Channa Horwitz, "Sonakinatography #21", plaka on mylar, 49 x 31", 1991
Frederic Remington, "Radisson and Grosseilliers", o/c, 17 1/4 x 30", 1905.
The clear, liquid light and bravura brushwork of Frederic Remington have long established this late-19th century painter of Western subjects as one of the prototype artists of the genre. His career resembled that of many European contemporaries who were popular for having provided curious home audiences with romanticized depictions of the "mysterious East." Remington fed the interest of east coast Americans in the Wild West. He may have been the most successful artist of his day in satisfying this area of popular imagination. What this exhibition does is follow the development of Remington's aesthetic thinking over the course of his twenty-year career (he died at the age of 48 in 1909). Going beyond his artwork, the inclusion of selected diaries and studio artifacts generally help lend insight, though some of this plethora, particularly samples of forgeries of his work, are extraneous (Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Glendale).
Tom Wudl, "The Pavilion of the Miraculous", a/c, 90 x 101", 1996
Tom Wudl's divergent use of multi-layered imagery and style has
always been visually exciting, so it's an event to note his first solo show
at the gallery in eight years. There is the usual eclectic roster of objects,
along with an array of art historical reference points, that are placed
into at times amorphous, at times fantasy spaces. The one side of Wudl's
work focuses and sharpens your vision, while the other side of it opens
you up to wide-ranging speculation. And that is precisely why this artist
is always worth revisiting.
Richard Diebenkorn, "Untitled (#566), ink wash & graphite on paper, 14 x 17"
The late Richard Diebenkorn's place in art's history is as unassailable as anyone who has worked in California in this century thanks to his early figurative innovations and his long series of lyrical yet structural abstractions, particularly the Ocean Park Series. This show is devoted entirely to figure drawings executed between his major periods of abstract, landscape-based painting, from 1954-67. Beyond being instructive for the lessons to be seen here in bridging the two modes, Diebenkorn's line is such a pleasure (L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice)
A broad swath of artists using the subject of landscape--realistically, metaphorically, historically and poli- tically--is at the center of Panoramas of Passage: Changing Landscapes of South Africa. The idea is to introduce the American audience to no less than eighty artists native to South Africa, and at the same time present the story of South Africa itself. Given the involvement of the South African government itself (the catalogue includes an introduction by President Nelson Mandela) there is always the possibility that the overall vision that emerges has been sanatized and directed by political imperatives. Given the scope and weight of the selections, it's worth going to and deciding for yourself (CSU Los Angeles, Harriet & Charles Luckman Fine Arts Gallery, East Los Angeles).
David Alan Yamamoto, the artist with "Fountain", four-part screen panel.
Six artists are presented at three public venues in Finding Family Stories: Sharing Memory, History and Culture Through Art. This is an explicitly multi-cultural exercise that seeks to not only present a selection of artists' treating the theme of the family, but to illuminate non-Western cultural influences that prompt people of color. This relates not so much to the formal modalities of the art as the subject matter and its perspective. Judy Chan, for example, uses childhood experiences of racial discrimmination as the raw material for her work, Not Welcome There. Focusing more on the influence of family is Yolanda Gonzalez, who visualizes the idea of spiritual connection in Intercambio de las Niñas (Dialogue of Two Young Souls). Work by Charles Dickson, Kori Newkirk, Miguel Angel Reyes and David Alan Yamamoto is also featured (Japanese American National Museum, Downtown; Watts Towers Arts Center, South-Central; Plaza de la Raza, East Los Angeles).