Lisa Sigal’s intriguing painted constructions at LAXART exploit the overlap between the conventions of abstract, geometric painting and the blunt, graphic aesthetic of traffic signs, caution tape and flat, concrete walls.
Coating drywall, wall studs and window screens with stripes and blocks of bright, warm color, Sigal creates layered, awkwardly angled combinations that lean against or are actually cut out of the walls.
Mixed in are fairly conventional paintings and digital prints of L.A.’s marginal spaces: concrete-lined riverbeds, freeway underpasses and makeshift homeless encampments.
Sigal makes these small paintings “en plein air” with an easel, taking a pastoral approach to decidedly unromantic vistas. While this gesture is interesting — the neglected spaces she documents are the “wilderness” of the city — the resulting images aren’t fully integrated. Pasted on flat grounds or propped on small ledges, they feel like lip service to larger social issues, especially in the case of the homeless settlements.