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Art review: Leonor Antunes and Amalia Pica at Marc Foxx

March 19, 2010 |  5:30 am

400.2010_alongside_ap_install The pairing of solo exhibitions by Argentinian artist Amalia Pica and Portuguese sculptor Leonor Antunes at Marc Foxx highlights their shared interest in universal systems of communication and measurement. Yet despite this chemistry, the individual shows are underdeveloped.

Pica's diffuse installation uses sculpture, photocopies, drawings and slide projections to vaguely suggest the insufficiency of standardized systems of communication. The most engaging work is a series of 35-millimeter  slides, in which the artist wields semaphore flags to spell out words like "babble," "blabber" and "yada yada yada." The staccato efficiency usually associated with this reductive nautical language is reduced to absurdity, encoding nothing. But semaphore is such a specialized system– most people can't read it anyway – that the gesture feels a bit aimless.

Antunes' project feels even less resolved. Her hanging sculptures – interlocking triangles of marine rope and brass tubing – are based on maps created by French 

400.2010_alongside_la_install Revolution-era scientists as they developed a universal standard of measurement: the metric system. This story and the maps themselves, presented as handouts at the gallery desk, are fascinating, but the sculptures are inert, dangling from the ceiling like giant modernist earrings. The works seem to refer to Walter de Maria's "The Broken Kilometer," which translates an abstract measurement into a palpable form, but it's not clear what Antunes' sculptures are meant to accomplish.


– Sharon Mizota

Marc Foxx, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., (323) 857-5571, through March 27. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.marcfoxx.com

Images: Alongside installation view and Leonor Antunes' Chain of Triangles (from Paris to St. Saturnin), 2010.  Photo credit: Robert Wedemeyer.

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