Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Somehow It All Makes Sense
I have a lot of catching up to do here, and stuff to promote. Recent writing, Thrift Store Movies Xmas, the upcoming 3rd LA Weekly Annual Biennial. I should start with my review of Lari Pittman's recent show at Regen Projects Dos.
The first time I saw the work of Lari Pittman was at the multiple-careers-making “Helter Skelter” show at MOCA in 1992, and I didn’t care for it. This was the era of his menacing sexualized owls, meticulously built-up psychedelic reliefs of dripping white candles, and circus-font repetitions of the number 69. In spite of their obvious craftsmanship and manifest fluency with a wide swath of the history of visual culture, the paintings’ sense of contained (if provocative) energies — not to mention the unironic deployment of such a conventional medium as acrylic and enamel on rectangular mahogany panels — made them seem out of step with such eruptive gestures as Paul McCarthy’s tree-fucking robot and Nancy Rubins’ roof-high mushroom-cloud tangle of trailers and hot-water heaters. Pittman’s work seemed a quirky vestige of the previous decade’s Reaganomic love affair with “New Image” painting, not the shape of things to come. Continued Here.