The “Time Machine” that Mark Dutcher refers to in the titles of his paintings and collages at Jason Vass gallery delivers him to places of discovery and loss. At LACMA in 1983, the L.A.-based artist experienced a big-bang moment before a Susan Rothenberg painting, and his current work strives to project himself back into that expanded state.
The work is also steeped in a more melancholy sort of remembrance; one piece is subtitled after the late painter Noah Davis. What is missing here in too large a measure, however, is a vitality that can be felt now rather than merely be memorialized.
Dutcher draws as well as paints on the 10 large canvases in the series (2013-15). Most feature rows of zigzagged graphite lines, a kind of pseudo-script that suggests an urgent, unmediated flow but amounts to only generalized filler.
Jason Vass, 1452 E. 6th St., Los Angeles, (213) 228-3334, through March 5. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.jasonvass.com