reviews

  • Allen Ruppersberg, Cover Art (Wonder Series), 1985, mixed-media collage, 40 x 60".

    Allen Ruppersberg

    ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

    BUY ONE TONIGHT, READ IT FOREVER; THE BEST IN WORDS AND PICTURES; YOU ARE THE STORY: With that earnest air of hucksterism indigenous to an earlier time in American history, Allen Ruppersberg spins new narratives from old ones in his bright, sizable 1985 collage Cover Art (Wonder Series)—a pristine composite of pasted-up texts like the above (whether in adlike tag lines rendered with vintage label-maker tape or via disconnected words and numbers torn from paper) and mostly midcentury print images (including a depiction of the pope, one of a monkey wearing a lab coat, and several nature

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  • Sharon Lockhart

    Blum & Poe | Los Angeles

    The photographs and two films composing Sharon Lockhart’s latest project, “Lunch Break,” 2008, focus on the shipbuilders at the ironworks in Bath, Maine, a subject somewhat at odds with that of “Pine Flat,” 2002–2005, her previous film and photographic series, which portrayed rural California youths. When the characters are manual laborers rather than children and the setting is industry rather than nature, play becomes work and leisure time is highly structured. In fact, the project is closer in theme to a topic Lockhart explored more than ten years ago in documentation of museum workers in

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  • Glenn Ligon

    Regen Projects

    In his newest suite of paintings, titled “Figure” (echoing his 2001 self-portrait series of the same name), Glenn Ligon continues his formal investigation of James Baldwin’s 1953 essay “Stranger in the Village,” a searching analysis of the author’s experience of extreme estrangement and isolation as the only black man living in a remote Swiss village. The new paintings further Ligon’s continual, laborious reading and rereading of the self through the language of another. He bases all twenty canvases on his own 2002 painting Masquerade—a nearly illegible rendering of a page from Baldwin’s text,

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  • Steven Bankhead

    Circus Gallery

    “Battery” (2008), Steven Bankhead’s last exhibition at Circus Gallery, comprised a series of medium-size charcoal renderings of collaged material that the artist had culled from billboards, posters, flyers, stickers, T-shirts, graffiti, and other ephemera. Much of the imagery was lifted from the rock milieu and testified to rock’s ongoing recycling of a lexicon of mythical symbols originating in avant-garde art (as described by cultural critics such as Stewart Home and Greil Marcus). A sense of historical unfolding was suggested in the emphatic numbering of the drawings on view: twenty-four in

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