The Easel

19th June 2018

In Iranian art show at LACMA, the past wrestles with the present

A big show in LA seeks to introduce the art of Iran. A key idea is that Iranian visual arts have always merged historical and modern imagery. “By evoking the past, Iranian artists create new visual metaphors to describe their present day.” Fine. But if you are not an expert, and without explanatory wall texts, grumbles the reviewer, many pieces are ”insular and unengaging”.

12th June 2018

‘Made in L.A. 2018’: Why the Hammer biennial is the right show for disturbing times

There is sometimes not a lot to say about biennales. The eponymous biennial in Los Angeles is a little different in its diversity and focus on emerging artists. Rather than revealing a characteristic LA style (“72 suburbs in search of a city”, notes one writer) it provides a cross-section of current artistic practices and preoccupations. More detail on some artists is here.