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Lia Halloran: Double Horizon, Dark Passages, and Portraits of Consciousness

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Double Horizon takes its title from Lia Halloran’s three-channel video installation composed from documentation of roughly thirty flights the artist made in the course of her training in air piloting and navigation and early aviation experiences over the greater Los Angeles area. In its play of continuous moving and transformed...Read More »

The White Album: The View From Los Angeles in 1969; and How the 1960s Gave Way to The Long Hangover of the 1970s

Lars Jan’s staging of The White Album has returned to Los Angeles; and suddenly I feel drawn back to 1969, a year that was in a sense my first real introduction to Los Angeles as three things simultaneously: a place (its suburban and studio/dream factory aspects clear enough, but otherwise...Read More »


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I confess that I’m not sure why I particularly care, or at what point I might have begun to see this as something larger than simply the loss of a theatre or auditorium space (i.e., LACMA’s Bing Theatre, which was a part of the original LACMA complex), or the razing...Read More »

The Longest Kyrie: Carrie Mae Weems’ Past Tense

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I didn’t have the opportunity to see Carrie Mae WeemsGuggenheim retrospective last year, but I was vaguely aware that she had taken advantage of the occasion (and location) to create something of a forum for conversation—both around the exhibited work and presumably moving forward from it. It seemed both...Read More »

Floating moments in a dying world: Christiane Jatahy’s What If They Went to Moscow?

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There’s a pair of wonderful lines somewhere near the opening of Stephen Sondheim’s decades old musical, Pacific Overtures that introduce and contextualize much of the drama that follows; and also, in typical Sondheim fashion, open our eyes to another world—not simply the imperial Japan invaded by Admiral Peary, but another...Read More »

Bernardo Bertolucci (1941-2018) as miracle-master: The Conformist

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We generally think of chance or random selection, in opposition to composition, certainly in opposition to mise-en-scène; but there are moments and circumstances that bring these very different conditions into dynamic interplay. I had occasion to consider this unpredictable and eccentric interplay in revisiting some of the museum and gallery...Read More »

The mad machinery of everyday life: The drawings (and paintings) of Philip Rich

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The surrealist impulse in art taps into not merely a human stream of consciousness, but the life and aura of everything around us, from the natural and organic to the built or crafted an inanimate. Nothing is definitively inanimate in the surrealist domain. Warhol saw acutely into the surrealism of...Read More »

Lightning’s Legacy — The Bacchae

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Presenting EuripidesThe Bacchae against the backdrop of the Getty Villa has to be as challenging in sheer existential terms as it is technically to a theatrical artist. It’s a play that addresses both the essential conditions of the theatre and civilization’s precarious balance between its flawed human stewardship and...Read More »

L’heure bleue at the Villa Aurora: Mark Robson —The Debussy Project

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There is probably no pianist still breathing who hasn’t been fascinated (and perhaps frustrated) by the 1915 Études of Claude Debussy. It’s a foundational suite in several senses. Students of the instrument may initially approach them (or at least the first couple pages of the first) anticipating a witty and...Read More »

Bamboo: Nature’s spirals, cosmic abstractions, and the long dress of eternity

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In a city like Los Angeles, where there’s always some fresh starburst to occlude the starburst (or firestorm) that ignited only moments before, it’s easy to lose track of the treasures strewn in our path that will endure long after the firestorms have died down to ashes. It could be...Read More »

Refuge from the Inferno: L.A.’s Best Summer Group Shows

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‘What is it with dudes and trees?’ I wonder for a second as I’m about to put this up on-line—thinking more about Shakespeare’s pastoral romantic comedy than the cool oasis of a summer group show René-Julien Praz has curated at Praz-Delavallade’s L.A. premises. (Though I suppose I could ask Paul...Read More »

All Tomorrow’s Parties — Icons of Style in the age of disposable culture and personality fetish

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I’m becoming accustomed to conversations changing overnight over the last year or two; and certainly the context of those conversations is being altered more or less continuously. Less expected is when the perceptions of a set of issues or phenomena of any variety – whether social, cultural, environmental – previously...Read More »

The Cats Are Alright – Cat Art Show 3

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I love most animals, in fact pretty much all animals, including some species especially hostile to human life (maybe those most of all). But I’m not one to fetishize them – or many other things, either (I think). However, whether it’s because of social media or just word on the...Read More »

Michael Lindsay-Hogg – Working with what it is

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I have to preface this sketch with an admission that seems odd even to me – as someone fairly impervious to the lure of Hollywood legend. What drew me to the first show I ever saw of Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s fine art was that he was a Hollywood legend. But that...Read More »

The Fatal Optimism of the Bar Graph: Nicolas Grenier

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Even before pie charts and bar graphs, before we’re plotting curves and breaking down conic sections in algebra and analytic geometry, we become accustomed to the graphic visual representation of every kind of trend, concept, and systematized data or information. It almost goes hand in hand with the way we...Read More »

This and That – and Taylor Mac

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It’s been a tumultuous week in Los Angeles; and for a change, we can’t blame it entirely on the Putin-wannabe currently installed in The White House or his cronies and GOP enablers – notwithstanding the fact that he happened to blow into town this same week to pick a few...Read More »

Something Resembling Meaning: Revisiting Jasper Johns

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It was interesting to walk through the Jasper Johns exhibition, Something Resembling Truth, only a couple of days after my first look at Mark Bradford’s new paintings at Hauser & Wirth. Bradford’s paintings marked something of a departure for him – continuing to move steadily away from the grid-like mappings...Read More »

Renée Fleming’s Long Goodbye

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Entre le coucher de soleil et le clair de lune, les feux d’artifice nous appellent encore.

There is something tragic about the decline of a great operatic voice. It’s a tragedy that encompasses all the smaller tragedies of decline – including our own individually declining, decaying, debilitated and ultimately disappearing voices...Read More »

Book Club: SPEEDBOAT – Durden & Ray

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A little more than 40 years ago, I was home from school and living in an apartment in Westwood. I didn’t see my brother – who was also in Los Angeles that summer, freshly graduated from Yale – very often; but when I did or when we spoke over the...Read More »

Picture as Primary Object – Sarah Charlesworth: Doubleworld

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As we move forward into 2018, we recognize a bit more concretely how our experiences in 2017 and immediately prior influenced and began to reshape our perception of the larger (and certainly the political) world. This is nothing new. Radical cultural change (or its culmination) will do that – whether...Read More »

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