Must See Art 

Bas Jan Ader and Mari Eastman

Wednesday, Jan 24 2007
Bas Jan Ader at Patrick Painter

There has been much recent interest in the work of the late Dutch artist Bas Jan Ader, who taught at Immaculate Heart College and UC Irvine and spent a lot of time in Los Angeles before his unfortunate death in 1975. At Patrick Painter, two slide projections are shown, one from his enigmatic final project, In Search of the Miraculous. To create the second part of this piece, Ader set sail in 1975 in a small boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone; after three weeks, communication was lost. The boat surfaced near Ireland, but his body was never found. Accompanying the aforementioned piece is a soundtrack of a choir singing sea shanties. The other slide projection is from Untitled (Swedish Fall), which is most often seen as a photo. Because of his mysterious death and disappearance, as well as the performative nature of Ader’s work, it is impossible to separate his art practice from his too-short life. This show is a welcome glimpse into his influential work.

2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica | www.patrickpainter.com | (310) 264-5988 | Through February 24

{mosimage}Mari Eastman at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery

When entering the intimate Lovegrove space, one may recall the mayhem of early Karen Kilimnik installations. Not only are there many paintings and drawings, on the canvas and on the wall, but Eastman has also made a chandelier and has her iPod on shuffle, playing the Cure and the Magnetic Fields. Because of her pop romanticism, glitter and bright colors, it’s an intentional sensory onslaught. Eastman is also making her canvas paintings more sculptural by weaving fabric and cutting into them to make a more three-dimensional experience. Much of Eastman’s subject matter is familiar (fashion, movie stars), and like Kilimnik and Warhol she is a collector of pop culture and an unabashed fan. But where Eastman’s work gets really interesting is in the narrative she sets up by including paintings of an American soldier, art deco rug patterns, a tattooed man from an anthropology text book, or a Chinese vase — as if US Weekly or Vogue are the true cultural relics of contemporary life.

6150 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. | www.karynlovegrovegallery.com | (323) 525-1755 | Through February 3
click to enlarge Mari Eastman, Tattooed Man With Spear (2007)
  • Mari Eastman, Tattooed Man With Spear (2007)

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