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ARTS REVIEWS

ARTS REVIEWS

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  • LACMA's exhibition 'Sculpt': Incoherent pretension for an audience of one

    LACMA's exhibition 'Sculpt': Incoherent pretension for an audience of one

    “Sculpt,” a 50-minute film by French Conceptual artist Loris Gréaud, is the latest event program in contemporary art offered by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Event programs are appointment-only exhibitions of a single, immersive work designed for a limited audience. “Rain Room” — a chamber...

  • Men touching other men: How Kenneth Tam's video art playfully nudges viewers toward discomfort

    Men touching other men: How Kenneth Tam's video art playfully nudges viewers toward discomfort

    In three videos at the gallery Commonwealth & Council, Kenneth Tam explores the fraught territory of male social relations, specifically the ways in which men interact with one another physically. Each of the videos, displayed on its own large monitor on the floor, documents interactions Tam arranged...

  • Alex Da Corte set Pop aflame at Art + Practice

    Alex Da Corte set Pop aflame at Art + Practice

    With its vivid colors, direct appeal to commerce and jaunty emphasis on diversionary amusement, Pop is not often regarded as one of the dark arts. The work of Alex Da Corte seems to be an exception to the rule. A thread of deep, disquieting despair runs through the seemingly cheerful environment...

  • Uncharted seas in 'How to Build a Foghorn' at Samuel Freeman Gallery

    Uncharted seas in 'How to Build a Foghorn' at Samuel Freeman Gallery

    Foghorns are virtually obsolete today, new technology having usurped their Industrial Age function of warning vehicles about hidden navigational hazards. Relegated to the realm of poetic metaphor, they turn up as a loose hook for the 63 works in the four-artist show “How to Build a Foghorn.” At...

  • Who am I? Provocative answers in 'Me, Myself, I' at China Art Objects

    Who am I? Provocative answers in 'Me, Myself, I' at China Art Objects

    LaToya Ruby Frazier’s black-and-white photograph of her grandmother shows the gray-haired matriarch in profile, lighting up a Pall Mall in a cluttered room stuffed with nearly two-dozen dolls. It takes just a moment to register that the tousled older woman is black and that almost all the dolls,...

  • The 'Grind' of city life at Various Small Fires

    The 'Grind' of city life at Various Small Fires

    A disheveled cement wall in the courtyard of the Hollywood gallery Various Small Fires conceals a sculptural tableau. Mateo Tannatt has etched the word “Café” into the wall, and behind it a segment of construction scaffolding holds a dozen empty drinking glasses. A life-size figure in white plaster...

  • How would you describe women? Betty Tompkins asked, then painted 1,000 answers

    How would you describe women? Betty Tompkins asked, then painted 1,000 answers

    Since the 1970s, New York artist Betty Tompkins has created frank, unvarnished paintings and drawings of female genitalia and explicit sex acts. These, on view at Gavlak Gallery with paintings of words used to describe women, form a potent examination of our culture’s attitudes toward women and...

  • Group show at Moran Bondaroff: A playfulness in its secrets

    Group show at Moran Bondaroff: A playfulness in its secrets

    The three-person exhibition “Eternal” at Moran Bondaroff gallery is a cross-generational conversation on the use of found and recycled materials in art. It’s not the most compelling theme, but the show does result in some interesting juxtapositions. “Eternal” features contemporary works by New...

  • Richard Prince show plays more like a fan tribute than art exhibition

    Richard Prince show plays more like a fan tribute than art exhibition

    People often say that we get the politicians we deserve. If that’s also true of art exhibitions, “Richard Prince: The Douglas Blair Turnbaugh Collection (1977-1988)” paints an unflattering picture of what people want in a culture that no longer understands the difference between public and private...

  • The sculptures that help you to see (and feel) color in a new light

    The sculptures that help you to see (and feel) color in a new light

    The magical mysteries of color strut their shape-shifting stuff in “Peter Alexander, Sculpture 1966-2016: A Career Survey” at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery in Boyle Heights, where the exhibition is a garden of earthly delights. Its 21 pieces meld simple shapes and complex colors to give beauty a real...

  • L.A. artist Carl Cheng's darkly amusing supply kits for the apocalypse

    L.A. artist Carl Cheng's darkly amusing supply kits for the apocalypse

    When Andy Warhol called his studio the Factory in 1962, he put an end to the romantic idea that artists labored alone in garrets where they poured their souls into works that would be misunderstood, if not completely ignored, by the general public. Los Angeles artist Carl Cheng took Warhol’s proposition...

  • Myth and mystery in Ecaterina Vrana's paintings at Nicodim Gallery

    Myth and mystery in Ecaterina Vrana's paintings at Nicodim Gallery

    Ecaterina Vrana’s paintings at Nicodim Gallery are striking in their idiosyncrasy. The Romanian artist handles paint like frosting, depicting dream-like scenarios dominated by women and snowmen, birds and fish, and lots of blood-red tears. The world they inhabit is by turns humorous and dark but...

  • The media age run amok in 'Federico Solmi: The Brotherhood' at Luis De Jesus Gallery

    The media age run amok in 'Federico Solmi: The Brotherhood' at Luis De Jesus Gallery

    Imagine animating the surging throngs in James Ensor’s monumental 1888 masterpiece, “Christ’s Entry Into Brussels in 1889,” with its grotesque painted caricatures of mobs populating church and state and engulfed in an alarming aura of surging madness. You’ll have some idea of what Federico Solmi’s...

  • Alison Saar traces diasporas in the exceptional 'Silt, Soot and Smut' at L.A. Louver Gallery

    Alison Saar traces diasporas in the exceptional 'Silt, Soot and Smut' at L.A. Louver Gallery

    When the Great Mississippi Flood displaced hundreds of thousands of African Americans in 1927, many chose to keep on going. Impelled by the waters of the worst U.S. flood ever recorded, they joined another rising tide — a mass migration from the rural South to the urban Northeast, Midwest and West....

  • Art meets activism in Andrea Bowers' 'Triumph of Labor' at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

    Art meets activism in Andrea Bowers' 'Triumph of Labor' at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

    A historical face-off is the congenial centerpiece of Andrea Bowers’ exhibition of recent work at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. On one side of the room is an adaptation of a late-19th century graphic, blown up to monumental scale. On the other is a wall mural made from 168 color snapshots....

  • Finding new dimensions in 'Abstract Classicists' at Louis Stern

    Finding new dimensions in 'Abstract Classicists' at Louis Stern

    In the late 1950s, Helen Lundeberg (1908-1999) developed a crisp, hard-edge style for paintings that oscillate visually between geometric abstraction and wide-open landscapes navigating between the natural and built environments. As a recent retrospective at the Laguna Art Museum showed, the best...

  • East West Players lets fly a heartfelt take on 'La Cage aux Folles'

    East West Players lets fly a heartfelt take on 'La Cage aux Folles'

    The best of times are now at the David Henry Hwang Theatre, where East West Players concludes its 50th anniversary season with an idiosyncratically endearing revival of “La Cage aux Folles.” Jerry Herman and Harvey Fierstein’s Tony-winning 1984 musical is the final staging of artistic director...

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