los-angeles

John Schroeder and Connie Zehr

Brand Art Center

“Sand Works” by John Schroeder and Connie Zehr, at the Brand Art Center makes a big deal of the material as if, with audience philistinism anticipated, choice of tools were in itself a virtue. Moreover, the attitude evidenced toward sand (ergo, earth) is more narrative than concrete, more fawningly romantic than adventurous; it’s a kind of fifties’ earthwork show. John Schroeder’s statement (there are personal explanations on a wall near each work—I haven’t seen that in a while) is a cosmological number telling us the earth is a mere speck, human life is short, nature knows best, etc., and, at times, it rings of a B-movie Indian chief, e.g., “. . . it brings sadness to my heart. . . .” Schroeder says he doesn’t care to know what art is, belying the very purposeful elegance his piece assumes. The work is made of picturesquely dispersed mounds of earth materials, from sand to rocks, into

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