reviews

  • Christian Marclay, Footstompin’, 1991, album covers and thread, 17 1/4 x 36". From the series “Body Mix,” 1991–92.

    Christian Marclay

    Hammer Museum

    Karlheinz Brandenburg is a name that would probably ring few bells for visitors to Christian Marclay’s midcareer retrospective at the UCLA Hammer Museum, but in critical respects, he stands as a kind of shadow figure to the artist’s investigations into the intersection between sound and visual culture. Surveying Marclay’s output of the last two decades—collaged album covers, altered vinyl, and musical instruments retooled into sculptural objects, as well as video and photography—one confronts a host of musical references as a matter of course: John Cage, Sonic Youth, any number of mixmasters

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  • Frederick Hammersley

    LA Louver

    Frederick Hammersley’s Option open, 2000–2002, is a small oil-on-linen painting of flatly brushstroked, vibrant, curvilinear sea anemone– and coral-like shapes that suggest hues and forms undulating into and out of one another. The thing floats within its frame, whose exterior is faux-wormholed wood, brusquely whitewashed and dimpled repeatedly along its inner edge. The painting alone makes much of Monique Prieto redundant, while the frame recalls a Joseph Cornell–meets–Vincent Fecteau sculptural device. Together, both parts ask (without the Frank Stella bombast) that deciding between sculpture

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  • Ed Ruscha

    Gagosian | Beverly Hills

    In a New York Times article from 1972 bluntly titled “‘I’m Not Really a Photographer,’” Ed Ruscha claimed he took up the practice only in order to make his books—among them, the now-seminal Twenty-Six Gasoline Stations (1963) and Every Building on the Sunset Strip (1966)—and that his pictures should not be considered art objects but merely tools or means to an end. He focused on the photograph as a purveyor of technical data, believing it could bring a readymade object or site—a gas station, a swimming pool—into the realm of art without aestheticizing it. Offering an alternative to the fine-art

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  • Wendell Gladstone

    Roberts Projects

    Following three New York solo shows, Los Angeles–based artist Wendell Gladstone made his belated hometown debut with four sculptural tableaux (all works 2002). Consisting of stylized, munchkin-size figures standing atop mounds that suggest islands or coastal rocks, Gladstone’s dioramas propose an aesthetic kinship among classical statuary, kitsch decorator objects, and animated adventures. Functioning like the stations of the cross—or the levels of a video game—his fragments, read in sequence, tell a tale.

    In the first “scene,” a marble-white boy in yellow rubber boots and a striped fisherman’s

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