November 1, 2013 |
Raw talent, restless energy and the sense that something has gone very wrong run every which way in Natalie Frank's new paintings, which turn themselves inside out with such wicked swiftness that it's hard to know up from down, good from bad, us from them. The New York painter is no purist. Titled “The Scene of a Disappearance,” her first solo show in Los Angeles, at Acme, is a big messy mix of people and beasts, their limbs, organs and torsos rearranged in ways that rival Picasso's wildest paintings while capturing the grisliness of crime-scene TV. Frank slices and dices like a food processor, chopping Francis Bacon's ghoulish humans and Lucian Freud's meaty people into bite-size chunks she then cooks into dishes that look delicious from a distance but monstrous up close.
August 15, 2013 |
History, it's often said, is written by the winners. If that task fell to the nut jobs, the world might be more interesting. High school textbooks would certainly be more entertaining. At Monte Vista, Ben White's new paintings treat history as a swirling stew of possibility, a kind of primordial ooze filled with more twists and turns than a pretzel and more wacky coincidences than a conspiracy-theorist could make sense of. Ten midsize panels line the gallery's walls. Each depicts a historical figure or two, at a time and in a place they may never have visited.
July 26, 2012 |
Kevin Appel's new paintings are at war with themselves. While that may be hell for the artist, it's great for viewers: We get to watch as the talented painter goes back and forth between building taut compositions and blotting them out, leaving some shards scattered randomly and burying others under impenetrable layers of icy white paint. It's a give-and-take drama whose quiet fury is fueled by a kind of decisiveness that brooks little compromise and takes no prisoners. At Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, each of Appel's 11 new paintings begins as a pristine, porcelain-coated canvas onto which enlarged photographs get mechanically printed in ultraviolet inks.
July 20, 2012 |
Once inside a painting by Iva Gueorguieva, it's hard to leave. It's hard to want to leave. The surfaces, colors, shapes all clamor for attention, whisking the eye on a brisk, pinball course in disparate directions, then granting it moments of reprieve, small sanctuaries of brooding beauty. This is 21st century action painting, cousin to last century's version in its physicality, its conflation of internal and external realities and its scale. The largest -- and best -- works in Gueorguieva's show at Susanne Vielmetter exceed and envelop you. At more than 70 inches high and 100 inches wide, they literally position you within them by occupying your entire field of vision, the optical equivalent of surround sound.
January 3, 2010
Reviews by David Pagel (D.P.). Compiled by Grace Krilanovich. Critics' Choices Nathaniel de Large: at large De Large is a light-handed junk-picker whose search for quirky stuff is only the beginning of an out-of-step quest to refashion the world into a playground for the imagination. The L.A. artist gets viewers to experience the world as a loopy adventure, a meandering journey filled with serendipitous twists and wonderful turns that keep us on our toes, almost dancing.
November 23, 2012 |
Billy Collins, among the most accessible of contemporary poets and an eloquent advocate of poetry's place in public life, spoke recently about why people tend to resist the genre. Too much emphasis, he feels, is put on interpretation, to the detriment of poetry's "less teachable, more bodily pleasures. " Collins' words came to mind when hearing Enrique Martínez Celaya talk about his new paintings and sculpture at L.A. Louver and how efforts to decipher the meaning of a work of art too often hijacks the experience of it. In the case of visual art, and especially art like his that makes use of familiar, recognizable imagery, "we're so attached to what's given," he said, "rather than what's underneath what's given.