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The Eclectic Company

Inman Gallery's latest show offers an assortment of West Coast artistic souvenirs

The show's bite-sized sampling of work doesn't serve everybody's art well. Katie Grinnan's sculptural assemblage The Hunter and the Falcon (2002) leaves you wondering what the hell is going on here. A chunk of scrap lumber is painted with a super-saturated Williamsburg blue. Wadded-up pieces of paper appear like some kind of shelf moss. The jagged plank leans up against the wall, and angular, pieced-together photographs seem to grow out of it and up the wall. The glossy photographs are of collaged and mirrored images of nature, cast-off cardboard and the neck ribbing from a T-shirt. The sculpture combines 2-D and 3-D in a strange and interesting way, but it's hard work to see as a one-off. I don't get what Grinnan's concerns are beyond the formal qualities and some vague man/nature/architecture overtones. I want to dismiss it, but something about it won't quite let me do that. Seeing more of her work would push things one way or the other.

Hands and tennis shoes are exaggerated in 
Lorenzo & Gabriel (2003).
Courtesy of ACME. and Inman Gallery
Hands and tennis shoes are exaggerated in Lorenzo & Gabriel (2003).

Overall, this it is a pleasant show that reflects the eclectic tastes of ACME.'s directors. It's a sort of a collection of art souvenirs from that other, even odder coast and a good show for Houston. Our two cities have a lot in common. In addition to battling it out for first place in worst air quality, Houston and L.A. share strong contemporary art scenes. Wow, I wonder if there is some unexplored cause-and-effect relationship there.

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