“Sunshine & Noir: Art In L.A. 1960–1997”

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

Los Angeles artists enjoy the unique yet dubious privilege of living in the lap of mass culture. But if they feel proprietary toward the mythmaking machine of movies and television, their closeness has also encouraged a psychological remove from it. Though they often allude to frenzies on the screen, their central concern is with pop dramas of the mind. As a vehicle for our collective fantasies that give a less than social pleasure, the movie is to them as inevitable a theme as nature is to “landscapists.”

Such an overview is offered by “Sunshine & Noir,” a deliberately potluck exhibition of Los Angeles art, 1960–97, curated by Lars Nittve and Helle Crenzien, at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art near Copenhagen. But the show’s value as a historical record or critical proposal is diluted by odd emphases, equally strange exclusions (among them even some males), and the presence of lesser

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