Art review: Michael Kindred Knight at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles

The pleasures to be found in an exhibition like that of Michael Kindred Knight at Luis De Jesus — which is to say, in a thoughtful selection of good, solid abstract paintings — are of a rejuvenating, spiriting sort that feel of a piece with the onset of summer.

The 16 acrylic paintings in the show are all square and small in scale — between 12 and 18 inches across — and composed by way of a conscientious layering of plank-like brush strokes, set at stable horizontal and vertical intervals. The palette is both intelligent and affable: beach house blues set against warm, fleshy pinks and yellows; touches of a hard, no-nonsense red and grounding dashes of black. The strokes are architectural, though not fastidious or mechanical; solid and weighty yet distinctly humane. There can be no doubt of their having been laid by an individual human hand.

The work benefits exceedingly from Knight’s restraint, a quality that — judging from earlier works on the artist’s website, which are jaunty and amiable but not nearly as tight — appears to have been fairly recently cultivated. Knight, who received his master of fine arts degree from Claremont Graduate University in 2010, has the air of one hitting his first post-art-school stride, in a diligent yet playful manner that would seem to bode well for future developments.

 —Holly Myers

Luis De Jesus, 2685 La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 838-6000, through July 14. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

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