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
What remains is an encyclopedic template for operating in what the artist famously described as “the gap between art and life.” Again and again, Rauschenberg invites us to awaken into a creative, transformational sensory engagement with everyday life. It’s an invitation that remains as valid and urgent as it was 40 years ago, when he made the first Combine, and 30 years ago, when he made the last. And you don’t have to look far for proof. Across town in Westwood, two of the young artists who were included in last September’s First Annual L.A. Weekly Biennial have work on view that shows how utterly contemporary Rauschenbergian strategies can be.
You’ll have to hurry down to UCLA’s Kinross Building to catch Brenna Youngblood’s MFA thesis show, which technically ends today (though it may be up another day or two), but if you’re familiar with her primarily photo-collagist work from the Weekly show or her subsequent project at the Hammer, you’ll be shocked by the sudden and powerful outburst of painterly nuance in these new large-scale works. And speaking of the Hammer, Elliott Hundley has transformed the always-challenging “vault” project gallery with an array of his exquisite, intricate accumulations of tiny, mostly pin-mounted fragments of photographs, illustrations, plastic flower parts, cocktail umbrellas, etc., clinging in clusters to scraps of distressed fiberboard or monstrous kite skeletons of bamboo and doweling. Both Hundley and Youngblood pursue Rauschenberg’s risky balancing act between symbolic and formalist modes of visual communication, between chaos and control, between the mundane and the sublime. It’s an awesome combination.
ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG COMBINES| MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown | Through September 4
ELLIOTT HUNDLEY HAMMER PROJECT| Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood | Through September 3