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Father Time (2006)

Werner Herzog Group Show at Blum and Poe

It was a little annoying over the summer when Blum and Poe sent out a press-release-as-conceptual-text for their group show, The Monty Hall Problem, which felt drenched in white-boy irony. And now they’ve done it again with their new group show, Werner Herzog. But this show, which was inspired by an article about the filmmaker in The New Yorker and includes works by Matthew Benedict, Mark Grotjahn, Rachel Harrison and Dirk Skreber, suffers less from the aforementioned problem. There is something in the text about Herzog’s new film Red Dawn that seems to be a recurring theme of his, which is that nature itself is the most terrifying force of all. Unfortunately, the works in the show don’t explore that concept in any depth. A single work by each of the artists hangs in each of the two galleries, creating a kind of dialogue between the works as well as the two rooms. Grotjahn, whose new paintings of surreal flower creatures with real socks for noses are captivating, is the standout in this exhibit that, as curator Jeff Poe writes, “has everything and nothing to do with Werner Herzog.”

2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. | (310) 836-2062 | www.blumandpoe.com | Through November 27


{mosimage}Heather Cantrell’s Century’s End at Sixspace

Heather Cantrell shows new staged black-and-white portraits in which each subject or group photographed takes on a persona or story. This particular body of work was inspired by 19th-century interest in the spiritual, and these photographs possess an eerie, ethereal quality. The pictured include such locals as the My Barbarian performance group, John Baldessari as Father Time and Heather herself in a photo called Self Portrait After Mapplethorpe. “I later find what is compelling about these portraits is the lack of souls these bodies possess,” writes Cantrell in her artist’s statement. The lifeless humans portrayed here play with the idea that photography can, in fact, steal your soul.

5803 Washington Blvd., Culver City | (323) 932-6200 | www.sixspace.com | Through November 22