Seven Superb Shows to See in Los Angeles During—and After—the Art Fairs
By: Andrew Russeth
Being in a city filled with galleries and museums during an art fair makes for both pure pleasure and utter agony. Time is short, and one quickly has to begin making painful decisions about what to see. Such is the case in Los Angeles this week during Frieze, Felix, Art Los Angeles Contemporary, and all the action surrounding the fairs. I feel like Audrey Griswold in National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985), when she dreams about being fed a feast worthy of the Sun King. It’s a thrill at first, but it’s hard to keep up. Below are reviews of seven shows I saw in L.A. this week and loved. Some close this weekend; others will be on view until long after the fairs close down. Plan accordingly, and enjoy.
“Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s, Part 1”
Blum & Poe, through March 23
Curated by art historian Mika Yoshitake, this is a revelatory affair, with work made by Japanese artists in the last two decades of the 20th century that is rarely seen in the United States. The tone is ambitious and freewheeling, puckish with mystical flourishes. Yukinori Yanagi contributes two huge brown spheres covered in soil, one floating magically at the ceiling, the other on the ground. A futon-mattress installation by Tsuyoshi Ozawa set in one corner can be climbed to view gimlet-eyed street photographs. The pièce de résistance is Noboru Tsubaki’s Fresh Gasoline (1989), a gargantuan, craggily yellow mass topped with thin filaments that suggests a brain shooting electricity, which is an apt metaphor for this show. Part 2 arrives in April, and an additional section begins at the L.A. gallery Nonaka-Hill on February 17. Somebody please send the whole thing on a tour!