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Review: L.A. artists show verve in "Drawing (Los Angeles)"

May 25, 2012|By Leah Ollman
  • Stas Orlovski's "Nocturne With Pine Tree and Birds."
Stas Orlovski's "Nocturne With Pine Tree and Birds." (Another Year in LA )

Following its group shows of area painters and sculptors, Another Year in LA now presents "Drawing (Los Angeles)." Featuring five artists (plus a cameo appearance by non-local Stephen Kaltenbach), the show is a sampler more than a survey but manages to convey, with a good deal of verve, how elastic the category of drawing has become. Materials matter less than manner of approach -- a certain rawness, directness, immediacy.

John Knuth's word paintings spelled out using emergency road flares and Christopher Russell's scratched and spray-painted "Framing Exercises" are all tactile energy. Stas Orlovski, whose work is not seen often enough in L.A., supplies the emotional heft and texture here in his "Nocturne With Pine Tree and Birds." The monoprint with collage is a lyrical, tender beauty.

Jackie Freedman is the purist in the bunch, graphically speaking. Her large ink and pencil drawings on paper of gorgeously precise webs and networks oscillate between the macro- and microcosmic, hinting of biology, botany and the physics of deep space.  Alisa Yang tears up coloring books and builds images from the yellowed scraps. Her collages add a sharp tang of self-referential, nostalgia-laced humor to the mix. In one piece, a small rowboat bobs in illustrational limbo; in another, a field of like numbers from connect-the-dot drawings simultaneously extends and retracts its promise of illusion, resolution.

Another Year in LA, Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., Suite B267, West Hollywood, (323) 223-4000, through July 27. Closed Saturdays through Mondays. www.anotheryearinLA.com

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