reviews

  • “Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949–1979”

    The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

    Without the body there is no act, no motion, no shiver, no urge; without the body there is no performance, no object on which the body leaves its traces, its funky residues. “Out of Actions” was a show about the body, what artists have done with the body from 1949 to 1979 seen through the ephemera that remain, an exhibition that in many ways was daunting and instructive as only dealings with the body can be. The show was also problematic because the actual body was nowhere to be found, so long gone in fact that Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy (whose early actions helped place a tradition of

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  • Yayoi Kusama

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    When Yayoi Kusama arrived in New York from Japan in 1958, at age twenty—nine, she had a single purpose: to become a world—famous artist. She did not become one, strictly speaking, but she did have her fifteen minutes. From 1961 to 1968 she achieved notoriety working in a wide variety of media and developing the basic idioms that have characterized her art to this day. “Love Forever: Yayoi Kusama, 1958–1968,” organized by Lynn Zelevansky of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Laura Hoptman of the Museum of Modern Art (where it remains on view until September 22), is the first

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  • Nan Goldin

    Gagosian Gallery

    Nothing redeems like beauty. It redeems even Nan Goldin’s subject matter. The experience of confronting her recent show in Los Angeles, which gathered older photos together with some newer ones, was like being trapped in the combustion chamber of an engine: instead of air and fuel igniting under pressure,. the volatile mixture was the repulsion of intimate lives on quasi-voyeuristic display and the attraction of the awesome beauty with which Goldin captured them.

    The most powerful of the artist’s diaristic pictures—of guys and girls drinking beer at an impromptu party, zoned out in the Bowery

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  • Tim Hawkinson

    ACE Gallery

    Tim Hawkinson seems like the kind of guy who builds robots in his basement out of whatever’s lying around—aluminum foil, mannequin limbs, pencils and pens, an old motor, wiring, whistles—and who works out names and even biographies for his mechanical beings. A guy who treats his creations like pets. Hawkinson’s obviously drawn to mutants, diagrams, and models. His historico-futuristic sensibility makes me think I wouldn’t mind seeing a sci-fi movie he directed, or playing a CD-ROM game he designed. Hawkinson also seems to have an attraction to narrative, highlighted in the paragraphs of explication

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