NEWS 21 March 2011, 3.49 | - POSTED BY Holly Stanton
Los Angeles: Greg Mocilnikar
- Untitled (Hybrid Painting) 3, 2011
While the rest of the world is still shaking the winter cold, Los Angeles is as always enjoying unjustly beautiful weather. Lately the city offers more than just sunshine as it appears the art world has collectively chosen LA to be its new cultural epicenter. Young artists and powerful dealers alike have in the past few years begun flocking to Chinatown and Culver City to open new spaces and access this freeing energy, a transition further validated by power dealer and New York art world staple Jeffrey Deitch assuming the position of Director at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art.
This week in Culver City, I encountered a series of paintings by Southern California-based painter Greg Mocilnikar that embodied this dreamy coastal impression with which the international art scene is currently obsessed. Even before speaking with gallery owner Walter Maciel about the artist, I was certain he was a surfer from a coastal town much like the one where I grew up, an assumption Maciel confirmed and embraced.
A view of Appraising Spatial Properties.
In his series Appraising Spatial Properties, Mocilnikar draws inspiration from cluttered spaces, specifically open garages he perceives on his walks through suburban and coastal towns. Mocilnikar diffuses the anxiety that is most often paired with manic hoarding (best outlined by A&E’s television show Hoarders) by activating the picture plane with an airy, pastel palette and by employing washy painterly techniques. Upon first glance, Mocilnikar’s paintings appear to be updated, liberal renditions of early modernist and constructivist compositions, hinting towards Malevich’s geometric and spatial relationships but with a fresh interest in the activation of depth through abstraction. Contrasted by series of charcoal studies that map Mocilnikar’s investigation of these spaces, the paintings strip the cluttered environments of their social and class-oriented implications and reveal the simple connections present in the places we tend to ignore. Both aesthetically and conceptually, Mocilnikar’s paintings renew a sense of optimism that is often buried six feet under New York art world cynicism.
Image courtesy of the gallery. Appraising Spatial Properties is open through April 2nd.
Leave a comment