Los Angeles

Sean Landers

Ever the showman, Sean Landers served up a ribald homage in his recent West Coast show to—of all people—William Hogarth. What, one asks, is Landers, the self-proclaimed cultural neophyte who gave dilettantism a good name, doing evoking an artist who is anything but the flavor-of-the-month?

Whatever the reason, Landers is definitely not turning to the past to satisfy a morbid desire for art-historical excavation. On the contrary, Landers’ gutsy, jocular, and ultimately lyrical interplay of paintings, video, and sculptures based on Hogarth’s A Midnight Modern Conversation, 1773, represents a symbolic recuperation of our “colonial history,” making it speak to the contemporary moment. Indeed, the artist’s flair for extracting poetry from the heart of things abject and marginal fueled his casual cannibalization of both Hogarth’s subject matter (the inebriated), as well as his painting style (a

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