ARTS REVIEWS

ART REVIEWS

  • How the Obama portraits cheerfully buck the trend of instantly forgettable presidential paintings

    How the Obama portraits cheerfully buck the trend of instantly forgettable presidential paintings

    Video killed the radio star, but, save for a few exceptions, photography killed presidential portrait painters. As painting genres go, presidential portraiture was, if only for a few decades, the only way our head of state’s visage could be recorded and interpreted for posterity. Now, U.S. presidents...

  • A walk through Robert Irwin's new 5,000-square-foot sculpture

    A walk through Robert Irwin's new 5,000-square-foot sculpture

    Every morning when we wake up, we put the world together anew, Robert Irwin marveled in an interview with me more than a decade ago. The painter-turned-pioneering artist of light and space had been probing how perception defines reality since the 1970s, but there he was, nearing age 80, and clearly...

  • 29Rooms: Bummed that the DTLA event is sold out? Don't be

    29Rooms: Bummed that the DTLA event is sold out? Don't be

    At a time when the Supreme Court is willing to debate whether a gay wedding cake is free speech, it’s easy to hear about 29Rooms and not know what it is. Housed in a gigantic tent in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles, the conglomeration of 29 installations is a conflicted mishmash of art, marketing...

  • Alexa, meet Lauren: L.A. artist turns her apartment into an experiment in artificial intelligence

    Alexa, meet Lauren: L.A. artist turns her apartment into an experiment in artificial intelligence

    At 9 on a Friday night, I knocked on a door in a nondescript Los Angeles apartment building. The only distinguishing feature was a small label with red text that read “Lauren.” Soon came a whirring sound and the click of the door unlocking. My night with Lauren had begun. Lauren is the creation...

THEATER REVIEWS

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MORE ARTS REVIEWS

  • Ben Vereen, Ronald Reagan and the travesty of blackface, potently remembered

    Ben Vereen, Ronald Reagan and the travesty of blackface, potently remembered

    The problem with reenacting a blackface minstrel show, even to make a political point, is that on some level, it is still a blackface minstrel show. That was Ben Vereen’s problem at Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inaugural gala, where Vereen performed a musical hommage to fellow black entertainer Bert Williams,...

  • The art of religion: Corny, cynical and everything in between

    The art of religion: Corny, cynical and everything in between

    Thirty years ago at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, curator Maurice Tuchman organized an exhibition that explored the intersection of art and spirituality. “The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985” brought together about 250 works by nearly 100 artists to reveal that spirituality...

  • Ulrich Wüst at Christopher Grimes Gallery: A portrait of obsolescence

    Ulrich Wüst at Christopher Grimes Gallery: A portrait of obsolescence

    Barely a single living soul is glimpsed in 48 black-and-white urban photographs from the late 1970s and early 1980s by Berlin-based Ulrich Wüst. When people are there, they’re typically obscured behind the windshield of a car on an otherwise empty city street, hidden within a dark sidewalk shadow...

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