William Poundstone
William Poundstone on Art and Chaos

William Poundstone’s Los Angeles County Museum on Fire

A Monster Roster at the Underground Museum

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The Underground Museum is a 6,000-sq. ft. alternative space-gallery adjacent to Noah Davis’ studio in the Crenshaw district. Its current show, “Veils,” is the most ambitious yet. Curators Jhordan Dahl and Ariana Papademetropoulos have pulled together a mix of emerging artists and cult-fave historical figures. Foremost among the latter is beat artist and philosophic scenester Marjorie Cameron. At top is a trippy Cameron self-portrait, apparently little-known even to the inner circle. It’s accompanied by a suite of eroto-cosmic drawings. The most ardent of Cameron’s growing cult will want to visit the UM for this alone.

Chris Burden's "Urban Guerrilla"—post Jeffrey Vallance's aggressive intervention

Also on the roster: Wallace Berman, Robert Heinecken, Jeffrey Vallance, Marnie Weber, and—the unexpected pièce de résistance—a collaborative work by Chris Burden and Vallance.

That would be Urban Guerrilla, a modest Burden sculpted head shown at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions in 1981’s “The Fix-It-Up Show.” The premise was that Vallance and Michael Uhlenkott modified works by other artists: “Modification techniques included banging against and dragging over concrete, glueing on hair, and similar broad, gestural treatments.”

Below is a “Veils” installation view with Eric Yahnker’s Long-Banged Angel, a large pastel of Farrah Fawcett. The reference is to Charlie’s Angels, but there is a rhyme with the Cameron self-portrait. Yahnker transmutes Cameron’s wispy, vegetal proto-feminism into the big hair of retro-TV T&A.

The Underground Museum is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, noon to 6, at 3508 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles. By the way, Jeffrey Vallance will be holding a seance to contact Andy Warhol at the UM on May 3rd.

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  1. Um, the Crenshaw district is not at Washington Blvd. It is from Adams south to Leimert Park.
    But then, the artscene is all about the stunted desires(games, toys and therapy, ie.the wrong Kelley) of the north of Wilshire white crowd, not black LA or anyone elses.

  2. Jeffrey Vallance is one of the best artists who, for some reason, can’t seem to break out of California (despite his international efforts and activities). It’s really a shame. I love his work, but apparently I’m never (or rarely ever) going to see any of it here on the East Coast.

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