Forum Gallery, Los Angeles
The Figurative Impulse
Los Angeles, California Forum Gallery presents the exhibition The Figurative Impulse from November 5th through December 23rd, 2005, with an opening reception on Friday evening, November 4th from 7-9:00 pm. Along with examples by preÃ«minent contemporary artists whom Forum Gallery represents, the exhibition also features works by artists who belong with the pantheon of master contemporary figurative painters.
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Forum Gallery artists Steven Assael, William Beckman, Alan Feltus, Raymond Han, Susan Hauptman, Michael Leonard, David Levine, Richard Maury, Odd Nerdrum and Christian Vincent are all represented. Assael's recent oil on panel, Carla Twice, is an introspective personality study of the sitter; William Beckman's Study for Diana #1 is an elegant pencil drawing of sculptress Diana Moore dating from the early 1970s; Susan Hauptman's Self-Portrait as Prima Donna Bitch is an imaginary rendering in charcoal and pastel; and David Levine's Influenced portrays a woman in a kimono, executed with a tapestry like effect in his favorite medium of watercolor.
Always working on a small if not minute scale, Forum's Peter Greaves latest effort is an oil on tempered hardboard bust portrait of a young girl Adeye, which measures less than 2 x 2 inches. The sitter's delicate skin tone, subtle tilt of the head and lowered eyelashes are rendered with insuperable detail and delicacy. On a different scale is Odd Nerdrum's monumental recent painting, Love Divided, an iconic and incantatory image by this contemporary figurative giant of two interlocked figures in space. Equally enigmatic is Los Angeles painter Christian Vincen's painting Bump in the Night, in which a young girl dressed in white lays on her stomach over a large and unidentifiable object, covered by a white drape, before a pitch black background.
Works by artists outside of Forum's direct representation include those of Nicolas Africano, Bo Bartlett, Claudio Bravo, John Currin, Lucian Freud, Julie Heffernan, Whitfield Lovell, Clive Smith, and Mark Stock. Whereas Chilean great Claudio Bravo's study of male Heads is a sensitive and subtle pastel on paper, John Currin's graphic social commentary comes in the form of an ink drawing titled Braless which portrays a woman with grotesquely oversized breasts. Julie Heffernan's Self-portrait in Coral II depicts the artist, nude, waist deep in the murky waters of a lagoon with an assortment of coral shells at her feet and an array of mysterious tropical trees in the background. Sumptuously colorful and highly detailed, the painting is a fantastic assortment of the known and unknown, a surrealist journey of incongruities in search of a cryptic allegory.
Bay Area based painter Mark Stock is represented by two paintings: Gnaw and The Butler's in Love. In Gnaw a bereft looking young woman rests her head on a bureau, wedding band still on the fourth finger of her left hand which nearly touches an overturned picture frame as she gazes out into oblivion. The Butler's in Love showcases a gloved hand holding a fountain pen in the process of writing anguish filled words taken directly from the romantic novel The Confessions of Max Tivoli by Andrew Sean Greer. Drawing from a wide range of historic, literary and cinematic sources Stock explores themes such as love, betrayal, deception, and murder.
With a broad range of subject matter, and variety of mediums, The Figurative Impulse provides an impressive survey of the highest quality figurative art of our generation.
For additional information contact: Forum Gallery, Los Angeles