• Fandra Chang

    Shea & Boorstein

    In recent years, Los Angeles nonrepresentational painters have begun to carve out a niche for themselves as deconstructors of traditional Modernist formalism. Instead of exploiting metaphysical oppositions such as center/margin, inside/outside, work/frame, and this/that, these artists favor a more differentiated approach, in which supplemental elements such as edge and surround supplant the usual dominant paradigms through endless slippage and deferral. In an impressive solo debut, Fandra Chang firmly aligns herself with this group in a series of mixed-media works that deliberately play on fluid,

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  • Raymond Pettibon

    Robert Berman Gallery

    The most affecting artwork often proves to be the hardest to write about, and Raymond Pettibon’s obsessive, noirish, text-riddled ink drawings are a case in point. Visually, the works have been likened to a cross between William Blake’s inscribed illustrations, EC Comics, and Gustave Doré’s engravings; indeed, Pettibon’s flat, graphic drawing style and stark, melodramatic compositional sense embody both the rawness and the peculiar lyricism such comparisons suggest. But what really marks Pettibon’s jumpy, metaphysical vision is the “ring of the voice,” to borrow a phrase from one of his works,

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  • Ellen Phelan

    Patricia Faure Gallery

    To look and think about the dolls in Ellen Phelan’s 42 doll drawings, a 15-year project, is to submit in some way to their rule, which is really only to submit to one’s own narrative impulses. A refusal to regard the secret lives of our plastic and furry likenesses is to cast oneself as a no-fun doll boy or a disbelieving doll girl. Phelan presents us with a play-before-you-paint situation; indeed, in order to paint dolls, she had to spend a great deal of time moving them around, imagining the world from their points of view.

    In Reconciliation, 1991, a green frog wearing tight red shorts puts

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