• Allen Ruppersberg

    James Corcoran Gallery

    The title of Allen Ruppersberg’s exhibition here, “Art Rolls/Head Rolls,” is a matrix of double meanings and deadpan puns. In this it is like much of Ruppersberg’s work since the early ’70s, and like the installation itself. Still, the second half of the equation is concrete: a hundred cast-cement heads are scattered––rolled—across the gallery floor. Starting rather unnaturally around the Adam’s apple, they are neither masks nor busts; they are severed heads, as in “heads will roll.”

    Three paintings, one a diptych, frame the field of severed heads. Each bears a newspaper clipping—or rather an

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  • Patricia Patterson


    By force of their execution in a style wholly dependent on almost academic realist drawing, and of their content—recollections of the Irish countryside and the hearthside life there—Patricia Patterson’s paintings should collapse into a muddle of sentimentality, but they don’t. To the contrary, when her scenes of a small village and its residents combine with the larger, more patently evocative quotations from an Irish kitchen she created within the gallery, significant questions about realism, depiction, and the subjects of art come into focus more clearly than in more consciously stylized,

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  • Lari Pittman

    Rosamund Felsen Gallery and Newport Harbor Art Museum

    Lari Pittman’s paintings are a deliberate frontal attack on the overbearing sensibility that produced the spiky, pastel, trapezoidal forms so prevalent in postwar American design. He presents moiré-patterned fields of printed papers, lion-headed swags of drapery in high relief, and dime-store chinoiseries—a cornucopia of debased and all-but-forgotten forms still able to haunt, dismay, and amuse. It is too early to tell whether the attack is an assault or an embrace.

    Pittman’s is the boundless imagery of in-stock wallpaper murals, underwater scenes, and wistful evocations of the Italian Riviera.

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  • Leonard Koscianski

    Karl Bornstein Gallery

    Sleek snarling dogs race through the conceptualized landscapes of Leonard Koscianski, turning an airless, tense atmosphere into an arena of unleashed violence. His are images that recurrent nightmares are made of; time is suspended and we live within the terror of the dream, which rushes again and again across our field of vision. Koscianski’s flawless old-master technique, displaying careful glazing and highlighting over a darkened ground, recalls the hypnotic clarity of Renaissance painting. His canvases shine from their depths as light is trapped between layers of pigment, an effect reminiscent

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