Julian Wasser, "Andy Warhol, Irving Blum, Billy Al Bengston and Dennis Hopper, at the Opening Reception, Duchamp Retrospective, Pasadena art Museum”



January 16 - February 20, 2016 at Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica

by Diane Calder



Marcel Duchamp, whose signed Readymades questioned the role of the artist and passed some responsibility for determining what the art means to the viewer, was an influential presence in New York avant-garde circles for years. Duchamp’s attempt to explore ideas of sexual identity via his adoption of the alternate female personality known as Rrose Selavy (in French say: “eros c’est la vie"), continues to resonate with current concerns. The introspection and documented deliberation that enhanced the complex iconography and construction methods Duchamp employed in works such as “The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even” have fueled countless discussions suggesting innumerable interpretations of that work, including the engaging claim that it serves as an assault on art history’s depictions of virgin birth. He has been long accepted as one of the single most towering creative figures of the last century.




Marty Schnapf, “As an Egg Divided with a Hair”



January 9 - February 20, 2016 at Museum as Retail Space, Downtown

by Michael Shaw



As the critical dialogue around abstraction continues to unfold, often hiding in plain sight is the unrelenting preponderance of figuration — human figuration in particular. Multitudes of artists continue to gravitate to the most recognizable form of self-expression and self-reflection, while art audiences continue to be held in sway by a new — or new to them — take on the familiar. Are the possibilities for imagery derived from the human form no less infinite than in the forum of abstraction?




Gordon Watkinson, "House of the Present, Allmann Sattler Wappner Architekten," 2005, Munich, Germany. © Gordon Watkinson.



January 24 - May 1, 2016 at Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs

by Gordon Watkinson



As this tiny marble Earth rolls and pitches in slightly burlesque free-fall, careening between "yes we can," henna-haired clowns and the realities of our deeply tribal natures, it’s good to recall art and design intended to be quintessentially progressive. Such was the Bauhaus.




James Turrell, installation view, is currently on view at Kayne Griffin Corcoran.


In 2013, a trio of majestic exhibitions held at a trio of major institutions — LACMA, MFA Houston and the Guggenheim in New York — focused on the remarkable career of James Turrell through immersive illuminated installations. Turrell is one of the leading pioneers of the Southern California Light and Space art movement, and each of these exhibitions examined different epochs of his career, from his earliest experiments and projections to his latest architecturally scaled achievements, the latest being the magnificent “Aten Reign,” which filled the Guggenheim’s rotunda with slowly shifting hues of colored light. “Sooner Than Later, Roden Crater” was the previous exhibition presented here, concurrent with the LACMA show, both of which surveyed Turrell’s decades-long transformation of an extinct volcano located in the Northern Arizona desert.




Edouard Vuillard, “The Pastry Shop” from “Landscapes and Interiors,” 1899, color ink on paper, 16 x 13”.



October 16, 2015 - February 15, 2016 at Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena

by Mario Cutajar



The myth of an anti-bourgeois avant-garde that in Clement Greenberg’s formulation set itself apart (“emigrated”) from both society and the “markets of capitalism” is contradicted by numerous examples of 19th- and 20th-century modernists who were quite at home in upper-class circles and who would have achieved little recognition had they not enjoyed the steady support of their wealthy friends. Few, however, made their charmed milieu the subject matter of their oeuvre. Édouard Vuillard (1868-1940) did. What’s more, Vuillard’s careful observation of bourgeois interiors and denizens (aided after 1897 by the artist’s voluminous photographic records) was integral to his development as a painter of complex spatial arrangements affirming the flatness of the pictorial surface. In Vuillard’s paintings, and perhaps even more so in his prints, this tension is responsible for the peculiar fusion of naturalism and abstraction (or realism and symbolism) that is characteristic of his work.




Dirk De Bruycker, “Untitled,” 2015, 84 x 72”.



November 14, 2015 - January 9, 2016 at FP Contemporary, Culver City

by Bill Lasarow



Don’t waste your time looking for the subversive twist in Dirk De Bruycker’s color field paintings, you won’t find it. The man spent decades pushing liquid, flowingly liquid color media around canvases. The stuff blooms out at you, its flora scaled to our size, neither small enough to be consumed as a precious object, nor so large as to submerge us.




Lynn Aldrich, “The Universe in Captivity,” 2015, velvet, tulle, canvas, vinyl paint, puff balls, steel wire, brass, 60 x 13 x 13”.



October 24 - December 5, 2015 at Edward Cella Art & Architecture, Culver City

by Liz Goldner



In “More Light Than Heat,” Lynn Aldrich transforms Duchampian readymade materials bought in hardware, craft and office supply stores into constructions that have transcendent and spiritual qualities. The pieces in this show, all completed this year, represent an evolution for the artist, whose sculptural works of the past two decades have tended to possess more whimsical and homespun aspects.




Virginia Katz, "Breakdown"



October 24 - November 28, 2015 at Ruth Bachofner Gallery, Santa Monica

by Roberta Carasso



Traditional landscape painting just isn’t what it used to be. With the current global concern with climate change and the environmental challenges that it is ushering in, Virginia Katz’s perception of landscapes has evolved to where her paintings, always graphic, have become sculptural. With modern technology and focus on responsibilities of individuals to nurture the environment, it was inevitable that today’s artists would contemplate how to portray the environment, keeping in touch with current and scientific knowledge, but adding the artist’s sensitivity.




Jay Kvapil, untitled bowl



November 7 - December 23, 2015 by Couturier Gallery, Miracle Mile

by Kathy Zimmerer



Jay Kvapil’s new series of ceramic vessels comprise an elegant ode to the beauty of the clay surface. By creating a series of thrown vessels that are tightly formed and beautifully pure, the depth and luminosity of the glazes are able to shine; hence the title of his exhibit,  “Control and Chaos.”




Victor Hugo Zayas, “Grid Series 16”



November 1, 2015 - February 7, 2016 at Museum of Latin American Art [MoLAA], Long Beach

by Daniella Walsh



“I was born by the river,” intoned soul singer Sam Cooke some 50 years ago in  “A Change is Gonna Come.” Painter/sculptor Victor Hugo Zayas may not have been born by a river, but he has recorded the Los Angeles River’s constant evolution, from murky concrete ditch to roiling waterway to a sort of urban nature preserve filled with its own flora and fauna. Where some might see blight, others will see beauty and Zayas has captured that in countless sketches which then morph into a variety of paintings. Now his “River" paintings, accompanied by urbanscapes from his “Grid" series, comprise this selection of 40 recent works, curated by Eddie Hayes.


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