Leah Ollman reviews L.E. Kim’s First Paintings on the Los Angeles Times 8.4.16
Getting lost in the illusions:
The painted worlds of L.E. Kim
By Leah Ollman
Since earning her MFA at CalArts in 2009, L.E. Kim has sewn through unprocessed slide film and made projections of the resulting light-fissured fields. She has cut up inkjet prints and stitched the pieces together into irregular, elegant forms. She has made work in video and with digital scans.
The L.A. artist’s “First Paintings” feel rudimentary in comparison, and their presentation at Klowden Mann is thin overall. Even as she turns to the basics of moving pigment around on a surface, however, she engages her materials with verve. She limits her palette (perhaps too restrictively) to ultramarine, violet and magenta, scraping and pulling the paint across pages of smooth, coated palette paper.
In several pieces, she drags the paint downward into a finely threaded blur that resembles the effect of an etching or drypoint. Other areas look weirdly, wonderfully illusional, like photographs of the moon’s craggy surface under raking light. Though many of the paintings are bland, the play between translucency and opacity can be striking. Two dimensions flirt with a third; a curious oscillation occurs between different states, different textures. As with her earlier explorations in other media, here too Kim repeatedly interrupts continuous visual fields, gently shocking our perceptual apparatus into considering anew what we’re seeing.
Klowden Mann, 6023 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Through Aug. 20. Closed Sundays and Mondays. (310) 280-0226, www.klowdenmann.com