Monday, December 7, 2009

Open Season

We're now at that time of year when many of our galleries and art centers are featuring or gearing up for non-curated shows featuring a grab-bag of artists. It would be snobby to put down these efforts just because of the inevitable inclusion of works by artists of little talent. Indeed, even within these oleos one can find the occasional gem or the pocket of work by a seasoned craftsman unafraid of being included in such a show. Saturday's opening at the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art was a case in point--very high highs and very low lows. OCCCA's entrance gallery hit you right away with a superb, large wooden abstract sculpture plus a couple of conceptual art pieces that elicited amusement (even if they might have had more serious pretensions). But exploring the main gallery space was a bit jarring as you turn a corner from an intriguing, thoughtful piece to something the cat dragged in. It's certainly a democratic way to program an exhibition, and I suppose it's entirely appropriate to do this sort of thing once a year for all sorts of good reasons, but I much prefer the professionally curated shows.

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