Let's Start with Candy Colors...

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There is never enough time to check out all the interesting exhibitions in L.A. But last week with Passover and Easter following each other so closely, things became especially frantic. So much art, so little time. Running around town I felt like a proverbial headless chicken. (After this introduction how can anyone take my following report seriously?)

Tim Bavington, Roll with It, 2004, acrylic on canvas, two panels 96 x 120 inches; reproduction courtesy of the Mark Moore Gallery-- The Exhibition by British painter Tim Bavington at the Mark Moore Gallery has so much energy it could wake the dead. Probably, it has something to do with where he lives right now - Las Vegas. His stripe paintings with their candy colors elicit an immediate and slightly guilty response: one feels easily seduced. I could not only see but almost 'hear' the syncopated rhythm of his intricately arranged compositions.

Dorothea Lange, Helen, Vernallis outside Tracy, CA., 1949; reproduction courtesy of RoseGallery, Santa Monica, CA Photographs by Dorothea Lange have long defined the plight of poor Americans during the Depression era. But what has become of her art after the 1930's? The exhibition at the Rosegallery gives us a rare chance to look at many images never seen before. One feels privileged to have a glimpse into the artist's private life, as all the photos were selected from the archive belonging to her son and daughter-in-law.

Sharon Ellis, Eucalyptus and Poppies, 2003, Alkyd on canvas, 34 x 42 inches The Christopher Grimes Gallery in Santa Monica celebrates its 25th anniversary. A number of well-known American artists such as Fred Tomaselli, Sharon Ellis and Lisa Yuskavage got their first exposure and recognition thanks to Christopher Grimes' ability to spot and guide talented artists early in their career. But one should be especially grateful for a variety of intriguing, difficult and challenging exhibitions that introduced us to new artists from Europe and Latin America such as Herbert Hamak, Katharina Grosse, Ernesto Neto and Marcelo Pombo.

James Casebere, Spiral Staircase, 2002-2003, digital chromogenic print mounted to Plexiglas, edition of 5; reproduction courtesy of Marc Selwyn Fine Art Marc Selwyn Fine Art present the latest large-scale photographs of James Casebere, who continues his practice of making, and then photographing, table-sized architectural models, evoking different styles and eras. His romantic looking spaces are always mysteriously lit and sometimes, for extra theatrical effect, flooded with water. The only problem I have with these attractive images is that they're a little too easy to like. I guess I'm missing an element of conflict or friction.

But, as they say, be careful what you ask for- At the Roberts & Tilton gallery the video installation by Patty Chang will make you uncomfortable in ways you might find literally nauseating. On four large screens, four college sorority sisters are observed sitting in a bathroom, stuffing themselves with junk food until they vomit. No doubt it is a comment on the nature of consumption, boredom and anxiety. In a smaller, adjacent gallery there are four TV monitors showing four naked men sitting on toilet seats, shaving their pubic hair with eyes closed. You get the picture? The press release informs that the video was shot in a bathroom in Athens, Greece, and it addresses issues of perfection, vulnerability and sincerity. Don't ask.

Mark Moore Gallery
Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica

Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica
310 264 8440

Christopher Grimes Gallery
916 Colorado Ave
Santa Monica
310 587 3373

Marc Selwyn Fine Art
6222 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 101
Los Angeles
323 933 9911

Roberts & Tilton
6150 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles
323 549 0223