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Posted inArt

California’s Triumphant Triennial

LOS ANGELES — In a world where art seems to consist primarily of hyper-conceptual art school verbiage, it’s a relief to go to a museum show and actually have something to see. The California-Pacific Triennial, now on view at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, Calif., definitely offers a feast for the eyes: paintings, video, light and sound installations, embroideries, synthetic skeletons, dead roses, a pop interpretation of Bernini (complete with Truck Nutz) and stoneware sculptures of little girls squatting in ways that are as innocent as they are bawdy.

Posted inArt

In Channa Horwitz’s Orange Grid

LOS ANGELES — There are generally two favored narrative arcs used to describe an artist’s life. There is the story of the hot young art star who takes the art world by storm with new ideas and a mediagenic personality. And there is the solitary artist, who works quietly for years, before finding success later in life. Channa Horwitz is one of the latter.

Posted inArt

Modernism’s Beginning and Its End

LOS ANGELES — Modernism may be dead, yet we spend an awful lot of time in its clutches: talking about it, building it, watching it, exhibiting it, and acquiring its graceful artifacts for our homes. Our culture is in such a thrall to some of the movement’s architectural and artistic manifestations — Barcelona chairs! Case Study houses! paintings by Piet Mondrian! — that it can be hard to imagine a time when the very idea of its stripped-down forms inspired either passionate shock or jaded exhaustion.

Posted inArt

The Bermuda Triangle of Art

This may sound like the world’s most overwrought art gag. And, certainly, there is no small irony in critiquing the creative numbness of the art market with pieces that will be sold on that very same market. But William Powhida’s artistic spoofs are so spot on, and his critiques so incisive, it’s hard not to get sucked in by the whole exercise.