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ARTS REVIEWS

ARTS REVIEWS

  • 5-year-old Big Macs as sculpture? Animal chef Vinny Dotolo serves up a food-themed art feast

    5-year-old Big Macs as sculpture? Animal chef Vinny Dotolo serves up a food-themed art feast

    Curated by Vinny Dotolo, the chef behind Animal and other restaurants, “Please Have Enough Acid in the Dish!” is a group show with 37 artists’ works dealing with food. The exhibition at M+B is a jaunt, despite a clunky title and the awkward installation. Fruit is a perennially popular subject,...

  • 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...

THEATER REVIEWS

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MORE ARTS REVIEWS

  • 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...

  • Review: George Condo at Sprüth Magers Gallery

    Review: George Condo at Sprüth Magers Gallery

    George Condo has always been besotted with pushing paint around canvas, ever since his first show in Los Angeles more than 30 years ago. The pleasure is infectious. The New York-based painter, now at Sprüth Magers Gallery for his first L.A. solo exhibition since 1999, is still smitten. Most of...

  • Ramiro Gomez 'On Melrose' at Charlie James Gallery

    Ramiro Gomez 'On Melrose' at Charlie James Gallery

    Nine new paintings by Ramiro Gomez continue his project of representing workers in Los Angeles — either invisible or merely taken for granted — whose labor is instrumental to making the city go. His focus now is “On Melrose.” In the basement room at Charlie James Gallery, Gomez’s 11-panel mural...

  • Review: Marius Bercea at Francois Ghebaly Gallery

    Review: Marius Bercea at Francois Ghebaly Gallery

    Fourteen recent paintings by Romanian artist Marius Bercea are filled with languorous beauty, negotiating a conflicted intersection between sincere, profound yearning and deep psychological distress. This is Bercea’s third solo show at Francois Ghebaly Gallery and his most impressively resolved....

  • Survey of Agnes Martin's powerful yet meditative work draws a straight, vibrant line to Zen

    Survey of Agnes Martin's powerful yet meditative work draws a straight, vibrant line to Zen

    Want to clear your mind? Get a pickup truck, then spend a couple years driving across and around the continent — alone. That's the first lesson of the lovely retrospective of abstract paintings by Agnes Martin (1912-2004) newly opened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The show is divided...

  • Nathan Mabry's splendid drawings and smile-inducing sculptures

    Nathan Mabry's splendid drawings and smile-inducing sculptures

    The first room of the exhibition at Cherry and Martin has five splendid drawings, each created by layering outlines of faces taken from art objects. They suggest Asian, African or Native American sources, but also European art. The outlines are so thoroughly intertwined that it’s impossible to...

  • Marilyn Minter's 'Pretty/Dirty' show allures and repulses all at the same time

    Marilyn Minter's 'Pretty/Dirty' show allures and repulses all at the same time

    Marilyn Minter's paintings are famously nauseating. "Orange Crush," 9 feet tall, 15 feet wide and painted in garish, glossy enamels on a billboard-size metal panel, blows up to monumental scale a still from her high-definition video projection "Green Pink Caviar." The slow-motion video is focused...

  • Female sculptors, full of humor and verve, prove to be way more than 'All Right'

    Female sculptors, full of humor and verve, prove to be way more than 'All Right'

    Take the bravado of sculptors Peter Voulkos and John Mason, fast-forward two generations, cross the gender line and what do you get? "All Right," a hugely satisfying assembly of 16 female artists working in clay. The show at Redling Fine Art in Los Angeles abounds in formal ingenuity and boundary-bending...

  • Laurie Lipton: Drawing the walking dead with a most beguiling beauty

    Laurie Lipton: Drawing the walking dead with a most beguiling beauty

    Ace Gallery serves up a feast of toxic confections in its show of Laurie Lipton's drawings from the past 10 years. Every lavishly detailed scene straddles the divide of seduction and repulsion, and each visual spectacle registers some aspect of societal decay. "Happy" (2015) is among the most gripping...

  • Ben Buswell's photographs look like drawings and act like sculpture

    Ben Buswell's photographs look like drawings and act like sculpture

    Portland, Ore.-based Ben Buswell's first solo art show in Los Angeles lands at the intersection of photography, drawing and sculpture. Each medium doesn't so much accommodate the others as it asserts its own, generating a friction that's optically and conceptually intriguing. In a series titled...

  • Roman floor mosaics with violent scenes pack a punch at Getty Villa

    Roman floor mosaics with violent scenes pack a punch at Getty Villa

    Combat. Conflict. Life or death skirmishes. Brawling. Judging from the admittedly small sample of nearly a dozen fragments of floor mosaics, several quite large, in a new exhibition at the Getty Villa, ancient Romans across the sprawling empire were pretty obsessed with the bloody violence necessary...

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