Critics’ Picks

View of “Lost (in LA),” 2013.

View of “Lost (in LA),” 2013.

Los Angeles

“Lost (in LA)”

Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery
4800 Hollywood Boulevard
December 1, 2012–January 27, 2013

“Lost (in LA)”, curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler and presented by FLAX (France Los Angeles Exchange) with the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, includes works by twenty-nine artists from France and the United States. A handful of familiar Los Angeles names are included—Marnie Weber, Jim Shaw, Mike Kelley, Guy de Cointet, and Robert Overby—along with numerous notables from France, such as Mathieu Mercier, Oscar Tuazon, and the 2012 winners of the Prix Marcel Duchamp, Daniel Dewar and Gregory Gicquel. The public gallery space, set on a Hollywood hill with panoramic views of the city, is an apt setting for this exhibition that explores the ever-shifting grit and evanescence of Los Angeles. The spacious foyer is dominated by Vincent Ganivet’s Wheels, 2012, a pair of massive disks ingeniously constructed from cinder blocks interspersed with bits of wood and held together with a yellow belt. Overhead, Vincent Lamouroux’s Milieu, 2012, spans the upper reaches of the room in a mazelike network of fiberboard beams casting playful shadows across gallery walls and floor.

Throughout, a sense of invention and whimsy suggests an optimistic reading of the title, leaning toward “lost” as a condition of reverie more than one of anxiety. Plastic trash cans emit a cascade of sparkling white foam at a glacial pace in Michel Blazy’s Fontaine de Mousse (Foam Fountain), 2007, and the quiet and meandering rural scenes in Robert Kinmont’s seventeen black-and-white photographs “My Favorite Dirt Roads,” 1969/2008, comprise a dreamy counterpoint to ubiquitous local traffic. Some works suggest a darker side of wonder; Bertrand Dezoteux’s animated film, Le Corso, 2008, is equal parts dreamscape and social commentary, and in Entrechat, 2012, the stop-motion video by Dewar and Gicquel, a headless clay man gracefully leaps and pliés in an elegant and endless loop.