Los Angeles

Lee Kaplan

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions / Jan Baum Gallery

Until this year, Lee Kaplan’s work had taken the form of small, intimate collages of photomechanically reproduced images derived from corporate reports, fashion layouts, and advertisements. By appropriating and dislocating the allegorizing strategies of early Modernism—such as those of Kurt Schwitters or Hannah Höch—and rereading them through the reifying language of Madison Avenue, Kaplan was able to disclose their historicized passivity and restate an open evaluation of the image-context dialectic. In two recent exhibitions, however, Kaplan moved up in scale and ambition to tackle historicism head-on, specifically the art institution’s use of media encoding and dissemination to naturalize the modern masterpiece.

At Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Kaplan presented a group of photo-enlarged image/text pieces in an attempt to deconstruct the artificial hegemony of Pop art—in the artist’s

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