January 24, 1985 |
The only thing really wrong with "Sunshine and Shadow: Recent Painting in Southern California," at USC's Fisher Gallery, is that it's just one show. The exhibition should be the beginning of a series, an annual affair or an inspiration for other equally judicious samplings of Los Angeles art. Art professor and historian Susan C. Larsen has selected 32 recent paintings by 29 artists for a small survey that cuts across boundaries of age, recognition and style.
October 27, 2006 |
Newspace is closing? It isn't quite the end of an era. Other contemporary art galleries of the same vintage are still in business in Los Angeles. But Joni Gordon's Melrose Avenue showcase has been a major fixture of the local art scene for three decades. Which is to say, since the days when a novice could take over a foundering gallery, buy the key for a few cents, rent the space for $200 a month and develop an exhibition program that mattered to young artists.
June 26, 1990 |
An unnatural alliance is forged between man and nature in "Flora," a fascinating exhibition curated by Deborah Irmas. Including six works by four artists, this is a show of living art--all the pieces involve plant life that has been built into an artwork in such a way that it can continue to thrive. The show reflects the current trendiness of ecological issues, but more than that, it reads as a mannered fin de siecle folly that's vaguely creepy.
September 7, 2002 |
Obsession is always beguiling. Located beyond the clipped and rationally tended territory of reason, it dovetails nicely with art. Put the two together, and art obsession serves pretty well as a working definition of just what grips collectors. At East Los Angeles College's Vincent Price Gallery, a show of 125 works from the collection of Robert E. Holmes is a modest yet appealing example of the affliction. The exhibition is nicely overstuffed.
May 31, 2004 |
L.A.'s Cultural Affairs Department has had a rocky spring. In March, word got out that the mayor's budget team had slated the department for possible extinction -- a sacrifice on the altar of the city's $300-million budget deficit. Public outcry ensued, and the mayor quickly recanted, pledging to preserve the department but calling for a change of direction, namely a greater emphasis on the promotion of cultural tourism.
December 25, 1994 |
Herewith, in no particular order, the 10 events, episodes and issues most significant for the Los Angeles art world in 1994: Dynamic Duo: Simultaneous retrospectives of the pivotal work of Bruce Nauman and Mike Kelley at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the L.A. County Museum of Art, respectively, made for a knockout summer museum season, while definitively underscoring the continuing international significance of art made in Los Angeles.
July 4, 1996 |
Right off the bat, it's pretty obvious what Dan McCleary is up to. New paintings at Kohn Turner Gallery depict a 7-Eleven clerk in a green uniform posing as hieratically as a Renaissance prince, and a waitress, as serene as a housemaid painted by Vermeer, serving a cup of coffee to an oblivious customer. Elsewhere, everyday scenes inside coffee shops and outside movie theaters are saturated with references to the likes of Edouard Manet, Fra Filippo Lippi and Piero della Francesca.
September 29, 2002 |
Once a year, people who love traditional art--particularly when it has a regional flavor--can make their way to the Los Angeles Art Show. They buy a ticket and enter an environment that offers something a little different from what the name suggests. The "show" is an exhibition of sorts, but it's mostly a marketplace where dealers set up booths to display and sell their wares. It's the mall concept--one-stop shopping--applied to painting, prints and photography.
August 2, 2002 |
Last summer, Frank Lloyd Gallery staged a breathtaking introductory show of terra-cotta sculptures by Georges Jeanclos (1933-1997). This summer, the gallery follows up with another, equally astonishing. By the time Jeanclos was 13 and beginning an apprenticeship with a sculptor, he had already had an excessive share of fear and danger for one lifetime.
December 3, 2004 |
Of all the reactions likely to be observed among visitors to an exhibition of contemporary art -- quiet contemplation, hushed commentary, a smile or a chuckle -- a genuine gasp is surely among the most rare. Good art can be beautiful, intelligent, humorous or moving, but it takes something pretty spectacular to cut through the refined atmosphere of your typical gallery and evoke a real, spontaneous expression of astonishment.