Los Angeles

Bruce Conner

Kohn Gallery

Bruce Conner’s latest show conjured the ghosts of Edgar Allen Poe, William Blake, and Max Ernst. Spanning nearly a decade, the works (which ranged from 1987 to ’96) were divided, by methodology, into two categories: inkblot drawings and wood-engraving collages. The latter are elegant black and white cutups of fin-de-siècle engravings, which Conner scissored into surreal, absurd incarnations, full of mystical hints. One such piece, The Advance of Technology, 1996, is an altered biblical illustration. Gesturing energetically toward a shy Christ is a barefoot, robed figure whose head is covered by what looks like an upended colander, various handles, and a sitz bath. Nearby, a bearded man kneels before the savior, a flywheel mounted on his back, the number gauge for a scale visible between his shoulder blades. Other cryptic bits of ancient hardware adhere to the bearded one. The overall effect

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