Kirsten Everberg, Bar, 2003, oil and enamel on canvas over panel.

Los Angeles

The Undiscovered Country

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
October 3–January 16

Taking its cue from Hamlet’s description of the afterlife as a place “from whose bourn no traveler returns,” this show examines the current resurgence of figuration in art as only the latest communiqué from that parallel universe of the “lifelike.” Further, this renewed figurative drive suggests that photography and painting are locked in a dialectical process that is much more give than take, in opposition to notions of historical rupture. In this selection of over forty paintings spanning the past five decades, figures like Fairfield Porter, Gerhard Richter, and John Baldessari act as parental enablers to a younger generation—among them, Jochen Klein, Thomas Eggerer, and Mari Eastman—that once more gives vent to the “mimetic impulse,” and without even a vestigial trace of the old ambivalence.