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Art review: Liz Larner at Regen Projects

April 30, 2010 |  8:00 pm

300.Thereby hangs a tale that is another story Not long ago, it was easy to tell the difference between cars and trucks. Today, crossovers, SUVs and luxury, four-door pickups make it hard to know what you're looking at. The same goes for painting and sculpture, not to mention ceramics and all sorts of artistic hybrids.

At Regen Projects, Liz Larner makes the most of this situation. Rather than trying to turn back the clock by drawing clear lines between media, the L.A. artist's mongrel abstractions cherry-pick the best features of diverse materials to deliver pleasures you can find nowhere else.

Her five small wall-works made of porcelain, stoneware and paint appear to be the super-size offspring of ashes and flower petals, with a hint of insect wings tossed in. Each multipart piece is a subdued celebration of texture, shape and hyper-saturated color, where positive and negative spaces pull and push as they spur you to move around to see the nooks and crannies, shadows and highlights.

400.Larner-installation-vie

At more than 6-by-7-by-3-feet, “planchette” is a 3-D painting on paper that is as beautiful as an Ellsworth Kelly monochrome and as animated as a cartoon death star. A tabletop sculpture, made of porcelain, epoxy and ink, forms an upside-down rainbow of dazzling darkness, its facetted sections glistening with sumptuously understated shades from the Goth end of the spectrum. Similar tints are visible in the freestanding “Thereby hangs a tale that is another story,” Larner's tipsy riff on Minimalist order.

Formalist abstraction has never looked better, nor has it seemed so closely allied to Pop's cheeky narratives. The same goes for the rough-and-tumble elegance of Larner's scrappy art.

–David Pagel

Regen Projects, 633 N. Almont Drive, (310) 276-5424, through May 22. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.regenprojects.com.

Images: Thereby hangs a tale that is another story (top) installation view.  Photo credit: Brian Forrest. Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

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