Like an ostentatiously spare boutique, L&M's front gallery is a desert of dark parquet floors and understated molding leading to a large showroom where five fur coats are on display; a lonely sixth dominates an elegant upstairs chamber. But something is desperately wrong: The backs of these luxurious raiment have been splattered with paint, save for the solitary chinchilla, which has been burned (imbuing the second floor with a faint, charnel-house stench). In an age when man-made fabrics keep Everest climbers toasty, fur coats rank with penthouses, and Maseratis as talismans of conspicuous wealth. Only "fine" art, devoid of the covering excuse of providing warmth, shelter, or transport, is a more outré certification of one's net worth. But while Matisse offered his sumptuous canvases as easy chairs for the tired "brain-worker," Hammons gives today's information class no comfort—his "paintings" (viscerally beautiful blobs of yellow on black mink, pink splatters on gray wolf, charred brown clots against black and white chinchilla) are draped over threadbare, stained, and battered dress dummies. As usual, Hammons is hammering away at the frontiers of perception, thrilling the eyes but challenging the brain and gut as well. You'll leave the gallery as flummoxed as a Fifth Avenue matron whose sable has just been vandalized by... More >>>