reviews

  • Bill Davenport

    Angstrom Gallery

    The eighteen small works in Bill Davenport’s latest show ranged from boyish sight gags like Bummer, 1999, an enameled bean can and golf ball arranged to suggest a missed putt, to the inscrutable fluff of Pair of Lint Sculptures, 1998, in which a couple of fat, ill-formed pancakes made from the detritus of a clothes dryer are displayed with absurd care on a neat little white shelf. The tension between slick gallery presentation and deliberate craftlessness was a constant in the show, as was the impression that one had entered a realm of flattened hierarchies where transgression against conventional

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  • Eleanor Antin

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    Eleanor Antin left New York for Southern California in 1968. Even though her art has been chiefly handled by a Manhattan gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, the move proved definitive, and its implications decisive for her career. This was clear in the context of Antin’s recent thirty-year retrospective. The exhibition had some of the incongruities of atmosphere we might expect to accompany the hometown showing of an artist claimed as a “native son”: There was plenty of affection on offer, and not a little neglect. Devoted visitors, for example, were said to have returned for second and third

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  • Lawrence Weiner

    Regen Projects

    In black sans serif on silver Mylar the words “PURE AIR OF THE HIGH MOUNTAINS” and “BURNT RUBBER” appear across the packaging for the perfume Odeur 53, in French and English, along with an invitation to “CREATE AROUND YOU THE SMELL THAT YOU LIKE.” With graphic design by Marc Atlan for Comme des Garçons, the antiseptic aesthetic of the product, from its austere gray box with prominent bar code to the empirical bluntness of the chunky rectangular bottle and talcum-powder-with-a-frisson-of-nail-polish-remover scent, succeeds by finding within the “undesigned,” indexical, informational look of

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  • Mowry Baden

    Post Wilshire and Downtown

    Mowry Baden’s latest offering reiterated the artist’s preoccupation with how we position ourselves relative to sculpture, furniture, and other objects, and how such things position us. The three works on view played with the form, material, and meaning of one of the artist’s favorite subjects (and one of the most loaded pieces of furniture most of us know): the bed. Unlike many of Baden’s pieces, which lure the viewer with improvised gizmos and less-than-high-tech interactive scenarios into games of gratification and frustration, these works engage the viewer in a more contemplative manner (

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