los-angeles

Alex Olson, Mind’s Eye (eyes open, eyes closed), 2016, diptych, oil and modeling paste on linen, each 24 × 18". From “The Ocular Bowl.”

“The Ocular Bowl”

Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Alex Olson, Mind’s Eye (eyes open, eyes closed), 2016, diptych, oil and modeling paste on linen, each 24 × 18". From “The Ocular Bowl.”

The three-person show “The Ocular Bowl” took its name from “The Line and the Light,” a 1964 essay by Jacques Lacan in which the psychoanalyst describes the eye as “a sort of bowl,” a faulty container whose propensity to overflow with visual information necessitates “a whole series of organs, mechanisms, defenses” to collectively bring about vision. Featuring two important works by modernist painter Agnes Pelton—best known for her cosmic abstractions and Southwestern landscapes overlain with transcendental themes—and more recent paintings by Alex Olson and Linda Stark, this show was less didactic than broadly associative in its investigations of its theme. The exhibition’s press release stated that the show focused on “ideas of vision and how it occurs beyond the eyes.” In Olson’s work this transpired via both iconography (e.g., representations of receptacles in the homage

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