• Laura Owens, Untitled, 1998, acrylic and oil on canvas, 84 x 96".

    Laura Owens, Untitled, 1998, acrylic and oil on canvas, 84 x 96".

    Laura Owens

    New Museum

    There are some very good paintings in MoCA’s Laura Owens survey—particularly the large decorative landscapes painted between 1999 and 2002 that borrow from Chinese scroll and screen painting, the rococo pastorals of Beauvais tapestries, and the peaceable critterdom of children’s-book illustration. Notable in their absence, though, are a couple of the artist’s very strong early works that take pluralism in the museum and a modest and collaborative approach to painting as their relatively explicit subject. It’s a way of working that continues to inform Owens’s output and that has been an especially

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  • Ivan Morley

    Patrick Painter, Inc

    Ivan Morley’s paintings are inspired by the frontiersman’s lore of scrappy, dried-out California towns with names like San Gabriel, El Monte, and Tehachapi. Such locales and their all-but-forgotten (and possibly artist-fabricated) histories—if you can call tales of memorable cockfights and observations on the behavior of squirrels histories—seem unlikely sources of inspiration. Yet, from a mass of myth, a dose of his own vivid imagination, and a range of raw material, Morley has created some mighty idiosyncratic pictures. The show as a whole was pulled together with a keen sense of detail, with

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  • Aernout Mik

    The Project

    Somebody once told me goldfish can survive in bowls because their memories are too short to conceive of their own miserable existences. The idea—of fish forever circling, unaware of their limited range—seems analogous to the state (or fate) of the people who populate Aernout Mik’s video work.

    In his first solo exhibition in the United States, the Dutch artist presented three video projects. The earliest, Organic Escalator, 2000, consists of a projection in a custom-fabricated, tunnel-like room. What we see is a crowd struggling to make its way up, and down, an escalator, which itself appears

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