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Bill Lasarow
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Blog Entries by Bill Lasarow

The Museum of Antiquities and Hope for Egypt's Future

Posted February 8, 2011 | 15:10:25 (EST)

The stunning events that continue to unfold at Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt feature a building as one of the major players: The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities. Particularly throughout the recent days of clashes, this repository of one of the world's most deeply historical legacies stood vulnerable to fires and...

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Figuring Things Out

Posted January 28, 2011 | 03:16:10 (EST)

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Mike Kelley, "Odalisque," 2010, foam coated with Elastomer, wood, aluminum, wig, found objects, velvet, cotton batting, 56 x 115 x 30", at Gagosian Gallery.

Marlena Donohue observes in her review of Charles Garabedian's retrospective, "we return to the figure to figure...

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The Art Lessons of Tucson

Posted January 13, 2011 | 05:40:47 (EST)

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Margie Livingston, "Study for Spiral Block #3," 2010, acrylic paint, 6 x 6 x 6",
at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles.

The shooting in Tucson, Arizona last weekend produced some valuable teachable moments over the course of the week. It was...

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Censorship and Civic Mindedness: There Can Be a Difference

Posted December 23, 2010 | 17:23:23 (EST)

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Still from David Wojnarowicz, "A Fire in My Belly," video, 1992.

On infrequent occasions a cause célèbre will arise that is a matter of concern and reflection on our society's enshrinement of free speech and expression. I do not believe the cases of...

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The Artistic Anatomy of an Economic Recovery

Posted December 9, 2010 | 12:11:38 (EST)

It's way off across the country relative to where I sit in Los Angeles, but last weekend the capital of the art world rested squarely in Florida, where Art Basel, Miami Beach shed its unconventional light upon god knows how many satellite art fairs. The headline in the Miami Herald?...

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JR's Wholesome Illegalities

Posted December 3, 2010 | 15:20:54 (EST)

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JR, "Women are Heroes," 2008, urban installation, Favea Morro Da Providencia, Rio de Janeiro.

While there has been a continuing push and pull between the presence of serious public art and graffiti vandalism for decades, at least one artist has taken it to...

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Those Tricksters!

Posted November 23, 2010 | 15:50:25 (EST)

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H.C. Westermann, "Female Figure," 1977, wood, glass, ink, watercolor, photograph, 79 3/4 x 24 1/8 x 31 1/4", at John Berggruen Gallery.

Strong statements, be they in visual art or any other creative medium, are meant to leave a lasting impression. Artists take...

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Taking an Oblique Path and Finding the Center

Posted November 12, 2010 | 13:23:16 (EST)

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Lisa LaLa's installation project "The List Wall" at Hausmann Millworks, San Antonio, Texas.

On a recent swing through Texas I was impressed by how frequently the word "process" came up in my encounters with dealers, curators, writers and artists. There is...

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The Revolution Ended. Long Live the Revolution

Posted October 14, 2010 | 20:01:03 (EST)

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Steve Roden, "Bowrain," 2010, mixed media, from his exhibition "When Words Become Forms," at Pomona College. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer / Pomona College Museum

Process and practice have been central to what visual artists do for a long time. It's easy to forget...

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When Is an Art Walk Not an Art Walk?

Posted October 7, 2010 | 12:56:07 (EST)

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Every major city with half a central art district has an art walk of some kind. Some are publicly run, some operated by a local organization. They occur monthly, quarterly, and annually. Some include a variety of local businesses as part of the mix,...

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Tolerant Squares

Posted September 28, 2010 | 15:17:01 (EST)

Phase two of three in the remake of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus evinced talk of squares from among the museum principals who have moved and shook the western end of the Miracle Mile. And the accumulated changes have surely lifted that stretch of Wilshire Boulevard east...

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The Radical Nature of Powerful Convictions

Posted September 21, 2010 | 14:22:26 (EST)

Nobody reminds us more of how radical it once was for an artist to turn their back on representational painting -- or of the rewards of persistent conviction -- than Paul Cézanne. Cézanne was out of step even with his Impressionist fellow travelers, being primarily interested in the concrete fundamentals...

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The Republican Party Today, Part 2: The Sucker Wing

Posted September 2, 2010 | 14:12:40 (EST)

Watching some of Fox News' coverage of the Glenn Beck hosted event at the Capital Mall over the weekend I caught about the umpteenth clip of one of his fans pointing out that they were there to support the Constitution. And, oh yes, that the President does not believe in...

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Squint

Posted August 19, 2010 | 04:35:35 (EST)

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Claude Monet, "Rouen Cathedral in Full Sunlight, Harmony in Blue and Gold" (detail), 1893, oil on canvas, 42 1/8 x 28 3/4".

Painters commonly employ a very simple technique to see the general appearance of a composition: They squint. After hours, weeks, or...

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The Complementary Wings of the Republican Party

Posted August 5, 2010 | 15:40:23 (EST)

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The Republican Party of today has divided itself into two factions that are destructive of American values and our national security. Worse, taken together it is not a given that the internal struggle to control this party adds up to electoral disunity. Just as...

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Art Versus Entertainment: The Gap is Essential

Posted July 26, 2010 | 13:05:55 (EST)

The encounter between artist and audience is far more ambiguous and problematic in the art world than in the entertainment industry in spite of about a half century of critical and art world exertions, for wholly varying motives, to minimize or eradicate that distinction. But drawing on the idioms of...

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License Plates as Art

Posted July 19, 2010 | 18:50:37 (EST)

In a visit with William Turner at his eponymous gallery at Santa Monica's Bergamot Station compound we sat around sharing reaction to the gallery's current Greg Miller exhibition. Our conversation lead to other topics, in particular the recently launched campaign to re-inflate the California Art Council's operating budget with, of...

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It Even Failed as Performance Art

Posted July 12, 2010 | 13:42:33 (EST)

If the first priority of good performance art is to be visually interesting, the second lies in the courage of conviction. From the Kipper Kids to Karen Finley to Dan Kwong, the artist must know themselves and their work sufficiently well that they can breeze past the likelihood that they...

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Stretching a Buck

Posted July 7, 2010 | 15:52:38 (EST)

It's often said that a buck doesn't buy what it used to. Yet that has never been true for any number of non-profit organizations. Public land and buildings are frequently leased for $1 per year by local governments. Why? First, it's a good way to incentivize more and diverse organizations...

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