Two local “It” girls of contemporary art recapitulate the skills, smarts and delights that have kept them in the international limelight for more than a decade. At ACME, Jennifer Steinkamp, ever the projectress, goes back to her columns of gently, nervously quaking flowers for a three-wall video installation, each column width related proportionately to the others (looks like 1:2:3). The surprise is in the back room, where flowers give way to pure blooms of color, wads of hue so rich that at any given moment they seem almost painted on the wall, but in the next given moment they’re burgeoning into one another like clouds on a windy day, filling both walls with a rainbow sea. The quiver particular to video projection only enhances the installation’s tenebrous energy. ACME, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru June 28. (323) 857-5942.
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Jennifer Steinkamp, “It's a Nice Day for a White Wedding,” installation view (2008)
Andrea Zittel’s nether room at Regen Projects II, filled with her “energetic accumulators,” shows this one-woman Bauhaus at her best, intermingling materials, forms, functions, contexts, and found and fabricated objects into a slightly parodic conjuration of a museum display. Zittel’s characteristic sense of orderliness this time subdues her equally characteristic sense of funk, but the gritty stuff and the loose ends become all the more pronounced in their newfound quietude. Besides, random is king in the first room, in which Joshua Tree’s great communalist has instituted a low-level exchange program with her audience. Having deposited several dozen small items (coins, photographs, keepsakes, purse things) in hollows made in long wooden tables, Zittel invites visitors to make exchanges of equal value, and to accompany the exchange with brief, written accounts about the items deposited. “Token Exchange,” writes Zittel, “asks viewers to become aware of their own projected value systems and in the process to reveal larger patterns of meaning.” We also become aware all over again of Zittel’s patterns of organization, perfectly poised between anarchy and rhythm. Regen Projects II, 9016 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; thru June 28.