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  • LA in Bloom opens February 15, 2020

    Why do we still battle with abstract painting? The internal world, lived experience, head to head with external influence, outside noise. We are all trying to make sense of our place, geographically, historically, emotionally. This exhibition is a survey of seven Los Angeles abstract painters; the rigorous approach of each artist, and how they are dedicated to the language of abstraction and the various forms that takes.

    In a time so concerned with instant gratification and constant drip, drip, drip of information, answers, true, false, these painters have dedicated themselves to something more meaningful, a more prolonged activity, something much more eternal and elusive. Questions. They not only depict their own search to understand their interpretation of the world, but also show the continued importance of abstraction as a record of the human condition. In doing so they remind us of the value, now, as ever, of slowing down and the beauty of reconnecting with something deeper.

    Aguayo’s punchy, motif like works reveal, on closer inspection, the ghosts of time spent working and reworking, layering and remodelling, as he hones in on that perfect combination of forms.Awad’s paintings beautifully play a balancing act as figures emerge and evaporate into bright fields of color, veiling the distinction between figuration and abstraction. Bradley presents us with bold, confident, seemingly simple, yet highly constructed three-dimensional compositions born of a practice based heavily on studies and a predesigned outcome. A tapestry of marks, references and approaches combine in Cheatwood’s playful paintings, as thick with the history of their making as they are with bright and bold color. In a multifaceted practice incorporating painting, drawing, sculpture, digital and video, Kelly pushes his abstract language to new frontiers, all the while loaded with powerful color and gesture. Kroll brings together a litany of marks with swathes of thick impasto and vibrant color, densely layered with different moods and direction, overflowing with the story of their execution. Mohamedi’s deeply personal language draws heavily on dualities as a way of working with and from her cultural background. Large fields of color contrast with drawn, calligraphic marks in a beautifully delicate balance of intent and intuition.

    What is it about LA? A colorful optimism pervades the work of these seven Los Angeles based abstract painters. A genre renewed. LA in Bloom.