• Ann Preston

    Rosamund Felsen Gallery

    Ann Preston is one of the strangest, most inspired, reclusive, and underrated artists working in Los Angeles. For over ten years the 51-year-old Preston, a 1980 graduate of CalArts, has produced an astonishing body of beautiful, disturbing work. But since her work doesn’t assault the viewer in the shrill vernacular of dildos, blood, sex organs, and lipstick, and since she is too old to bask in the glory accorded the diaper-clad art pups who tumble fresh from the MFA crib, she is relegated to cult status—an artist’s artist. Preston, whose strategy is subtle, her esthetic infinitely more complex

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  • Damien Hirst

    Regen Projects

    Damien Hirst keeps turning out variations on his grisly menagerie, extrapolating on the idea of death-as-sculpture with a parade of preserved sharks, lambs, cows, and their various body parts. Some of this work is spectacularly morbid: imagine Haim Steinbach and Jeffrey Dahmer collaborating on site-specific pieces for a municipal zoo. But Hirst is ultimately concerned less with instilling horror than with probing what remains of our capacity to be shocked. Tracing a circuit of denial and sham, his work performs a metaphysical autopsy on the corpse of visceral experience.

    Compared to most of his

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  • Catherine Wagner

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    Although Catherine Wagner is known for studies of public environments—schools, a World Exposition, a convention center—her current body of work systematically explores a more intimate terrain, focusing specifically on the American home. In each of the 34 pieces included in this exhibition, three 16-by-20-inch views have been smoothly juxtaposed to create a long horizontal rectangle. These tripartite compositions, dramatically spotlit in a darkened gallery, present us with large-format views of opulence and simplicity, comfort and chaos, from one end of the country—and the spectrum—to the other,

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  • Anna-Maria Sircello

    Food House

    Displayed at one of Los Angeles’ newest and funkiest gallery spaces, Anna-Maria Sircello’s small, weirdly anthropomorphic objects are irresistibly erotic. Sircello’s corporealized forms (sometimes human, sometimes animal or insectlike) elicit the interpretive responses appropriate to a chaotic ’90s cultural imaginary. Constructed of hair, panty hose, hair nets, and embroidery hoops, these phallic and/or vaginal “bodies” use the tools of feminine beauty and feminized handicrafts to tell a story that ultimately rubs the sexual against the supposedly deeroticized femininity of the domestic. The

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