previews

  • Richard Serra

    MOCA Geffen Contemporary
    152 North Central Avenue
    September 20, 1998–January 3, 1999

    Five years ago, no one in their right mind would have used terms like user-friendly or playful to describe Richard Serra’s Cor-Ten steel sculptures. The tendency to think of the sculptor’s Minimalism only in terms of mass and gravity should end with this exhibition of nine recent large-scale works. Organized by MoCA director Richard Koshalek and the Guggenheim’s Julia Brown, it also might demonstrate the affinity between Serra’s work and that of Frank O. Gehry, the architect who designed the two venues housing the show. On the West Coast at least, it’s hard not to think of Serra’s recent sculptures, which twist through space and soar overhead, as industrial-strength takes on Light and Space fluidity. Sept. 20, 1998–Jan. 3, 1999; travels to Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, spring 1999.

  • Kay Rosen: lifeli[k]e

    The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
    250 South Grand Avenue
    November 15, 1998–January 17, 1999

    You could say that Kay Rosen paints monochromatic fields traversed by rows of abecedarian ciphers divorced from any signified to which they might conventionally be attached. You could also say she messes with words—that through inversion, substitution, twisted repetition, she contrives odd overlaps between what words look like and what they mean. On one level Rosen is a wry comedian, putting heteronymns and homophones to bed together. But there’s also an elegantly reflective quality to her examinations of the particles of thought, and Connie Butler (cocurator, with Terry Myers, of this twenty-year retrospective) links her to Bruce Nauman, among others, in a “tradition of conceptual and linguistically based experiments.”

    Also on view at Otis College of Art and Design.

  • Man Ray: Photographs

    The Getty Center
    1200 Getty Center Drive
    October 27, 1998–January 17, 1999

    Undeterred by recent allegations that certain “vintage” Man Ray prints are counterfeit—charges that cooled plans for a retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art—the Getty is mounting a selection of some 100 of the artist’s 300 images from its collection. Curator Katherine Ware is taking a broad view of the American Dadaist-turned-expatriate Surrealist, sampling work from 1916 to 1951, including portraits, nudes, photograms, clichés verre, and solarized and hand-altered images. Did the spark go out when Man Ray left Paris for Los Angeles, as conventional wisdom has it? The photographs and writings from this period included here suggest otherwise.