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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 …

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Game of Telephone with Adler & Edmark and Earl Gravy

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In 4-Way, 2-Pack, Adler & Edmark (Christopher Adler and Alison Edmark) with Earl Gravy (Emma Kemp and Daniel Wroe) collaboratively turn an unoccupied commercial space into the game of telephone featuring humorous sculptures and amusing installations. All works are related by virtue of being each other’s source material. The empty property has been divided into seven rooms, cramming 23 exhibits. …

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Alexander Reben Invites to Engage

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Alexander Reben’s Engineering Psychology at Charlie James Gallery is an invitation to play. A variety of low and high tech devices operates with the sole purpose of turning viewers into active participants. These works are no games, however, as no rules or objectives apparently exist. No one wins or loses; the goal is simply to experience. It is fascinating to see …

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Jane Chang Mi’s Beach

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Jane Chang Mi has transported a beach to Adjunct Positions, a gallery nestled in a quiet residential part of Highland Park. Clean, white, fine grain sand fills the gallery floor (the room appears to be a converted single car garage) — an enclosed sandbox without children or playthings. Albeit its physical absence, water is present, as visual cues dominate the …

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Getting Lost in Reza Monahan’s Light and Sound

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Deep bass fills the room in Reza Monahan’s Grimm’s Aged Pill at Monte Vista Projects. The sound is continuously humming, thumping, roaring, but never audaciously loud or obnoxiously overwhelming. The oscillating sonic wave is felt by the body but not in the bones. On the far wall, the projected screen plays photographic urban landscapes — recognizable New York boroughs made …

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Finding Art in Jeffrey Vallance

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“Art is what you can get away with.” Joseph Ross, dressed in deep lilac suits matched with equally showy shoes, concluded the hour of seance with the quote by Canadian philosopher Marshall McLuhan. Often attributed to and undoubtedly popularized by Andy Warhol, the ending provided a fitting lens to view the art of Jeffrey Vallance. Performed at CB1 Gallery in …

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Dead or Alive, Easton Miller Hustles

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Whopping 77 paintings plaster the walls of CES Gallery in Easton Miller’s I’m Already Dead in Dog Years. The effect is comparable to the jam-packed display found in an H&M store. Like the fast fashion retailer outlet where every piece of clothing appears identical at first sight, Millers’ paintings, despite their boldly articulated differences, feel strangely singular. Together, these paintings …