Two Jewels with the Clock Ticking
I’m starting this post with a snap shot of an ad hoc installation on the desk of Marc Foxx Gallery in the Mid-Wilshire enclave here in Los Angeles. The collection of exhibition announcements in a cascading bouquet made me smile at the seemingly endless productivity of artists and dealers. I did not inquire as to how long this process sculpture had been under construction but whether a month or two years, it’s an amazing testament to the bottomless well of optimism, passion and prehaps delusion that is out there.
Regrettably I want to highlight two exhibitions that will soon be closing. The first is at 1301PE Gallery. The artist in question is Paul Winstanley, a Brit with dizzying painterly skills and a knack for creating mood that falls somewhere between nostalgia and ennui. Six Vertical paintings of waiting rooms bathed in raking light from a window are transcendent. The modernist furniture, the european radiators and the obligatory neglected potted plants glow under Winstanley’s gifted brush.
There is an abiding indebtedness to the realism of Gerhard Richter‘s photo based paintings but they eventually stand on their own. Perhaps it’s the serial nature of the motifs or their cool unjudgemental stance. The window’s light from left and sometimes right indexes Vermeer’s illumination but the scenes remain unpopulated. Alas, the exhibition closes on November 10th so hurry to witness this fine show and keep Winstanley on your radar screens.
The second exhibition is Chuck Webster at Acme Art. With this exhibition you have until November 13th to catch a glimpse at a gifted and infuriatingly good artist. The skills are different, the destination is different, and the scale is different. But the awe of accomplishment is on parr with Winstanley. Webster, a young Brooklynite paints abstractions with layers of oil accrued and sanded. The forms are beguiling and often oblique. They seem to reference but their sources are not dogmatic. The handling of paint is divine and the use of color pleasing and thoughtful.
Okay, Okay I cop to far from concrete descriptions here but the paintings often defy a nuts and bolts pigeon holing. The exhibition ranges in scale and Webster manages the medium to intimate scale with equal elan. Heartbeat illustrated here is 12 x 12 inches. It alludes to the volumetric but the surface remains flat. The other stand out work in the show is Fitting In, 2010. At 50 x 40 inches it bears the same centered image paradigm, deft brush stroke and intelligent composition. Special kudos go to the gallery for a syncopated installation of the works allowing them to breathe and dialogue in a far more affecting way than had they been surgically installed with a serial monotony.
–Mario M. Muller, November 9th, 2010, Los Angeles