• Tara Donovan

    ACE Gallery

    Appropriately titled “Tara Donovan: Survey,” the first major West Coast solo exhibition of this artist’s work was also, thanks to the spaciousness of Ace’s city-block-long gallery, something of an early retrospective. At their strongest, Donovan’s works merge literalist fascination with illusionist wonder, demonstrating how an artist can transform material and how art can transform experience. But while this seven-year overview wowed with impressive works, it also revealed some weaknesses.

    A 2005 remake of Donovan’s Ripple, 1998, a floor-based work comprising countless bits of electrical wire

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  • Mathias Poledna

    Richard Telles Fine Art

    Version, 2004, the most recent film by Mathias Poledna, is strongly reminiscent of his last one, Actualité, 2002. Once again, the gallery was painted black, and a 16 mm projector beamed a film onto the far wall. And this work, too, depicts a group of attractive twentysomethings shot against a black backdrop, conveying a vaguely purgatorial impression. The sense that Poledna’s subjects are spirits trapped in a liminal zone between art gallery and movie theater is, again, corroborated by a looping repetition that keeps them turning hellishly in place, as well as by the pronounced grain of the

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  • David Korty

    China Art Objects

    If Pierre Bonnard employed color to domesticate modernist aesthetics, painter David Korty has used it to tame LA’s polluted skylines, lending a phosphorescent majesty to its poisonous sunsets, dusty twilights, and thick parfaits of smog. In a substantial shift, Korty’s recent show of paintings (all Untitled, 2004) at China Art Objects was considerably more austere than usual, dominated by ashen grays that suggested his subjects’ blanched, skeletal frames. His former trademark palette was characterized by acid shades of pomegranate, violet, and orange—colors that bleed. Gray, by contrast, can

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