CONTINUING AND UPCOMING
EXHIBITIONS IN BRIEF
Guy Rose (1867-1925), "Laguna Eucalyptus", o/c, 40 x 30",
American Impressionist Guy Rose, a native Californian, studied and
painted here and in France. He was a friend of Monet, and his neighbor in
Giverny. This exhibition of sixty paintings from 1904 to 1921, all painted
in California and France, is a retrospective which well represents his work,
which was unfortunately cut short by the effects of lead poisoning and a
stroke that lead to the artist's death in 1925 (Irvine
Museum, Orange County).
Reconsidering the Object of
Art 1965-1975 is an exhibition that highlights a period of art that
has been amongst the most influential to artists working today. This exhibition
presents idea art or conceptual art--art made by artists who were more interested
in language, systems, and the environment than in making an aesthetically
pleasing objects. The exhibition features work by more than 50 artists working
not only in the United States but in Canada and Europe as well. Much of
the work on view has not been seen since it was originally exhibited in
the 1960's or '70s. Among the artists included are: Michael Asher, Mel Bochner,
Victor Burgin, Joseph Kosuth, Bruce Nauman, Ed Ruscha, and Robert Smithson,
to mention just a few. It is a rare opportunity to see not only thought
provoking work, but it isolates an important period in the history of art.
This show should not be missed (The Museum
of Contemporary Art [MOCA], Downtown).
Lisa Yuskavage, "Blonde, Brunette and Redhead", oil on linen,
36 x 108" (triptych), 1995.
In her current large paintings, New Yorker Lisa Yuskavage presents
female figures, quasi-self-portraits, yet obviously not her. The figures,
'girls,' are both creepy and compelling. They inhabit a non-descript background
space painted in an acidy yellow or greenish-blue or even a flesh-like tone.
Often Yuskavage's figures have distorted body parts like lopsided breasts,
or become part of the architecture, as in Transferance Portrait of My
Shrink in her Starched Nightgown with my Face and her Hair. There is
no doubt that Yuskavage is a remarkable painter who is in control of her
medium. Her subject is as controlled as her technique; and her paintings
amongst the most interesting being made today. Also on exhibit, Benjamin
Weissman has a reputation as a bad boy writer and artist, and in these
cartoon-ish watercolors and drawings he combines fragments of semi-offensive
texts with quirky drawings. In the two larger composite pieces he depicts
robot-like figures surrounded by text. Although Weissman is more skilled
as a prankster than as a draughtsman, he does make humorous and captivating
works (Christopher Grimes Gallery,
L.A.'s de facto standard bearer
for ceramic sculpture, Ken Price was absent from these parts for
a long time. He has returned, however, with his pedagogy (Price teaches
at USC) and aesthetic pretty much intact. That aesthetic is not easy to
chart, beyond it's insouciant virtuosity with clay, and it's sly, resolute
wit. Once a veritable knight of cups, Price has moved through a variety
of phases, even finding himself at one point creating erzatz Mexican tourist
pottery. His current series of big, bulbous but hollow objects recalls the
voluptuous, gaudy but mysterious objects with which Price made his first
big splash in the early '60s. Also troping on the vessel format, these feats
of clay ripple and bulge every which way, most fairly bristling with bumps
and pseudopods like overstimulated amoebae or green peppers downwind of
Chernobyl. Each and every one of the new blobs has its own stoma or blowhole
or navel or whatever you might call the circular opening at the center of
a depression that opens into the objects' interior (L.A.
Louver Gallery, Venice).
In this at first glance off-putting
exhibition, artist Kim Dingle has chosen works from the collection
of Eileen and Peter Norton. Rather than curate an exhibition by theme
or by artist, Dingle decided to curate the exhibition around the idea of
storage. Most of the works are still wrapped and crated, displayed in carefully
aligned boxes neatly stacked on shelves, rather than out in the open on
nails on the wall. Who might have made what artworks becomes less important
than the idea of display and of storage--what happens to a work when it
is bought, and taken away from the gallery. In this case it ends up in the
Norton's storage facility, carefully packed and archived. In this exhibition,
Dingle gives viewers a chance to see what is usually hidden from view (Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica).
Samuel Bak, "Triptych" (single panel), oil on linen, 63 x 144",
1978. Photo courtesy Pucker Gallery, Boston.
Witness and Legacy: Contemporary Art about the Holocaust includes nearly thirty artists, of varied ages and aesthetic preferences, who consider the phenomenon of the holocaust from enough different angles to offer a deeper response to it than only expressing the horror. Originated by the Minnesota Museum of American Art, about eighty works, including five room-sized installations, range from abstract paintings dealing with essential feelings, to deconstructions of Nazi symbols, to what the holocaust revealed about our own society, and more (Finegood Art Gallery, San Fernando Valley).
Queue: Thirty Four Degrees
includes 48 L.A. and Orange County affiliated fine arts graduates. There
are a number of notable works to be seen here, among which are Tera Galanti's
Adam/Ground, an inviting collage; Cherie Benner Davis' Cadmium
Shift, a luminous painting on paper; Victor Kreiden's Landscape Morphology;
as well as Holly Peters' painting, Ledger (Brand Gallery, Orange
The dual inner tendency towards good and evil is eternally
both an individual and meta-problem of humanity, and it is the thematic
concept behind Facing the Dragon, a varied group of work by local
artists that manages to pack a wallop. The visual and moral tension is contributed
to substanially by enough of the individual elements in the main space,
independent of the level of interest or complexity contained by any single
work, to offer fresh material for a reconsideration of how artists are tackling
the ethical spirit in their work. Frankly, many museum curators could take
a cue from this show for its presentation of a cogent idea that holds divergent
work together, and which also transcends conventional reflection (Artopia,
Active in New York art circles
during the 1960s, Bob Crewe put aside his brushes as his songwriting--and singing--career burgeoned. But the old itch returned, and Crewe got interested in scratching it in new ways. Returning to the canvas (or, more accurately, the panel), Crewe rapidly developed a distinctive non-objective painting style, and has continued to refine it. Consisting of single colors applied in thick-textured all-over brushstrokes and enhanced with a viscous but transparent layers, Crewe's painting bears a superficial similarity to that of several Clement Greenberg acolytes. But Crewe is as likely to break out of this schema as maintain it, often turning to grid or geometric compositions, just as often throwing in a sizeable drip or dollop of pigment and giving most of his works a strange penumbral cast, a harsh but metallic glow redolent of the wan, eerie light that falls on the earth during a solar eclipse (Jan Baum Gallery, West Hollywood).
Sam Samore's large, grainy black and white photographs
depict anonymous faces and interactions of glam girls or runway models.
Although theses images are about voyeurism, the scale and severe croppings
displace the original activity, making the images even more enigmatic. Samore
has been photographing people unaware of it for years, and in these quasi-fashion
images he once again offers an incomplete view of his subject, leaving us
to fill in the missing information and draw our own conclusions about her
activities (Richard Telles Gallery,