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
In Grinnan’s typical mash of materials and commingling of the 2-D, 3-D and 4-D, other plays upon erecting and inversion — on the relationship between object and space, on the overlaps and separations between the ancient and the modern, and on connections between multiple cultures — work their way out through the house and on the grounds.
Grinnan’s triumph here is in her ability to work with equal parts respect and curiosity for her sites, and a sense of permission (from herself, and from the forebears whose influences shaped her sites and her project). Where other artists might get stuck in a rut or run amuck, Grinnan succeeds in producing work that’s engagingly and distinctly hers, while treading lightly upon and offering an expansive take on a mélange of hallowed ground.
MAK Center, Schindler House, 835 N. Kings Rd., West Hollywood; Wed.-Sun., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; through Oct. 26. (323) 651-1510 or www.makcenter.org.
As was hinted at in a few canvases included in his show at Metro Pictures in New York last spring, and as is fully evident here, André Butzer, a Stuttgart-born, Berlin-based artist with no shortage of paint or bravura, has made a notable shift from what was seen in his two previous shows at Patrick Painter. Those outings offered an assortment of figures looking something like the love children of Betty Boop and the figure from Edvard Munch’s The Scream, as if painted by Jean Dubuffet, Art Brut (outsider art) advocate and master of the raw and the crude, brought back from the dead and doped with a diet of designer testosterone. But those figures, crammed into the formats of their canvases and treated as portraits or character studies, and occasionally paired with others or offered with accoutrement, now spill into ensemble casts and full scenes in wide expanses of canvas, but with no more elbowroom than before.
Butzer is skilled in balancing between the playful, graceful, brutal and dreadful, in both imagery and aesthetics, and he makes no shortage of nods to artists from whom he’s learned his craft, including Munch and Dubuffet, as well as Guston and Basquiat, and a host of German neo-expressionists whose precedence and permission he has taken with abandon. One is tempted to see in this work a kind of endgame race to the finish with no reward in sight beyond a medal for painterly extremism, or a ploy to deliver the kind of product that detractors of neo-expressionism saw as a promise of the meatily raw that amounted to confection born of calculation. But Butzer delivers something more compelling and worldly — not just art-worldly.