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Art critic Christopher Knight recently gave a bit of a rave to the solo debut from artist Matt Lifson -- currently at Angels Gallery in Culver City. The show consist of five large paintings that all depict "the same enigmatic subject -- what appears to be a makeshift tent in the woods at night. But slight differences in tonality, lighting and paint-handling among the five generate unexpected responses."
Comparing the technique to Monet's repeated studies of hay stacks or a cathedral facade, Knight says, that here the effect is a bit more dark: "Grim, even inexplicably creepy, his blue-black 'Tent' paintings get you to scrutinize them like a detective at a crime scene."
Continues the review:
As a cop would do, you try to create a narrative from pictorial fragments. Is that romantic moonlight illuminating the tent or a police helicopter's piercing searchlight? Does the tent belong to a vacationing camper or, given what appears to be its improvised nature, a homeless person? Is it shelter from an impending storm?
What's that jagged, sharp-edged but indecipherable whitish object just beneath the fallen tree limb? And speaking of the limb, why do its branches appear to have been stripped?
That's their strength: Lifson underscores the degree to which, encountering a picture, we project meanings onto it. These paintings are pregnant with possibilities, horrific or benign, which shift in and out of view across a wide range of emotional registers depending on a viewer's drifting thoughts. In today's picture-saturated world, no wonder things seem so daunting.
You can read the whole review HERE.
Lifson's show at Angels continues until December 21. Angles Gallery is located at 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd.