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Current Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Doug Simay’s Best Picks
A month ago my LA art rounds were timed too early for some exhibitions on my wish list.  I returned this
month to see those.  This is a short list of “Best Picks” since I only went to 54 galleries with new (for me)
exhibitions.  I will not be in LA again until April.  March is London.  Lucky me.
Russell Tyler at Richard Heller (Bergamot through March 19).
With an MFA from Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, Tyler’s work is a mash-up of geometric abstraction and
gestural slap-dash.  Viewing Tyler’s exhibition is joyous.  It does not need to be contextualized against
Philip Guston or Cy Twombley (as the press
release does).  Seems like Tyler enjoys slathering paint on
canvas just for the joy of the result.
Bruce Cohen at Leslie Sacks (Bergamot through April 2).
As compared to Russell Tyler, Bruce Cohen’s work is tight and fully wrought.  Looking closely at his works
– seeming
ly precisely done with a mechanical tool - the brushstrokes are undoubtedly the result of a very
practiced hand. The almost imperceptible waver of line discloses underlying complementary color.  With
the skill of a Golden Age Dutch master, the enigma of a classic Surrealist; the artist’s 40 years of artful
practice is fully on view.  Cohen’s work is spiritual realism.
Sebastiao Salgado at Peter Fetterman (Bergamot through July 11).
This impressive survey of Salgado’s work is unbelievable.  With about 80 works that span his long career, I
marvel at the demanding “ends of the earth” to which Salgado has gone to bear witness.  With camera, his
skill and art allow the rest of us to also be witness. What a show.   
Wilfredo Lam at Latin American Masters (Bergamot).
In the back-room there are two small aquatint on paper pieces by the Cuban master, Wilfredo Lam
(1902-1982).  Exquisite.  
John Baldessari at Spruth Magers (mid Wilshire through April 2).
Spruth Magers (Berlin and London) just opened a clean, white, Modernist gallery right across the street
from LACMA on Wilshire.  It is so LA and is further evidence of the resurging international interest in Los
Angeles’ art market.
The inaugural show is recent work by John Baldessari.  Not normally a Baldessari fan, I like these recent
“storyboard” paintings.  They pick up where his 1960s text paintings left off.
Josh Reames and Jose Lerma at Luis de Jesus (Culver City through March 6). (detail seen above)
Reames and Lerma spent the month of January in the gallery producing two huge wall drawings/paintings.  
It was a collaborative effort with call and response between the artists.  There is an involved narrative
about what can be read into the work.  It makes sense – but I enjoyed my “reading” of the “stories” before I
even read the “official” guide.  Smart men with artistic talents weave a heroic visual tale.
Sandy Rodriguez
Evan Holloway at David Kordansky (lower La Brea through March 26).
From the press release: “…standalone sculpture can…be both conceptually complex and intuitively
accessible…”  Since his MFA days at UCLA in the late 1990s, Holloway’s work has commanded attention.  
This is his first solo exhibition in more than ten years.  The work shows resourcefulness with materials that
are used in innovative, idiosyncratic ways.  They at times seem mystical.
Keith Sonnier at Maccarone (Downtown River through May 7).
Sonnier helped to create the “scene” in the 1960s.  Considering that his name enters discussions of “post
Minimalism” (alongside Eva Hesse, Vito Acconci, Joseph Beuys, Bruce Nauman) and that he was amongst
the first to use light is sculpture, it is revelatory to see his work again after so many years.  Projecting into
space – his work could be seen as carnivalesque.  The exhibition is appropriately titled “Portals”.   
Seth Price at 356 S. Mission (Downtown River through April 3).
I do not care for Seth Price’s work.  But within the cavernous gallery space his “construction site”
installation is a curious and adventurous way to view his style of work.  I rate the show a “Pick” because of
the manner of its presentation.

Take Note:
Astrid Preston at Third Street Promenade (Santa Monica).
Being a big fan of Astrid Preston, I congratulate her and Santa Monica for the installation of 16 banners
hung along the Third Street Promenade.  The flora and fauna that used to own this, now concrete,
ocean-side blufflands are “reintroduced”.  

Get out, look at art; have fun.
Doug Simay   3/1/2016
If you want to respond to this article, e-mail me directly at
doug@simayspace.com
Kara Walker
Ann Le
Skin” at Barnsdall (Hollywood through April 17).
“Skin” is “about” race and identity.  There are 36 artists in the exhibition so it is chance to experience a
large group show at Barnsdall.  I highlight work by Ann Le, Sandy Rodriguez, and Kara Walker to illustrate
the breadth offered.
Riccardo Mannelli at Building Bridges Art Exchange (Bergamot through March 8).
I quote Peter Frank’s writing for this exhibition because it perfectly summarizes the experience of this
exhibition by Mannelli (Italian):  “From the start, Mannelli’s bravura technique struggles almost sportively
with his subject matter. If you pay attention to the prurience, the breathtaking virtuosity of the figural
renditions stridently calls attention to itself, and if you study Mannelli’s manner, the ornate depravity it
pictures pulls you into its depths.  The artist is not trying to implicate you so much as to train you to
witness, whatever attracts you has yet another facet to it.”  Brilliantly written about an artist with much
brilliance.