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Jim Isermann, installation shot from "Fifteen: Jim Isermann Survey."

For his exhibition Fifteen: Jim Isermann Survey, Isermann wallpapered the museum walls with 16-inch square decals of an abstract shape, mass produced in yellow, orange and blue. Over this background he hung his decorative paintings and objects, creating an installation that reinforces the overall patterned structure of the works and makes for a spectacular presentation. Isermann is interested in issues of craft, pop culture as well as design and abstraction. This exhibition traces the artist’s development from abstract pattern painting to more complicated works quoting fuctional design, as well as fine art references, that are woven, braided and even made out of stained glass (Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica).

Mark Citret, "Canal, Venice,
Italy", photograph, 1998

Mark Citret
makes black and white photographs of the landscape with a keen eye and amazing sense of composition. His images of trees, building facades and the ocean record qualities of light that only black and white photographs can depict. The prints are enigmatic and printed to eccentuate each detail. His compositions are formally elegant. They manage to convey not only a sense of place, but also of time and the specific feeling that moment in time refers to (Paul Kopeikin Gallery, West Hollywood).

Waltercio Caldas, "Untitled,"
stainless steel/paint, 40 x 130 x 40 cm, 1998.

Waltercio Caldas is a well known Latin American artist who has been making sculptures and installations for the last 30 years. His works have a simplicity and elegance as he plays with issues of illusion and space. In his sculptural work he creates abstract linear forms out of thin metal tubing that become different shapes depending on the vantage point of the viewer. Sections of these sculptures are then painted, adding the element of a three-dimensional drawing (Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica).

Martin Parr is a British photographer who exults in the garishness of the everyday. Over 300 color Xeroxes of his photographs cover the walls of the gallery, creating a large grid of figures, faces, toys, food and the oddities of human existence. Parr focuses on the unusual--a dog in bright sunglasses, pink frosted candies, an unusual plate of food making images that celebrate the colorful and the absurd aspects of consumer culture. In addition to the walls of images, Parr also presents larger framed photographs that are enlargements of the Xeroxes. Although the color photographs are a more finished and final product, the effect of the bombardment of Xeroxes is a much more powerful statement (Richard Heller Gallery, Santa Monica).

For his current exhibition, entitled Welcome to Weyoume World, Daniel Wheeler presents objects salvaged from the home of a man known as "Weyoume" who died in 1997. This exhibition presents the obsessive objects created by Weyoume, as seen through the critical and selective eye of Wheeler. This exhibition is as much about issues of selection and re-presentation of the work of an unknown and 'naive' artist as it is about the work itself. Wheeler presents photographs, diagrams and "artist’s renderings" of Weyoume's home as well as many objects and devices he found there. These diagrams allow the viewer to visualize Weyoume's surroundings as well as offer a way to begin to understand his unique vision (Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery, Santa Monica).

Louis Faurer is a photographer, born in 1916, who makes black and white photographs that capture the street life of New York City. A master of the decisive moment, his psychologically charged images juxtapose people and reflections with street signage revealing what is often overlooked in the urban environment. His images portray New York as it was, a time we now look back at nostalgically. Stylistically his photographs are reminiscent of the works of Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Garry Winnogrand, photographers who also used their camera to capture the hustle and bustle of the streets in order to reveal to their audiences a view that only the camera can perceive (Jan Kesner Gallery, West Hollywood).

Jim Morphesis, "Angel with Blue Wing," oil/enamel/
charcoal/pastel/graphite on paper, 13 1/2 x 10 1/2", 1999.

The human body, especially the nude male torso and the skull are still the focal point of Jim Morphesis’ work. In this show of works on canvas, small wood panels and paper they also take on overtones of the yearnings of Icarus, the strife of Odysseus, or angels. These are powerful works with beautiful surfaces that compel the viewer's attention. They portray the classical contrast between vanitas and memento mori--earthly beauty and questions of eternity--in contemporary terms. The Greek Orthodox icons of the artist’s youth have been increasingly transformed into timeless images that evoke less the torso of Christ on the cross to concentrate more on the power of the secular body. The glowing, luminescent surfaces that Morphesis achieves in their warm golden red tonality are further animated with mysterious writing fragments. He often contrasts, in diptych compositions, a muscular torso against a second panel which often includes anatomical hearts or the familiar heart symbol (Skidmore Contemporary Art, Malibu).