Review: Andrew Moore’s indelible images of Cuba at Couturier Gallery
In one of Andrew Moore’s inexhaustible photographs of Cuba, at Couturier, we face a courtyard lined with rows of silver chairs, their filigreed backs like a slightly chaotic jewelry display, a shiny jumble of upended pendants.
At the far side of the courtyard is a building that proposes architecture as an act of whimsical montage, a dynamic piecing together of old and new, function, decoration and metaphor.
The outdoor space operates as a theater, which is also how most of Moore’s photographs feel, like naturalist stages where life is played out with heightened color and concentrated emotion.
These photographs span from the late ‘90s, when the New York-based Moore began spending time in Cuba, to 2012. Previous shows in L.A. (at Craig Krull) have featured this ongoing body of work, but not these particular pictures, each densely informational and richly textured, an astute and sensitive chronicle of its place and time.
Erosion and endurance thread through the stories suggested here. A portrait of “Marta” is a testament to solid bones: her own features handsomely sculpted by experience, and the wall she leans against, a mute witness pocked, chipped and scraped but still standing in all of its tired elegance.
Moore deftly builds upon multiple traditions within photographic history: architectural documentation as record of cultural, historical change; ethnographic observation; political witness; and celebration of the wondrous, spontaneous choreography of everyday life. These 14 pictures leave an indelible impression.
Couturier Gallery, 166 N. La Brea Ave., (323) 933-5557, through Feb. 15. Closed Sunday and Monday. www.couturiergallery.com
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