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Wild Contrast at the Hammer

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By G. James Daichendt Black Mountain College was a small progressive liberal arts college in North Carolina that operated for a short time between the years 1933-1957. The school positioned the arts as the central aspect in the curriculum and some of the most influential artists of the midcentury era taught or studied at the experimental institution. “Leap Before You …

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Moira Hahn the Original Cosplayer

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Long before cosplayers, even before otaku, there was Moira Hahn and her animals. At Gregorio Escalante Gallery in Chinatown, Hahn’s exquisite and precise, masterful watercolor technique orchestrates a complex, layered dance of colors and patterns. Monkeys, cats, rats, along with chimeras from myths and anime icons such as Doraemon and Astro Boy, all partake in Hahn’s topical narratives. In one …

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ArtILikeLA 2015 Yearend Countdown

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In the spring of this year, we started blogging about art we liked in and around Los Angeles. The saying “Location, location, location” definitely held water for us, too. The art we found here was like a thirst-quenching oasis for this drought-striken, endlessly sunny desert city of angels. After nearly 60 entries, covering both staple and up-and-coming gallery spots both …

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Them Cats and Dogs Are Us

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Inside un petite Garage — a space so small that even in its past life as a parking garage, only a single coupe would have barely fit — adorable, meme-worthy kittens and doggies hang orderly on its walls. Curated by Yumi Yamaguchi who owns and directs the gallery located in a busy, prime real estate spot in Tokyo, the awww-inducing …

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Let’s Go Kick Some Booties

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With the cheeky title “… a pointy toe boot up the backside” and the matching attitude, Houston-based artist Christian Eckart packs an incredible number – 30 works by 10 artists working in H-Town – into the modest spaces of Wilding Cran Gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. There is enough hanging on the walls to comfortably fill a wing of any …

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Heather Hansen Draws in the Mind

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Heather Hansen began by bowing her head twice, acknowledging the presence of standing audiences in the gallery at OCHI Projects. No music followed. Instead, a respectable silence filled the room while the residual heat of late September afternoon continued to smolder. Dressed in black, Hansen laid her back on the clean white canvas stretched on the floor. She held two …

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Beautiful Is Los Angeles

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Given the current turbulent cultural and political climates, a title like America the Beautiful, describing the fresh body of paintings by Lisa Adams at CB1 Gallery, is at the least bold if not doggedly contentious. Thankfully, the paintings are neither a rally to uphold narrowly defined American values based on exclusivity nor a patronizing sarcasm that does not add to …

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Four Acts in a Lounge

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The irony is immediately evident as you enter Kent Anderson Butler’s Sacred Encounters. Housed in the backroom of Coagula Curatorial in Chinatown, the supposed video lounge is, at best, your local dive bar — except in this case, instead of cheap beers with too much foam and not enough flavor, you get a few couches and multiples of the artist …

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Saving Screen

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Walking into Casey Reas’ Linear Perspective at Charlie James Gallery is like stepping into a time machine and traveling back to the not-so-distant past, when Windows 95 screensaver played endlessly on virtually all personal computers while certain Japanese arcade video games spoke broken English. Eight moving images, rendered in realtime by codes and algorithms developed by Reas, are both a …

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Exciting Ceramics

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The excitement of seeing ceramic works by four artists at Cherry and Martin’s project space, 2732, is similar to discovering new species at a botanical garden. Spinning clays from its 30,000 year old tradition, Katy Cowan, Takuro Kuwata, William O’Brien, and Adam Silverman slap together possibilities to suggest new visual vocabularies. Kuwata’s blown (using Japanese firing technique called Ishihaze, meaning …