Art Review: Elad Lassry at David Kordansky Gallery


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Elad Lassry has received a lot of attention in recent years for his engagingly odd photographic work, which blends a keen instinct for the language of images — the kooky and awkward as well as the luscious — with a calculated disregard for traditional photographic boundaries of the sort that keep the activity of taking pictures cordoned off from the activity of appropriating them. (He does both, indiscriminately.)

In his second exhibition at David Kordansky Gallery, it’s clear that he’s angling to get past photography into the more fashionable territory of the multi-disciplinarian, and is evidently being given the resources to do so.


He’s moved the gallery’s walls around, replaced roughly half of the photographs with drawings (of whose authorship isn’t clear), and thrown in a strikingly inconsequential sculpture. Just before the show’s opening, he orchestrated a performance in which members of the New York City Ballet tottered en pointe around a number of big rolling sculptures painted the color of Easter eggs — a lackluster endeavor that left one longing for a choreographer.

Despite a press release filled with illustrious nonsense — Lassry “anchors tangible artworks in an elusive experience to which direct access can no longer be granted,” we are told — the production falls so flat as to risk calling into question even the appeal of the earlier work.

If the indiscriminate shuffling of the banal and the beautiful left one occasionally wondering what it all amounted to, the answer offered here would seem to be: not much. Not yet, at least. If some portion of the energy that went into the eager colonization of other media were channeled into thinking the ideas through, substantiating some of the vague speculations concerning “the picture as an ontological category,” the result would likely be a far more satisfying show, one that came closer to embodying the formal tautness and visual vitality of which Lassry is clearly capable.

More art reviews from the Los Angeles Times

--Holly Myers

David Kordansky Gallery, 3143 S. La Cienega Blvd., Unit A, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, (310) 558-3030, through May 26. Closed Sunday and Monday.