. At first they seem a bit corporate, the kind of visually engaging but innocuous abstraction that adorns bank lobbies.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Unless one is Native American, getting a grasp of complex Native American spiritual cosmologies is not easy. And that distinction, which might be called a quality of profound otherness, is in essence what drives a fascinating show recently opened at the Autry National Center of the American West in Griffith Park. It's a story of survival, of a will to endure in the face of crushing opposition. And it is a story told through beads. "Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork" might sound like a simple decorative display of ornamented handiwork.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 1, 2013 | By David Pagel
Not many artists can pull off an exhibition with only one work, especially when that work consists of a snippet of film that is nine seconds long. But Sturtevant's brilliant little movie, at 356 S. Mission Road in Los Angeles, defies expectations. First of all, it's projected so that it covers every square inch of a wall 15 feet tall and 100 feet long. Its story is simple: a black dog runs, from left to right, across a field. And its soundtrack is primal: a deep, rumbling fusion of a drum roll, heartbeat and locomotive, rhythmically building in intensity, endlessly.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 8, 2014 | By David Pagel
At a time when museums seem to be torn between blockbusters and specialized scholarship, it's refreshing to come across "In the Land of Snow: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas" at the Norton Simon Museum, a no-nonsense exhibition that spares the bells and whistles to make a strong case for the virtues of amateurism. Not that long ago, before America was a nation of over-professionalized experts, pretension was something to be made fun of and it was OK to be an amateur. The word's Latin root is "lover.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 22, 2012 | By Leah Ollman
Nancy Haynes carries the torch of postwar abstraction into the present with breathtaking sensual intelligence. Her nine recent paintings at George Lawson are modestly scaled (the largest is 28 x 34 inches), intimate and luminous. Most of each canvas is occupied by a chromatic or tonal progression, a broad band in which one color morphs into another, or a light shade grows dense and dark. These smooth, meticulous gradations are bordered, top and bottom, by a sort of behind-the-scenes peek at the seamless illusion: discrete, short brushstrokes that feather off quickly.
NEWS
January 17, 2013 | By Christopher Knight, Times art critic
Mysticism isn't new to art, having prompted (among other things) the emergence of pure abstraction into the Modernist lexicon more than a century ago. At Michael Kohn Gallery, a group exhibition of about 30 paintings, sculptures, video, prints and mixed media works from the past 50 years by 14 artists shows that it's alive and well today - albeit with a suitably altered consciousness. “Into the Mystic” takes its subject loosely, proposing that ultimate insight consists of contemplative, intuitive knowledge, not merely facts.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 5, 2012 | By Holly Myers
In her last solo show at Walter Maciel Gallery, in 2008, New York artist Andrea Cohen presented two parallel bodies of work: frail, spindly, freestanding sculptures made from tree branches, vinyl and flat, cut out sheets of Styrofoam, among other odds and ends; and stout, gnarled, pedestal-mounted sculptures made by carving into a solid block of Styrofoam. The former alluded to the craggy shapes and vertical manner of Chinese landscape painting; the latter to the desk- or garden-bound tradition of the Chinese scholar rock.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 19, 2013 | By David Pagel
Last year, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia exhibited a series of dazzling abstractions that he had made by shredding works on paper into long, skinny strips and then weaving the strips into place-mat-style paintings that simultaneously evoked digital transmissions on the fritz, plaid fabrics stretched by swinging hips and banners flapping in the wind. This year, in a breakout exhibition at CB1 Gallery, Hurtado Segovia expands the range and intensifies the impact of his ingenious works. Making a mess of distinctions between painting and sculpture, not to mention art and craft, the L.A. artist who was born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, invites visitors into a world where nothing sits still - least of all, your imagination.
NEWS
October 10, 2012
The opening of Regen Projects' impressive 20,000-square-foot building on an unlikely block of Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood tilts the city's always peripatetic gallery scene eastward a notch. The new space, beautifully designed by architect Michael Maltzan, provides a large, light-filled main gallery and several smaller auxiliary spaces that can accommodate a wide range of work. That range is on full display in the inaugural exhibition, which surveys recent paintings, sculptures and installations by 32 of the 36 artists in the gallery's stable, from Doug Aitken to Andrea Zittel.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Sharon Mizota
All the world may once have been a stage, but it is certainly now a screen. In her solo gallery debut at Charlie James, L.A. artist Valerie Green gives us a smartphone eye's view of the sublime: the sky above our heads. The nine images in the series “Look Up” were taken through the moon roof of the artist's car, adorned with the phone's screen protector, a slip of plastic that would be transparent were it not for the marks and scratches of restless fingers. The skies range from gray and rain-spotted to blissfully blue, but the screen protector creates a ghostly image of the phone itself, something like a self-portrait.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Sharon Mizota
All the world may once have been a stage, but it is certainly now a screen. In her solo gallery debut at Charlie James, L.A. artist Valerie Green gives us a smartphone eye's view of the sublime: the sky above our heads. The nine images in the series “Look Up” were taken through the moon roof of the artist's car, adorned with the phone's screen protector, a slip of plastic that would be transparent were it not for the marks and scratches of restless fingers. The skies range from gray and rain-spotted to blissfully blue, but the screen protector creates a ghostly image of the phone itself, something like a self-portrait.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Sharon Mizota
Lew Thomas' first U.S. solo exhibition in almost 20 years focuses on work from the 1970s, creating a kind of bridge between the early days of Conceptual art and the 1980s “Pictures” generation. In this sense, the content and style of the show at Cherry and Martin is familiar; more surprising is the way Thomas' deadpan sense of humor comes through. “34 Avenue Between Geary and Clement” from 1972 is a series of photographs of every building on a San Francisco block. It's urban density's answer to Ed Ruscha's 1966 “Every Building on the Sunset Strip.” Elsewhere, Thomas' work aligns with that of artists like Sherrie Levine and Louise Lawler, who shifted art's focus to the context surrounding the work.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Sharon Mizota
At 1301PE, German artist Jan Albers uses industrial materials - chiefly polystyrene, the stuff of packing peanuts - to create textured wall pieces that evoke dramatic, craggy landscapes or tortured, ravaged flesh. Often colored an unnatural shade of magenta or a sickly beige, these chaotic surfaces are contained in paradoxically clean geometric shapes encased, Petri dish-like, in clear Plexiglas. At first they seem a bit corporate, the kind of visually engaging but innocuous abstraction that adorns bank lobbies.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 31, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Last fall, when the big traveling retrospective of Los Angeles artist Mike Kelley (1954-2012) opened at MoMA PS1, the Museum of Modern Art's outpost in Long Island City, N.Y., the show looked smashing. Largely that was due to the intrinsic quality of Kelley's diverse work in a staggeringly wide range of media - sculpture, painting, drawing, installation, video, performance, mosaic - plus various mash-ups of just about all of them. Partly, though, it was serendipity. PHOTOS: 'Mike Kelley' exhibit A primary subject of Kelley's art is the way familiar social institutions of daily life - especially school and church, but also including art museums and other representatives of authoritative points of view - inevitably conspire to constrain, pressure and sometimes even warp the very adherents they seek to console and liberate.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
SANTA BARBARA - Michelle Stuart and Alice Aycock are very different artists. Stuart is a kind of cartographer, mapping not just the land but our intimate experience of it. Aycock is more literary, transforming familiar themes like the intrusion of technology into nature and society's spiritual discontents into sculptures that are sometimes participatory. However, the juxtaposition of two sizable, retrospective exhibitions of their drawings at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is fortuitous.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By David Pagel
Scott Reeder's first solo show in Los Angeles does double duty, two times over. At 356 S. Mission Road, the multipurpose extravaganza is both an exhibition of big abstract paintings and the set for “Moon Dust,” a DIY film that the Detroit-based artist has been working on for eight years. Reeder's movie is made with amateur actors on a set that is more "Captain Kangaroo" than "Star Wars. " It takes place on a lunar resort that has seen better days and looks as if it's going out of business.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 29, 2012 | By David Pagel
Caravaggio painted people like nobody's business. He was even better with darkness, making ink-black shadows seem to open onto infinity. His best paintings combine the riveting intensity of quickly glimpsed details with the spine-tingling scariness of dark alleys and dimly cellars. In his hands, these everyday places are often more terrifying than the void. Nancy Grossman does something similar with her sculptures of human heads. Mounted on stout pedestals and made of finely carved wood and meticulously cast porcelain, her realistic heads are lifesize.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 21, 2014 | By David Pagel
Art often gets talked about in terms of the freedom it delivers - to those who make it and to those who look at it. For Brian Porray, the idea of freedom is too high-minded, idealized and easily corrupted by zealous self-righteousness. Insubordination is what the young, Las Vegas-born, L.A.-based painter understands, inside and out. It pours forth in torrents from his electrifying exhibition at Western Project, a no-holds-barred carnival of optical kinetics, whiplash spatial shifts and head-spinning highjinks that explain why some see Porray as one of the best of his generation.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 2014 | By David Pagel
A half-century ago, Andy Warhol named his studio the Factory so that people would stop thinking of contemporary art as an esoteric enterprise pursued by lone nuts in lonely garrets, and start thinking of it as an intrinsic part of everyday life - no more mysterious, nor difficult to enjoy, than the goods served up by modern industry. For Warhol, art lost too much power when it got swaddled in sappy fantasies more appropriate to 19th century Romanticism than 20th century reality. Those saccharine fantasies get resuscitated in “Oscar Murillo: Distribution Center.” The inaugural exhibition of the Mistake Room, Murillo's first solo show in Los Angeles wraps Warhol's unsentimental vision of art's place in life in the kind of naivete that would make him cringe.
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