Review: Annie Lapin's 'Various Peep Shows' a whirlwind of imagination

In her third solo show in Los Angeles, titled “Various Peep Shows,” Annie Lapin continues to dip into styles and schools of painting from faraway places and far-off times.

This time around, she leaves European Expressionism behind and samples Japanese scroll painting, bringing its diaphanous landscapes and atmospheric loveliness into grubby contact with concoctions so preposterous they could only come out of California: designer graffiti, faux-collage-work and indoor landscapes.

Making a virtue of kookiness, each of Lapin’s eight paintings takes you on a whirlwind tour of an overactive imagination.

PHOTOS: Faces to watch 2014 | Art

Her two biggest canvases (at approximately 7-by-6½ feet) neither hold together as coherent compositions nor splinter into fragments. Each is a carefully orchestrated train wreck of a painting in which bucolic gardens, derelict buildings and oozing gobs of paint occupy the same plane but do everything they can to keep to themselves.Think of an elevator full of people at a high-end law firm and you’ll get a sense of the buttoned-down atmosphere of Lapin’s big paintings.

The rest of her works are more free-form, fun loving, rambunctious.

Three tall skinny ones are playfully elevating, their scroll-style setup the perfect backdrop for their renegade bouquets and puffy dollops of color.

ART: Can you guess the high price?

A pair of midsize pictures has the presence of inside-out landscapes, impossible territories occupied by a slew of shape-shifting forms. And the smallest painting, “Little Itty,” is anything but cute, its swiftly rendered figures too lost in the moment to worry about appearances.

As a group, Lapin’s paintings play well with one another, their spunky gregariousness trumping the desire to keep it cool.

Honor Fraser, 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., (310) 837-0191, through Feb. 22. Closed Sundays and Mondays.


PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage

CHEAT SHEET: Spring arts preview 2014

PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures


Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
  • Art by Banksy

    Art by Banksy

    Banksy, the anonymous graffiti artist, has left his mark on streets and buildings all over the world. Sometimes playful, sometimes provocative, his artwork consistently causes a sensation.

  • Review: Patrick Wilson throws vibrant curves in 'Steak Night'

    Review: Patrick Wilson throws vibrant curves in 'Steak Night'

    If Patrick Wilson tossed a pebble into a pond, the ripples that emanated from it would probably take the shape of perfectly formed squares or nicely proportioned rectangles. That is the image his exhibition, “Steak Night,” leaves with viewers: an impossible change to the laws of nature that brings...

  • Theater review: 'Discord' at NoHo Arts Center

    Theater review: 'Discord' at NoHo Arts Center

    Though Thomas Jefferson wasn’t the Founding Father renowned for chopping cherry trees, he cherry-picked Scripture with aplomb in producing his famous Jefferson Bible.

  • Review: April Street conjures gritty romanticism in 'A Vulgar Proof'

    Review: April Street conjures gritty romanticism in 'A Vulgar Proof'

    The rough and tumble side of romanticism takes spirited shape in April Street ’s exhibition at Carter & Citizen. Taking its title from the Elizabethan term for a common experience, “A Vulgar Proof” shows the L.A. artist to be an ingenious repurposer — a clear-eyed alchemist who doesn’t suffer foolishness...

  • Review: 'Day Trader' at Bootleg Theater

    Review: 'Day Trader' at Bootleg Theater

    In “Day Trader” at Bootleg Theater, a wannabe screenwriter in midlife crisis concocts an elaborate scheme to circumvent his rich wife’s pre-nup without sacrificing his cushy lifestyle or rebounding libido.

  • Gina Rodriguez staying grounded despite 'Jane's' success

    Gina Rodriguez staying grounded despite 'Jane's' success

    The night she won the Golden Globe for her warm, funny and versatile work as the kindhearted title character in the CW comedy "Jane the Virgin," Gina Rodriguez brought her whole family — Mom and Dad, her two older sisters and their husbands — to the celebrity-filled InStyle after-party at the Beverly...

  • 'Aquarius' reveals flip side of Summer of Love

    'Aquarius' reveals flip side of Summer of Love

    Here come the 1960s again. Yes, you're tired of hearing about them, just like I'm tired of hearing about the 1820s. Now that "Mad Men" has ended, having tired of the '60s itself, you might have thought you were getting a break from them. You might have thought wrong.

  • A look at the new Emmy rules and what they might change

    A look at the new Emmy rules and what they might change

    Last year's Emmy season started off confusing ("Orange Is the New Black" is a comedy? Really?) and ended up wholly predictable, with no new winners in the drama and comedy series and acting categories, and "Modern Family" taking the comedy trophy for the fifth year running. And while television...