Belly Button, 2009. Collage, acrylic and oil on paper. 8-3/4 x 10 inches. Image credit.
On the advice of our friend Annie Warton from The Company, our Los Angeles show this week is Cross Sections, an exhibition of new works on paper by Brad Eberhard at Thomas Solomon Gallery on Bernard Street in China Town. This is Eberhard’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Between February and March this year he showed As Different As Twins, a number of well received abstract paintings at their Cottage Home Street space and now, eight months on, with the paint still drying on his MFA, Eberhard appears in the main gallery.
From compositions in As Different As Twins that ranged from the quietly quirky to highly charged arrangements that read like a cross between color-field painting and Futurism, his new work is notably more figurative, bordering on pop.
Gallery says: “Eberhard’s new works on paper straddle the boundaries between painting, drawing and collage. In much the same way as a draftsman’s or biologist’s “cross section” exposes the invisible networks of a more complex system, Eberhard’s aim is to begin to expose not only something unseen by the viewer, but also to illustrate connections between the works. The collages are playful, serious, complex and simple, portraying beauty and conceptual depth with great confidence.”
Where as in As Different As Twins, Eberhard’s layers of washes, smudges and over painting touched upon themes of geopolitics, the cosmos and heraldic narratives these new works have a more pointedly nostalgic feel to them. The subject matter includes childhood associations of games, candy stalls, coke bottles, hot dog buns, blueberries and inflatable dinghies all rendered with illustrative precision in bright colors set against white backgrounds. With titles like All of the Planets (official) (2009), Inflatable Decks/Air Molecules (2009), Shape + Color = Earth (2009), Singularity (2009), Gravity (2009) and Flatness (2009) one gets the sense that Eberhard’s principle of confronting outward difference while displaying inner sameness is twinned with a humorous bent for amateur science.
As Christopher Miles stated in his article for LA Weekly: “Such an investigation of nuance might seem unexpected for a freshly minted MFA, but Eberhard spent more than a decade on the outside between his undergraduate studies at Occidental and his graduate studies at Claremont. This is a pleasurable discovery — the seemingly sudden arrival of an artist whose playfully mature, oddly subtle approach to abstraction signals that he’s someone to count among “painters’ painters” like East Coasters Peter Plagens and Thomas Noskowski, or Angelenos Roy Dowell, Robin Mitchell and Steve Roden.”
For more information please visit: www.thomassolomongallery.com
Join us this afternoon when we will be reporting from NYC.
This post was contributed by Thomas Hollingworth.