los-angeles

“The Power of Suggestion”

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Although it would be dull to try to homogenize the variety of aesthetics in “The Power of Suggestion: Narrative and Notation in Contemporary Drawing” into anything like a movement, it’s interesting to note that many of its most prepossessing artists live in LA, and that a funny, slant way of looking and an idiosyncratic investigation of mundane human activities and interests motivated much of the work. In her catalogue essay, curator Cornelia H. Butler described these artists as making “a kind of productive agitation in the visual field,” a formulation she used to expand “drawing” to encompass artists constructing “a narrative situation or voice that is highly inflected and subjective” by deploying a wide array of media: graphite, pencil, acrylic, ink, plastalina, blueprint, cartoon color, computer-generated color Xerox, photography, Styrofoam, iron filings, video, wood, carbon, and tears.

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