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Jennifer Guidi's paintings at LAXART conjure Zen, summer vibes

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Jennifer Guidi's sand-derived paintings at LAXART possess a meditative quality reminiscent of Zen rock gardens

Covered in irregular patterns of dots, Jennifer Guidi’s paintings at LAXART are charming records of a mind’s wanderings.

Slightly smaller than human scale, they fill the walls of the space’s smaller gallery with calm, flat tones of black, brown, beige and white. They seem wholly unremarkable, perhaps even boring, until you notice they are made from sand.

Spread over the entire surface of an image, the light brown granules have been pushed into hundreds of tiny depressions that reveal a black ground underneath. These “dots” are aligned in undisciplined horizontal rows as if the artist had set out to make a straight line, but got lost somewhere along the way. 

The exhibition also features three similar paintings in oil. They are chromatically the reverse of the sand images, with wavy rows of light-colored dots on black. Perhaps it’s because here the dots are brush strokes on canvas that they feel both more forced and more expected.

All of the works were initially inspired by the grid-like patterns of weaving, but the sand paintings in particular possess a meditative quality reminiscent of Zen rock gardens.

They also evoke the outdoors and the immediate, tactile pleasure of dragging fingers through cool sand. In their own understated way, they feel perfect for summer.

LAXART, 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd., (310) 559-0166, through June. 28. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.laxart.org

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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