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Current Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Doug Simay’s Best Picks
Reuben Gordon at Baert (DTLA through Sept. 14).
Reuben Gordon (b. 1996; New York) is one of seven artists in an exhibition built around explosive color.  
There is not enough evidence of any intellectual substance in bringing these artists together.  It is all
about color.
Samuel Levi Jones at Suzanne Vielmetter (DTLA closing).
Samuel Levi Jones, an artist of color, strips the covers off art books, stitches them together; laminates
them “face” down on canvas to form abstractions without paint. The discussion is about deconstructing
authoritative texts that “perpetuate inequities in the art world, particularly artists of color, female artists
and other marginalized populations…”  The works are quite satisfying “paintings” to look at.  Sometimes
I think discussions of “what art means” supplant the interest to be found in first looking.  I do not read
press releases until after I see the work.
Craig Kauffman 1976
Craig Kauffman at Cirrus (DTLA closing).
Craig Kauffman (1932-2010) had a great impact on art making in Southern California from the 50s
through the 80s.  He had significant impact on Frank Gehry, and early studio mates Robert Irwin and Ed
Moses.  Jean Milant (owner of Cirrus and a master printer) teamed up early on with Kauffman and they
executed many print projects together.  The results of their collaboration are seen in this exhibition of
works spanning 1971 through 1999.
Craig Kauffman 1980
Constance Mallinson
Constance Mallinson at Edward Cella (Culver City through Aug. 24).
This third iteration of an annual group exhibition explores the pluralities between figure and the
environment.  
Gathered on her regular walks, Constance Mallinson picks detritus that she fashions into (in this
case) the face of “humanity”.  Mallinson is one of LA’s terrific painters. The fact that she weaves tales
into her paintings is icing on a very well painted “cake”.
Kirsten Deirup’s fantastical painting updates the 16th century Italian painter, Guiseppe Arcimboldo.
Kirsten Deirup
Jacqueline Humphries
Jacqueline Humphries detail
Rosebud at Matthew Marks (West Hollywood through Aug. 24).
This exhibition of ten artists, seems largely curated for the final visual effect rather than any treatise.  It
is a sweet exhibition.  
From a distance Jacqueline Humphries painting looks like a hyper-texturized Mary Corse.  Seen up
close it appears as a printed surface with three-dimensional letters.
Nikita Gale produces wall sculpture that on first glance at a distance seems wrought from construction
grade durables.  Up close, one can see the structure’s soft materials are made to look hardened with a
coating of cement.
Martin Puryear’s work is as elegant as is expected.  In this instance his form is personalized as a head.  
This piece echoes the work of Jaume Plensa.
Nikita Gale  (detail above)
Martin Puryear
February James
February James
Punch at Jeffrey Deitch (Hollywood closing).
New York-based artist Nina Chanel Abney has curated a show with thirty-three LA based artists of her
“generation”.  The work in this show is fresh and unpolished.  In that sense it offers hope that creative
people are finding new creative inroads.  It also supports my observation that figurative art is the next
“swell”.
David Shrobe & Khari Johnson-Hicks seen below.
David Shrobe
Khari Johnson-Ricks (watercolor, ink, cut paper)
Brittany Tucker at Steve Turner (Hollywood through Aug. 24).
New York-based Tucker (born 1996) realistically paints her own likeness juxtaposed with a cartoon
stand-in for a generic white man.  It is a politically effective strategy and quite arresting.
Chris Lux
Chris Lux detail
Chris Lux at Steve Turner (Hollywood through Aug. 24).
Chris Lux (b. 1980) is one of six artists in a group show built around the ethos of Disney’s “Fantasia”.  
Mirroring Disney’s vivid, hallucinogenic mash-up of abstract figuration, the artists curated into this
exhibition do the same.
Daniel Richter at Regen Projects (Hollywood closing).
Richter’s (b. 1962) name is well recognized in the contemporary art world.  He is recognized for
combining colorful abstraction and psychedelic figuration.  This exhibition of recent abstractions have
a decidedly figurative – in fact, sexualized – central focus.
Daniel Richter
Anthony Hernandez at KayneGriffinCorcoran (lower La Brea through Aug. 31).
I have become a fan of Anthony Hernandez after seeing his retrospective at the MAPFRE Foundation
in Madrid this last May.  It was this series of photos – the “Screen Pictures” that cemented my
interest.  Hernandez is a street photographer and his “studio” is the landscape of LA.  For this series,
he has shot pictures through the perforated metal screens of bus shelters.  Focusing on the screen
makes the background, become anonymous though still telling.
Anthony Hernandez
Betty Woodman at David Kordansky (lower La Brea through August 24).
Even though she is dead, Betty Woodman’s career is in wild ascendancy.  Over the last several years I
can’t go anywhere in the world without seeing her work either in a solo or a group show.  The ICA
Boston is currently showing “Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design”. It includes the Pattern-Decoration
artists of the 1970s and representatives up to today. Betty Woodman (1930-2018) is well showcased in
this magnificent exhibition.  The Kordansky exhibition is a perfect way to get up to speed with what she
was doing after her 80th birthday.
Betty Woodman
Eric Fischl at Spruth Magers (mid Wilshire through Aug. 30).
Quoting the press release: “For over four decades, Eric Fischl has produced uncompromising images of
American society, as seen through the lens of middle and upper class malaise.”  Fischl has mastered
his washy, gestural painting to be able to portray nuances of personality in his subjects.  It is uncanny
his skill as a figurative painter.  
Eric Fischl
Brandon Landers at M+B (West Hollywood through Aug. 30).
Brandon Landers (born 1985) was raised in South Central LA (he currently lives and works in
Bakersfield).  His paintings are purposefully naïve. Executed with a palette knife the paintings “vibrate
with energy”.  They expressively portray the experience of living in his community.
Brandon Landers
Desert Painters of Australia at Gagosian (Beverly Hills through Sept. 6).
There are twenty one paintings by eleven artists living in Australia’s Northern Territory.  Understanding
the confluence of generations of Aboriginal beliefs that become the dot paintings of a current
generation is parallel to the development of Navajo weaving.  This exhibition does not teach about that
evolution.  It does offer a wonderful opportunity to experience the ineffable.
James Doolin 1986
Narrative Painting in Los Angeles at Craig Krull (Bergamot through Aug. 31).
A lot has been written about this exhibition.  It deserves the attention.  The thirteen artists in this
exhibition demonstrate broad skills in rendering the figurative; narrative.  If every picture tells a story,
there are a lot of stories in this city.  
Steve Galloway 2017
Dan McCleary 2019
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Offered for Sale (from the Doug Simay Collection)
John Divola
“NW34 14.383W116 14.758”
the “Isolated Houses” were shot between
1995 and 1999, and printed as late as 2000
Fujicolor printed in Crystal Lightjet
Edition 1/8
19 x 19 inches                    $3600


Inquiries to: doug@simayspace.com
Get out, look at art; have fun.
Doug Simay         August 2019

doug@simayspace.com
Art for Sale