Almost-abstract sculptor Barbara Zucker has lost none of her grace, wit or willingness to go over the top in the three decades since she emerged as a notable figure in New York feminist art. Make that four decades: This micro-survey goes back to the point at which Zucker started undermining minimalism with not-so-minimal flourishes. The artist has transformed the gallery into an installation, at once cozy and hallucinatory, in which her slightly gaga structures from various periods fuse with cushy red furniture and wallpaper whose pattern is based on the wrinkles in the face of one of Zucker’s friends. Actually, the “Time Signature” pieces document such aging marks in several feminist-art doyennes – Lucy Lippard, Linda Nochlin – revealing the beauty of natural process even where we least prefer to see it. By declaring a pox on Botox, Zucker re-ups her feminist bona fides.
Another little show brings us back to other, even subtler charms of the 1960s and ’70s, gathering the word-based works of Douglas Huebler, Robert Barry, Hanne Darboven, Olivier Mosset and Guy de Cointet. Few are much to look at (the cryptic graphics of the late, great de Cointet are a notable exception), but all are charming in the very diffidence of their visual modesty, and compelling in their conceptualist poetry. “Something that to know of it is to be part of it,” proposes Barry, subjecting us not to theoretical browbeating but Gertrude Steinian haiku. Barbara Zucker at Another Year in L.A., 2121 N. San Fernando Rd., L.A.; Mon.-Fri. noon-5 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m.; thru Nov. 16. (323) 223-4000. “Text Works” at Norma Desmond Productions, 2654 La Cienega Ave. (not Blvd.), L.A.; Thurs.-Sat. 1-6 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (310) 280-0833.
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