• Sam Durant

    The Museum of Contemporary Art | MOCA Grand Avenue

    You hear Sam Durant’s show at the Museum of Contemporary Art before you see it. When I asked the front-desk attendant where the exhibition began, she told me to follow the music: good advice, not only in terms of orienting oneself spatially but also as an interpretive principle. For in a manifestation of Durant’s consistent attitude toward architecture, a cacophonous brew of overlapping sound composed of the blues, rock, and rap tracks that accompany most of his exhibited sculptures blurred and even contradicted the geometric rectitude of MoCA’s Arata Isozaki–designed building. As in the artist’s

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  • Ron Nagle

    Frank Lloyd Gallery

    In a show of small ceramic objects (all 2002), Ron Nagle displayed his gift for tweaking familiar forms. Selections from his ongoing “Snuff Bottles” series, begun in 2002, for example, clearly revealed a kinship to the small-necked, round-capped collectible object, with Nagle retaining the item’s telltale attributes while converting its form into a female figure that looked like a cross between a doll, a finish-fetish sculpture, and a fertility goddess. The bottles’ anthropomorphic shoulders flow into heart-shaped torsos with puffed-out bosoms, and the lower portions fan out into broad skirts

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  • Roy Lichtenstein

    Gagosian | Beverly Hills

    Roy Lichtenstein was a bit inconsistent when he moved beyond the obvious quotation strategy that inspired him during the ’60s. Some of the artist’s attempts to overlay his dots, stripes, flat colors, and hard outlines onto other subjects gained real punch from the stylistic grafting, as in his brushstroke and mirror paintings and a number of his interior scenes. Other bids were less successful, such as his efforts with slews of textbook pieces and references to modernist painting from Cézanne to Dalí. The better of his late works came when the artist seemed less concerned with using his style

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