los-angeles

William Leavitt

LAXART

William Leavitt’s Warp Engines, 2009, the most recent of his many domestic tableaux, is a spacey dream scene of cryptic simplicity. Pared down like a stage set, the installation features two fragments of ruddy brown stacked-stone walls stand adjacent to each other in a dimly lit room. The stone veneers, made from painted foam chunks affixed to thin plywood panels, are the backdrop to a fake potted houseplant with broad flat leaves and a chic retro lamp on a handsome midcentury side table. Together, these elements recall the living rooms of so many California ranch-style homes of the 1960s and ’70s. Visible between the walls is a strange, bulbous sculpture brightly lit from above, a gleaming network of clear plastic tubes and spheres that describes a grossly enlarged molecule. In concord with the Jetsons-esque structure, speakers on the floor emit a layered, spasmodic sound track: mechanical

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