Press / LA Weekly

LA Weekly - Pick of the Week - March 5, 2008
By Peter Frank

An exhibition pointing at the disappearance of numerous fauna doesn't simply preach to the converted; it can prompt the converted to action and can awake the convertible. Many of the works in "Endangered Species" are good enough to inspire viewers' care for their subjects, even when those subjects are objects of extravagant fantasy. Daniel du Plessis' exquisite neo-Baroque renditions, Moira Hahn's neo-ukiyo-e confabulations, Laurie Hogin's tigerabbit hybrids, Peter Zokosky's Renaissance-portrait apes, Robin Palanker's beasts in the bedroom, Marion Winsryg's television "interview" with zebras and tigers, the magical little sculptures of Sarah Perry — all these are motivated by an empathy for animals so fervent that they convey a sense of blanket endangerment: The animals go first, then we do. Similarly, the more straightforward depictions, such as Alia El-Bermani's dignified dead-bird still lifes, Ed Tarvyd's near-clinical drawings or the smooth-contoured rhino and cat sculpted by Gwynn Murrill, embody an easily grasped fragile vitality. "Endangered Species" surrounds you with the subject at hand, and thus with the problem at hand. Pete and Susan Barrett Gallery, Santa Monica College, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica; Tues.-Fri. noon-5 p.m., Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; thru March 8. (310) 434-3434.