reviews

  • View of “Urs Fischer,” 2013. Foreground: Untitled (Suspended Line of Fruit), 2012; Frozen Pioneer, 2009; Untitled (Floor Piece), 2006; Portrait of a Single Raindrop, 2003. Background: Horses Dream of Horses, 2004; Frozen, 1998; Untitled (Bread House), 2004–2005.

    Urs Fischer

    The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

    IN THEIR 2008 BOOK As a Weasel Sucks Eggs, Daniel Birnbaum and Anders Olsson categorize artists according to their dietary habits. There are the Kafka­esque hunger artists who scrupulously monitor their intake, consuming as little as humanly possible and aspiring, in their works, to reduction, exactitude, and otherworldly ideals. And then there are the gluttons who stuff it all in and spew it back out half-digested. As has been noted by others, Urs Fischer is one of the latter, among those for whom the real and existing world in all its gross, hetero­geneous profusion is an endless source of

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  • Barry Le Va, Diagrammatic Silhouettes: Sculptured Activities (Black Stress), 1987, ink on paper collage, 80 x 80".

    Barry Le Va

    Marc Selwyn Fine Art

    Although best known for his sprawling sculptural investigations, Barry Le Va has consistently made works on paper throughout his varied career. During the 1960s and ’70s, these usually took the form of plans for three-dimensional installations; often depicted from an aerial perspective, they would lay out complex distributions of items such as ball bearings, felt, aluminum, and chalk across gallery floors. But of the six works that were on display in “Large Scale Collages: 1985–1991,” only two follow this strategy: Study for Sculpture Occupying 2 Area. CPE/Reading Beckett; Reading Bernard #1,

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  • Wu Tsang, How Do I Play?, 2013, C-print on aluminum, 50 x 34".

    Wu Tsang

    Michael Benevento

    “I’ve done research,” says Wu Tsang in Mishima in Mexico, 2012, the centerpiece of his recent solo show at Michael Benevento. “I made mood boards.” Over the video’s fourteen minutes, Tsang and artist Alexandro Segade wrestle themselves into the narrative of Yukio Mishima’s 1950 novel Thirst for Love, entwining their own creative process with an adaptation of the book’s tragic affair between a kimonoed lady and a fundoshied young gardener. “It’s so gay,” quips Segade. Then Tsang: “I wouldn’t say gay. Maybe queer.” “So Japanese.” “That’s why we’re in Mexico.” Cultural transposition is only the

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  • Brion Nuda Rosch, Self Portrait (Big Dick), 2013, acrylic, wood, 54 x 17 x 5 1/2".

    Brion Nuda Rosch

    ACME.

    For an artist who recently shipped, to Toves Galleri in Copenhagen, not finished pieces but studio documentation of his sculptures together with instructions for their re-creation, Brion Nuda Rosch’s show at ACME settled surprisingly close to its source. In this first solo outing in Los Angeles for the San Francisco–based artist, such a return to the authorial fount was a matter not only of facture (Rosch handled these works himself this time) but also of content, since the assemblages made from layered book pages and various objects are reportedly stand-ins for the artist’s body parts. According

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  • View of “Everything Loose Will Land,” 2013.

    “Everything Loose Will Land”

    MAK Center for Art and Architecture

    “Everything Loose Will Land,” curated by architectural historian Sylvia Lavin at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, was among the most compelling exhibitions in the 2013 series sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Trust, “Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.” Surveying a rich cultural moment between the political radicalisms of the 1960s and the postmodernist practices of the 1980s, the show’s strength lay in its irreducibility to a single story line and its opening up of multiple trajectories through a history it revealed to be anything but settled. Lavin made good on

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