November 8, 2013 |
I dropped in at Regen Projects in Hollywood to see my friend Lari Pittman's new show, just installed and opening to the public on Saturday. The exhibition is very large - a whopping 92 paintings on canvas, panel and mostly paper - but the three mammoth works that anchor the main room dwarf everything. Titled as various “Flying Carpets,” each one is a boggling 10 feet high and 30 feet wide. No doubt there are many reasons for the daunting scale, which fits the work's overall theme of epic trauma - and equally epic possibility -- during what the artist has dubbed today's “Late Western Impaerium.” The spelling alone, with its Old World allusion to ancient Rome, reeks of life lived under crushing conditions of supreme power.
March 14, 2013 |
At a time when all sorts of artists are abandoning painting to make works that spill onto the floor and fill the room with all manner of stuff, it's exciting to see Laura Owens pack everything she's got onto a flat canvas. She's got a lot. At 356 S. Mission Road, “12 Paintings by Laura Owens” is exactly that: 12 gigantic canvases lined up on two long walls in a massive industrial space whose raw beauty has not been obliterated by overeager renovation. The first hometown solo show of paintings since Owens' survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2003, her straightforward setup plays with space so effectively that every cubic foot of the gargantuan gallery matters.
September 26, 2013 |
Cecily Brown seems as though she's belting it out in her large, athletically brushed paintings now at Gagosian. But instead of powerful and passionate, her voice comes across as detached. The volume is turned up, but the verve is on low. London-born and living in New York, Brown bases several of her recent paintings on a photograph of a large group of nude women that appeared on the British release of a 1968 Jimi Hendrix album. PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times Brown preserves the odd theatricality of the image, with all members of the ensemble facing us, seated or in semi-seductive forward leans.
December 5, 2013 |
Five large paintings by Matt Lifson all show virtually the same enigmatic subject -- what appears to be a makeshift tent in the woods at night. But slight differences in tonality, lighting and paint-handling among the five generate unexpected responses. Serial imagery, given its origins in Claude Monet's repeated studies of grain stacks and an imposing cathedral facade under different conditions of light and weather, tends to have a rather sunnier disposition than what turns up in Lifson's solo debut at Angles Gallery.
March 20, 2014 |
Both the title and the contents of Keltie Ferris' show, "Doomsday Boogie," bring to mind Piet Mondrian, especially his acclaimed painting, "Broadway Boogie Woogie" (1942-3). The Brooklyn-based Ferris, too, trades in planar, geometric -- or at least loosely so -- shapes, arranged with a nod to the rhythms of urban life. Her paintings, made with sprayed oil pigments, feel like unkempt street versions of several more elegant precedents, not just the work of Mondrian but also Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko.
May 17, 2013 |
No Entropic school of art has announced itself as such, but the concept seems to animate a good deal of drawn and painted work of the past decade or more -- images of intense and unpredictable energy, change and disorder. Julie Mehretu might be considered a chief practitioner. The speed and unwieldiness of the information age is one clear source for the vocabulary of charged, global fluidity; a post-9/11 tenor of physical and political uncertainty is likely another. The increasingly volatile collision of nature and culture, in the form of large-scale natural disasters, is yet another catalyst for this type of work.