Culture: High & Low
With Carolina A. Miranda
French artist tells female critic at Dallas paper to get a boyfriend

Artists have plenty of ways of dealing with criticism: They put dead critics in their paintings (à la Llyn Foulkes), they make their critics obnoxious fops (like John Ruskin in "Mr. Turner") or martini swilling harpies ("Birdman"). But in this day and age, they also take to Facebook — as in the case of French artist Loris Gréaud in Dallas.

For his installation "The Unplayed Notes Museum" at Dallas Contemporary, the artist built a fictional museum, which he then had a crew of rioters, played by actors, destroy during a patron party on Jan. 17.

Critic Lauren Smart, of the Dallas Observer, was not impressed. As she noted in her review of the show a week later:

"It became representative to me of how I see a lot of contemporary conceptual art. The presence, the absence, the convolution, an attempt to say something so desperate that nothing gets said. An audience just as interested in artistic consumption — or the appearance of it — that we engage with the emptiness, we believe the...

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Art cookbooks to Chicano zines: What to see at the L.A. Art Book Fair

Books may be dead, but the art book lives on.

Dozens of presses, booksellers, vintage books dealers, zine makers, independent publishers and one radio station will gather at the Museum of Contemporary Art's Geffen Contemporary space in Little Tokyo this weekend for what promises to be an incredibly busy iteration of the Los Angeles Art Book Fair (LAABF).

Now in its third year, the fair from the nonprofit Printed Matter Inc. promises more than 250 exhibitors from all over the globe — from Mexico and Denmark to Israel and Japan — as well as numerous publishing outfits from the United States, including more than 100 from California alone.

Last year's fair drew more than 25,000 visitors over 3 1/2 days to ogle books, special edition prints, limited-edition zines and more. This year, says organizer Shannon Michael Cane, upward of 30,000 attendees are expected.

Culture stalwarts such as Artbook/D.A.P., Bullhorn Press and Otherwild, Gingko PressSemiotext(e) and Siglio Press will all be in...

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French filmmaker trying to locate Ed Ruscha's fake rock in the Mojave

Sometime in 1976, artist Ed Ruscha made a fake rock and then he put it out somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert. There it has sat ever since, its location unknown, it's existence practically forgotten by time. But French filmmaker Pierre Bismuth has gone on a hunt for the sculpture — known as "Rocky II" — and he's making a film about it.

"Where is Rocky II?", as his project is titled, is the story of his search for this obscure piece of art. Bismuth discovered it while watching an old BBC documentary on VHS tape.

And the whole thing looks like it's going to be as quirky as you might imagine: Bismuth was one of the screenwriters on director Michel Gondry's idiosyncratic 2004 memory-erasing flick "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (for which he won the Oscar). He is also an artist.

"Rocky II," his directorial debut, will combine elements of fiction and real life. And for the hunt, he employs a private detective who leads him on his interrogations of a staggering range of...

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Object Lesson: A space-time wormhole by Glenn Kaino at Honor Fraser

Want to do some time travel? Find a wormhole. That's the tunnel in the space-time continuum that connects two disparate points — and a plot device for countless works of science fiction from "Star Trek" to "Contact" to "Interstellar." It's also the inspiration for a new work of sculpture by Los Angeles artist Glenn Kaino. He's crafted an artistic rendering of one of these space-time portals — which, incidentally, are theoretically possible. (I'll let the geeks at the Telegraph explain.)

Now on view at Honor Fraser gallery in Culver City, Kaino's 2014 piece, titled "As Far Away As a Minute," is made from wood and dozens of used sandpaper pieces that he harvested from friends' studios, autobody shops and wood-working spaces.

Sandpaper is a material that Kaino finds fascinating for a variety of reasons.

"There are the traces of the human gesture that it retains," he says. "All of that activity, all of the folding and unfolding."

But it's also a material with some art historical...

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Roundup: Antiquities seized, Facebook sued, lost Henri Matisse interviews

There's lots of interesting stuff going on in the culture industries: Looted antiquities seized. Facebook sued by a user who posted an image of a nude by a 19th century French painter. A Belgian artist found guilty of copyright infringement. Plus: a letter from a survivor of the Charlie Hebdo attack, the state of diversity in architecture and film, and lost interviews with Henri Matisse.

— “The only difference between us … was a couple of inches’ variation in the paths of the bullets and our respective locations when the black-legged men came in," Antony Shugaar, a journalist for the magazine Libération, and a columnist for Charlie Hebdo, writes about surviving the attack

— A Belgian court has found painter Luc Tuymans guilty of copyright infringement for using a photograph as inspiration for a painted work. But is it possible for a one-off painting to violate the copyright of a photograph? As Guardian critic Adrian Searle points out, “paintings and photographs are different kinds of...

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The fall and rise of Clyde Beswick and his CB1 Gallery's new downtown digs

Clyde Beswick is not your stereotypical art dealer. He is not into scene-making or air kissing or gray power suits. He's easy-going and personable, and you’re much more likely to find him in red flannel or bright gingham. He's the type of dealer who runs a gallery because he relishes spending time around art and artists.

Art, Beswick insists, is "not a commodity. I’m not selling food," he says. "I can’t get involved if I don’t fall in love with what I’m showing.”

Galleries are not easy propositions. It can be a juggling act of finding artists, installing shows and alerting the public. There are critics to contend with, the public’s fickle tastes and the endless fluctuations of the market. It’s no surprise that spaces come and go like the tides.

For the last five years, however, Beswick’s CB1 Gallery in downtown L.A.’s historic core, has been quietly nurturing the careers of a wide range of emerging and mid-career artists, figures who aren’t superstars — at least not yet — but who are...

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