los-angeles

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons (detail), 2008, four video projectors, computer, two spotlights. Installation view. Photo: Fredrik Nilson.

Diana Thater

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Diana Thater, A Cast of Falcons (detail), 2008, four video projectors, computer, two spotlights. Installation view. Photo: Fredrik Nilson.

“The Sympathetic Imagination”—a title taken from J. M. Coetzee’s Elizabeth Costello (2003)—aptly describes both the sensibility that runs through Diana Thater’s practice and the artist’s careful consideration of her viewer, as evidenced by this timely, generous, and thoughtfully curated survey. Divided between LACMA’s Art of the Americas galleries and those of its Broad Contemporary Art Museum (unaffiliated with the Broad museum several miles east), this exhibition, organized by Lynn Cooke, senior curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and LACMA’s Christine Y. Kim, animates and connects Thater’s signature close encounters with other species.

Upon entrance to the Art of the Americas galleries, the viewer encounters knots + surfaces, 2001—footage of a swarm of bees that frenetically land on and launch from honeycombs—projected diagonally across

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