Summer Shows

Hosted by
As you know, this week is the KCRW fundraising drive and many of the programs are pre-empted. I hope all of you made wise and generous choices about your contribution to KCRW. Peace will be with you.

But I hate to leave you without spiritual guidance for the whole week. God knows what might happen to you otherwise. So here is my informal "run-through", some of the interesting things I've seen this week. In spite of the summer season, even a few summer group shows - traditionally the not very demanding exhibitions galleries like to put on during the lazy summer weeks - were better than usual. Some even contained genuine finds. Case in point, Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery presenting mostly Los Angeles-based figurative painters, among them newcomer Christopher Murphy, recent graduate of Art Center College of Design. His large painting in the main gallery is quite a statement. A meticulously executed male figure stands against a monochromatic background. One detail of his clothing looks so realistic that it's too good to be true, and it is- Instead of being painted on, there is an actual open zipper attached to the painted surface. Quite a show-off gesture, understandable in the work of a young brash painter in the beginning of his career. Two more paintings by this artist can be seen in the back gallery that the owners are happy to provide access to. I rarely make predictions, but this young man is worth following, as there are all indications of a very promising career, with so far, strong influences from the British painter Lucien Freud.

In the second show of French sculptor Georges Jeanclos (1933-1997) at Frank Lloyd Gallery, we again see the fragile ceramic sculptures of impossibly innocent, child-like figures swathed in a blanket of clay. The new material in this exhibition is one figure made of white porcelain that I found especially appealing. But the best piece is the rare bronze cast of one of his ceramic sculptures. It is not officially part of the exhibition and one can see it sitting on the shelf behind the receptionist's desk. Make a point to notice it and ask permission to look at it, or, even better, to touch it. A brown-green patina is absolutely the most seductive "skin" of any sculpture I've seen in a long time. Pity that it's not for sale.

At a nearby gallery specializing in art jewelry presented as Sculpture to Wear, I started to dream impossible thoughts. If I had money to spend, this would be the place to find great presents for all my friends who love art. Not only would they receive my gift, they would be obliged to wear it all the time. Seriously, this is a very special place to look at the highest level of contemporary design, especially by Scandinavian artists. The gallery was recently remodeled and expanded and always has something new to see.

At the Gallery of Contemporary Photography, there is a group show where two large prints by Robert Polidori stand out, especially the image made in Palm Springs of one of the iconic modernist architectural buildings. You may remember Robert Polidori for his photographs, which are periodically published in New Yorker magazine.

So that's it for this week. See you on the air next Tuesday at 3:55 pm.

Bergamot Station
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery
Building T-3
(310) 828-1133
Paintings Summer Show
through August 23rd

Frank Lloyd Gallery
Building 5B
(310) 264-3866
Georges Jeanclos
through August 24th

Sculpture to Wear
Building C2
(310) 829-9960
of the Material Body
through August 31st

Gallery of Contemporary Photography
Building G5
(310) 264-8440
Summer Group Show
through August 31st