For his first solo exhibition, local artist Joe Lloyd offers large, sunny, intensely layered abstract paintings at Western Project. These roughly symmetrical compositions of sharply angled shapes are rendered in clear, bright colors that intersect and overlap in fevered, sometimes psychedelic combinations.
Each painting is built up from many, many layers of geometric designs. Some were initially worked out on a computer, but the paintings are clearly the result of an iterative, hand-driven process. One layer gives way to the next but remains visible, refracted through translucent scrims of paint or asserting itself as texture: the lumps and bumps of a previous idea. Such imperfections are countered with an overall sense of symmetry, making for images that feel grounded in geometry but not ruled by it.
This attitude, as well as the jovial clarity of Lloyd’s palette is reminiscent of Richard Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park” series. But where Diebenkorn’s hard-won geometries feel like an artist groping toward some kind of resolution, Lloyd’s seem to revel in discontinuities and fissures. His struggle is not to wrest geometry from real life or vice versa. His paintings have a thoroughly delightful, freewheeling character open to the idea that a systematic approach might not add up in the end.
Western Project, 2762 S. La Cienega Blvd., (310) 838-0609, through Aug. 29. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.western-project.com