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
Vija Celmins at the HammerWork so focused, concentrated and devoid of nonsense that it was almost unnerving to look upon.
I’m Not There
Lynda Benglis, Female Sensibility (1973), in WACK! at MOCA (Click to enlarge)
Lari Pittman, Untitled (2007), at Regen Projects (Click to enlarge)
El Anatsui Gawu, Crumbling Wall (2000), at the Fowler (Click to enlarge)
I’m stepping outside my jurisdiction here, but I loved this film so much I have to throw it in: a dazzlingly ambitious, thrillingly agile, marvelously intelligent ode to one of the richest creative minds of our time.
Christopher MilesHolly “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” at MOCA
More a re-revolution than an exhibition, this survey revealed, among other things, its incompleteness and the need for more exhibitions and scholarship to continue the revelation of how the feminist movement turned out to be the last and most influential mega-movement in art of the late 20th century.
Bill Jensen and Tomory Dodge, both at ACME
Two different shows, different artists, different generations, very different approaches, but both testimonies as to why painting still seduces and matters.
An artist who has always been guts and glamour, she continues to surprise. Nothing short of afternoon delight looking at these paintings of skyrockets in flight through skies stampeded by wild winged horses.
Ray, who often uses formal and technical maneuvers to get at a treasure-trove of anxiety and neurosis, took a quieter, more majestic turn, re-creating a giant fallen log, hand-hewn by Japanese woodcarvers, that hushes and awes, while still churning worries about excess and mortality. Pittman took his paintings to a level of hot, bothered and irritable so high it seemed you could fry eggs on them, and the compositions seemed as if they might start itching and throwing elbows (if they hadn’t been populated by amputees). You could almost call Pittman an expressionist, if the paintings didn’t still manage to seem cool and collected.
Full disclosure: She was my student a long while back, but I don’t think anyone ever much taught her anything. She was already too smart and talented, and able to bridge worlds that don’t bridge easily with photo-collaged paintings that succeed via a combination of rough-and-tumbleness and refinement, and an insistence that art can still speak to the world.
Carole Caroompas at Western Project
If there ever was an L.A. painter, it’s Caroompas, who isn’t shy about reminding us how much redneck Americana repressed backwater really lurks beneath our blue-state internationalist hothouse tinseltown, in paintings that fit together like puzzles with pieces that can’t stand one another but know they belong together.
“Zoopsia: New Works by Tim Hawkinson” and Tim Hawkinson’s Überorgan, Oudry’s Painted Menagerie, and Manet’s Bar at the Folies-Bergère, all at the Getty
(1) Hawkinson’s animal hallucinations haunted, while his Überorgan benevolently infected the Getty’s stark rotunda with a dose of homespun baroque. (2) What’s not to love about life-size animal portraits fit for a king? (3) One of the greatest works in the history of art came to a city that has too few of them, and for a while you could walk back and forth between Manet’s bar scene and Ensor’s Christ’s Entry Into Brussels in 1889, one of the great historical works of art that does reside in Los Angeles, and feel like there was no better-suited place to view these 19th-century European paintings than here and now.
Gordon Matta-Clark, Splitting (1975), at MOCARee Morton at Overduin and Kite
Because an artist whose short but prolific, profound and multifaceted career warrants a solo show of her work in Los Angeles, and because an upstart gallery was the first to do what any of the city’s institutions should have done a long time ago.
Because yet another small venue beat the museums to business they should have already taken care of — in this case, co-organizing with the UB Gallery at the State University of New York Buffalo, a survey of another multifaceted artist, perhaps best known as his performance-art alter ego Mudman.
Don Suggs, David Hockney, Charles Garabedian and Richard Deacon, and Rogue Wave ’07, all at L.A. LouverBecause the old guys were looking fresh this year, and because even at one of our most established galleries, the kids are alright.
Michael Hakimi, Jacob Dahl Jürgensen and Bernd RibbeckBecause a quiet little group show, slipped in at the end of the year to introduce us to three very interesting young artists, is worth remembering.
Joel Tauber at Susanne VielmetterBecause tree hugging and conceptual art can coexist as oddly harmoniously as sycamore and asphalt.
I could go on... Francis Alÿs and Vija Celmins at the Hammer, Sam Durant at Blum and Poe, Matthew Monahan at MOCA, Polly Apfelbaum at Angles, Peter Rogiers at Roberts & Tilton, Ginny Bishton at Richard Telles, Sue de Beer at Sandroni Rey, Tony Marsh at Frank Lloyd, Monique van Genderen at the Happy Lion, Kim Dingle at Kim Light/Lightbox, Won Ju Lim at Patrick Painter, Thomas Lawson at LAXART, and many more...