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Reflector Wizards/Between Loves Me and Not (1992)
Liz Larner's new show at Regen Projects II is a rare opportunity to see four diverse and significant sculptures from an early creative phase in the development of one of this city's strongest practitioners. Ever since she hit the ground running in the late '80s with her provocative “culture” pieces, grown and elegantly presented in petri dishes, Larner has been restlessly testing the bounds of her primary discipline by not only working with a wide array of materials but also refusing to back into the creative purgatory of doing the same cool thing over and over because it's selling well and the critics approve. The pieces featured in this show were executed between 1989 and 1992. Corridor (Orange and Blue) cuts through space, using not only opposing colors but also a precarious balance of materials — stealthily painted aluminum panels set against wooden ribs and a massive skin fabricated from thrift-store sweaters. Come Together is a collection of varied strands of material, from wire to human hair, many fastened to the gallery's boathouse beams, their massive, knotted intersection giving the piece its title. Reflector Wizards is a gothish grouping of suspended figurative pieces, formed mostly with meticulously broken mirror and wire. The piece dangles over Between Loves Me and Not, a floor work that also uses shards of mirror, this time to allude to the speculative ritual of ominously depetaling a flower. To fortify the show, the artist has accented the walls with a handful of works on paper, all relevant to the genesis on the sculptures. Having launched her new space with Charlie Ray's “Log,” and having placed Larner's microsurvey hot on the heels of Urs Fischer's show, Shaun Regen seems hell-bent on whetting our collective appetite for big-league work that travels into the third dimension. Liz Larner, “Selected Sculpture of the Early 1990s” at Regen Projects II, 9016 Santa Monica Blvd., L.A.; Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru Feb. 23. (310) 276-5424.