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Features

Blogs

Pick of the Week

  • Neil Raitt

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    It’s amazing how much effort, skill and intellect Neil Raitt directs towards donning the ornate trappings of kitsch. Visitors enter his installation through a painstakingly contrived threshold whose tree-shaped outline resembles that of a rearview mirror air freshener. Inspired by lowbrow landscapes and themed hotel decor, the immersing atmosphere within is suffused with affectations of tackiness. Minute detail animates a world that defies logic but somehow subsumes you. Blue-carpeted floors are punctuated by phony rocks and benches upholstered with monotonous landscape patterns. Steam-emitting lighted fountains supply auditory ambience. One slatted wall appears to belong at a thrift store. Another wall sports a striking mural depicting bosky mountains whose impossible optical-illusion superimpositions recall M.C. Escher. This backdrops canvases eliciting the superficial sensation that Bob Ross might return any minute to paint the finishing touches on his happy little trees. But Raitt’s clever juxtapositions and wallpaper-like repetition betray headier intentions. In recycling popular landscape depictions, he questions our culture’s standard modes of co-opting nature for the purposes of pure artifice. Can kitsch possibly approach sublimity? Do exalted landscapes outstrip our stereotypical views of them? Suspended between elegance and tawdriness, the completely immersing, uncanny environment of this tableau offers no answers but transcends its tinsel origins to almost awe-inspiring effect.

     

    Anat Ebgi
    2660 S. La Cienega Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA 90034
    Show runs through Oct. 21

Recent Articles

  • The courageous photography of Laura Aguilar

    Laura Aguilar Nature Self Portraits 10 1996 ****New Front pageEvery morning I wake up and see At Home with the Nortes (1990). In this black-and-white photograph, a family sits in the living room watching television. This could be construed… Read more…

  • PST: LA/LA Artillery Recommendations

    Un Enano en el Jardin 600x380 ****New Front pageEven more than its predecessor, the first Getty Pacific Standard Time initiative that ignited Los Angeles’ arterati six years ago, PST: LA/LA conjures a kind of Aleph-like quality in its… Read more…

  • Galerías en LA/LA

    Screen Shot 2017 09 06 at 9.22.15 AM 682x380 ****New Front pageMid-Wilshire 1301PE Jorge Mendez Blake 0/9–10/21/17 1301pe.com Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles David Lamelas: “Time as Activity” 9/7–10/21/17 spruethmagers.com The Loft at Liz’s “South of the Border” 10/8: 7–9pm: author Eileen… Read more…

  • RECONNOITER

    LRamos 600x380 ****New Front pageDr. Lourdes I. Ramos was recently appointed as President and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art in May. Previously, she served as Executive Director and Chief Curator of… Read more…

  • The Netherlands

    netherlands celestial vault at stroom 1996 James Turrell ****New Front pageHolland has an illustrious past and rich history in art, from golden age painters Rembrandt and Vermeer through modernist legends van Gogh, Mondrian and the de Stijl group, Cobra Dutch… Read more…

  • Conceptual Museum: Cesar Cornejo

    cornejo MintenHuancaPunoMoca002 600x380 ****New Front pageCesar Cornejo sees artists as outsiders. They confront things that other people won’t—or can’t—see, the Peruvian-born artist told me in an interview in May, three days after the opening of… Read more…

  • South of the Border Down Tijuana Way

    Luchador with Younger Self cropped ****New Front pageTijuana’s most famous contribution to art is the painting of zonkeys: combining donkeys with zebras so the pale Equus would stand out in black-and-white photographs. This is a paraphrased version… Read more…

  • Off the Beaten Path in Barcelona

    0012 600x380 ****New Front pageI landed in Barcelona a little sweaty, slightly hung over, and very much lost. Much to my surprise, the discount tickets I purchased for $350 round-trip included three meals, unlimited… Read more…

  • Living Larger: Lauren Greenfield

    greenfield lg003ChinaRich2005 600x380 ****New Front pageIn the earliest days of his unlikely, unfortunate campaign for president, billionaire Donald Trump declared in 2015: “Sadly, the American dream is dead,” adding special emphasis on the last word,… Read more…

  • Summer of Love Redux

    Victor Moscoso Increadible Poetry Norse Auditorium 750x380 1499286788 ****New Front pageWhen I moved to San Francisco to begin college nearly a decade ago, the refrain from Scott McKenzie’s 1967 hippie anthem “San Francisco” rang through my ears, beckoning me to… Read more…

Last Night

  • Rad Art Opening

    band feature 300x225 ****New Front pageIt’s a little inside scoop that people who frequent art openings often call the Hammer openings “Hammer-ed” openings, and it’s… Read more…

Art Openings

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