New American Paintings @ Zevitas Marcus

July 22, 2019

Zevitas Marcus welcomes once more a worthy selection of contemporary fine art to the Los Angeles community, this time via the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Out of the general abstract and experimentalism of the art show, three works stood out in regards to their compositional excellence and motif.


A pair of works by Adrian Kay Wong were exceptional in their geometrical clarity. There is beauty in purity, perhaps because adulteration signifies disorder or decay; which are culprits of ugliness. Here, then, Mr. Wong gives us an emblem of a razor-sharp harmony of bright but also dark forms in Morning Dove and Mourning Dove. There is an evident fastidiousness to the shapes and meandering lines which act as scalpels to the colors and order which appear – both in representing felicity yet also melancholy. Indeed, it is in this dichotomy which Mr. Wong perhaps finds worthy of investigation: the willful possibility of conceiving cheerfulness yet also its mirror reflection of depression.


We do not necessarily see a continuity between the two works beyond the minimalistic symbolism expressed in each. It is a keen effort to depict the morning and its optimism and hope for a bright new day with its sorrowful pensive counterpart at day’s end. There is then a deeper meditation than simply witty wordplay. We have a taste of the human condition and the condensation of hopewith potency. We are forever jubilated to be filled with possibilities, and erstwhile forever saddened with an empty fuel tank – or worse, hope unfulfilled. Endings, then, always bring this harsh confrontation, and it is quite the feat by Mr. Wong to examine the beginning and the end in such an artful way.


Still Life with Lemon by Samantha Rosenwald is a cheeky yet deeply penetrating meditation on the anxieties of female objectification. Ms. Rosenwald takes the self-evident but treats it in an absurdly playful level – of treating a woman’s body as a piece of meat for backyard summertime consumption. This de-humanizing of the female spirit is a positive rebuke to a mass contemporary culture which is de-humanizing altogether. It is her angle of attack in treating female flesh as an epicurean delight, however, which is commendable.


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