Loading...

Square Roots 

Bruce Nauman, Carl Andre, Melissa Kretschmer

Wednesday, Feb 27 2008

Marrying high-concept New York minimalism to aw-shucks Northern California funk, Bruce Nauman introduced a kind of slacker enigma into the art discourse some 40 years ago that has pervaded almost everything since. Nauman's videos were among his most influential works, but — like all those jumpy, grainy, terribly long black-and-white reel-to-reel 1-inchers from the late '60s — rarely get seen nowadays. The films he made concurrently don't screen that much more often. So it's not just a treat, it's a revelation (or re-revelation) to see these knowingly, spectacularly dopey displays of meditative noodling — walking funny, scraping on a violin as fast as possible, playing a free-form two-ball handball against the studio wall — screened continuously in installational formats that treat them as almost static images. And it's a special pleasure to see all four Art Make-Up films — Nauman daubing himself all white, pink, green or black — projected simultaneously on the walls of a dedicated room. Kim Light/Lightbox, 2656 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru March 1. (310) 559-1111.

Bruce Nauman, Still Art Make-Up (1967-'68)

Carl Andre, one of the high-dudgeon New York Minimalists Nauman was riffing on, is still doing his high-dudgeon thing, and to undiminished effect. The master of the metal plate has formulated 14 arrangements of 16-inch squares made of coruscated but glistening zinc, tucking each into a corner or against a wall so as to unify floors and walls and articulate the gallery's architecture with a subtlety that approaches a whisper. Upstairs, Melissa Kretschmer works overtly with the Mondrianesque aesthetic and sensuous response to materials that undergird Andre's visual formulas. Kretschmer's compositions hang on the wall, where they engage in dynamic interplays of vertical and horizontal, light and dark, rough and smooth, symmetric and asymmetric. Kretschmer delights most, however, in tone and texture, fusing wood, paper, and vellum around and under translucent or opaque swaths of beeswax. The well-reasoned, well-worked results are austerely sexy. Ace Gallery Beverly Hills, 9430 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru March 1. (310) 858-9090.

click to enlarge Bruce Nauman, Still Art Make-Up (1967-'68)
  • Bruce Nauman, Still Art Make-Up (1967-'68)

Related Stories

  • Pot Drought? 3

    Harvest season is upon us. We're not talking about tomatoes, lettuce and carrots. We're talking about that most green of crops, marijuana. Late summer marks the beginning of bud harvesting in the Emerald Triangle growing region of Northern California, perhaps the most productive cannabis region in the United States. See...
  • Hollywood's Tax Win 3

    Jerry Brown, California's skin-flint governor, acceded Wednesday to an increase in the film tax credit to $330 million. Brown is a well-known skeptic of Hollywood subsidies, but the combined forces of organized labor, multinational entertainment conglomerates, and B-list celebrities proved too powerful to resist. The industry didn't get the $400...
  • Splitting California Into 6 States? FAIL 10

    A proposed initiative by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper to split California into six separate states failed to gather enough signatures to make the ballot, the California Secretary of State's office said today. The office said in a memo to local voter registrars and county clerks that "the petition...
  • Hey Baby 3

    Having a baby is hard enough these days. The costs of diapers and daycare can add up, not to mention a mother's astronomical physical pain and two solid years of never sleeping 8 hours. In California those given hardships are compounded by living in a state with one of the...
  • Get Smart

    California is the largest state in the union and, arguably, the wealthiest. Golden State residents might also be the smartest people across the land, too. Cecilia A. Conrad, vice president of the MacArthur Fellows Fellows Program, examined its famed "genius grant" winners from the awards' first year, in 1981, to...
  • Bruce Nauman, Carl Andre, Melissa Kretschmer

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets