• Dave Muller, Little (Ed), 2012, acrylic on paper, 11 x 8 1/2".

    Dave Muller

    Blum & Poe | Los Angeles

    Sometime in the 1990s, the critical mandate of the prior decade’s “appropriation art” underwent a casual revision by an emerging generation less inclined to feel itself victimized by the “society of the spectacle.” Pop-cultural citation would continue apace, but in a less anxious, less clinical manner, one that evoked an element of personal investment. Overall, Dave Muller’s work could serve as a case in point, especially his latest exhibition, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.” Deriving this insistently affirmative title from the Beatles’ 1963 song “She Loves You,” the Los Angeles–based artist focused

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  • Sarah Cain, so there, it’s air, 2012, mixed media. Installation view.

    Sarah Cain

    Honor Fraser

    The main event of “Freedom Is a Prime Number,” Sarah Cain’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, was a room-scale installation titled so there, it’s air (all works 2012). While the piece involved an enveloping spread of paint and canvases (not necessarily conjoined) that spilled onto the floor, a twosome of dollar bills ($ thirty five and $ forty three) flanking the gallery’s entryway offered viewers a key for reading what lay beyond. Cain’s riotous additions of color and shimmering planes covered the cash so totally that only the minutest sections were left bare. These details matter. The

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  • View of “Tejpal Ajji,” 2012. From left: Hindi, 2009–11; Piano, 2010.

    Tejpal Ajji


    Remember Don Music, the Sesame Street character who would bang his head on the piano in frustration? As spontaneous musical actions go, there seems to be an appeal, at least among pint-size viewers, in using one’s head as a blunt instrument. In Tejpal Ajji’s video Piano, 2010, we see a grown-up version of that compulsion, except the impromptu action is replaced by a deliberately paced performance. The work begins with the camera focused on a grand piano in a dance studio. A muffled off-screen voice can be heard, and then Ajji comes into view, carried planklike by two men and a woman. Arriving

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