Manuel Ocampo has found his inner Guston in so many glorious and hilarious new paintings and drawings, more comical and finely wrought than ever, less gratuitously gross and overtly in-yo-face political but sharper for their now-subtle (well, subtler) pokes at our intellectual and artistic pretensions. Ocampo attempts a “Kitsch Recovery Progrom” [sic], as he calls many of these squirmy, quaking images, at once joining and mocking the pretensions of soi-disant “lowbrow” art.
Marina Moevs provides gentle contrast to Ocampo’s hysterical baroque, but her assessment of the current human condition is similarly ecstatically bleakness. Moevs’ paintings of disaster’s aftermath suggest our future may be globally warmed. Her first exhibition since Hurricane Katrina is filled with intense light, rising water and empty dwellings, partially destroyed. Peter Zokosky offers us cold comfort in his precise, loving portraits of various sub-sapien primates. Do these simian visages, with their helpless or self-satisfied grimaces, reflect our own? Or is Zokosky not so subtly promising us a Planet of the Apes future? Manuel Ocampo at Lizabeth Oliveria L.A., 2712 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A.; Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m; (310) 837-1073 or www.lizabetholiveria.com. Marina Moevs and Peter Zokosky at Koplin Del Rio, 6031 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; (310) 836-9055 or www.koplindelrio.com. All thru Oct. 27.