My last night on the town before this recent gout attack (and subsequent meteorological and vocational annoyances) was the UCLA Warner Grad Studios open house, which I haven't been to in awhile. The vibe sure has changed since back in the day, and even since the last time I made it out.
In spite of the whole LA Art World supposedly being in Miami, there were hundreds of obvious grown-up types wandering the labyrinthine warrens. And strangely, not much in the way of festivities -- no BBQ, no spectacular performance art or loud music, and only discreet bottles of wine and whiskey -- most of which I managed to sample over the course of the evening (which may have triggered the gout attack, come to think of it).
As usual there were a handful of standouts -- the extended single-shot street videography of former Jeff Wall assistant Owen Kydd, the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink abstract paintings on paper by the other Mike Kelly, and particularly the two new large scale scroll-saw photo collages by Sarah Cromarty, who was a featured artist in State of Emergence: Unsuspected Cracks in the Art World Infrastructure (The First Annual L.A. Weekly Biennial). Sarah says these works aren't finished (that's her holding up the sign that says "Not Done"), but I'd be thrilled to see something like this in any gallery or museum. Sorry for the crappy photos and lack of titles. Also that's a "Not Done" sign on the face of the top dude on the tree in the big square piece below.