Los Angeles

Bert Long

L.A. Louver Gallery

The ’50s revival is becoming so ubiquitous that it’s beginning to seem as if the aura of that period has never left. The work of Bert Long, a painter/sculptor who lives and works in the small town of Shepherd, Texas, just outside of Houston, brings this point home. The images in Long’s recent paintings, from 1982 to ’87, demonstrate his continuing affection for the pretentious goofiness of a particular aspect of ’50s art: that whimsical juncture in the devolution of style that saw kitsch transformed into high camp, the Jungian archetype into a cocktail cliché, the Chagall bird into a corporate logo, and the violent Abstract Expressionist splash into the designer’s suave spatter.

The elaborate frames that surround Long’s images, however, exist in another stylistic universe altogether. They are extravagant funk/folk assemblages whose lighthearted and heavy-handed visual punning provides a

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