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Must See Art 

Kim Fisher at China Art Objects Galleries and “Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, Suzy Lake, 1972–1978” at the Santa Monica Museum of Art

Wednesday, May 23 2007

Kim Fisher at China Art Objects Galleries

Many of Kim Fisher’s new paintings have what has become her signature unfinished edge, where the linen extends beyond the frame of the canvas, literally pushing the boundaries of the painting. When the paint actually continues and spills over onto this ragged edge, it creates a palpable and intriguing tension with the sharp edges of her geometric forms. While she normally uses a stencil to create most of these works, Fisher has in one piece created her linear forms freehand, which could be the start of an exciting new practice. Her patterning is at once both more wild and more contained. The more minimal paintings evoke mystical geometric symbolism, while the others depict a fractured abstract perspective that continues to play with both light and color.

933 Chung King Road, L.A. | www.chinaartobjects.com | (213) 613-0384 | Through June 16

click to enlarge Lynn Hershman, Roberta Being Trapped (There Are Times Also When I Can Feel Myself Being Trapped...), 1975
  • Lynn Hershman, Roberta Being Trapped (There Are Times Also When I Can Feel Myself Being Trapped...), 1975

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“Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, Suzy Lake, 1972–1978” at the Santa Monica Museum of Art

These three women made groundbreaking work exploring female identity before Cindy Sherman’s film stills hit the scene. Much of this work hasn’t been shown in more than 20 years, and this is a rare opportunity to see it. Each artist assumes alter egos or false identities through film, performance and photography. Much of the work shown is the product of intense documentation as the artist transforms into and performs as their invented persona. Hershman, as Roberta Breitmore, even obtained a driver’s license, kept a diary, went to therapy and joined Weight Watchers. Antin’s 1977 film The Nurse and the Hijackers will be show for the first time since it was pulled from an exhibition in England after September 11, 2001. Much of this work has influenced contemporary female artists today — such as Gillian Wearing and Niki S. Lee — and this show gives us an insight into and a historical context for this type of exploration prevalent in contemporary feminist art. These three artists are also featured in “WACK!” at MOCA.

2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica | www.smmoa.org | (310) 586-6488 | Through August 11

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