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Art review: Jennifer Steinkamp at ACME

February 23, 2012 |  5:00 pm

_moth_multi5_webJennifer Steinkamp’s latest exhibition at ACME eschews room-filling digital projections in favor of pieces that are more like paintings, or perhaps sculptures. Known for dissolving the walls in floods of flowers, clouds or streaks of light, Steinkamp here presents self-contained works that look like pieces of fabric tacked to the wall. Printed in geometric patterns with a silky sheen (reminiscent of necktie material), the layered swaths float and ripple like clothing on a line, blown by a gentle but insistent breeze. “Hanging” on the gallery wall, they are quite magical, like animated abstract paintings.

Yet the works also imply a certain violence. The pieces of fabric are ripped and full of holes, or more properly, slashed, in some cases almost to ribbons. This heightens the works’ visual interest: The tatters make for more varied movement; the holes allow us to see multiple layers of fabric at once. The projections exhibit an almost Baroque concern with light, shadow and the play of pattern and color. But the tears also suggest vulnerability. Evocatively titled “Moth,” the show evokes both the destructive effects of these hungry little creatures and their own self-annihilating urges, drawn ineluctably into the light.

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More art reviews from the Los Angeles Times

-- Sharon Mizota

ACME, 6150 Wilshire Blvd., L.A., (323) 857-5942, through March 10. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.acmelosangeles.com

Photo: Jennifer Steinkamp's "Moth, 5," 2012. Credit: From the artist and ACME, Los Angeles.

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