By Catherine Wagley
By Channing Sargent
By L.A. Weekly critics
By Amanda Lewis
By Catherine Wagley
By Carol Cheh
By Keegan Hamilton
By Bill Raden
The main reason for visiting Bergamot just now, though, is to check out Shirley Tse‘s long-awaited solo debut at Shoshana Wayne. Tse, an Art Center graduate, has been making strong appearances in group shows for several years, one of a small array of artists using Styrofoam and bubble-wrap as their primary media. Arranged around the perimeter of the large main gallery is a ”sequence“ of carved blue polystyrene slabs, displayed flat, perpendicular to the wall, like a manuscript, at waist level. This arrangement suggests a linearity to the work (entitled Polymathicstyrene) that, like Hawkinson’s painstaking mimicries, defies its high-tech connotations, reinforcing the laborious power routing that produced the work. And while many of the resulting sculptural reliefs are elegant -- recalling intricate architectural models, elaborate microcircuitry or Gigeresque blends of flesh and technology -- it is ultimately this evidence of the artist‘s hand that is emphasized. Groups of panels reading as a narrative reflect the cycle of excitement, frustration, boredom, desperation and breakthrough that structures an artist’s exploration of a new medium, transcending the enervating indifference with which most Styrofoam art is strewn about, and ultimately overcoming the prosaic utilitarianism of the material‘s origins.
Friday night, April 7, the Santa Monica Museum hosts a fund-raiser initiated by Absolut vodka, at which, for a $250 donation to the museum, you can take home an artwork incorporating an Absolut bottle. Participating artists include Karen Carson, Yoshitomo Nara, Dani Tull, Solomon Huerta and the Rev. Ethan Acres. The Benefit Preview (and first pickin’s) starts at 7, and costs $50 to get in. Whatever‘s left will be on view and available Saturday. (See Events listings in Calendar.)
If you’re as fond of crabby old white men complaining about art as I am (and I never miss a chance to see Peter Plagens), you‘ll want to catch the second and third of three lectures by New York eminence grise Donald Kuspit at USC’s Andrus Gerontology Auditorium tonight and Monday, April 10, at 6:30. Kuspit, who has been recently advocating ”Pure Art“ as opposed to ”the antisocial perversity of shock-schlock art exemplified by Paul McCarthy and Chris Ofili,“ will be defending the artist‘s subjectivity from postmodernist cynicism. Lectures are free, but parking’s $6. Call (213) 740-ARTS for info.
George‘s, the Vermont Avenue gallery affiliated with X-Large and directed for almost three years by Ann Faison, has announced that it’s closing its doors permanently as of May 1. From its audacious first month of 30 openings in 30 days, George‘s has played a vital and high-profile role in the Eastside art scene, and will be sorely missed. A grand-closing party is scheduled for 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 29. For its last show, now open, Sean Duffy’s assembled a group of his splendid fun-fur-under-clear-vinyl depictions of primitive video-game animations, appropriately titled Game Over.