los-angeles

Ben Jackel

La Louver

Ben Jackel’s first solo exhibition made a fine mixture out of the imagery and accoutrements of warfare, its attendant memorialization and glorification, and the putting out of fires. An artist with a background in ceramics, Jackel has studied with Charles Ray (for whom he now works) and ceramicist Adrian Saxe, and the influence of both artists is evident in his work. The sculptures here strike a balance between faithful mimesis and a tendency toward caricature, while revealing Jackel’s predilection for ornamentation and plays on scale, as well as his keen sensitivity to matters of display.

The exhibition’s centerpiece, titled Syntagma (all works 2008–2009) gathers 256 six-inch-high Greek warriors, girded in a grid formation. Made from chocolate brown porcelain and assembled through the mixing and matching of individually cast parts—a selection of different helmets, shields, and breastplates—the

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