reviews

  • “Los Four”

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    “Los Four” (Roberto de la Rocha, Carlos Almaraz, Gilbert Lujan, and Frank Romero) at LACMA is one of those patronizing, Cheviot Hills liberal shows which, if you’ve any quality sense (and who operates with none?), puts your conscience on the spot: democrat or elitist, pluralist or academician, open spirit or cancerous up-tighter? The exhibition documents, by way of a bewildering (to the Bauhaus-corrupted, anal-retentive eye) array of drawings, collages, flea-market bric-a-brac (on a cooperative “altar”), demimurals, paintings, and even the primered nose end of a ’51 Chevy (my first car), the

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  • Alexis Smith and Doug Wheeler

    Riko Mizuno Gallery

    All too infrequently, The New Yorker runs a politely Dada bagatelle by Donald Barthelme, Saul Steinberg, or James Stevenson consisting of oddly matched, quasi-intelligible but ironically incisive pictures and captions; it’s audience-oriented (penthouse pot smokers, faded prep-school ingenues, cat lovers), so it’s light and ticklish—perfect bathtub reading. But I like it when it’s heavy, too, and innerdirected (even solipsist) as it is with Alexis Smith, who does much the same thing in ordered, sectioned, horizontal collage/drawing/text narratives under glass along white gallery walls. Smith’s

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  • Lila Lakich

    Womanspace

    Womanspace and neon aren’t, for me, the most inviting parlay of exhibition circumstances, the former because it makes me feel like I used to when I went to the Shabazz restaurant for bean pie (that is, tolerated), and because you have to endure all those cornball, strident, cottage-industry souvenirs (brochures, bulletin boards, posters, little poetry books) of consciousness-raising, and the latter because it’s been a loser for everybody except Antonakos and Sonnier. But Lila Lakich’s big wall boxes are clever, tight, even moving, and—in spite of the nagging presence of hardware defeating

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  • Peter Zecher

    Nicholas Wilder Gallery

    Peter Zecher, to the contrary, is digging in as “the cardboard guy”––the flyer is a small slab of the stuff, and the gallery is loaded to the gunwales with life-height natural-hued modern totems, and 3-D X’s, coated with various substances (beverage stains, bright enamel, or glitter); on the latter, the butt ends are left raw to demonstrate the material, like those cutaway piston engines in the auto show. It’s like Lloyd Hamrol done by Frank Gehry (who proved that functional/beautiful furniture could be made from this ephemeral/banal material, whereas Zecher’s out to lend it the “art” aura).

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