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Ingrid Calame, "Secular Response 1B"
(detail), latex paint on wall, 40 x 40', 2000

Carol Caroompas, "Souvenir" from the series "Heathcliff and the Femme Fatale Go on Tour", acrylic on found embroidery on canvas/panel, 1999.

The annual C.O.L.A. exhibition presents new work by L.A. Cultural Affairs Department individual artist grant recipients. This year’s selections included Lynn Aldrich, Nancy Buchanan, Ingrid Calame, Carole Caroompas, Barbara Carrasco, John Divola, Robbert Flick, Michael Gonzalez, Daniel Martinez, Susan Mogul, Linda Nishio and Millie Wilson. The artists’ styles and mediums represent a diverse cross section of the kind of work being produced in Los Angeles today, ranging from large scale wall paintings to photographs to sculpture to video. Each artist was left to explore his or her own vision without restriction. The resulting exhibition, while by no means a coherent curatorial statement, does reflect some of the superb work being produced by artists currently living in Los Angeles (UCLA/Hammer Museum, West L.A.).

Adam Ross, "Untitled (The Permeability
of Time. . .#2)," oil/alkyd on
canvas, 48 x 72", 2000.

Adam Ross creates fantasy worlds in his exquisite new drawings and paintings. These Sci-Fi wonders--drawn from Surrealism, 1950's Modernism, as well as from Ross' own painting history--are intricate depictions of interior and exterior worlds, full of vertical powerlines and organically shaped planets. Ross creates both a sense of place and of atmosphere in these fantastical works (Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica).

Maxwell Hendler, installation shot.
Works include (l. to r.):
"Agua Dulce," resin on wood, 25 x 32",
"Speedball," resin on wood, 18 x 22",
"Simulation," resin on wood, 14 5/8 x 18",
all 2000.

Maxwell Hendler's new monochromatic works shimmer and glow. Each a different color, they are the result of layering multiple layers of paint and sanding the surface until it shines. In the exhibition space the gallery walls seem to disappear so all we are left with are these reflective rectangles. These paintings are masterworks that draw us in and hold our gaze (Patricia Faure Gallery, Santa Monica).

Jack Butler, "#3 from the Series 'People the
Picture Weren't of'", polaroid, 20 x 24, 1998.

Jack Butler's new Polaroid photographs are carefully chosen appropriations. Butler photographs areas of found images, focusing on anonymous faces and gestures. He then rephotographs these reproductions using a Polaroid camera. The resulting works are ghost-like and hauntingly beautiful. Presented are selections from two current bodies of work, People the Pictures Weren't Of and Dark Boarders. To create the images in Dark Boarders Butler first photographed found images with a Polaroid camera, then discarded the positive, keeping only the negative. These he then rephotographed to create the final seemingly black-on-black image (Frumkin/Duval Gallery, Santa Monica).

Curator Sue Joyce observed that East and West Coast women artists have been simultaneously reinventing the act of painting. As reflected in Eye Candy each group has come up with non-traditional painting methods that result in dazzling new forms of abstraction. Examples: Carolanna Parlato developed a process beginning with a kitchen blender into which she boldly mixes chemically diverse paints. Several steps later emerge luminous swirls of color that form tantilizing billowy whirlpools. Marilla Palmer translates color field painting into the sculptural realm, building layer upon layer of textured, diaphanous, holographic, and iridescent fabric on a steel armature. The undulating transparent layers of shimmering colors are mesmerizing. Liza Phillips creates abstract landscapes from topological maps found on the Internet; through digital manipulation she turns them into something sensually atmospheric. More than candy, their sweetness sustains long after seeing the exhibition (CSUF Grand Central Art Center, Orange County).

Marilla Palmer, "Prismatic," stainless steel/silk/acrylic/holographic
vinyl/plastic, 28 x 24 x 7", 1999.

Barbara Van Arnam, “Seven
Stones,” oil on linen, 1999.

Barbara Van Arnam’s exhibition of recent richly impastoed paintings, Of Memory and Anticipation, reach for the soul via the connection of past and future to the present self. The main subject floats on an amneiotic fluid-like field of color woven out of squiggly brushwork. Objects linked more and less obviously to the main subject are placed with apparent care so as to build a feeling of personal history or personality. The handling is uneven enough to undermine visual authority at times. Still, the fusion of grand theme to intimacy of focus lends these images an insightful pathos (Gallery 25, Fresno).

Guillermo Pichardo, "The Warrior,"
o/c, 36 x 25", 1999.

Pastor Perez, "The Color of Illusion,"
o/c, 28 x 39", 1997.

The Colors of Cuba, this gallery's inaugural show, features half a dozen or so works by each of six Cuban artists. Only a series of collages by Yamilys Brito, who incorporates military imagery and objects such as cigar bands into critical statements, is blatantly political. Many of the other artists favor various aspects of abstraction executed in bold colors. Orestes Gaulhiac paints childlike fantasy imagery that suggests Chagall gone Latin. Carlos Montes De Oca layers bold animal forms with linear drawings dramatized against dark backgrounds. Much of the work here has not previously been exhibited in the United States (Robert Savedra Gallery, West Hollywood).

Successors to the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten attempted to wipe out every trace of the extraordinary leader who denied the existence of all gods save one. Little remains to be seen at Armana, the capital city that Akhenaten built when he declared himself the sole interpreter of the sun god Aten's will. However, relics have surfaced over the centuries to give testimony to the remarkable changes in artistic style that began in the reign of Amenhotep III, flourished under the rule of his son Akhenaten, and left traces on artifacts from Tutankhamen's tomb. The informality and vitality of imagery including portraits of the royal family seated under Aten's protective rays and busts of Akhenaten's favorite wife, the stunningly beautiful and influential Nefertiti, are among treasures from museum collections around the world that comprise Pharaohs of the Sun. The exhibit amasses colossal stone sculptures, bas reliefs, painted imagery, an architectural model of Armana, glass vessels, jewelry and everyday implements that once belonged to those who lived under the rule of legendary leaders who embodied both religious and secular power (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, West Hollywood).