Painting for umpteen years: Lutes and Dill in LA

In the LAWeekly, Peter Frank’s picks this week include Jim Lutes and Laddie John Dill. “Gloriously elaborate and hermetic, Jim Lutes� invariably small paintings � currently rendered in that most ancient of painting media, egg tempera � are also radiantly, insouciantly gnarly in their cartoonishly but viscerally strange imagery. The denseness and obsessiveness of Lutes� work skirts surrealism, expressionism and Pop as it sucks up spirit and atmosphere, its urban references finally imploding into almost � almost � inchoate abstraction.

“Laddie John Dill�s new material abstractions, hewn from his usual gritty combinations of stone and steel and stuff, open up the formula on which he has relied for the last umpteen years, revealing a newly found formal, even architectural strength and a surprising lyricism wrought from the hard substances themselves. There has always been an element of the monumental in even the least of Dill�s formations, but here monumentality � tempered by that lyricism and by the human-scale details that relieve these works of their potential ponderousness � is the goal. Still and all, Dill is trying not to overwhelm us, but to elate us, with the expansiveness, and variety, of this recent work.”

Jim Lutes: Cancel the Band,” Kinkead Contemporary, Culver City, CA. Through May 17 (tomorrow).
Laddie John Dill,” LA Contemporary, Los Angeles, CA. Through May 17 (tomorrow).

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