Rebecca Morris at Karyn Lovegrove Gallery

L.A. painter Rebecca Morris shows a new batch of abstract paintings that are so, well, ugly and weird that I am completely enthralled with her bravado. Morris’ symmetrical installation suggests some sort of greater symbolism with smaller triangular canvases placed between larger works, like a primitive chapel or place of worship. Each large painting, with a different style or approach in each section, is like a kaleidoscope. Some look like geological formations, others like art deco stained glass, or floating, blobby asteroids. Her use of an earthy palette coupled with metallics and small hints of neon may be aesthetically unsettling, but the end result is undeniably provocative: The small sections work together to create the larger whole, a place where seemingly disparate parts not only coexist, but engage in fascinating dialogue.

6150 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. | | (323) 525-1755 | Through May 19

Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#04-07) (2007)

Jack Pierson at Regen Projects

Jack Pierson, whose word sculptures have always been a personal favorite, chooses words with multiple meanings or associations, such as these from his current show at Regen Projects: Providence, Phil Spector and Promises. Language is not the only form of representation here, as he uses found letters from old signs and billboards and thoughtfully arranges them so that form itself adds another layer. The “I” in the Faith, for example, is adhered to a cloth tacked to the wall, and Forebearance is broken down into three parts, one syllable on top of the other, literally slowing down the read. Pierson effortlessly and subtly infuses each sculpture with an incredible amount of emotion, with references to faded glamour, spirituality and human longing.

633 N. Almont Dr., L.A. | | (310) 276-5424 | Through May 12

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