• Michael McMillen

    L.A. Louver

    Welding together heightened feeling and imaginative mechanics, “Engine of Mercy” was an apt title for Michael McMillen’s double show at both L.A. Louver locations. Populated by rickety junkyard angels with gnashing gear teeth and animated miniature building facades that grimace out at the viewer, McMillenland is an environment,by turns wacky and brooding, in which junk assembles itself into patined, dreamlike icons.

    Viewers entered The Pavilion of Rain, 1987, an impressive installation in the larger of the two galleries, through a creaky beat-up screen door, and passed through an entryway walled

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  • Cindy Bernard

    Richard Kuhlenschmidt

    Cindy Bernard’s latest series of photographs, collectively entitled “Ask the Dust,” focuses on the cinematic mediation of the American landscape. Bernard has chosen one film from each year between 1954 and 1974 in which the landscape plays an important contextual, political, or allegorical role. Using production notes or information provided by each film’s director or unit production manager, Bernard has returned to the original film locations and photographed the landscape in accordance with the exact mise-en-scène and aspect ratio of the original movie. Thus Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, 1958,

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  • Robbie Conal

    Armory Center for the Arts

    Robbie Conal has made a career creating caricatures of right-wing political and religious figures like Ed Meese and Dan Quayle that look like portraits of Dorian Grey at his most dissipated. Conal’s work is politically correct, as they say, but in the stalest way; it’s smug in its safety, and weak in its critique. Conal takes for granted that every human being’s head is buried in the sand, and presents us with weary generalities. He mouths the platitudes liberals like to hear the same way President Bush charms middlebrow conservatives.

    Conal battles the powers that be by making the bad guys look

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