reviews

  • Clockwise from top: Yvonne Rainer, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan: Hybrid, 2002, still from a color video, 30 minutes. Mikhail Baryshnikov. Yvonne Rainer, Kristina Talking Pictures, 1976, still from a black-and-white and color film in 16mm, 90 minutes. Blondell Cummings. Yvonne Rainer, Privilege, 1990, still from a black-and-white and color film in 16mm, 100 minutes. Gabriella Farrar.

    Yvonne Rainer

    Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions

    In its Los Angeles incarnation, Yvonne Rainer’s traveling retrospective lived up to its name by virtue of its very location: Audiences experienced the “radical juxtaposition” of a nonprofit space situated on Hollywood Boulevard. Dimmed and functionally outfitted with video monitors playing footage of Rainer’s choreography and films, and interspersed with vitrines containing performance-related ephemera, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) seemed worlds apart from the hype and glare of the street outside. And yet the disjuncture fortuitously reminded us that mass culture vividly shaped

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  • Kevin Appel

    Angles Gallery

    What is “pictorial” space? Modernist criticism put the question near the top of its agenda but never provided a definitive answer, preferring instead to blur its theoretical parameters in a way that might enable a more integrated solution. As it stands, the term is somewhat paradoxical: On one hand, it refers to something flat, coextensive with painting’s literal surface. On the other, it signifies depth, though not in a traditional perspectival sense. Rather, “depth” here implies a plastic intelligence, and an ability to articulate flatness as such, and thereby to render it open and inhabitable.

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  • Tomory Dodge

    ACME.

    Mostly land- and cityscapes, and unabashedly gestural, the oil paintings (all works 2004) in Tomory Dodge’s Los Angeles debut are among the most convincing of current arguments for the vitality of painterly painting, revealing a sensitivity to the medium impressive in such a young artist. Dodge’s stylistic nods are varied, including David Park, Philip Guston, Joan Mitchell, Frank Auerbach, Peter Doig, and even Gerhard Richter, as well as other painters who have explored the use of gesture in the service of representation. His work does not seem caught up in neo-expressionist tendencies nor in

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  • “The Undiscovered Country”

    Hammer Museum

    For proof of how lousy this show is, you need look no further than the catalogue essay and the solitary wall text, both of which begin by invoking the idiotic received idea of painting’s supposed death. Even in the 1970s there was no real juice in that orange, and it’s been decades since there was even pulp. Painting, like any other medium, goes in and out of fashion, but it’s never not being made, shown, or sold.

    Curator Russell Ferguson panders to “the ongoing frustration felt by a wide-ranging group of painters in the face of this burden, the struggle to continue with painting, and what

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  • Pat O’Neill

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

    Recent years have seen a succession of exhibitions devoted to “expanded cinema,” a genre-busting category that includes everything from multiscreen projections to happening-like performances to early experiments with video and other electronic technologies. From the Whitney’s “Into the Light” to the Vienna Museum of Modern Art’s “X-Screen” to the ZKM in Karlsruhe’s “Future Cinema,” this once-neglected genre has returned to the artistic mainstream. With “Pat O’Neill: Views from Lookout Mountain,” the Santa Monica Museum of Art surveys the forty-five-year career of the eminent Los Angeles–based

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