David Lloyd Featured in Artillery 3.11.15
The Bold Standard
Abstract Painting Must Still Measure up to Pollock
IN THE GALLERIES
Recent Los Angeles exhibitions have evinced a number of painters who continue to grapple with the problems of contemporary abstraction with rigor and seriousness, testifying to its continued viability. Most of these fall in the category of what might be called impure or aberrant abstraction, stretching the limits of how we define an abstract painting. Canan Tolon’s paintings at Von Lintel last year played with viewer’s expectations. I initially took to be silkscreened photographs similar to those of Warhol and Rauschenberg. The artist creates a recognizable format that those familiar with contemporary art instantly recognize, that of multiple photographs silkscreened onto canvas, which seems to encourage the viewer to see them as elements of realism. The works hold one’s attention formally, and create a beguiling optical effect, balancing the geometry of the grid-like images with a process-oriented painting technique.
David Lloyd’s exhibition at Klowden Mann similarly gained pictorial and conceptual interest by employing subtle references in what are obviously abstract paintings, but in a very different manner than Tolon’s. In a work like An Illusive Path (2104), Lloyd employs a completely nonfigurative vocabulary of geometry and gesture, yet creates a subtle reference by ganging up triangles to form an image of a hand that seems to pinch a thread-like linear element. Bringing to mind the coquettish collaged hands in Max Ernst’s minuscule work Murdering Airplane (1920), the reference, which could be easily overlooked, adds just the quirky, impure ambiguity that abstraction now seems to need.