reviews

  • Beatrice Wood, Untitled (Head in Abstraction), 1996, pencil and colored pencil on paper, 10 1⁄4 × 13 1⁄4".

    Beatrice Wood, Untitled (Head in Abstraction), 1996, pencil and colored pencil on paper, 10 1⁄4 × 13 1⁄4".

    Beatrice Wood

    L.A. Louver

    Beatrice Wood died in 1998 at the age of 105. Her life was fantastic, if implausible in the details that made it so, seemingly even to her (she titled her 1985 autobiography I Shock Myself). While she was dubbed the Mama of Dada for her involvement with Henri-Pierre Roché and Marcel Duchamp—with whom she formed the Society of Independent Artists and published the journal The Blind Man—it was nevertheless the ceramics she made beginning in the 1930s, after moving to Los Angeles in 1926, that have been the subject of more recent recuperation. Featuring iridescent puckered lusterware skins, these

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  • Lian Zhang, Forever and ever, 2022, oil on canvas, 78 3⁄4 × 70 7⁄8".

    Lian Zhang, Forever and ever, 2022, oil on canvas, 78 3⁄4 × 70 7⁄8".

    Lian Zhang

    Nicodim Gallery | Los Angeles

    “Nothing in the world is softer and weaker than water; but, for attacking the hard and strong, there is nothing like it!” Lao Tzu exclaimed in the Tao Te Ching. Impelled by this passage, painter Lian Zhang aspires to achieve a form of soft power via delicate fluid brushstrokes that interweave disparate elements across the surface of each canvas. To activate the chi, or life force, “I always imagine that my hands become water; they travel freely when moving here to there in a painting,” the artist says. At first glance, the compositions in her show here, “Fast Dreams, Slow Days,” seemed innocuous,

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  • Steven Arnold, Virgin of Paste, 1983, gelatin silver print, 13 7⁄8 × 13 7⁄8".

    Steven Arnold, Virgin of Paste, 1983, gelatin silver print, 13 7⁄8 × 13 7⁄8".

    Steven Arnold

    Fahey/Klein

    Theophany, a term that refers to the appearance of the divine in everyday human life, was at one point going to be the title for a monographic book of photographs by Steven Arnold (1943–1994). “Theophanies” was the name of Arnold’s exhibition at Fahey/Klein Gallery—apt for an artist who constantly saw gods and goddesses in the messy fabulous junk of the world. More should be unearthed about his role in the glittercrust innovations that drove the 1960s and ’70s counterculture of San Francisco, where he was based. Arnold was polymathic: a window decorator, a designer of psychedelic rock posters,

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