Great contemporary painting is never an exercise for the passive. Contemporary painting challenges the perceptions of the viewer and presents something new within the confines of the canvas space. A painting communicates something more than what’s on the picture plane. Gladstone’s approach to painting is like the early 20th century painter Wassily Kandinsky, who began abstraction by playing with forms that were familiar yet abstracted into something strange and unacquainted. Wendell Gladstone's new body of work, "Fever Pitch," challenges perceptions of contemporary painting while in the meantime presents a narrative about love and the feelings that occupy such relationships.
Gladstone plays with form, color and composition. These paintings are not for the passive. The viewer is forced to look at the picture plane, where acid and pastel colors flood the canvas. The figures are recognizable in that the paintings show as the observer views, the lines become shapes, the shapes become figures, the figures intertwine, merge, curve, swirl, convene, and morph to become a narrative involving men, women, animals, cats, and dogs as they dance with the formations that are invested within each other. Bodies become form and then forms become bodies as everything is connected by each other via line and figure.
Gladstone’s Surrealistic approach to figuration gives each painting a psychological dimension where the figures and characters relate to both the literal and to the subconscious; where the narratives relate to the emotional and subjective states of being. The active viewer is thus becoming a participant in the paintings subject matter. The observer is then immersed in the picture. Gladstone’s latest work is excellent. This is a must-see show.
On view until February 17, 2018.
Wendell Gladstone "Fever Pitch"
Shulamit Nazarian616 N La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90036
Hours: Tues to Saturday, 10 to 6 pm