reviews

  • Billy Al Bengston

    James Corcoran Gallery

    “Thirty Years of Work I Shouldn’t Sell” was the title of Billy Al Bengston’s show here. It recalls the title of Ed Ruscha’s “I Don’t Want No Retrospective” show. The title speaks for itself, doesn’t it? It’s the junk, right? The stuff he “shouldn’t sell,” and the joke’s on the art-pedestrian. Or is it the crème de la crème, his most personal works, the priceless collection? Either way, it’s an arrogant, egotistical title for a show. It’s also provocative, and that’s what Bengston is known for in Los Angeles—not necessarily his work, but the details surrounding it. A gallery opening at 7 A.M.

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  • Lari Pittman

    Rosamund Felsen Gallery

    Lari Pittman’s paintings are unsettling. Like the placards announcing THE END IS NEAR! carried by barefoot, scruffy prophets of doom in cartoons, Pittman’s works seem to be warning signs. In this show, the artist conveyed his visual messages via an avalanche of lively but quickly degenerating ’50s design clichés. Using this borrowed, nostalgia-tinged language, Pittman illustrates the ways in which the cumulative chaos of our age traps and numbs us. These paintings dissect with deadly accuracy the problems of dealing with a culture of excess.

    Overflowing with creepy oranges and greens, ungrounded

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