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Art review: "The New Black" at Honor Fraser

August 21, 2009 |  5:00 pm

Honor Fraser's current show does just what a good summer group show should do: present an entertaining sampler of artists — in the case of "Bitch Is the New Black," young female L.A. artists of “a certain maverick outlook”— whom you should be paying attention to throughout the rest of the year.

Despite the rather baffling inclusion of Catherine Opie, whose emergence on the scene predates that of most others in the show by more than a decade, the selection is an invigorating survey of a generation rapidly coming into its own. Curated by art writer Emma Gray, the show makes few generalizations but does illuminate a distinct undercurrent of attitude.

It comes on particularly strong in the front room, with a seductive, chrome-covered mannequin by Kathryn Andrews; a giant tie-dye T-shirt printed with the words “Leave me alone” by Amanda Ross-Ho; a large, dark, industrial-looking painting by Rosson Crow; and a life-size photograph of Kirsten Stoltmann spray-painting her pubic hair neon pink. Leaveme

The invariably enchanting Anna Sew Hoy appears with an enormous snake-like coil of stuffed denim strung over a slender resin arm that’s fixed to the wall, and the beguiling Mindy Shapiro with a strange black tile-covered sculpture of a head with three faces.

Painter Annie Lapin and sculptors Ruby Neri and Krysten Cunningham appear in the back room with compelling, if not stellar, pieces, as does a very amusing photograph of Cathy Akers nine months pregnant, urinating in the woods.

Several of the most delightful pieces, however, are smaller and less conspicuous: a mysteriously free-standing gray plastic crutch by Shana Lutker; a small, found object sculpture by Bari Ziperstein, mounted high above the doorway; and a delightfully bizarre ad hoc sci-fi video by Pearl C. Hsiung.

Honor Fraser, 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 837-0191, through Aug. 29. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

-- Holly Myers

Above: "Skies the Limit (Leave Me Alone)" by Amanda Ross-Ho. Photo: Courtesy of Cherry and Martin and Honor Fraser gallery