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Current Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
Doug Simay’s Best Picks
Richard Bruland (detail)
Richard Bruland at Lora Schlesinger (Bergamot through Feb. 25).
In what appears from afar to be color-field abstraction, is a complex, layered topography that is
painstakingly built.  His is a reductive painting process that offers the greatest pleasure when viewed up
close.  Layers of paint are built upon each other.  Bruland then sands down through the layers to develop
the “atmosphere” he seeks.
Lauren Marsolier
Looking Back: 10 Years of Photography at Robert Berman (Bergamot through Feb. 11).
The gallery presents a group show with every photographer that it has shown in the last ten years.  It is an
engrossing exhibition.  My favorite artists seen are Lauren Marsolier (above) and the collaboration of Slota
& Labutte.
Slota is the photographer and Labute contributes the writing that sardonically “explains” the image.  For
the image below the text reads, “my sister ran away when she was twelve.  we found her again when she
was twenty. i’m pretty sure it’s her, anyway.”
Gerald Slotia & Neil Labute (detail)
Thomas Houseago at Gagosian (Beverly Hills through Feb. 16).
This exhibition offers both paintings and sculpture.  The reason to see the show is to attempt to
understand why this artist is so “hot”.  Such reasoning eludes me.  Regardless of medium, he seems to be
very “clunky”.
Jim Morphesis at Garboushian (Beverly Hills through Feb. 24).
Morphesis has been at work in LA for the last four decades.  His style is unmistakable (rooted in Greek
Orthodox beliefs).  He is identified as being one of the Neo-Expressionists emerging in LA during the 80s.  
This exhibition allows one to be refamiliarized with an artist who remains part of LA’s art dialogues.
Elizabeth Patterson at Louis Stern (West Hollywood through Feb. 4).
Patterson’s unique viewpoint seems to me a liability.  She paints scenes (dominantly traffic on wet roads)
seen through rain-drop-dappled windshields.  This gimmick is not necessary for an artist with such great
facility with colored pencils.  In her hands, colored pencil drawings become almost photographic.
Karl Haendel at Susanne Vielmetter (Culver City through Feb. 11).
Haendel (MFA, UCLA 2003) draws masterfully – and heroically.  He believes in portraiture as an artistic
means for investigating the human condition.  His work investigates gender/roles, power, and public
identity.  His huge drawings are undeniable – one must look and wonder.  
Mark Seliger at Von Lintel (Culver City through Feb.25).
Seliger’s beautifully executed back and white photographs were taken on Christopher Street in NYC.  All of
his subjects are transgender.  The 1969 Stonewall Uprising occurred on Christopher Street.  In 2016 the
Stonewall Inn was designated by Obama as the first national monument to honor the LGBTQ civil rights
movement.
Kaz Oshiro at Honor Fraser (Culver City through Feb. 25).
The sculptures in this exhibition give the impression of being massive steel girders that defy gravity.  In
reality the work is crafted from canvas   stretched over wood armatures.  The trompe l’oeil is total and
complete.  His “dirty minimalism” is surprisingly poetic.  Oshiro owes his technique to his professor at Cal
State LA – Daniel Douke – himself a master of trompe l’oeil sculpture (seen at LA’s Peter Mendenhall
Gallery).
With Liberty and Justice for Some at Walter Maciel (Culver City through March 4).
This exhibition has been mounted in response to the upheaval of Trump's election.  Artists from across the
country were invited to submit 8x8 inch paintings depicting people who came to the USA as immigrants.  
The subjects range from the famous to the unknown.  Hung in an expansive grid the exhibition illustrates
the complex fabric of people who are our friends, neighbors and countrymen.  In viewing the works some
subjects are well known while others are only as familiar as the diversity that surrounds our daily lives.  We
are the People.  
Rose Cabat at Couturier (La Brea through Feb.25).
Rose Cabat died at 100 in 2015.  Her love and decades long practice was ceramics.  In particular, she
made hundreds of small porcelain vessels as seen above.  She invented a glazing technique that allowed
her to call the work “Feelies”.  Ask Darryl Couturier for permission to touch one of Rose’s “Feelies”.  The
glaze is the most unique one can experience.  It is flawlessly smooth, vibrantly colored, and seems soft,
like fine velvet.
Ron Nagle at Matthew Marks (Hollywood through April 8).
Nagle who first learned clay techniques with Peter Voulkos (when Nagle was 21) had his first solo
exhibition in 1968.  His techniques and aesthetic rank him amongst the titans of clay art.  He is as unique
as Ken Price.  The small works in this exquisite exhibition are made from ceramic, glaze, catalyzed
polyurethane and epoxy resin.  This exhibition alone is a reason to make an art trek to LA.
Holton Rower (detail)
Holton Rower at Venus (DTLA through Feb. 24).
While Richard Bruland is formally trained – Holton Rover is self-taught having been raised in an artistic,
bohemian family.  He uses gallons of paint to pour constructions.  Like Richard Bruland, Rower’s works are
accretions becoming topographies.  Thinking of these works and those of artists such as Kelsey Brooks
perhaps I will call them “New Psychedelics”.
Peter Saul at CB1-G (DTLA through Feb.18). (In conjunction with George Adams Gallery)
Just when I thought I knew Peter Saul – this exhibition of works spanning from 1957 through 1967,
increases my estimation of him hugely.  He was one of the progenitors of Pop.  In his work I see
homologies with Philip Guston and Roberto Matta.
Merion Estes at CB1 (DTLA through Feb 19).
Merion Estes’ work is alchemy.  She combines paper, fabric, printmaking, and brush painting to make
serious work.  Intellectually the work concerns itself with ecological strife and climate change.  Emotionally
the work is about beauty and harmony.  Born in San Diego, having attended Grossmont College, and
since 1972 a Los Angeles artist – Merion Estes is one of LA’s best.
Llyn Foulkes
Llyn Foulkes at Spruth Magers (mid Wilshire through March 4).
Another reason to art trek to LA is for this exhibition.  Foulkes doesn’t exhibit often and was last seen
significantly at a Hammer Museum show in 2013-14.  This show is classic Foulkes – intelligent, wry,
desolate; inconsolable.  
Llyn Foulkes
Get out, look at art, have fun.
Doug Simay January 2017        doug@simayspace.com