Saturday, October 7, 2006

At The Hammer

The Hammer hosts the first American retrospective of German photographer Wolfgang Tilmans. An eclectic mix of work: some artsy, other essayist, most serendipitous, photoreporter-style.
The real surprise this time is with the Hammer's projects, especially the installation by Gert & Uwe Tobias [below right], two Romanian brothers who "use the dark mythologies and history of their native Transylvania as their subject, bringing age-old folktales and imagery into the realm of the present". Large wooden works and sculptures reminiscent of Miro, Kandinsky, Takis, et all.
Also noteworthy: Angela Dufresne's collage-style paintings with a Japanese feel [above left], and Christine Nguyen's gigantic mixed-media work covering the entrance staircase walls.
A fun excursion, except for the traffic to get there and back: the Hammer does sit on one of the busiest corners of Los Angeles. As Kevin Roderick wrote in his book Wilshire Boulevard, "Wilshire at Westwood may be the most imposing of the forty thousand intersections in Los Angeles. Catching a red light ensures a long stoppage while a wave of cross traffic, left-turners and pedestrians takes precedence. Crossing on foot is not for the slow or bashful. Getting across Wilshire requires a high visibility crosswalk stroll past ten lanes of windshields filled with impatient drivers. No median breaks up the journey--you either make it across on the green light or you suffer the consequences." Above: the carrefour in the 1930s and now.
illustrations: 1 & 2 Hammer website/3 Roderick & LA Frog

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