reviews

  • Michael Asher

    Claire Copley and Morgan Thomas galleries

    Lovers in Renaissance poetry conventionally exchange hearts. In the modern world, nations exchange students, tourists exchange money, and artists, on occasion, switch studios. Art dealers in the same city, however, are not likely to trade either their gallery spaces or their clientele. Thus, Michael Asher’s latest work, an exhibition consisting tout court of an exchange he engineered between the Claire Copley and the Morgan Thomas galleries, starts out with an artifice-proclaiming premise, even though all that follows is almost as casual as everyday potluck life in Los Angeles. Asher’s piece

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  • Elyn Zimmerman

    Broxton Gallery

    A relative newcomer to the exigent form, Elyn Zimmerman constructs perceptual installations with a dry, pedagogic flavor. In her current room-size work, it is evident that she has learned some tricks of the trade from those installation-makers who traffic in illusory optical effects, altering the viewer’s experience of a space by cheating his eye. But unlike her predecessors, Zimmerman is a skeptic; she prefers anatomizing the mechanism of spatial illusions to indulging in their metaphysics. By contrast, many recent successful West Coast works in the perceptual genre—I think of Robert Irwin’s

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  • Karl Benjamin

    Tortue Gallery

    One of the original “Abstract Classicists” for whom Jules Langsner invented the term “hard-edge” in the 1950s, Karl Benjamin has within the past two years begun showing again locally after a long absence from the LA gallery scene. Benjamin is a productive and changeable artist, regularly turning out about 50 paintings a year in a wide variety of more and less convincing hard-edge styles. Unlike last season’s diffuse arrangements of modular rectangles on a grid, the new paintings leave no room to loiter. They are as taut as a tightly strung lute.

    Immaculate execution and serial conception characterize

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