• Lari Pittman

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    Two themes dominated this mid-career survey of Lari Pittman’s painting: one was sexual politics, the other, more surprisingly, was Pittman’s Americanism. Opening shortly before the July 4 weekend, the show felt like a collision between a fireworks display and a gay-pride parade. Along with the ample breasts and parted butt cheeks, the gaping sphincters and vaginas, the little fleur-de-lis erections and the teardrops of cum scattered across this 13-years-worth of paintings, there also appeared picket fences, pilgrims in tall buckled hats, praying hands beside parted books, and quotes from the

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  • Charles Long

    Shoshana Wayne Gallery

    Playing on the famous ’70s feminist book Our Bodies, Our Selves, Charles Long’s recent exhibition “Our Bodies, Our Shelves” takes as a starting point his own body and significant childhood experiences. The intentionally bad pun of the title announces Long’s investigation of the connection between corporeality and identity, between body and self. The show was divided into two groups of work: anthropomorphically rounded blobs (bodies) in a variety of high-tech plastics and tactile rubber and flock shelves (selves) that bent and curved so as to belie their functional roots. The origin of the blobs

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  • Patty Wickman

    Dan Bernier Gallery

    Curious and complex, the three large paintings and additional studies comprising Patty Wickman’s recent show depicted contemporary Americans looking noncommittal, even bored in the face of confrontation. Crime, disease, and violence may be classic and epic themes, inarguably compelling subject matter for a painting, but these participants seemed nonplussed. Oftentimes their faces were hidden, and their bodies appeared simply numb.

    In the exhibition’s title painting, A Thief in the Night, a shabbily dressed man is halfway out a window, clutching a computer keyboard and a candelabra. In the room

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