reviews

  • Alexis Smith

    Rosamund Felsen Gallery and Margo Leavin Gallery

    Alexis Smith’s appropriations of texts come from popular literature ranging from Thomas Bulfinch’s Mythology to Raymond Chandler novels and pulp romances. They are illustrated by images appropriated from popular art—movie stills, plastic trinkets, wallpaper, jewelry, tarot cards, coins, magazine ads, Chinese firecrackers, and so on. Through the accretions of time, repetition, and haphazard consensus, cultural truths solidify into cliches; Smith’s collages attempt to liquefy, then vaporize these edifices without letting go of the truths calcified within.

    Her problem in the past has been to

    Read more
  • Dan Flavin

    MOCA Pacific Design Center

    Dan Flavin’s long-professed commitment to extending art’s parameters into the realms of utility and/or decoration is distinctly at odds with the reductive and formalist theoretical stance of his art. This was especially true in his early career, when it was difficult to see a single 8-foot fluorescent tube attached diagonally to a wall as either useful or decorative. While it looked like a straightforward utilitarian object, it was not part of a ceiling fixture, or positioned to illuminate working or reading space; rather, the tube’s Duchampian detachment from its usual context made it difficult

    Read more