Roy Dowell “New Paintings and Sculpture”

Lennon, Weinberg, Inc.

poster for Roy Dowell “New Paintings and Sculpture”

This event has ended.

This is Roy Dowell’s second exhibition at Lennon, Weinberg. It is strikingly different from his first here four years ago in which long rows of framed collages ringed the gallery. The current exhibition includes eight paintings and five sculptures that assert an attitude about Dowell’s foundational practice of collage as surely as if they had been made from his usual repertoire of printed and handdrawn sections of paper. Roy Dowell is a prodigious gatherer of references and resources. He has a magpie’s eye for the visual properties of things that he generously introduces into his work. Icons of early and mid-century modernism such as Georges Braque, Kurt Schwitters and Stuart Davis are fair game, along with Mexican and Latin American pottery and textiles, ethnographic material from Africa and India, printed billboards and painted signage. His home and his studio are filled with collections of ritual and vernacular objects that clearly inform his sense of color, pattern and composition. Asked recently what is the most indispensable item in his studio, Dowell replied, “I would say that the object that hangs above my desk, an axe handle with a painted soccer ball attached to it is the most indispensable object in my studio. I bought it in Mexico many years ago and it constantly reminds me of what a perfect object should look like.” This odd but powerful object is clearly the inspiration for one of the works in our exhibition, the wall-mounted sculpture Untitled #1030, a flat disk painted with a pattern of hexagons joined to a pole-like handle. Dowell was included in the inaugural Made in L.A. biennial exhibition at the Hammer Museum at UCLA in 2012, represented by a selection of painted sculptures. Long Untitled #1060, 2014 Untitled #1054, 2014 recognized for his paintings and collages, the sculptures came as something of a surprise. Christopher Knight of the Los Angeles Times wrote this about them in his review of the show: “Vivid modern abstraction derived from high art and popular design is fused with functional forms suggestive of tribal objects — headrest, stool, mask, shield and more. Art and its rituals of display are bracingly unveiled as a celebratory branch of global ethnology.” The sculptures in our current show evoke a similar range of reference with the addition of a cartoony umbrella that is positively Guston-esque. The generally medium-sized paintings share a loosely bilateral symmetry with the sculptures. Painted with acrylic on linen, they show a skilled and relaxed hand at work. The paintings are precise but not tight, with an engaging spatial play between opaque areas and transparent ones. Shapes can be wobbly but the geometry of grids, stripes, circles and serrated rows of triangles achieves a poised resolution. The handmade quality of all of Dowell’s works – the paintings, sculptures and collages – both animates them and corroborates their relationship with the diverse source materials that inspire him.



from April 03, 2014 to May 03, 2014

Opening Reception on 2014-04-03 from 18:00 to 20:00


Roy Dowell

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