reviews

  • View of “All of This and Nothing,” 2011. Foreground: Jorge Macchi, Vidas paralelas (Parallel Lives), 1998. Background: Jorge Macchi, Vanishing Point, 2005.

    “All of This and Nothing”

    Hammer Museum

    Jointly curated by Anne Ellegood and Douglas Fogle, the most recent installment of the Hammer Invitational (that museum’s biannual contemporary group show, which typically has a local focus) featured an impressive lineup of seven young and midcareer Los Angeles–based artists together with an equal number of their American and international peers. “All of This and Nothing” championed introverted artistic practices that are chronically unmoored by the metaphysical force of self-doubt and the ineffable, even as they are grounded in an economy of means, formal simplicity, fragmentation, slowness,

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  • View of “William E. Jones,” 2011. From left: Berlin Flash Frames, 2010; In Mathew Brady’s Studio, 2010.

    William E. Jones

    David Kordansky Gallery

    Three time-based works dominated William E. Jones’s third solo show at David Kordansky Gallery. Projected floor-to-ceiling on three contiguous walls, In Mathew Brady’s Studio, Berlin Flash Frames, and Spatial Disorientation—silent works (all 2010) that employ, respectively, zooms, flash frames, and aerial photography—felt aggressive, at times even dizzying in total. (Loosely recalling the enticing dare of Tony Conrad’s disclaimer at the outset of The Flicker, 1966, there was even a warning posted on Kordansky’s gallery door cautioning viewers about the potentially dangerous physiological

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  • View of “Merlin Carpenter,” 2011.

    Merlin Carpenter

    Overduin & Co.

    On January 30 (coinciding with the Art Los Angeles Contemporary fair), Merlin Carpenter opened his second show at Overduin & Kite. The premise was simple: A friend asked the artist for an old painting that Carpenter had made in 1990. In return, Carpenter asked the friend to take the original and make twenty copies (“1990 Repainted 1–20,” 2010), all of which were put on view for the show. The works could be described as a nauseatingly polychromatic antidote to his recent three-year, multivenue project, The Opening, which featured smug phrases (among other markings) scrawled, predominantly in

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