Kim Anno, "Sway," oil on wood,
37 x 72 1/2", 1997.

Marie Thibeault, "Reservoir," 90 x 76", o/c.

Co-curators Jay Belloli and Jeff Nathanson pooled their respective love of painterly painting and their specific geographical expertise to put together a North/South exhibition with some sumptuous results. In Practice and Process: New Paintely Abstraction in California, color and painting are celebrated along with the deftness in brushwork that comes from a commitment to the craft. There are many works here that merit attention. Lavi Daniel coaxes softly painted quasi-geometric form from amidst a swirl of pale ochre, whites and yellow tints. Marie Thibault's thick, gutsy oil surfaces pulse and swirl with multicolored pockets and pools of excitement that alternate with dreamy doodles that seem to be resting after the fray. Kim Anno's mute painterly icons have a quiet, dignified poise, allowing the brushwork to be admired from the depths of the scumbled zones. Currently less critically favored than its cerebral cousin, the word-made-art, painting continues to act as a pole of attraction for the viewing eye and the thinking mind. Feeling may be difficult to describe, but it is equally as hard to forget (Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena).

Dinh Q Le, "Mother and Child," c-print/linen tape, 30 x 44.5"

Dinh Q Le is a Vienamese photographer who has been living in Los Angeles for a number of years. In his work he combines Eastern and Western traditions, making beautiful works that juxtapose images from both cultures. Each photograph is constructed as a weaving. The original photograph is cut into strips, and elements from other pictures are woven into the final work. For this exhibition, entitled The Headless Buddha, Le combines images of religious icons--the Buddha as well as Christ--in addition to images of Cambodian prisoners, making both color and black and white works that allude to the horrors of war as well as the notion of salvation (LACPS, Hollywood).

Installation view: left, Simon Edmondson, "Elements," o/c, 83 x 74", o/c; right, David Olivant, "Stale Folly," pastel on paper, 52 x 76", 1982.


Last Dreams of the Millenium: The Reemergence of British Romanticism presents paintings by seven British artists that are collectively genuine and dramatically direct. Bruce McLean's Big Night Out on Frankfurter Strasse is a large triptych depicting red-orange figures on blue and green fields in celebratory interaction. David Olivant's Time Laid Bare is a graphite on paper narrative with a Biblical, Medieval look of swirling figures and knarled trees that signifies a dream of pleasure and pain. A reclining figure, arms open to another's embrace, rests in the lower right of Simon Edmondson's A Hundred Ardent Lovers Fell Into Eternal Sleep. Above him, in alternating dark and light dream-like clouds, are the heads and faces of those lovers, a romantic revery (CSU Fullerton Art Gallery, Orange County).

William Wendt, "Bluffs on Pt. Dume," o/c, 18 x 28", 1897.


Frederick Rindge purchased Malibu Rancho in 1892, naming it "Laudamus" (Latin for "We praise the Lord"). He commissioned artists William Wendt and George Gardner Symons to paint his glorious hillsides, canyons and woods as if they were God's first church. Sixteen of the seventy-six works painted by Wendt and Symonds form the core of Historic Landscapes of Malibu, a collection of some forty paintings by some of California's best known landscape artists that depict the charms of nature in the region between Topanga Canyon and Point Mugu from the late 19th- through the mid-20th Centuries. Emil Kosa, Jr.'s theatrical painting pretty well sums things up: Wonder of it All--Malibu Canyon (Frederick R. Weisman Museum, Pepperdine University, Malibu).

Best known as Baby Bergamot, these three galleries have recently re-located as a group to Wilshire Boulevard near Fairfax. Each gallery has a new space, and their opening shows are as sensational as the spaces.

Acme presents the work of Uta Barth. Barth photographs exterior spaces that appear to be beyond the plane of focus. It's as if the subject has been removed and all that is left is the out of focus background. Enlarged to an enormous scale and printed on canvas by an ink jet printer, Barth's new works feel more like Seurat's paintings than photographs.

Dan Bernier presents the work of Martin Kersels. Kersel's work is concerned with movement and displacement. In his photographic series Friend Smacking Me a number of people are depicted 'smacking' the artist in front of the camera. In addition to the photographs Kersels has created a large installation work entitled Loud House. This sheet metal structure comes alive with sound. Although no-one is inside, the accompanying video-tape depicts musicians practicing, giving the illusion that the house is alive with sound.

Marc Foxx presents the work of Francis Stark. For a number of years Stark has been using carbon paper to make tracings of language. In these works fragments of literary works and random snippets of text are hand copied onto large pieces of paper that casually hang on the gallery wall. Each work is a formal composition, as Stark plays with color, line and shape, as well as a poetic presentation of language fragments (Dan Bernier Gallery, Marc Foxx Gallery, and Acme Gallery; West Hollywood).

Jeanne Silverhorn has transformed this gallery into an artist's studio. Enlarged rubber electrical conduits criss-cross, connecting computers to keyboards to florescent lights to sculpture tables to transformers and hot plates. In this environment the studio becomes both the site of creation and the creation itself. Silver- horn's art is both the installation as well as individual cast rubber paintings that emerge out of magnified bits of debris. Silverhorn plays with both scale shifts and gothic overload in this compelling installation (Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica).

Abstract paintings dating from the 1930's and '40s entirely by American artists, some being European transplants, make up the sixty works from the Dr. Peter Fischer collection now on exhibition. The show represents a period just prior to the huge American Abstraction movement of the fifties and sixties. The look of the show is historic and almost quaint, with it's emphasis on architectural and geometric shapes, and the feeling of rather naive optimism. Familiar names such as Arshile Gorky and Ad Reinhardt are included. Within this collection of predominately geometric images are also some more lyrical, softer takes that look like they might have just been painted, such as Leon Polk Smith's Diagonal Passage 3 [1949], John Ferren's Lyrical Abstraction [1936], and John Sennhaurser's Lyrical 7 [1942] (Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Laguna Beach).