Los Angeles Times art critic

Wonderfully weird 'Branchini Madonna' at the heart of an engrossing Getty show

latimes.com — Giovanni di Paolo was barely 24 when he painted the so-called "Branchini Madonna," a wonderfully weird confection of big, doll-like figures framed within a furious flutter of cherubim wings. The lovely, life-size mother and her inquisitive child are stretched like rubber bands. Her bodily proportions are all out of whack, he's a baby giant.

Polly Apfelbaum's fallen paintings and beads of devotion in her secular chapel of abstract art

latimes.com — A secular chapel might seem an impossible contradiction in terms - an unsustainable union of worldliness and divinity. The mystery of mortality doesn't merge easily with the empirical here-and-now. Yet that is what is invoked by a large, lovely new installation by Polly Apfelbaum.

Review: Henry Taylor at Blum & Poe Gallery

latimes.com — The people in paintings by Henry Taylor tend to loom. Not in a grandiose or threatening way, but in a portentous one. These people matter. Eleven large paintings are included in an ambitious exhibition at Blum & Poe gallery.

Valerie Jaudon's paintings: The more you look, the more you're pulled into her world

latimes.com — Valerie Jaudon has been making Post-minimal abstractions for 40 years. Her elegant paintings are at once cerebral and a wild ride. A dozen Pattern and Decoration paintings from the last three years at Von Lintel Gallery show her working at top form. They employ her familiar motif of wide but intricate two-dimensional interlaces painted in oil on linen.

Abraham Cruzvillegas' deft view of L.A. car culture at Regen Projects

latimes.com — Ten wickedly imaginative new sculptures by Abraham Cruzvillegas manifest the hoary L.A. idiom of car culture, marvelously re-conceived in surprising and inventive ways. The sculptures at Regen Projects are monumental drawings in space, vibrant mash-ups between art and automotive play.

Tacita Dean's remarkable hand-drawn cloud prints at Gemini G.E.L.

latimes.com — Tacita Dean has installed her exquisite new suite of 15 hand-drawn, three-color lithographs of wispy white clouds floating in bright blue skies high on the wall in the front room at the print studio Gemini G.E.L. No doubt the reason for the unusual hanging is to orient your view ever-so-slightly upward.

MOCA's Gaetano Pesce exhibition stumbles across a bright ethical line

latimes.com — In an ethical lapse reminiscent of its grimmer days earlier in the decade, the Museum of Contemporary Art is presenting an exhibition whose guest curator owns almost all the work on view.

At LACMA's Toba Khedoori show, enchanting mysteries burn beneath a fragile surface

latimes.com — What is burning in Toba Khedoori's fireplace? In 2005, the L.A.-based artist made a painting of a domestic hearth ablaze, the life-size image rendered at viewer eye-level on an immense field of waxy white paper pieced together from two smaller sheets. (Overall, it's more than 11 feet tall and 16 feet wide.)

'The Gildless Age': A different tale of the '1 percent' at the Torrance Art Museum

latimes.com — When some of the gilding gets stripped away from our New Gilded Age, defined by the concentration of income and wealth that fueled the incredible rise of the "1 percent," what is left behind? A new show at the Torrance Art Museum has some thoughts.

'Doug Aitken: Electric Earth': Why MOCA's big new show has too few sparks

latimes.com — Smashed hopes, lost love, inevitable decay and social dissolution, all within a seamless Mobius strip of passing time - Doug Aitken's work in sculpture and immersive video installations during the past 20 years has taken a romantic view of life's predictable unraveling. Usually the musing is wrapped in a sleek, even slick package of easily consumable commercial design.
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Oct 24, 2016

As with Pollock’s fabled 1943 “Mural,” conservation of a 15th c. Sienese altar makes an engrossing @GettyMuseum show  http://fw.to/uVda38F 

Oct 22, 2016

What to see in L.A. galleries: An ode to a black sci-fi trailblazer and Lari Pittman 'Mood Books'  http://fw.to/wm5oYHE 

Oct 20, 2016

RT @michaelbd: The #AlSmithDinner shows another problem of the post-Vatican II Church; an old school Cardinal would have made sure the food was poisoned.

Oct 20, 2016

Fascinating commentary: Trump’s voter fraud ‘solution’ is rooted in the Jim Crow South  http://reut.rs/2eiYMPH  via @Reuters

Oct 19, 2016

RT @paulkrugman: So, four debates; four shout-outs by moderators to deficit scolds; not one question about climate change. It's really disgraceful.

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