Art review: ‘Seven Young Los Angeles Painters I Like’ at George Lawson


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From its title to its sprightly array of modestly scaled works, “Seven Young Los Angeles Painters I Like,” at George Lawson, exudes refreshing honesty. There is no real agenda in play, but an aesthetic consensus forms around the sufficiency of paint on a flat surface. However self-evident that sounds, it’s a quietly invigorating experience to look at two dozen paintings by emerging artists who subscribe to “old media” and make it new.

One of the painters currently studies at UCLA; the rest earned (or worked toward) their MFAs there, at Claremont Graduate University, California College of the Arts, Otis and the University of Tennessee. Each might be privately ambitious, but none succumbs to the grandstanding arrogance so common these days among young artists eager to set themselves apart from the pack.


Jacob Melchi paints delightfully restless geometric abstractions that tamper with spatial logic. Nano Rubio stages mixed marriages of tight linear patterns and thick, fleshy swaths, permeable and opaque, fluid and solid. Among the rest — Jonathan Apgar, Christopher Kuhn and Anne McCaddon — Sarah Awad stands out for her images of monuments and ruins redolent with the tenuousness of memory, and Rema Ghuloum for “Light, 15th and Harrison at 3pm,” a potent little canvas of warm greenish-gold abutting deep aqua and dark blue-violet, the record — and evocation — of a radiant moment.

-- Leah Ollman

George Lawson Gallery, 8564 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 837-6900, through March 17. Closed Sundays through Tuesdays.