October 25, 2013 |
For art, the 1963 murder of a president became America's Guernica. In style, emotional tenor and generation, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol were very different artists. But both made paintings that spoke to an epic social trauma of their day. And both used the same motif - a weeping woman - to focus the unfathomable event. Over three hours in the afternoon of April 26, 1937, German bombers pummeled an ancient Basque village in Northern Spain with a hundred thousand pounds of high-explosive and incendiary bombs, reducing the town of Guernica to smoking rubble.
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.
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.
May 24, 2013 |
NEW YORK - As 1938 came to a close, painter Edward Hopper was a man on a mission. Again and again, he would pick up his sketchbook and head for a cluster of New York City movie theaters. Sometimes it was the Republic or the Palace, other times the Strand or the Globe, places where he could study the lobby, the auditorium, the curtained area off to the side. Back at home, he'd pose his wife, Josephine, as an usherette and draw her portrait. By the time he completed his monumental painting "New York Movie" several weeks later, Hopper had drawn 54 studies for it. Those 54 studies are among the highlights of "Hopper Drawing," which opened last week at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The first major museum exhibition focusing on Hopper's drawings and creative process, the show features many of the famed artist's paintings adjacent to the rarely seen drawings that preceded them.
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.
August 16, 2012 |
The first piece I saw by Charles Christopher Hill was a tiny, thickly painted striped canvas that, despite being less than 6 inches square, had an inexplicable presence. I assumed it dated from the reign of Minimalism in the 1970s, but it was actually created in 2009. Hill's latest exhibition at Leslie Sacks Contemporary provides a spare but intriguing back story for this apparent anachronism. The earliest works in the show, from the late 1970s, are among the best: large, torn paper collages, shot through with stitching.
December 7, 2012 |
Viewed from a distance, Richard Bruland's paintings at Lora Schlesinger Gallery appear to be simple gradations of muted color, reminiscent of sky tones at dawn and dusk. At close range, however, they are anything but simple. Take a step or two in and their seemingly coherent hues dissolve into a chaotic mélange of multi-colored dots. Take another step and these dots reveal themselves to be three-dimensional: not points at all but layers that have been unevenly applied, then painstakingly sanded down to reveal dipping and shifting strata of color.
July 13, 2013 |
Words such as “like,” “post” and “share” have taken on new meanings worldwide because of Facebook and its 1.1 billion users. But Venice artist Matthew LaPenta wants to remind people of the old meaning of those words, and he's turned to the easily recognizable blues and white of Facebook to send his message. LaPenta exhibited a series of paintings at FactoryLA during Thursday's downtown Los Angeles Art Walk. (View photos of them in the gallery above. Click "show captions" to see LaPenta's explanation of each piece.)
March 28, 2013 |
Dan McCleary is one of the finest figure painters working today. Since 2010 he has also directed Art Division, an after school arts program for young adults. Now he is showing with Javier Carrillo and Emmanuel Galvez, talented former students at Art Division. Their recent paintings begin with a stylistic clarity and precision familiar from their teacher's example, while wholly transforming his precedent in distinctive ways. McCleary's three large genre paintings at Craig Krull depict simple scenes.
October 23, 2012 |
Breathtaking beauty and stomach-turning ugliness get our attention in ways that ordinary stuff doesn't. At Western Project, Cole Case steers clear of extremes to make paintings both pedestrian and unforgettable, in style and subject. The combination amazes, moving viewers without hand-flapping theatrics or tempest-in-a-teacup selfishness. Case's subjects are simple: the concrete spillways that crisscross Los Angeles, a roadside field under a cloudy sky and loose bunches of flowers, arranged in glass vases or stuck in a gallon milk jug. Casual, unspectacular and matter of fact, Case's landscapes match similar scenes glimpsed by drivers on streets all over the city.