A utopian vision guided Micol Hebron’s parents into the woods, where they lived for several years in a thatched lean-to. Hebron is still struggling to embrace, reject, grow past and grow into her hippie heritage. The fantasies she has built around the image and concept of the unicorn, for instance, have been attempts not to promulgate the myth but to expunge it; this culminative installation, however, does not so much kill the gentle beast as allow it to wander out of Hebron’s childhood desires. The installation deals mostly with the forest itself and the conditions under which Hebron lived there – peppered with incongruities such as a pyramid of books and a trail of old-fashioned, but operating, television sets. The bibliophilic stack is titled When I was little, we didn’t have a TV, but don’t expect the monitors to make up for lost time with a barrage of ’70s sitcoms; rather, they feature accounts of Hebron’s neo-primeval past.
Dave Kinsey’s paintings are as aggressive and dystopic as Hebron’s installation is calming and poignant, but Kinsey’s finely wrought images and explosive gestures also manifest facets of early 21st-century American sensibility. Violence, Kinsey avers, may pervade our society and daily lives, but we can take moral as well as physical refuge in nature (several tree images are among the strongest in the show) and in empathy for one’s fellow human (the faces in Kinsey’s pictures seem as often to be crying out for connection as lashing out in fury). The show’s centerpiece is a grayed and fallen American flag, surrounded by broken canvases: art and patriotism both, Kinsey intimates, are dashed but enduring ideals. Micol Hebron at Sabina Lee, 5365 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; Tues.-Sat. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru Nov. 24. (323) 935-9279. Dave Kinsey at BLK/MRKT, 6009 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. noon-6 p.m.; thru Nov. 17. (310) 827-1989.