reviews

  • Larry Bell

    ACE Gallery

    Larry Bell is the most laboratoryish of famous young Los Angeles artists; his gambade from witty, austere canvases (one, painted on duck cloth, was called Them Ol’ Cottonfields Back Home) to more technocratic methods was more abrupt, less hindered by media romances (as with paint and now with resin) than even Irwin’s or Bengston’s. Consequently, Bell seems the most “conceptual” of the group. There seems to be some idea, some philosophical point slipping around in the mirror-and-ellipse boxes, the plain and evenly tinted boxes, the barely rainbowed boxes, and now the glass “shelves.” I say “seems

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  • Sol Lewitt

    Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA)

    Sol Lewitt’s show at PAM is, at last, the kind of exhibition which a museum of contemporary art should mount: less grandiose than a full-blown retrospective, broader, more profound (more room?) than a gallery outing, fully exploitative of the building’s assets, yet conscious of its limitations (forcing museums into logistical foolery—not to be confused with out-front political overthrow, which is past-due—is now as entertaining as throwing snowballs at dowagers). The timing is right because LeWitt’s momentum, a dogma of purity, has got him to the delta where the water is warmer, slower, the soil

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  • Ed Moses And Billy Al Bengston

    Mizuno Gallery

    One does see a lot of Billy Al Bengston in a season—one-man show at Riko’s, group show same place, group show at Artist Studio, another show at Riko’s—and Ed Moses , whom Bengston calls an “underground hero of perversity,” also seems to be going public. No matter, since, especially for Moses, the work is quite nice and it all gets better enough each time out, to make the frequency agreeable. Moreover, Bengston has enough PR chutzpa to be the Maharishi’s road manager and this time the tone is a mild parody on art-marketing (hopefully profitable art-marketing in itself): Bengston and Moses are

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  • Joe Goode

    Nicholas Wilder Gallery

    Joe Goode’s new pictures are skies, variously tinted and configured, on which are rendered torn Kodacolor prints of other skies, sometimes accompanied by spills of paint; the juxtapositions set up spatial multiplicities (paint surface, illusion of main sky, photo-on-canvas, illusion within photo, etc.) as well as Pirandelloesque literary puzzles sucked in. Goode’s technique is full: the principal skies are scum-bled creamily, the prints are barely outlined in pencil, and the photo-skies are dashed off in facile shorthand. Goode is commonly compared with Ed Ruscha because the two came out of

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  • Saul Steinberg’s “Written” Pictures

    Felix Landau Gallery

    It’s no news to anyone that great stuff goes under-appreciated because its setting is less than high-arty; some of the finest American drawing often presents itself in little panels in The New Yorker. The Master, still, is Saul Steinberg if you like him, that is, if you can see past the eclectics (Klee, Picasso, Grosz, Duchamp) to the realization that Steinberg is—although precious, although exploitative, although cute—profound. Steinberg admits that the joke (mass-stamped “Angelus” figures, portrait-photo shading, teeth charts as skyscraper windows) is on him as well as us; otherwise he wouldn’t

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  • Venice In The Snow

    The Los Angeles Fine Arts Squad, Venice

    Substantial attention is being paid to forms of exhibitions of art alternative to the usual gallery/museum experience. One of those forms has been wall painting, which has received no attention at all, at least in the official art press in Los Angeles, where a group of four artists, Victor Henderson, Terry Schoonhoven, Jim Frazin and Leonard Korin, recently completed their third major painting, Venice in the Snow, on the side of Jackie Greber’s and Ed Moses’ studio on the oceanfront in Venice, just south of the Venice Pavilion.

    The Fine Arts Squad began informally some two years ago when Schoonhoven,

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