• Stephen Prina and Christopher Williams

    Kuhlenschmidt-Simon Gallery

    Collectively entitled “The Construction and Maintenance of Our Enemies,” this collaboration between Stephen Prina and Christopher Williams took the form of 13 black-and-white photographs of plant specimens at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, all from 1986. At first glance, these carefully composed depictions of roses, cacti, and other, more exotic plants appeared to be an ironic demystification of the conventions of landscape photography—especially those established by such hallowed Modernists as Edward Weston and Ansel Adams—through the direct simulation of historical

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  • Kim MacConnel

    Jan Baum Gallery

    Why would Kim MacConnel turn his back on a perfectly acceptable strategy for painting, one he earned the right to use as one of the original pattern painters of the ’70s? If he had to do it, why didn’t he exchange one slightly tired formula for a newer, more intellectually respectable one? MacConnel is a bright fellow and he must know why choosing from among carefully considered alternatives is so crucial to the careers of painters in the late ’80s. But no, in a perfectly perverse move, he has elected to return to some old, insoluble and by now virtually antique problems of composition. In his

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  • 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

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