The sense of adventure in Lakwena Maciver's universe

Lakwena Maciver's paintings at Papillion Gallery advocate for an insistent sense of adventure

Seven recent paintings by London-based artist Lakwena Maciver, who often goes by just her first name, fairly shout. They’re homemade street signs, a deft cross between commercial logos and personal emblems.

Lakwena paints in flat colors on wood panels. The hues are as bright as a Technicolor rainbow.

They’re applied as stripes, checkerboards, targets, giraffe-like squiggles, lightning bolts and zigzags. One painting -- the largest, 16 feet wide and composed from six panels that happily overwhelm the small room -- is adorned with big, dangling sequins. Their shimmer and shine are animated by a pair of electric fans that create an artificial breeze.

Each painting carries a text in raised letters. What links them is their future orientation.

“Imagine eternity.” “Build to last.” “The best is yet to come.” “Faded glory.” “Wake me up.” “I repeat.” In Lakwena’s visually excited paintings, the present urges looking toward tomorrow.

“Just passing through,” blares the big sequined painting in trumpeted lettering. Indeed, we are -- both at the gallery and in life.

These big, jaunty paintings couldn’t be happier or more enthusiastic about the prospect. At a time when so much else seems fraught and troubled, Lakwena’s welcome art advocates for an insistent sense of open-eyed adventure.

Papillion Gallery, 4336 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park, (323) 642-8402, through March 15. Closed Mon. and Tue.

Twitter @KnightLAT


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