May 18, 2012 |
At CB1 Gallery, all but one of Daniel Aksten's 10 new paintings in “Support, Edge, Variation” call to mind Minimalism. Their sharp edges, solid colors, geometric compositions and spray-painted surfaces appear to embrace the same rigorous regimentation of that keep-it-simple style from the 1960s. The oddball, “Phanorama (Line, radius),” suggests that Aksten is too promiscuous a painter to be a Minimalist. At 5-by-5 feet, it's the largest work in the show. It's also the most pictorial, with solid bands, overlapping shapes and spindly linear elements evoking a tabletop still life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 31, 1997 |
Reverie and Despair: At first, Emilio Cueto's stark new paintings at Newspace yield little but texture and tone. Half of them, painted on wood, are smooth and slick, an inky black in the corners dissolving to a smoky puff of gray in the center. The others, painted on canvas, are an all-over pristine ivory, with occasional sanded-down blips and bumps that hint at underlying, contrasting layers of paint.