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Review: 'Draw the Line' at Lora Schlesinger Gallery*

June 26, 2009 | 11:30 am


“Draw the Line” is a fine summer group show akin to a meal composed of a succession of small courses. Each of the 50-plus works on paper at Lora Schlesinger Gallery activates the senses with a modestly scaled, intense burst of flavor. No one taste is sustained long enough to tire, bore, overwhelm or numb the palate; the marvelous bites can be savored and the less interesting ones passed over quickly.

Nearly all of the work is representational, with the depiction of people and animals predominating. If that sounds like a recipe for staleness, it’s not. The work ranges from tame to squirmy, and traditional formats, especially of portraiture, prove no inhibition to invention, freshness or vigor.

Among the simplest and yet most vivid pieces are Enjeong Noh’s searingly alive sepia pencil portrait of Salomón Huerta and Peter Alexander’s gorgeous, sumi-like pastel study of a cat.

Lynn Hanson overlays an old AAA map of Southern California, family vacation route drawn in and detailed, with a charcoal rendering of a stealthy, sinuous rattler. The snake, daunting infiltrator of the nostalgic domain, is all deep shadow, pattern and negative space where the map’s own pathways show through.

Hugo Crosthwaite’s three graphite drawings fuse character and cartoon, idiosyncratic identity and flat graphic energy. In one of the intriguing snapshots, a man lightly fingers a frog; in another, a half-naked woman in character-cluttered undershorts glances back at us as she inks a large tattoo.

Among the show’s many other high points: Patty Wickman’s tender, almost tessellated drawing of children beside a manzanita; Marianela de la Hoz’s dark metaphoric tableaux; Bill Amundson’s satirical “Cheney Plant #3”; and Sean Sullivan’s needle-fine ink drawing of a knot of organic matter, all root and bark and bud, fissures, crevices and filigree. (UPDATE: Bill Amundson was incorrectly identified as Ed Amundson in an earlier version of this post.)

-- Leah Ollman

Lora Schlesinger Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 828-1133, through July 25. Closed Sundays and Mondays.

Above: Lynn Hanson's "Pilgrimage." Credit: Lora Schlesinger Gallery

Comments () | Archives (5)

Why do you have art reviews in Culture Monster instead of Calendar? since the print edition has art reviews in the Calendar Section one would assume that
they would be likewise found when one clicks on Calendar at LAtimes.com.
I also think Culture Monster diminishes the seriousness of the reviews.
I would never have found the reviews today if I had to depend on your search engine. I entered gallery name, date, even reviewer name and couldn't get anything.
Maybe you could cross reference so if one looks in Calendar for art reviews it will send one on to Culture Monster....

I second that.

I know this is a tad late, and I really appreciate being mentioned in the review, however, I would like to point out that my actual name is Bill, rather than Ed, Amundson. Of course, if Ed can garner me a modicum of success, I will be more than happy to legally change my name, or at least adapt it as a nom de plume of sorts.

I, like Peter Alexander, had extreme difficulty locating the review and I tried every avenue as well. It should be easy to locate through the calendar. I also suggest a link through the calendar as I know many are looking for the gallery reviews.

I am not sure how talented Ed Amundson is, but BILL Amundson is an incredible artist with the kind of passion and commitment to intricate detail that you can't find anywhere else. I was excited to know that Bill was mentioned in your article, however, upon reading the article, I am disappointed to see so little on the exhibit. These days it is even more crucial to draw people to the arts, yet nothing in this article (if I wasn't aware of who the artists are) would make me come to the gallery. These talented artists deserve a better review.


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