Articles
JULY/AUGUST, 2014

 

 

 

Our current Previews feature our editors' and contributing writers' evaluations of exhibition that open or continue into the current month, so as to provide you with the opportunity to view those that are of interest to you.

 

To look up past articles you can go to our archive of Articles forward from April, 2010; or the ArtScene Articles Archive prior to April, 2010 will be called up from a database separate from those starting April, 2010, so you will experience differences in appearance and navigation.

 

Here are our Previews and Recommendations for July/August, 2014.

 
"LARGE AS LIFE"

 

Elaine Katzer, "Cougar Totem”

 

 

June 14 - August 31, 2014 at American Museum of Ceramic Art [AMoCA], Pomona

by Suvan Geer

 

 

Mud. It’s the time-digested and sopping residue of mountains, trees, bodies, roads and cities all ground into dust. Artists working in clay touch that transformed history. Some even sculpt and shape it in ways that encourage us to remember parts of it.  The three sculptors in “Large as Life” make figures out of clay that have a kind of abiding reverence for organic nature not only of the muddy material but also for the lives and history composted within it.

 

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DAVID HOCKNEY

 

David Hockney, “The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire in 2011 (twenty eleven) — 2 January”

 

 

July 10 - August 29, 2014 at L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice

by Mario Cutajar

 

 

I’m inclined to regard the Yorkshire landscapes that David Hockney has been turning out for the last nine or so years as possibly the finest body of work he has done, a distillation of lessons learned over a lifetime of observation and experimentation propelled by an ambition to make the fullest possible use of the European art canon.

 

That ambition, it should be noted, has its pitfalls. Hockney’s talent, for better or worse, has always been that of an extraordinarily adept pasticheur. You can see this from the very beginning of his career when he’s absorbing and cute-ifying Dubuffet and Bacon and Ab Ex. Later on he adds Matisse, Bonnard, and Pop’s flatness and graphic incisiveness to the mix. The combination serves him brilliantly in fabulating a vision of Los Angeles as an all-white lotusland bedecked with blue swimming pools and young male bubble butts. (According to the Tate website, “In California, Hockney discovered, everybody had a swimming pool.” Everybody.) Later still, he latched on to cubism and mined it for decorative motifs and compositional ideas. In all this, as Mark Hudson astutely noted in a Telegraph review, “Hockney’s strength was his lightness of touch in appropriating and juxtaposing diverse graphic forms.” He was, according to Hudson, “post-modern before the fact,” which is perhaps an indirect way of stating that as an inveterate painterly magpie he anticipated what in the ‘80s would become standard artistic operating procedure.

 

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NANCY POPP

 

Nancy Popp, “Untitled (Street Performances), Los Angeles Tyiptych”

 

 

June 14 - July 26, 2014 at Klowden Mann Gallery, Culver City

 

 

Nancy Popp is best known for her performative interventions that explore the body's relationship to physical spaces. She often scales walls or climbs poles, cascading her body up, down and across architectural spaces. The sites of her recent interventions are incomplete buildings that are still under construction. They appear skeletal, framed but not yet covered. Her exterior works call attention to the architecture of the site, but it is really the way the body moves through these unfinished spaces that interests Popp. Her movement is recorded through video and photographic documentation, as well as through Mason Lines (heavy duty strings used by contractors for laying out excavation sites that provide straight lines for construction) that are tied to the structures tracing the paths of her journey. These bright orange lines remain at the end of a performance, crisscrossing and subverting the rigid grid structures they were designed to delineate. Popp performs indoors as well as out. Her interior performances often occur during gallery openings: audiences watch as she constructs temporary walls from white backdrop paper, which she then scores and later walks through to create a large hole. The documentation and the ripped paper remain for the duration of the exhibition.

 

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REX BRANDT

 

Rex Brandt, “Balboa Ferry Sunday"

 

 

June 29 - September 21, 2014 at Laguna Art Museum, Orange County

by Jeannie R. Lee

 

 

There is a reward for focus: specialized investigation reveals insight that is different from a broad sweep of inquiry. For the Laguna Art Museum that focus is deliberately California art and artists, and for Rex Brandt (1914-2000), that focus was unequivocally California light. The result is a tight, well-deserved retrospective of some fifty paintings — mostly watercolors — that cohesively brings together a body of work and local knowledge about a quintessential Southern California artist.

 

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AUGUSTE RODIN

 

Auguste Rodin, "Ombres de femme et d'enfant (Plate 87)”

 

 

July 17 - August 17, 2014 at Barnsdall Park, Municipal Art Gallery, Hollywood

by Roberta Carasso

 

 

When a towering sculptor, like Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) drew on paper with pen, ink, pencil, or other graphic materials, his powerful hands were continuously carving form in space as if manipulating pliant clay or obdurate stone. Sculptural form is impossible to fully capture in drawing. Yet, Rodin conveys a sense of  volume, in-the-roundness, human flesh and muscle despite the medium’s flatness. For Rodin, the human body was a source of never-ending inspiration. Human anatomy was living sculpture - exquisitely designed, mobile, and changing in endless configuration.different with each person, never repetitious. Because of the freshness of rendering each figure, Rodin’s desire to work with the human form was never satiated. It was his obsession.  Sculptural form not only helped him see drawing with an expanded vision, his innovative forms contributed a new vocabulary to the works of master painters of his day.

 

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CONTINUING AND RECOMMENDED, JULY/AUGUST 2014

 

Andrew Cannon, “Imperial Griddle,” 2014, PVA, automotive paint, spray paint, adhesive size, metallic foil, and pigment foil on panel, 24 x 20”. Photo by and Courtesy of the Artist.

 

 

“Chemical Computer” is the clunky title of Andrew Cannon’s modestly sized though physically ornate suite of abstractions. Employing ambitious quantities of high-tech and sculptural materials, among them PVA, pigment foil, lenticular print and holographic foil, Cannon dips into the classic SoCal Finish Fetish tradition without making the fetish element an end to his means. In other words, a little funkiness, as apotheosized in “Imperial Griddle,” is never shied away from. Rather, Cannon’s kitchen sink wholesale use of media re-infuses abstraction by meeting it halfway between modernist ideals and esoteric quirkiness. The works do love the context of the museum — one wonders if a few of them, on their own, would fit a little too well into a corporate setting. Two of them, however, manage to hold their weight on the painting (and all 2D work) — unfriendly grey brick wall, so perhaps weighing in with the devil’s advocate is wholly unnecessary (Santa Monica Museum of Art, Santa Monica).

Michael Shaw

 

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JUNE, 2014

 

 

 

Our current Previews feature our editors' and contributing writers' evaluations of exhibition that open or continue into the current month, so as to provide you with the opportunity to view those that are of interest to you.

 

To look up past articles you can go to our archive of Articles forward from April, 2010; or the ArtScene Articles Archive prior to April, 2010 will be called up from a database separate from those starting April, 2010, so you will experience differences in appearance and navigation.

 

Here are our Previews and Recommendations for June, 2014.

 
BRURIA FINKEL

 

Bruria Finkel, “Shadow on palm tree”

 

 

June 14 - July 26, 2014 at Santa Monica Art Studios, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica

by Bill Lasarow

 

 

Knowing that an individual has been forced to achieve something through hardship that the rest of us would not wish on our worst enemies inevitably earns sympathy points. The recognition that productivity alone is worthy of accolades may lead any honest critic to pull one’s punches is only fair; normal standards of performance are simply not realistic. Art, thankfully, is not athletics, to be measured with a stopwatch; it’s creativity, and that can achieve full flower by wielding a brush in one’s mouth (see Hogan, Patrick) or left foot (see Brown, Christy).

 

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ERIC FISCHL

 

Eric Fischl, “Tumbling Woman 11”

 

 

June 25 - August 23, 2014 at KM Fine Arts, West Hollywood

by Elenore Welles

 

 

When the figurative paintings of Eric Fischl came onto the scene in the late 1970s and gained prominence through the 1980s, he challenged the art world’s prevailing taste. He rejected convention with both irreverent content and technique. His dazzling evocations of light and shadow added to the overall tensions of scenes that were emotionally charged. It was style and content, rather than technique that propelled viewer reactions.

 

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