This month marks the 4 year anniversary of my “Best Picks” writing. I have been making regular (about 7 or 8 times per year) comprehensive “art rounds” in Los Angeles for just over 30 years. I have seen some history.
Ted Twine at LA Harbor College (Wilmington closing). Twine’s are not superb paintings - but they are the best art to be seen in Wilmington. He skirts abstraction with a very visceral figuration/cartoon that reminds me of both Darren Waterston and Lari Pittman.
Jonathan Lasker at LA Louver (Venice through April 3). For the last thirty years Jonathan Lasker has been painting “his way”. His abstract painting seems totally self-indulgent. It is the surety of his indulgence that is so captivating.
Oliver Michaels at Shoshana Wayne (Bergamot through April 3).
In this installation of projected video, first glance offers formal renditions of formal sculptural art. But, the images of this sculpture (taken from museum postcards) are seen to move their lips while the sound-track speaks a nonsensical formalist litany. Their implied authority dissolves in the drivel of verbal constructs that go nowhere. I am reminded of watching politics on TV.
Richard Miller at Craig Krull (Bergamot through April 3). This exhibition demonstrates a successful artistic career. Miller (born 1912) took wonderful photographs that were at the time popular and are now considered as fine art. In this exhibition, from carbro color prints to images of the construction of the Hollywood Freeway the photographs are masterfully composed and finely wrought. It is terrific to see series that span an artistic career.
Karen Carson at Rosamund Felsen (Bergamot through April 17). Over her significant career Karen Carson seems always to be inventing new approaches to painting. In this exhibition she paints very atmospheric environments/landscapes that are as joyous as Peter Alexander and splashy as Jackson Pollock.
Larry Bell at Frank Lloyd (Bergamot through March 27). Larry Bell’s thin metallic film work is a marvel of physics and optical beauty and he has the corner on this art technology. In this rare series he has used his superb collaging skills to intimate portraiture. What is really nice about this exhibition is that the work (metallic films collaged on black paper) is unframed - so there is nothing between the work’s surface and the viewer’s eye. Luscious.
Dustin Yellen at Samuel Freeman (Bergamot through May 1). Dustin Yellen’s layered, resin/glass encapsulated paintings are marvelous to behold. In this, his second Freeman show, there are now head portraits and anatomic cross-sectional amalgamations that mimic Alex Grey in 3-D.