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Art review: Dianna Molzan at Overduin and Kite

December 4, 2009 | 12:30 am

 400.Molzan 06 email In her eight abstract paintings at Overduin and Kite, Dianna Molzan employs Modern art motifs like quotes from a textbook. Each of the untitled works is a take on one or several familiar styles, including Abstract Expressionist brushwork, monochromatic Minimalist rectangles and elemental shapes and lines that recall early Conceptual art. All are executed in a bloodless, deadpan manner, but Molzan attempts to go beyond parody by cutting or altering the canvases to create three-dimensional forms.

Oddly enough, it's not sculpture but furniture that comes to mind. A pastel-pink canvas covered with an even pattern of tiny splatters is vaguely reminiscent of a speckled Formica countertop, and its support has been partially cut away so that it looks like a small pink table mounted vertically on the wall. The splatter technique recalls Jackson Pollock, but also 1980s design and fashion, in which Modern art styles were recycled as popular, defanged echoes of their once-radical selves.

By re-importing these motifs back into painting, Molzan doesn't necessarily restore them to the status of fine art. Instead, the show suggests another angle on abstraction's long love affair with the flatness of the picture plane: As painting became more concerned with pure surface, it also became more like graphic design.

– Sharon Mizota

Overduin and Kite, 6693 Sunset Blvd., L.A., (323) 464-3600, through Jan. 9. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.overduinandkite.com

Image: Untitled. Photo credit: Brian Forrest, courtesy Overduin and Kite.

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