"Butterflies Are Free to Burn", acrylic/mirrors/plexiglass/decals/metal on wood, 79 x 109 x 6 1/4", 1989.

Karen Carson is the subject of a multi-venue retrospective that presents her work over the last 25 years. Carson's drawings, paintings and three-dimensional works are done in a variety of styles ranging from the abstract and gestural to the realistic. The earliest works on view are the rarely seen Zipper paintings in which pieces of rectangularly shaped canvas are zipped together in a cubist-like construction. Carson then moved on to abstracted interiors, circular shaped canvases, before developing a more complex layering of abstract gesture and realistic rendering. In the more recent works Carson investigates the juxtaposition of language and image in large painted vinyl banners. These exhibitions give viewers a chance to assess the impressive scope of Carson's production from 1971 to 1996 (Otis College of Art, Mid-City, The Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica; additional shows at LACE and Rosamund Felsen Gallery closed in March).

"Cubistic Bar", color crayon, 19 x 24", 1980.

David Hockney: A Drawing Retrospective is an impressive exhibition of over 150 works on paper, including a number of his sketchbooks, that illustrate the scope of Hockney's career. Hockney is a versatile artist who is facile with pen and pencil. The works on view range from portraits to drawings for the stage to his more recent abstractions. The exhibition presents work from Hockney's student days at the Bradford School of Art and the Royal College of Art in London, tracing his stylistic development as he experimented with different forms, mediums and subjects ranging from the figure to the landscape. Hockney is one of the most popular artists working today and this exhibition brings together some of his best works on paper (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, West Hollywood).

Walking Behind the Glass is a group exhibition curated by José Alvaro Perdices Torres featuring the work of nine artists, many of whom reside in Spain. This exhibition gives U.S. viewers a chance to see the work of Spanish artists working with projected imagery. All the work in the exhibition involves projection: Some are single images projected on the gallery wall by a slide projector, others involve dissolving pictures or are triggered by viewer interaction. Many of the projections are digitally altered works. The title of the exhibition refers to the metaphor of the shop window--traditional photographic practices with new technologies. The artists in the exhibition are: Richardo Echevarria, Pedro Galvan, Kepa Landa, Marcus Lutyens, Alicia Martin Villanueva, Mar Nuñez, Fernando Sanches Castillo, Rafael Suarez and José Luis Vinas (LACPS, Hollywood).

Michael Gonzalez' new works are small wall sculptures in which small pieces of clear artists' erasers have been sandwiched between pieces of plexiglass creating quasi-modernist collages. The works are abstract compositions created from everyday objects. In addition to using erasers and pieces of colored plastic, Gonzalez has also made collages from the plastic wrappers containing red blue and yellow dots from Wonder bread as well as from the Thai menus left on door knobs. Gonzalez has been making works from everyday found objects for years and these pieces continue his investigations.

In the upstairs gallery is an installation by Rainer Ganahl. Ganahl uses the computer, the computer screen and the complex system of information processing to create somewhat impenetrable but visually seductive installations. Painted directly on the four gallery walls is a single black line, a grid of small black squares, a tool box button, and a fragment of text referencing theory. How the viewer makes sense of these disparate bits of information usually presupposes prior knowledge of Ganahl's project. Without this knowledge, viewers are left to their own devices to figure out the meaning. Even without deciphering the code, Ganahl's work is still visually compelling and worth the effort (Thomas Solomon's Garage, West Hollywood).

Sandra Sallin, "Shadows", oil on canvas over panel, 38 x 46 3/4", 1994.

Among the many artists presented in this wide-ranging inaugural exhibition, Sandra Sallin, Kerry James Marshall and Norman Lundin stand out. Sallin's graphite drawing of flowers, located in the entry space, all but takes your breath away. The blossoms seem to float up, beckoning you to bury your head in the blooms to test the promise of gentle aroma. Her art is technically precise and emotionally fulfilling. Marshall's two drawings, one of a man in military garb, the other a woman in the same uniform, have an internal power. The two stare confrontingly at the viewer so that you feel impelled to step back. Lundin's small painting of an empty room, the light cast from a lone window, quietly and magically commands its space. One is immediately reminded of Northern European paintings. The muted grays and blues have a sense of winter light and a stillness that forces concentration (Koplin Gallery, West Hollywood [note that this is a new location for the gallery, which has relocated from its previous Santa Monica location--Ed.]).

Faiya Fredman, "Majorca Absurd Sleepy Ballet," mixed media, 83 x 35", 1996.

Using photographs of archeological excavations as source material, Faiya Fredman applies paint and natural materials--flowers, sand and chilies. Doorways are becoming a prominent motif. In Nuragic ORTU, a large black and white photo, she paints the area around the doorway, emphasizing this theme. The adandoned doorways invoke a sense of emptiness and loss. Also surfacing are references to her father and grandmother, suggesting that the doorways are metaphors for life connections. Amanda Farber's whimsical charcoal drawings and mixed media sculptures offer a distinct contrast. Particularly intriguing are the half-dome, wall-hung sculptures, Flip--representing a curling lock of hair--and Little Planets--a caricature of the solar system (Porter Troupe Gallery, San Diego).

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