reviews

  • Jim DeFrance

    Nicholas Wilder Gallery

    Shimmer is the temptress of Jim DeFrance’s new work, and a dazzling surface unsettles his high constructivist intentions. Pale fields of opalescence with a glacial pink here and a pistachio glimmer there, DeFrance’s outsize flaps of stiffened (but unstretched) burlap get their icy gleam from light plus gloss—that is, from ordinary gallery illumination bouncing off the slick exterior of several layers of rolled-on, pastel-flavored acrylic. The color of these works can be as chilly as an arctic morning, as evasive as Bigfoot. Up close the slippery paint surface is undone—transformed into a flux

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  • “Autobiographical Fantasies”

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

    The subject is ancient. St. Augustine, it is said, invented a literary container for it. More than 200 years have passed since Rousseau proclaimed, “Myself alone! . . . If I am not better, at least I am different.” The “self”—perennially fascinating to its owner, occasionally interesting to an “other,” conspicuous problem of the Romantics and frequent obsession of the Moderns—is recently being widely broadcast as an appropriate subject for mid-70s art. LAICA responds to the call with “Autobiographical Fantasies,” a spirited group exhibition, but one uncomfortably saddled with definitional

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