Julia Schwartz interviews painter Kevin Appel about his work and career.
Asked about the progress in his work from "straightforward... interiors" to more "fractured" spaces, Appel remarks: "Early on the interest in architecture was motivated by a desire to bring space back into my work. Clean, unpopulated space. Over time the objects in the interiors acted as stand ins for occupants, so I got rid of them. By ’99 I was designing a house specifically for the work and using this design for an installation where the paintings built together to create an understanding of the space. From there by 2004-6 I was becoming interested in home as a more quotidian reference this ultimately exploded into rubble, what I call the pile paintings. I would say the current work takes all of these impulses and pares them down into concise explorations of the same interests. They look to me as if they are combining the vast flat planes of the early work with the dissolution that followed."
Photo blog of the Los Angeles Nomadic Division exhibition Painting In Place at the Farmers & Merchants Bank, Los Angeles, on view through July 31, 2013.
The show considers the "various ways that the definition of painting is continuously evolving, the project seeks to expand the traditional parameters of painting, sculpture, and installation: blurred, deconstructed, and refigured." Painting in Place features works by Rita Ackermann, Kevin Appel, Jennifer Boysen, Sarah Cain, N. Dash, Matias Faldbakken, Kim Fisher, Barnaby Furnas, Alexandra Grant, Matt Greene, Mark Hagen, David Hendren, Julian Hoeber, Rashid Johnson, Jacob Kassay, Olga Koumoundouros, Jim Lee, Nate Lowman, Allison Miller, Sam Moyer, Amanda Ross-Ho, Analia Saban, Kate Shepherd, Gary Simmons, Vincent Szarek, Britton Tolliver, Kon Trubkovich, Monique van Genderen, and Bobbi Woods.
A report on a panel discussion about contemporary painting at the exhibition Paradox Maintenance Technicians at the Torrance Art Museum, California, on view through March 9, 2013. The exhibition surveys contemporary painting in Los Angeles and beyond featuring the work of 26 painters.
"Despite some disagreement about whether painting was dead as a medium (or whether that was even a relevant question anymore) all the panelists did seem to agree that a resurgence of painting was taking place today in Los Angeles and elsewhere... 'I think the reason why painting still makes this resurgence time and time again is because it really confirms our humanity in a unique way that no other material can,' said [Caitlin] Moore... 'In the end, we crave something that really has a human touch or a human element to it...I think that's a reason why Los Angeles specifically is moving the way that it is, simply because there are so many avenues and mediums that are diluting that experience. It seems natural to migrate back towards painting...in a society that is so technologically saturated.' "
Geoff Tuck reviews the exhibition Kevin Appel, Paintings at Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, on view through August 23, 2012.
"There is a photographic base to these paintings – Appel takes pictures of landscapes ('in the landscape,' the artist says) and he mechanically applies them to treated canvas and then by hand he paints over them. (Here I want to keep in mind the insubstantial nature of photographic images.)... looking at Salton Sea (heap), I find black, oily smears, these are veined as though they are spreading or are under pressure. (There are such colored smears on several paintings in the show.) The smears remind me of chemical mishaps that might be experienced using Polaroid cameras, when the developer would squeeze out of the pouch across the photo print. Appel’s paintings, which were begun in the camera, make reference to the photographic process again and again."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.