• “Beyond Geometry”

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

    I have no doubt that Lynn Zelevansky’s “Beyond Geometry” began as a labor of love, because blurred but still visible in the midst of this desultory extravaganza there is a smaller, more original exhibition trying to get out. This embedded exhibition examines the cosmopolitan flowering of geometric abstract art in the years following World War II. It expands the canonical framework and “de-Americanizes” the art history of that period. It could have done more. If its curator had not been so anxious to rush forward into the comfort zone of post-Minimal tedium, that smaller exhibition might have

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  • Mungo Thomson

    Margo Leavin Gallery

    In his third solo show at Margo Leavin Gallery, Mungo Thomson extended a practice based on the double-take. He encouraged us to look again at familiar types and styles of images and their intertwined manifestations in mainstream and alternative culture; fine and folk art; artisanal and industrial production; consumerism, politics and faith.

    In the gallery’s entryway were a number of seemingly simple yet actually complex and diffuse works: Freak Flag (USA), 2004, an inverted stars and stripes stitched from used denim that reduces the original to a faded blue monochrome; Black Chimes, 2004, a

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  • Jacci Den Hartog

    Christopher Grimes Gallery

    Jacci Den Hartog has made a career of exploring rocks and water both as substance and subject. She investigates materials, processes, and stylistic devices for modeling them and examining the shapes they impose on one another. Isolated from broader land- or seascape contexts, and supported by wall mounts and stands, her boulder-spotted pools and torrents, cast in polyurethane and, in one instance, Hydrocal (a high-density plaster) over steel armatures, seem to hover in space as if time had stopped and the rest of the world had fallen away.

    Den Hartog’s most recent sculptures represent a departure

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  • Bob Mizer

    Western Project

    I’d love to know exactly what was in the heads of model Ray Robirds and photographer Bob Mizer during the shoot in which Robirds, his right arm slung around a burro’s neck, sports nothing but a sombrero, striped briefs, and fancy cowboy boots. Robirds puffs out his chest, plants his legs—tan lines dazzling—in a defiant stance, and glares into the beyond, his face full of the confidence that is no small part of what makes this low-budget South-of-the-Border fantasy so appealing. Did Mizer find the model’s physique so prepossessing that awkward accoutrements didn’t matter, or did he know that

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