Andy Warhol, "Cow", 1966, screenprint on wallpaper.
Lucas Samaras, Book, 1968, die-cut book-object in 98 colors.
Didi Dunphy, "Decorative Sampler," embroidery floss/Aida cloth/wood hoop/eyelet lace, 7" diameter, 1997.
One of the most interesting experimental galleries in Los Angeles hosts
three separate exhibitions. Didi Dunphy's Cross Stitch presents
tiny embroideries based on Frank Stella and Piet Mondrian paintings. Each
sampler presents a single image. The Stellas are done in pink thread; the
Mondrians are no larger than 2 inches high. Ingrid Calame's Spalunk...
is a large painting on mylar that moves from the wall to the floor. The
image is an impressive abstract gesture--remnants of paint drip on the floor.
Bill Radawec also organizes a group show featuring many of the artists he showed at his Domestic Setting alternative space. All in all the exhibitions, though unrelated, nicely complement one another (POST, Downtown).
Success in the commercial realm often permits our best photographers the opportunity to produce a parallel body of art photography that addresses issues of the heart. Arthur Tress is no exception. Selections from his Male of the Species series of nudes are erotically charged, but are truly notable for their use of setting and props to generate visual surprise. Reinforcing eroticism with obviously phallic objects, though, falls flat. Also on view are selections from the Condom Series, which veer in a very humorous direction. To Tress' credit, clever use of kitschy souvenirs and childrens' toys with the object of the series pokes serious fun at stereotypes rather than delivering another dour lecture about safe sex (Stephen Cohen Gallery, West Hollywood).
Brent Bond, "Bound for Destiny", mixed media on wood with
inset light box, 61 x 37 x 5.5", 1997.
A collection of seventeen works by Brent Bond cover an array of
media that leave the viewer happily torn between appreciating the medium
as well as the message. Bond brings his virtuoso printmaking skills to bear
on palladium prints, screenprints, C-prints, color copy transparencies,
traced vinyl color copy collage, light boxes, dry point engravings, letterpress
on paper, copper etching, intaglio, photogravure, polaroid transfers, chine'colle
on paper, laminations, boxed frame enclosures and engraved school desks
(whew!). As to the message, it focuses on altar-like constructions that
seek to explore the worshipper and those physical symbols that represent
that which he worships. The images reflect religious and cultural meanings
that are fixed, layered and laminated together in complex collage-constructions,
many illuminated with electric light. Each work is unique unto itself in
terms of both materials and content. This is a rich, complex and rewarding
exhibition (Brand Gallery, Orange County).
Gerard Bourgeois, "I'm Good At That," o/c, 44 x 24", 1997.
It is natural for viewers to be swept into the haunting moods created
by Gerard Bourgeois' paintings. The exhibition, entitled Il etait une
fois. . ., French for "Once upon a time. . .",creates a heightened
state of reverie, an enchanted world, made more magical by the sole presence
of children--children at play, practicing music, engaged in making art,
going to bed, sewing, grooming, daydreaming. Theirs is a state of purity,
free of concerns of weighty daily struggles. In short, a more ethereal existence
to which adults long to return--a Once Upon a Time. Through lush applications
of paint, skillful portraiture, and graceful lines that match the gentleness
of a child's soul, Bourgeois captures this return to innocence. Here lies
the magic (Sarah Bain Gallery, Orange
As Pilchuk is to contemporary art glass so Fedoskino is to the two-century
old Russian tradition of decorative laquer boxes. These are papier maché
at the beginning. A good soaking in linseed oil allows them to stiffen until
they are as hard as wood, though still very light. A coat of paint is then
applied to the entire box, most typically but not limited to black, at which
point an artist adds the pictorial element. Illustrated scenes from Russian
fairy tales, landscapes, battle scenes or romances give the boxes their
individual character. Gold-leaf borders complete the highly decorative look.
Once completed, coats of laquer provide the final polish and protection
from the elements. Masterpieces in Miniature is a special four-day
only exhibition that features selections from London's Colebrand House.
Fedoskino master painter Natalia Lenova, a specialist in animal scenes that evoke country settings from early in this century, also arrives with this collection. She will demonstrate her painting techniques in a special presentation; call the Museum for exact times and details (Carole & Barry Kaye Museum of Miniatures, West Hollywood).