May 1, 1990 |
"My father is strong and good because he paints solar energy," Alfred Jensen's son once wrote in a school essay. Solar energy wasn't the half of it. A perpetual student of obscure systems of knowledge, Jensen researched ancient numerological systems, color theory and physics in order to make sense of the world. His art was a painstakingly constructed allegory of a harmonious universe. Jensen filled large canvases with patterns of small, tactile squares of color squeezed right from the tube.
March 8, 1988 |
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions is celebrating its 10th birthday with an orgy of self-congratulation under the guise of self-criticism. What could be more fun? What could be more predictable? What could be more safe? Navel-gazing criticism is the correct posture for "alternative spaces" such as LACE and even for individual artists these days. No one is thought to be smarter than artists who bite the hand that feeds them or institutions that invite them to do exactly that.
April 22, 1991 |
A child's fairy tale about beautiful maidens turning ugly toads into princes may not be interpreted as a glaring example of environmental destruction, but in artist Cheri Gaulke's new video installation, humans become the betrayer in a "failed love affair between humans and nature." Gaulke's piece is one of nine works included in the group show, "Environmental Legacies: Countdown to the Millennium," which recently opened at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.
November 2, 1991 |
Drug dealers, power-trippers, serial killers, money-launderers and other social pariahs are here. So are workaholics, substance abusers, gamblers and neurotics who mainly prey on themselves and people they love. Miserable and out-of-control, they are the subject of works by 24 artists in "Addictions," an exhibition opening today at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum.
June 16, 1991 |
The recession continues to take its toll on the arts, the latest victim being Santa Monica's Walker and Walker Gallery, which closed last week after less than a year of presenting mostly emerging artists including Anthony Ausgang, Anthony Solano and the collaborative group POM. "The recession is a lot worse than a lot of the bigger galleries are willing to admit, and it was especially hard for a new gallery.
December 11, 1992 |
Artists working through the new world disorder are on view in Cal State Northridge's gallery exhibition "The Chinese Heritage: Five Contemporary Perspectives." All participants make art about as accomplished as that of good graduate students, all are women, two born here, the rest in China. The latter are all still deeply enmeshed in the traditions of Chinese art and the problems of reifying it with an expanding world.
June 18, 1989 |
Burbank resident John Newman, one of the few photographers to gain access to the areas of Alaska most affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, is having an exhibition of his photographs at the Santa Monica College Photo Gallery through June 23. Newman's photographs, some of which were reprinted in the Village Voice's article on the disaster, are stark testimony to the damage at Prince William Sound. They focus on the town of Cordova, 50 miles southeast of the port of Valdez, an area particularly hard hit by the spill.
September 28, 1995 |
While reams have been written about what motivates artists to create (love, genius, ambition, insecurity or any number of other gifts or pathologies), very little has been said of the collector's drive to accumulate. "Neotoma," curated by artist Renee Petropolous at the Otis College of Art and Design Gallery, entangles both questions by taking a very wry look at artists whose mania is collecting.
November 13, 1998 |
A poll naming Italy as the Earth's most beloved country would come as no surprise. Chockablock with great art, robust food and gorgeous people, even the ancient nation's endemic inefficiency is finally endearing. For centuries artists made pilgrimages to quaff its classical past. They still do; witness Loyola Marymount's exhibition, "Contempo-Italianate: Contemporary Artists Reflect on Italy."